Good government?

Earlier today, Tim asked how we could determine whether one government was better or worse than another, concluding that it is almost impossible make a verdict on any objective basis. Like Whig in the comments below Tim's piece, I'd quote the following: "That government is best which governs least". That's been attributed to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, but according to Wikipedia it was Henry David Thoreau who said it first. Either way, I agree with the sentiment. I also like this verse from the Tao Te Ching: "Governing a large country is like frying small fish. Too much poking spoils the meat."