With regards to the question of the Galaxy's Centrist/Populist or general political leanings, it is made more difficult off course without knowing all of information regarding the political structure of the Galaxy, or the individual planetary governments, over the millennia in great detail, in the Legends or the new universe. Over that time span I am sure it must of changed a lot of the years. Though I would think there was always a fight between the Republic being more of a loose alliance, and it being an actual central government. The Alsakan Conflict being a good Legends example of that, as well as there seeming to be local Empires and stronger local militaries sprinkled throughout the Legends timeline. Also seems to me that there is a decent amount of influence from non-democratic forms of government within the democratic Republic. Legends universe had plenty of monarchies, nobles houses, and other forms of government that were non-democratic, especially going back from 0 BBY. The new universe timeline might also have a similar pattern with regards to the Elder Houses and that they once held more influence in the past. Also always thought that it never seemed odd to anyone in universe that Palpatine declared himself to be an Emperor, so it must be a title or form of government that is more in the mainstream than say in the current real world political setting.