What follows are two novel tactics for using the rather extreme living standard called Chemical Bliss in post Federations and Nemesis Stellaris.
It may be an under appreciated feature of how diplomatic weight is calculated but happy pops increase diplomatic weight much more than unhappy pops.
For reference a maximally happy pop has 3x the diplomatic weight of a robot. A maximally unhappy pop has only marginally more diplomatic weight that a robot.
This can be an issue for Authoritarians running a Stratified society or Xenophobic enslavers. In these cases one might have the pops but their misery is dragging down one’s diplomatic weight. A weakness in diplomatic weight can be costly if the bleeding hearts in the Galactic Community votes to shut down the slave markets or ban stratified living standards!
Fortunately there is a solution which I call zombie vote farming.
This gambit leverages the awesome power of the Chemical Bliss living standard for turning those frowns upside-down. Chemical Bliss will boost a pop’s happiness by a whopping 40% across all strata. This is twice as much as even the Utopian Abundance living standard which those touchy-feely Egalitarians like so much. The drawback is that it is just as expensive in Consumer Goods upkeep as Utopian Abundance and also drastically impairs the pop’s productivity. If one’s interest is diplomatic weight rather than production then that may be worth it.
Acquire new pops through conquest, pop raiding or buying on the slave market then fit their species with Chemical Bliss for a boost to your Diplomatic Weight.
Empires with unhappy populations tend to lose pop growth when in a migration treaty with those with happy populations such as the Pacifists and Egalitarians. Having spare jobs helps for Immigration Pull but just as important is high Stability which depends on Population Approval which in turns rests on pop happiness.
The Authoritarian empire can step up its migration game by setting up a planet to be a migration honey pot.
Give a minority (slave) species Chemical Bliss and resettle them to the Honey Pot world to boost the happiness and stability of the planet. Whenever a foreigner turns up to sample the sin resettle them away to the work camp worlds.
Since habitability is a factor in pop growth it should be a planet with universal Habitability such as a Gaia, Ring World, Ecumenopolis or Ring World. Ideally it should be a small Gaia world. Using the bigger worlds this way is a bit of a waste.
Chemical Bliss is enabled by the technology Subdermal Stimulation. Subdermal Stimulation is a rare tech although it only tier 2. Its pre-requisite is the tier 1 tech Genome Mapping. Both techs are of the Biology speciality within the Society tech tree. To maximise the chance for it to come up use a Researcher with the Biology specialism.