What about Germany, for example? Was it ever united, and if yes, is it still an Empire? Are there free and fair elections in most European nations?
Yes to all. Due to different shenanigans in the Great Wars the monarchy survived, but was eventually neutered in the same way Japan's was after WW2, with the Kaiser only remaining as a "symbol of the state" with no power even in the event of the Reichstag deadlocking, and the constituent monarchies were probably yeeted or relegated to being members of a powerless "Oberhaus" of the Reichstag, with the states being reorganized into something more logical. And the elections are free and fair, with a system probably similar to my old TL's Germany just with a Kaiser that does literally nothing
Germany did lose Alsace-Lorraine, Saarland, all of Schleswig (but not Holstein), and the Posen area at various points though