OVERVIEW OF GOVERNMENT
This page describes the basic functioning of government in Lendosa.
Nature of Confederation
It is important to note that Lendosa is a confederation of independent states. States may leave the Confederation at any time, although joining the Confederation requires the approval of the existing member states. Each member state retains its own national government, which it may organise in whatever way it wishes. There is also a central Confederate government which organises the affairs of Lendosa as a whole. The distinction between the Confederate government and the various national governments is important, and the two should not be confused.
Complicating the matter somewhat is the fact that the Confederate government, although separate from the national governments, also has subordinate authorities corresponding directly to each member state. In essence, each member state has two governments - its own national government, and a local branch of the Confederate government. The jurisdictions of these two structures do not overlap - the national government deals purely with internal affairs, while the local branch of the Confederate government deals with the implementation of Confederate policy at the national level. For example, the Free Republic of Lendia (a member state) has both a Free Council (its own national legislature) and a Parliament (an entity established by the Confederate government to oversee Confederate issues in Lendia).
The Confederate government, which controls those matters which the Pact of Confederation delegates to central authorities rather than national ones, can be divided into three branches and three levels.
The three branches reflect the three basic sources of authority recognised in Lendosan political theory - autocracy, democracy, and meritocracy.
The functions of the three branches are clearly defined - the democratic branch decides what must be done, the meritocratic branch implements these decisions, and the autocratic branch ensures that both the others do not exceed their authority. More information on the three branches is available below, in the sections devoted to them.
- Autocracy - Although the word has a negative connotation in most countries, in Lendosa, it simply retains its literal meaning of rule by a single person. The autocratic branch of the Lendosan government appoints a single person (at its highest level, the Praetor) to exercise certain powers, mostly for use in emergencies. These powers are little different from the reserve powers that a constitutional monarch might have, or from the emergency powers given to a ceremonial president. The Autocratic branch of the Lendosan government is appointed by the heads of state of each of the Confederation's members.
- Democracy - The democratic branch of the Confederate government is, in practice, the branch which chooses the direction of government - the autocratic branch exists purely to act as a brake on the excesses of government, while the meritocratic branch exists to ensure the neutrality of the civil service; neither has a leadership role. Lendosan democracy involves the direct election of representatives to a council (at the highest level, the Senate) which acts both as a legislature and as an executive. The council appoints a leader from among its members - there is no directly elected leader such as a President.
- Meritocracy - The Lendosan civil service, known as the Andrade, has its own independent power structure - its members are not appointed by either tthe autocratic or the democratic branch, but are instead appointed purely on their achievement and their qualifications. This helps to ensure that the civil service is both competent and politically neutral - it is impossible for politicians to appoint their supporters to office, or to surround themselves only with people who share their views.
The three levels are Confederate (governing the Lendosan Confederation as a whole), national (administering Confederate affairs in each of the six members of the Confederation), and regional (administering Confederate affairs in the twenty-six Confederate-defined subnational regions).
The table below gives the name of the government entity that operates in each branch at each level. The main label ("First Consilium", "Senate", "Directorate", etc.) shows the council that administers Confederate policy at each level, while the label in the smaller boxes ("Praetor", "Consul", "Chancellor", etc.) is the leader of that council. The relationship between council and leader is different for each branch - in the autocratic branch, the leader is far more powerful than the council he or she heads, while in the democratic branch, it is the reverse. The meritocratic branch is somewhere in between.
The autocratic branch of the Confederate government is tied directly to the member nations of the Lendosan Confederation. This is different from the other two branches, which operate completely autonomously from the member states.
The highest official of the autocratic branch is the Praetor. The Praetor is the leader of a council totalling seven members, called the First Consilium. This is the highest theoretical body existing in the Lendosan Confederation, and is made up of the heads of state of each individual member nation - the First Councillor of Lendia, the King of Piolhosa, the Speaker of Rabel, the Warden of Ranha, the Avatar of Kha, and the Patrician of Rioch. The First Consilium is the heart of the Confederation, and is the only element of governmental structure provided for in the Pact of Confederation, the document which incorporates Lendosa. Any other part of the government can be altered and changed as needs dictate, but the First Consilium is integral. It is the First Consilium that creates the rest of the government, as there are no councils or committees that could outrank the highest leaders of the Confederation's member states themselves. The Praetor, the seventh member of the First Consilium, is appointed by the other members of the Consilium from outside, with no restrictions as to who may be selected for the post. The First Concilium itself rarely meets, only doing so for matters of extreme importance. The tasks of the First Consilium are performed on a day-to-day basis by the Praetor. Also present is an official called a Subpraetor, who is appointed directly by the Praetor as a deputy. The Subpraetor is responsible for some of the Praetor's workload and acting as Praetor when the Praetor is absent, as well as taking over the responsibility of the Praetoriate should a state of emergency be in place while the Praetor is unable to discharge the duties required.
At the national level, a similar system is put in place. The Second Consilium also consists of seven officials, being the head of state of the nation in question, five others, and the Quaestor. The five others are representatives appointed until death, resignation, or dismissal. They are chosen by a mechanism determined by the government of the member state in question. Since the Second Consilium, like the First, rarely meets, the position tends to be honorary, given to elder statespeople who have given a lifetime of service to their country, as opposed to active politicians. The Quaestor is essentially the equivalent of the Praetor, appointed from outside by the Second Consilium in order to perform the regular functions of that body. The Quaestor appoints a Subquaestor in the same way that a Subpraetor is appointed.
At the regional level, a similar system exists for the Third Consilium as for the Second, except that in this case, there is no head of state. Instead, there is one further member appointed by the national government. The Exarch, who serves the same functions as the Quaestor, is appointed in the same way, as is the Subexarch appointed in the same was as the Subquaestor.
The highest official in the democratic branch is the Consul, who is chosen by the Senate, the highest directly elected body in the Confederation. The Senate is, for the most part, elected by the people, with elections every second year. It consists of one hundred and fifty representatives in total, twenty-five of whom are also Administrators, being heads of the governmental departments known as Sections. The way in which Senators gain their positions is complicated, and different Senators enter the Senate in different ways. Of the 150, eighteen Senators are appointed by non-elected government officials, and are essentially present to present the views of various sections of the Confederate administration (for example, there is a Senator to represent the judiciary, appointed by the Arbiter). Of the remaining 132 Senators, half (66) gain their positions via direct elections and half gain their positions based on the percentage of the vote which their party won.
The direct elections are managed through Regions, the internal divisions (for the purposes of the Confederate government, if not the internal national government) of each member nation. Lendia and Piolsa both have seven Regions, while the other four smaller states have three each. Votes are held in each Region, with victors being the favourite three candidates (from each Lendian or Piolsan Region) or the favourite two (from Rabeli, Ranhi, Riochan, or Kha Regions). Voting is carried out with a preferential system, with voters ranking the candidates in order of their preference.
At the same time as citizens vote for a candidate to represent their region, they also vote for a specific political party (not necessarily the same party as their preferred regional candidate). Each party will then be given a certain number of Senate seats based upon the percentage of the vote it gets. As a rough guide, a party will generally gain one seat for every 1.5% of the national vote it gained in the election. The party may then appoint people from among its membership to these seats. There is no legal requirement for parties to announce their intended appointments before an election, but in practice, all parties do so.
The two types of elected Senators together hold 132 seats, or 88% of the Senate. The remaining 18 Senators, making up 12% of the Senate, are appointed to their positions through other means, and are present in the Senate to explain and promote the views of various other branches of government. One Senator is appointed by each Head of State of one of the Confederation's six members, thus representing the national governments at the Confederate level. A further six Senators are appointed by the Tribunes, who are charged with protecting the Lendosan people from excesses of the government. Six other Senators are appointed by various other government officials or organisations.
This brings the total number of Senators to the required 150. The table below runs over the methods by which Senators gain their position.
Senate Representation Lendia 21 Senators Lendia and Piolsa, the two larger members of the Lendosan Confederation, are both divided into seven regions. Each region elects three senators through preferential voting, giving a total of twenty-one senators per country. Piolsa 21 Senators Rabel 6 Senators Rabel, Rioch, Kha, and Ranha, the four smaller members of the Lendosan Confederation, are both divided into three regions. Each region elects two senators through preferential voting, giving a total of six senators per country. This is considerably higher than what the population of these states would warrant, and is designed to ensure that the smaller countries are not overshadowed by Lendia and Piolsa. Rioch 6 Senators Kha 6 Senators Ranha 6 Senators Heads of State 6 Senators The head of state of all members of the Lendosan Confederation may appoint one senator each. Chancellor 1 Senator The Chancellor (head of the civil service), the Praetor (holder of reserve and emergency powers), and the Arbiter (the most senior judge) may appoint one senator each. Conventionally, the Chancellor must appoint a civil servant and the Arbiter must appoint a retired judge. The Praetor may appoint anyone he or she sees fit. Praetor 1 Senator Arbiter 1 Senator Military 1 Senator The military, the police, and the Panopticate (intelligence) may appoint one senator each. The military's senator is appointed by the Grand Commander (the highest officer), the police force's senator is appointed by a vote of senior officers, and the Panopticate's senator is appointed by a process not publicly disclosed. Senators must be serving members of their organisations. Police 1 Senator Panopticate 1 Senator Tribunes 6 Senators The Tribunes (see below) may elect six people to the Senate. These people may or may not be Tribunes themselves. Political Parties 66 Senators The remaining senators are appointed by political parties, with each party appointing a number proportional to its share of the vote in the last elections. ~The Consul is chosen by the Senate, although not in a direct election. Instead, the leader of the largest political party in the Senate is put to a simple vote of approval, with a 50% majority of votes in favour giving that candidate the Consulship. Should that candidate fail to gain the approval, the same process is repeated for the leader of the second largest party, proceeding all the way down until a Consul is approved. Should no party leaders at all win approval, the leader of the largest party takes the post by default. Also appointed is a Subconsul, who acts as the Consul's deputy. This position traditionally goes to the leader of the largest party excluding the party from which the Consul was chosen.
At the national level, a very similar arrangement is in place. The Senate is replaced by body known as a Parliament, which is lead by a Prime Minister chosen in the same way that the Consul is. Similarly to the Subconsul, a Sub Prime Minister (Subprimoministro, in Lendian) is appointed. The Parliamentarians are elected differently depending upon the nation. In Lendia and Piolhosa, each Region elects three Parliamentarians. In the smaller states, Rioch, Kha, Ranha, and Rabel, voting is done by District, the subdivisions of Regions (as these nations have only three Regions each). Each of the Districts, of which there are nine, elects four Parliamentarians. This brings the total number up to thirty-six in each nation, and after a further four are added representing the Praetor, the Consul, the Chancellor, and the Tribunes, a Parliament of forty members per Confederate nation is constituted.
An Assembly, being the third of the Consular bodies, is similar to the Parliaments. In Lendia and Piolhosa, each District elects one representative each, with an additional representative appointed by the Tribunes bringing the total for the Region's democratic body to ten members. In the smaller states, each of the three Districts within an Region elects three people, who, along with the Tribunes' representative, form ten. The Premier, being the leader of the Assembly, is simply the candidate who won the highest percentage of votes in their election.
The meritocratic branch is based around the civil service. The highest authority in this branch is the Chancellor. The Chancellor is appointed by a council known as the Directorate, made up of the twenty-five Secretaries. A Secretary is essentially the co-leader of a civil service department (called a Section), governing along with the Senatorial representative (an Administrator). Each Secretary reaches their position through a meritocratic system in which the most skilled and capable manager in a particular Section rises to the top. This is assessed by a system of grading, whereby all the Controllers (heads of Authorities, which are a Section's subdivisions) in that Section secretly rank each other in terms of skill and the highest totalling member receives the position. The second highest scoring Controller becomes the Subsecretary, while still retaining their position as Controller. A similar system is used by the twenty-five Secretaries to appoint a Chancellor.
Beneath the Directorate is a national Committee. This entity consists of a further twenty-five members, all of whom are appointed directly by the Controllers. Each Section's Controllers essentially choose one representative from their department to go to each of the six national Committees, with their selections limited to officials from within their Section and within that particular nation, but not Controllers. Each selection is then approved or rejected by a vote amongst the senior members of that Section within the nation in question (that is, the representative of the Education Section in Piolsa would need to be approved by the senior members of the Education Section within in Piolsa before taking office). The Committee chooses a President in the same way that the Directorate chooses the Chancellor.
Below that may be found a regional Board. This Board is appointed in exactly the same way that the Committees are, being selected by the Controllers and then approved or rejected by the senior civil servants within that region. The leader of a Board is known as a Governor, and is chosen in the same way that a Chancellor and a President is chosen.
When the old Lendian Empire collapsed, the state which replaced it (the Free Confederacy of Lendian Republics, or FCLR) was committed to a radical form of democracy. The FCLR's plans would see every citizen given the right to vote on all governmental decisions, something which was intended to happen through telephone and internet voting. This system was only partially implemented before the FCLR itself collapsed.
In practice, the scheme was unsuccessful - while the network's coverage was good, it was not perfect, and poorer communities tended to be disadvantaged. Moreover, the large number of decisions (and the complexity of those decisions) meant that most citizens did not bother to vote except in important matters. Perhaps more importantly, however, it was eventually decided that direct democracy was too destabilizing in such a diverse state as the FCLR, particularly when the nation was faced with a crisis such as the West Uhlanian communist insurrection. The instability of the FCLR's direct democracy is, to a large extent, blamed for the breakup of the FCLR into the states that exist today.
The Lendosan Confederation is not a referendary democracy. The three basic reasons for this are:
This does not mean to say, however, that there is no element of direct democracy in the present Lendosan government. However, it is used much more rarely than the Free Confederacy of Lendian Republics had envisaged, with most of its activity being referendums initiated by the Senate.
- Referendary democracy places considerable burden on ordinary citizens to keep track of all affairs of state, including those that they have no interest in or that do not affect them. It is better to delegate governance into the hands of the people's chosen representatives, who can devote their full attention to it.
- Referendary democracy cannot yet be implemented fairly, as the state does not have the resources to give all citizens equal access to voting apparatus.
- Referendary democracy is not able to react with sufficient speed or strength to emergencies.
As mentioned previously, each member of the Lendosan Confederation maintains its own internal government, independent of all Confederate structures and institutions. The roles of the Confederate and national governments are clearly demarcated, although the interconnection is often complex, and cannot be described easily.
Each national government in the Confederation has different constitutional arrangements - there are no requirements imposed upon them by the Confederation, other than a requirement that they accept Confederate jurisdiction in all applicable areas. The governmental systems of each member state are outlined below.
The Free Republic of Lendia is a democratic republic. Its highest body is the Free Council, presided over by an officer known as the First Councillor. The Free Council is based on the old Imperial Council, which is also the basis of the Lendosan Confederate Senate. Elections to the Free Council are based on Lendia's own internal divisions, the Prefectures - these are unrelated to the Regions defined by the Confederate government.
The Kingdom of Piolsa is a constitutional monarchy. Its king is Dazelio III, of the House of Menduroso (also known as the House of Damaeon). This royal line dates to shortly after the Plague, and has links back to pre-Plague monarchies. The Piolsan monarchy is only ceremonial, however - in practice, administration is conducted by an elected body known as the Curia.
The Federation of Rabel is an alliance of a number of small islands. Each island, regardless of population, elects one representative to a body called the Chamber of Delegates, which governs Rabel. One member of the Chamber, chosen at random, takes the post of Speaker, and serves as Rabel's head of state.
The Republic of Ranha is a democratic republic. It is governed by the Hall of Ranha, a body elected based on traditional tribal lines. The leader of the Hall, and the country's head of state, is known as the Warden of Ranha.
The Avatariate of Kha is a constitutional theocracy. Its head of state is known as the Avatar, and is said to be infused with the essence of one of Kha's six deities. The Avatar is chosen from among the priesthood. Once, the Avatar's rule was absolute, but today, actual governance is usually handled by the Avatar's Advisors, elected representatives of the Kha people.
The Patricianate of Rioch is unusual in that its government is, technically, unconstitutional by its own law. According to Riochan tradition, the islands were once a kingdom, but many centuries ago, the king mysteriously disappeared. One of the islands' senior noblemen ("a patrician") stepped forward and volunteered to "maintain the king's law and administration" until the king was either returned or shown to be dead. The king's fate was never determined, and the patrician's reign went on indefinitely. On his death, he was succeeded by another prominent patrician who he had nominated as "a good replacement", and the island has been ruled by the Patricians (now capitalised) ever since. In theory, Rioch still awaits the return of its king, but in practice, the Patrician rules.