Politics of Adammia
The Empire of Adammia is a unitary state governed by an executive constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The Monarch, currently Emperor Adam I, is the head of state, and the Prime Minister, currently Lord Juliano Saunders, is the head of government. Legislative power is invested in the Imperial Parliament of Adammia, which consists of the Emperor-in-Parliament, the Ruling Council and the House of Citizens. Parliament oversees the executive, known as the Imperial Government. The Prime Minister must have the confidence of the House of Citizens, and is usually the leader of the largest party or coalition within the House. The Monarch also holds judicial power, acting as the judge of the Grand Court. Another key executive and judicial player is the Lord/Lady Chancellor, who runs the Office of State - intended as the impartial enforcer of the Empire's constitution, the Supreme Directive, acting as a constitutional court and organising elections. The system in place - a mixed parliamentary system and executive monarchy with an "administrative branch" - is considered to be unique in the world.
During the first era of Adammic history, the three political parties which held the balance of power were the Moderate Party, Liberal Party and Labour Party, in a state known as the centrist liberal consensus; populist parties such as the Adammic National Party struggled to gain ground in this era. However, since late 2017 several new populist parties broke the consensus, starting with the Nuclear So-and-so Party and the Dank Party; it was the Storm Party which finally broke through and came to power in late 2018. The Liberal and Moderate parties merged into the Liberal-Moderate Party, which defeated Storm in the first general election to the House of Citizens in September 2019 and became the governing party; Labour, which once occupied the middle ground between Storm and the Liberal-Moderates, rebranded in 2019 to the Red Green Alliance and moved to the left of both parties. A new Independent Party was founded in 2020 which subsequently formed a coalition government with the RGA and Dank parties.
The Ruling Council is the upper house of Parliament and is made up of both appointed nobles and elected Councilors for each of the five provinces. Councillors are elected using instant-runoff voting (commonly known as AV); due to the very low population, Council seats very rarely change hands, with many going uncontested year on year. The House of Citizens, the lower house, uses a modified D'Hondt method to implement party list proportional representation.
The Monarch of Adammia is known as the Emperor if male, and Empress if female. The position is hereditary. The Monarch has significant powers that can be exercised through Imperial Decrees, one of the two main forms of legislation in the Empire. In addition to this, the Monarch occupies a number of positions, such as Grand Marshal of the Military of Adammia. The Monarch is considered by far the most powerful and influential office in the country; so far Emperor Adam I has been the only Monarch, him being responsible for founding Adammia and for the vast majority of its development. However, recent elections have seen the rise of parties which are openly hostile to the Emperor's authority for the first time, namely the Storm Party and the RGA.
The Monarch is represented by a political entity known as the Office of the Emperor, which is analagous to the "Crown" or "Throne" in other countries. It is this office which issues Imperial Decrees and exercises the Monarch's other powers. The powers of the Monarch are sweeping - they can grant or revoke titles and citizenship at will, and call elections. Many of these powers, however, are kept in check by the two houses of Parliament.
The Monarch is also an important diplomatic figure. As head of state, the Monarch is one of Adammia's main representatives. Emperor Adam I serves as Adammia's delegate to the Grand Unified Micronational.
The long-form title of the executive is His Majesty's Imperial Government; however, despite this name, the Monarch does not have any direct control over the Government.
The head of the Imperial Government is the Prime Minister, who is nominated by the House of Citizens and appointed by the Monarch. For this reason, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party or coalition within the House. The Prime Minister then appoints a Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers for the six government departments; together these form the Cabinet, the political committee which runs the government and is the main source of executive authority.
The Imperial Civil Service of Adammia is the impartial administrative arm of the Imperial Government. With the exception of the Office of State, it is controlled by the Cabinet. It is responsible for implementing the policy decisions made by ministers. It consists of support staff for ministers along with a range of government agencies.
The head of the Imperial Civil Service is the Lord Chancellor or Lady Chancellor. They are appointed for life by the Monarch and the Ruling Council collectively. They run the Office of State, which is responsible for organising elections, managing the Monarch's line of succession, keeping records of all Ruling Council meetings, archiving all legislation passed, and generally enforcing the Supreme Directive. The Chancellor is expected to remain completely impartial at all times and can be impeached by the Monarch and the Council if they fail to do so. The Office of State is not controlled by the Cabinet or the Prime Minister - instead it is held directly responsible to the Monarch and the Council.
The Chancellor's relation to the rest of the civil service is mostly ceremonial. The Prime Minister appoints a Cabinet Secretary, who is the highest-ranking civil servant at the Cabinet Office and the second-highest-ranking civil servant overall. The Chancellor must approve this appointment, though there is little reason for them to ever deny this permission. The Cabinet Secretary's job is to help the Prime Minister run the Cabinet.
In practice, the key distinction between political policy-making and non-political implementation means that, unlike the Cabinet which is filled by politicians, the civil service must be staffed by professionals. Emperor Adam I is generally considered the only individual with the time and committment to fill a civil servant role professionally, and as such he has become Lord Chancellor, Cabinet Secretary and the director of almost every single government agency. The political roles, which are easier to fulfil, are taken by a much more varied range of individuals.
There are three principal components of the Imperial Parliament: the Monarch, in which context they are known as the Emperor-in-Parliament, the Ruling Council and the House of Citizens. The Parliament is the Empire's legislature. It can legislate by Act of Parliament, and it oversees and directs the Imperial Government. The Government needs the consent of Parliament in order to carry out certain actions, such as levying taxes, spending public money (i.e., Parliament controls supply), signing treaties, or declaring war.
The Ruling Council is the upper house of Parliament. It is comprised of elected Councilors from each Province, the Duke or Duchess for each province and the Delegate of the Colonies. The Monarch is the Chair of the Council, though they do not have a vote. The Lord Chancellor is a Vice-Chair, and the Monarch may appoint up to two other Vice-Chairs.
Local elections take place each year, usually in October, to elect the five Councilors; candidates must be residents of the province they wish to stand in.
Council meetings are held a minimum of twice per year. Historically, between 2013 and 2017, the Council met in White Gold Palace in Imperial City, and from 2017 to 2020 it met in Varwall, Serkatia. Currently it is meeting online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Council has the ability to call for a Regency, giving the Monarch's powers to a Regent. The Monarch can overrule this, but only if the vote passed with less than 80% support. Although this power ostensibly exists so that functions of state can continue if the Monarch goes on holiday, goes missing or is otherwise unavailable, it also serves as deterrent to stop the Monarch abusing their power. The House of Citizens has no power over regencies; this is a counterbalance to the fact that it effectively controls the executive branch.
House of Citizens
The House of Citizens is the lower house of Parliament. It is comprised of a number of MPs, which is either a quarter of Adammia's population on the day the election is called, or 100, whichever is lower. These MPs are elected using the D'Hondt method, in a general election which takes place once per year. The House elects its own Speaker, and the Speaker can appoint up to two Deputy Speakers. The House always meets online, via a private Facebook group.
The House of Citizens nominates, by vote, the Prime Minister, who is then confirmed and appointed by the Monarch. Therefore, the Prime Minister must have the confidence of the House, and this usually requires obtaining the support of a majority of MPs, or at least a large minority. For this reason, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party or the largest coalition in the House. This party or coalition subsequently forms the Imperial Government. The Leader of the Opposition is the leader of the largest party which is not part of the government.
The legal system of the Empire of Adammia is a statutory civil law system. The main source of law is primary legislation, which takes the form of the Empire's constitution, known as the Supreme Directive, its subsequent amendments, Acts of the Ruling Council and Imperial Decrees issued by the Monarch. A three-tier court system has jurisdiction over Adammic law, with separate first instance and appeal courts for criminal and civil cases, followed by the Grand Court, overseen by the Monarch themselves, as a court of final appeal. In cases where the Supreme Directive may have been violated or interpretation of the Supreme Directive is required, responsibility instead goes to the Office of State, which has the power to act as a constitutional court, with the Chancellor acting as judge. In theory, this is to prevent the Monarch from violating the Supreme Directive and then using their position as judge of the Grand Court to acquit themselves.
In practice, due to a lack of legal disputes, no court in Adammia has yet heard a single case to date; crime is virtually non-existent and most issues that do arise are settled either by passing emergency legislation, or by arriving by consensus on an informal convention.
There are two main types of elections in Adammia - local elections and general elections. The former are used to elect Councilors for each province. Though they can be held individually as by-elections, such as if a new province joins the Empire mid-way through the term, they are usually all held on the same day, which is generally in October of each year. They are open to all residents of the province in question. These elections use instant-runoff voting, commonly known as the alternative vote (AV).
The general election elects the entirety of the House of Citizens using a version of the D'Hondt method which is modified to allow preferential voting.
In practice, the low populations of many provinces make local elections a foregone conclusion, rendering the provinces similar to rotten boroughs. Local elections are seen as more ceremonial, a re-affirmation of a province's confidence in its current representative, rather than an actual contest. In contrast to most local elections, the general election is seen as a genuine contest, with two or three parties and upwards of 40 votes at play. Historically, Adammic National Election candidates were notorious for putting almost no effort into their campaigns. The National Election in November 2017 changed this trend, with the candidates producing detailed manifestos and using social media to campaign for the first time, and this became even more pronounced at the 2018 election. By the 2019 general election, all three main parties had organised campaign teams, with serious consideration being given to strategy and communications. This increase in the amount of effort being put into election campaigns coincided with the rise of the populist parties and the reaction of the monarchist Liberal-Moderates.
There are currently six registered political parties in Adammia: the Liberal-Moderates, the Independent Party, the Red Green Alliance, the Storm Party, the Dank Party, and the Adammic National Party (ANP). Former parties include the Imperial Party, the Conservative Party and the Nuclear So-and-so Party. Political parties first became an active part of Adammic politics in 2015, when members of the Ruling Council started to group together as parties, encouraged by the Emperor. The Emperor's theory was that competition between parties would encourage the other politicians to come up with more of their own ideas, reducing dependence on himself. However, it was only in 2018, with the rise of the Storm Party, that parties began to operate completely independently of the throne.
The Liberal-Moderate Party was formed in October 2018 by the merger of the Liberal Party, which was Adammia's oldest party founded in 2013, and the Moderate Party, founded in 2015. Prior to the merger, the Moderates had been the Empire's ruling party for longer than any other; it was founded by Adammia's first Prime Minister, Emperor Mother Jayne, and she was succeeded by Lord Helliker, who served a term immediately prior to the merger. The Liberals were founded by Emperor Adam I; they were quiet for many years, but in 2017 they became the first party to adopt a constitution and Liberal leader Prince Jake was elected Prime Minister. His successor, Lord General Panconi, was unsuccessful and finished third. During Lord Helliker's premiership, the Liberals and Moderates were in coalition, and the Moderates drifted ideologically until they were practically indistinguishable from the Liberals, which prompted the parties to consider merging.
Although members of both parties voted to approve the merger, the new party had a difficult start with disgruntled former members such as Lord Gurr defecting to the new Storm Party. This, along with poor economic news, is largely credited for the Liberal-Moderates' defeat in the 2018 election. Lord Helliker, as the new party's leader, subsequently became Leader of the Opposition. In August 2019, Helliker stepped down as party leader, and defected to the Storm Party the following month. He was replaced by Lord Charles Michael, who led the party to victory in the 2019 general election with 6 out of 13 seats in the House of Citizens, and formed a coalition government with the Dank Party. In 2020, the party dropped to four seats in the House, and entered opposition when the other parties formed a coalition against it. Due to its supporters in Greater Tytannia and Metchlia, it remains a strong force in the Ruling Council, and is the largest party by membership, although many of its members are inactive.
At its core, the Liberal-Moderate Party is a social liberal party. Unlike most other parties, it is committed to defending the Empire's traditional political system and maintaining the monarch's powers.
The Independent Party is the Empire's newest party, founded by Lord Juliano Saunders in September 2020 in order to contest the October 2020 general election. Its membership mostly comprises former Storm and RGA members, particularly former Storm politicians who felt that the party's image had been irreparably damaged by its 2019 election campaign. The Independent Party performed well and won the popular vote, though it only secured three seats in the House due to a lack of candidates. However, it was able to form a coalition with the RGA and Storm, with Saunders now serving as Prime Minister. The party has little Ruling Council representation as most of its support comes from non-territorial citizens, although Corellia is a stronghold.
The Independent Party's ideology is unclear.
Red Green Alliance
The Red Green Alliance is the current name of what was once the Labour Party. The Labour Party, or Labour for short, was one of the two parties founded on 18 July 2015. It was founded by Sir Reginald Hall in a move that surprised Adammic Express pundits, who had expected Hall to join Emperor Mother Jayne's party (the Moderates). When it recruited Sir Paul McKenna as a second member, it became the first party in Adammic history to have multiple members. However, the party struggled to write a manifesto, and McKenna, its 2015 National Election candidate, lost to the Emperor Mother. Then, as 2016's election results came in, it shocked observers again. Not only had it won two new seats in local elections by recruiting Sir David Hall and because of its candidate Eleanor Hall unexpectedly beating the Liberal candidate in Myway, making it the joint-largest party by seats, but it had actually won the National Election by a single vote, making McKenna the Empire's second Prime Minister.
Labour were heavily defeated at the August 2017 National Election and subsequently failed to recruit any members on the new Ruling Council based in Birmingham. It went several months without any Council representation, but was recently thrown a lifeline after Lord Maude joined the party.
Throughout its early history, Labour's ideology was vague; despite its name implying a socialist outlook, Hall was frequently one of the more fiscally conservative members of the Ruling Council. Lord Maude took the party in a more anti-establishment direction, giving it some Storm-like policies on constitutional reform and restricting the monarch's powers, whilst also opposing many Storm policies such as conscription, positioning itself as the middle-ground party. It finished third in the 2018 election, and Lord Maude became Deputy Prime Minister.
In 2019, Lord Maude stepped down as leader and handed over to Billy Thompson, who subsequently renamed the party to the Red Green Alliance, adopting a harder socialist position as well as a distinct environmentalist platform. The party finished third in the 2019 general election, winning 3 out of 13 seats in the House. It repeated this result in 2020, when it ran on a novelty platform, and it joined the coalition government, with Thompson becoming Deputy Prime Minister. It also has a large presence on the Ruling Council, with its voting base in Sheaffia and Llanadda.
The Storm Party is Adammia's main opposition party, founded in October 2018. It was founded by Sir Juliano Saunders and quickly became the first of the new wave of populist parties to break through, succeeding where the Nuclear So-and-so and Dank parties had failed, recruiting several disgruntled politicians and winning a landslide victory in the 2018 National Election. Its 2018 election campaign was unprecedented in Adammia, making heavy use of slogans and social media. In 2019, after serving a term as Prime Minister, Saunders stood down from the party leadership and Lady Anna Worthington was elected to replace him. Under her leadership, the party convinced former Liberal-Moderate leader Lord Alex Helliker to cross the floor; however, it performed worse than expected in the first general election to the House of Citizens in September 2019, putting it in opposition. In the House, it has 2 out of 13 seats.
The party is committed to political reform, seeking to restrict the powers of the monarchy and to investigate the apparent corruption it believes to exist within the old Liberal-Moderate establishment. In 2019, Lady Worthington took the party in an arguably even more radical direction, especially in terms of foreign affairs; she proposed a military occupation of neighbouring Wazakhstan to "liberate" it from its Prime Minister, Ned Hilton, and called for the Empire to cut off all ties with Austenasia over its marriage policy. After the party suffered a large drop in membership following this election, with some citing these policies as having damaged the party's brand, their remaining members adopted a softer tone for the 2020 election, with a novelty platform focussed on protecting Adammia's non-existant sheep population. However, it continued to perform poorly and finished last in the popular vote.
The Dank Party was founded by Lady Peace in June 2018 and is a minor opposition party. So far, the party only has one member and it remains to be seen whether or not it will find wider success. The party runs on a novelty platform. In the run-up to the 2018 election, Lady Peace announced that she was withdrawing in order to endorse the Storm Party. However, the party stood in the 2019 general election and finished fourth, winning one seat in the House. Withdrawing her support for Storm, Lady Peace then went into coalition with the Liberal-Moderates, becoming Deputy Prime Minister.
In the 2020 election, Dank remarkably managed to finish ahead of Storm in the popular vote, despite not even publishing a manifesto. The party often benefits from second preferences from Lib-Mod and RGA supporters. However, it is no longer in government.
Adammic National Party
The Adammic National Party, or ANP for short, was founded in early 2016 by Cavan Garfield and Euan Carey in response to vandal attacks against Adammia's MicroWiki articles, proposing a hard-line response. It soon evolved to what it describes as an alt-right party, and began proposing more controversial policies using its two seats on the now-defunct Colonial Council. One of these was to hold a referendum on changing the national anthem to a song from Garfield's album Succ, which was voted down by the Ruling Council. The ANP came close to having a majority on the Colonial Council as it controlled the then-colonies of El Grandens, Kappania and, after merging with the Imperial Party, Midgard. In December 2016, it became the largest party by membership. However, it has not been able to recruit any members of the Ruling Council or indeed any resident of the provinces, leaving it unable to field candidates in local elections. Its leaders become increasingly frustrated with the Emperor at what they saw as an inability to gain power, and heated debates between the ANP and the Liberal leader became common in late 2016. This came to a head following the US Presidential elections, when the Emperor issued a decree withdrawing recognition of the USA. The ANP promptly challenged the Emperor for his Ruling Council seat, the Delegate of the Colonies, which is effectively the only seat they can run for. An election was held, which Garfield lost to the Emperor by a single vote, leaving the ANP without any seat on the Ruling Council for the foreseeable future.
Current political landscape
Currently, the Independent-RGA-Storm coalition controls 8 out of 13 seats in the House of Citizens, a majority of two. The Liberal-Moderates form the main opposition.
The governing coalition has a majority of one on the Ruling Council, where it controls 6 out of 11 seats.
Each province of Adammia has its own local council, consisting of every citizen living in the province who is of age. These local councils are yet to play much of a role.
The only international organisation Adammia has any kind of relationship with is the Grand Unified Micronational, of which it is an observer state.