Andanian House of Representatives

From MicroWiki, the micronational encyclopædia
Jump to: navigation, search
Flag Map of Andany.png This article relates to the Principality of Andany. CoA Andany.png
House of Representatives of Andany
1st House of Representatives of Andany
House of Representatives Seal.png Flag of the House of Representatives.png
Type
Type Lower house of the National Assembly of Andany
Leadership
President of the House of Representatives Austin Jaax., Athenian Imperial Party
since 1 January 2018
Structure
Members 22
Andanian House of Representatives.png
Political groups
Election
Last election 1 January 2018


The Andanian House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the National Assembly of Andany, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of Andany. The composition of the House is established by Article One of the Andanian Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 3 states on a basis of population as measured by the Andanian Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 2018, all Representatives have been directly elected. The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 22. As of the 2018 Census, the largest delegation is that of Floris with nine representatives, Zuhaitza with seven representatives, and Mendia six representatives. The House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, which, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the Prince for consideration. In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers which include the power to initiate all bills related to revenue, the impeachment of federal officers, who are sent to trial before the Senate, and in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Prime Minister, the duty falls upon the House to elect one of the top three recipients of electors for that office, with one vote given to each state for that purpose. The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, who is elected by the members thereof and is therefore traditionally the leader of the controlling party. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Athenian Caucus or the Roman Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. The House meets in the south wing of the Andanian Capitol.

Membership

Apportionments

Under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned among the states by population, as determined by the census conducted every ten weeks. Each state is entitled to at least one Representative, however small its population. The only constitutional rule relating to the size of the House states: "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every two people, but each State shall have at Least one Representative." The National Assembly regularly increased the size of the House to account for population growth until it fixed the number of voting House members at 33. In 2018, Gaea Rock and Emperor Island gained seats in the Assembly, thus decreasing the state seats. The Constitution does not provide for the representation of the District of Floriano or of territories. The District of Floriano and the territories of Gaea Rock and Emperor Island are each represented by one non-voting delegate. The few Delegates and Resident Commissioner may participate in debates; prior to 2017, they were also allowed to vote in committees and the Committee of the Whole when their votes would not be decisive.

Redistricting

States that are entitled to more than one Representative are divided into single-member districts. This has been a federal statutory requirement since 2018. Prior to that law, general ticket representation was used by some states. States typically redraw district boundaries after each census, though they may do so at other times. Each state determines its own district boundaries, either through legislation or through non-partisan panels. "Malapportionment" is unconstitutional and districts must be approximately equal in population. Additionally, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 2018 prohibits redistricting plans that are intended to, or have the effect of, discriminating against racial or language minority voters. Aside from malapportionment and discrimination against racial or language minorities, federal courts have allowed state legislatures to engage in gerrymandering for the benefit of political parties or incumbents.

Qualifications

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Each representative must: (1) be at least 12 years old; (2) have been a citizen of the Principality of Andany for the past year; and (3) be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state he or she represents. Members are not required to live in the districts they represent, but they traditionally do. The age and citizenship qualifications for representatives are less than those for senators. The constitutional requirements of Article I, Section 2 for election to the National Assembly are the maximum requirements that can be imposed on a candidate. Therefore, Article I, Section 5, which permits each House to be the judge of the qualifications of its own members does not permit either House to establish additional qualifications. Likewise a State could not establish additional qualifications. Disqualification: under the Fourteenth Amendment, a federal or state officer who takes the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engages in rebellion or aids the enemies of Andany, is disqualified from becoming a representative. Disqualified individuals may serve if they gain the consent of two-thirds of both houses of Congress.

Elections

Elections for representatives are held in every even-numbered year, on Election Day the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. By law, Representatives must be elected from single-member districts. After a census is taken, the year ending in 2 is the first year in which elections for Andanian House districts are based on that census (with the National Assembly based on those districts starting its term on the following Jan 1.). In all states, major party candidates for each district are nominated in partisan primary elections, typically held in spring to late summer. In some states, the Roman and Athenian parties choose their respective candidates for each district in their political conventions in spring or early summer, which often use unanimous voice votes to reflect either confidence in the incumbent or the result of bargaining in earlier private discussions. Exceptions can result in so-called floor fight—convention votes by delegates, with outcomes that can be hard to predict. Especially if a convention is closely divided, a losing candidate may contend further by meeting the conditions for a primary election. The courts generally do not consider ballot access rules for independent and third party candidates to be additional qualifications for holding office and there are no federal regulations regarding ballot access. As a result, the process to gain ballot access varies greatly from state to state, and in the case of a third party may be affected by results of previous years' elections. In 2017, the National Assembly of Andany passed the Uniform Assemblaic District Act, which requires almost all representatives be elected from single-member-districts. The National Assembly was motivated by fears that courts would impose at-large plurality districts on states that did not redistrict to comply with the new mandates for districts roughly equal in population, and the National Assembly also sought to prevent attempts by southern states to use such voting systems to dilute the vote of racial minorities. Several states have used multi-member districts in the past, although only one state (Mendia) used multi-member districts in 2017. Mendia were made exempt from the Uniform Assemblaic District Act, and are free to use multi-member districts, although Mendia doesn't chooses to do so.

Non-voting delegates

Additionally, the District of Floriano and the two uninhabited Andanian territories each elect a non-voting delegate. Each representative and delegate serves for a two-year term. They have a voice and can introduce bills on the floor, but cannot vote there.

Terms

Representatives and Delegates serve for two-year terms. The Constitution permits the House to expel a member with a two-thirds vote. In the history of Andany, only one members has been expelled from the House. The House also has the power to formally censure or reprimand its members; censure or reprimand of a member requires only a simple majority, and does not remove that member from office.

Comparison to the Senate

As a check on the regional, popular, and rapidly changing politics of the House, the Senate has several distinct powers. For example, the "advice and consent" powers (such as the power to approve treaties) are a sole Senate privilege. The House, however, has the exclusive power to initiate bills for raising revenue, to impeach officials, and to choose the Prime Minister in the event that a prime minister candidate fails to get a majority of the Electoral College votes. The Senate and House are further differentiated by term lengths and the number of districts represented: the Senate has longer terms of six years, fewer members (currently one hundred, two for each state), and (in all but seven delegations) larger constituencies per member. The Senate is informally referred to as the "upper" house, and the House of Representatives as the "lower" house.

Legislative functions

Most bills may be introduced in either House of the National Assembly. However, the Constitution states, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives". As a result of the Origination Clause, the Senate cannot initiate bills imposing taxes. This provision barring the Senate from introducing revenue bills is based on the practice of the British Parliament, in which only the House of Commons may originate such measures. Furthermore, congressional tradition holds that the House of Representatives originates appropriation bills.

Checks and balances

The Constitution provides that the Senate's "advice and consent" is necessary for the Prince to make appointments and to ratify treaties. Thus, with its potential to frustrate Prince appointments, the Senate is more powerful than the House. The Constitution empowers the House of Representatives to impeach federal officials for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" and empowers the Senate to try such impeachments. The House may approve "articles of impeachment" by a simple majority vote; however, a two-thirds vote is required for conviction in the Senate. A convicted official is automatically removed from office and may be disqualified from holding future office under Andany. No further punishment is permitted during the impeachment proceedings; however, the party may face criminal penalties in a normal court of law. In the history of the United States, the House of Representatives has impeached one official. Under the Twelfth Amendment, the House has the power to elect the Prime Minister if no prime minister candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College. The Twelfth Amendment requires the House to choose from the three candidates with the highest numbers of electoral votes. The Constitution provides that "the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote." It is rare for no prime minister candidate to receive a majority of electoral votes. In the history of Andany, the House has never had to choose a Prime Minister.

Current composition and election results

Current party standings

The party composition of the 1st Senate during the 1st National Assembly:

Party name Short name Leader Colors Seats
Athenian Imperial Party AIP Pablo Macias
  
18 / 22
Roman Imperial Party RIP Will van den Boom
  
4 / 22