Andanian Senate

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
Senate of Andany
1st Senate of Andany
Senate Seal.png Flag of the Senate.png
Type
Type Upper house of the National Assembly of Andany
Leadership
President of the Senate Pablo Macias, Athenian Imperial Party
since 1 January 2018
Structure
Members 11
Andanian Senate.png
Political groups
Election
Last election 1 January 2018


The Senate of Andany is the upper chamber of the National Assembly of Andany, which along with the Andanian House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprise the legislature of the United States. The composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the Andanian Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety, with each state is equally represented by three senators, regardless of its population, serving staggered terms of six years; with 3 states currently in the Union, there are 11 Andanian Senators. Senators are popularly elected. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in the District of Floriano. As the upper house, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it; these include the ratification of treaties and the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, other federal executive officials, flag officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers. In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Prime Minister, the duty befalls upon the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. It further has the responsibility of conducting trials of those impeached by the House. The Senate is widely considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The current title of the President of the Senate is the Prince of Andany, Pablo Macias.

Membership

Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: (1) they must be at least 12 years old; (2) they must have been citizens of Andany for 1 year or longer; and (3) they must be inhabitants of the states they seek to represent at the time of their election. The age and citizenship qualifications for senators are more stringent than those for representatives. The Senate (not the judiciary) is the sole judge of a senator's qualifications. During its early years, however, the Senate did not closely scrutinize the qualifications of its members. As a result, three senators who failed to meet the age requirement were nevertheless admitted to the Senate. Such an occurrence, however, has not been repeated since. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Andanian Constitution disqualifies from the Senate any federal or state officers who had taken the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engaged in rebellion or aided the enemies of Andany. This provision was intended to prevent those who had committed treason from serving. That Amendment, however, also provides a method to remove that disqualification: a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the National Assembly.

Terms and elections

Senators in the National Assembly of Andany are elected through popular vote.

Term

Senators serve terms of six years each; the terms are staggered so that approximately one-third of the seats are up for election every two years. This was achieved by dividing the senators of the 1st National Assembly into thirds (called classes), where the terms of one-third expired after two years, the terms of another third expired after four, and the terms of the last third expired after six years. This arrangement was also followed after the admission of new states into the union, which happened the same day as the Andanian founding. The staggering of terms has been arranged such that both seats from a given state are not contested in the same general election, except when a mid-term vacancy is being filled. A term will current Senator will have his/her membership expire on January 1, 2024. There is no constitutional limit to the number of terms a senator may serve. The Constitution set the date for Congress to convene—Article 1, Section 4, Clause 2 set that date for noon the first day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day. The Constitution also states that Congress shall assemble at least three times in every year and allows the National Assembly itself to determine its convening and adjournment dates and other dates and schedules as it desires. Article 1, Section 3 provides that the Prnce has the power to convene the National Assembly on extraordinary occasions at his discretion. A member who has been elected, but not yet seated, is called a "senator-elect"; a member who has been appointed to a seat, but not yet seated, is called a "senator-designate". The Senate may expel a senator by a two-thirds vote.

Elections

Elections to the Senate are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years, Election Day, and coincide with elections for the House of Representatives. Senators are elected by their state as a whole. In all states (since 2018), a primary election is held first for the Athenian and Roman parties, with the general election following a few months later. Ballot access rules for independent and minor party candidates vary from state to state. The winner is often the candidate who receives a plurality of the popular vote. In all states, runoffs are held if no candidate wins a majority.

Oath

The Constitution requires that senators take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. The National Assembly has prescribed the following oath for all federal officials (except the Prince), including senators:

I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Principality of Andany against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Majority and minority parties

The "Majority party" is the political party that either has a majority of seats or can form a coalition or caucus with a majority of seats; if two or more parties are tied, the vice president's affiliation determines which party is the majority party. The next-largest party is known as the minority party. The president pro tempore, committee chairs, and some other officials are generally from the majority party; they have counterparts (for instance, the "ranking members" of committees) in the minority party. Independents and members of third parties (so long as they do not caucus with or support either of the larger parties) are not considered in determining which is the majority party.

Seating

At one end of the chamber of the Senate is a dais from which the President presides. The lower tier of the dais is used by clerks and other officials. Eleven desks are arranged in the chamber in a semicircular pattern and are divided by a wide central aisle. The Athenian Imperial Party traditionally sits to the House President's right, and the Roman Imperial Party traditionally sits to the House President's left, regardless of which party has a majority of seats. In this respect, the Senate differs from the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and other parliamentary bodies in the Commonwealth of Nations and elsewhere. Each senator chooses a desk based on seniority within the party. By custom, the leader of each party sits in the front row along the center aisle. It is a tradition that each senator who uses a desk inscribes their name on the inside of the desk's drawer.

Functions

Legislation

Bills may be introduced in either chamber of the National Assembly. However, the Constitution's Origination Clause provides that "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives". As a result, the Senate does not have the power to initiate bills imposing taxes. Furthermore, the House of Representatives holds that the Senate does not have the power to originate appropriation bills, or bills authorizing the expenditure of federal funds. Historically, the Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House. However, when the Senate originates an appropriations bill, the House simply refuses to consider it, thereby settling the dispute in practice. The constitutional 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. Although the Constitution gave the House the power to initiate revenue bills, in practice the Senate is equal to the House in the respect of spending.

Checks and balances

The Constitution provides several unique functions for the Senate that form its ability to "check and balance" the powers of other elements of the Federal Government. These include the requirement that the Senate may advise and must consent to some of the Prince's government appointments; also the Senate must consent to all treaties with foreign governments; it tries all impeachments, and it elects the Prime Minister in the event no person gets a majority of the electoral votes. The Prince can make certain appointments only with the advice and consent of the Senate. Officials whose appointments require the Senate's approval include members of the Cabinet, heads of most federal executive agencies, ambassadors, Justices of the Supreme Court, and other federal judges. Under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, a large number of government appointments are subject to potential confirmation; however, the National Assembly has passed legislation to authorize the appointment of many officials without the Senate's consent (usually, confirmation requirements are reserved for those officials with the most significant final decision-making authority). Typically, a nominee is first subject to a hearing before a Senate committee. Thereafter, the nomination is considered by the full Senate. The majority of nominees are confirmed, but in a small number of cases each year, Senate committees purposely fail to act on a nomination to block it. In addition, the president sometimes withdraws nominations when they appear unlikely to be confirmed. Because of this, outright rejections of nominees on the Senate floor are infrequent.

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
  
6 / 11
Roman Imperial Party RIP Will van den Boom
  
5 / 11