Federal Chamber (Francisville)

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Federal Chamber of Francisville
Francillian: d'Kammer
Legislature Abolished
Logo dkammer.png
Type
TypeDeliberative assembly of the Federal Community of Francisville (directly democratic citizens' assembly)
HousesUnicameral
Leadership
PresidentJames Stewart, Liberty Union
since 7 October 2012 (at dissolution)
Majority LeaderSebastian Linden, Liberty Union
since 14 March 2013 (at dissolution)
Minority LeaderJames von Puchow, Social Democratic Alliance
since 7 October 2012 (at dissolution)
Structure
MembersFive (at dissolution)
Political groups     Liberty Union (2)
     Social Democratic Alliance (1)
     Independent (2)
CommitteesCantonal Liaison
Constituion
Education & Research
Foreign Relations
Legal Affairs
Election
Voting systemSingle transferable vote
Last electionSeptember 2012
Meeting place
Kirkburgh House, Wasserbrueck


The Federal Chamber of Francisville (Francillian/Francillish: d'Kammer, German: Bundeskammer, French: la Chambre fédérale) was the unicameral deliberative assembly of the Federal Republic of Francisville. The Federal Chamber was responsible for holding the Federal Council and for the proposal, drafting, and review of legislation before it was submitted to the Federal Community. Two assemblies of the Federal Chamber were convened during the existence of the Federal Republic.

History

The Chamber of Deputies had served as the legislature of the Democratic Duchy of Francisville from the enactment of its fourth constitution on 15 May 2009. On 3 June 2011, Grand Duke James I issued a declaration calling for the dissolution of the Fourth Constitution and the transition to an alternative model of government.[1] The declaration called for the reforms to be decided by the process of a citizens' assembly directed by a Convention Council comprised of the incumbent Deputies. The assembly became known as the June Convention.

The Convention had tacitly accepted that the federation would operate as a direct democracy but the question of how legislation would be introduced to the Federal Community and amended at committee stage remained unresolved. Voters accepted the principle of full direct democracy by rejecting the proposal for a federal legislature in the fifth national survey in March 2012.[2] This outcome led the Convention to consider an alternative non-legislative assembly tasked only with drafting legislation and scrutinising the Federal Council. The proposal to establish the Federal Chamber was subsequently accepted in a constitutional referendum held on 25-27 April 2012.[3]

The Federal Chamber was formally established by the federal constitution enacted on 16 August 2012[4]. The first election of the Federal Chamber was held from 28 September to 6 October 2012. James Stewart was elected as President of the Federal Chamber. The first assembly was dissolved early by the in June 2013. The second assembly was subsequently elected on 5-7 July 2013. Following the independence of North Llabdey on 3 June 2014 and the departure of James von Puchow from federal politics, the Federal Chamber retained a vacant seat until its final dissolution following the dissolution of the Federal Republic on 8 November 2014.

Functions

The Federal Chamber was not a conventional legislature. Legislative authority was ultimately vested in the Federal Community as the directly democratic assembly of the people and cantons. The Chamber was responsible for debating and drafting acts of legislation before they were submitted to the Federal Community. This aimed to ensure the quality and consistency of the legislative process without undermining the legislative sovereignty of the people. Legislative proposals required a double majority in the Federal Community, requiring the support of the majority of voters in the majority of cantons. The Federal Chamber was also required to submit any legislative proposal to the Federal Community in the form of a ballot initiative if demanded by one-fifth of the population within 28 days or by the Federal Council.

In addition to its deliberative responsibilities, the Federal Chamber was also delegated a number of reserve powers:

  • To approve the federal budget
  • To approve international treaties and agreements
  • To enact an early dissolution of the Federal Council and itself (not one without the other)
  • To facilitate links between the federation and the cantons

Constitutional amendments were also subject to direct democratic approval by the Federal Community. Proposals for the partial amendment of the constitution could be proposed by the Federal Community, the Federal Council, or the Federal Chamber. Article 155 of the constitution also outlined a mechanism for demanding a full revision of the constitution. A full revision could be demanded by one-third of eligible voters in a ballot initiative, one-quarter of the cantons, the Federal Council, or the Federal Chamber. Required majorities for constitutional amendments were more stringent than for ordinary legislation. Constitutional amendments were subject to the approval of either an absolute majority of eligible voters or a two-thirds majority of participating voters, in addition to the approval of the majority of voters in the majority of cantons. Article 157 outlined certain constitutional principles to be guaranteed in perpetuity. Constitutional amendments which threatened the secular, democratic, republican or federal nature of the state, or the general essence of fundamental human rights outlined in "Title 2 - Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", were prohibited.

The Federal Chamber adopted a Legislative Code to standardise the structure of acts of legislation on 8 October 2012.[5] All acts of legislation could be subject to judicial review concerning their constitutionality. The Federal Supreme Court of Francisville had the authority to declare a proposed legislation unconstitutional before it was submitted to the Federal Community

President

The Federal Chamber elected a President to chair its proceedings. The President of the Federal Chamber was responsible for maintaining order within the Chamber, ensuring that debates acted in accordance with its standing orders. The President formally put all motions to the Chamber and invited the deputies to cast their votes. The President was also responsible for representing the Chamber to other organs of state such as the Federal Council, cantonal governments, and foreign representatives. Vice-presidents could also be elected to chair parliamentary committees which could be established by order of the Chamber. The President also serve ex officio as the Convener of the Federal Community.

James Stewart served as the only President of the Federal Chamber from 7 October 2012 to 8 November 2014.

Election and composition

The Federal Chamber was comprised of representatives, known as Federal Deputies, elected from each canton according to its population. Each canton was entitled to elect at least one Deputy, thereafter receiving an additional Deputy for every five citizens. The apportionment of seats between cantons remained consistent during the existence of the Federal Republic; New Scireland (1 seat), North Llabdey (1 seat), Rudno (1 seat), Wasserbrueck (2 seats). The Chamber was elected by means of the single transferable vote with each canton functioning as a single electoral district. Deputies were elected for one year terms which constituted each assembly of the Federal Chamber.

List of Assemblies

1st Assembly, 2012-2013

The first election of the Federal Chamber was held from 28 September to 6 October 2012. The first assembly was dissolved early in June 2013, serving until the election of the second assembly on 5-7 July.

Party FPV Total FPV % Seats Seats %
Liberty Union 4 66.6% 3 60.0%
Social Democratic Alliance 1 16.7% 1 20.0 %
Independent 1 16.7% 1 20.0%
Total 6 100.0% 5 100.0%

2nd Assembly, 2013-2014

The second assembly was elected on 5-7 July 2013. Following the independence of North Llabdey on 3 June 2014 and the departure of James von Puchow from federal politics, the Federal Chamber retained a vacant seat until its final dissolution following the dissolution of the Federal Republic on 8 November 2014.

Party FPV Total FPV % Seats Seats %
Liberty Union 6 60.0% 2 40.0%
Social Democratic Alliance 1 10.0% 1 20.0%
Independent 3 30.0% 2 40.0%
Total 10 100.0% 5 100.0%

See also

References

  1. Declaration of the Republic Accessed 22/01/17
  2. Stewart, James. "Latest survey results published". The Francillian. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  3. Stewart, James. "New Federal Chamber and GUM withdrawal following latest results". The Francillian. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  4. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Francisville, August 2012. Onst Heem. Accessed 13 July 2020
  5. Legislative code of the Federal Republic of Francisville. Onst Heem. Accessed 13 July 2020.