Federal Community (Francisville)
|Francillian Federal Community |
|Type||Direct democratic legislative assembly of the citizens and cantons.|
|Federal President||Sebastian Linden, Liberty Union |
since 8 July 2013 (at dissolution)
|Federal Convener||James Stewart, Liberty Union |
since 7 October 2012 (at dissolution)
|Members||Citizens of Francisville convened in cantonal associations.|
The Federal Community (Francillian: Federalsgeméng, literally Federal Assembly) was the convention of the citizens and cantons of the Federal Republic of Francisville under federal legislative process. Francisville operated under a distinctive form of direct democracy where the deliberation and drafting of legislation was conducted by an elected assembly, the Federal Chamber, and legislative ascent was granted by the entire citizenry through direct democracy. Every citizen in enjoyment of full political rights was entitled to be a member of the Federal Community and thereby vote on federal legislation. The Federal Community was the general federal convention of all citizens for this process, convened according to cantonal citizenship. Proposed statutes required a double majority in the Federal Community to become law, requiring the support of the majority of participating voters within the majority of participating cantons.
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. Francisville was a parliamentary representative democracy in the form of a constitutional monarchy. Referendums were uncommon in the Democratic Duchy in comparison to the system of direct democracy later adopted in the Federal Republic. Citizens were consulted on legislative matters by referendum only twice, in 2009 and 2011. The only proposals subject to mandatory referendums were constitutional amendments applying to concerning Title II ("Rights of the People"). 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. 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. This outcome led the Convention to consider an alternative non-legislative assembly tasked only with drafting legislation and scrutinizing the Federal Council. The proposal to establish the Federal Chamber was subsequently accepted in a constitutional referendum held on 25-27 April 2012. The Federal Community was therefore established as the supreme legislative authority in the federal constitution enacted on 16 August 2012
Although the Federal Community retained ultimate legislative sovereignty, the responsibility for the proposal, drafting, and review of legislation was vested in the elected Federal Chamber of Francisville as the federation's supreme representative body. 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 Chamber was elected by means of the single transferable vote with each canton functioning as a single electoral district. Legislation could be proposed to the Chamber by any Deputy, any Federal Councillor, or any cantonal government.
Article 116 of the constitution also established a mechanism by which citizens could demand a referendum on matters not submitted to them directly by the Federal Chamber. Upon the demand of one-fifth of eligible voters, the federation was obliged to organised referendum on any proposed ballot initiative, provided that the minimum number of signatures had been gathered within 28 days of its publication. The same criteria also applied to the appointment of justices of the Federal Supreme Court and the approval of international treaties and agreements, powers normally vested in the Federal Council and the Federal Chamber. Member in international organisations required a basis in federal law and was therefore subject to the approval of the Federal Community as standard practice.
Legislative authority was officially vested in the Federal Community as the directly democratic assembly of the people and cantons of Francisville. In order to become law, all legislation required the support of a double majority in Federal Community, achieving the approval of the majority of voters in the majority of 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 elected a President to chair its proceedings. The President also served ex officio as the President of the Federal Community, informally known in this role as the Federal Convener. The President of the Federal Chamber was responsible for maintaining order within the Chamber, ensuring that debates acted in accordance with its standing orders. In the Federal Community, the President was responsible for ensuring the fair and proper management of votes and the accurate recording of its proceedings. The President also acted as a facilitator between the functions of the Federal Community, the Federal Chamber, and the Federal Council.
- Declaration of the Republic Accessed 22/01/17
- Stewart, James. "Latest survey results published". The Francillian. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
- Stewart, James. "New Federal Chamber and GUM withdrawal following latest results". The Francillian. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- Constitution of the Federal Republic of Francisville, August 2012. Onst Heem. Accessed 13 July 2020