Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria
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Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria
|Motto: Unité, liberté, et prospérité (French: Unity, Liberty, and Prosperity)|
|Anthem: National anthem of F.D.R.Z.|
|Largest city||Zephyria City|
|Official languages||English and French|
|Government||Federal Presidential Constitutional Parliamentary( Congressional) Republic|
• Vice President
• (as of 2021 census) census
This nation is a member of the United Micronations
The Federal Democratic Republic of New Latveria, commonly known as the Republic of New Latveria or New Latveria, is a country primarily located in the United States of America. It consists of 6 provinces, and a federal district. The official languages are English and French.
Robert Kennedy is the 1st and current president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria, having assumed office on January 20, 2021.
On November 2, 2021, the provisional government declared the independence of Zephyria by adopting the resolution from Robert Kennedy that stated:
That this nation is , and of right ought to be, free and independent, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the United States of America, and that all political connection between them and the United States of America is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; that measures should be immediately taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers, and a Confederation be formed to bind the colonies more closely together.
On November 2, 2021, they adopted the Declaration of Independence and this date is celebrated as the nation's birthday. Parliament shortly thereafter officially changed the nation's name to the "Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria".
The new nation was founded on Enlightenment ideals of liberalism and was called the unalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". It was dedicated strongly to republican principles, which emphasized that people are sovereign (not hereditary kings), demanded civic duty, feared corruption, and rejected any aristocracy.
Politics and government
The Government is Made up of three branches, the executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The republic is a federal presidential constitutional parliamentary( US Parliament System) republic. The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the Republic of Zephyria, or Président is the People’s representative. In practice, they are Zephyria’s Head of Government and State and have a range of constitutional and ceremonial duties. The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Executive authority is formally vested in the President of the Republic of Zephyria, and it is exercised on the advice of the vice president and the cabinet. The President is the Head of Government of Zephyria. The President Can dissolve Parliament which is the legislative Branch. The power to dissolve house(s) of parliament is solely vested in the President If deemed necessary . The President can also sign executive orders. An executive order is a means of issuing federal directives in the Republic, used by the President of the Republic of Zephyria, that manages operations of the federal government. Presidential executive orders, once issued, remain in force until they are canceled, revoked, adjudicated unlawful, or expire on their terms. This Republic is a multi-party system. The Federal Democratic Republic Of Zephyria which consists of 4 provinces, a federal district, and uninhabited island possessions. It is a federal republic and a representative democracy "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law."
In the Zephyrian federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district.
The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the Zephyrian Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. The Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual provinces. Article One protects the right to the writ of habeas corpus. The Constitution has 27 amendments; the first ten amendments, which make up the Acts of Rights of Citizens, and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Zephyrians' individual rights. All laws and governmental procedures are subject to judicial review, and any law can be voided if the courts determine that it violates the Constitution
The federal government comprises three branches:
- Legislative: The bicameral Parliament, made up of the Senate and the House of Commons, makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government.
- Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law (subject to Parliamentary override), and appoints the members of the Cabinet (subject to Senate approval) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.
- Judicial: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president with Senate approval, interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional.
The House of Commons has 200 voting members, each representing a Parliamentary district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the provinces by population. Each state then draws single-member districts to conform with the census apportionment. The Federal District and the five major F.D.R.O.Z.. territories each have one member of Parliament—these members are not allowed to vote.
The Senate has 100 members with each state having two senators, elected at-large to six-year terms; one-third of Senate seats are up for election every two years. The Federal District and the five major F.D.R.O.Z.. territories do not have senators. The president serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice. The president is not elected by direct vote, but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned to the provinces and the Federal District. The Supreme Court, led by the chief justice of the Republic of Zephyria, has nine members, who serve for life.
he 6 provinces are the principal political divisions in the country. Each state holds jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory, where it shares sovereignty with the federal government. They are subdivided into counties or county equivalents and further divided into municipalities. The Federal District is a federal district that contains the capital of the Republic of Zephyria, the city of Washington. The provinces and the Federal District choose the president of the Republic of Zephyria. Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their representatives and senators in Parliament; the Federal District has three because of the 23rd Amendment. Territories of the Republic of Zephyria do not have presidential electors, and so people in those territories cannot vote for the president.
The Republic of Zephyria also observes tribal sovereignty of the Zephyrian Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the provinces' sovereignty. Zephyrian Indians are R.O.Z. citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the R.O.Z. Parliament and the federal courts. Like the provinces they have a great deal of autonomy, but also like the provinces, tribes are not allowed to make war, engage in their own foreign relations, or print and issue currency. Reservations are usually part of a single state, though 12 reservations cross state boundaries. Indian country jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters is shared by tribes, provinces, and the federal government.
The Legislative Branch is the Parliament (Parliament) which has 2 houses, which are the House of Commons and House of the Senate. It makes Laws for the Nation. Each Province has two Senators and at least one MP (Member of Parliament for the House of Commons); the more residents a state has, the more Representatives allowed. There are 100 Senators and 200 MPs. Current Parliamentary Session is the 1st Parliament Session.
The judicial branch is in charge of deciding the meaning of laws, how to apply them to real situations, and whether a law breaks the rules of the Constitution. The Constitution is the highest law of our Nation. The Zephyrian Supreme Court, the highest court in the Republic, is part of the judicial branch.
Parliament of the Republic of Zephyria
The Republic of Zephyria Parliament is the legislature of the federal government of the Republic of Zephyria. It is bicameral, comprising a lower body, the House of Commons, and an upper body, the Senate. The Parliament meets in the Republic of Zephyria Capitol in Federal District of Zephyria of Zephyria Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a governor's appointment. Parliament has 535 voting members: 100 senators and 435 representatives. The Vice President of the Republic of Zephyria has a vote in the Senate only when senators are evenly divided; the House of Commons has six non-voting members.
The sitting of a Parliament is for a two-year term, at present beginning every other January; the current Parliament is the 117th. Elections are held every even-numbered year on Election Day. The members of the House of Commons are elected for the two-year term of a Parliament. Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators, so currently, there are 100 senators for the 6 states.
Article One of the Republic of Zephyria Constitution requires that members of Parliament must be at least 25 years old (House) or 30 years old (Senate), have been a citizen of the Republic of Zephyria for seven (House) or nine (Senate) years, and be an inhabitant of the state which they represent. Members in both chambers may stand for re-election an unlimited number of times.
The Parliament was created by the Constitution of the Republic of Zephyria and first met in 2021, replacing in its legislative function the Parliament of the Confederation.
Article One of the Republic of Zephyrian Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Parliament of the Republic of Zephyria, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Commons." The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process – legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills.
The House initiates impeachment cases, while the Senate decides impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be removed from office.
The term Parliament can also refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Parliament covers two years; the current one, the 1st Parliament, began on January 3, 2021, and will end on January 3, 2023. Since the adoption of the Twentieth Amendment to the Republic of Zephyrian Constitution, the Parliament has started and ended at noon on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators; members of the House of Commons are referred to as representatives, Parliament men, or Parliament women.
Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Parliament has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in Zephyrian government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Parliament is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view, even though legislators rarely achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices; one wrote that "legislators remain ghosts in America's historical imagination." One analyst argues that it is not a solely reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Parliament:
Parliament reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses. It reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic, religious, and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, and our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Parliament is the government's most representative body ... Parliament is essentially charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. —
Parliament is constantly changing and is constantly in flux. In recent times, the Zephyrian south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Parliament is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, and the mass media.
The Parliament of the Republic of Zephyria serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a Parliamentary district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators.
Most incumbents seek re-election, and their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent.
The historical records of the House of Commons and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, which is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Parliament is directly responsible for the governing of the Federal District of Zephyria, the current seat of the federal government.
The provisional government was a gathering of representatives. On November 4, 2021, the provisional government adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria". The Articles of Confederation in 2021 created the Parliament of the Confederation, a unicameral body with equal representation among the states in which each state had a veto over most decisions. Parliament had executive but not legislative authority, and the federal judiciary was confined to admiralty and lacked authority to collect taxes, regulate commerce, or enforce laws.
Government powerlessness led to the Convention of 2021 which proposed a revised constitution with a two–chamber or bicameral Parliament. Smaller states argued for equal representation for each state. The two-chamber structure had functioned well in state governments. A compromise plan, the Connecticut Compromise, was adopted with representatives chosen by population (benefiting larger states) and exactly two senators chosen by state governments (benefiting smaller states). The ratified constitution created a federal structure with two overlapping power centers so that each citizen as an individual was subjected to both the power of state government and the national government. To protect against abuse of power, each branch of government – executive, legislative, and judicial – had a separate sphere of authority and could check other branches according to the principle of the separation of powers. Furthermore, there were checks and balances within the legislature since there were two separate chambers.
Powers of Parliament
Overview of Parliamentary power
Parliament's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, and printing currency.
Article One of the Constitution creates and sets forth the structure and most of the powers of Parliament. Sections One through Six describe how Parliament is elected and gives each House the power to create its own structure. Section Seven lays out the process for creating laws, and Section Eight enumerates numerous powers. Section Nine is a list of powers Parliament does not have, and Section Ten enumerates powers of the state, some of which may only be granted by Parliament. Constitutional amendments have granted Parliament additional powers. Parliament also has implied powers derived from the Constitution's Necessary and Proper Clause.
Parliament has authority over financial and budgetary policy through the enumerated power to "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the Republic of Zephyria".
The Sixteenth Amendment extended Parliamentary power of taxation to include income taxes without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. The Constitution also grants Parliament the exclusive power to appropriate funds, and this power of the purse is one of Parliament's primary checks on the executive branch. Parliament can borrow money on the credit of the Republic of Zephyria, regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states, and coin money. Generally, both the Senate and the House of Commons have equal legislative authority, although only the House may originate revenue and appropriation bills.
Parliament authorizes defense spending.
Parliament has an important role in national defense, including the exclusive power to declare war, to raise and maintain the armed forces, and to make rules for the military.
Parliament can establish post offices and post roads, issue patents and copyrights, fix standards of weights and measures, establish Courts inferior to the Supreme Court, and "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the Republic of Zephyria, or in any Department or Officer thereof". Article Four gives Parliament the power to admit new states into the Union.
Parliament oversees other government branches.
The Constitution enumerates the powers of Parliament in detail. In addition, other Parliamentary powers have been granted, or confirmed, by constitutional amendments. The Thirteenth , Fourteenth , and Fifteenth Amendments gave Parliament authority to enact legislation to enforce rights of African Zephyrians, including voting rights, due process, and equal protection under the law. Generally militia forces are controlled by state governments, not Parliament.
Implied powers and the commerce clause
Parliament also has implied powers deriving from the Constitution's Necessary and Proper Clause which permit Parliament to "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the Republic of Zephyria, or in any Department or Officer thereof".
Constitutional responsibility for the oversight of the Federal District of Zephyria , the federal district and national capital, and the R.O.Z. territories rests with Parliament. The republican form of government in territories is devolved by Parliamentary statute to the respective territories including direct election of governors, the D.C. mayor and locally elective territorial legislatures.
Each territory and Federal District of Zephyria of Zephyria, elects a non-voting delegate to the R.O.Z. House of Commons as they have throughout Parliamentary history. They "possess the same powers as other members of the House, except that they may not vote when the House is meeting as the House of Commons". They are assigned offices and allowances for staff, participate in debate, and appoint constituents to the four military service academies for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Federal District of Zephyria of Zephyria, citizens alone among R.O.Z. territories have the right to directly vote for the President of the Republic of Zephyria, although the Democratic and Republican political parties nominate their presidential candidates at national conventions which include delegates from the five major territories.
Checks and balances
The Constitution provides checks and balances among the three branches of the federal government. Its authors expected the greater power to lie with Parliament as described in Article One.
The influence of Parliament on the presidency has varied from period to period depending on factors such as Parliamentary leadership, presidential political influence, historical circumstances such as war, and individual initiative by members of Parliament. The impeachment of Andrew Johnson made the presidency less powerful than Parliament for a considerable period afterwards.
The Constitution concentrates removal powers in the Parliament by empowering and obligating the House of Commons to impeach both executive and judicial officials for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors". Impeachment is a formal accusation of unlawful activity by a civil officer or government official. The Senate is constitutionally empowered and obligated to try all impeachments. A simple majority in the House is required to impeach an official; however, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is required for conviction. A convicted official is automatically removed from office; in addition, the Senate may stipulate that the defendant be banned from holding office in the future. Impeachment proceedings may not inflict more than this; however, a convicted party may face criminal penalties in a normal court of law. In the history of the Republic of Zephyria, the House of Commons has impeached sixteen officials, of whom seven were convicted. Another resigned before the Senate could complete the trial.
The Senate has an important check on the executive power by confirming Cabinet officials, judges, and other high officers "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate". It confirms most presidential nominees but rejections are not uncommon. Furthermore, treaties negotiated by the President must be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate to take effect. The House of Commons has no formal role in either the ratification of treaties or the appointment of federal officials, other than in filling a vacancy in the office of the vice president; in such a case, a majority vote in each House is required to confirm a president's nomination of a vice president.
Investigations are conducted to gather information on the need for future legislation, to test the effectiveness of laws already passed, and to inquire into the qualifications and performance of members and officials of the other branches. Committees may hold hearings, and, if necessary, compel individuals to testify when investigating issues over which it has the power to legislate by issuing subpoenas. Witnesses who refuse to testify may be cited for contempt of Parliament, and those who testify falsely may be charged with perjury. Most committee hearings are open to the public (the House and Senate intelligence committees are the exception); important hearings are widely reported in the mass media and transcripts published a few months afterwards. Parliament, in the course of studying possible laws and investigating matters, generates an incredible amount of information in various for can be described as a publisher. Indeed, it publishes House and Senate reports and maintains databases which are updated irregularly with publications in a variety of electronic formats.
Parliament also plays a role in presidential elections. Both Houses meet in joint session on the sixth day of January following a presidential election to count the electoral votes, and there are procedures to follow if no candidate wins a majority.
The main result of Parliamentary activity is the creation of laws, most of which are contained in the Republic of Zephyria Code, arranged by subject matter alphabetically under fifty title headings to present the laws "in a concise and usable form".
Parliament is split into two chambers – House and Senate – and manages the task of writing national legislation by dividing work into separate committees which specialize in different areas. Some members of Parliament are elected by their peers to be officers of these committees. Further, Parliament has ancillary organizations such as the Government Accountability Office and the Library of Parliament to help provide it with information, and members of Parliament have staff and offices to assist them as well.
Library of Parliament video explanation of committees in the Republic of Zephyria Parliament
The committee structure permits members of Parliament to study a particular subject intensely. It is neither expected nor possible that a member be an expert on all subject areas before Parliament. As time goes by, members develop expertise in particular subjects and their legal aspects. Committees investigate specialized subjects and advise the entire Parliament about choices and trade-offs. The choice of specialty may be influenced by the member's constituency, important regional issues, prior background and experience. Senators often choose a different specialty from that of the other senator from their state to prevent overlap. Some committees specialize in running the business of other committees and exert a powerful influence over all legislation; for example, the House Ways and Means Committee has considerable influence over House affairs.
Committees write legislation. While procedures, such as the House discharge petition process, can introduce bills to the House floor and effectively bypass committee input, they are exceedingly difficult to implement without committee action. Committees have power and have been called independent fiefdoms. Legislative, oversight, and internal administrative tasks are divided among about two hundred committees and subcommittees which gather information, evaluate alternatives, and identify problems. They propose solutions for consideration by the full chamber. In addition, they perform the function of oversight by monitoring the executive branch and investigating wrongdoing.
At the start of each two-year session, the House elects a speaker who does not normally preside over debates but serves as the majority party's leader. In the Senate, the vice president is the ex officio president of the Senate. In addition, the Senate elects an officer called the president pro tempore. Pro tempore means for the time being and this office is usually held by the most senior member of the Senate's majority party and customarily keeps this position until there is a change in party control. Accordingly, the Senate does not necessarily elect a new president pro tempore at the beginning of a new Parliament. In both the House and Senate, the actual presiding officer is generally a junior member of the majority party who is appointed so that new members become acquainted with the rules of the chamber.
Library of Parliament
The Library of Parliament was established by an act of Parliament in 2022. It is primarily housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill, but also includes several other sites: the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Federal District of Zephyria of Zephyria; the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia; a large book storage facility located at Fort Meade, Maryland; and multiple overseas offices. One of the library's missions is to serve Parliament and its staff as well as the Zephyrian public. It is the largest library in the world with nearly 16 million items including books, films, maps, photographs, music, manuscripts, graphics, and materials in 470 languages.
Parliamentary Research Service
The Parliamentary Research Service, part of the Library of Parliament, provides detailed, up-to-date and non-partisan research for senators, representatives, and their staff to help them carry out their official duties. It provides ideas for legislation, helps members analyze a bill, facilitates public hearings, makes reports, consults on matters such as parliamentary procedure, and helps the two chambers resolve disagreements. It has been called the "House's think tank" and has a staff of about 900 employees.
Parliamentary Budget Office
The Parliamentary Budget Office or CBO is a federal agency which provides economic data to Parliament.
It was created as an independent non-partisan agency. It helps Parliament estimate revenue inflows from taxes and helps the budgeting process. It makes projections about such matters as the national debt as well as likely costs of legislation. It prepares an annual Economic and Budget Outlook with a mid-year update and writes An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for the Senate's Appropriations Committee. The speaker of the House and the Senate's president pro tempore jointly appoint the CBO director for a four-year term.
Republic of Zephyria Capitol Police
The Republic Capitol Police (RCP) is a federal law enforcement agency in the Republic of Zephyria charged with protecting the Republic of Zephyria Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the Republic of Zephyria and its territories. It answers to the Capitol Police Board and is the only full-service federal law enforcement agency appointed by the legislative branch of the federal government of the Republic of Zephyria.
The Republic of Zephyria Capitol Police has the primary responsibility for protecting life and property, preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts, and enforcing traffic regulations throughout a complex of congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. The Capitol Police has primary jurisdiction within buildings and grounds of the Republic of Zephyria Capitol Complex. It also has concurrent jurisdiction with other law enforcement agencies, including the Republic of Zephyria Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, in an area of approximately 200 blocks around the complex. Officers also have jurisdiction throughout the District of Columbia to take enforcement action when they observe or are made aware of crimes of violence while on official duties. Additionally, they are charged with the protection of members of Congress, officers of Congress, and their families throughout the entire Republic of Zephyria, its territories and possessions, and the Federal District. While performing protective functions, the Capitol Police have jurisdiction throughout the entire Republic of Zephyria.
Partisanship versus bipartisanship
Parliament has alternated between periods of constructive cooperation and compromise between parties, known as bipartisanship, and periods of deep political polarization and fierce infighting, known as partisanship. It is generally easier for committees to reach accord on issues when compromise is possible. Some political scientists speculate that a prolonged period marked by narrow majorities in both chambers of Parliament has intensified partisanship in the last few decades, but that an alternation of control of Parliament between Democrats and Republicans may lead to greater flexibility in policies, as well as pragmatism and civility within the institution.
A term of Parliament is divided into two "sessions", one for each year; Parliament has occasionally been called into an extra or special session. A new session commences on January 3 each year unless Parliament decides differently. The Constitution requires Parliament to meet at least once each year and forbids either house from meeting outside the Capitol without the consent of the other house.
Joint sessions of the Republic of Zephyria Parliament occur on special occasions that require a concurrent resolution from both House and Senate. These sessions include counting electoral votes after a presidential election and the president's State of the Union address. The constitutionally mandated report, normally given as an annual speech, is modeled on Britain's Speech from the Throne, was written by most presidents. Joint Sessions and Joint Meetings are traditionally presided over by the speaker of the House, except when counting presidential electoral votes when the vice president (acting as the president of the Senate) presides.
Bills and resolutions
An Act of Parliament
The House Financial Services committee meets. Committee members sit in the tiers of raised chairs, while those testifying and audience members sit below.
Ideas for legislation can come from members, state legislatures, constituents, legislative counsel, or executive agencies. Anyone can write a bill, but only members of Parliament may introduce bills. Most bills are not written by Parliament members, but originate from the Executive branch; interest groups often draft bills as well. The usual next step is for the proposal to be passed to a committee for review. A proposal is usually in one of these forms:
- Bills are laws in the making. A House-originated bill begins with the letters "H.C." for "House of Commons", followed by a number kept as it progresses.
- Joint resolutions. There is little difference between a bill and a joint resolution since both are treated similarly; a joint resolution originating from the House, for example, begins "H.J.Res." followed by its number.
- Concurrent Resolutions affect only the House and Senate and accordingly are not presented to the president. In the House, they begin with "H.Con.Res."
- Simple resolutions concern only the House or only the Senate and begin with "H.Res." or "S.Res."
Representatives introduce a bill while the House is in session by placing it in the hopper on the Clerk's desk. It is assigned a number and referred to a committee which studies each bill intensely at this stage. Drafting statutes requires "great skill, knowledge, and experience" and sometimes take a year or more. Joint resolutions are the normal way to propose a constitutional amendment or declare war. On the other hand, concurrent resolutions (passed by both houses) and simple resolutions (passed by only one house) do not have the force of law but express the opinion of Parliament or regulate procedure. Bills may be introduced by any member of either house. However, the Constitution states, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Commons." While the Senate cannot originate revenue and appropriation bills, it has the power to amend or reject them. Parliament has sought ways to establish appropriate spending levels.
Each chamber determines its own internal rules of operation unless specified in the Constitution or prescribed by law. In the House, a Rules Committee guides legislation; in the Senate, a Standing Rules committee is in charge. Each branch has its own traditions; for example, the Senate relies heavily on the practice of getting "unanimous consent" for noncontroversial matters. House and Senate rules can be complex, sometimes requiring a hundred specific steps before a bill can become a law. Members sometimes turn to outside experts to learn about proper Parliamentary procedures.
Each bill goes through several stages in each house including consideration by a committee and advice from the Government Accountability Office. Most legislation is considered by standing committees which have jurisdiction over a particular subject such as Agriculture or Appropriations. The House has twenty standing committees; the Senate has sixteen. Standing committees meet at least once each month. Almost all standing committee meetings for transacting business must be open to the public unless the committee votes, publicly, to close the meeting. A committee might call for public hearings on important bills. Each committee is led by a chair who belongs to the majority party and a ranking member of the minority party. Witnesses and experts can present their case for or against a bill. Then, a bill may go to what is called a mark-up session, where committee members debate the bill's merits and may offer amendments or revisions. Committees may also amend the bill, but the full house holds the power to accept or reject committee amendments. After debate, the committee votes whether it wishes to report the measure to the full house. If a bill is tabled then it is rejected. If amendments are extensive, sometimes a new bill with amendments built in will be submitted as a so-called clean bill with a new number. Both houses have procedures under which committees can be bypassed or overruled but they are rarely used. Generally, members who have been in Parliament longer have greater seniority and therefore greater power.
A bill which reaches the floor of the full house can be simple or complex and begins with an enacting formula such as "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Commons of the Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria in Parliament assembled ..." Consideration of a bill requires, itself, a rule which is a simple resolution specifying the particulars of debate – time limits, possibility of further amendments, and such. Each side has equal time and members can yield to other members who wish to speak. Sometimes opponents seek to recommit a bill which means to change part of it. Generally, discussion requires a quorum, usually half of the total number of representatives, before discussion can begin, although there are exceptions. The house may debate and amend the bill; the precise procedures used by the House and Senate differ. A final vote on the bill follows.
Once a bill is approved by one house, it is sent to the other which may pass, reject, or amend it. For the bill to become law, both houses must agree to identical versions of the bill. If the second house amends the bill, then the differences between the two versions must be reconciled in a conference committee, an ad hoc committee that includes both senators and representatives sometimes by using a reconciliation process to limit budget bills. Both houses use a budget enforcement mechanism informally known as pay-as-you-go or paygo which discourages members from considering acts that increase budget deficits. If both houses agree to the version reported by the conference committee, the bill passes, otherwise it fails.
The Constitution specifies that a majority of members (a quorum) be present before doing business in each house. However, the rules of each house assume that a quorum is present unless a quorum call demonstrates the contrary and debate often continues despite the lack of a majority.
Voting within Parliament can take many forms, including systems using lights and bells and electronic voting. Both houses use voice voting to decide most matters in which members shout "aye" or "no" and the presiding officer announces the result. The Constitution, however, requires a recorded vote if demanded by one-fifth of the members present or when voting to override a presidential veto. If the voice vote is unclear or if the matter is controversial, a recorded vote usually happens. The Senate uses roll-call voting, in which a clerk calls out the names of all the senators, each senator stating "aye" or "no" when their name is announced. In the Senate, the Vice President may cast the tie-breaking vote if present when the senators are equally divided.
The House reserves roll-call votes for the most formal matters, as a roll call of all 435 representatives takes quite some time; normally, members vote by using an electronic device. In the case of a tie, the motion in question fails. Most votes in the House are done electronically, allowing members to vote yea or nay or present or open. Members insert a voting ID card and can change their votes during the last five minutes if they choose; in addition, paper ballots are used occasionally (yea indicated by green and nay by red). One member cannot cast a proxy vote for another. Parliamentary votes are recorded on an online database.
After passage by both houses, a bill is enrolled and sent to the president for approval.The president may sign it making it law or veto it, perhaps returning it to Parliament with the president's objections. A vetoed bill can still become law if each house of Parliament votes to override the veto with a two-thirds majority. Finally, the president may do nothing neither signing nor vetoing the bill and then the bill becomes law automatically after ten days (not counting Sundays) according to the Constitution. But if Parliament is adjourned during this period, presidents may veto legislation passed at the end of a Parliamentary session simply by ignoring it; the maneuver is known as a pocket veto, and cannot be overridden by the adjourned Parliament.
President of the ROZ
The president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria(POTRZ) is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Zephyria of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Republic of Zephyria Armed Forces. The power of the presidency has grown substantially since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. In contemporary times, the president is also looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower. As the leader of the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP, the president possesses significant domestic and international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government and vests the executive power in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law and the responsibility to appoint federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers. Based on constitutional provisions empowering the president to appoint and receive ambassadors and conclude treaties with foreign powers, and on subsequent laws enacted by Parliament, the modern presidency has primary responsibility for conducting R.O.Z. foreign policy. The role includes responsibility for directing the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president also plays a leading role in federal legislation and domestic policymaking. As part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation. Since modern presidents are also typically viewed as the leaders of their political parties, major policymaking is significantly shaped by the outcome of presidential elections, with presidents taking an active role in promoting their policy priorities to members of Parliament who are often electorally dependent on the president. In recent decades, presidents have also made increasing use of executive orders, agency regulations, and judicial appointments to shape domestic policy. The president is elected indirectly through the Electoral College to a four-year term, along with the vice president. Under the Twenty-second Amendment, no person who has been elected to two presidential terms may be elected to a third. In addition, nine vice presidents have become president by virtue of a president's intra-term death or resignation.
Signing and Vetoing Bills
The president's most significant legislative power derives from the Presentment Clause, which gives the president the power to veto any bill passed by Parliament. While Parliament can override a presidential veto, it requires a two-thirds vote of both houses, which is usually very difficult to achieve except for widely supported bipartisan legislation. The framers of the Constitution feared that Parliament would seek to increase its power and enable a "tyranny of the majority," so giving the indirectly-elected president a veto was viewed as an important check on the legislative power. While George Washington believed the veto should only be used in cases where a bill was unconstitutional, it is now routinely used in cases where presidents have policy disagreements with a bill. The veto – or threat of a veto – has thus evolved to make the modern presidency a central part of the Zephyrian legislative process.
Specifically, under the Presentment Clause, once a bill has been presented by Parliament, the president has three options:
- Sign the legislation within ten days, excluding Sundays—the bill becomes law.
- Veto the legislation within the above timeframe and return it to the house of Parliament from which it originated, expressing any objections—the bill does not become law, unless both houses of Parliament vote to override the veto by a two-thirds vote.
- Take no action on the legislation within the above timeframe—the bill becomes law, as if the president had signed it, unless Parliament is adjourned at the time, in which case it does not become law (a pocket veto).
Parliament attempted to enhance the president's veto power with the Line Item Veto Act. The legislation empowered the president to sign any spending bill into law while simultaneously striking certain spending items within the bill, particularly any new spending, any amount of discretionary spending, or any new limited tax benefit. Parliament could then repass that particular item. If the president then vetoed the new legislation, Parliament could override the veto by its ordinary means, a two-thirds vote in both houses.
Setting the Agenda
For most of Zephyrian history, candidates for president have sought election on the basis of a promised legislative agenda. Formally, Article II, Section 3, Clause 2 requires the president to recommend such measures to Parliament which the president deems "necessary and expedient." This is done through the constitutionally-based State of the Union address, which usually outlines the president's legislative proposals for the coming year, and through other formal and informal communications with Parliament.
The president can be involved in crafting legislation by suggesting, requesting, or even insisting that Parliament enact laws he believes are needed. Additionally, he can attempt to shape legislation during the legislative process by exerting influence on individual members of Parliament. Presidents possess this power because the Constitution is silent about who can write legislation, but the power is limited because only members of Parliament can introduce legislation.
The president or other officials of the executive branch may draft legislation and then ask senators or representatives to introduce these drafts into Parliament. Additionally, the president may attempt to have Parliament alter proposed legislation by threatening to veto that legislation unless requested changes are made.
Many laws enacted by Parliament do not address every possible detail, and either explicitly or implicitly delegate powers of implementation to an appropriate federal agency. As the head of the executive branch, presidents control a vast array of agencies that can issue regulations with little oversight from Parliament. Legislative and budgetary powers that should have belonged to Parliament had slid into the hands of presidents. Presidents could appoint a "virtual army of 'czars'—each wholly unaccountable to Parliament yet tasked with spearheading major policy efforts for the Presidential Palace". Presidents have been criticized for making signing statements when signing Parliamentary legislation about how they understand a bill or plan to execute it. This practice has been criticized by the Zephyrian Bar Association as unconstitutional.
Convening and adjourning Parliament
To allow the government to act quickly in case of a major domestic or international crisis arising when Parliament is not in session, the president is empowered by Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution to call a special session of one or both houses of Parliament. In addition, prior to ratification of the Twentieth Amendment , which brought forward the date on which Parliament convenes from December to January, newly inaugurated presidents would routinely call the Senate to meet to confirm nominations or ratify treaties. However, the power has decreased in the modern era as Parliament now formally remains in session year-round, convening pro forma sessions every three days even when ostensibly in recess. When not a emergency the president shall dissolve parliament at his pleasure when deemed necessary.
Suffice it to say that the President is made the sole repository of the executive powers of the Republic of Zephyria, and the powers entrusted to him as well as the duties imposed upon him are awesome indeed.
The president is head of the executive branch of the federal government and is constitutionally obligated to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed". The executive branch has over four million employees, including the military.
Presidents make numerous executive branch appointments: an incoming president may make up to 6,000 before taking office and 8,000 more while serving. Ambassadors, members of the Cabinet, and other federal officers, are all appointed by a president with the "advice and consent" of a majority of the Senate. When the Senate is in recess for at least ten days, the president may make recess appointments. Recess appointments are temporary and expire at the end of the next session of the Senate.
The power of a president to fire executive officials has long been a contentious political issue. Generally, a president may remove executive officials purely at will. However, Parliament can curtail and constrain a president's authority to fire commissioners of independent regulatory agencies and certain inferior executive officers by statute.
To manage the growing federal bureaucracy, presidents have gradually surrounded themselves with many layers of staff, who were eventually organized into the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Zephyria. Within the Executive Office, the president's innermost layer of aides (and their assistants) are located in the Presidential Palace Office.
The president also possesses the power to manage operations of the federal government by issuing various types of directives, such as presidential proclamation and executive orders. When the president is lawfully exercising one of the constitutionally conferred presidential responsibilities, the scope of this power is broad. Even so, these directives are subject to judicial review by R.O.Z. federal courts, which can find them to be unconstitutional. Moreover, Parliament can overturn an executive order via legislation.
Article II, Section 3, Clause 4 requires the president to "receive Ambassadors." This clause, known as the Reception Clause, has been interpreted to imply that the president possesses broad power over matters of foreign policy, and to provide support for the president's exclusive authority to grant recognition to a foreign government. The Constitution also empowers the president to appoint Republic of Zephyria ambassadors, and to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the Republic of Zephyria and other countries. Such agreements, upon receiving the advice and consent of the R.O.Z. Senate (by a two-thirds majority vote), become binding with the force of federal law.
While foreign affairs has always been a significant element of presidential responsibilities, advances in technology since the Constitution's adoption have increased presidential power. Where formerly ambassadors were vested with significant power to independently negotiate on behalf of the Republic of Zephyria, presidents now routinely meet directly with leaders of foreign countries.
One of the most important of executive powers is the president's role as commander-in-chief of the Republic of Zephyria Armed Forces. The power to declare war is constitutionally vested in Parliament, but the president has ultimate responsibility for the direction and disposition of the military.
Juridical powers and privileges
The president has the power to nominate federal judges, including members of the Republic of Zephyria courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Zephyria. However, these nominations require Senate confirmation before they may take office. Securing Senate approval can provide a major obstacle for presidents who wish to orient the federal judiciary toward a particular ideological stance. When nominating judges to R.O.Z. district courts, presidents often respect the long-standing tradition of senatorial courtesy. Presidents may also grant pardons and reprieves. Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon a month after taking office. Presidents often grant pardons shortly before leaving office.
Two doctrines concerning executive power have developed that enable the president to exercise executive power with a degree of autonomy. The first is executive privilege, which allows the president to withhold from disclosure any communications made directly to the president in the performance of executive duties.
The degree to which the president personally has absolute immunity from court cases is contested and has been the subject of several Supreme Court decisions.
According to the Article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zephyria, the dissolution of parliament shall be commenced by the president on the advice of the vice president if deemed necessary or if parliament fails to represent its constituencies . In the case of a Constitutional Crises, The President may act on its own with no advice from another body of the Parliament. Only the House of Commons shall be dissolved. The President shall use his presidential decree to dissolve parliament if deemed necessary.
Head of state
As head of state, the president represents the Republic of Zephyria government to its own people, and represents the nation to the rest of the world. For example, during a state visit by a foreign head of state, the president typically hosts a State Arrival Ceremony held on the South Lawn. This is followed by a state dinner given by the president which is held in the State Dining Room later in the evening. As a national leader, the president also fulfills many less formal ceremonial duties.
Other presidential traditions are associated with Zephyrian holidays. One of the traditions are the turkey pardon during Thanksgiving when the president is presented with a live domestic turkey during the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation held at the Presidential Palace. Presidential traditions also involve the president's role as head of government. Many outgoing presidents traditionally give advice to their successor during the presidential transition. The modern presidency holds the president as one of the nation's premier celebrities. Some argue that images of the presidency have a tendency to be manipulated by administration public relations officials as well as by presidents themselves. One critic described the presidency as "propagandized leadership" which has a "mesmerizing power surrounding the office". Administration public relations managers staged carefully crafted photo-ops of smiling presidents with smiling crowds for television cameras. As a result, some political commentators have opined that Zephyrian voters have unrealistic expectations of presidents: voters expect a president to "drive the economy, vanquish enemies, lead the free world, comfort tornado victims, heal the national soul and protect borrowers from hidden credit-card fees".
Head of party
The president is typically considered to be the head of his or her political party. Since the entire House of Commons and at least one-third of the Senate is elected simultaneously with the president, candidates from a political party inevitably have their electoral success intertwined with the performance of the party's presidential candidate. The coattail effect, or lack thereof, will also often impact a party's candidates at state and local levels of government as well. However, there are often tensions between a president and others in the party, with presidents who lose significant support from their party's caucus in Parliament generally viewed to be weaker and less effective.
With the rise of the Republic of Zephyria as a superpower and the Republic of Zephyria having the second world's largest economy into the 21st century, the president is typically viewed as a global leader, and at times the world's most powerful political figure. The president is the "leader of the free world."
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for holding the presidency. To serve as president, one:
- Must be a Citizen of the Republic ( Naturalized are allowed as well )
- Must be at least 25 years old.
- have been a resident of the Republic for 6 Months (Non-Residents as absentee President).
- Must have a Bachelor's Degree in any Field that is approved by the federal government.
- Must have 1 year or more of Political Experience as Mayor or Other Political Offices.
- Must be a Individual of Faith.
A person who meets the above qualifications would, however, still be disqualified from holding the office of president under any of the following conditions:
- Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, having been impeached, convicted and disqualified from holding further public office, although there is some legal debate as to whether the disqualification clause also includes the presidential office: the only previous persons so punished were three federal judges.
- Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, no person who swore an oath to support the Constitution, and later rebelled against the Republic of Zephyria, is eligible to hold any office. However, this disqualification can be lifted by a two-thirds vote of each house of Parliament.
- Under the Twenty-second Amendment, no person can be elected president more than twice. The amendment also specifies that if any eligible person serves as president or acting president for more than two years of a term for which some other eligible person was elected president, the former can only be elected president once.
Campaigns and nomination
The modern presidential campaign begins before the primary elections, which the two major political parties use to clear the field of candidates before their national nominating conventions, where the most successful candidate is made the party's presidential nominee. Typically, the party's presidential candidate chooses a vice presidential nominee, and this choice is rubber-stamped by the convention. The most common previous profession of presidents is lawyer.
Nominees participate in nationally televised debates, and while the debates are usually restricted to the Democratic and Republican nominees, third party candidates may be invited. Nominees campaign across the country to explain their views, convince voters and solicit contributions. Much of the modern electoral process is concerned with winning swing provinces through frequent visits and mass media advertising drives.
270 electoral votes are required for a majority out of 538 votes possible to win the presidency.
The president is elected indirectly by the voters of each state and the Federal District through the Electoral College, a body of electors formed every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president to concurrent four-year terms. As prescribed by Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, each state is entitled to a number of electors equal to the size of its total delegation in both houses of Parliament. Additionally, the Twenty-third Amendment provides that the Federal District is entitled to the number it would have if it were a state, but in no case more than that of the least populous state. Currently, all provinces and the Federal District select their electors based on a popular election. In all but two provinces, the party whose presidential–vice presidential ticket receives a plurality of popular votes in the state has its entire slate of elector nominees chosen as the state's electors. Maine and Nebraska deviate from this winner-take-all practice, awarding two electors to the statewide winner and one to the winner in each Parliamentary district.
On the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, about six weeks after the election, the electors convene in their respective state capitals (and in Federal District of Zephyria of Zephyria) to vote for president and, on a separate ballot, for vice president. They typically vote for the candidates of the party that nominated them. Following the vote, each state then sends a certified record of their electoral votes to Parliament. The votes of the electors are opened and counted during a joint session of Parliament, held in the first week of January. If a candidate has received an absolute majority of electoral votes for president (currently 270 of 538), that person is declared the winner. Otherwise, the House of Commons must meet to elect a president using a contingent election procedure in which representatives, voting by state delegation, with each state casting a single vote, choose between the top three electoral vote-getters for president. For a candidate to win, he or she must receive the votes of an absolute majority of provinces .
In the Republic of Zephyria, a contingent election is the procedure used to elect the president or vice president if no candidate for one or both of these offices wins an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College. A presidential contingent election is decided by a special vote of the v House of Commons, while a vice-presidential contingent election is decided by a vote of the Senate. During a contingent election in the House, each state's delegation casts one en bloc vote to determine the president, rather than a vote from each representative. Senators, on the other hand, cast votes individually for vice president.
The contingent election process was originally established in Article Two, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Zephyrian Constitution. The procedure was modified by the 12th Amendment , under which the House chooses one of the three candidates who received the most electoral votes, while the Senate chooses one of the two candidates who received the most electoral votes.
In the republic, the president and vice president are indirectly elected by the Electoral College, which, since ratification of the 23rd Amendment , consists of presidential electors from the 6 provinces and The Federal District. The current total of 538 electors that make up the Electoral College are directly elected by their respective provinces. Majority of the provinces have chosen their electors on a statewide winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election Day. Maine and Nebraska are the only two current exceptions, as both provinces use the Parliamentary district method. Although ballots list the names of the presidential and vice presidential candidates (who run on a ticket), voters actually choose electors when they vote for president and vice president. These presidential electors in turn cast electoral votes for those two offices. Electors usually pledge to vote for their party's nominee, but some "faithless electors" have voted for other candidates.
A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) to win the presidency or the vice presidency. If no candidate receives a majority in the election for president or vice president, that election is determined via a contingency procedure established by the 12th Amendment. In such a situation, the House chooses one of the top three presidential electoral vote-winners as the president, while the Senate chooses one of the top two vice presidential electoral vote-winners as vice president.
Section 3 of the 20th Amendment specifies that if the House of Commons has not chosen a president-elect in time for the inauguration (noon on January 20), then the vice president-elect becomes acting president until the House selects a president. Section 3 also specifies that Parliament may statutorily provide for who will be acting president if there is neither a president-elect nor a vice president-elect in time for the inauguration. Under the Presidential Succession Act, the Speaker of the House would become acting president until either the House selects a president or the Senate selects a vice president. None of these situations has ever occurred. The three past contingent elections were held by the outgoing Parliament, since, at the time, Parliamentary terms ended / began on March 4, the same day as presidential terms. The 20th Amendment moved the Parliamentary term end / start date to an earlier date (January 3) in the year than the new January 20 presidential term end / start date. The amendment reduced the length of lame-duck sessions of Parliament. As a result, the contingent elections are conducted by the incoming Parliament.
If no candidate for president receives an absolute majority of the electoral votes, pursuant to the 12th Amendment, the House of Commons is required to go into session immediately to choose a president from among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each state's delegation votes en bloc, with each having a single vote. A candidate must receive an absolute majority of state delegation votes (currently 26 votes) to become the president-elect. The House continues balloting until it elects a president. As a consequence of the state delegation voting method, the party that holds the majority in the House could still lose the contingent election if the minority party holds the majority of state delegations. The Federal District, which is not a state, does not receive a vote; the 23rd Amendment, which grants the district electoral votes, does not grant The Federal District a vote in contingent elections.
Historically, a delegation that did not give a majority of its vote to any one candidate was marked as "divided" and thus did not award its vote to any candidate. The contingent presidential elections to date have been held in closed session, with the vote of each individual representative not being revealed outside the House Journal. The Constitution does not require a contingent election to be in closed session, and a future contingent election could be held in an open session with public voting.
If no candidate for vice president receives a majority of the electoral votes, pursuant to the 12th Amendment, the Senate is required to go into session immediately to choose the vice president from the two candidates who received the most electoral votes. Unlike in the House, senators cast votes individually in this election. Because the Senate votes independently from the House during a contingent election, the House's presidential selection and the Senate's vice presidential selection could be from opposing parties.
Additionally, the 12th Amendment requires a "majority of the whole number" of Senators (currently 51 of 100) to elect the vice president in a contingent election. In practical terms, this means that an absence or an abstention from voting is equivalent to a negative vote and may impair the ability of either candidate to win election. The explicit constitutional language about election by a majority of the whole number of senators may preclude the sitting vice president from breaking any tie which might occur, although some academics and journalists have speculated to the contrary.
Pursuant to the Twentieth Amendment, the four-year term of office for both the president and the vice president begins at noon on January 20. The first presidential and vice presidential terms to begin on this date, known as Inauguration Day.
Before executing the powers of the office, a president is required to recite the presidential Oath of Office, found in Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution. This is the only component in the inauguration ceremony mandated by the Constitution:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the Republic of Zephyria, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria.
Presidents have traditionally placed one hand upon a Bible while taking the oath, and have added "So help me God" to the end of the oath. Although the oath may be administered by any person authorized by law to administer oaths, presidents are traditionally sworn in by the chief justice of the Republic of Zephyria.
Law and order
Law enforcement in the Republic of Zephyria is primarily the responsibility of local police departments and sheriff's offices, with state police providing broader services. Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the RONL Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights, national security and enforcing R.O.Z. federal courts' rulings and federal laws. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are 4 police agencies in Zephyria. That number includes city police departments, county sheriff's offices, state police/highway patrol and federal law enforcement agencies. State courts conduct most criminal trials while federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts.
The Republic of Zephyria has the highest documented incarceration rate and largest prison population in the world. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses. The imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities. About 9% of prisoners are held in privatized prisons, a practice beginning and a subject of contention.
Although most nations have abolished capital punishment, it is sanctioned in Zephyria for certain federal and military crimes, and at the provincial level in all 4 provinces, though three provinces have moratoriums on carrying out the penalty imposed by their governors.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Zephyria has an established structure of foreign relations. It is a permanent member of the United Micronations Security Council. Kingston City is home to the United Micronations Headquarters. Almost all countries have embassies in the Federal District, and many have consulates around the country.
The Republic of Zephyria has a "Special Relationship" with the Its closest allies, the Esthoronian People's Republic and the Kingdom of Zavalon. The R.O.Z. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau through the Compact of Free Association.
The president is the commander-in-chief of the Republic of Zephyria Armed Forces and appoints its leaders, the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Department of Defense administers five of the six service branches, which are made up of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force. The Coast Guard, also a branch of the armed forces, is normally administered by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy in wartime. All six branches of the R.O.Z. Armed Forces reported on active duty. The Department of Defense also employed civilians, not including contractors.
Global presence of the Republic of Zephyria military, showing Unified combatant commands
Military service in the Republic of Zephyria is voluntary, although conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System. Conscription was mandatory even during peacetime. Today, Zephyrian forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force's large fleet of transport aircraft, the Navy's 11 active aircraft carriers, and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy, and Army's XVIII Airborne Corps and 75th Ranger Regiment deployed by Air Force transport aircraft. The Air Force can strike targets across the globe through its fleet of strategic bombers, maintains the air defense across the Republic of Zephyria, and provides close air support to Army and Marine Corps ground forces. The Space Force operates the Global Positioning System, operates the Eastern and Western Ranges for all space launches, and operates the Republic of Zephyria' Space Surveillance and Missile Warning networks. The military operates about 800 bases and facilities abroad, and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries.
The Republic of Zephyria spent $649 billion on its military. Defense spending plays a major role in science and technology investment, with roughly half of R.O.Z. federal research and development funded by the Department of Defense. Defense's share of the overall R.O.Z. economy has generally declined.
Geography and climate
The 4 contiguous provinces and the Federal District occupy a combined area of 4 square kilometers. Of this area 2 KM^2 is contiguous land, composing 6% of total R.O.Z. land area.
The Republic of Zephyria, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. The Plains of the west of the are semi-arid. Much of the Northeastern mountains have an alpine climate. The climate is arid in the desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal areas. Overall, the Republic of Zephyria receives less high-impact extreme weather incidents than any other country in the world.
The R.O.Z. is a diverse country containing a large amount of endemic species: about 17,000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous Republic of Zephyria , and more than 1,800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland. The Republic of Zephyria is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species, as well as about 91,000 insect species.
There are 63 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas, which are managed by the National Park Service. Altogether, the government owns about 20% of the country's land area, mostly in the western provinces. Most of this land is protected, though some is leased for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, or cattle ranching, and about .86% is used for military purposes. Environmental issues include debates on oil and nuclear energy, dealing with air and water pollution, the economic costs of protecting wildlife, logging and deforestation, and climate change. The most prominent environmental agency is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created by presidential order. The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands with the Wilderness Act. The Endangered Species Act is intended to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which are monitored by the Republic of Zephyria Fish and Wildlife Service.
The R.O.Z. GDP of $22.7 trillion constitutes 24% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 16% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity. In October 2021 the Republic of Zephyria had a national debt of 5 $5 Trillion.
The Republic of Zephyria is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total R.O.Z. trade deficit was $635 billion.
From 1983 to 2008, R.O.Z. real compounded annual GDP growth was 3.3%, compared to a 2.3% weighted average for the rest of the G7. The country ranks fifth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and seventh in GDP per capita at PPP. The R.O.Z. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency.
In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy. While its economy has reached a post-industrial level of development, the Republic of Zephyria remains an industrial power. Zephyrian labor force is increasing by every year. For some people, the public sector is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than most other high-income countries.
The Republic of Zephyria is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation and is one of a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right. Some 74% of full-time Zephyrian workers get paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Science and Tech
The technology, along with the establishment of a machine tool industry, enabled the R.O.Z. to have large-scale manufacturing of sewing machines, bicycles, and other items became known as the Zephyrian system of manufacturing. Factory electrification and introduction of the assembly line and other labor-saving techniques created the system of mass production. In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector. The Republic of Zephyria leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor. The Air and Space Agency produced rapid advances in rocketry, materials science, and aeronautics.
Income, wealth, and poverty
Accounting for 4.24% of the global population, Zephyrian collectively possess 29.4% of the world's total wealth, the largest percentage of any country. The R.O.Z. also ranks first in the number of billionaires and millionaires in the world, with 724 billionaires and 10.5 million millionaires as of 2020. Prior to the 2019–2021 global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Credit Suisse listed some 18.6 million R.O.Z. citizens as having a net worth in excess of $1 million.
Wealth, like income and taxes, is highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half possess only 2%. According to the Federal Reserve, the top 1% controlled 38.6% of the country's wealth in 2016. Forbes found that just three individuals held more money than the bottom half of the population.
The Interstate Highway System in the contiguous provinces.
Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles of public roads. The Republic of Zephyria has the world's second-largest automobile market. and has the highest vehicle ownership per capita in the world, with 816.4 vehicles per 1,000 Zephyrians (2014).
The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated, while most major airports are publicly owned. The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are R.O.Z.-based; Zephyrian Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by US Airways. Of the world's 6 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the Republic of Zephyria, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. AirZephyr is the biggest privately owned airline.
The Republic of Zephyria has the longest rail network in the world, nearly all standard gauge. The network handles mostly freight, with intercity passenger service provided by the government-subsidized Amtrak to all but four provinces.
Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Republic of Zephyria. The country now ranks as the world's second-highest emitter of greenhouse gases, exceeded only by China. The Republic of Zephyria had been the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, and greenhouse gas emissions per capita remain high.
Culture and media
The Republic of Zephyria is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. Zephyrians or their ancestors immigrated. Mainstream Zephyrian culture is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of American immigrants with influences. More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot, and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.
Zephyrians have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic, competitiveness, and individualism, as well as a unifying belief in an " Zephyrian creed" emphasizing liberty, equality, private property, democracy, rule of law, and a preference for limited government. Zephyrians are extremely charitable by global standards: according to a 2006 British study, Zephyrians gave 1.67% of GDP to charity, more than any other nation studied.
The Zephyrian Dream, or the perception that Zephyrians enjoy high social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants. Whether this perception is accurate has been a topic of debate. While mainstream culture holds that the Republic of Zephyria is a classless society, scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values. Zephyrians tend to greatly value socioeconomic achievement, but being ordinary or average is also generally seen as a positive attribute.
The headquarters of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) at 30 Zephyria plaza in Zephyria City
The two major broadcasters in the R.O.Z. are the Republic Broadcasting Company (RBC) and Zephyrian Broadcasting Company (ZBC). The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches. Zephyrians listen to radio programming, also largely commercial, on average just over two and a half hours a day.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the Republic of Zephyria federal government that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable across the Republic of Zephyria . The FCC maintains jurisdiction over the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.
Well-known newspapers include The Zephyria Times and NL Today. Republic of Zephyria. Although the cost of publishing has increased over the years, the price of newspapers has generally remained low, forcing newspapers to rely more on advertising revenue and on articles provided by a major wire service, such as the Associated Press or Reuters, for their national and world coverage. Major cities may also support a local business journal, trade papers relating to local industries, and papers for local ethnic and social groups. The five most popular websites used in the R.O.Z. are Google, YouTube, Amazon, Yahoo, and Facebook. More than 800 publications are produced in French, the second most commonly used language in the Republic of Zephyria behind English.
Republic of Zephyria articles
Political divisions of the Republic of Zephyria