Government of Ebenthal

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His Majesty's Government
Polity typeUnitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy
ConstitutionConstitution of Ebenthal
FormationAugust 11, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-08-11)
Legislative branch
NameKonkrëse
Meeting placeMalmünd
Upper house
NameHouse of Aristocrats
Presiding officerLord Speaker
Lower house
NameHouse of Councillors
Presiding officerSpeaker
Executive branch
Head of State
TitleKing
CurrentlyArthur II
Head of Government
TitlePrime Minister
CurrentlyHenri Sãens
AppointerKing
Cabinet
NameCabinet of Ebenthal
LeaderPrime Minister
AppointerPrime Minister
HeadquartersMalmünd
Judicial branch
Tribune of Truth
SeatMalmünd

The Government of Ebenthal, officially His Majesty's Government (Portuguese: Governo de Sua Majestade) and often referred to as the Central Government, is the structure responsible for the administration of the Kingdom of Ebenthal. Formally established by the 2015 Constitution of Ebenthal, having undergone several amendments, the government operates within the framework of unitary Westminster-inspired parliamentary hereditary semi-constitutional monarchy. The Ebenthaler crown is the centerpiece of the governmental structure as the source of executive, legislative, judiciary and moderating powers.

The King, also called Monarch or Sovereign, is the contitutional head of state and co-head of government, the latter role shared with the the Prime Minister. Executive power is in part exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister who is mostly tasked with conducting the country's domestic policy, whereas the Monarch himself mostly exercises the executive prerogatives concerning foreign policy; The Monarch, however, solely has the power to assent or veto bills. Legislative power is vested upon the Konkrëse, a bicameral legislature formed by an aristocratic upper chamber, the House of Aristocrats, whose members are appointed at the Sovereign's discretion, and by an elected lower chamber, the House of Councillors; In both chambers, members serve one-year terms. Judiciary power is solely exercised by the Tribune of Truth as the country's only and supreme court of justice.

Ebenthal is a unitary state formed by 8 municipalities, 2 special autonomous regions and a condominium. As such, the national state assigns different degrees of devolved powers to its administrative units as it sees fit, but typically following a asymmetrical hierarchical model. Municipalities are governed through an executive-led system by Chief Executive appointed by the Monarch in accordance with the parliamentary party representation of each municipality. The special autonomous regions, on the other hand, have a much greater degree of autonomy and are able to decide their government models, almost entirely free from interference from the central government, and currently both such regions are organized as hereditary absolute monarchies. Elections are free and operate through first-past-the-post voting system with proportional representation in multi-member districts. Although there is no regulation regarding the number of parties and there are more than two formally registered parties, Ebenthal adopts de facto a two-party system represented by the National Party and the New Democrats.

Government structure

Monarchy

As per the constitution, the King of Ebenthal, also referred to as Monarch or Sovereign, is the head of state and co-head of government of Ebenthal. Contitutionally, the Monarch's role is both legal, practical and political. He actively exercises a series of executive power prerogatives in addition to being the sole holder of moderating power. As such, the Monarch is entitled to veto legislations at his discretion, to grant or refuse Royal Assent to bills (making them valid and law), to summon, prorogue and dissolve the Konkrëse to appoint the members of the House of Aristocrats and of the Tribune of Truth, to appoint the municipal Chiefs Executive, to commute criminal sentences, to create corporations by royal charter, to issue and withdraw passports, citizenship status, honours and titles, to command the country's military as Commander-in-Chief, to appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister and any members of his cabinet, to ratify and make treaties, to declare war and peace, to recognize states, to credit and receive diplomats and to call for elections. The collective of these powers is sometimes called royal prerogatives. All political powers are vested in and derive from the Crown of Ebenthal and are exercised by multiple institutions in its name.

Executive

In an arrangement different from most constitutional monarchies, Ebenthal is anexecutive diarchy in which there is a separation of executive powers to be exercised by the Monarch and the Prime Minister; the latter, however, effectively administers the country. The Monarch appoints the Prime Minister most likely to be able to form a Government with the support of the House of Councillors, the lower chamber of the Konkrëse. In practice, the political party with an absolute majority of seats in the Councilors holds an internal election to nominate a candidate for premiership, and the Monarch invests the nominee in the position. If no party has an absolute majority, the leader of the largest party is given the first opportunity to form a coalition or a minority government. In specific cases on which the lower house cannot place its trust in any of its members, the Prime Minister can be provided by the House of Aristocrats, the upper chamber of the Konkrëse, nertheless the prime minister still answers to the lower chamber. The Prime Minister exercises his prerogatives mainly through the Ministerial Cabinet, whose members he freely selects to act as political heads of the various State Ministries. The Prime Minister is responsible for heading the Cabinet, select its members and formulate government policy.

As in some other parliamentary systems of government, the executive, often referred to as "the government", is drawn from [but not exclusivelly] the parliament. Unlike, however, most parliamentary systems, the Prime Minister's position is answerable to both parliament and Monarch, as his position depends not only on parliament's confidence, but on the Monarch's confidence, and in order to exert with safety his functions, the Prime Minister had to dominate the caprice, the oscillations and ambitions of the Parliament, as well as to preserve always unalterable the favor, the good will of the Sovereign.

Cabinet

The Cabinet of Ebenthal is an institutional collegiate formed a priori by eight ministries; they are the ministries of Ministry of External Relations, Interior, Economy, Defense, Culture and Education, Information and Propaganda, Science and Technology and Environment. During their tenure, the Prime Minister can dismember the responsibilities of any ministry and create other ministries. The Prime Minister appoints the members of the Cabinet freely from among the members of his party or governing coalition and members of the House of Aristocrats and can freely dismiss them. The minister meets weekly along with the Lord Adjudicator of the Tribune of Truth, which act as Minister of Justice, to discuss government policy.

Legislative

Legislative power in Ebenthal is exercised primarily by the Konkrëse, the bicameral legislature of Ebenthal, and also by the Monarch, through decrees and edicts. The chief executive (i.e. the prime minister) is drawn from and, along with his ministers, is answerable to it. The Konkrëse is formed by the upper house, the House of Aristocrats, whose members are non-partisan nobles appointed by the Monarch at his own discretion, and the lower house, the House of Councillors, whose members, partisan or independent, are directly elected through universal suffrage to represent the country's administrative divisions. In both chambers, terms of office are one year and renewable. Each administrative division, for electoral puposes labeled constituencies, provides 1 parliamentarian for every 0-10 inhabitants, thus determining the number of seats in the lower chamber.

The monarch normally asks a person commissioned to form a government simply whether it can survive in the Councillors, something which majority governments are expected to be able to do. In exceptional circumstances the monarch asks someone to 'form a government' with a parliamentary minority which in the event of no party having a majority requires the formation of a coalition government or 'confidence and supply' arrangement. A government is not formed by a vote of the Councillors, it is a commission from the Monarch. The Councillors gets its first chance to indicate confidence in the new government when it votes on the Speech from the Throne (the legislative programme proposed by the new government). The leader of the party that has a majority in the House of Councillors assumes the position of Speaker of the House of Councillors, usually simply referred to as Speaker. The leader of the House of Aristocrats, howerver, is designated the Sovereign and is called Lord Speaker. At events that bring together both chambers of parliament, the Lord Speaker presides over the session and takes precedence over the Speaker.

Judiciary

The Tribune of Truth is the constitutional, supreme and only court of Ebenthal for both civil and criminal cases. The Tribune is composed of five judges, four of which are called Adjudicators and their leader is called the Lord Adjudicator. The members of the Tribuna are appointed for life by the Sovereign, who is constitutionally charged with rendering justice for all his subjects from him, and is thus traditionally deemed the fount of justice , but is not empowered to do so directly. The Lord Adjudicator, however, is raised to position in internal election among the Adjudicators. The Tribune of Truth applies a hybrid system between the civil law and the customary law and employs the inquisitorial system where the judges are actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as compared to an adversarial system where the role of the judge is primarily that of an impartial referee between the prosecutor or plaintiff and the defendant. The Tribune of Truth is tasked with judicial review, and it may declare legislation unconstitutional, thus rendering them ineffective.

Administrative divisions

Ebenthal is an unitary state composed of seven provinces and one special autonomous region, all of which may be collectively called administrative divisions. The provinces are governed through an executive-led devolved government by a Viceroy appointed directly by the King of Ebenthal based on each province's party representations in the House of Councillors. The Principality of New Switzerland is classified as a special autonomous region, governed by a hereditary absolute monarchy by the House of Scherer-Arrais, owning a degree of political autonomy greater than those of the provinces. The provinces and the special autonomous region are subsequently, but not necessarily, divided into municipalities. Municipalities that do not have provincial status, that is, that are not city-states, are governed by Administrators appointed by the provincial Viceroy. Currently, four of Ebenthal's seven provinces are city-states, and the remaining three provinces are divided into two municipalities each.

Electoral system

Ebenthal's constitution establishes minutely described electoral methods in order to give the population ample chance of political participation. The electoral system adopted in the country is First-past-the-post voting in which voters cast their vote for a candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins even if the top candidate gets less than 50%, which can happen when there are more than two popular candidates. It is considered a district-based majoritarian representation system where the candidate with the most votes takes the seat using the winner-takes-all principle and in this way provides majoritarian representation. The electoral model, however, often produces disproportionate results in the sense that political parties do not get representation according to their share of the popular vote. This usually favors the largest party and parties with strong regional support to the detriment of smaller parties without a geographically concentrated base.

See also

References