House of Representatives (Austenasia)
|House of Representatives
since 13 February 2024
|Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford
since 13 February 2024
|For Palasia, Chalcedon and Nahona:
12 February 2020
For Procyon and Blue Ridge:
26 January 2021
For Oppidum Tubae:
14 September 2021
For Wrythe and Helinium:
5 June 2022
For North Nahona, Valens and Chandler:
14 February 2023
For the Divisions:
31 July 2023
|De facto: "Parliament of the Empire of Austenasia" Discord channel
De jure: Imperial Residence
The House of Representatives of Austenasia (originally known as the Cabinet, but not to be confused with the present body of the same name) is the only house of the Parliament of Austenasia. The House of Representatives is a democratically elected body, consisting of a Representative elected from each Town, City, and Division in the Empire; at present, totalling fifteen. Representatives are elected using the first-past-the-post system, with each constituency required to have an election for its Representative no less than every five years.
Due to the nature of the office of Prime Minister, they are usually included in the House of Representatives as a locally elected Representative. However, even if the Prime Minister loses the office of Representative (as was the case with the then Crown Prince Jonathan between December 2011 and January 2013), they stay as Prime Minister and so while not being part of the House of Representatives may still attend Parliament meetings and cast a deciding vote if required. Representatives are the only people eligible to stand for the office of Prime Minister.
The office of Speaker of the House of Representatives was created by an Act of Parliament in October 2014 to preside over meetings of the House, elected by and from the Representatives. The position of Speaker has been held by Lord John Gordon since August 2022.
List of Representatives
- HIM Emperor Jonathan I - Wrythe (Monarch)
- Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford - Palasia (Prime Minister)
- Lord İsmetcan Saraç, Count of Bithynia - Chalcedon
- Lord William Wilson, Duke of Taysha - Nahona
- Dame Brianna Stokely, DOB - North Nahona
- Lord Michael Simpson, Count of Occibrazos - Procyon
- Lady Addison O'Halloran, Baroness of Blue Ridge - Blue Ridge
- Lord Sander Koff, Baron of Oppidum Tubae - Oppidum Tubae
- Bradley, King of the Romans - Helinium
- Lord Juan Aleges, Baron of Valens - Valens (Acting)
- Lord Michael Colquhoun, Baron of Chandler - Chandler
- H.E. Professor Sir Sanjib Bhattacharya, KOB, OAO - Asia Division
- Lord Andrew Creed, Baron of Corinium Terentium - Britain and Ireland Division
- The Hon. Dr. Kalin Yanev - Europe and Africa Division
- The Hon. Sir Isaiah Burdette - New World Division
The House periodically holds votes during the course of its business which are in addition to directly voting for or against a prospective Act; for example, on appointing a new Speaker, on adding an amendment to a proposed bill during the standard process of debate, or on approving an Imperial Decree (although the latter is almost always done as an addendum to an Act rather than as an independent vote). However, from 2021 onwards, the House would occasionally vote on motions not directly related to its procedural functioning or legislative duties per se. The first was on 7 May, when the House voted by the invitation of Jonathan I to approve of his proposal to grant Emperor Father Terry the title "Pater Patriae". A second vote on 29 July called for the Foreign Office to suspend relations with New Virginia due to a coup, and a third on 30 August was passed to make a request for information regarding state finances.
By September 2021, therefore, it was decided to regulate this process, and on 16 September the Motions of the House Act 2021 was given Imperial Consent. Under this legislation:
"The House of Representatives may pass motions to express a position on a non-legislative issue. Motions hold no executive or legislative force, but must where possible be taken into account on an advisory basis by relevant officials. They serve as an expression of the will of the House, and, by extension, of the People as a whole."— Motions of the House Act 2021, Paragraph 3
Motions in this official sense are not tabled particularly frequently, and only three have been passed since the passage of the Act:
- 25 February 2022 - condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressed hope for a ceasefire.
- 15 April 2023 - affirmed various principles regarding the non-pathologisation of autism.
- 10 October 2023 - condemned the recent attacks by Hamas and called for the release of their hostages, but also for Israel to limit its response to self-defence and to implement (alongside the Palestinian Authority) the measures called for by UN General Assembly Resolution 65/16.