Politics of Adammia

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The Empire of Adammia is a unitary state governed by an executive constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The Monarch, currently Emperor Adam I, is the head of state, and the Prime Minister, currently Sir Paul McKenna, is the head of government. The Monarchy and the legislature, known as the Ruling Council, have equal legislative power to each other, and are supposed to keep each other in check. They both oversee the executive, known as the Imperial Government. The Monarch also holds judicial power, acting as the judge of the Grand Court. Another key executive and judicial player is the Lord/Lady Chancellor, who runs the Office of State - intended as the impartial enforcer of the Empire's constitution, the Supreme Directive, acting as a constitutional court and organising elections. The system in place - a mixed parliamentary system and executive monarchy with a directly-elected head of government and an "administrative branch" - is considered to be unique in the world.

The three political parties which currently hold the balance of power are the Moderate Party, Liberal Party and Labour Party. The Ruling Council is unicameral and is made up of both appointed nobles and elected Councilors for each of the five provinces; furthermore, due to the very low population, seats very rarely change hands, with many going uncontested year on year. As a result, the key to power is for a party to recruit as many Council members as possible, and to win the annual National Election, when the Prime Minister is directly elected by the population. No party has ever held a majority in the Ruling Council; therefore, in order to command a majority and get enough Council members to form a full Cabinet, a newly-elected Prime Minister must generally form a coalition government. Both McKenna, the previous Labour Prime Minister, and his predecessor, the Moderate Prime Minister Emperor Mother Jayne Belcher, formed a "grand coalition" of all the parties, plus independent members. After incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Prince Jake took office in August 2017, a reduction in the size of the Cabinet allowed a smaller coalition between the Liberals and Labour to be formed, making the Moderates the first proper opposition party. Prior to this, the Adammic National Party attempted to fill the gap of an opposition party, and achieved a sizeable membership amongst Adammia's territories, but it did not have any members in the provinces, rendering it unable to put forward candidates for election. Adammia uses first-past-the-post for its elections.

Monarchy

Main article: Monarchy of Adammia

The Monarch of Adammia is known as the Emperor if male, and Empress if female. The position is hereditary. The Monarch has significant powers that can be exercised through Imperial Decrees, one of the two main forms of legislation in the Empire. In addition to this, the Monarch occupies a number of positions, such as Grand Marshal of the Military of Adammia. The Monarch is considered by far the most powerful and influential office in the country; so far Emperor Adam I has been the only Monarch, him being responsible for founding Adammia and for the vast majority of its development.

The Monarch is represented by a political entity known as the Office of the Emperor, which is analagous to the "Crown" or "Throne" in other countries. It is this office which issues Imperial Decrees and exercises the Monarch's other powers. The powers of the Monarch are sweeping - they can sack the Prime Minister at any time, grant or revoke titles and citizenship at will, and call elections. Many of these powers, however, are kept in check by the Ruling Council - for example, the Council can veto the Monarch's decision to declare war.

The Monarch is also an important diplomatic figure. As head of state, the Monarch is one of Adammia's main representatives. Emperor Adam I serves as Adammia's delegate to the Grand Unifed Micronational.

Executive

Main article: Imperial Government (Adammia)

The long-form title of the executive is His Majesty's Imperial Government; however, despite this name, the Monarch does not have any direct control over the Government. The Monarch and the Council collectively scrutinise the Government.

The head of the Imperial Government is the Prime Minister, who is directly elected each August in a National Election. In order to stand in this election, the candidate must be a member of the Ruling Council; this is to ensure that the Prime Minister is accountable to the Council. The Prime Minister then appoints, from the members of the Council, a Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers for the nine government departments; together these form the Cabinet, the political committee which runs the government and is the main source of executive authority. It is technically possible to appoint an individual who is not a Council member as a minister, but the Council must vote to approve this decision first; this was last used to make Sir Paul McKenna a minister in 2014, before he joined the Council or became Prime Minister.

Civil service

Main article: Imperial Civil Service

The Imperial Civil Service of Adammia is the impartial administrative arm of the Imperial Government. With the exception of the Office of State, it is controlled by the Cabinet. It is responsible for implementing the policy decisions made by ministers. It consists of support staff for ministers along with a range of government agencies.

The head of the Imperial Civil Service is the Lord Chancellor or Lady Chancellor. They are appointed for life by the Monarch and the Ruling Council collectively. They run the Office of State, which is responsible for organising elections, managing the Monarch's line of succession, keeping records of all Ruling Council meetings, archiving all legislation passed, and generally enforcing the Supreme Directive. The Chancellor is expected to remain completely impartial at all times and can be impeached by the Monarch and the Council if they fail to do so. The Office of State is not controlled by the Cabinet or the Prime Minister - instead it is held directly responsible to the Monarch and the Council.

The Chancellor's relation to the rest of the civil service is mostly ceremonial. The Prime Minister appoints a Cabinet Secretary, who is the highest-ranking civil servant at the Cabinet Office and the second-highest-ranking civil servant overall. The Chancellor must approve this appointment, though there is little reason for them to ever deny this permission. The Cabinet Secretary's job is to help the Prime Minister run the Cabinet.

In practice, the key distinction between political policy-making and non-political implementation means that, unlike the Cabinet which is filled by politicians, the civil service must be staffed by professionals. Emperor Adam I is generally considered the only individual with the time and committment to fill a civil servant role professionally, and as such he has become Lord Chancellor, Cabinet Secretary and the director of almost every single government agency. The political roles, which are easier to fulfil, are taken by a much more varied range of individuals (although most of them do belong to the Emperor's family).

Legislature

Main article: Ruling Council

The Ruling Council is the legislature of the Empire of Adammia. It has the power to make laws through Acts of Council, and to overturn Imperial Decrees issued by the Office of the Emperor. It is comprised of elected Councilors from each Province, the Duke or Duchess for each province, the Delegate of the Colonies and the Delegate of Abroad Citziens. The Monarch is the Chair of the Council, though they do not have a vote. The Prime Minister, Deputy PM and the Lord Chancellor are all Vice-Chairs.

Local elections take place each July to elect the five Councilors; candidates must be residents of the province they wish to stand in.

Council meetings are held a minimum of once per month. They usually take place in Tytannia province, either in White Gold Palace or, if the weather is pleasant, in Imperial Square, both within Imperial City. However, the Council has been known to meet in other locations.

The Council has many functions which it can only exercise in tandem with the Monarch, such as choosing to declare war. It does, however, also have the ability to call for a Regency, giving the Monarch's powers to a Regent. The Monarch can overrule this, but only if the vote passed with less than 80% support. Although this power ostensibly exists so that functions of state can continue if the Monarch goes on holiday, goes missing or is otherwise unavailable, it also serves as deterrent to stop the Monarch abusing their power.

Judiciary

Main article: Law of Adammia

Adammia operates under a statutory civil law system. There is, however, a strong tradition of filling gaps in legislation through informal conventions; these are often later formalised and turned into legislation, but carry no real legal weight on their own. The entity responsible for handling most judicial issues in Adammia is the Grand Court - it deals with all civil and criminal cases arising from primary legislation (Acts of Council and Imperial Decrees). The judge of this court is the Monarch, with the Chancellor as a backup judge. The Supreme Directive permits the creation of lower-level courts, for which the Grand Court would be a court of appeal, but no such courts have yet been created. In cases where the Supreme Directive may have been violated or interpretation of the Supreme Directive is required, responsibility instead goes to the Office of State, which has the power to act as a constitutional court, with the Chancellor acting as judge. In theory, this is to prevent the Monarch from violating the Supreme Directive and then using their position as judge of the Grand Court to acquit themselves.

In practice, due to a lack of legal disputes, no court in Adammia has yet heard a single case to date; crime is virtually non-existent and most issues that do arise are settled either by passing emergency legislation or by arriving by consensus on an aforementioned informal convention.

Elections

Main article: Elections in Adammia

There are two main types of elections in Adammia - local elections and the National Election. The former are used to elect Councilors for each province. Though they can be held individually as by-elections, such as if a new province joins the Empire mid-way through the term, they are usually all held on the same day, which is generally a week or two after the term ends in July of each year. They are open to all residents of the province in question. Each August, a few weeks after July's local elections, a National Election usually takes place. This elects the Prime Minister, and it is open to all full citizens of the Empire. Both Councilors and the Prime Minister have a maximum term length of two years, to allow for any delays that may arise in calling a regular annual election. All elections use first-past-the-post.

In practice, the low populations of many provinces make local elections a foregone conclusion, rendering the provinces similar to rotten boroughs. Local elections are seen as more ceremonial, a re-affirmation of a province's confidence in its current representative, rather than an actual contest. Tytannia, with its population of 1, is the most extreme example of this - there can be literally only a single candidate for election, who wins by voting for themself. Myway, with its population of 4, is the only place where there are two realistic potential winners; it is considered a Labour-Liberal marginal seat. In contrast to most local elections, the National Election is seen as a genuine contest, with two or three parties and up to 30 votes at play. Despite this, Adammic National Election candidates are notorious for putting almost no effort into their campaigns.

Political parties

There are currently four registered political parties in Adammia: the Moderates, the Liberals, Labour, and the Adammic National Party (ANP). Two former parties, the Imperial Party and the Conservative Party, de-registered in 2016, with the former due to merging with the ANP. Political parties only became an active part of Adammic politics in 2015, when members of the Ruling Council started to group together as parties, encouraged by the Emperor. The Emperor's theory was that competition between parties would encourage the other politicians to come up with more of their own ideas, reducing dependence on himself.

Liberal Party

Main article: Liberal Party (Adammia)

The Liberal Party, or the Liberals for short, are Adammia's oldest party, starting life in August 2013 as the Liberal Imperialist Secular Technocratic (LIST) Party. This party went for two years as Adammia's only party, and had only a single member - Emperor Adam I - throughout this entire time. It was rebranded as the Liberal Party in October 2014. When the political parties first started to take off in 2015, the Emperor was able to recruit two more members: Prince Jake and Sir Matthew Foster. However, none of the party's members were eligible to run for Prime Minister. At the very least, during the 2015-16 term, it was the largest party both by membership and Ruling Council seats. It gained a further seat by recruiting Sir Christopher Hall in the 2016 elections, but the loss of Myway by Madam Debbie Shaw to Labour's Eleanor Hall meant it lost out on a fifth seat and became joint-largest party with Labour. It also lost the title of the largest party by membership towards the end of 2016 when it was surpassed by the ANP.

At its core, the Liberal Party is a social liberal party. It is notable for being the party with by far the most in-depth manifesto.

Moderate Party

Main article: Moderate Party (Adammia)

The Moderate Party, or the Moderates for short, are one of the two parties founded on 18 July 2015. It was founded by Emperor Mother Jayne Belcher, who was going into the 2015 elections seeking re-election to a third term as Prime Minister. She was able to bring Madam Julie Foster on board as a second member and win the National Election that year, the first time that it had been won by a member of a political party. Despite a third seat gain in 2016 when Lord Sir Andrew Hall joined the party, Labour both leapfrogged the Moderates in seat numbers, putting it in last place, and defeated the Moderates in the 2016 National Election.

The Moderates are fairly ideologically vague, with a manifesto that mainly focuses on family values. Most would consider it to be centrist with some conservative elements.

Labour Party

Main article: Labour Party (Adammia)

The Labour Party, or Labour for short, is one of the two parties founded on 18 July 2015. It was founded by Sir Reginald Hall in a move that surprised Adammic Express pundits, who had expected Hall to join Emperor Mother Jayne's party (the Moderates). When it recruited Sir Paul McKenna as a second member, it became the first party in Adammic history to have multiple members. However, the party struggled to write a manifesto, and McKenna, its 2015 National Election candidate, lost to the Emperor Mother. Then, as 2016's election results came in, it shocked observers again. Not only had it won two new seats in local elections by recruiting Sir David Hall and because of its candidate Eleanor Hall unexpectedly beating the Liberal candidate in Myway, making it the joint-largest party by seats, but it had actually won the National Election by a single vote, making McKenna the Empire's second Prime Minister.

Like the Moderates, Labour is vague on its ideology. Although its name suggests a socialist outlook, some of its policies have been more fiscally conservative.

Adammic National Party

Main article: Adammic National Party

The Adammic National Party, or ANP for short, was founded in early 2016 by Cavan Garfield and Euan Carey in response to vandal attacks against Adammia's MicroWiki articles, proposing a hard-line response. It soon evolved to what it describes as an alt-right party, and began proposing more controversial policies using its two seats on the now-defunct Colonial Council. One of these was to hold a referendum on changing the national anthem to a song from Garfield's album Succ, which was voted down by the Ruling Council. The ANP came close to having a majority on the Colonial Council as it controlled the then-colonies of El Grandens, Kappania and, after merging with the Imperial Party, Midgard. In December 2016, it became the largest party by membership. However, it has not been able to recruit any members of the Ruling Council or indeed any resident of the provinces, leaving it unable to field candidates in local elections. Its leaders become increasingly frustrated with the Emperor at what they saw as an inability to gain power, and heated debates between the ANP and the Liberal leader became common in late 2016. This came to a head following the US Presidential elections, when the Emperor issued a decree withdrawing recognition of the USA. The ANP promptly challenged the Emperor for his Ruling Council seat, the Delegate of the Colonies, which is effectively the only seat they can run for. An election was held, which Garfield lost to the Emperor by a single vote, leaving the ANP without any seat on the Ruling Council for the foreseeable future.

Current political landscape

The Labour-led grand coalition currently controls effectively the entire Ruling Council, with no real opposition. However, whips are not usually enforced, meaning that it is fairly easy for individual members to rebel, although they do not often do so; Myway's representatives, especially Sir Christopher Hall, are the most notorious for this, but even they usually vote with the government on the rare occasions that they attend Council. Now that most members of the Council belong to a party and seats do not easily change hands, it is unlikely that the composition of the Council will change in the near future. If the single marginal seat of Myway flipped to Liberal, the party would control 5 seats, leaving it just 2 seats short of a single-party majority, but it is unclear where the extra two seats would have to come from in order for that to ever happen.

Things are more changeable with 2017's upcoming National Election. For the first time, the Liberals have members who are eligible for run, which could make it a three-way race for the first time. It is unclear how this might hurt or benefit the other two parties.

Local government

Each province of Adammia has its own local government, consisting of its noble and its Councilor. They have the power to create their own local laws, provided they do not contradict primary legislation. However, local governments are almost completely inactive bodies. The only function they usually carry out is naming locations under their jurisdiction.

International organisations

The only international organisation Adammia has any kind of relationship with is the Grand Unified Micronational, of which it is an observer state.