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of the Empire of Adammia
HIM Emperor Adam I |
since 13 April 2013
HIM Emperor Adam I, Liberal-Moderate Party |
since 1 September 2013
|Committees||Committee of the Whole Council|
|Last election||21 September 2019|
De jure: White Gold Palace, Imperial City |
De facto: Serkatia
The Ruling Council is the upper house of the Imperial Parliament of Adammia. It is comprised of elected Councilors from each Province, the Duke or Duchess for each province, and the Delegate of the Colonies. The Monarch is the Chair of the Council, though they do not have a vote. The Lord Chancellor is a Vice-Chair, and the Monarch may appoint up to two other members as Vice-Chairs.
Like its counterpart, the House of Citizens, the Ruling Council must approve all Acts of Parliament before they can become law, and it has the power to overturn any Imperial Decree. Whilst the Council has relatively little oversight over the executive Imperial Government - the Prime Minister only needs the confidence of the lower house - the Council has some exclusive powers of oversight over the Monarchy. It can vote to instigate a Regency if it feels that the Monarch is incapable of ruling (this can be overruled by the Monarch, unless the vote passed with over 80% support), and if the Monarch dies without leaving an Heir, the Council can name a new successor.
From July 2013 to June 2019, the Ruling Council was Adammia's unicameral legislature. It only became the upper house of a bicameral legislature following significant constitutional reforms which took effect on 1 July 2019.
The Ruling Council was created when a public referendum held on 30 June 2013 proclaimed a new, second Supreme Directive, replacing the first version which had formally established the Empire two months earlier. Plans for what would become the Council were first announced several weeks prior, on 6 June, during Emperor Adam I's first speech to the nation, when it was referred to as an "Adammic Parliament", which was followed by a press conference on 23 June, when the full content of the Supreme Directive and the referendum was announced. The actual time that the Council came into being was at 20:47 British Summer Time on 30 June 2013, the moment that Adam I signed into effect the Supreme Directive, on behalf of the population of Adammia.
The original provisions for the Ruling Council detailed its composition as being the nobility, an elected "Minister" for each province, and the Monarch and their Chief Advisor. At the time of its creation, before any Ministers had been elected, the Council consisted of Emperor Adam I (as Monarch and as Archduke of West Adammia), Crown Prince Daniel (as Duke of Tytannia), Prince Jake (as Duke of Maternia), Emperor Father Kevin (as Duke of the Adammic Imperial Province (now Primoria)), Sir Reginald Hall (as Archduke of East Adammia and as Chief Advisor to the Monarch), and HG Winifred Hall (as Duchess of Sapientia). Several Council meetings were held before and during the first round of Local Elections in July 2013, with the Council's seats steadily being filled as new Ministers were elected.
The first ever meeting of Council was on 6 July 2013, which consisted of Adam I, Crown Prince Daniel, Prince Jake and Sir Reginald Hall, and took place in what is now Outwood Orchard in Tytannia. This was the only meeting of the Council with a full transcript - the meeting was recorded but this practice was soon abandoned due to the effort it took. Emperor Adam chaired the meeting (as he has done every meeting since) and became the first member to address the Council, followed immediately afterwards by Crown Prince Daniel.
Due to its low member count, the early Council found it difficult to meet in accordance with its original mandate of one meeting per week. During the second meeting on 14 July 2013, held in the Adammic Imperial Province, attendance dropped below the quorum of 3 members and the meeting was temporarily suspended for the first and only time to date (this, incidentally, was the only meeting to ever be attended by Emperor Father Kevin, and also reviewed Imperial Decree VII, the first piece of legislation to pass through the Council). In an attempt to better structure the Council, as well as resolve various local government issues, Emperor Adam drafted the first ever Act of Council, the Internal Procedures Act 2013, which was passed by Council on 21 July 2013 by the first official motion put before the Council, recieving 4 votes in favour and 3 members not present.
By this point, Emperor Mother Jayne had been elected to the Council in the first ever Local Election on 18 July 2013, becoming the first new member after the original six (the other Ministers elected at this time were already Council members due to being nobles). Weekly meetings continued throughout most of 2013. A new seat was created for representing citizens living abroad, which was filled by Andrew Hall in August. Emperor Mother Jayne, who had now been elected Prime Minister, appointed most of her first Cabinet on 1 September 2013 at a meeting. On 21 September, the Council was divided on an issue for the first time ever - whether or not the newly-created Contributions Scheme would be applied starting from September or October. The Prime Minister's deciding vote was exercised for the only time to date, pushing the first collection to October. Some Council meetings at this time became very long, lasting in excess of 45 minutes, much to the irritation of its members. The Prime Minister took a stand and persuaded the Emperor to limit the agenda to one or two items per meeting.
The government launched a scheme of intense legislative revision in late 2013, which included the Supreme Directive itself. Numerous issues with the structure of the Ruling Council were addressed in the First Amendment, which came into effect on 17 November 2013. After this point, the Monarch and their Chief Advisor were removed from the Council - the Monarch remained as the Chair, but could only vote if they also held a seat. The only nobles to sit on the Council were now Dukes and Duchesses, balancing out the nobles with their equivalent elected representatives, who were now known as Councilors instead of Ministers so as to not confuse them with government Ministers. The Office of State was now constitutionally responsible for the administration of the Council, and the Lord Chancellor joined the Prime Minister and their Deputy as one of the Council's Vice-Chairs. From this point, meetings were now monthly instead of weekly.
Towards the end of 2013 and early 2014, the Council underwent several membership modifications. The first was when the Tytannia and Sapientia Act 2013 merged Tytannia with Sapientia on 24 November, prompting Crown Prince Daniel's peerage to be relocated to the Adammic Imperial Province and thus kicking the inactive Emperor Father Kevin from the Council. Furthermore, the annexation of Watertopia and Myway (which was suggested at Council by Sir Reginald Hall) created four new seats, which were soon occupied by HG Julie Foster, HG Christopher Hall and Debbie Shaw.
The Council meetings held on 9 February 2014 and 12 April 2014 are believed to be the only full-house meetings to date, attended by all 12 members. The meeting on 9 February saw the passing of three Acts, the review of three Decrees and the ratification of the GUM Charter, the most legislation to ever pass through Council in a single meeting. In July 2014, Local Elections were called, spelling the end for the first legislature. II Legislature was opened on 17 August 2014 by the first official State Opening of Council.
In October 2014, Emperor Adam ran an experiment by proposing the Metrication Act before Council, hoping that it would be considered controversial and spark some debate. However, there was only half-hearted discussion and the Council unanimously passed the Act as always, highlighting numerous flaws in the Council. The Emperor responded by creating the Internal Procedures Act 2014, replacing the very first Act of Council and introducing full parliamentary procedure. The first meeting under this system took place in December 2014, with limited success. In January 2015, the Council voted for the appointment of Lord David Hall as a Sergeant-at-Arms, during which the Council's very first oppose vote was cast by Lord Sir Andrew Hall.
II Legislature came to an end with the 2015 local elections, when the Emperor decided to grant one of Madam Julie Foster's two seats to her son, Sir Matthew Foster. Since then, no member of the Council has held multiple seats, giving each member equal voting power. It was also at this time that the Council, once dominated by independent politicians, began to become increasingly partisan, dominated by the Liberal, Moderate and Labour parties. However, these parties were largely indistinct from each other and all followed the Emperor in a so-called "liberal consensus". Madam Winifred Hall passed away in April 2016, the first member of the Council to die in office. She was replaced as the noble for Tytannia by her son Sir David Hall.
The very first bill to be rejected by the Council was the National Anthem Referendum Act in August 2016, shortly after the opening of IV Legislature. It was proposed by Adammic National Party members of the Colonial Council, a secondary body which could vote to forward legislation to the Ruling Council, created in 2015. The political differences between the Ruling Council, which broadly supported the socially liberal Emperor, and the Colonial Council, which was dominated by the "alt-right" ANP, was the cause of much tension in late 2016. The ANP attempted to break into the Ruling Council in the November 2016 Delegate of the Colonies by-election, which it narrowly lost. The Colonial Council was dissolved in March 2017 due to inactivity.
Up until November 2016, the Council had supported virtually every decision the Emperor had made. This changed when it voted to overturn an Imperial Decree for the first time: Decree XLIV, which had withdraw recognition of the United States following the election of Donald Trump. Prime Minister Sir Paul McKenna moved to overturn the decree, arguing that it would be better to respect American democracy. The motion was carried overwhelmingly, and recognition of the United States was restored. However, this would be the Emperor's only defeat before the Ruling Council until 2019.
In October 2017, the Empire of Adammia Act 2017 was passed, completely changing the composition of the Ruling Council. Former political leaders such as Sir Reginald Hall, Emperor Mother Jayne, Sir Paul McKenna and Prince Jake all lost their seats as the central government relocated from the old Yorkshire-based provinces to newer provinces in the Birmingham area. The Ruling Council has not convened in its official meeting chamber at White Gold Palace since this date, with its de-facto chamber instead being situated in the province of Serkatia. New Council members included Lord Helliker and Lady Simpson, followed later in 2018 by Lady Peace, Lord Maude and Lord Saunders. These new members, being mostly politics students at the University of Birmingham were far more politically engaged than their predecessors, and by late 2018, the main parties - the unified Liberal-Moderate Party, the anti-establishment Storm Party, and Labour had all adopted distinctive ideologies.
The method of election of Councilors was changed by the Fifth Amendment to the Supreme Directive in July 2018 from first-past-the-post to instant-runoff voting. Further constitutional reform in 2019 saw the Ruling Council being downgraded to being the upper house of larger bicameral legislature, the Imperial Parliament.
|Position||Name (& Titles)||Held office since||Political party||Notes|
|Councilor of Greater Tytannia||HIM Emperor Adam I||12 November 2017||Liberal-Moderate||Monarch, Lord Chancellor, Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Councilor of Serkatia||Lord Alex Helliker||12 November 2017||Storm||Attorney General|
|Councilor of Metchlia||Lady Hermione Peace||21 September 2019||Dank||Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Memes|
|Councilor of Corellia||Bhavina Mistry||21 September 2019||Storm|
|Dukes and Duchesses|
|Duchess of Greater Tytannia||Lady Sophie Thornton||14 October 2018||Liberal-Moderate||Minister of Citizenship and Information|
|Duke of Serkatia||Lord Sam Maude||6 June 2018||RGA|
|Duke of Metchlia||Lord Billy Thompson||21 September 2019||RGA||Leader of the RGA|
|Duchess of Corellia||Lady Lucy Griffiths||21 September 2019||Storm|
|Delegate of the Colonies||Lord Charles Michael||21 September 2019||Liberal-Moderate||Prime Minister, Minister of Finance|
- I Legislature
- II Legislature
- III Legislature
- IV Legislature
- V Legislature
- VI Legislature
- VII Legislature
- VIII Legislature
The Lord Chancellor is responsible for the Ruling Council's administration, amongst their many other duties. They keep records of each Ruling Council meeting. The only other member of staff is the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Ruling Council, currently the Sergeant of the Imperial Guard, Lord Sir David Hall. They are responsible for the Council's security, and would theoretically be responsible for escorting a member from the Council chambers if the said member were to be suspended.
Meetings and procedures
Council meetings are held a minimum of twice per year. They usually take place in Serkatia province, in the living room of the Emperor's term-time residence. Historically, the Council met in Tytannia province, either in White Gold Palace or, if the weather was pleasant, in Imperial Square, both within Imperial City. The Council was also known to meet in other locations - its first meeting, on 6 July 2013, was held in what is now Outwood Orchard just outside Imperial City. Other meetings were held in the Primoria Local Government chambers and the Crown Prince's Quarters in the Imperial Household, Adamsville, Primoria. One meeting was held in 1 William Way, Maternia.
Meetings follow a system of parliamentary procedure based on notes from the Harvard Model Congress for Latin America. The Chair (usually the Monarch) opens meetings with some variation on the following address:
As (Monarch) of the Empire of Adammia, I, (His Imperial Majesty Emperor Adam the First), hereby calls this the (n)th meeting of the Ruling Council into effect, on today the (date).
With the Council called to order, the Chair reads the agenda they have prepared, outlining the different items that will be discussed in the meeting. This agenda takes into consideration the Chair's own concerns along with any requests for items that have been put forward by members prior to the meeting. After the agenda is read, the floor is opened for motions to modify the agenda. Once any of these have been dealt with, the Council works through each point in the agenda in order, though it may, through a motion, vote to skip forwards, move backwards or to adjourn the meeting early. Each item on the agenda is said to be either "legislative" or "non-legislative". The former category includes Acts and amendments which have been prepared prior to the meeting. With legislative items, the legislation is automatically introduced to the floor and can be voted on after debate; the Council cannot return to legislative items after this vote has taken place. Legislation can be introduced mid-way through a non-legislative item, but this requires a separate Motion to Introduce an Act/Amendment. Any legislation being debated can be immediately dismissed if the Council votes for an Objection to Consideration, which has the same effect as advancing the agenda in the case of legislative items. Another key motion is a Motion to Begin Caucus. Caucus can be considered a temporary break from the formal proceedings, when parliamentary order is suspended and members may talk informally. From March 2015, a regular caucus is included at the end of every meeting for a brief period of informal discussion.
During debate, only one member is permitted to speak at a time - those who speak out of turn can be fined or even suspended if they break this rule enough times, though this is yet to happen.
The only current committee of the Ruling Council is the Committee of the Whole Council. This is a committee of the whole which contains the entire Council, allowing the Council to meet under relaxed rules of order and discuss matters informally. It also allows to the Council to meet outside of Adammic territory (such as at one of the several pubs located near to South Adammia), and to maintain an online chat via Facebook Messenger. However, the Council cannot pass any motions when it sits as a Committee of the Whole.
Formerly, the Ruling Council Events Committee used to be responsible for organising events such as Foundation Day. However, it never convened, and was eventually superseded by the Cabinet Office Director of Events.
The officially-designated meeting Chamber of the Ruling Council is the living room of White Gold Palace, which is located at the northern edge of the Empire's capital, Imperial City, in Tytannia province. This room measures approximately 3.5 by 8.5 metres. The room has two entrances: the first is from White Gold Palace's dining room, which currently acts as the headquarters of the executive government, entering from the south; this is the most commonly-used entrance and it is where the Monarch historically entered during the State Opening of Council. The other entrance is in the north-west corner, and leads out of the building onto Bates Street.
Along the long south wall, seating is provided for up to 5 members on either side of the entrance. Further seating accomodating a further 3 members separates a small area from the main floor of the Chamber; in this area is a cage for the House of Hall's pet cockatiel, Billy (not to be confused with the dog Billy, the mascot of the Adammic Army), in the south-west corner, followed by one of the three main government computers in Adammia (the others being the Emperor's PC in Primoria and the Prime Minister's laptop in Maternia) on the western wall, and the secondary entrance in the north-west corner.
Along the north wall, facing the central floor of the Chamber, are two windows overlooking Bates Street and the Sapientia Lowlands; they are bay windows which gives them large windowsills able to accomodate a further 4 members. In between the two windows is the Speaker's Podium - this is traditionally where the Chair will stand when the Council is in session. A small table, which is only brought out during meetings, represents the physical podium and will often hold important documents such as the agenda and any legislation currently being debated; it is here that the Monarch officially signs many Acts of Council immediately after Council meetings. In the north-east corner is a television set, followed by a grandoise fireplace on the eastern wall. Finally, a cabinet in the south-east corner contains, amongst other things, documents being used by the Council, which is primarily the handouts explaining parliamentary procedure and listing the current members given to every member by the Office of State.
Many pictures and ornaments adorn the Council chamber - there are pictures of several members of the Imperial Family, including a photograph produced in 2010 by a company in Whitby, UK showing the Emperor, Princes and Emperor Mother in Victorian dress. There is a picture of two ancestors of the House of Hall, Edgar and Ruby Boxall. Colour drawings by Emperor Mother Jayne are also on display.
Currently, the Ruling Council meets in a de-facto secondary meeting chamber, situated in the Province of Serkatia. This room is much smaller and less-decorated than the officially-designated Chamber, but this is where all meetings have taken place since December 2017. This new chamber is situated in the living room of the house which constitutes Serkatia. Seating is provided for up to seven members, whilst the Emperor usually stands behind a table underneath a wall-mounted television.