Sôgmô of the State of Sandus
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|Sôgmô of Sandus|
Coat of Arms of the Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola
Gaius Soergel Publicola
|Style||the Honourable Sôgmô|
|Heir presumptive||Gaius Flavius Ithacus|
|First monarch||Gaius Soergel Publicola|
|Formation||13 April 2011|
The Sôgmô is the monarch of the State of Sandus and, in Sandus, the Icelandic pronoun það has been adopted to refer to the office and, at times, its holder. The current governing Sôgmô is Gaius Soergel Publicola.
The word Sôgmô (/s'oʊg.ɛm'oʊ/) originates from Abenaki and means "king," or (a nonstandard translation in Sandus) "chief." An alternative spelling is S8gm8, since the two characters represent nasalised Os. Commenting on the decision to choose the title Sôgmô, Soergel stated that they decided to adopt the title as a political consideration, one that ties the office to a long history and that reclaims the title and raises it to the level of "king."
According to the Founding Law of the State of Sandus, "All power is to the Sôgmô," making the Sôgmô's constitutional position that of an absolute monarch, though over the years the Sôgmô has driven initiatives to make the position more democratic. Since 2011 and especially 2015, the Sôgmô has become a working member of today's Sandum republic that relies on a system of checks and balances. Það is the chief executive of the Central People's Government and oversees and is responsible for all aspects of Sandum government and society. The Sôgmô is tasked with upholding the Sandum Philosophy, Socialism, the "Rights of Life" which have been embedded within the State since its founding, and the idea of a compassionate government and society working for the betterment of Sandum citizens and all. In the course of those goals, the Sôgmô maintains a constitutional obligation to respond to petitions directed at the government. The Sôgmô must hear all petitions brought to the state, as the right to petition the government is an unalienable right within Sandus according to the Founding Law.
In September 2011, the Sôgmô promulgated a law that set up an election for the office on each Winter Solstice where Sandum citizens would vote to decide whether the current Sôgmô had legitimacy of the people to "retain his tenure for the following year" or, failing that, "to pass lawful protections against his arbitrary power before a following election." The law effectively made the Sôgmô and the Sandum monarchy into an elective monarchy. As of 2020, no vote has ever been cast to say that the Sôgmô's reign is illegitimate. In every election since 2011, the Sôgmô has maintained þess complete legitimacy.
Powers and Duties
The Sôgmô of the State of Sandus oversees both the daily government of the State of Sandus and the longer term interests of the Sandum constitution. According to the Founding Law of the State of Sandus, all power is to the Sôgmô. Since 2011, when the Founding Law was ratified and the State of Sandus was founded, this power has both been increasingly shared with other constitutional organs in the Central People's Government of the State of Sandus, especially the Citizens' Party of Sandus and the Council, but the Sôgmô maintains broad authority over all areas of Sandum government. Unlike in many constitutions that distinguish their constitutions according to function (such as executive, legislative, and judicial functions), the Sôgmô acts as all functions of government and has a role not just in the day-to-day administration of the State of Sandus but also in establishing law (through decrees) and exacting justice.
Since the powers of the office are broad and vague, the duties have developed since 2011 to rely increasingly on a constitutional deference to other organs, especially the Party and the Council. One prime example of the sharing of duties and mutual deference is in both the creation of law and policy as well as diplomatic affairs in Sandus. In terms of law, all three major constitutional organs (the Sôgmô, the Party, and the Council) have a role in the creation of law and policy in the State of Sandus. The Sôgmô passes decrees and the Council passes laws, all of which have the same status as statutory law in Sandus. While the Party's plans and decisions do not have the same standing as law, the Party's authority in many political affairs effectively means that it sets policy for the entire State of Sandus. For example, in November 2014, the Party's approval was integral to the «Building Democracy» Plan that eventually saw the creation of Sandus's direct democratic legislature.
As another example, in terms of diplomatic affairs, the Sôgmô shares responsibilities with the Council. The Sôgmô broadly has power over all diplomatic affairs of the country, including the ability to negotiate and conclude treaties on behalf of the whole state. Since 2015, however, the Council has increasingly assumed a role of ratifying major multilateral agreements and diplomatic actions, such as when the State of Sandus became an observer of the Grand Unified Micronational. While the Sôgmô continues to have broad power over diplomatic affairs, the Council also has an increasingly important role in Sandum diplomatic affairs that does not negate or necessarily hinder the Sôgmô's power, but complements it.
Effectively the most important constitutional duty that the Sôgmô has had since 2015 is to have respectful deference with the other two major constitutional organs in Sandus, the Party and the Council. At the same time, the Sôgmô coordinates several ministries and bureaux that are meant to have both expertise over particular areas of policy and also exercise power delegated by the Sôgmô. The Sôgmô appoints ministers according to their pleasure and specifies their powers and responsibilities.
Since the State of Sandus has an elective monarchy with an elected heir, royalty in the State of Sandus encompasses both the reigning Sôgmô and their heir(s). The Sandum royal family encompasses the family of the reigning sôgmô (currently the House of Soergel), the heir elect, and former heirs. Though they are not considered to be members of the royal family, which is exclusive to the reigning sôgmô, the family of the heir elect and former heirs also have a place in Sandum royalty—especially if they have individually played a role in the State of Sandus.
Heir, the Homard
The Homard is the elected heir of the State of Sandus. The current Homard is Gaius Flavius Ithacus. Established by a law of the Council on 29 May 2018, the position is elected for a period of five years, but the Homard can continue to hold the office in perpetuity, with their tenure prorogued by the Sôgmô, and serves at the Sôgmô's pleasure. No powers are given to the position by law, except those powers which the reigning Sôgmô chooses to invest in the heir "in þess old age or at expedient times." As a representative of the reigning monarch, the Homard can serve ceremonial roles and can perform other roles delegated to them at times by því.
The election of the Homard happens every five years since the creation of Sandus (e.g., 2019, 2024, 2029) and is a year-long process that begins in December the previous year and ends a year later. A Caucus of Quinque Interreges first sits in the winter, with the three Grand Officers of State and one other interrex appointed by the Sôgmô and another selected by the Party Secretary and the Facilitator of the Council together. In Winter, the interreges (as they are called by law) create a long list of candidates that meet the criteria established by law. In the Spring and Summer, the caucus interviews candidates, drafts a short list of three to five candidates. In early Autumn, so September or October, the caucus must publish a report that contains the short list and the candidates' credentials, ensures the candidates' willingness to conform to the requirements set forth by law, and may hold a public meeting if requested by a plurality of citizen. In November, the Citizens' Party of Sandus Party Congress selects two candidates to be on the ballots in the Winter Solstice election, held in December. The law also includes procedures for extraordinary procedures for succession.
The law does not regulate when or how the heir should be invested as heir, but the first heir elected in 2019 was invested in February 2020 in a small ceremony. At the ceremony, the Sôgmô met with the heir-elect in a public ceremony early in the morning where the heir gave public vows and reconfirmed the Oath of Citizenship again. In a private conclave, það instructed the heir on various aspects of Sandum life and on the Sandum constitution, a portion of the investiture ceremony called the Doctrina Sôgmônis (Latin: Sagamorial Instruction). On the public schedule, this part of the ceremony was called "operta secreta et arcana" (Latin: "closed secrets and arcane things"). After the conclave, both the heir and the Sôgmô cooked a meal for an audience and the heir was formally presented and acknowledged as the Sôgmô's heir.
By law the heir receives "an uninheritable, elective, and substantively entitled barony," similar to the Duchy of Lancaster and the Principality of Wales in the British monarchy or the Dauphiny of Viennois in l'Ancien Régime. By tradition established in February 2020, this barony is named for the Maumee River.
At the 2020 investiture, the Homard C. Flavius Ithacus made a signature cocktail for the event known as the "Homard bleu."
Sanôba & Homaressa
The partners and spouses of the Sôgmô and the heir or Homard also have a ceremonial role to play in Sandus, currently Sanôba Oliver Armstrong and Homaressa Natalie Ritsema. While they oversee their own portfolios, their role as the spouses of the sôgmô and future sôgmô means that they have increased authority to represent themselves and their points of view in Sandus and abroad. Each have taken their own unofficial role in Sandus, including acting as a source of constructive criticism for the entire Central People's Government.
Sandum Royal Family
The Sandum royal family is restricted to the immediate family of the reigning sôgmô, currently the House of Soergel. Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola's parents, the Sanôba Pater Philip and Phanem Mater Marcia, their sister Phanem Soror Elizabeth, and her husband Sanôba Frater Michael all make up the Sandum royal family. Members of the Sandum royal family are automatically Sandum citizens by virtue of their relationship to the Sôgmô. Mention is rarely made of the extended family, who do not have a ceremonial role or even a role as citizens in Sandus.