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Join date : 2012-06-25

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PostSubject: Government   Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:43 am

Budget Details
Administration $324 Billion 6%
Social Welfare $594 Billion 11%
Healthcare $810 Billion 15%
Education $756 Billion 14%
Spirituality $0.00 0%
Defence $702 Billion 13%
Law & Order $756 Billion 14%
Commerce $378 Billion 7%
Public Transport $216 Billion 4%
The Environment $54 Billion 1%
Social Equality $810 Billion 15%

Government Structure

Legislative Branch
Fideliara's legislature consists of a Unicameral Congress with representatives appointed by regional popular elections. Senate committee seats are selected via nomination and majority congressional approval. Department chairs (also known as "Ministers" of their committee) and the Prime Minster (also the chair of the State Committee) are chosen by popular election from the list of appointed chairmen. As such, to become the chair of a senate committee one must be elected on three separate occasions (once by popular vote, once by Senate majority vote, and again by popular vote) which is a subject of humor and ridicule from both domestic and foreign analysts.

Members of the Senate serve on one of three "wedges" which alternate election years, serving 6 year terms with Popular elections occurring once every two years for one of the wedges. Upon re-election, committee members must be renominated by congressional vote to return to their committee. Committee chairs, however, require no such re-approval and will maintain their committee seat until resignation, impeachment, or failure to win the popular election from their electoral region.

Members of the congress not serving in any committees are usually either unpopular or first/second term senators. These Senators referred to as "The Impartials" develop a de facto conservative party which attempts to reign in the more expensive and unnecessary committee proposals. Given the stigma of not being a committee member many Impartials spend their time developing proposals to bring to a particular committee they hope to one day be appointed to. These committee hopefuls must wait until a seat is vacated however, as committee sizes are fixed.

The Congress, in addition to appointing a Minister of Defense (chairman of the Defense Committee), appoints a Secretary of the Armed Forces (SAF) from among the highest ranking military officers. The SAF works with the Defense Committee and a collection of high-ranking military officials known as the War Council, to plan military spending, strategy, policy, and action. The SAF must answer to the Congress and can be forced to step down by an impeachment process.

The Fidelian Congress, while complicated, has a reputation for effective and decisive action often simultaneously doing the work of two-branches of most nations' governments. Congress is formally in session ten months out of the year with emergency votes and legislation often being passed by proxy even during recesses.

Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch of Fideliara's government is headed by a Supreme Court whose 9 members serve life-appointments after being chosen by senate popular vote. Headed by a Chief Justice, the court rules on only the most important of National Cases. Its responsibility is to maintain the provisions in The Articles of Trust. A piece of legislation passed after the last revolution which specifically denotes the powers vested in the government by the people and their expectations of the government. Verdicts may pass by a 5-4 majority vote but are usually attempted to be unanimous. Once passed verdicts are binding precedents that could be enforced by the executive branch without Senate approval but are usually quickly passed into formal law.

Other courts in Fideliara are the Local Courts (usually small claims), Regional Courts (more serious domestic and far-reaching civil cases), and Appellate Courts (designed similarly to the Supreme Court with 5 justices presiding over each Appellate Court). Cases may not be appealed to the Supreme Court unless the Appellate Court Verdict was non-unanimous. Judges for all tiers (except Supreme Court) are chosen and appointed from among prominent lawyers by the Justice Committee.

Executive Branch

Easily the most complicated branch of Fidelian politics with the powers usually vested in a singular head-of-state being folded into several positions. Technically the presiding monarch (currently Alexander II) is vested with the powers of this branch, however the crown is very symbolic and the powers have, for some time, been divvied among other, elected, officials. The "executive branch" of Fideliara could be considered the collection of the three positions: Commander-in-chief, Head of Foreign Affairs, and Head of Civil Defense (police).

The Commander-in-Chief of the military is a role split between the Secretary of the Armed Forces (SAF) and the Minister of Defense. Practically, in times of war, the SAF is allowed full powers to command the nation's military force. During peacetime and even for major wartime decisions, the Minister may, with support from the committee, override any order or directive given by the SAF. They may also command any course of action not supported by the SAF through a unanimous committee vote.

The Head of Foreign Affairs is a title given to the Prime Minister (Minister of State). The Prime Minister is responsible for both heading their committee, overseeing all of congress, and being the international representative of Fideliara. Because of the intense commitment these duties involve, usually it is a matter of tradition that the Prime Minister make the presiding monarch (or the most physically capable member of the royal family) the international representative. Even when this is the case, though, the State Committee and Congress have the sole power to make major international decisions.

The Head of Civil Defense is a title given to the Chair of the Civil Service Committee (the Minister of Civil Service). The Minister of Civil Service is the head of the civilian police force and, as such, all budget proposals, police chief appointments, and other domestic tranquility responsibilities fall to him and the committee. The Committee of Civil Service also coordinates the Fidelian Civil Service (Fideliara's volunteer humanitarian service group).

All three Executive positions are subject to the approval of the presiding monarch. That is to say that the monarch has veto power over: the chair of the State Committee, the chair of the Civil Service Committee, the chair of the Defense Committee, and the SAF. Upon a veto, another popular election must be held for the public to choose from among the other committee members. Monarch interference in their appointment is very uncommon however, as when it is believed the presiding monarch will veto a candidate their names are often withdrawn from the ballet so there is no chance of a conflict. While such withdrawals are uncommon and vetos even more so, rarer still is the ability by congress to overrule such a veto with a 2/3rds majority vote. Traditionally the Crown has good relations with all four positions and is often consulted by each for major policy decisions.

The Crown

To understand the purpose of the nearly powerless royal family one must understand the history of Fidelian government. The previous regime was a corrupt, sprawling, money-choked bureaucracy. The electoral process had degraded to the point of de facto oligarchy. Under a party majority legislature and presidency the government began sweeping changes which pushed the country into civil war and nearly into self-annihilation. After the smoke cleared, the people's revolution was successful and a new government was established. The Legislature was simplified and condensed, the executive branch disbanded, the Articles of Trust written to detail exactly what the people expected from the new government, and the Monarch (a hero and military leader in the revolutionary war) appointed to protect the people and ensure adherence by the new government to the Articles of Trust.

The Crown is a largely ceremonial position with no technical powers other than the veto of major congressional chairs. The Crown is intended to be the representative of The People to the government. In common practice the Crown also serves as the International Representative of the country, a duty borrowed from the Minister of State. It is a little-known and so far unnecessary provision that the Fidelian military is technically under the exclusive command of the Crown. This was carried over from the revolution and intended to ensure that the military would never again have to choose between the people and their Commander in Chief. The provision is written in the Fidelian constitution to facilitate the ease of transition should another revolution be necessary. However, as the first monarch is famously quoted,

"to use this power, or to force the use of any of these powers is, no matter the intention, to destroy my relationship with the people of this country. You have my word that upon the use of my power as supreme commander of the military, no matter the reason, I will step down after the triggering issue has been dealt with and my family will go into exile. You will have to start the next government without me. That is my promise, my burden, and my responsibility to you all."

No monarch has ever attempted to utilize this provision and it is believed that this sentiment still stands with the royal family.

Children of the Royal Family are permitted to marry freely with civilians. The eldest first born (male or female) of the reigning monarch is next in line for the throne. If the reigning monarch dies without children and with no living/capable siblings the eldest niece/nephew becomes presiding monarch. Members of the immediate royal family are forbidden from running for public office (though no restrictions are placed on their military careers). The private lives of the Royal Family are, as in most countries, a huge topic of public gossip and interest.

Political Parties of Note

Fideliara is a multiparty system that is primarily dominated by The Socialist Party of Fideliara. However, ideological infighting split the party into two main fragments: the Fidelian Liberal Party and the Fidelian Democratic Party. Because of the nature and powers of committees in Fidelian politics most parties focus their policies to affecting only a handful of spheres within the government, to better focus on particular positions. On the whole Fideliara's parties are socialist in nature with capitalist support being nearly nonexistent. While more than four parties exist, only those which have been recognized by the congress and who have had at least one representative elected as minister of a committee are included in this list.

Fidelian Liberal Party (Liberal Socialists): Comprising the majority of the Socialist Party of Fideliara, the FLP supports a mixed economy with the government controlling only vital industries. Capitalism is beneficial, but only when regulated to prevent labor abuse and monopolies. The FLP also supports expansion and protection of social welfare and programs. Differing from the FDP the FLP supports decreased committee powers to ensure a government more inclusive of other parties and perspectives. Noteworthy for its commitment to expand civil and domestic freedoms.

Fidelian Democratic Party (Democratic Centralists, conservative): Technically part of the larger Socialist Party of Fideliara, the FDP differs from the FLP in their approach to government structure. the FDP supports congressional domination through the Socialist party and increased powers of committees to ensure that decisions are quick, efficient, and in accordance with socialist values. the FDP is also the socially conservative party of Fideliara seeking to slow the rapid expansion of benefits and rights to allow public opinion the time to "catch up" to liberal values.

People's Party of Fideliara (Communist): Increased taxes, more power to local governments, expanded welfare systems, improved government support of labor unions in private industry. Heavily focused on protection/development of civil rights. Supports Isolationist policies.

Fidelian National Party (Ultranationalists): Loud minority. Focused on the development of Fideliara as a regional power emphasizing more spending on the military, more direct international involvement, and greater government regulation of the private sector. Primary point of contention is to abolish Fideliara's firm non-first-strike policy for favor of a more "practical" policy.

Government Officials of Note

King Alexander II - Presiding Monarch of Fideliara. Currently with no heir. Mid 40's. Is the international representative for Fideliara and has been for some 20 years. Respected for his diplomatic tact, his opinion and urging on international matters is seldom ignored by congress.

Andrea Ulrich - Current Prime Minister/Chair of the State Committee. In Fidelian government this means she is also the head of the senate. As her position dictates, she works closely with King Alexander II, to oversee diplomatic agreements he arranges, and facilitate dialogue between him, congress, and the international community. She is only the second woman to ever hold the office.

I will do this section later...
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