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Fact Book of Valinon [Question + Answer]

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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Valinon
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Posts: 195
Founded: Antiquity
Left-Leaning College State

Fact Book of Valinon [Question + Answer]

Postby Valinon » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:24 pm

Image
This page or section is in the middle of an expansion or major revamping. You are welcome to assist its construction by submitting a telegram to its author.


United Star Empire of Valinon

ImageImage
FlagCoat of arms

National motto:
The Stars never set on the Empire
Die sterne nie eingestellt auf das reich

  • Capital:
    • New Köln
  • Official language(s):
    • Imperial English
    • Imperial German
    • Dominionite Japanese
    • Old Russian
    • Noldorin Sindarin
  • Government: Imperial confederation
    & de facto constitutional monarchy
    • Empress: Friedelinde I
    • Prime Minister: Faustus von
      Metternicht
  • Legislature
    • Diet of the United Star Empire
  • Amalgamation
    • Valprieza Articles
      (1 Imperial Alderman Calendar,
      First Empire)
    • Declaration of New Köln
      (279 IAC, Second Empire)
    • Convention of Yalta
      (1647 IAC, Third Empire/
      United Star Empire)
  • Population
    • Total: 37,477,688,135
  • GDP (PPP)
    • Total: $846 trillion
    • Per capita: $45,949
  • Currency:
    • Reichsmark (ℛℳ)
The United Star Empire of Valinon, more commonly referred to as Valinon or the Star Empire, is a sovereign state with territory in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Alpha and Beta quadrants. The nation includes seven star systems, a colony in a jointly held system, territorial possession in the Sol System, and a network of dependencies scattered throughout the Milky Way. Valinon’s home star system is Alpha Centauri, located 4.37 light-years from Sol.

The empire is a confederation governed by a de facto constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The seat of government is located in the capital city of New Köln. The confederation consists of eight distinct dominions with separate devolved governments. Each dominion possesses varying powers. Some of the dominions were formerly sovereign states and others were former crown colonies. Valinon’s influence can still be observed in the cultural and legal systems of nations that were once part of its territory, including several star systems that are now part of the Imperium of Vernii.

The empire is a developed nation with a near post-scarcity economy. It is the only indigenous interstellar power to emerge from the Alpha Centauri system and now claims that system in its entirety. It is a foremost power in the Raumreich Oversector and a power in certain areas of Sol. Its military expenditure ranks first in the Raumreich and is among the highest in the Milky Way Galaxy. The empire is a member state of the League of the Raumreich, a permanent member of the League’s Directory for Security and Stability, and a member of the Galactic Postal Union, Knootian International Stabilisation Treaty (KIST), Mangalan Accords, Mars Defence Initiative (MDI), Martian Free Trade Agreement (MFTA), and the Martian Port Authority (MPA).


    Table of Contents

    I. History
    Section Under Construction
      1.1 Colonial Valinon
      1.2 The First Empire
      1.3 The Collective Wars
      1.4 The Second Empire
      1.5 Gregor Sector War
      1.6 The False Peace
      1.7 War of the Lion
      1.8 The Third Empire
      1.9 The Great March War
      1.10 Pax de Raumreich
    II. Astrography
    Basic Article Complete, Additional Links Pending
    III. Demographics
      3.1 Languages
      3.2 Religions
      3.3 Education
      3.4 Healthcare
      3.5 Sentient Intelligences
    IV. Politics
    Basic Article Complete, Additional Links Pending
      4.1 The Monarch
      4.2 The Executive
      4.3 The Legislature
      4.4 The Judiciary
      4.5 Political Parties
      4.6 Constitutional Reform Mechanisms
    V. Economy
    Basic Article Complete, Additional Links Pending
      5.1 Export Economy
      5.2 Stock Exchanges & Indexes
      5.3 Major Economic Groups
      5.4 Labour Organisations & Unions
    VI. Military
      6.1 Section Under Construction
    VII. Science & Technology
      7.1 Section Under Construction
    VIII. Culture
      8.1 Section Under Construction
    IX. Addendums & Errata
      9.1 Section Under Construction
    X. Acknowledgments & Mechanics
      10.1 Acknowledgements & Special Thanks
      10.2 Google Documents

      10.2 Change Log
      • 2012-04-10 (Valinon): Basic article posted for Astrography, with Google Docs for Alpha Centauri and D&OT. Pending: Google Doc resources for other dominions.
      • 2012-04-11 (Valinon): Demographic Detail and Citizens merged. Demographic Detailed replaced with forthcoming Culture article.
      • 2012-04-12 (Valinon): Demographics article posted. No additional resources pending.
      • 2012-04-17 (Valinon): Demographics article modified. Expanded to include description of Sentient Intelligence community.
      • 2012-05-05 (Valinon): Politics & Government outline expanded in preparation for article's main post.
      • 2012-05-05 (Valinon): Added map of the Raumreich Oversector.
      • 2012-07-12 (Valinon): Basic article posted for Politics. Pending: Google Doc resources for specific institutions and additional images.
      • 2012-07-12 (Valinon): Additional images added to Politics article. Pending: Google Doc resources for specific institutions.
      • 2012-10-22 (Valinon): Basic article posted for Economy. Pending: Google Doc resources and possible addendum on economic philosophy.


Image
Map of the Greater Raumreich Oversector, 1710 IAC
Click to access full-sized map


This fact book is an experiment in a hybrid format using text posted to the Forums and links to a selection of public Google Documents I am maintaining. While it is my intention to also use this thread as a place for an on-going question and answer session about Valinon, it is not completed enough for that to be a reality. Therefore, I request that no other parties post in this thread until this stipulation is rescinded closer to the completion of this project. Other replies will be deleted via the usual mechanism until then, but feel free to send a TGram during the interim period.

Respects & thanks in advance,
Valinon
Last edited by Valinon on Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:54 pm, edited 31 times in total.
"We do not care where you go, but you cannot stay here."
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Her Imperial Majesty's Foreign Ministry, Special Office for Border Control & Forcible Deportation

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Valinon
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Postby Valinon » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:27 am



The majority of imperial territory is located in the Gregor Sector of the Raumreich Oversector. The Greater Raumreich territories border the Kingdom of Boroglia, the Freehold of Kerezin, Collective Protectorates of Liberated New Hope, the Federated Suns of New Ortaga, the Greater Empire of Vakutu, the Imperium of Vernii, the Federated Commonwealth of the Talbott Cluster, and the Empire of Tarasovka. Major possessions beyond the Raumreich include Alpha Centauri, the Dominion of Mars in Sol, and the Dominion of Erudan in the GEC-42 system.

Systems & Planets

The empire proper (referred to as the Demesne) incorporates eight star systems with six of these systems including major population centres. Valinon increased its number of habitable planets through the use of terraforming projects--especially in the Alpha Centauri and Yalta systems. The major inhabited planets and worlds of the Demesne are listed by dominion below. A more detailed examination of each dominion’s astrography can be accessed through the links provided. Beyond the Demesne, the empire holds additional systems and planets indirectly through a network of dependencies and associated territories (referred to as the Sphere or the Verge).

    I. Dominion of Alpha Centauri
      1.1 Proxima Centauri I
      1.2 Pholus (Proxima Centauri II)
      1.3 Lapithus
      1.4 Proxima Centauri III
      1.5 Nessus Prime
      1.6 Prometheus
    II. Dominion of Archangel
      2.1 Falasmayon
      2.2 Gabriel
    III. Dominon of Chandara
      3.1 Antiga
      3.2 Bronkes
      3.3 Borlais
    IV. Dominion of Madras
      4.1 Madras Prime
      4.2 Coromandel
    V. Dominion of Pelledrine
      5.1 Greenway
      5.2 Symphony
    VI. Dominion of Yalta
      6.1 Smyrna
      6.2 Stewart
      6.3 Chebanse
      6.4 Breeze

The dominions of Mars and Erudan are omitted from this list because each is unique for different reasons. The Dominion of Mars rules no planets outright and consists mostly of the empire’s extensive territorial claims on Sol’s fourth planet--it also administers the empire’s other possessions in the Sol system. The Dominion of Erudan consists of a major moon in the GEC-42 system, a joint-colonisation effort launched by the Martian community. GEC-42 is connected to Sol by a gate operated by the Libertarian Paradise of Sunset and to Alpha Centauri by a QE-Gate constructed by Valinon. While smaller than the other dominions, Valinor Mars and Erudan are still counted as part of the Demesne.

Paralleling the special nature of Valinor Mars and Erudan, the future of the Sphere is becoming more prominent in domestic politics. The Sphere is the term used to refer to imperial dependencies within the Raumreich--most commonly when referring to the Mesan Protectorate, the Residency of Praecipua, and the Interstellar Conservancy. However, the newer colonies in the Velt and Shenandoah systems (both formerly part of the Interstellar Conservancy) are still considered part of the Sphere despite their crown charters. The current trends suggest that the Demesne will expand at the expense of the Sphere and that the empire’s territories in the Raumreich will experience another period of consolidation. Proposals for consolidation include the accession of Mesa and Praecipua, the progress of Velt and Shenandoah to dominion status, and further formal development of the Conservancy.

The Verge--an amorphous area of space including the empire’s dependencies and associated states beyond Alpha Centauri, the Raumreich, and Sol--is distinct from both the Demesne and the Sphere. While the empire claims territory within the Verge, it does not enjoy the same status as the other parts of the realm and is not considered a frontier for formal annexation.

Wormhole Termini

The empire controls a majority of the wormhole termini in the Raumreich, and these termini are organized under the Imperial Wormhole Network (IWN). The IWN includes the Alpha Centauri, Archangel, and Yalta wormhole junctions and their attendant terminus zones in an additional seven star systems.

A wormhole junction is a stable gravitic anomaly that create a flaw in space-time that provides access between two widely separated points in space. Each wormhole junction consists of a primary wormhole--or nexus--and its associated termini. There termini can be located hundred or even thousand of light years away from the nexus and each other. Ships equipped with most forms of superluminal drives can navigate the event horizon of a wormhole and rapidly travel to places that otherwise might take weeks, months, or even years to reach. Ships can travel from the nexus to any terminus and from the terminus to the nexus, but direct travel between termini is impossible.

The discovery of the Alpha Centauri Wormhole Junction led to the empire’s discovery of the Gregor Sector and the beginning of the modern Raumreich. The mapping of the Alpha Centauri junction led to the discovery of the smaller Archangel and Yalta junctions. The junctions of Alpha Centauri and Archangel are completely explored, but some theorists postulate that there may be another terminus associated with the Yalta junction. The Imperial Academy of Science and Technology, the Imperial Armed Forces, and several major corporate entities are also funding research initiatives to find wormhole junctions beyond the Raumreich.

The IWN is perhaps the empire’s most commercially valuable possession. It is the preeminent economic engine of the Gregor Sector and connects that sub-region of the Raumreich to the Great March and Vaku space. The network is also the primary link between the Inner Marches and the Talbott Cluster.

The IWN competes with the Federated Suns’ warp-gate network, the Collective Protectorates’ displacement gates, and the Verniian wormhole system for the bulk of its traffic. IWN coverage of both imperial territory and the major industrial regions of the Raumreich were enhanced by the creation and construction of the quantum entanglement gates (QE-Gates). Despite periods of protectionist policies, the IWN is the most easily accessible bulk superluminal transportation network in the Raumreich.

The IWN is patrolled and defended by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Traffic control for the network is provided by the Imperial Wormhole Control Service (IWCS). IWCS is a civilian agency under the Ministry for Home Affairs, but it is a uniformed agency that is linked to the Kriegsmarine and its system traffic control commands. The control service coordinates with the empire’s international partners in wormhole traffic control, including Vakutu, Vernii, and the Talbott Cluster states.

Dependencies & Other Territories

Main Article: Dependencies & Other Territories

Valinor dependencies and other territories are a network of colonies, mandates, protectorates, residencies, treaty areas, and sovereign zones beyond the dominions and the borders of the empire proper. These territories are mostly located in Sol, the Sphere, or the Verge, but this category also includes several exceptions including several Autonomous Communities (AC) within the empire and the Crown Lands (the most notable of Crown holdings being New Köln). Excluding those two exceptions, other Valinor territories can be divided into two categories: Valinor Dependent Areas (VDA) and Crown Dependencies (CD). These territories are typically administered by the Imperial Armed Forces (IAF), Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA), or the Office for Verge Affairs (OVA).

Prior to the Great March War, the number of Valinor dependencies was considerably depleted following the formal organization of the dominions. The collapse of the Ortagan Hegemony and renewed interest in affairs beyond the Raumreich’s Inner Marches have seen this network expand considerably during the last 15 years. This resurgence started with the decision to organize the Mesan Protectorate and granting OVA a broader mandate to organize the Verge.
Last edited by Valinon on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"We do not care where you go, but you cannot stay here."
The Honorable Herr William H. Keith to all 'colonization/relocation/refugee' convoys/missions en route to Alpha Centauri
Her Imperial Majesty's Foreign Ministry, Special Office for Border Control & Forcible Deportation

Fact Book Project | The Lanthe Route & Lee | State of the Galaxy | Interstellar Trade Cooperative

Pantheon of Useful NSFT Links
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User avatar
Valinon
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 195
Founded: Antiquity
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Valinon » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:08 am



Image
Basic Demographics

  • Population: 37,477,688,135
  • Sphere Dependencies: 7,344,473,093
  • Ethnic Groups
    • Human/Terran: 79.8 %
    • Vaku: 8.77 %
    • Elven: 4.47 %
    • Other/Unrecognized: 6.96 %
  • Religions
    • Christianity: 57.3 %
    • Agnostic/Atheist: 23.4 %
    • Dominionite Taoism: 8.8 %
    • Buddhist: 5.8 %
    • Other: 4.7 %
    The United Star Empire of Valinon’s population is estimated to be more than 37.4 billion inhabitants. The estimate is based on the last census, which is carried out every 15 years in the Demesne as required by law. However, this figure does not include the population of the Sphere, which is recorded separately, or the unrecorded population of the Verge dependencies. The population density varies widely from world to world, but most of the empire’s planets are less densely populated than those of other Raumreich powers. Falasmayon (in the Archangel system) and Pholus (in Alpha Centauri) vie for the most densely populated planet. Nessus Prime is the most densely populated celestial body in the empire. The collection and publication of population statistics (and most other statistics of national record) is the responsibility of the Office for National Statistics (NatStat or ONS), an executive agency of the Ministry for Home Affairs.

    While ethnicity of the Terran population is still recorded for analysis, the majority of Valinor identify themselves by what subnational group they belong to. The subnational groups include:

      I. Dominionites: This group consists of the population descended from the Dominion of Outer Centauri. The major population centres are Proxima III and Prometheus in Alpha Centauri. Most Dominionites consider themselves to now be part of the Great Valinor subnational group, and this opinion is shared by the original Great Valinor group. NatStat announced its intention to merge the two groups in the next census.
      II. Falas: This group consists of the population of the Archangel system, which was formerly the High Dominion of Falasmayon before voting to merge with Valinon. The major population centres are Falasmayon and Gabriel. Falas are the smallest subnational group recognized by NatStat.
      III. Great Valinor: This group consists of the population descended from the Kingdom of Pholus’ colonisation mission. The major population centres are Proxima I, Pholus, Proxima III and Nessus Prime in Alpha Centauri. The Great Valinor formerly constituted the largest subnational population group within the empire, although this status lapsed after the War of the Lion.
      IV. Greater Raumreichers: This group includes the populations of Chandara, Madras, Pelledrine, and Yalta. The major population centres are Smyrna in Yalta and Madras Prime. Its members are the citizens of the former nations of the Gregor Sector Alliance that merged with Valinon after the War of the Lion. Greater Raumreichers are the largest subnational group within the empire.

    The Vaku expatriate community still constitutes the largest single group of foreign citizens registered in Valinon. However, NatStat estimates the Vaku will be superseded by expatriates and resident aliens immigrating to Valinon from the Verge during the next 25 to 30 years. Projections of immigration patterns suggest that immigration from the Verge will supersede combined immigration from the Raumreich within the next 50 years. Valinon’s natural population growth continues to lead the population growth by migration.

    Languages

    Valinon is comprised of a multitude of ethnicities, cultures, and distinct subnational groups. This diversity and the history of accession as the primary means of imperial expansion resulted in empire’s nuanced approach to officially recognized languages. The government currently recognizes five imperial languages and pursues policies to support multilingualism culturally and educationally.

    Language Politics

    The language politics of the empire attempt to balance the need for an encompassing national tongue (or tongues) without degrading the rights of its constituent entities. Efforts to achieve this balance are increasingly being eased by the accessibility of new language education techniques that use direct mental implantation.

    Imperial Languages

    Imperial languages are the five official languages recognised and used by the imperial government. Imperial law requires all acts and edicts passed by any imperial authority or agency in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the government to be published in Imperial English, Imperial German, Dominionite Japanese, Old Russian, and Noldorin Sindarin. However, Imperial German continues to be the language of first publication for the Crown, the Diet, and the College of the Consuls.

    The position of Imperial German with respects to publication is based on tradition, but it is not applied to the politics of spoken language. The policies of successive governments favor the importance of Imperial English (which closely resembles Common and Galactic Standard) as the most inclusive of the imperial languages. Imperial German and Dominionite Japanese are the most commonly spoken languages after Imperial English.

    Current education reflect the emphasis of Imperial English. Its study is mandatory for all imperial citizens, and it is considered a universal language throughout the empire (a position only nominally shared by Imperial German). Dominion Japanese, Old Russian, and Noldorin Sindarin are de facto, if not de jure, “regional” languages for the worlds of Alpha Centauri B, the worlds of Alpha Centauri A, and the Dominion of Mars, respectively.

    While technology makes the language barrier of the imperial languages negligible, it is not equally applied to the minority languages that predominate in Valinon’s immigrant communities. This issue is particularly pronounced among immigrants from the Verge, who possess less access to equivalent technology than immigrants from the Raumreich. Recent efforts to advocate minority language recognition within the empire have failed at the dominion and imperial levels of government. The Diet rejected several bills proposing to strike the requirement of proficiency in at least one imperial language or equivalent artificial translation ability as a prerequisite to citizenship.

    Religions

    Christianity, in various forms, has dominated religious life in Valinon since its founding. A majority of citizens continue to identify with Christianity, although trends show a decline in its growth rates compared to agnosticism. Regular attendance of religious activities is markedly declined in the empire’s Christian sects. Despite Christianity’s predominance, Valinon is variously described as multi-faith and secularised in keeping with the religious freedom established under the First Empire.

    The Roman Catholic Church is the established church in Valinon. It retains its role in the coronation ceremony, certain Crown ceremonies, and certain government ceremonies as well as being the religion of the House of Alderman. However, the Church of Valinon is not subject to state control and does not enjoy direct representation in the imperial government. The Roman Catholic Church is increasingly considered a 'first among equals' with respects to both the empire’s Christian community and its other major religious communities.

    Despite developed, broad-based ideas of religious freedom, the imperial government strictly prohibits cults and sects it deems violent. This has led to issues with certain orthodox organisations within the Vaku Cult of Sivar and certain cults from the Verge.

    Education

    The majority of education affairs are devolved to the individual dominions, but the imperial government does reserve the right to establish overarching guidelines and ensure the maintenance of universal education standards. The responsibilities of the imperial government are handled by the Ministry for Education Affairs. The Education Ministry establishes regulatory policies, administers imperial assistance programs, coordinates imperially mandated standardised testing, collects data on the empire’s education systems, and operates the Office for Academic Accreditation (OAAC).

    Valinon is highly dedicated to the education of its citizens. Education is mandatory for all imperial citizens ages five to eighteen in either a state or accredited independent school, and the imperial government maintains a free-of-charge post-secondary undergraduate degree path for students that meet academic requirements.

    Literacy and writing are required under imperial education guidelines. The empire subsidises dominion programs to correct or eliminate any physical handicaps that prevent attainment of these skills.

    Healthcare

    Healthcare is devolved to the dominions in a manner similar to that of education affairs. The Ministry for Health & Welfare promotes public health and supervises medical standards established by the imperial government through the Office for Medicines and Standards (MEDSTAN). It also supports the dominion health service systems in the areas of disease control, dominion-wide medical emergencies, and intensive quarantine measures. Health & Welfare also distributes research grant funds and administers research programmes through the Imperial Health Research Institute (IHRI).

    However, the most important arm of the Health Ministry and the foundation of the empire’s healthcare system is the Office for Life Extension (OLE). OLE ensures that all imperial citizens receive the basic pro-long treatments and provides subsidized genetic examination and mapping.

    Sentient Intelligences

    Image
    Religious Demographics

      Christianity: 48.3 %
      • Roman Catholic: 68.2 %
      • Anglican Commune: 23.3 %
      • Reformed Russian Orthodox: 8.3 %
      • Other: .2%
      Agnostic/Atheist: 32.4 %
      Dominionite Taoism: 8.8 %
      Buddhist: 5.8 %
      Other: 4.7 %
    Sentient Intelligences (SIs) are advanced artificial intelligences that are recognized by imperial law and legally protected by being recognized as imperial citizens. Sentient Intelligences were originally recognized and granted citizenship by the Second Sentient Rights Protocol and Sophonce Antediluvian acts. Their status was re-examined and clarified by the Convention of Yalta.

    An artificial intelligence that is considered both sentient and sophont under the guidelines established by the Diet and the Conclave of Sentient Intelligences is ranked as a SI. A basic knowledge of Valinon’s approach and understanding to the sapience-sentience-sophonce paradigm is required to understand the threshold for an artificial intelligence (ai) to cross in order to be considered an SI. First, the empire legally defines sapience as the ability to think and solve problems, or intelligence in the most strict sense. Expert systems of sufficient complexity are considered sapient, and this includes Associated Intelligences (AIs), Resident Intelligences (RIs), and SIs. However, entities that are considered sapient may lack qualities or abilities possessed by more complicated sentients or sophonts. SIs must be both sentient and sophont, while most RIs are only sapient and sentient but not sophont and few AIs are more than sapient. Broadly, the empire’s legal definition of sentience is awareness--including the ability to experience pleasure or pain (or analogous drives and experiences)--and the ability to make predictions about the future. The legal definition of sophonce is the combination of sentience and sapience with metacognition: self-awareness, including self-reflection and the ability to consider one’s own thoughts. Kinds and degrees of sophonce are well-defined and examinable under toposophology, especially by the Conclave. These are all codified in specific detail under the Third Sentient Rights Protocol Act (also referred to as the Imperial Declaration of Sentient Rights).

    The first artificial intelligences to cross this threshold were created by the Nova Technologies Syndicate (NovaTech) during the Second Empire. The manifestation of the first SIs was a major technological singularity for Valinon, but it complicated the political and socio-cultural paradigms of the empire for decades. A working consensus and solution was only achieved after it was recognized that these newly created sentients required a legally protected community within the empire, leading to the creation of the Conclave that remains possibly the most important Autonomous Community within the empire. Under the term of the Sophonce Antediluvian Act, the Conclave maintains the exclusive right to authorise the creation of SIs. Any SIs not created by the Conclave are subject to immediate termination. Several SIs that were created or formed prior to the passage of the Sophonce Antediluvian Act were granted imperial and Conclave citizenship, but these were the last SIs not created by the Conclave.

    The specifics of the Conclave’s government are discussed in the article on imperial dependencies. This system of governance is based on the internal organisation of the Conclave, as established by its governing Consensus. The internal organisation is founded on the idea of SIs all being members of a particular “generation”. Current generations of SIs include:

    • The Endless Community is formed by first-generation SIs that were either created by NovaTech’s Project Coriana or by the emergence of the original SIs. The Endless are distinguished by their German naming conventions originally assigned by NovaTech engineers. Most of their various avatars also continue to display attributes or basic templates that were originally established by Project Coriana and all basically resemble baseline humans. The Endless are mostly tied to various imperial institutions or the Conclave, though a few remain associated with NovaTech. The Endless are the generation with the most members who are Disassociated--or no longer actively involved in Conclave, imperial, or even corporal-temporal affairs.
    • The Antediluvians form the second-generation of SIs. A small number of Antediluvians are SIs that were created or emerged outside Project Coriana, but the majority are those SIs created by the Conclave under the terms of the Sophonce Antediluvian Act. Antediluvians were formerly closely tied with the empire’s defence, intelligence, and security services, though this trend waned. They were the first generation with members who selected their own monikers, avatars, and overall identities without exterior direction. They also face a growing number of Disassociated individuals.
    • Methuselahs are third-generation SIs that were mostly created by the Endless Community. They were born before or during NovaTech’s initial establishment of the ansible in Alpha Centauri. Many of them continued to work with the Imperial Armed Forces during the on-going conflicts between Valinon and the People’s Republic of Vernii, but more Methuselahs are associated in various scientific endeavors (specifically the Imperial Academy of Science and Technology or the initial exploration of the wormholes) and private commercial enterprises. They are the oldest generation with the least Disassociated members and typically hold the majority of the Consensus’ ad hoc seats.
    • The Camarilla Community are fourth-generation SIs that were the first generation to be created as a cooperative project between the Endless and the Antediluvians. Camarillas are the first generation to be born after widespread dissemination of the ansible was achieved. Their diversity is reflective of their continual immersion into a post-ansible empire. Camarillas are not tied to any specific groups and can be found be found in both public and private sectors of the economy. They are notoriously divided and factionalized in comparison to the relative homogeneity of the Endless and the Antediluvians. The Camarillas are the first generation to include late-generation RIs that acquired sophonce due to overdevelopment and the first generation to regularly employ non-human avatars consistently.
    • The Sephirot are fifth-generation SIs and were created by the Endless Community in response to the Ortagan Revolution and the rise of the Ortagan Hegemony with its pro-human dogma. They are closely tied with the military and intelligence services and are the smallest of the Conclave’s younger generations. Sephirots are secretive and the most monolithic generation. They act as a highly integrated community typically represented by two to three spokespersons. Sephirots rarely interact with individuals beyond the Conclave or specific parts of Valinor society. In opposition to the Camarilla, the Sephirots rejected the idea of accepting RIs that acquired sophonce and acceded to SI status. They are the youngest generation most inclined to concur with the Endless without question.
    • Kether Amalgamation are both fifth- and six-generation SIs. Fifth-generation SIs that are considered Kether were created by the Antediluvians and the Methuselahs while the Endless were forming the Sephirot. Sixth-generation SIs were created after the Great March War and the collapse of the Ortagan Hegemony, or those RIs that were rejected by the Sephirot. This is the first generation to include SIs that were not formed by at least one member of the Endless Community since the creation of the first SIs. Kethers are the first generation to enjoy no ties to the military, though some are still tied with diplomatic and intelligence services. The Kether Amalgamation resembles the Camarilla Community in their diversity and lack of generational unity. They are the only generation to never hold an ad hoc seat in the Consensus.

    Despite the continued creation and emergence of sixth-generation SIs, most observers of the SI community notice a distinct trend to not progress the development of successive generations further. The current prediction is for RI accession to overtake direct SI population growth within the next 40 years. The Conclave is not required to participate in the imperial census, but it does voluntarily produce reports that are submitted to the Crown. The last of these reports showed a standing population of 207 million distinct active members and an additional 1.3 million Disassociated individuals.
    Last edited by Valinon on Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 15 times in total.
    "We do not care where you go, but you cannot stay here."
    The Honorable Herr William H. Keith to all 'colonization/relocation/refugee' convoys/missions en route to Alpha Centauri
    Her Imperial Majesty's Foreign Ministry, Special Office for Border Control & Forcible Deportation

    Fact Book Project | The Lanthe Route & Lee | State of the Galaxy | Interstellar Trade Cooperative

    Pantheon of Useful NSFT Links
    FT Advice & Assistance Thread | Helpful FT Links| The Local Cluster | NS Future Tech (NSFT) Discord Server

    User avatar
    Valinon
    Spokesperson
     
    Posts: 195
    Founded: Antiquity
    Left-Leaning College State

    Postby Valinon » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:58 am



    Valinon is governed within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, with the Monarch as the head of state and the Imperial Prime Minister, or First Minister for Imperial Affairs, as head of government. Executive power is exercised by Her Imperial Majesty’s Government, excluding those powers reserved by the Crown, and by the dominion governments in specific areas of localised devolution. Legislative power is vested in the two congresses of the Diet of the United Star Empire of Valinon, the Congress of Lords and the Congress of the Dominions. The judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature, and the highest court is the College of Consuls.

    Valinon was originally governed by a charter drafted by the Kingdom of Pholus prior to the departure of the colonisation mission from Sol. However, the kingdom collapsed before the colonists reached their destination. The colonial charter was used as the system of government for 78 years until the colonists discovered the fate of the metropole. After the fate of Pholus was known, then-governor Friedrich Alderman led the creation of a new government and was crowned Emperor of Valinon. Friedrich the Founder encouraged the creation of a new calendar dated from the establishment of the Empire of Valinon, now known as the Imperial Alderman Calendar (IAC).

    The empire’s political system is a multi-party system. The three largest political parties are the Unity & Independence Coalition, the Imperial Conservatives Association, and the Centrist Party. Since the formation of the Third Empire, coalition governments or a majority formed by an umbrella party organisation are a common feature in imperial politics.

    Valinon is officially a civil law country. However, the application of civil law is frequently refined by the application of customary law. The empire’s system of law is heavily influenced by Old Earth’s legal traditions, most specifically Roman law and the Old French Civil Code. Valinon is unique among the nations of the Raumreich for its absence and abhorrence of trial by jury.

    The constitution of empire is uncodified and consists of several conventions, edicts, protocols, and other elements. These documents are referred to as the Constitutional Canon. This means the empire’s system of government is a descendent of Old Earth’s Westminister system, albeit distantly due to specific national differences.

    The Monarch

    Empress of Valinon
    Image
    Image
    Friedelinde of the House of Alderman

    Main Article: The Monarch of the United Star Empire

    The Monarch of the United Star Empire is the constitutional monarch of Valinon and its dependencies. He or she is the empire’s head of state and the reigning monarch of the House of Alderman, which ascribes to succession by absolute cognatic primogeniture (or inheritance by the oldest surviving child without regard to gender). All oaths of allegiance are made to the Monarch and his or her lawful successors. The present monarch is Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Friedelinde.

    All decisions of the Government or the Diet that exercise sovereign powers are delegated from the Monarch under the terms of the Constitutional Canon. While the powers of the Monarch are circumscribed by the Canon, Empress Friedelinde possesses political privileges and powers beyond those of a ceremonial figurehead. Some of these powers include:

    • The power to dismiss and appoint an Imperial Prime Minister
    • The power to dismiss and appoint any Minister of Imperial Affairs
    • The power to dismiss and appoint any officials who serve at the leisure of the Crown
    • The power to summon, prorogue, and dissolve the Diet
    • The power to grant or refuse Imperial Assent to bills, which gives them the force of law
    • The power to commission officers of the Imperial Armed Forces
    • The power to deploy the Imperial Armed Forces
    • The power to appoint members of the Privy Council
    • The power to grant the Privilege of Pardon for any and all crimes
    • The exclusive power to grant honors and create Peers of the Realm
    • The power to ratify and make treaties
    • The power to recognise states
    • The power to issue or withdraw passports
    • The power to credit and receive diplomats and envoys

    The ability to exercise some of these powers are modified or limited by the Constitutional Canon. The Monarch has also lost some powers during the empire’s political evolution, such as the power to declare war and the power to unilaterally appoint judges to the Imperial Bench.

    The Executive

    Her Imperial Majesty’s Government
    Image
    Image
    Prime Minister the Archduke Faustus von Metternicht

    • Style
      • His Grace Faustus von Metternicht,
        Prime Minister & First Minister for Imperial Affairs
    • Deputy Prime Minister
      • Viscount Ronaldo Orsini
    • Government Type
      • Coalition (Centrist-Imperial Conservative)
    Executive power in Valinon is exercised jointly by the Monarch and Her Imperial Majesty’s Government. There are, additionally, certain lesser executive powers exercised by the dominion governments on behalf of the Monarch.

    The Monarch appoints a First Minister for Imperial Affairs, who is also the Imperial Prime Minister, as the head of the Government. However, the Monarch’s power of appointment is limited by the Constitutional Canon. An Imperial Prime Minister must command the support of the Congress of Lords. This is interpreted as meaning that the Prime Minister is the leader of a majority within this congress--either as a leader of a majority party, as a leader of a coalition of political parties, or as a leader of personal/cabinet alliance. In the advent of a hung Congress of Lords, the Monarch enjoys an increased prerogative in his or her selection of an Imperial Prime Minister. No Monarch has yet used these powers to appoint a minority government that was not produced by the Diet.

    While the Prime Minister technically serves at the leisure of the Monarch, the power to dismiss a sitting Prime Minister is greatly diminished. The Monarch may dismiss a Prime Minister at any time, but this does not prevent the Congress of Lords from returning the same government to power. The loss of the Monarch’s support is damaging, but prime ministers and governments survived this trial in the past. Ultimately, the powers of the Imperial Prime Minister, the Ministry for Imperial Affairs, and the Government are derived from the Monarch, as the embodiment of all executive authority within the empire.

    After appointment and receiving a Crown invitation to form a Government, the prime minister selects the other 11 Affairs Ministers and other junior ministers and officers. Ministers for the Crown, especially Affairs Ministers, are selected from the Congress of Lords or the Congress of the Dominions. The Prime Minister and Affairs Ministers constitute the majority of the Ministry for Imperial Affairs, which forms the executive. The Prime Minister and the Government are answerable to the Diet and a successful vote of no confidence will force the dissolution of the Government. However, the power to unilaterally hold a vote of no confidence is only held by the Congress of Lords.

    Imperial Prime Minister & the Ministry for Imperial Affairs

    The Imperial Prime Minister is the most senior member of the Ministry for Imperial Affairs as its First Minister. He or she is responsible for chairing the Ministry’s meetings, selecting the Affairs Ministers, and formulating government policy. The Prime Minister was recognized as the head of government during the Second Empire and is the de facto administrator of the day-to-day functioning of the imperial government.

    However, the Ministry for Imperial Affairs is the collective decision-making body of the Government. Its decision-making and political authority expanded greatly during the Second Empire, but attempts to further this pattern during the Third Empire failed, largely. Substantial powers still reside with the Monarch under the existing Constitutional Canon. The powers of the Prime Minister can also fluctuate, as the Ministry is still a collective body, and largely relate to his or her political standing and personal authority.

    Ministries and Departments

    The Government contains a number of ministries and departments. The most senior of these ministries are the 11 that are each led by an Affairs Minister. These ministries are directly represented in the Ministry for Imperial Affairs and part of the Ministry’s order of succession. Most of the Affairs Ministers are also supported by additional junior ministers and other officials.

    Some of the Affairs Ministries include a permanent civil service, but others are still strongly tied to appointments made by the Imperial Prime Minister and respective Affairs Ministers. Most of the ministries and departments are officially headquartered in New Köln.

    The Legislature

    Main Article: The Imperial Diet

    The Diet is the supreme legislative body in the empire, and the Government is drawn from and answerable to it. The Diet is bicameral, consisting of the Congress of Lords and the Congress of the Dominions. It meets in the Imperial Congressional Building in New Köln.
    Image
    Imperial Congressional Building
    City of New Köln, Proxima I, Alpha Centauri


    The membership of the Congress of Lords includes hereditary and life Peers of the Realm. The members of the Diet’s upper house are not directly elected, but the dominions are guaranteed proportionally proper representation in the Lords by the Convention of Yalta. The Congress of the Dominions is a democratically elected chamber, with a general election mandated to occur at least every seven years. The two congresses meet in separate chambers. The Constitutional Canon requires all Affairs Ministers to be members of the Diet and thus accountable to it. In practice, the Affairs Ministries are divided between the Lords and the Dominions based on the jurisdiction both congresses exercise. This means empire-wide affairs are left to the Lords and many domestic affairs are left to the Dominions.

    The Diet was originally formed by the Declaration of New Köln in 279 IAC. The original Diet consisted of the Congress of Lords and the Congress of Citizens. It was expanded by the accession of Falasmayon under Emperor Rowald and further expanded, briefly, by the accession of the Gregor Sector Alliance states under Emperor Gustav II. The accession of the Gregor Sector states ultimately led to the reformulation of the Diet into its present form by the Convention of Yalta.

    Composition & Powers

    The legislative authority of the Diet possesses three distinct elements: the Monarch, the Congress of the Lords, and the Congress of the Dominions. An individual may not be a member of both congress simultaneously and Peers are legally barred from voting in any elections for the Archons of the Dominions.

    Imperial Assent is required for all bills to become law, although certain delegated legislation may be made by the Monarch as an Order-in-Council. Imperial Assent may also be forced by parliamentary procedures. The Monarch enjoys executive powers that do not depend on the Diet.

    The Lords enjoys more significant powers than the Diet’s lower house. All bills are debated and voted upon in the Congress of Lords, and the failure of a bill to be passed in Lords results in its termination. The Lords enjoy the “power of the purse,” which means that it is the only part of the Diet that can initiate a budget, tax, or appropriation bill. In practice, the Lords devolve the drafting of the budget for domestic affairs (including culture, education, environment, health, trade and industry, and transport) to the Dominions. The Dominions compose and introduce these budget proposals, which are then passed on to the Lords as amendments to its budgetary bills. The Lords retain the power to override any amendments introduced by the Dominions, and it drafts the budget for high imperial affairs (including defence, finance, foreign affairs, home affairs, justice, expenditure limit reserve, and the unallocated imperial budget reserve). A proposal of a declaration of war may only be introduced in the Lords, but after introduction to the Lords a declaration of war is immediately introduced into the Dominions as well. A declaration of war must be passed by a majority of both congresses. While the Diet’s upper house retains many ways to block and reject bills from the dominions, these powers were curtailed by the Convention of Yalta. The convention specifically granted the Congress of the Dominions extensive powers concerning future government reform and in the processes used to alter the Constitutional Canon.

    The Congress of the Dominions simultaneously represents the dominions, as the sovereign divisions of the empire, and the Citizens of Her Imperial Majesty’s Realm. The Dominions is led by the Archon-Primate, who is responsible for arranging the Government’s business in the lower house. The Archon-Primate is selected from the membership of the Dominions that is part of the Government and is typically elected from the political party with the most Archons that is aligned with the Government. The Voice of the Dominions is the other major office in the lower house. The role of the Voice is parallel to that of the Speaker of the Lords. He or she is elected by the Dominions’ entire membership to preside over the chamber and is considered politically impartial.

    The Dominions may initiate legislation, although the Lords enjoy extensive powers to reject those bills that pertain to defence, financial, foreign, or security issues. The lower house’s powers are strictly limited with respects to budgetary and appropriation bills. The upper house enjoys exclusive power of initiation and final approval of all finance bills.

    The Judiciary

    Unlike most nations created by a series of political unions and annexations, Valinon possesses a single legal system. The imperial government repeatedly made acceptance of the imperial legal system a necessity to secure treaties of accession or union, although it did allow certain political prerogatives and systems to be retained by the individual dominions. This practice resulted in the imperial judicial system evolving into an entity that is more federal in character than the other branches of government.

    The Monarch is the fount of justice in the empire as Supreme Consul of Justice and Wisdom, but the powers of this officer are extensively devolved. While the Monarch retains certain rights of pardon and oversight, the College of Consuls is the highest court in the imperial court system and, by extension, the empire’s highest court. This leaves the College as the body ultimately responsible for explaining and applying laws passed by the Diet.
    Image
    Sune Hall
    Chambers of the College of Consuls
    Domains of New Köln, Proxima I, Alpha Centauri


    The College is one part of the imperial judiciary system, which also includes various inferior courts. The College consists of a number of Consuls appointed for life by the Monarch in consultation with the Imperial Standing Committee for Judicial Affairs. According to the terms of the Morgan Protocols, the number of Consuls is to be decided by the Monarch based on advice from the Ministry for Imperial Affairs and the Judicial Affairs Committee. The College currently consists of 15 consuls and has sustained this number for more than 200 years. The College is headed by the Consul Primate, an office presently held by Sir Hedrick Rosenberg.

    The Morgan Protocols instituted a system that divided the empire into districts, jurisdictionally, and created courts to service each district. This system evolved into the modern judiciary through a series of imperial decrees and certain actions of the Supreme Consul-in-Council (a decision or decree produced by the Monarch after consultation with the College of Consuls). The current structure consists of the College of Consuls, eight dominion courts, 387 district courts, and 11 courts of decreed jurisdiction. Courts of decreed jurisdiction are created by the Monarch, specifically, and deal with issues that do not fall under the direct jurisdiction of any existing inferior courts. An example of this type of court is the Court of the Conservancy, which holds authority over matters pertaining to the Crown Commission of the Interstellar Conservancy. The Monarch retains the power to create and abolish imperial courts and determine the number of judges in the judiciary system. However, the Morgan Protocols prohibits the abolition of the College of Consuls.

    The College adjudicates cases and controversies that pertain to the Government, disputes between the dominions, and interpretations of the Constitutional Canon. The College can also use powers devolved by the Monarch to declare legislative or executive actions made by the Diet or Government, respectively, null and void. The process of nullification creates a precedent for future legal decisions. The power of judicial review was permanently transferred from the Monarch to the College by the Morgan Protocols.

    The Convention of Yalta refined the mechanics of constitutional reform by creating permanent institutions and procedures for achieving reform. The legislature possesses exclusive power to initiate reform of the Constitutional Canon through the Congress of the Dominions, but the formal process of reform is delegated to the Imperial Aulic Council and the Imperial Chamber Court. The Aulic Council and the Chamber Court are effectively hybrid bodies that exist as part of the judicial and legislative branches and supplanted the authority of the College to determine whether future constitutional reform was legitimate or not.

    The eight dominion courts are immediately below the College of Consuls. District courts are under the jurisdiction of the dominion court that sits in the dominion a district court is located in. In example, Her Imperial Majesty’s Sixteenth District Court is under the immediate authority of the Dominion High Court of Alpha Centauri. Courts of decreed jurisdiction are directly under the College of Consuls, like the dominion courts.

    The imperial judiciary functions according to a strict hierarchy of process. The district courts are general trial courts for imperial law and for inter-dominion controversies and cases. All district courts are also trial courts that possess the power to settle questions of jurisdiction. The practice of establishing jurisdiction mostly focuses on deciding whether a case brought in local courts meets requirements for diversity jurisdiction, which means that a case involves either inter-dominion issues or directly impacts the interpretation of imperial law. A litigant in a case under district court jurisdiction can also request that the case be removed from the respective district court’s jurisdiction and transferred to a local court. A case may only be transferred to a local court by a unanimous decision of a district court.

    The dominion courts function as appellate courts that review decisions of district courts within their respective jurisdictions. They also function as initial courts for direct appeals from certain imperial and dominion agencies and ministries. The College of Consuls hears appeals from all eight dominion courts and all local supreme and high courts. The College enjoys original jurisdiction in respects to certain specified cases. The College possesses original jurisdiction concurrently with all lower courts in the empire. The specified cases it enjoys exclusive original jurisdiction over include cases affecting foreign and imperial ambassadors, cases affecting imperial ministers and consuls, cases where a foreign government is a party, and cases where at least one dominion is a party. The College also fulfills this role in the rare instances where the imperial government has a controversy with one or more dominions.

    Relationship with Local Courts

    The eight dominions each possess local court systems that are separate from the imperial court system. However, these local courts are not entirely independent of the imperial system. Most are bound to the imperial courts by their respective dominion’s treaty of accession or union with the empire. Each local court system maintains its own court procedures and rules where they are not preempted by the imperial court system. All the local dominion court systems possess a ranking court. Five of the dominions possess a supreme court, and the three remaining dominions possess bodies of similar authority. The Dominion of Archangel’s highest court is the High Triumvirate of Falensarano; the Dominion of Erudan maintains no supreme court instead the Erudan Council acts as the final court of appeals for the dominion’s small court system; the Dominion of Alpha Centauri’s highest court is the College of Valprietza, which is modeled after the College of Consuls.

    The College of Consuls is the appellate court for all local court systems’ supreme or high courts. A local supreme or high court is bound only by the College’s interpretation of imperial law, but it is not bound by the interpretation of imperial law by the dominion court or district courts located within the same dominion. This legal anachronism is due to the legacy of sovereignty most dominions possessed prior to accession or union and is based on lingering concepts of shared sovereignty between the dominions and the imperial government. This is also the reason that an imperial district court hearing a question of local dominion law must apply the law of the dominion that court sits in. However, a case of this nature is still regulated by the rules of the imperial court system instead of the rules of the local court system.

    Political Parties

    Main Article: Imperial Political Parties

    Imperial political parties began as factions in the Congress of Lords during the First Empire. While none of the original parties survived to the present, some parties claim ideological descent from Valinon’s original political parties. All political parties in the Lords retain the factional nature that was common during the First Empire, but the organisations evolved into genuine parties with attendant organisations as the imperial government developed and expanded. The major parties in the Lords are now differentiated more clearly by ideological differences than cults of personality around faction leaders.

    The formalisation of political parties allowed the parties of the Lords to reach out to members of the Congress of Citizens and, later, the Congress of the Dominions for allies and political supporters. This resulted in a system where the political parties of the Lords dominate the discussion of empire-wide politics. However, these parties are supported by like-minded parties and alliances from the various dominions. There are still no pan-imperial parties in the Diet’s lower house, but the overwhelming majority of Archons are affiliated with parties in their dominion who claim association with political parties in the upper house or directly claim a Peer as a party leader. These aristocrats typically are the leaders of their respective party in the Lords.

    Despite the increased organisation of these parties from the late Second Empire to the present, most of the parties in the Lords can still be thought of as working alliances of individuals with same basic interests and goals than truly closed ideological systems. Ideas of collectivist discipline within a party are only consistently evidenced by a few groups. Most parties demonstrate effective party discipline in only the closest of votes. This is a legacy of the establishing tradition of voting by conscience that permeates the imperial political process at almost all levels and a deeply-rooted sense of noblesse oblige that is embodied by the majority of the Peerage.

    The more powerful political parties in the Lords--and by extension the Diet--are the Unity and Independence Coaltion (U-IND), the Imperial Conservatives Association (ICON), and the Centrist Party (©). The minor parties are the Augustgrad Union (AU), the Eleni Avacúmanóre (E), Greater Raumreich Alliance (GRA), the Progressive Peers Union (Prog.Peer), and the Vaterland Defence Party (VDP). Despite the number of parties present in the Lords, there remain a small, influential number of unassociated Peers, who are often critical in the passage of key votes and the formation of governing coalitions.

    Constitutional Reform Mechanism

    Prior to the Convention of Yalta, there was no formalised amending formula to modify the Constitutional Canon. The amendment process consisted of either modifying existing elements of the Canon through acts of the Diet, refining interpretations of the Canon through the College of Consuls, or the declaration of a State Congress (Staatliche Kongress) by the Crown with the consent of the Diet. Historically, State Congresses orchestrated major modifications or reforms to the Canon and produced documents like the Declaration of New Köln, the Morgan Protocols, and the Convention of Yalta. Legislative acts and court decisions dealt with minor reforms and adapting the Canon’s elements for contemporary developments beyond the original concepts of specific documents.

    The constitutional crises that beset the late Second Empire, as well as the empire’s expansion into a multi-system polity, led the Seventeenth State Congress to add constitutional amendment reform to its agenda and incorporate its decisions in the Convention of Yalta. The convention established a complete amending formula that both adopted new political customs and restoring two institutions that were essential to the amending procedures of the First Empire. The first part of the formula involved abolition of the Congress of Lords powers to dictate and alter future substantial constitutional reform (the Lords did retain the power to institute minor reforms through acts of the Diet) and the transferral of the power to propose constitutional reform to the Congress of the Dominions. The Congress of the Dominions is thus the initiator of what the convention referred to as the general amendment procedure.

    However, the delegates of the Seventeenth State Congress were skeptical of the Diet’s ability to address the need for sweeping constitutional reform expediently based on historical delays that necessitated State Congresses. This concern led to the incorporation of a permanent analysis, review, and modification system being established under the Convention of Yalta to supplement the general amendment procedure. This system is known as the aulic amendment procedure and is founded on the restoration of two historic bodies, the Imperial Aulic Council (Reichshofrat) and the Imperial Chamber Court (Reichskammergericht).

    The Aulic Council is a permanent body that possesses some aspects of a constitutional court, albeit without the College of Consuls’ power of judicial review, and more aspects of a constitutional commission. The Aulic Council consists of 15 members, with three appointed by the Crown, three appointed by the Congress of Lords, three appointed by the Congress of the Dominions, three appointed by both congress of the Diet, and three appointed by the College of Consuls. The Aulic Councillors do not serve a specified term, serving only at the leisure of the Monarch or the body that appointed them, but no more than one-third of the council’s seats may be vacant at any time. In practice, Crown councillors and judicial councillors are appointed for life or until resignation, the Lords’ councillors are tied to the Government, the Dominions’ councillors serve six-year long terms, and the councillors appointed by the Diet as a Whole typically serve 10 years or longer. The councillors elect a President of the Council from their ranks. The president serves a two-year long term and is limited to three terms, consecutive or nonconsecutive.

    The Aulic Council’s primary active is an annual review to evaluate the functionality and health of the Constitutional Canon. The councillors compare and review the existing Canon with those legislative acts and judicial decisions that relate to specific documents within the Canon or the Canon in its entirety. Based on its review, the Aulic Council issues a resolution that outlines the Canon’s present status and includes possible improvements or refinements through legislative acts. Both congresses of the Diet may refer draft legislation to the Aulic Council for consideration. A bill may be considered by the council at any time prior to its third reading and may be referred for consideration by an individual committee. The council reviews referred bills during its annual term and prepares a statement from the body. The statement includes the council’s opinion on the bill’s constitutionality and may additionally include recommended amendments or edits for the referring body to consider. The Aulic Council’s may not directly amend or edit any bills referred to it, and its statement does not prevent the imperial judiciary from ruling on the bill once it becomes law. The statement is, at best, a means for the government to assuage concerns regarding a particularly contentious bill.

    The Aulic Council’s greatest power rests in its ability to advance the aulic amendment procedure. In the event that the Aulic Council finds the Constitutional Canon is stressed or in conflict with the historic values of the empire, the council’s annual review will be followed by a Call to Court. The Call to Court functions as a declaration that requires a session of the Imperial Chamber Court, the second body reformed by the Convention of Yalta. The Imperial Chamber Court is a temporary body with a term set by the terms of the Aulic Council’s Call to Court. Its functions as a smaller body capable of bringing about more expedient change and reform than the traditional State Congresses. The Chamber Court’s membership consists of four-person delegations broadly established by the Convention of Yalta. For any session, the court is to consist of a delegation representing the Crown, a delegation representing the Government, and a delegation representing each dominion. Additionally, the empire’s Autonomous Communities may send non-voting observers to any sessions of the Imperial Chamber Court. The senior member of the College of Consuls presides over the Imperial Chamber Court, although matters of agenda and procedural issues are addressed by the Aulic Council in its capacity as the court’s steering committee.

    The powers of the Imperial Chamber Court are parallel to those of the State Congresses. The Chamber Court may amend existing components of the Canon or introduce entirely new documents into the Canon. However, the Chamber Court significantly differs from a State Congress in its voting procedures. A State Congress required a two-thirds majority of its members or a simple majority supported by a resolution of support from the majority of the dominions. The Chamber Court may add new elements to the Canon by a simple majority of its delegations and may amend the existing Canon as a whole, rather than being required to address each part of the Canon individually. To date, the aulic amendment procedure has not advanced beyond the level of the Aulic Council, but it is widely accepted by constitutional scholars that the aulic amendment procedure will entirely supplant that of the State Congresses.
    Last edited by Valinon on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:22 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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    Valinon
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    Left-Leaning College State

    Postby Valinon » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:03 pm



    Economy of Valinon

    Image
    View of Masovia Metropolitan District, Valinon’s premier financial centre
    New Arkhangelsk, Pholus, Alpha Centauri

    • Currency
      • Reichsmark (ℛℳ)
    • Organisation(s)
    • Major Corporations
      • BioDyne Industries
      • Corleigh Armaments & Development Corporation
      • Crown & Sword Banking Group
      • Inter-Solar System Security Force
      • Nova Technologies Syndicate
      • Pravati Shipping
      • Superluminal Transportation Technologies Corporation
      • Twin Star Lines Corporation
      • United Pholus Banking Guild
      • United Syberian Industrial Conglomerate
      • United Valinon Media Group
    Valinon is a partially regulated market economy that is fueled by a near-post scarcity access to resources, highly developed infrastructure, and the most productive economy in the Raumreich Oversector. At present, the imperial economy is the largest and most developed in the region. This position is being challenged by the economic hyper-development of Liberated new Hope and the recovery of the Ortagan and Verniian economies from the Great March War.

    Macro-economic indicators remain stable, despite the increased competitiveness of the post-war Raumreich. Valinon enjoys historic low rates of unemployment (ranging from 2.33 to 2.58 percent during the last three years), steady growth rates (ranging from 3.3 to 5.1 percent during the last decade), negligible inflation (ranging from 1.4 to 2.3 percent during the last 10 years), and miniscule public debt. Economic activity is dominated by knowledge-based industries (specifically the information technologies sector, financial services, and communications industry), shipping and transportation (particularly interstellar shipping and shipbuilding), and complex heavy industries (including arms manufacture, bio- and nano- tech industries, energy production, and terraforming). The emerging industrial sectors are led by quantum entanglement and field technologies and the matter alteration and manipulation industries--both stimulated by the Great March War. The empire’s economic heart is Alpha Centauri, and its industrial heartland is formed by a triumvirate of Alpha Centauri, Archangel, and Yalta.

    Imperial taxation laws are progressive and considered among the most pro-business in the liberalised Raumreich. There is no national income tax, and imperial revenues are mostly generated by a highly developed system of value added taxes (VAT), several flat corporate taxes, and limited tariffs or other customs dues. While the imperial government uses its financial power to influence the market, direct government involvement in the economy is limited to the point of effective nonexistence. The footprint of the public sector is negligible within the total economy.

    Services and knowledge-based industries account for more than 40 percent of economic growth. These industries are bolstered by a strong domestic market and enhanced by a regional dependency on many services based in Valinon. Financial industries are lightly regulated and banking privacy is zealously guarded by the industry and the imperial government.

    The manufacturing sector’s centre are complex and heavy industries that are dependent on and supported by Valinon’s extensive knowledge, infrastructure, and technology base. In other categories, Valinon’s industries are beginning to lag behind other nations in the Raumreich--especially those of Liberated New Hope. The defence industrial base is highly developed, and there is no substantial regional equal to it since the demise of the Ortagan Hegemony. Drone manufacturing and shipbuilding continue to be areas of unquestioned dominance for Valinon. Private military and security concerns are traditionally strong areas of the economy that are showing pronounced sustained growth as the Raumreich community returns to playing a more active role in galactic affairs.

    Valinon enjoys an abundance of habitable worlds, especially in comparison to many of its immediate neighbors. This significantly deflates the empire’s population density and is the basis for the smaller cities and bucolic communities that predominate much of the empire. Easy access to land is the primary foundation of the robust agricultural sector. While no longer at the forefront of economic activity, agricultural exports contribute between 15 to 20 percent of annual exports to the Raumreich and Solarian markets.

    The promotion of free trade is a hallmark of foreign policy and allows Valinon to attract high levels of foreign investment. The empire’s major trading partners include the nations of the Raumreich, the highly developed Sol system, the Orion Sector, and several smaller regions.

    Export Economy

    The Valinor economy’s most visible international economic footprint is produced by its arms and defence exports, communications industry, financial and banking sectors, shipbuilding and shipping, and terraforming and planetology services. While more regulated than Verniian arm exports, Valinon remains a large arms exporter due to its involvement with the Verge and its allies beyond the Raumreich.

    Valinon’s economy is traditionally export-oriented, but it is primary export markets were limited to regional and specifically targeted markets prior to the Great March War. The end of the war is seeing the imperial economy establish a more diverse range of export markets throughout the quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. While some export markets remain dominated by traditional corporate powerhouses, the reengagement with the greater galactic community spawned more than a dozen new firms that are more closely tied to the new emerging markets than any of the traditional markets for exports. This newer generation of corporations specialise in heavy engineering, holding and export firms, localised capital investment, private infrastructure projects, and shipping to emergent markets.

    The Department for International Trade, part of the Ministry for Economic and Commercial Affairs, reports that export recipients of the dominions account for 311 single-stellar, multi-stellar, or smaller polities, excluding those states within the Raumreich Oversector. Additionally, the imperial government is currently a net financial creditor and direct investor in more than 100 nations, mostly located in the Raumreich and Sol with all additional recipients in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Alpha and Beta quadrants. Valinon’s principal trading partners in order of precedence are the Raumreich (New Ortaga, Vernii, and Liberated New Hope) community, the Martian community (Mangala, Sunset, and Tarasovka), and parts of Earth (Knootoss, the Federated Klatchian Peninsula, and several smaller states). Chief commercial exports include information technologies, manufactured goods, environment engineering technologies, and exotic/specialised goods. The Metternicht Government implemented the first sovereign bond issue during peacetime in 1709 IAC to raise additional funding for the programmes of the Imperial Projects and System Development Act, but it specifically declined to allow the bond issue to be made public and continued the standing prohibition of trading bonds on domestic and international stock markets. The Metternicht Government did eliminate many of the regulations restricting sale of more common treasury stock issues to international markets and finally abolished perpetual bonds, which were last issued during the reign of Gustav II.

    Stock Exchanges & Indexes

    The Imperial Trade and Industrial Exchange (I-TIE) is the largest stock exchange by market capitalisation in Valinon and in the Raumreich Oversector. Most major Valinor corporations are listed on the I-TIE, and it also includes numerous foreign corporations from the Raumreich and Sol. The I-TIE is not the empire’s only stock exchange. Most of the dominions can claim at least one stock exchange as a legacy of their history as sovereign nations. While these smaller exchanges represent considerable amounts of investment capital when compared to developing nations, they all pale in comparison to the I-TIE and the three other major stock exchanges.

    Besides the I-TIE, the three other major exchanges are the Ibstock Securities Exchange of Yalta (IBSE), the Falas Stock Exchange of Archangel (F-SEX), and the Pholus Securities Listing Forum (PhoSecFo). The I-TIE and IBSE are both operated by ValSec, Inc., a for-profit corporation. ValSec is the largest operator of security exchanges in Valinon and also operates several smaller dominion exchanges. The company was created when ValNex, Inc., (operator of the I-TIE) merged with the Royal Securities Corporation (operator of the IBSE). ValSec’s two exchanges represent the most diversified collection of corporate listings in Valinon. F-SEX is operated by a public corporation originally created by the Falas government prior to its incorporation into Valinon. The Falas exchange is the second largest exchange by market capitalisation and is noted for its listings of heavy industrial and mining companies. PhoSecFo is the smallest of the major exchanges and is noted for lists of financial groups and information technology concerns. It is the only exchange owned by its members.

    A peculiarity to note in Valinon’s exchange environment is the time period referred to as the Golden 97. This the name of a 97-minute long period when all the empire’s major and planetary stock exchanges are active. Many industrial and financial services devote consider time and effort to analyzing the patterns and events of this time period. It is commonly thought of providing an image of the empire’s economy as a whole and is closely followed by Valinon’s major trading partners in the Raumreich and Sol. The Golden 97 is part of the Traders’ Girth, the four hour-long period when the I-TIE, IBSE, F-SEX, and PhoSecFo are simultaneously active.

    The Sigismund Industrial Average--referred to as the SIA or the Average--is the most widely followed stock market index in Valinon. SIA records how the 45 largest publicly owned companies based in Valinon traded during the standard sessions of the major exchanges where the companies are listed. SIA weights and offers detailed analysis of both the Golden 97 and the Trader’s Girth. SIA was originally created by Mikhail Sigismund, a noted economist of the Second Empire. The index was owned by the Sigismund Financial Advisement Group at its creation, but it was sold to the Proxima Financial Publishing Corporation in 1553 IAC, 30 years after Mikhail Sigismund’s death. ValSec, Inc., made periodic attempts to acquire SIA from Proxima Financial but is currently seeking to purchase the entire Proxima Financial corporation.

    SIA’s major competitor is the VIRU Capital International Indicator (VIRU-CIND). VIRU-CIND is maintained by the members of the Valinor Industrial and Research Unity, It is noted for its inclusion of international firms, with a specific requirement that certain percentages of its index be drawn from Liberated New Hope, New Ortaga, and Vernii.

    Major Economic Groups

    Valinon’s economy with its limited regulation and government footprint promotes an environment that fosters the forming of larger corporations and conglomerates. While these larger entities control a majority proportion of the empire’s wealth, many of them use smaller private firms and contract cooperatives to perform work and allow them to diversify their employed personnel. This complicated arrangement creates a high degree of corporate competition and a considerable degree of corporate intrigue. These factors drive the formation of larger corporate factions or groups that possess varying degrees of power and membership. There are currently four major economic groups that account for the most of Valinon’s extensive private sector. Two of these groups are formally organised while the remaining two are more unofficial in character.

    Valinor Industrial & Research Unity (VIRU)

    VIRU is the largest coalition of corporate interests in the empire. The organisation was originally created to serve as a counterbalance to the corruption and monopolistic practices of the now-defunct United Guilds of Valinon. It is now a vastly expanded organisation that works to further economic growth and foster positive competition throughout the Valinor economy. VIRU views efforts towards these ends as key to preserving the nation’s economic independence and competitiveness internationally. VIRU supports several economic development programmes for lesser developed nations, frequently working in conjunction with the Foreign Ministry and the Office of Verge Affairs. These programmes are aimed at creating and opening new markets for investment from Valinon. The corporate members also support several independent regulatory bodies that are operated by VIRU staff. This is seen as a better alternative than opening a window to government regulation. VIRU regulation encompasses numerous safety measures, basic health benefits, and favourable wage improvement programmes. It follows a general pattern of mild paternalism.

    Major Members: BioDyne Industries; Crown & Sword Banking Group; Jacobs Combine; Nova Technologies Syndicate; Pravati Shipping, Incorporated; Solar Industrial Cartel; Starwind Interstellar; Twin Star Lines Corporation; Twin Suns Power Solutions, Limited; United Valinon Media Group

    United Conglomerates of Valinon (UCov)

    UCoV is the economic power behind Baron Alexei Mironneko’s Augustgrad Union political organisation. Its members are the last six universal conglomerates left within the empire. These aged hyper-corporations produce everything from common household appliances to heavy industrial machinery. UCoV is dominated by the United Syberian Industrial Conglomerate (USIC), which is controlled by the Mironenko family. The organisation advocates programmes of protectionism and extreme deregulation, even by Valinor standards. Many political pundits and theorists believe the Augustgrad Union will eventually vanish from the Diet, but very few experts predict that this will result in the end of UCoV. The conglomerates still represent a large percentage of the empire’s manufacturing sector, and its members dominate much of the mining and refining industries. UCoV enjoys a significant presence in the domestic market and is competing with many newer corporations for market share throughout the Verge.

    Major Members: Five Planets Mining Corporation, Katsumo Shipping Conglomerate, Prometheus Mining Corporation, Rasalhague Industrial Conglomerate, Vervun Industrial Combine, United Syberian Industrial Conglomerate

    Turin Combine

    Officially, the Turin Combine does not exist, but its unofficial presence is felt everywhere. The period of expansion that ended the economic domination of Alpha Centauri-based conglomerates also ended the traditional partnership between the old hyper-corps and the United Pholus Banking Guild (UPBG). The Turins--the family dominating the empire’s largest bank for centuries--saw the fate awaiting their former allies and decided to break rank. It was decision that yielded infinitely more opportunities. While the UPBG wields considerable power as Valinon’s largest financial institution, its power is magnified when it works in coordination with the other financial powers of Pholus. This bloc represents the largest concentration of capital and financial power within the Raumreich. Their power is given a more physical form by the Tactical Solutions Group, a private security firm funded by the Turins and their allies.

    Major Members: Kruger Imperial Bank, Olbers Foundation, Seisinger Financial Group, Tactical Solutions Group, United Pholus Banking Guild

    Private Security Companies & Organisations

    A policy of universal male conscription and a historic culture of military service leave Valinon with a sophisticated arms manufacturing sector and a surplus of trained military personnel. Many veterans continue to serve in the Imperial Armed Forces for decades, but an appreciable number leave the service in favor of the greater profits of the private security sector. The number of contractors increased greatly after mercenaries were granted status equal to other prisoners of war by the Second Proxima Centauri Accords. Valinon’s private security organisations are vital to the empire’s economic prosperity. These companies and their employees defend convoys and facilities within the empire’s expansive economic sphere but well outside the volume of space routinely patrolled by the Kriegsmarine or the Office of Verge Affairs’ security forces.

    The private security companies do not maintain an industrial organisation like VIRU or UCoV. However, there are significant ties among the major firms in the industry. Besides following the requirements of the Second Proxima Centauri Accords, most of the private security sector emulates the practices and procedures of the Inter-Solar System Security Force (ISSSF). ISSSF is the largest private security company in the empire. It operates a powerful fleet of warships and maintains a well-trained ground force. The company regularly seeks candidates from the Imperial Armed Forces and various dominion militias. In recent years, the ISSSF dedicated more resources to develop contacts and contracts outside the Raumreich than any other area of space.

    Finally, the best security firms are known to effectively blacklist clients found to act in bad faith or violate common industrial standards. Businesses and individuals that acquire such a reputation find it virtually impossible to secure reliable security services.

    Major Private Security Companies: Executive Outcomes, Haze, Inter-Solar System Security Force, Jericho Private Contractors Group, Littel Government Services, Masterson Security Corporation, NuForce, Phule’s Company, Thorvald Military Corporation, White Company

    Labour Organisations & Unions

    Valinon is not openly hostile to the concept of organised labour, but the empire resists the formation of large, nationwide labour organisations. This is a historic and cultural tendency that is a remnant of the Collective Wars--a conflict spearheaded by radical political organisations that started as small labour organisations. There are currently no large organised labour movements in Valinon. The absence of strong industrial regulation outside of environmental and security concerns suggests that no such organisations will form in the near future. Previous instances of extreme corporate abuse were dealt with ruthlessly by the government after citizen petitions called for action. The majority of Valinor believe that the government is the only organisation with the means and authority to effectively counter the nation’s powerful economic concerns.

    Several dominions are home to more powerful labour organisations. These specifically include Madras, Mars (more specifically the territory of the former Federal Republic of Noachia), and Pelledrine. Efforts by these local organisations to expand are frequently frustrated by cultural differences among the dominions and a disinterest driven by the high level of prosperity enjoyed across the empire.
    "We do not care where you go, but you cannot stay here."
    The Honorable Herr William H. Keith to all 'colonization/relocation/refugee' convoys/missions en route to Alpha Centauri
    Her Imperial Majesty's Foreign Ministry, Special Office for Border Control & Forcible Deportation

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