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The Pink Diary

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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Yohannes
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The Pink Diary

Postby Yohannes » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:56 pm



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About the Diary



The Pink Diary is a book of national information collection, written by a young intern in the Realm of Yohannes to explore the culture, economy and politics of her nation. The Diary uses the referencing style of the American Psychological Association (APA Style 7th edition), and is published by the Library of Parliament in the broadsheet format and online on NationStates, Theme: Rift.





Contents

About the DiaryThe Pink Diary
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Re: The Pink Diary

Postby Yohannes » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:36 pm

The Rule of Law


The Rule of Law of the Six Introductory Principles has its origin in Yohannes and is the most fundamental building block of the Nineteen Countries constitutional system (Out-of-Character, 2018). It depends on the unspoken agreement between the individual and the state—the subject and their ruler. They must sacrifice some rights and accept certain responsibilities. The individual protected by the state must be willing to sacrifice a certain degree of freedom in the name of law. In return, the state must exercise restraint and act in conformity with existing laws.

The development of the Six Introductory Principles can be traced back to the earliest mention of the rule of law by the Alexandrian jury constituted ad hoc by Frederick William I in 1509. They were local villagers summoned by the king to settle a land reform dispute between two influential property owners in the village of Altenmark. A party who won the agreements of 11 villagers would win. Its trace can still be seen today, where liability is decided by 11 citizens of the realm, or in the case of a grand jury, where a party must win the support of 11 jury members out of 21.


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Figure 1.1 The Two-Power Standard was formulated to help Yohannes guarantee the Rule of Law in its maritime trade routes (Goldwert, 2020).



Limited Separation of Powers

According to Governance of the Nineteen Countries, there are three branches of the Realm Government: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary. The Realm Government, headed by the Chancellor of the Nineteen Countries and supervised by the Yohannesian Emperor, is the face of the executive branch. The Realm Parliament, assembled by the Electoral College and headed by the Speaker, is the face of the legislative branch. The Justices of the Peace, appointed by the Emperor and supervised by the Realm Parliament, is the face of the judiciary branch.

In organisational manners, each of these three branches has a separate existence with their own traditions and methods of recruitment. There is a separation of personnel, with only one contradictory element to that statement: the executive is a part of the legislature. The Realm Parliament includes both the Chancellor and the (Electoral and Listed) Members. Further, cabinet members, or Ministers of the Realm, are members of both the executive and the legislature. The executive and the legislative branches have their own functions for the most part, with only some overlapping roles and activities. One example of this is the way in which the executive includes itself in legislative actions (such as the involvement of select committees) both to represent itself as an administrator, but also as part of the legislative body at the same time. The Justices of the Peace are also included in statute law review.


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Figure 1.2 Yohannes First versus the Greens in "Vote2018 First Leaders' Debate"—Limited Separation of Powers at play (Electoral Debates' Hansard, 2018).



The Three Executive

The Executive Branch, representing the Nineteen Countries in Yohannes overseas, to the countries of the international community, to the World Assembly, and to entities of non-nation-state nature, is divided into three bodies. The first is the Head of State. She or he is the Emperor, Empress, or Imperial Monarch. The words are interchangeable in Yohannes, unlike overseas, with "Emperor" often used for a female monarch (e.g. Her Majesty Garnet Til Alexandros the 17th Yohannesian Emperor). The second is the Chancellor, leading the Ministers of the Realm, who, together with their Ministers, are elected parliamentary members—they are voted into office by registered voters from the general electorates. Traditionally, the Ministers of the Realm are the advisers of the Head of State. However, in modern day Yohannes, that point has been completely ignored—since the Second Industrial Growth era (1850–1900), the Emperor has been the supervisor, the Chancellor the executive catalyst, and the Ministers of the Realm the executors of laws.

It has to be noted that even today, the Emperor has very extensive powers, on paper, but they cannot be exercised freely—and in the case that this tradition is broken, the unfavourable reactions of the people, which include those elected Members of Parliament, would convince the offending incumbent to immediately submit themself to public scrutiny or, worse still, resign. The Ministries, further, are not static in nature. Election results and the resulting interparty negotiations can create new ministries, delete existing ministries, or reform more than one to become one, within reason (e.g. budget crisis means the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Industry will become one). The Ministry is an aggregate which meets as part of the Cabinet of the Nineteen Countries. The Chancellor, heading this cabinet, enjoys preeminent position as Head of Government of the Nineteen Countries. Only the Emperor can override the Chancellor's authority as a reviewer of the Chancellor's actions.

In theory, the Ministers must act professionally for Yohannes the nation-state, regardless of their personal political allegiances; should be non-political in their bureaucratic orientation; and should be neutral in the context of inter-party interactions. Realistically, however, sometimes boundaries are broken, much to the chagrin of political pundits and middle ground voters. The Ministries must follow the orders of their Ministers, and must help the Ministers of the Realm to turn laws into reality, on the ground, everyday across the Nineteen Countries.


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Figure 1.3 Marion Maréchal-Le Men, the first woman to be elected Yohannesian Emperor (Electoral Debates' Hansard, 2018).



The Will of Parliament

The Will of Parliament is a concept taken from the foreign constitutions of Brancaland, Brasilistan and Maxtopia. The concept, well-known and widely seen in many other countries, means that an Act of the Realm supersedes and is prioritised above all other public and private entities in the Nineteen Countries. The Act of the Realm is not limited by any legal barriers, and under the Realm Nineteen Countries Amendment Act 1970, the Realm Parliament received full authorities as the editor and eraser of existing Acts. The Justices of the Peace cannot eradicate or make unlawful the Will of Parliament, once it has passed the tables of Parliament. The Justices of the Peace of the Realm can, however, overrule the Will of Parliament, if they believe that a documented law has not followed proper procedures.

Finally, it must also be taken into consideration that in the Nineteen Countries, the Will of Parliament to impose its Act does not mean that Parliament, by itself, is the ultimate bearer of justice. The executive and the legislature must be able and willing to work together effectively. Since the executive body by legal acknowledgement (section 103 of the Realm Nineteen Countries Amendment Act 1970), and by tradition (since the Second Industrial Growth era), has practically all the powers over non-ministerial, elected Electoral and Listed Members, the Will of Parliament can be abused by the executive body to assert its will over the legislative body, insofar as consent has already been given by the majority support of Parliament's members.


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Figure 1.4 Excerpt from "Money for Christ"—the Will of Parliament at play (University of Yohannes Vice-Chancellor, 2019).



The Rule of Law

According to Governance of the Nineteen Countries (HM The Queen, 1998), the principles of the Rule of Law and its existence must divide the international community of countries into two: the civilised nation-state, and those of the uncivilised nation-state. The Rule of Law describes a situation whereby the action of the executive must be executed throughout the realm in accordance with existing laws passed in Parliament verbatim. The Justices of the Peace, leading the higher courts of the realm, must have the power to examine, without obstruction, diversion or corruption, the legality of each and every one of the Acts passed by Parliament, the action of cabinet members and their ministries in relation to the Act, and the action of state-sponsored bodies in relation to the Act.

The Justices of the Peace must not, however, make legally null the application of an Act, once it has followed proper procedures, word for word, and recorded by the Gazette of the Realm.


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Figure 1.5 An excerpt from "Know Your History—by specialist litigation and arbitration lawyer Jennifer Chua-Küchler" (Chua-Küchler, 2019).



Responsibility of a Realm Ministry

The responsibility of a Realm Ministry can be divided into three: support of the majority, responsibility before the majority, and leader of their assembly. The first, support of the majority, means the support of majority Electoral and Listed Members in Parliament, supervised by the Electoral College, will be required for a ministry to successfully carry its task. Another reason is because the head of a ministry must come from Parliament itself. The second, responsibility before the majority, means a ministry is accountable for the action of every department or body acting on its behalf. The minister, as head of that ministry, must defend her or himself, before Members of the opposing political parties in Parliament, if they are to be required for an Act of the Realm to be legislated into reality.

All public expenditure and related materials must be accredited by the Justices of the Peace. The lack of such approval means the minister, as head of the ministry, will not be able to use the material to defend their position. A minister is, in essence, the leader of their pack, which is the third point of responsibility. They will be responsible, before Parliament, for all publicly aired views by government and state sponsored officials and by their subordinates in their ministry and its associated bodies. The Responsibility of a Realm Ministry mean the legislature will have the power to judge and review a ministerial body of the realm. It can, however, be abused by some ministers of the realm, for the confidential nature of them speaking before Parliament means that members of the public will not know about the information presented by these ministers that may affect them.



The Opposing Forces

She or he elected and chosen as the public face of the non-governing largest party in Parliament, or the second largest party in Yohannes, is given the title of Realm Head of Opposition to speak on behalf of the Opposing Forces. This inherited practice was handed down from the early days of politics in Yohannes before the Second Industrial Growth era, when the state of political party administration was poor compared to today's standards. Then, more than one person, sometimes up to five, spoke on behalf of the opposing parties in Parliament against the governing parties. The need for practicality and precedents slowly reduced the number of representatives to just one. The Realm Head of Opposition has special privileges not given to other Electoral and Listed Members in Parliament—in effect, making them almost equal in status to the Chancellor of the day.

Just like the Chancellor, the Realm Head of Opposition can speak on behalf of the Nineteen Countries overseas, although not officially, to show the other side of public opinion about certain foreign policy issues happening outside Yohannes. The title is an ad hoc creation; it was not recorded by any previous Act of the Realm, nor was it recorded by wills. It is a position founded entirely out of necessity, as time progressed since the independence of the Nineteen Countries in Yohannes from ancient Yanitaria. It shows how parliamentary practice and the nature of politics in Yohannes are continually moving, within reason and within the bounds of existing conventions. If future political situation in the country allows it, there may well be more than one Head of the Opposition again.


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Figure 1.6 Physical and Intellectual Disability Day 2019—the Opposing Forces at play (Office of Embassy and Consulate Programme, 2019).


The Realm Head of Opposition has the fourth-highest salary in Parliament assembled, behind only the Chancellor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade; in that order. The party they belong to is known as the Leading Party of the Opposition, and Electoral and Listed Members of Parliament and Elected Collegians of the Nineteen Countries from their party are seated opposite the governing party, next to the Speaker of the Realm Parliament. The Speaker has the power to remove an existing Head of Opposition, if two or more non-governing parties have clear leading power to represent the opposition; that is, from equal number of popular votes. The Head of the Opposition enjoys all the privileges the Chancellor has, with the exception of the tools of government; and they are briefed on important nation-state matters concerning the Nineteen Countries, such as its international trade and commerce, intelligence, and so on.



Sanctioned amendments

The Rule of Law has nine sanctioned amendments.


First Amendment—Investigation and Review

All bodies corporate and persons susceptible to investigation and review by Yohannes the nation-state must be emphasised for the purposes of constitutional clarity. They are as follows:

  • The working groups of Parliament and the Realm, in accordance with the third introductory principle of the Will of Parliament;
  • The heads of government departments, in accordance with the fifth introductory principle of Responsibility of a Realm Ministry;
  • The incorporated bodies, in accordance with the Nation State Companies Act 1943;
  • The Inferior courts and the statutory tribunals, in accordance with the Justices of the Peace Act 1787;
  • The local and regional authorities, in accordance with the Local and Regional Authority Corporation Act 1914;
  • The Ministers of the Realm, in accordance with the second introductory principle of the Three Executive;
  • The private sector organisations of the Realm, in accordance with the fourth introductory principle of the Rule of Law; and
  • The unincorporated public bodies, in accordance with the Realm Services Act 1921.


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Figure 1.7 Queen Sansa reports on the reawakening of Automagfreek in Gholgoth—Investigation and Review at play (Office of Private Secretary, 2019).


Entrusted with powers in some respects of a public nature, a large number of decisions are subject to government review at the federal level. The Justices of the Peace scrutinise the exercise of any such rights, powers and privileges. This power is not considered as material or general but of the specific nature, whether by statute or by prerogative. Parliament is the primary review authority, in consultation with the Electoral College. Reserved for cases of imperative public importance, the Justices of the Peace act as secondary authority.


Second Amendment—Economy and Industry

With the independence of the Nineteen Countries, the establishment of the Electoral College, the ascendancy of Parliament and the foundation of the Justices of the Peace, with the national objectives: the modernisation and industrialisation of the independent, united states in Yohannes, and to reach the same quality or standard as the economically and technologically superior countries of the Western world, there must be created a fairly uniform coinage; a commercial code for industry and trade; a government bank and a consortium of heavy industry (VMK Defence & Steel Works, 2017); the emphasis on freedom and free trade with the West and those civilised countries of the Orient, such as Meiji Japan; the abolition of inherited representation of the landed gentry in local and regional councils of the united states in Yohannes; the liberalisation of the power of any company and equal body of commerce of the realm to borrow, raise, or secure payment of currency in such manner as the body may think fit; the legislative authority of Parliament in the field of tariffs and commercial policies and economic and trade matters, such as land and maritime traffic and transportation infrastructure, weights and measures, consular rights and sub-state diplomacy; and other matters important to the economic well-being of these united states in Yohannes.


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Figure 1.8 The Bank of Yohannes was designated in 1871 as the Yohannesian Government's banker (Bank of Yohannes, 2020).


Fourth Amendment—Financial Security

The guarantee of financial security is very important to ensuring the independence of the judicature and the everyday machinery of government. Remuneration for judges, public officers, and other non-partisan constituents of nation-state machinery must not fall beneath a minimum level that could be perceived as exposing them to economic manipulation, political obstruction and tempting corruption. This amendment ordains that there must be no reduction of salary for any such contributing constituent of nation-state machinery. This amendment further strengthens that guarantee by placing the salaries of any such contributing constituent above the jurisdictions of all future commissions—except the Administrative Financial Security Commission of the Nineteen Countries, answerable to the Justices of the Peace, but having the right to protection by the Office of the President of the Electoral College.

Indirect and non-discriminatory reductions in salaries of the contributing constituents are allowed, in so far as they will not breach the limitation imposed by the Commission—for instance, inflation, as they also affect the public at large. Another example is the decision of the government to directly increase revenues by increasing tax rates, as they will affect all persons of the realm.


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Figure 1.9 Inflation is excluded from the purview of the Fourth Amendment, because it also affects the public at large (Ministry of Education, 2019).


Sixth Amendment—Law of the Sea

The Law of the Sea encompasses the laws regulating navigation and commerce of the territorial sea, continental shelf, and exclusive zone of trade and commerce of the Nineteen Countries. In Unity Law, the Law of the Sea is to be found primarily in statutes and in the decisions of the Justices of the Peace. For the purposes of historical inquiry, the Law of the Sea was derived from the admiralty and maritime jurisdictions of such bodies of law in Common Law countries.

The Law of the Sea states that as an island country, the seas surrounding the Nineteen Countries must be protected by ships of the Navy, for the purposes of nation-state protection. All undeclared ships of a military nature found in the territorial sea of the Nineteen Countries must be seized of jurisdiction; arrested, confronted, and be seized permanently as property of the Nineteen countries, from the date of transfer of jurisdiction by the Admiralty Court of the Justices of the Peace.


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Figure 1.10 The Commonwealth Navy protects Yohannes' trade and capital flows with the country's commercial partners (Goldwert, 2020).


A ship is defined as including any description of vessel used in navigation. The non-exclusive definition of ship can be contrasted with other statutory definitions applicable in the context of the limitation of liability for claims relating to ships, and the registration of such ships. The question whether a particular object meets the definition of ship is a matter of jurisdiction. The question can arise in relation to ships withdrawn from navigation and ships used for alternative purpose; ships under construction or repair; and objects which operate at sea but which have, as their primary purpose, something other than navigation in mind.

For the purposes of bottomry, jurisdiction must still be applied. The same must also be applied for the purposes of respondentia. Under ancient bonds of the kind, the lender took the risks of the ship being lost—in this case, to the jurisdiction of the Nineteen Countries. Any future charges and mortgages must also be treated in kind.



Tools of government

According to the Halsten Law Review's "The Rule of Law Abridged," the tools of government are the principles and practices of public administration in a sovereign country.


Acts and bills

Main dispatch: Act of Parliament and Statute of the Realm

Legislation is proposed into Parliament's chamber in the form of bills. Bills may be nation-state bills, local and regional bills, or citizen bills. Nation-state bills are bills which affect the entire jurisdiction of the Nineteen Countries. Local and regional bills are bills which affect only a particular local or regional government in Yohannes. Citizen bills are bills which affect only a particular entity or individual or group of entities or individuals. Bills introduced by a Minister of the Realm on behalf of the Executive Council are formally called domestic nation-state issues bills. Bills introduced by individual members are formally called individual minor bills. Individual minor bills rarely pass, and are usually introduced only to stimulate debate and discussion on controversial or contemporary issues. However, a few minor bills have passed into law, such as the Legalised Homosexuality Act 1945 and the International Cultural and Education Exchange Act 1971.


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Figure 1.11 The Higher Education Amendment Bill 2017 (archaic) is a domestic nation-state issues bill (Education Pathway, 2017).


An Act of Parliament and Statute of the Realm, shortened "Act of the Realm," is a bill which has become law. An Act comes into force on its declaration day, unless written otherwise. Each Act starts with a description and long title summarising its purpose—they are included as the Act's constitutional title, but in practice the Act itself is referred to by the official short title given before its introduction. For instance, "An Act to amend the Food Safety and Compliance Act, to create the Food and Energy Institute of Technology, and to define its function and powers of 1980" (long title) becomes the "Food Safety and Compliance Amendment Act 1980." The same practice is applied for nation-state Acts, local and regional Acts and citizen Acts as they are also done for nation-state bills, local and regional bills and citizen bills.


Consolidated accounts and estimates

Main dispatch: Official legislative publications

Parliament administers the voting of money for government at the federal level—that is, the executive council as led by the Chancellor. Parliament also administers the voting of the executive council money, and the careful examination and inspection of public expenditure. For this reason, the details of current and projected expenditure must be published so they can be evaluated and debated.

Every year the Minister of the Treasury and Wealth Fund provides a Budget to Parliament. The Budget is both a policy statement and an introduction to the financial statement of the executive council's income and expenditure; its financial proposals for the following year and its fundamental debt. The budget is accompanied by Estimates of Appropriations (shortened Appropriations), in which organisations of the executive council which are funded by the taxpayers of the realm and the public purse (e.g. capital gains tax, tariff) outline the money they will need for the approaching year. Their Appropriations give details of the previous year's expenditure, and since the turn of the century, they have included a brief summary or short-form spoken account. The Budget and Appropriations are the result of the long debate and discussion undertaken by the Three Executive and the ruling party or coalition's caucus. Under the reforms implemented by the Government Budget Transparency Amendment Act 1997, ministerial corporate plans and performance agreements between Ministers of the Realm and chief executives of the respective executive council organisations falling within their areas of responsibility have been integrated into the budget cycle every year.


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Figure 1.12 Every overseas investment bill must go through the final vote, where Parliament can either pass the bill or reject it ("Bank of Pambudia Investment Act," 2019).


Ministers of the Realm and their chief executives review performance from the previous year, develop plans and resource requirements for the next year, and submit this information to the Office of the Minister of the Treasury and Wealth Fund, along with strategic plans and fiscal outlook paper for both the Minister of the Treasury and Wealth Fund and the Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade. The executive council, led by the Chancellor, reviews this and other information and tries to find other strategies before deciding on its official fiscal priorities. Taking this into consideration, the chief executives can release their corporate plans, performance agreements, and appropriations; and finally, the ministerial half-yearly financial statements which will be compiled, audited and tabled in Parliament's chamber. After another assessment by the executive council, the corporate plans and appropriations can be amended, with the latter included into the first Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year—that is, the Budget itself. This must be tabled in Parliament by the end of the second quarter of that fiscal year (e.g. Estimates of Appropriations FY 2018-19).

The Budget and Appropriations are then debated in Parliament. The Select Committees on Ways and Means and Finance and Expenditure are tasked with carefully examining and assessing the Appropriations. Prior to the enactment of the Imperial Nineteen Countries Amendment Act 1970, two weeks would be given exclusively for the Appropriations debate, but the changes brought into force since then have reduced that to only one, with the chance to debate the performance and requirements of individual executive council organisations be given later.


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Figure 1.13 Parliament's existence affects all Yohannesian citizens and permanent residents. Residents and legal persons can voice their thoughts by making a submission to the Select Committee (Möller Barristers and Solicitors, 2019).


After the passing of the Appropriation Act, which sanctions all expenditure by the government, the Ministers of the Realm can compile performance agreements with their chief executives. Thereafter, ministerial corporate plans are released for member of the public to digest. At some later stage, ministerial annual reports for the previous year will be prepared, audited and tabled in Parliament's chamber. The select committees then examine the performance of the individual Ministries of the Realm and the executive council organisations within their areas of responsibility. The Committee of the Whole Parliament will then assemble for one week to start the annual budget analysis debate. Ministers of the Realm and their chief executives can report about the objectives of their agencies and organisations next year.


Electoral debates

Main topic: Yohannes Parliamentary Debates (archaic)

The Electoral Debates' Hansard—commonly shortened to Hansard, after Matthäus Fehr von und zu Hansard—is Parliament's publication which records nation-state legislative activities. Administered by Archives Yohannes, it publishes official speeches and debates in the legislature. Every year since 1871, many documents have been tabled in Parliament's debating chamber for the consideration of its members. The definition of "tabled" is just that: the papers so chosen are laid on the large table of the debating chamber, in front of the Speaker’s chair.

Tabled documents include almost every report made by executive council departments and some statutory bodies. They also include the reports of foreign diplomats and the World Assembly's International Incidents authors; international agreements, conventions and developments which could affect Yohannes' overseas investment and trade; financial statements and economic reports, including budgets, expenditure estimates and government accounts; and legislative instruments and commission, quango and select committee reports. Biennially, a few parliamentary orders are printed, though in practice, most have already been published online, so this is simply a formality. Collectively, Parliament's official papers are known as Annual Report to Parliament (ARP). The Parliament House Administration Publishing Office is the agency responsible for selling these official papers to members of the public.


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Figure 1.14 Excerpt from "Monthly Report to Parliament—June Fiscal Quarter 2019 Economic Summary" (Ministry of the Treasury and Wealth Fund, 2019).


The reports of almost every executive council organisation are published in the ARP, though over the years there have been some anomalies—the Ministry of Continental Security does not publish any report, for obvious reasons, although a report is published about government surveillance and interception warrants; the Office of Embassy and Consulate Programme did not publish its replies before the turn of the century; the now defunct Nineteen Countries Guild of Commerce, Industry and Trade did not publish its reports, unlike its successor the Chambers of Industry and Commerce Yohannes; and finally, the Bank of Yohannes did not publish its Monetary Target Consensus until the second half of the 20th century.


Parliament

Main topic: Realm Parliament

The Limited Separation of Powers, which established the Electoral College in 1781, and thus created the Parliament of the Nineteen Countries, used the term "Imperial Parliament" rather than "Parliament." Parliament and "Realm Parliament," however, soon came into popular usage, and in latter years especially have been used as a lazy shorthand term for both the institutions of the Electoral College and the Realm (archaic: "Imperial") Parliament. Not until the First Amendment came into force on 5 August 1861 did "Parliament" also become an official constitutional term.


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Figure 1.15 The unofficial logo of the Realm Parliament since 1945. Parliament is the unicameral legislature of the Nineteen Countries.


Parliament today, broadly speaking, consists of the Assembly of Electors in the Nineteen Countries (Collegian Electors of the Nation State) and the Realm Parliament (Members of the Realm Parliament) itself. The role of the President of the Electoral College, who is also the elected Yohannesian Emperor at the same time, is purely formal. She or he is constantly absent from the Chamber of Electors to fulfill their executive duties and obligations as chief supervisor of the Executive Council. The real business of Parliament is carried out by the elected Realm Parliament, with members of the Electoral College themselves often attending the Realm Parliament's meetings to voice their views on day-to-day state matters. The functions of Parliament are to enact laws; to provide an Executive Council (i.e. federal government); to vote for departmental Appropriations (e.g. supplying money); and to examine the way the money is spent. Most importantly, Parliament also serves as the highest debating chamber in the land on public issues, and has the ultimate authority to redress citizens' grievances on petitions.


The Justices of the Peace

Main dispatch: Justices of the Peace Act 1787

The Constitution of the Justice of the Peace Institution was established by the passing of the Justices of the Peace Act 1787. Tabled by inter-party consensus of the first Parliament and Electoral College, the purpose of the act was to create a modern judiciary branch influenced by Western political and legal ideas, so that the Nineteen Countries could develop itself to become a modern, industrialised nation-state. The foundation and subsequent development of the Justices of the Peace ultimately made Yohannes an independent civilised country, with its own legal history and unique tradition. It is the second oldest piece of legislation in the Nineteen Countries, entering the chamber of Parliament after the Foreign Mission Act 1787.


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Figure 1.16 Modern emblem of the Constitution of the Justice of the Peace Institution


The judicature is the three founding institutions of Yohannes, and is directly or indirectly cited by many Acts of different persuasions, from the main body of the original Electoral Act 1790 to the express statutory provisions of the modern Gender, LGBT, Racial and Religious Minority Act 2016.



In-Character (IC) information


The Rule of LawThe Pink Diary
Last edited by Yohannes on Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:45 am, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
Yohannes
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Posts: 13161
Founded: Mar 17, 2010
Ex-Nation

Re: The Pink Diary

Postby Yohannes » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:08 pm

Realm Parliament


The Realm Parliament is the unicameral legislature of Yohannes. The Limited Separation of Powers, which established the Electoral College in 1781, and thus created the Nineteen Countries legislature, used the term "Imperial Parliament" rather than "Parliament." However, Parliament and Realm Parliament (Yohannesian: Yohannesischer Reichstag) soon came into popular usage, and in latter years especially have been used as a lazy shorthand term for both the institutions of the Electoral College and the Realm (archaic: "Imperial") Parliament. Not until the First Amendment came into force on 5 August 1861 did "Parliament" also become an official constitutional term.

Parliament today, broadly speaking, consists of the Assembly of Electors in the Nineteen Countries (Collegian Electors of the Nation State) and the Realm Parliament (Members of the Realm Parliament) itself. The role of the President of the Electoral College, who is also the elected Yohannesian Emperor at the same time, is purely formal. She or he is constantly absent from the Chamber of Electors to fulfill their executive duties and obligations as chief supervisor of the Executive Council. The real business of Parliament is carried out by the elected Realm Parliament, with members of the Electoral College themselves often attending the Realm Parliament's meetings to voice their views on day-to-day state matters.

The functions of Parliament are to enact laws; to provide an Executive Council, i.e. federal government; to vote for departmental and non-departmental appropriations, e.g. supplying money; and to examine the way the money is spent. Most importantly, Parliament also serves as the highest debating chamber in the land on public issues, and has the ultimate authority to redress citizens' grievances on petitions.


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Figure 2.1 The unofficial logo of the Realm Parliament since 1945. Parliament is the unicameral legislature of the Nineteen Countries.



Personalised proportional representation

The first recorded general election in the Nineteen Countries took place for over six months in 1786, in time for Parliament to establish its first Act. The Foreign Mission Act 1787 sent 350 Yohannesian academics and aldermen abroad to observe Western economic, political and legal cultures. Because of the urgency of the Act, the voting process involved was poor compared to today's standards. The Realm Electoral Act 1871, amended further in 1939 and 1990, laid the foundations for the subsequent development of Parliament's modern-day standardised decision-making procedures.

There are 19 constituent countries in Yohannes. Each country undertakes general election with their own electoral rules. To provide an Executive Council—that is, government at the federal level—however, there were two sets of rules used before the adoption of contemporary Yohannes' electoral system: the first and for the longest time, the first-past-the-post (FPP), and the second unofficially brief system, mixed-member proportional (MMP).


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Figure 2.2 Zoe Nilsson as Majority Leader pro tempore, 2019 (National Election Commission, 2019).


The first-past-the-post was adopted from the Constitution of Maxtopia and other industrialised countries at the time. It was a widely used electoral system in the Western world and a small number of civilised countries in the Orient. Besides these, Yohannesian academics and technical supervisors were also sent to other major regions, such as the North Pacific and the International Democratic Union.

Under FPP, the candidate who secured the highest number of votes in their electorate would become a Member of Parliament (MP). Some larger urban zones in Yohannes also had multi-member electorates to reflect their high population density. In a multi-member electorate, more than one candidate would be selected to become an MP. The FPP and multi-member electoral rules were used until the 1988 referendum and the subsequent 1990 parliamentary election. Thereafter, MMP became the prescriptive electoral rules.

MMP was also an adopted foreign system. It allowed for two types of members: Electoral and Listed. An Electoral member is the candidate who has secured the highest number of votes in their electorate. A Listed member is the candidate who has been chosen by their political party. MMP was an unofficial temporary replacement, intended to make way for the introduction of an indigenous set of rules developed in Yohannes—an offshoot of the personalised proportional representation (PPR) system.


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Figure 2.3 Ronald Chump as Minority Leader, 2018 (The Empire of the Rising Sun, 2018).


Adopted since the 1998 parliamentary election, PPR is the prescriptive rules used in modern-day Yohannes. It combines features of FPP and MMP to create a specialised system more in line with the Nineteen Countries' laws and national spirits. It was also created to support the central agenda of the government at the time: the slow but steady growth of Yohannes' trade, commerce and industry.

Similar to MMP, the Yohannesian offshoot of PPR was designed to ensure that the make-up of the legislature would better reflect the make-up of the population, such as by looking at a voter's political allegiance, race or religion. Just like MMP, a registered voter could vote twice in the general election: first, for a candidate from their electorate, and then for the political party they so desired. The electoral candidate who has secured the highest number of votes will become an Electoral member. The second vote for the political party allows for the entry of Listed parliamentary members, so chosen by their respective parties' leaders.

Unlike MMP, strict restrictions are in place regarding the type of individuals listed by their party. The candidates listed must be an accredited Business Leader, Community Leader, Innovator, or Research Fellow. The Justices of the Peace are tasked with giving the government's Certification and Accreditation. They are as follows:

  • A Business Leader, someone with proven trade and commerce experience at home or abroad;
  • A Community Leader, someone with noteworthy social and community work experience at home;
  • An Innovator, someone with a patented invention at home or abroad; and
  • A Research Fellow, someone with a professional accreditation or trade certification at home.


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Figure 2.4 Marion Maréchal-Le Men announced the Agreement for Investment, Trade and Charities Services Bill (Maréchal-Le Men, 2018).


A candidate listed by their party must also pass the fifth and final criterion—with reference to the General Assembly Resolution # 198 Preventing Multiple Trials, they must have no original criminal conviction history, whether at home or abroad (World Assembly, 2012).



Electoral history

The modern Nineteen Countries has practically general suffrage. The right to vote in public, political elections is held by all adult inhabitants, 20 years and over, who meet the qualifications for citizenship and permanent residence, provided they are (1) not registered as mentally unfit (e.g. to stand trial), (2) not a prisoner detained in a prison and thus unable to register as a voter, and (3) not a guilty party to corrupt practices in Yohannesian election law (e.g. bribery). In Yohannes, it is compulsory to enrol as a voter, but the act of voting in and of itself is completely voluntary.

The Electoral Amendment Act 1990 amended the summary of rules and procedures relating to the applications of approved member of Parliament candidates, the registration of voters, the separation of general electoral boundaries, and the recording of parliamentary elections, with detailed procedures already given by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1871. Certain sections of the rules and procedures are considered "out-of-limit"—that is, further amendments will require the supermajority approval of MPs and must pass the Electoral College. This mainly applies to provisions in relation to the Council of Representation, list of proportional representation formulas, qualification of voters, and secret ballot process. The statutory limitation is, however, repealable, meaning Parliament can amend some parts of the 1990 Act with a simple majority, provided the Electoral College agrees to it also.


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Figure 2.5 Citizen Lewis Castellon featured in The Financial Diary—Issue 10 June 2019. In 19th-century Yohannes, he would be forbidden to vote ("From the Beltway to Freedom Street," 2019).


Historically, the original Electoral Act 1790 introduced limited franchise only. Only men could be registered as an elector, and only men with a freehold estate worth 20 Quertz russling or more—or those who rented an urban dwelling worth 20 Quertz russling or more—could vote. In theory, this was meant to be a fair arrangement at the time. In reality, some property owners had more than one vote. Women, the poor or the landless men, and black and native Yohannesians and other ethnic minorities (e.g. Asiatics) were restricted from voting. In 1901, four special seats reserved for "Ladies," formally known as the "Ladies' Seats," were created specially for the Electoral College. This was merely a formality to accommodate the wife of the incumbent federal head of state, and changed little of the fact that Yohannes was still not the land of liberty.

The first major extension of franchise only came with the Alexandrian General Franchise Act 1914, which gave the vote to all renters, women, and ethnic minorities in the Kingdom of Alexandria. This marked the beginning of a slow trend where the other 18 constituent countries gradually followed suit. The Ladies' Seats were abolished two years later, heralding the beginning of theoretically general franchise in Yohannes. Thereafter, subsequent changes applied to the reality of franchise in Yohannes were comparatively minor in nature.

In the early years of the original Electoral Act, a person could vote by raising their hand in public, unless a poll was demanded by an existing electoral candidate, or at least one-third of the legal voters in the electorate. Blatant bribery and public drunkenness were widespread, harming the collection of electoral rolls and the processing of vote at the poll. In 1901, legislation relating to the registration of voters, the regulation of elections at the state and federal levels, and corrupt practices prevention legislation had eliminated some of the more clear and obvious cases of abuse, but not until 1914 was the secret ballot finally introduced.


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Figure 2.6 Marion mentioned Barack and Amina Omaha after a post-Cabinet press conference for the press gallery. In 19th-century Yohannes, she would be forbidden to hold public office (University of Yohannes Vice-Chancellor, 2019).


Nevertheless, this was made conditional only on the call for a poll in every general electorate of the country. The secret ballot was fully embraced by the Electoral College in 1918, but was not introduced in every general electorate until 1933. And although elections in Yohannes have from the middle of this century been administered with propriety, there have been the sporadic complaints about impropriety in the preparation of electoral rolls, transparency in the polls, or counting during the voting itself. The 1990 Act further improved on the underlying structures of the conduct of elections already created by previous amendments, which produced the electoral system in the present-day Nineteen Countries.

Today, on election day a voter is alone, and can therefore voice their opinion freely and openly by voting. A lower officer of the Justices of the Peace observes the official count in every general electorate and certifies the election results. Candidates may apply for a recount to a Regional Court judge, and election petitions about corrupt practices are taken seriously by the National Court of the Justices of the Peace.



Parliament House Administration

The first administrative appointments to Parliament were those of the Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee (archaic: Field Marshal of Imperial Subpoena), Second-in-Command, and the 19 Generals of Realm Election in 1787. The early appointments of other major officers include the Librarian of the Library of Parliament in 1800 and the Electoral Hansard and Debates Chief Reporter in 1803. The former has been known as the Parliamentary Library Custodian since 1945, and the latter as the Editor of Electoral Debates since 1990.


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Figure 2.7 The then Princess Sansa succeeded his father as Clerk of the Whole Committee in 2016 (Office of the Library Custodian, 2018).


The rapid expansion of the parliamentary establishment since the 19th century saw the development of legislative departments to carry out varying administrative duties. At first, these were answerable only to both the President pro tempore of the Electoral College and the Speaker of the Realm Parliament vis-à-vis the investigation and reporting of all matters. In 1914, a working group tasked with administering legislative agencies was established, which eventually replaced most of the Speaker’s administrative responsibilities. This commission, however, remained answerable only to the Justices of the Peace, and was protected by the Office of the President of the Electoral College. It was not dissimilar to the Administrative Financial Security Commission established by the Fourth Amendment.

The Parliament House Administration Amendment Act 2011 tabled by the Seventh Social Democratic Executive Council amended this system, taking control of the provision of service away from the old commission to give it to Parliament. To replace the original working group, the amendment created the Parliament House Administration, which comprised of three Elected Collegians and two MPs from the Executive Council and its confidence-and-supply partner and two Elected Collegians and two MPs from the Opposing Forces. The President pro tempore of the Electoral College acts as chairman of this body.


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Figure 2.8 Letter to the Stoklomolvi Embassy, signed by the Clerk of the Whole Committee ("A blast from the past," 2018).


The Parliament House Administration is responsible for the provision of secretarial services, taxpayer-funded internal catering, and information technology and other support services to every parliamentarian. It administers secretarial and business support for individual parliamentarians, both in Parliament and their general electorates; oversees personnel and security services; ensures messengers are provided; provides funding for administrative or management supply purposes; superintends public and official government reception and tours; administers building and maintenance of Parliament House; finances travels and accounts; and looks after many other important things for the day-to-day running of Parliament House. The administration also works together with Archives Yohannes to update the legislator database and to support the Electoral Debates Hansard, Library of Parliament, and the research units of every eligible political party, i.e. meeting the six per cent threshold to enter Parliament.

The Realm Electoral Amendment Act 1990 reformed the Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee to be separate from the Parliament House Administration. The Clerk of the Whole Committee is the most important permanent officer in Parliament, and has the responsibility to advise the President of the Electoral College, Speaker of the Realm Parliament and elected members on parliamentary law and procedures. With the permission of the Speaker, the Clerk oversees bills' reprinting as amended by the Committee of the Whole. They must also prepare and print questions, motions, petitions and other papers; and provide advisory and administrative support to the select committees.


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Figure 2.9 The Clerk certifies official submission papers tabled in Parliament ("Gylthas," 2019).


The Clerk takes care of the Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure—the official record of Parliament's business. They also take care of the certification and printing of legislation proposals and Acts of Parliament and Statutes of the Realm, and other official submission papers tabled in Parliament. The Clerk of the Whole Committee protects existing general election and ballot papers. The Second-in-Command has the responsibility to ensure discipline in the debating chamber under the supervision of the Speaker.



Right to petition

By historical convention, the second oldest function of Parliament is to redress citizens' grievances. Parliament receives petitions from those who feel they have been wronged, or who want to suggest for something to be done by the Executive Council. All citizens and permanent residents of the Nineteen Countries have the right to petition Parliament. As it happens, at least 10,000 petitions have been lodged in Parliament every year since 2010, ranging from very trivial matters, such as the Lack of Communist Youth Representation (June 2011) and Citizens Against Male, Pale and Stale Generalisation (May 2015), to the most important matters, such as Free Milk and Breakfast in Low Decile Primary Schools (February 2014) and Justice and Protection for Family Violence Victims (November 2016). In 2016 alone, there were 67,119 petitions presented to MPs, and 41,444 of these were tabled successfully before the Whole Committee.

Petitions are usually addressed by the member from whose electorate the petitioner resides. Petitions can talk about almost anything—with the exception when the petitioners have not used up all their legal avenues of redress, such as an official complaint to a duty solicitor, or where the petitioners have lodged a petition on a similar subject with a preceding petition, unless there have been new important information presented since the previous similar request was made and lodged. Lodged petitions must at the very least be legible: they can be written in informal language, though they must be respectable; and they must be communicated in either Yohannesian or English.


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Figure 2.10 An excerpt from the Imazighen Declaration of Independence—Ambassador Cäcilie Bärwald discussing a petition for her firm ("Cäcilie Bärwald," 2019).


Parliamentary petitions are studied by the MPs concerned with assistance from the Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee. Every step concerning the tabling of petition must follow existing standing orders; failure to do so could result in a rejection by the Speaker. After petitions have been presented, they are distributed by the Clerk of the Whole Committee or their deputies to the relevant select committee. Once examined, a follow-up report about the subject of the petition can be made by the chair of the committee involved. Until its dissolution in 1990, the Select Committee on Petitions and Redress handled all matters concerning petitions and redress. Since then, the respective select committees concerned handle all relevant petitions within their delegated duties and areas of responsibility.



Lawmakers

The first Electoral College had 19 members chosen by the Yohannesian Emperor and elected to serve for a term of 12 years. Elected Collegians could serve for life, provided they were re-elected through the proper channels, though they could lose office for absence without leave (AWOL) for two sessions or more. The Redistribution of Seats Act 1871 created the Estates General of the Nineteen Countries, increasing membership rapidly to 41 compared to a lower population growth rate in late 19th-century Yohannes, after which the protocol was created to limit membership to a quarter of existing members of Parliament. From 1871 onwards, appointments were made by the Head of State of each constituent country in Yohannes, subject to the approval of the Head Judicature of the Justices of the Peace. From 1925, the term of office of an elected Collegian was changed from a 12-year term to an eight-year term.


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Figure 2.11 Princess Elisabeth informed members on the Lucedeia Bill, 1 February 2020 (Schäfer, 2020).


There were 51 members of Parliament representing 43 general electorates in the Nineteen Countries. Until 1871, large towns were treated as single constituencies which returned more than one member, and between 1879 and 1900 the then four largest urban areas in Yohannes—Altbrandenburg in Lindblum, Royal Burmecia in Burmecia, Halsten in Alexandria, and the Noble Republic of Treno—were likewise single constituencies returning at least four members each. Since the Electoral Amendment Act 1901 (the first to amend the original Act), there have been single-member electorates only.

The Realm Parliament had 237 members in 1857, 293 in 1871, 386 in 1901, and thereafter rose to eventually reach the modern-day 437 members. Since 1990, the maximum number of electorates for the three largest constituent countries in Yohannes—the Kingdom of Alexandria, the Regency of Lindblum, and the Kingdom of Burmecia—has been set at 261 members. The number of electorates in the smaller 16 constituent countries is calculated by dividing the number of registered electors by the average number of people in every electorate from the three largest countries. Therefore, the total number of general electorates in Yohannes would take into account the population growth rate of the 16 small countries. If the opposite happens—that is, no growth occurring—then nothing much will change, as there already is the restriction of 261 general electorates for the three largest countries. This way, the 16 small countries have a much greater opportunity to influence government decision-making at the federal level.


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Figure 2.12 The affluent Charlotte Bridge over the Main suburb, Yohannes' oldest constituency (Goldwert, 2020).


As lawmakers of the land, members were paid a sum for travel expenses and a daily (later sessional) allowance from 1871 onwards. These did not add up to an adequate salary, however, and parliamentary service was looked at as a secondary job, hobby, or an honour for the well-endowed or the community-minded. Not for almost a century did the Fourth Amendment truly mature so that pay and state employment conditions could allow not just the upper class to make a career in politics. The Legislature Amendment Act 1901 established a standard monthly consideration by statute. This was increased further in 1925 and 1939. It was still less, however, than what a public doctor, lawyer or even a senior first-rate secondary school principal could make in Yohannes. Tax-free spending benefits in addition to transport allowances were introduced only in 1945, which changed the game, and the add-on pension scheme introduced in 1990 turned an MP position into a lucrative and prestigious job almost overnight.

There was no provision for the regular review of members' salaries until the Realm Services Amendment Act 1953. Then, provisions were made for review by the Commission of Realm Services after every parliamentary election; and despite the nil growth in 1954, both allowances and salaries grew substantially in real terms over the next three decades. The Electoral Amendment Act 1990 gave the Administrative Financial Security Commission the power to administer state allowances, pensions and salaries. The Commission also decided the salaries and conditions of judges; the chief executive officers of some state-owned enterprises; specified statutory officers; and until 1990, the mayors and Councillors of the three largest metropolitan areas in Yohannes, i.e. Greater Halsten, Greater Royal Alexandria and Greater Treno.


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Figure 2.13 Alexandria's capital city has one of the highest population densities of any general electorate in Yohannes (Library of Parliament, 2019).


In theory, a member's salary is meant to be good when compared with existing full-time jobs in the private sector. This would allow a member of Parliament to devote their time fully to the job while supporting their family. A member's salary should give them equal compensation for the job's sacrifice in terms of time and privacy. There is some doubt, however, that some members meet these criteria: a successful businessman or lawyer, for instance, who had become a Collegian or MP, almost always would have to accept a drop in earnings. Besides the basic earnings, starting from $174,000 for a backbencher, spending benefits are also given. They include a basic state benefit, an electoral benefit paid on a set scale for high density electorates and a sliding scale for sparsely populated electorates depending on size, and day and night allowances based on the number of sitting days every term. Stationery, postage, telephone calls (non-international), transport and domestic flights are also paid for, and non-domestic flights are subsidised. Secretarial support is given to lawmakers in Parliament and in their electorates, and their electoral office expenses are partially subsidised.



Select committee

Main dispatch: Nineteen Countries Select Committee

The Nineteen Countries Select Committees are committees of lawmakers who are appointed to examine, consider, and report on matters referred to them by Parliament. One example of a well-known select committee is the Select Committee on Justice and Public Security, which as its name suggests is tasked with handling justice and public security matters.

There are two types of select committees in Yohannes: permanent committees, which stay in existence for the entire term that Parliament is assembled, and extempore committees, which are created only for a specified period of time so that they can fully examine and consider one or more matters of imperative importance. Before the Second Industrial Growth era (1850-1900), when the state of political party administration was poor compared to today's standards, permanent committees were originally established only for a single parliamentary year. Since then, they have been appointed for the entire term that Parliament meets.


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Figure 2.14 The Law Commission's report to the select committee in 2017 (Realm Law Commission, 2017).


As a working group, the select committee has been an important building block in democratic legitimacy since the passing of the Foreign Mission Act in 1787. The first Standing Orders task group was created by the Founding Monarchs to examine the rules and procedures of the newly formed legislature. Since then, the select committee and its predecessor entities have always been appointed by Parliament, usually on the motion of the government organisation most closely involved in the committee's work. During the hearing of evidence, members of the public and the press can access select committee business items. However, by unanimous resolution, a select committee may conduct a hearing in private. Classified evidence and minutes can be read by visiting the Library of Parliament, though permission by the Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee will be required.

The 32nd Christian Democratic Executive Council began a major reform of the select committee system in 1972, reforming 12 "individual" committees. They were as follows: Continental Security, Domestic Commerce, Engineering and Science, Export Industry, Equality and Social Welfare, Health and Human Services, International Diplomacy and Advisory, Justice and Public Security, Navy and Merchant Navy, Rural Industry and Development, Urban Development and Planning, and Ways and Means.


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Figure 2.15 The International Diplomacy and Advisory Committee monitors trade bills (Office of Embassy and Consulate Programme, 2020).


As well as the 12 original committees, over the years there have been formed two permanent "urgently formed" committees: Ethnic Diversity, which monitors and makes recommendations on proposed legislative reforms vis-à-vis net migration and migrant integration; and Exiting International Incidents and Nation-State Neutrality, which has the huge and difficult task in trying to ensure a coherent government approach in relation to Yohannes' long-standing military isolationism policy.



Voter enrolment

The Reichsamt für Wahlintegrität (Realm Office for Electoral Integrity, abbreviated as RWT) is a state-owned enterprise created by the provisions of the Electoral Amendment Act 1990. RWT is responsible for voter registration and identification. It also deals with matters indirectly related to voter registration, such as logistics—for instance, providing voters with all the right equipment so that they will be able to vote more easily. The head of RWT is a chief executive officer (CEO) appointed by the Chancellor triennially. The CEO is responsible to the Advisory, Press and Private Committee and has the power to delegate some of their own authority to any officer of the Realm Electoral Court. This power cannot be sub-delegated further without a special obligations contract allowing the chosen officer to act as the CEO's representative.


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Figure 2.16 RWT was accused of being "too politically correct" for refusing to disseminate a controversial news article in 2017 (Westwood-Wilhelm, 2017).


Countless appointed voter registrars help RWT operates in over 500 constituencies across the Nineteen Countries. Unlike an Officer of the Voters, whose task is to control elections, a registrar has the power to keep electoral rolls in their assigned general electorate only. The Limited Separation of Powers stated that only an employee of the Justices of the Peace could sign up to become a registrar. They are appointed either by name or as the holder of a specified office; and they must be stationed nearby their local electoral office for the duration of voting, as well as the subsequent counting period. At the highest level, the CEO is assisted by a senior employee from the Ministry of Justice. RWT officers are forbidden to hold any political party membership or formal voluntary association with a partisan organisation.



Minimum threshold

A political party in the Nineteen Countries can be represented in Parliament by reaching the minimum threshold—that is, either by securing the highest number of votes in at least two general electorates, or meeting the six per cent federal party votes threshold. The general election for the 116th term of Parliament was held on Saturday, 8 December 2018 (Realm Office for Electoral Integrity, 2018).


Yohannes First Party

Main dispatch: Yohannes First Party

Yohannes First, listed on Vote2018 as the Yohannes First Party, is the third largest party in Yohannes. Along with Family Values and the Social Democratic Party, Yohannes First forms the Grand Coalition of Parties (GOP)—an alliance of socially right-wing but economically centre-left parties in the Nineteen Countries. The leader of Yohannes First is Marion Maréchal-Le Men, who has served as the 18th and current Yohannesian Emperor since January 2018. Most pundits say Yohannes First's platform is "all over the place." Officially, Yohannes First claims to be a "pragmatic centre party" on economic issues and a "right-wing party" on social issues. Critics say the party is a collection of populists and nationalists working together, to opportunistically create a platform for disenfranchised blue-collar workers and ethno-nationalist voters. The party has consistently attracted the most elderly and military veteran votes since the turn of the century. Yohannes First supports such measures as the extension of superannuation plans for military veterans and pension subsidy for the elderly through the Central Provident Fund.


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Figure 2.17 Marion as Yohannes First and GOP leader, December 2018 (Marie, 2018).


Although mocked as a party for "racists, sexists and opportunists" in Parliament on many occasions, Yohannes First attracted the highest number of African and native Yohannesian votes in the January 2018 presidential election. It also became the first party in the Nineteen Countries to nominate a woman to become the first fully elected head of state of Yohannes. Yohannes First is a strong pro-Christian and anti-Asian immigration political party. The previous leader of the party, Loseton Petres, was nicknamed the "Grand Wizard of the Islamophobic Clan" for his many incendiary comments about Asian and Muslim immigrants in Yohannes. On 1 July, 2017, Maréchal-Le Men was appointed to replace Loseton Petres as party leader, and soon thereafter was elected to replace Jeremy Robyn as GOP leader. She has since pursued the twin policies of big-tent conservatism and political moderation to reform the image of the party—and the Grand Coalition as a whole.


Party for the Forest and the Environment

Main dispatch: Party for the Forest and the Environment of Yohannes

Party for the Forest and the Environment, listed on Vote2018 as the Green Party and often called the Greens, is the fourth largest party in Yohannes. Along with the Christian Party, Christian Democratic Party and the Consumers and Taxpayers Union, the Greens form the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)—an alliance of socially left-wing but economically right-wing parties in Yohannes. The leader of the Greens, Zoe Nilsson, is the incumbent Electoral member for the Cowrie electorate. Almost one-third of the Green Party's members in Parliament are Listed members.


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Figure 2.18 Greens co-leader Zoe Nilsson, General Election 2018 Leaders' Debate (Parliament Channel, 2018).


The Green Party is the most economically left-wing in the CDU—it wants to tax "dirty" enterprises to cover the indirect costs of pollution, it supports fair and ethical trade initiatives, and it believes that purely economic indicators such as fundamental net debt and real GDP growth are not the be-all-end-all to judge a country’s prosperity. The Greens believe that purely economic indicators must go alongside "social justice" indicators: equality of opportunity for every citizen, for instance. Another example is the protection of the rights of minority by the majority.

Opponents of the Greens have pejoratively called it not just a "purely green and environmental party" but also the "party for idealistic young university students and social justice warriors." The Green Party was the party responsible for the Gender, LGBT, Racial and Religious Minority Act 2016; without the party’s backing, the Queen of Alexandria would not have continued with the legislation. The Greens have also been described as a partisan environmental party. The party will not necessarily support green legislative instruments proposed by socially right-wing parties for the sake of point-scoring, and would instead concentrate on non-environmental social initiatives. This is further complicated by the fact that most political parties in Yohannes have already embraced the evidence for climate change—they only disagree in the way to go about meeting those goals.


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Figure 2.19 Although it was an eco-friendly initiative, the Greens did not support Marioncare (Bank of Yohannes, 2018).


The Greens want to look long-term into the future. Therefore, they very strongly support immigration and multiculturalism—the party agrees with the CDU that the ability of the Nineteen Countries to be a welcoming place for new settlers will decide its future as not just a high-growth economy, but also a "culturally connected" country. The party believes in an "open and humanitarian" border policy to achieve an "international sisterhood of peace and prosperity."

The Greens very strongly oppose capital punishment. It was the first party in Yohannes to advocate for the rehabilitation of offenders, believing it will bring more long-term benefits in comparison to "incarcerating them for eternal lives," which would lead to "ballooned" government spending. The Greens believe that the money could be used instead to fund eco-friendly initiatives. The party believes that the deregulation of the Yohannesian education system will be good for the country. It believes in the long-term strength of charter schools and investor-funded state institutions—that is, stronger involvement by private players, especially green companies, in the education sector.


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Figure 2.20 The Greens supported the international Climate Bonds Initiative ("Taking the green fight," 2018).


The Greens very strongly support "the individual’s choice" in terms of abortion. In terms of state religion, the party believes that the Nineteen Countries should be a more secular, multi-faith country. The Greens very strongly oppose the individual right to bear arms. The party wants to ban the ownership or possession of firearms. The Greens believe that police officers should only carry concealable and non-lethal self-defense weapons. The Greens do not support the gradual reduction and removal of mandated minimum wage at the federal level. The Greens somewhat agree that reducing taxes for high-income earners will help the Nineteen Countries prosper. However, the party believes that lower corporate taxes should only be given to eco-friendly and socially responsible businesses.

The Greens are the strongest supporters of greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets in Parliament. However, the party believes that the fight against climate change should not harm the economy or result in unnecessarily higher taxes and "wasteful" subsidies. The party disagrees with the CDP in that the Greens believe the public sector must work together with the private sector to bring about the Yohannesian environmental revolution into the 21st century.


Party of Social Democrats

Main dispatch: Party of Social Democrats of Yohannes

The Party of Social Democrats (SDP), listed on Vote2018 as the Social Democratic Party, is the second largest party in Yohannes. Along with Family Values and Yohannes First, the Social Democrats form the Grand Coalition of Parties (GOP)—an alliance of socially right-wing but economically centre-left parties in the Nineteen Countries. Its leader, Saul Ryan, has been the 54th and current Speaker of the Realm Parliament since 2015. He is also the incumbent Electoral member for the Weirconsin electorate.


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Figure 2.21 Excerpt from Chapter 1—"Mister Ambassador," GOP Speaker Saul Ryan talking with the Archbishop Emeritus of Burmecia (University of Yohannes Vice-Chancellor, 2019).


Unlike the Christian Democratic Union, the GOP is less centralised and more fragmented—its voters will not necessarily vote for the other parties in the alliance. Social Democrat voters tend to come from the Bible Belt and Heartland electorates. The Social Democrats have strongly supported blue-collar workers, the individual right to bear arms, government-sponsored enterprises, and the religious right in conservative politics since the 1970s. Together with Yohannes First, it began to gradually adopt the Southern Strategy to appeal to widespread anti-Asian and anti-immigrant sentiments in the southern constituent countries. The SDP supports a World Assembly "which respects the sovereignty of its member-states." Hence, the Social Democrats aim to move Yohannes away from the Federalist faction in the World Assembly and align the country closer with the position of the World Assembly's National Sovereignty faction (Ardchoille, 2009).

The Social Democrats have the most working-class Electoral and Listed members in Parliament. Despite being the second largest party, the Social Democrats control the most general electorate seats in Parliament. The party supported the nomination of Yohannes First's Marion Maréchal-Le Men for the January 2018 presidential election.



Buildings and symbols

Parliament sat in the Halsten industrial conurbation, the economic centre of Lindblum, from 1786 to 1801. The political centre was once again moved to the capital of the Kingdom of Alexandria in 1802, where Parliament first sat in the former Royal Alexandria Regional Council buildings on Parliament Square. A number of upgrades were added to these buildings over the years, including a new Electoral College chamber, which was built in 1848.

The Victorian Gothic Library of Parliament building was constructed in 1871, but not used by the legislature until 1880. After the disastrous fire which laid waste to the main parliamentary buildings in 1910, new buildings were built for the debating chamber and legislative offices. Most of them were opened by 1925. The provision of office space was insufficient for the purposes of the legislature by the turn of the century, and a new complex was needed. Modern-day Parliament House was designed by the Radimostanian military engineer Jiří Vahala (Radimostan, 2016). When it was finally completed by the turn of the century, the new building allowed for a more comprehensive accommodation and better seismic protection.

Today, the debating chamber, the Library of Parliament, and other parliamentary services are all housed in the newly renovated Library of Parliament building complex located just across the street from Parliament House. An underground pedestrian walkway colloquially referred to as the Road of Bipartisan Negotiation connects both buildings. It slowly acquired its name because the underground walkway, which connects the Executive Council quarter in Parliament House and the Opposing Forces quarter in the Library of Parliament, has long been the place where lawmakers from all sides of the political spectrum meet and greet one another on a daily basis outside the debating chamber.



Criticisms and mockery

Parliament has been mocked and criticised many times in the Nineteen Countries. It has been criticised by political groups from all sides of the political spectrum.


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Figure 2.22 An edgy teenager on the internet mocking Parliament (Setsuzoku Social Network, 2019).


Many Yohannesian conservative think tanks have repeatedly mocked Parliament as an expensive, slow-moving talkfest, paid exclusively by hard-working taxpayers' contributions. For their part, liberal advocacy groups and internet subcultural communities have regularly ridiculed parliamentary politics as a specialised pursuit of the privileged few—from where the ruling class could impose their will on the oppressed masses (Economic Palace, 2020).



In-Character (IC) information


Realm ParliamentThe Pink Diary
Last edited by Yohannes on Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:30 am, edited 13 times in total.

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Re: The Pink Diary

Postby Yohannes » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:26 pm

Claudia


Claudia has been used for more than one purpose but is best known by Yohannesians as the national personification of the Nineteen Countries. Sometimes, it is referred to as the "Sword of Yohannes and the Shield of Claudia" (Goldwert, 2020). In Yohannesian children's books, Claudia is usually the goddess of patience and time, disguised as a medieval sorceress, holding the shield of the Black Hawk ("Raider's Clock," 2018).



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Figure 3.1 The Black Hawk and Claudia, the most potent symbols of parliamentary authority in the realm.



Background

The Nineteen Countries' first coat of arms was adopted in 1787 by the first Parliament of the Founding Monarchs, just after the enactment of the Foreign Mission Act. In 1914 it was revised—it was no longer engraved with the name of Claudia, but instead displayed the Black Hawk to symbolise the unity of the realm. The revised version is the one illustrated here.

The Black Hawk engraved on the shield represents the historical unification of the 19 constituent countries (states) in Yohannes and the proclamation of the realm. The shield is held by the personification of the Nineteen Countries, Claudia, who is also the most potent symbol of parliamentary authority in the realm. Claudia was the wife of Frederick William I the "Jury King" of Alexandria in 1509, when the Kingdom of Alexandria was the undisputed leading country in continental Yohannes by financial resources and technology (Chua-Küchler, 2019). The coat of arms symbolises the beauty and purity of the realm, which must be defended at all costs, lest the state of the union be broken in future.



The Song of the Realm of Yohannes

The Realm of Yohannes' sole unofficial (popular) anthem since the late 19th century has been "The Song of the Realm of Yohannes" (Das Lied des Yohannesischen Reiches). In 1990, the second stanza was put out of official use because of its sexist connotations. When the 36th Christian Democratic Executive Council of Annabelle Thorndon-Stevensonn—who made history when she became the first lesbian Chancellor of the Nineteen Countries—was elected into office in 2014, they brought back the second stanza for nation-state use.

The words of the song were written by Bettina von Arnim (1784-1859). She was an illustrious poet and writer from the Kingdom of Burmecia (Yohannesian Cancer Society, 2020). They were first performed in public in 1848. The Song of the Realm of Yohannes was unofficially adopted by the government at the federal level—that is, the Executive Council—in 1914, when it was first played in the opening of the Yohannesian Embassy to the Kingdom of Mid Lothian. The Executive Council has commissioned a new arrangement of this traditional song since then, intended as more suitable for general assembly and congregated singing than the original.

The English lyrics of the song are provided together with the Yohannesian audio sample (von Arnim, 2018).

An alternative song—"The Melodies of the Sea"—was also written by Bettina von Arnim before her death. It has been adopted by the Navy Band since 1918.

    But descried the sages of Antiquity,
    Built upon Her treasure dear:
    But seek first the kingdom of God,
    On Her eternal enterprises free!

    But confirms Her Covenant,
    Which she swore to Her ancestors?
    But was Industry founded here,
    From this Aged & Builded Wealth?

    Make Her the Gun of statesmanship:
    Make Her the Dreams of a life:
    The Garden of Ships: O the deep blue seas:
    Make Her the Land of plenty!

    She shall not flee from Great Trial,
    Nor shall Her Sword rest on Her knee:
    Till she has crossed the deep blue seas,
    With Her dear & eternal Wealth.


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ClaudiaThe Pink Diary
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Re: The Pink Diary

Postby Yohannes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:47 pm

Official legislative publications


The official publications of Parliament in Yohannes include the Standing Orders of the Realm Parliament, which regulates activities in the debating chamber; Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure and Order Papers, which explain Parliament's daily business; the Electoral Debates Hansard, which records its activities; Journals of the Collegians and Parliamentarians, which summarises the papers tabled in Parliament and its select committees for Members' considerations; and Acts and Bills of the Realm—that is, enacted and proposed legislation.


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Figure 4.1 Queen Sansa of Burmecia briefly touched on the history of the Central and Realm Bank Act and monetary targeting (Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee, 2020).



Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure

On the day that it rises, Parliament is open for business after saying its prayers. The list of items to be discussed is found in Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure, which is published every working day after Parliament's session. Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure is compiled by the Office of the Field Marshal of Imperial Subpoena in consultation with the offices of the Speaker, Majority Leader pro tempore, and Minority Leader. The Notes is always printed preliminarily in "proof" before the "final" form. The former is kept for Parliament House Administration's record, while the latter is sold to members of the public via the Executive Council's Bookshop and Café located on the first floor of the Library of Parliament, or by online subscription from the Parliament House Administration Printing Office.

As indicated by its title, Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure showcases Parliament's order of business for the day. It includes lists of papers, petitions and select committee reports tabled in the debating chamber the previous day; texts of questions addressed to Ministers of the Realm for written and oral reply during Question Time, and replies to questions for written answers; text of notices of motion by lawmakers at the federal level; times of meeting and lists of bills presented to the select committees; and information about the select committees' membership updates.


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Figure 4.2 Oral Questions—Questions to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of High Technology and Industrial Security (Archives Yohannes, 2017).


The Notes features written advice of proposed amendments to bills and documents tabled in Parliament. In some cases, a written copy of proposed amendments is circulated to Members of the Realm Parliament first. The printed version of Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure is numbered session by session, and is sold to members of the public individually or by subscription. Written replies given to each question asked in Parliament during Question Time often have detailed information about the activities of the Executive Council of the day. However, many online subscribers prefer the Electoral Debates Hansard because it publishes the completed version of featured oral questions and their answers during Question Time.



Journals of the Lawmakers

Unlike Notes on Parliamentary Law and Procedure, Journals of the Lawmakers is in effect a publication of Parliament's minutes—that is, the written record of important politicians' activities. The Journals includes such things as the papers tabled in Parliament and documents presented to the select committees for their considerations; and it outlines Parliament's business of the day. The Journals does not include the text of speeches—which is the sole responsibility of the transcripts of debates' editors—apart from the State of the Realm Address and the debate that follows: the Address in Reply to the Emperor, where the Speaker of the Realm Parliament and their deputies address the Emperor directly to close the session.


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Figure 4.3 Executive Council Minute of Decision—Business to the Select Committee on Navy and Merchant Navy (Journals of the Lawmakers, 2019).


Journals of the Lawmakers is compiled by the Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee. A manuscript version is presented to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker every day that Parliament rises for their verifying signatures. The Journals is printed and bound to illustrate the importance of every session by index. Schedules of the bound volumes include lists of proclamations, accounts and papers tabled in Parliament, bills and the stages proposed legislation passed through during the session, incumbent Members of the Realm Parliament, and petitions presented during the session and their fate. Since 1848 a Business Schedule has also been included—giving such things as yearly sitting dates and special law days. After the amendments made to the Realm Electoral Amendment Act in 1990, the Office of the Clerk of the Whole Committee has been given the additional responsibility of publishing a weekly edition of the Journals for diplomats and foreign government officials in Yohannes.



Gazette of the Realm

Gazette of the Realm is the official newspaper of record of the Executive Council (i.e. the federal government of the Nineteen Countries). The Advisory, Press and Private Committee of the Chancellor's Private Office is the responsible body for its publication. For this reason, the Gazette is not in fact Parliament's publication—however, for the sake of convenience, it is usually treated as one. An official newspaper of record in Yohannes has been published in many shapes and forms since the days of the First Amendment. The Gazette is a way for the Executive Council to publish all kinds of official notices and statements: it includes a compendium of Parliament's business; appointments to and resignations from the judiciary, commissions, statutory bodies and the military; bankruptcy and financial hearing notices; customs duty or tariff and value-added tax decisions; government notices and those made by agencies and organisations at the federal level; notices of the appointments and resignations of foreign ambassadors and diplomats; notices relating to the sales of public land; notices relating to the arrival of distinguished guests of Parliament from abroad; notices about statutory regulations; statements by the Emperor, Chancellor, and Minister of the Realm; and other kinds of public notices, such as major decisions made by the Food Safety and Compliance Agency.


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Figure 4.4 Major decisions made by the Government—the importance of White Bluff aluminium imports (VMK Defence & Steel Works, 2018).


The Gazette includes an annual list of Yohannesian chartered engineers, chemists, medical practitioners and specialists, and officers of the lower courts. A list of qualified and registered teachers has also been published in various formats every year since the introduction of the Second Amendment. The implications of bylaws, rules and regulations made under statutory authority were included until 1945. A short summary of newly proposed and enacted legislation has also been included since 1990. For this reason, to a certain extent the materials presented by the Gazette portray the history of social change in the Nineteen Countries. Early publications from pre-industrial Yohannes included such items as the "List of Potatoes Grown by Farmer Ted." As well, for many years the Gazette included monthly weather tables and maps. However, in 2001 they were removed completely from the publication, reflecting the arrival of the beneficiary pays culture of the Continental Weather Service agency and most other Executive Council organisations by the turn of the century.

In 1990, the Gazette was split into two editions to accommodate for the publication's much more expanded materials by then. Today, the Commercial Edition is published every Tuesday and the Main Edition is published every Friday—the former includes tariff decisions, land transfer records and notices by companies such as bankruptcies, liquidations and changes of name, while the latter includes the remainder of mostly government official notices. There is also a monthly Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade sponsored edition which covers trade licensing and import-export tenders, with other special editions published by other Ministries of the Realm biannually.



Proposed legislation

Legislation is proposed into Parliament's chamber in the form of bills. Bills may be nation-state bills, local and regional bills, or citizen bills. Nation-state bills are bills which affect the entire jurisdiction of the Nineteen Countries. Local and regional bills are bills which affect only a particular local or regional government in Yohannes. Citizen bills are bills which affect only a particular entity or individual or group of entities or individuals. Bills introduced by a Minister of the Realm on behalf of the Executive Council are formally called domestic nation-state issues bills. Bills introduced by individual members are formally called individual minor bills. Individual minor bills rarely pass, and are usually introduced only to stimulate debate and discussion on controversial or contemporary issues. However, a few minor bills have passed into law, such as the Legalised Homosexuality Act 1945 and the International Cultural and Education Exchange Act 1971.


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Figure 4.5 Electoral Member Ronald Chump participating in a parliamentary debate (Party of Social Democrats, 2017).


Domestic nation-state issues bills are drafted with the advice of the Executive Council's Office of Policy Analysis in consultation with officials of the ministry involved. Drafting an individual minor bill is the responsibility of the member sponsoring it, although this is usually done with the assistance of the Office of the Chancellor’s Domestic Policy Council. Drafting a local and regional bill is the responsibility of the local and regional government involved. Drafting a citizen bill is the responsibility of the entity or individual or group of entities or individuals involved. The process of passing a bill in Parliament is determined by the Standing Orders of the Realm Parliament, 2016. On being introduced into Parliament, a bill is given what is known as its first reading—for instance, the Freight Shipping and Water Transport Amendment Bill 2017, First Reading. In the past, this was usually limited to an explanatory speech by the minister involved, or the sponsor of the bill, and answers for almost all questions put by other members. However, today a political debate on the bill's merits almost always happens.

Other than appropriation bills and bills on which urgency has been taken by invoking the right granted by an existing principle—such as the Gender, LGBT, Racial and Religious Minority Act 2016—all bills are referred to a select committee for consideration after the first reading. One example was the Freight Shipping and Water Transport Amendment Bill 2017, which was recommended to the Select Committee on Navy and Merchant Navy after its first reading. At this stage of select committee deliberation, submissions from members of the public are received. After consideration by the select committee, a bill is reported back to Parliament for its second reading, where any amendments recommended by the select committee are read. A serious debate over the intentions and principles of the bill usually happens at this stage, after which Parliament considers the bill in committee; that is, the Committee of the Whole Parliament, presided over by the Chairman of Committees.


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Figure 4.6 Every proposed law will go through several stages, allowing members of the public to have their say (Kayla Whitehead & Partners, 2020).


At this stage, the proposed legislation is scrutinised clause-by-clause, and further amendments may be introduced. The ensuing debate at Committee stage is not recorded in the Electoral Debates Hansard, only the results are. The third reading is commonly skipped altogether unless required—for instance, the Kazansky Heavy Industries and the Bank of Yohannes 2017 Allanean Amendment Bill's Second and Final Reading—though sometimes the third reading will follow the Committee stage; and they were once considered a formality of debating due process. In recent years, however, a very partisan debate often takes place at the first and second readings, and so they have been made redundant.

A bill which has been tabled through all readings and has been scrutinised by the Committee of the Whole Parliament will become an Act—that is, the law of the realm—once the Office of the Chancellor and the Executive Council have received the blessing from the Office of the President of the Electoral College to introduce the Act. However, if the President of the Electoral College vetoes the proposed legislation, the Chancellor will have to either negotiate with the President of the Electoral College or abandon the proposed legislation. For this reason, it is important that the political party of the incumbent Chancellor and their confidence-and-supply partners negotiate first with the political party of the President of the Electoral College to produce desirable outcomes for all parties concerned.

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Official legislative publicationsThe Pink Diary
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