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Over time their system of government has evolved. What follows is a description of the 2 previous forms of government followed by their current one.
- 1 Kingdoms
- 2 Unified Monarchy
- 3 Modern post-Revolution
Each kingdom was ruled by a hereditary ruler normally selected from the same aristocratic family. Internal strife occasionally saw the fall of one noble family to have it replaced by another. Regardless these nobles had complete and total power over the majority of the population that they ruled.
During the many wars that finally resulted in a unified monarchy most of these kingdoms formed lasting alliances that still remain in effect to this day. This is mainly due to the fact that the planet is still broken up into these regions.
- Northern Alliance
- Kingdom of Devi
- Kingdom of Govinda
- Kingdom of Damodara
- Manaria United
- Kingdom of Manar
- Kingdom of Rania
- Kingdoms of Tanal & Bryque
- Kingdom of Tanal
- Kingdom of Bryque
As a result of the many wars a unified monarchy was established. This elected government was based on the idea of an elected monarchy of aristocratic origin. Only aristocrats were eligible to vote.
The highest position within the federal government was titled "Emperor" or "Empress." This position was open to anyone of noble blood, but there was only one instance in Laudean history in which a non-King was elected into the position.
The Emperor was elected by the House of Electors, who were "advised" by a vote of the House of States, who, in turn, held the final vote in the case of a tie. What was odd, however, was that an Emperor himself was not actually the one being elected: instead, it was his house, or royal family. A prospective Emperor was judged by his family's history, and the future heirs to the throne of Emperor were equally considered in the process of election. This created a dynastic system, whereby nine major families held successive power for most of the 500 years of the Union (save for a few notable exceptions).
It was not uncommon for one kingdom/royal family to hold the position of Emperor for over a century. The change of the Emperorship to a new kingdom was a considerable upheaval, usually caused by the extinction of the line of succession for a given dynastic family or by the deposition of an Emperor.
Home Kingdom Responsibilities
A King elected to the position of Emperor usually (depending on the Kingdom) continued to hold the official Kingship within his own kingdom. It is tradition in most of the kingdoms for a regent or "Lord Protector" to hold the role in his place. In some instances, this will be heir apparent to that Kingdom's throne, while in other instances (as when the heir apparent is too young), it may be another member of the royal household (such as one of the King's siblings). If the Emperor died or abdicated the throne, it was customary for the heir to the throne to ascend to both the throne of the King in his home kingdom, as well as the throne of the Emperor, in the federal government. An Emperor who was deposed may, or may not, be allowed to keep his throne in his homeland. Deposition was humiliating, and tended to follow the discovery of severe lapses in judgment or leadership ability. As such, in the few instances where an Emperor was deposed, the next of kin always took the throne of their home kingdom -- though would not be allowed to automatically ascend to the Emperor throne unless elected specifically by the House of Electors.
If a successor to the throne was elected while the current Emperor was still alive, he bore the title "King of the Laudeans." Most of the Kingdoms in the recent past practiced the law of Absolute Primogenitor. In this setup, the eldest child enjoys succession to the throne, regardless of gender.
Beginning and End of Reign
At the beginning of any Emperor's reign, he swore an oath to the Union promising to act in the best interests of the people. In turn, the members of the Legislature responded with an oath to obey the rule of the Emperor and protect his personage and power as best they could.
A reign ended with death, abdication, or deposition. The latter could be declared by the legislature.
The powers of the Emperor were exercised in a broad range of areas, but restricted everywhere:
- Executive: he enforced the laws and rulings of the empire, although most of this duty was delegated to the Dukes; he appointed imperial officers;
- Legislative: he could propose, approve and promulgate laws; in particular, he had the right to withhold approval; he could not levy taxes without approval;
- Judiciary: he had the right of pardon, as well as the right to confer exemptions and privileges (i.e., exceptions to the application of imperial laws);
- Religious: he was the supreme leader of the fielding league, although in practice the Feldleser (highest non-noble official of the fielding league) remained the chief cleric.
Prior to the Great Revolution, the Laudean legislature consisted of three distinct bodies.
House of Electors
The House of Electors was comprised of seven members.
- The Kings of the six non-Emperor kingdoms.
- The Feldleser.
Mainly, the Electors dealt with matters concerning the Emperor and his position. They held the power to do the following:
- elect the emperor and to establish the oath with him;
- depose the emperor;
- to hold one of the High Offices ("cabinet" members);
- to propose legislation and to be consulted on all important affairs by the emperor;
The Upper House of the Legislature comprised of two councils with a total of 45 members.
- The Noble Council: The nobles of the Grand Duchies - 27 members.
- The Layman Council: Special members of society, including Fielding League leaders, (etc.) - 18 members.
(Note: Before transportation became easily available, the Upper House was often comprised of representatives for the nobles.)
The Upper House had the greatest power of creating legislation in the government. It dealt with all issues of federal mandate, and had the following powers:
- to propose and approve legislation (which must also be approved by the Emperor);
- to overrule the decisions of the House of Electors with a 9/10th vote;
- to overrule the Lower House with a 3/4 vote;
- to call for the deposition of the emperor;
- to appoint members of the Lower House.
The Lower Parliament of the Legislature included 300 members, which were appointed by the House of Electors from the population of their Duchies. These were the closest to "representatives" of the population as there was. The Lower House dealt with many issues concerning civil liberties and human rights, but had the mandate to discuss all issues.
- to propose and approve legislation (which must also be approved by the Emperor);
- overrule the Upper House with a 4/5th vote;
For legislation to pass, it must be approved by both the Upper and Lower houses. The "overrule" power allows either the Upper or Lower house to pass a legislation regardless if the other house did not pass it, as long as the specific overrule vote majority was passed. After legislation has been approved by both houses (or overruled by one or the other), the Emperor must then also approve the legislation before it goes into effect. The Emperor can also forcibly "ascend" legislation, if he so desires, to approve it without either legislature's approval. In this situation, any of the three houses can call for an Emperor Overrule (EO). In an EO, all three houses must vote and pass an overrule with 4/5 majority in each house. This, generally, is the beginning of an imperial deposition.
- In the last election, Zeon Zrong’s Neo-Modernist party won a majority by attracting votes from the masses whilst also attracting supporters away from Royalist and Traditionalist trends.
- With Zeon’s brother Paetra Zrong having broken away from the Neo-Modernist party and founding the Popularist party for the masses, Zeon Zrong’s Neo-Modernist party is weakened. Polls indicate that Zeon Zrong has also lost his right wing support back to the Royalists and Traditionalist.
There are five main political parties:
- The Neo-Modernists: The center, and currently ruling party founded post-election. Succeeded in attracting support from the masses and from traditional ruling classes. Credited with uniting Duronis II democratically, the party looks to the future and believes in modernisation of the Laudean way of life. Their success is partially rooted in succeeding in attracting voters away from parties that were wearier of change and more conservative in preserving the Laudean way of life.
- Leader: Zeon Zrong
- Status: Major Party
- The Popularists: Slightly left of the center ground. Duronis II’s newest political party, founded by Paetra Zrong as an alternative to the Neo-Modernists. The party’s policies are actually somewhat unclear but they have a great media drive and large popularity and following amongst the voting masses who find their charm and power to the people attitudes appealing.
- Leader: Paetra Zrong
- Status: Major Party
- The Naturalists: Extreme Left of center. The naturalists are almost anti-technology and modernisation. In touch with their environment and the elements they are often powerful fielders and very down to earth people. Not overly politically active but a lot of support in more rural areas of Duronis II. Strong attachment to their space of nature and sharing many of the early beliefs that set up the fielding league but much more part of the people and a way of life. Refusal to acknowledge the modern world makes them a smaller party.
- Leader: Ahishma Chandra
- Status: Minor Party
- The Royalists: Right of center, the Royalists are staunch supporters of the former ruling classes and aristocracy. If elected they would disband the democracy and reinstate the Royal families, wanting a pre-revolution way of life. Of course, because of this, their support is weak and this is a small party.
- Leader: Oluwa Dela O’Kande
- Status: Minor Party
- The Traditionalists: Extreme Right of center, this is the party who lends its full support to the Fielding League and belief the Elders and the Feldlesser should be more than just the moral leaders of the people. Believing in Fielding and the traditional ways of Laudean life the Traditionalists ironically share many similarities with the extreme left naturalists, however, the traditionalists are much more rooted in their support for propriety, traditions and ceremony. Of course, because of this, their support is weak and this is a small party.
- Leader: Benu Hashiwa
- Status: Minor Party
Forming a Government
Duronis II is divided into provinces. Each province is divided into electoral areas. Each electoral area = 1 seat in Parliament. (There are 700 electoral areas)
The Laudean with the most votes in a political area will win that seat in parliament. It is therefore possible for a party to have 50% of the planetwide vote but only 10% of the parliamentary seats –either because all their voters may live in one area or because their voters are spread too thinly across the planet! The Laudean Parliament has 700 seats in it. To form a government you must win 301 seats. If you form a government with 301 seats you will be a minority government (as the opposition have more seats) and it will be hard to pass any legislation. Political parties may form coalitions. The coalition with the most seat will form the government. The leader of the political party with the most seats is the Planet wide leader. Prime Minister. NB: Provincial governments still wield a lot of power.
First Laudean Planetwide Election
This was the first planet wide election falling the Laudean Revolution. It is widely recognized as establishing peace following the chaos that followed the collapse of Royalist rule. With the masses having the vote for the first time, Zeon Zrong’s Neo-Modernist party won a majority by attracting votes from the masses whilst also attracting supporters away from Royalist and Traditionalist trends.
(301 Seats needed to form a government) Zeon Zrong's Neo-Modernists: 349 Seats Ahishma Chandra's Naturalists: 194 Seats Oluwa Dela O’Kande' Royalists: 62 Seats Benu Hashiwa's Traditionalists: 95 Seats The Naturalists, Royalists and Traditionalists could not agree with one another, therefore no coalition formed. Majority Party: The Neo-Modernists Prime Minister: Zeon Zrong
In early 2383 the Laudean parliament voted no confidence in Zeon Zrong and the Planet wide parliament. As can be seen above, this was possible due to a united opposition (and a few party dissidents) having a larger number of seats in parliament to the government. Zeon Zrong's brother Paetra Zrong breaks away from the Neo-Modernist party. Declaring the formation of a new party: The Popularist Party. With similar ideals the popularist party attracts half of the Neo-Modernist's popular vote. The masses are split between these two major parties. In the fight to hold the masses support, both Zrongs fail to maintain the voters they had stolen from the Royalist, Naturalist and Traditionalist parties.
(301 Seats needed to form a government) Zeon Zrong's Neo-Modernists: 261 Seats Paetra Zrong's Popularist Party: 256 Seats Ahishma Chandra's Naturalists: 92 Seats Oluwa Dela O’Kande' Royalists: 36 Seats Benu Hashiwa's Traditionalists: 55 Seats
No Party has a clear majority. Both Zrongs scramble to secure Ahishma Chandra's support to form a coalition government. It looks like either popularist or Neo-Modernist could form government, however, with a slight return to a Naturalist way of life. Mass dissidence, protests and violence follows. Duronis II falls into days of chaos -almost a return to revolutionary days, gradually state authority crumbles. Unlikely that the Zrongs would set aside their differences. Zeon Zrong asks the Romulans to kidnap Ahishma Chandra, but his plan fails when she is rescued by the Federation. The Romulans, however, quickly inform the Laudean press that Chandra is being held by the Federation. A mob gathers in protests outside the Federation Embassy. see: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/sb118-embassy/message/2731 Paetra Zrong realizes his mistake and concedes the election, offering his seat to the Neo Modernist party. See: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/sb118-embassy/message/2734 With a coalition majority of 517 this makes it likely that a neo-modernist/ popularist coalition would form the next government and that Zeon Zrong will remain Prime Minister for another term. Or will there? tbc...