Albithica

[Grand Republic of Albithica] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)
Flag of Albithica
Flag
Motto: Liberty, Endurance, Unity
Location of Albithica
Capital
and largest city
Albith
Official languagesEnglish
Demonym(s)Albithican
GovernmentSemi-Presidential Constitutional Republic
• President
Henry Bradford
• Prime Minister
Malcolm Underwood
LegislatureParliament of Albithica
Major Events
• Free Colony of Albithia founded
May 1st, 1600
• Independence declared
June 21st, 1760
• Grand Republic established
January 1st, 2000
Population
• 2016 estimate
96,538,255
• 2010 census
88,000,000
CurrencyMark

The Grand Republic of Albithica is a peaceful nation consisting of ten counties united by a strong central government, with a population of around 88 million, according to the 2010 census, but is now estimated to be approaching 100 million. The current government was founded when the Constitution of the Grand Republic was ratified in 1994, although the constitution was not implemented until 2000. Albithica has a proud tradition of compassion and pacifism, while also having one of the most robust and successful education systems in Anteria.

History

17th Century

In 1600, the City of Albith was founded on the ruins of the ancient city of Alb. The founders of Albith were predominantly Albinine searching for their estranged origin. The foundation of Albith was widely known, establishing the Free Colony of Albithia, which received patronage from various Eucatani nobility part of the crumbling Eucatani Empire. Following closely in the tradition of the Alb freehold, Albith was governed by a council of democratically elected councilmen. The news of a settlement free of unpopular rulers, as well as the promise of a new life, convinced many people from across Anteria to emigrate to Albith. The settlement slowly grew through the first 20 years. Around the 1620's and 30's, there was a massive push to colonize the rest of the landmass, which was sparsely populated due to the inadequacy of natural resources. Within a span of around 30 or 40 years, the rest of the landmass that would become modern day Albithica was settled by various settlements of entrepreneur colonists of all kinds. Some of the older settlements that existed before were assimilated, sometimes aggressively, in some instances. The Free Colony of Albithia exploded from a simple settlement to a collection of various settlements stretching from Albith to the Great Sea.

Collapse of the Empire, and the beginning of Astariaxi rule

The primary patrons of the Free Colony were a collection of nobles part of Eucatani Empire, many of whom have had a strong relation with the Albinine people from centuries of service. The Free Colony struggled to support itself from self-sustenance, as the Albithian landscape was famously scarce of natural resources, so the early colonists relied on the patronage of these numerous, small noble estates, which received crafted goods in return. However, this all changed when the Eucatani Empire collapsed in the 1660's. This put a halt on Albithian settlement expansion, as the normally consistent supply lines went dry as the Eucatan continent went into mild disarray. The fledgling nation of Astariax, seeing opportunity in Albithia, claimed that the former patronage of these nobles (many of which were absorbed by Astariax in recent years) meant that Albithia was rightly Astariaxi. The Albith council, which at this point spoke on behalf of Albithia, had no choice but to begrudgingly comply. The Council was dissolved by the Astariaxi, who divided the colony up into ten distinct counties, so that Albithia could be administered effectively and without dissension. Albithian reacted to this subjugation with anger, staging protests against Astariaxi rule all across the colony, which amounted to nothing. In the late 1660's, an insurrectionist group called the Sons of Albithia began to rally local militias to their cause, conducting guerrilla style attacks on Astariaxi garrisons.

The Albithian Dark Years and Aftermath

Astariax responded by sending an enormously large expeditionary force to end the insurrection permanently in 1670. In no time at all, the Sons of Albithia were rounded up, tortured, and executed as an example of what happens to traitors. The occupation lasted for a decade, and was marked by unspeakable violence committed by the Astariaxi on the colonists. The Albithian militias were disbanded, and any colonists who were even suspected to be disloyal were imprisoned and tortured, sometimes even publicly executed. The reign of terror ended once the Astariaxi deemed that Albithia was thoroughly beaten into submission. When the Astariaxi occupying force left in 1680, the Albithians were to traumatized to oppose the Astariaxi directly, and for the most part, they resigned to being faithful Astariaxi subjects for the remainder of the 17th century.

18th Century

Following the Dark Years, Albithians remained loyal to Astariax. Around the 1700's, enlightenment ideals began to circulate around the colony, establishing ideas of liberty, democracy, and fraternity. Needless to say, many Albithians became enamored with these ideas. In 1720, after several petitions to the Astariaxi government, the Albithian colonies were allowed to form their own semi-autonomous governments to administer their own internal affairs. Astariax was beginning to feel the strain of administering ten far flung colonies, which was beginning to interfere with other Astariaxi resource allocation elsewhere. The County Congresses of today have their origin in these early county governments.

Taxes and Independence

In the 1740's, Astariax began to impose various taxes on their colonial holdings. For the now self-governing Albithians, this produced a large disdain for the Astariaxi. With the Dark Years firmly in their memory still, the Albithians begrudgingly complied, but the detesting of Astariaxi rule began to foment nonetheless. In 1750, a large, decentralized association that comprised of all the county governments in Albithia began to advocate independence. The group, called the League for an Independent Albithica, had an enormous impact on Albithian society. Albithians, to distance themselves from their colonial past, began to call themselves "Albithicans", and even further, began to speak English as opposed to their native creole language, Albinine, which was notoriously known to be an "uncouth tongue". Albithicans began to cement their own national identity. The League knew that an outright confrontation with Astariax would be disastrous, so secretly, the League secured trade relations with the neighboring Hofflandian Union and recently united Ghijuko, something that was not allowed as a colony of the Astariaxi. Later in the 1750's, the League established defensive support with their new found trade partners, in case Astaraix decided to intervene. With the backing of Hoffland and Ghijuko, Albithica was well on their way to become an independent nation. Unknown to the Albithicans, Astariax had already lost interest in the colony, having moved their strategic interest elsewhere. The Astariaxi did not want to fight a costly war with both Hoffland and Ghijuko to keep a colony that no longer benefited them. Thus, when the League requested independence in 1760, they were surprised when Astariax complied with little to no hesitation. The League quickly formed a new national government, which resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Albithica.

Early years of the Republic

In the first twenty years, the Republic was under the influence of the Federalist party, pejoratively named the Tory party by the opposition. The Federalists concentrated on establishing various government functions, which involved a centralization of economic and political power in the federal government. Although these policies were favored by a large majority, there was clear outcry for the Federalist's near disregard for individual liberties and rights. The Federalists never did shift their priorities towards the defining of liberties and rights for the individual, believing that such ideals were to be taken for granted in a free Republic. This sentiment eventually heralded the rise of the Whigs, which took control of the government in 1780. The Whigs built upon and adjusted what the Federalists had established, but they made wide sweeping changes to the constitution. They adopted a very detailed bill of rights that defined the rights of Albithicans. Religious toleration, free speech, the free press, and various other freedoms were codified in the 1780's. In the 1790's, the Whigs spearheaded revolutionary amendments that guaranteed political rights for women and people of color. Towards the end of the century, the now dominant Whigs began to shift attention to economic growth that would bring prosperity to the nation.

19th Century

The first twenty years of the 19th century saw a dramatic rise in economic output. Government actions designed to stimulate agricultural development shifted Albithica to adopt a more agrarian industry. With the advent of newer farming technologies and replaceable parts, the agriculture industry blossomed in a land that was previous unable to adequately support farming. Economic activity boomed as Albithica, for the first time in a long time, could now sustain itself without food imports from other countries.

Aziallis War

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Nationalistic Pride and the Rise of Imperialism

The 1840's were marked by an increased nationalistic outlook. The Federalist Party, which re-branded as the National Party, began to adopt more nationalistic stances that put Albithica first before any other nation. In the 1830's, the nationalists began to gain more and more seats in parliament. In 1840, they became the majority party, ousting the Whigs 60 year rule over Albithican politics. As a reflection of this, Albithicans started to have a more ethnocentric view of the world. The Nationalists advocated protectionist trade policies, conservative foreign affairs, and stimulated economic growth. The more extreme members of the party envisioned something even bigger; Empire. These imperialists advocated for Albithica to become a force not to be reckoned with, projecting power to all corners of the globe. Throughout the 1840's, the National Party authorized the massive expansion of the Albithican navy for the purpose of naval defense.

The Imperial Coup, and subsequent reforms

The leader of the more imperialistic elements of the National Party, the charismatic and young Marlin Duval, began to work silently from behind the scenes to realize his goals. The Albithican military elite was partial towards the imperialistic rhetoric of Duval, which led to a close working relationship. Tired of what Duval called the "moderate patriots" of the National Party, Duval decided that drastic action needed to be taken. Ironically, the National Party had been securing the nationalistic policy framework that would assist Duval in what was to happen. In 1850, Duval secretly blackmailed the current Chancellor to resign, causing a parliamentary snap election which would favor the Nationalist like it had for the last ten years. All of the potential challengers for the position of Chancellor announced they would not seek election. Duval, the only one standing for Chancellor, blackmailed, threatened, or bribed each and every one of his would be opponents well before the election ever occurred. Almost immediately following his assent as Chancellor, Duval called a special session of parliament to amend the constitution. He had the army on standby outside the Parliament Building just in case compliance was necessary. However, surprisingly, every single amendment he proposed was consented too by his own party, who were more afraid of him than a man with a gun. Overnight, the Republic of Albithica became the Imperial Republic, with the parliamentary system replaced with a full Presidential system with the Supreme Chancellor holding enormous executive power, and a special electorate consisting of the military (and later, industrial) elite continuously voting Duval for another term.

Imperialistic Acquisitions

Within months, the now much expanded Albithican navy was dispatched to locations around the world. Supreme Chancellor Duval's strategy was simple; force exclusive trade rights with weaker nations, and project Albithican influence anywhere they could. Throughout the 1860's, the first objective of this strategy was spanning out very well, with numerous smaller nations across Anteria being forced into exclusive trade deals. The world was also surprised that the once backwater Albithicans had become a major world power in the matter of a couple decades following their first major war. The Albithican navy bloomed to hundreds of active vessels at its height, and Albithican trading ships were seen at almost all ports in Anteria. Albithica established a mutually beneficial agreement with the Astariaxi which guaranteed that there would be no backlash from the major world power. The Canter Republic was waning, which provided an excellent vacuum for Albithica to project its power in that region.

Industrial Revolution

Albithica began to subsidize manufacturing enterprises to encourage the adoption of rapid industrialization, expanding their manufacturing sector by an exponential amount. This industrialization revolutionized Albithica from the previously workshop-centered economy to a mass production powerhouse. Albithican goods were produced and traded around the world, but Albithica's tributary states were forced to consume the goods of Albithican industry exclusively, often times goods manufactured with their own resources that Albithica claimed rights too in the tributary agreements. However, as the economy boomed, the wealth disparity in the nation increased astronomically. Living conditions for the average worker were atrocious, and the lower classes were becoming dissatisfied with their conditions. The Imperial Republic, seeing the effects of unionization elsewhere in the world, staunchly opposed labor rights, sometimes forcefully. This only deepened the resentment towards the government.

The Hoffland-Albithica War

In the 1870's, tensions began to arise between the Hofflandian Union and the Imperial Republic over trade disputes. Albithica had undercut Hofflandian interests by forcing their prominent trade partners to enter into exclusive trade agreements with Albithica. This soured relations between the two powers. It eventually resulted in a quasi naval war in 1873. The Albithicans sought to overpower the Hofflandians fleet through sheer numbers alone. This strategy had remarkable success, with the Hofflandian navy being pushed away from Albithican interests. In 1875, the Hofflandians changed strategy, and started to engage Albithican ships at open sea. These engagements were meant to divide the Albithican fleet into smaller groups. The Hofflandian had a centuries long naval tradition, and were highly experienced seafarers. Without the ability to overpower them, Albithica began to lose more and more battles. Eventually, the Hofflandians began to focus on the Albithican ports on the Great Sea, which prompted the majority of the Albithican navy to embark towards the western coast of Albithica to protect them. This was, in fact, a ploy by the Hofflandians to draw out a large portion of the Albithican navy. In 1878, the fateful Battle of Kinecardine occurred, which resulted in a stunning Hofflandian victory. The Hofflandian navy cleverly divided their fleet into many smaller groups, and attacked the large, but slow moving, Albithican fleet at multiple angles. The Battle prematurely ended the quasi-war as a "draw", but the defeat was so humiliating that the Hofflandians were the true victors. There were minor skirmishes throughout the next two years, but by 1880, the Albithican reign of the sea had ended, as did the expansion of the Albithican tributary empire.

Gilded Age

The 1880's and 1890's were disparagingly called the "Gilded Age". During this time, Albithica reached famously large heights of industrial production. The unfortunate naval war with Hoffland may have put a stop to the expanding reach of the Imperial Republic, but the tributary states that remained provided an enormous amount of resources to fuel the Albithican industry. However, as the economy boomed, the wealth disparity in the nation increased astronomically. Living conditions for the average worker were atrocious, and the lower classes were becoming dissatisfied with their conditions. The Imperial Republic, seeing the effects of unionization elsewhere in the world, staunchly opposed labor rights, sometimes forcefully. This only deepened the resentment towards the government and the industrial tycoons that their policies helped create.

20th Century

The 1900's began dismally. Tensions between disgruntled workers and the factories that employed them had reached an all time high. In Albith, strikes were commonplace, and the productivity of the nation began to plummet. The Imperial Republic started to take drastic measures to enforce productivity. Sending in detachments of the military, the Albithican government hoped to break up these strikes which would ideally put workers back to work. This strategy backfired, however. On November 1st, 1900, Imperial forces forcefully attempted to break up a strike in Harlem. When the strikers began to riot, the Imperial forces fired upon the group of 83 civilians, killing 63. The event became known as the Harlem Massacre. News of the Massacre spread across Albithica, galvanizing the already palpable disdain for the Imperial Republic. In 1901, dissenters reformed the County Congresses, which were previously disbanded during the Imperial Reforms decades earlier. Forming the Confederation of Albithica, a massive insurrection broke out across Albithica. Rebel cells would strike key economic targets to hamper Imperial interests. For seven years, the Imperial military was engaged in a clandestine conflict with the nascent Confederacy, labeling them as violent insurrectionist.

The Albithican Civil War

Confederacy and Reconstruction

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Decentralization and Isolation

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Rediscovery of Cultural Identity

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Economic Depression

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Unification

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21st Century

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Government

Albithica is officially classified as a Semi-Presidential (Presidential-Parliamentary) Federal Democratic Republic. The national government is divided into three distinct branches (the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial branches), each of which have their own powers that are monitored by checks and balances by the other branches. The system of checks and balances is intricate, and is meant to address the short falls of the first Republic of Albithica (later known as the Imperial Republic of Albithica). These checks and balances are largely unique to Albithica.

The Legislative Branch

The national legislature is a bicameral chamber consisting of a lower House of Representatives and an upper Senate. Collectively, both chambers are referred to as Parliament, however, the House and the Senate are prohibited by the constitution from convening in a joint assembly, except in the non-deliberative exception of the annual State of the Grand Republic address by the President. Nevertheless, the two chambers are referred to as Parliament frequently, despite being near exclusive in their workings.

The House of Representatives

The House of Representatives consists of five hundred members from each of the four hundred fifty townships in Albithica, as well as the fifty neighborhoods (precincts) in Albith. Members are elected every odd number year on December 1st to be sworn in office every even number year on January 1st, consequently making a representative’s term two years in length, with no term limits. The House is headed by the Speaker of the House, who is elected by the Senate during a Presidential election year to serve for ten years. The House of Representatives primary duty is for the drafting of legislative bills. This ability to draft potential laws resides solely on the House of Representatives; the Senate is prohibited from drafting new bills by the Constitution. There are numerous rules, bylaws, and procedures that the House has adopted, and listing them all would detract from the purpose of this expose. However, the general process of the passage of bills in the House is necessary to understand the inner workings of the Albithican government. Most procedural motions require a vote of 2/5ths (two hundred representatives) to pass.

Any five representatives can propose a bill in the House, and the moment the bill is proposed, it enters a short “validation” phase where the bill’s validity is discussed. At the end of the discussion, the Speaker moves for a vote to “bring the bill into the consideration of the House”. If at least one hundred members vote in favor of considering the bill (1/5th of the House), the bill is “in consideration”. If the required quorum is not reached, the bill is “rejected from consideration”. If a bill is under consideration, a number of things can happen, depending on the discretion of the Speaker of the House. During this “consideration” phase, the bill is often referred to the aptly named “Consideration Committee”, which is chaired by the Speaker, and consists of nine other members of the House (who most often are the chairs of the nine other House Committees, which will be discussed later). By House rules, the bill must be reviewed by the Consideration Committee for four different sessions until it can be voted on by House in general. This rule has been further reinforced by the Senate, who will reject any bill outright that has not been properly reviewed in the House (in most cases). Like was stated previously, the bill’s consideration is at the discretion of the Speaker, namely the time it takes to consider the bill. President Henry Bradford, during his tenure as Speaker of the House from 2000 to 2010, is regarded as the progenitor of the following priority system. A bill which is considered normal priority will be reviewed once every week with the Committee having full ability to edit, revise, or even outright add or reject entire portions of the bill. This will make the consideration phase last for one month. A bill which is considered low priority by the Speaker will only be reviewed once every month, extending the consideration period for up to four months. A bill is that is considered high priority by the Speaker will forgo the consideration process entirely, and be moved to debate. This is rarely done in most situations, since the Senate is notorious for rejecting most bills that have not undergone proper consideration. During the consideration sessions, only the representatives who are members of the committee can vote on edits, revisions, etc. The Speaker can only moderate and direct the session.

After a bill has gone through four consideration sessions with the committee, it is presented to the House for adoption. House rules dictate that any considered bill must have a debate. During this period, representatives can voice their support or opposition to the bill, as well as detail their opinions concerning it. Once the debate ends, Representatives vote on the bill. In order for a bill to pass, it requires a 3/5ths majority vote (three hundred Representatives in favor).

The House also has the sole ability to amend the Constitution with a unanimous vote, or if 4/5ths of the House vote in favor, the Amendment goes through a special ratification procedure with the Country Congresses. The House also confirms all nominations to the Grand Courts made by the Supreme Court, in order to further check the power of the Supreme Court.

The House has nine other committees that mirror the nine ministries in the national government. These committees are chaired by long-standing and respected representatives, and consists of ten other representatives, for a total of nine committees of eleven members. These committees generate reports concerning their respective field of interest. They also review drafted bills before they are proposed for consideration, offering suggestions for revisions before the draft is proposed. Another power these committees have is that of conducting ministerial censure hearings on behalf of the Senate, issuing sanctions to punish a ministry of department if necessary. There is also a Deputy Speaker, who is usually the longest standing representative who presides over the House in the absence of the Speaker.

The Senate

The Senate is the upper chamber of Parliament, and consists of thirty Senators. There are three Senators from each County, and their respective County Congresses elect one senator every odd number year on December 1st to be sworn into office on January 1st of every even number year. A Senator’s term of office is six years, with a limit of one term. The Senator’s terms are staggered in such a way that 1/3rd of the Senate seats are up for election every two years, with each County Congress electing a new Senator every two years as well. The Senate is headed by the Vice President, who has significantly less authority than the Speaker has over the House. The Vice President simply moderates and directs the procedures in the Senate, while also serving as a tie-breaker in case of ties. The Vice President appoints a “Pro Tempore” resides over the Senate if the Vice President is unable to do so. A pro tem, as the position is usually referred to, cannot break a tie in the Senate like the Vice President, however.

The Senate does not have the authority to create new bills, but this does not diminish its power. While the they do not have any authority over the Judicial branch, the upper chamber has enormous authority over the Executive branch, as well as giving a final review on all bills passed by the House. We will discuss the latter first.

The Senate’s primary duty is to consider and review bills passed by the House. Senators are elected from their constituent County Congresses, not from the general voter population of a township or precinct. The Senate also evolves gradually, with only 1/3rd of the seats in the chamber changing every two years, as opposed to all the seats in the House being up for election every two years. This is to ensure that the Senate acts as a “sober second thought” in regards to legislation, emancipating them, for the most part, from the passionate, but fickle, will of the general population. When a bill passes the House, the Senate holds a vote to consider the bill. If a majority of Senators (over fifteen) vote in favor of consideration, the bill is passed. If at least ten Senators (1/3rd) vote in favor of the bill, the bill is in consideration. If less than ten vote in favor, the bill is rejected. If a bill is in consideration, the entire Senate discusses how the bill can be revised so that it can reach a majority to pass. The bill is discussed and debated upon until a consensus can be made on what parts of the bill can be revised so that a majority of Senators will vote in favor. After the final revisions are made, the bill is once again put to a vote, which almost always passes after the Senate’s careful revisions. Senatorial revisions can range from minor edits to major revisions, and even a complete rewriting of the bill (much to the chagrin of the House). After passing, the bill is now finished with the legislative branch.

Another duty of the Senate is through its’ subsidiary organization, the Senatorial Auditing Bureau; simply referred to as the Bureau. The Bureau audits various Executive ministries to ensure that the government holds a high standard of integrity, as well as making sure that the government is not overreaching the bounds of established law. The Bureau generates frequents reports for the Senate to use in their consideration. Most importantly, the Senate must ratify all Presidential Directives proposed by the President with a 2/3rds vote (twenty Senators). This is to ensure that any executive power the President has that is not in the Constitution is vested in the Senate, and any active Directive can be reviewed and nullified at any time with a simple majority vote.

The Senate has a massive, if not blunt, power over the composition of the government. Any potential Prime Minister that is nominated by the President (usually at the beginning of the President’s term in office) must be approved by the Senate before he is to take office. Along with this, the Senate has the authority to essentially dismiss the government by moving for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister. A vote of no confidence must be a unanimous. If a vote of no confidence passes, the Prime Minister is removed from office, which creates a domino effect by subsequently removing all the Ministers the Prime Minister appointed, as well as all the Secretaries that each Minister appointed. The President would then need to nominate a new Prime Minister, who will need to be approved by the Senate, who then will need to appoint new Ministers, and they, in turn, will need to appoint new Secretaries. The Senate has never moved for a vote of no confidence since the adoption of the current Constitution, but the threat of a “government reorganization” remains a real possibility every time the Senate issues a censure on various ministries.

The Executive Branch

At first glance from an outside nation, it would appear that the Grand Republic follows a Presidential system of government. However, this would not be correct. While the President does exercise a considerable amount of power, most of it is vested in the Senate, and not the Constitution. The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is tasked by the Constitution to facilitate the process of governance in regards to Parliamentary bills signed into law by the President. The day to day operation of the government is taken care of by the Prime Minister, while the President steers the government’s direction for the long term.

The President

The President of Albithica is the head of state of the Grand Republic. The President serves for a term of ten years, being elected in the last year of the decade on December 1st to be inaugurated on January 1st of the first year of the next decade. (For example, Henry Bradford was elected on December 1st, 2009, and was inaugurated on January 1st of 2010.) Presidents are limited to one term. The Constitution gives very little intrinsic power to the President, with the office’s main authorities being that of signing or vetoing legislation passed by Parliament, delivering an annual State of the Grand Republic address, charged with defending the countries “national sovereignty”, as well as having the sole ability to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court if there is a vacancy. However, the Constitution grants the extrinsic power of proposing Presidential Directives to the Senate for ratification that would invest additional authority with the Office of President. Presidential Directives can range from directing the government to do something that is not within the current scope of the Prime Minister to establishing public policy stances in the government. The President confirms the Prime Ministers nominations for the government ministers, and can dismiss these ministers for misconduct if they are censured by the Senate. The President also has the sole ability to nominate Justices to the Supreme Court in case of vacancies. Peculiarly, the President’s administration is in charge of Albithica’s intelligence organization, the National Intelligence Agency, or simply the Agency. This power is granted to the President to safeguard the nation’s “national security and sovereignty.” As for the President’s check on the legislative, he has complete authority to sign bills into law, or to veto them outright. As Head of State, it is considered the President’s judgement if a parliamentary bill ought to be the law of the land.

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the head of government. He is nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate. While he is symbolically accountable to the President, he is more accountable to the Senate, which can dismiss him with a vote of no confidence. He is in charge of the majority of the operations of the government, being the default decider in terms of government direction, unless a directive places a government function with the President. The Home Office is essentially the administrative head of the Albithican government, with numerous offices designed to facilitate the cooperation between the various ministries, coordinate the implementation of public policy, and executes bills signed into law by the President. The government ministers, who can be dismissed by the President for misconduct, are constitutionally bound to be solely accountable to the Prime Minister, not the head of state. This is to circumvent a situation where the ministers will answer to the President instead of the Prime Minister, which would undermine the head of government’s authority. The Prime Minister confirms all Department Secretary appointments made by the government Ministers, and can also dismiss the Secretaries for misconduct. Unlike ministers, secretaries are dually accountable to the their respective minister and the Prime Minister. As a customary rule, the Prime Minister consults the President on government issues on a regular basis, and generally heeds the President’s advice in most situations. In this regard, there is a general confusion that implicates the Prime Minister is simply a glorified Chief of Staff, but this is largely untrue. The Prime Minister can act against the President’s advice, which has happened on many occasions. If the President advices a course of action, but the Senate is vehemently opposed to such an action, the Prime Minister will most likely follow the wishes of the Senate. However, it is in the best interest of Albithica if the Prime Minister’s government cooperates with the President’s administration, as a “rogue” Prime Minister circumvents the authority of the President to direct the government.

The Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch of the Grand Republic is remarkably centralized, and the local, country, and national levels of the Judiciary are very much dependent on each other. For the purpose of the topic at hand, the national Judiciary will be discussed.

The Supreme Court

The highest court of the land, the Supreme Court consist of nine Justices appointed for life, including a Chief Justice who heads proceedings. The Supreme Court’s powers are very broad and mostly consist of checking the powers of the lower courts through rulings on injunctions and filling vacancies on the various Grand Courts. The Supreme Court has a very important ability of reviewing legislation passed by Parliament for violations to the Constitution (or contradictions to standing law). If the Court finds that a bill is unconstitutional or legally contradictory, they can issue a Decree that nullifies a bill before it reaches the President. This is the Supreme Court’s power over Parliament. The power to impeach the President also resides with the Supreme Court, if the President is found to have violated the Constitution or overstep his legal bounds. Importantly, the Court hears all cases against the government that have passed a preliminary Grand Jury hearing, and decides on these cases accordingly.

The Supreme Court’s decisions, Decrees, and Rulings can massively shape Constitutional interpretation and common law. Rulings effectively check that the County and Local governments adhere to the constitution and established law. Decrees not only nullify unconstitutional bills from being passed, but they have the ability to prevent further bills of the same caliber from passing as well. Decisions establish official interpretations of the Constitution in regards to grievances against the government. How encompassing these decisions, rulings, and decrees depends on the consensus of the Supreme Court’s consenting opinion. A Per Curiam opinion (an opinion that is shared by all the Justices) is considered a Landmark precedent, and is fully encompassing, with no possibility of exception. A Landmark precedent can only be overturned by another judgement of the court with a Per Curiam opinion. A Majority opinion is when the majority of the court shares the same opinion. This establishes a legal precedent, which primarily relates the the case at hand, but can also extend to future cases that are within the scope of the judgement. A plurality opinion, which is when there are several concurring opinions in consent with the court’s overall judgement, but none have a majority. This judgement relates solely to the case at hand, and does not establish a precedent for future cases. There are also dissenting opinions made by Justices who disagree with the overall Court’s judgement. These opinions do not have legal weight. Concurring opinions are simply judicial opinions that agree with the overall consenting judgement of the Court, but is not shared by the majority of the Court.

Demographics

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Culture

Albithicans come off as unapologetically frank and pragmatic to the point that they appear to be completely grounded and incapable of thinking idealistically at all. However, for anyone who knows an Albithican very well, they would know that this is simply not true. They are highly principled, possessing strongly held convictions. To an Albithican, the concept of moral convictions and idealistic principles should be consigned as compasses that guide behavior and goals that one aims to achieve, not something that is discussed and debated upon. An Albithican utilizes his or her actions and words in the most practical way possible to strive for what they firmly believe is right. For anyone who holds the notion that an Albithican is too grounded to possess ideals of their own will be thoroughly surprised when they say the wrong thing in front of them, and are on the receiving end of an Albithican critique.

A peaceful nation, Albithicans value compassion, pacifism, and an altruistic outlook for their fellow man, but above all else, Albithicans value education. The need to strive towards academic success and scholastic achievement is a fundamental cornerstone in Albithican society, with the general attitude being that a well-rounded education is the key to personal fulfillment and self-actualization. For them, the success and accomplishments of individual Albithicans corresponds to success and accomplishment for the entire nation.

People

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