Government and politics in the Republic of Isla Verde


The Republic of Isla Verde is a unitary, semi-presidential republic located in the Verdean Archipelago of Greater Meridon. It operates with two heads of state, the Chancellor, and the President who both act with some executive capacity. The Parliament is unicameral body that represents the legislative authority of the Republic. There is also a National Court which serves as a high level judiciary in Verde.

Structure

The structure of the government of the Republic of Isla Verde is organized in much the same way as many of the more stable Republics of Greater Meridon in that there are three distinct branches of government with a division of powers between them. Unlike many of the strictly Parliamentary systems on the continent however, the executive is subdivided, and does have greater independence from the legislative. There is some independence given to district and local governments however, both remain largely administrative in nature, rather than legislative.

The Executive

The executive is primarily embodied by the office of the Chancellor, a parliamentary appointee who serves as head of government, and as the chief diplomat of the Republic. The chancellor is assisted by an appointed series of high level government ministers, namely the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Foreign Relations, the Minister of Internal Development, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Public Health, the Minister of Human Development, Minister of Culture, and the Minister of Justice, each of whom are responsible for the running of a similarly named ministry. In addition to the Chancellor, there is a directly elected president who operates as the commander in chief of the Verdean Armed Forces. The various ministries of the government, as well as the office of the President are located in the Plaza dele Gobierno, formerly known as the Palace of Castille in Castille, whereas the office and residence of the Chancellor is located on 100 Calle del Palacio, also in Castille. Currently, the Chancellor is Enrico Palenque, and the current President is Inés Spalding delas Vacas.

The Plaza dele Gobierno, host to the legislature and many government ministries in the Republic.

The Legislature

The legislature of the Verdean Republic consists of a unicameral parliament with 300 sitting members at any one time, and is responsible for passing laws and other forms of legislation, as well as ratifying treaties, and appointing the Chancellor and highest levels of the judiciary, and confirming the Chancellor's choices of government ministers. The head of Parliament is the Chancellor, who also breaks tied votes in Parliamentary votes. The parliament is seated in the Plaza dele Gobierno in Castille and is in session most of the year, with a few regularly scheduled adjournments throughout the year. Support for individual parliamentarians is often paid for by the local region from which the parliamentarian hails, which results in dramatically divergent styles of living among members of the parliament.

The Judiciary

The judiciary is comprised of a Verdean National Court, which is appointed, by the Chancellor for ten year terms of office, who is then confirmed by the Parliament. The judiciary is responsible for reviewing laws to ensure that they do not conflict with the constitution, done via a process of appeals that make their way through lower courts. Additionally, the Verdean National Court has the power and responsibility to o impeach a President for criminal activity, misconduct, or dereliction of duty. Members of the court can be removed by the Parliament in the event that they have engaged illegal activities, or serious miscreancy not befitting of the office of National Justice. The Verdean National Court meets at the Templo de Justicia in Castille for a month long period every quarter.

The Verdean Templo de Justicia in Castille.

Regional and Local Governments

As a unitary nation, the national government is by far and away the most powerful level of the state. However, there are some powers delegated to more localized governments. At the local level, governments tend to take the form of small municipal councils, or mayorships, and in the case of larger governments both. Additionally, in augment to the National judiciary most localities have local courts, which handle day to day criminal, and civil proceedings. Local governments have the power to legislate and enforce certain ordinances which take priority even over district laws. District governments are generally seat in the largest or oldest cities in a district, and serve largely as instruments of the national government. As a result they posses a greatly reduced legislative authority and have been largely relegated to an administrative status.

Operation of Government

Civil Rights

The Republic of Verde does have a fairly extensive regime of civil rights. Citizens have the right to life, usually, as well as the right to a speedy and fair trial, the right to know what charges are brought up on a detained citizen, right to legal consul. Further, no citizen may be forced to testify against themselves, and no citizen may be held in bondage, slavery, or servitude. All citizens are further granted de jure equality without regard for race, ethnicity, nation of origin, religious worship, sex or gender identity, sexuality, physical ability or mental aptitude. Citizens are further granted right to freedom of speech, press, expression, association, conscience, and religion, as well as the right to protest. These legal protections are similarly granted to most noncitizens, though the Federalist Provisio states that former members of the Capisarian Federal Armed Forces, former members of Seraph Security, and active Federalist insurgents are to have their rights waived, and are furthermore, to be imprisoned on sight pending trial, and probable execution.

While citizens are generally granted right of suffrage, and right to serve in government, they are obligated to complete a period of National Service if they are to retain these rights. Those who do not undergo their national service upon reaching age of thirty are dubbed Shirkers and have their right of suffrage rescinded, and are barred access to government possessions until such a time as they complete their service. In some districts and localities there is an additional Shirker's tax added to the taxation of a citizen with that legal designation. Immigrants are similarly refused citizenship until they complete national service, which acts as a part of the naturalization process. Further there are emergency laws in place that would, if activated can temporarily suspend certain civil rights for a predetermined amount of time. However, these laws have never been activated, even in response to the nuclear attacks at the start of the Doradan Conflict.

Enrico Palenque, current Chancellor of the Verdean Republic

At the dawn of the Republic, constitutional provisions held Regio dela Verde in higher legal regard than other faiths, and as a result certain privileges were granted to organizations of that faith, particularly with Regio insitutions being valid service areas for National Service whereas others were not. As of the Grenz v. Republic case of DI 202 however, the right of citizens to freedom of religion has been extended to institutions for the purposes of nondiscrimination.

Legislation and Judiciary

The responsibility for legislation in the Republic of Verde falls upon the Parliament. Parliamentary procedure mandates a period of deliberation before the passage of each new law, with this period generally lasting 72 hours over the course of several weeks, it is not unprecedented however for deliberation periods to have truncated or extended deliberation periods. After a particular piece of legislation has been debated the Parliament votes on it. Most pieces of legislation require a simple majority to pass, however more important pieces require a super majority of three fifths. In the event of a split vote, the Chancellor has the power to break ties. Once a particular piece of legislation has made it past the Parliament the Chancellor is responsible for signing or vetoing a law. If a law is vetoed it goes back to parliament which can override the will of the Chancellor if the law is passed again with a three fifths super majority. If a bill is passed with a simple majority after a veto, but not the three fifths majority, the Chancellor may again veto the bill this time striking it down completely for a period of five years.

Once a law is passed it is treated as being in compliance with the constitution unless challenged and overturned in appellate courts. The judiciary is largely embodied by local criminal, civil, and appellate courts who handle the day to day affairs of the law enforcement mechanism, and are generally composed only of a single magistrate who acts as arbiter, chief inquisitor (given the inquisitorial court system), as well as the juror in all but the most important cases. If someone is convicted of a crime, they are free to appeal the conviction which would bring the case to an appellate court, and if the results of the appeal are inconclusive to the Verdean National Court, which is a standing nine person body, which has the final authority over the constitutionality of challenged laws. If the Verdean National Court cannot effectively judge the constitutionality of a law, either with multiple conflicting opinions or a similar affair, the law is upheld.

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement is one of the few areas where there is a fairly significant degree of latitude at the local level, as the overwhelming majority law enforcement officers are local operators usually employed by municipal governments. Local law enforcement agencies are largely responsible for most common duties in the Republic, with street level law enforcement, traffic enforcement, and the investigation of most crimes. Certain larger police offices also have the capacity for expanded operations with in-house serious crimes offices, and crisis intervention teams. Local law enforcement agencies receive the lion's share of the total budget going into law enforcement with the total budget of municipal police offices operating on a budget of $14,244,100,190 NSD and with 926,000 officers actively serving.

Verdean Gendarmerie in Pinar del Sur.

Augmenting municipal police offices in most of the Republic is the Verdean Gendarmerie which is organized at the district level. Each district is expected to maintain at least one district Gendarme barracks, and most maintain at least a dozen, especially more rural Districts where the gednarmerie are needed, and where high speed travel may not be as feasible. The Gendarmerie is responsible for guarding important buildings, and district escort missions, as well as high intensity situations, and counter terrorism operations. The Gendarmerie also acts as an auxiliary coast guard to the Navy, responsible for law enforcement in the territorial waters of the Republic. In some municipalities the Gendarmerie is also responsible for augmenting the local law enforcement agencies, but this has become an increasingly uncommon occurrence in recent years. The Verdean Gendarmerie has a combined budget of $10,683,075,143 NSD, and has 648,200 actively serving members.

At the national level, the primary law enforcement arm is the Republican Investigative Bureau which is responsible for investigating major cases, as well as providing technical staff for local investigations. It is also responsible for vetting candidates for national office, and prosecuting crimes conducted by agents of the state. In addition to the BRI, the Republican government maintains the Verdean Customs and Immigration Service which handles customs, immigration, naturalization, and deportation in the Republic, the Hate and Religious Crimes Task Force, which investigates extremist organizations and combats terrorist activity. Additionally there are a number of other, smaller law enforcement offices, bureaus, and departments that handle highly specialized law enforcement activity, generally falling under the purview of the BRI. The combined agencies of the national government receive a budget of $10,683,075,142 NSD, and have 277,800 actively serving personnel.

National Service

Citizens are required to undergo a two year period of service to the nation during their early adult years, legally from 18-26, but with action not being taken until the citizen has reached thirty years of age. Likewise immigrants to the Republic are obligated to complete this National Service as part of the naturalization process. Participating in the National Service means two years of service in the Verdean Armed Forces, the Pan-Verdean Restoration Corps, the National Guards, or to a local governmental office or religious institution. Historically the local alternative services meant only civil service or extended mission on behalf of the Regio dela Verde Septonate. However, legal cases throughout the formative years of the Republic saw the expansion of these services and now teaching, practicing medicine at a public institution, civil service, community service, and service to a temple are all considered acceptable outlets for National Service. Upon completion of National Service obligations, a citizen is granted a small payment for their service (on top of the customary living stipend granted by most service outlets), and a non-citizen is granted Verdean citizenship. Citizens who have not completed their service upon reaching the age of thirty are legally designated Shirkers and are barred from positions in the upper echelons of government, and denied suffrage until they have completed their obligations, and will be denied payment upon completion. Non-citizens are not obliged to complete service by any age, but are not granted citizenship until they have completed their obligations, barring certain rare exceptions. Every year, roughly 900,000 start their National Service with roughly a third serving in the armed forces, a four tenths serving in the CRPV or the GN, and the remaining persons serving in local positions.

Politics

Elections

General elections are held every five years. All non-Shirker Verdean citizens over 18 years of age may participate and vote in the Verdean General Election. The general election covers the parliament, as well as the President who is elected directly by the general public. Before each general election, all parties are expected to present an ordered list of party members willing to serve in government for inspection by the Verdean Election Bureau and Republican Investigative Bureau. Party lists are expected to have at least three hundred persons indicated to be approved as a major party (and therefore granted debating space in debates without an additional petition), and the Bureau has indicated that it prefers a larger number to account for persons who are appointed for other positions. After a thorough vetting process the lists are approved for use in the general elections.

  Ortegan National Party: 126 seats
  Verdean Liberal Party: 54 seats
  Verdean People's Party: 108 seats
  Ortegan Vanguardist Party: 10 seats
  Isarléan Popular Party: 2 seats

During a parliamentary election, people vote for their particular choice of parties, with a proportional rate of one third of one percent of the vote representing a single seat in parliament. After the conclusion of the election and the counting of the vote seats in parliament are assigned to persons on the party list in their order. Persons who have been arrested, indicted, or convicted of crimes, or that have otherwise been scandalized, may at this point be removed at the behest of the party leadership. Once each party's contribution has been made to parliament, the incoming government may appoint a Chancellor, who will then appoint their cabinet. After that point additional parliamentarians are pulled from the party lists as necessary.

Presidential elections work differently from the general election, in that instead of party voting and proportional representation, there is instead a first past the post system, and that it is up to the individual to decide to run for the office of President. Candidates for the office President must submit to a background check from the BRI as well as to a vetting process from the chiefs of staff of the Verdean Armed Forces. All vetted candidates are then run in the election with the recipient of the most votes attaining the office. While not legally required or expected, most Presidential candidates will first secure an endorsement from one of the Major parties before running, and campaigning as a party member though it has not been unheard of for a Presidential candidate to run independent of a party, and indeed the current President, Inés Spalding delas Vacas ran as an independent in the most recent elections.

Parties

See Also: List of political parties in Verde

Major Parties

Major parties are those that maintain the required three hundred person party roster for each general election, and which have seats in parliament. There are currently four major parties operating in the Republic of Isla Verde, two of which are considered to be "the government", as part of the ruling coalition, and two of which are said to be in opposition to the government, though the four largest parties have fairly significant similarities between them.

Party Name Coalition Party Leader Seats in Parliament Ideology Political Position
Ortegan
Orteguistas
in coalition Enrico Palenque (Chancellor)
126 / 300
Ortegan Socialism, Urbanism, Collectivism, Democratic Socialism, Pan-Verdeanism Left
Populists
Partido Popular
in opposition Inés Spalding delas Vacas (President)
108 / 300
Nationalism, Populism, Collectivism, National Service Centre-left
Liberal Party
Liberales
in coalition François Robles
54 / 300
Social Democracy, Welfare State, Pan-Verdeanism, Social liberalism Centre-left
Vanguardists
Vanguardistas
in opposition Luís Garcia Esparza
10 / 300
Vanguardism, Pan-Verdeanism, Internationalism Far left

Minor Parties

Minor parties are those without representation in parliament or a completed three hundred person party roster, or usually, both. There are currently six operating minor parties, most of which are single issue or regional parties, as well as the Friends of Goats Society which is satirical in nature. Some, (most notably the Bastillian Assistance Party) were formerly more prominent in government but have since lost most of their seats.


Party Name Coalition Party Leader Seats in Parliament Ideology Political Position
Isarléanists
Isarléanistas
in opposition Jules Pierre d'Bleumontagne
2 / 300
Isarléan Nationalism, Minority Recognition for Isarléans, Classical Liberalism Centre-right
Syndicalists
Syndicales
not in government Marcos Navarre Ortega
0 / 300
Anarcho-syndicalism Far-left
Market
Mercantes
not in government Howard George Lavaliere
0 / 300
Minarchism, Lasseiz faire, Internationalism Far right
Bastillian
Bastilleros
not in government Belén Flores Navarre
0 / 300
Assistance for the city of Bastille, following the 2012 nuclear attack on the city. Centre-left
Pirate Party
Las Piratas
not in government Juan Gabrielle Lorca
0 / 300
Abolition of intellectual property across Greater Meridon. Far left
Friends of Goats
Amigos de Cabras
not in government Julia Renate de Especia
0 / 300
Intermarriage between humans and goats, political union with Stipekia, a tin can dole for all goats in the Republic, and an opposition to Göke and horses. Satirical Party