Politics of Caldia

Politics in Caldia take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. Executive power is exercised by the monarch and the cabinet, led by the taoiseach. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Tionól, elected within a multi-party system. The Judiciary is independent of the executive branch and the legislature.

Constitutional development

Constitution in 1814, Instrument for Governance Act of 1857, Instrument for Governance Act of 1965

Executive branch

Caldia is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, wherein the King of Caldia is the head of state and the taoiseach is the head of government.

The monarch officially retains executive power. However, following the introduction of a parliamentary system of government, the duties of the monarch have since become strictly representative and ceremonial such as the formal appointment and dismissal of the taoiseach and other ministers in the executive government. As a constitutional safe-guard, the monarch reserves the power to dismiss the taoiseach from office as a way to prevent constitutional crisis. Accordingly, the Monarch is commander-in-chief of the Caldish Defense Forces, and serves as chief diplomatic official abroad and as a symbol of unity. Kenneth IV of the House of MacIconnich-Sartoux was crowned King of Caldia in 2010. Princess Mary Victoria, Duchess of Liscannor is the heir designate to the throne. A modified system of tanistry is in place, allowing the monarch to appoint their own heir.

Legislative branch

The Tionól of Caldia, often simply the Tionól, is the supreme legislative body in Caldia. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in Caldia. Its head is the monarch of Glytter (currently King Kenneth IV) and its seat is Carrowdun Palace in Spálgleann. The legislature is bicameral, consisting of an upper house (the Seanad Glítteann) and a lower house (the Comhthionól Náisiúnta). The monarch forms the third component of the legislature (the King-in-Tionól).

The Comhthionól Náisiúnta (National Assembly) is the lower house, and principal chamber, of the Tionól. It is directly elected at least once every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of mixed-member proportional representation. Its powers are similar to those of lower houses under many other bicameral parliamentary systems and it is by far the dominant branch of the Tionól. Subject to the limits imposed by the Constitution of Caldia, it has power to pass any law it wishes, and to nominate and remove the taoiseach. Members of the Comhthionól are known as Teachtaí Comhthionól (TCs). It was created following the Silent Revolution through the Instrument for Governance Act of 1857.

The Seanad Glítteann (Senate of Glytter) is the upper house of the Tionól. It is commonly called the Seanad or Senate and its members senators (seanadóirí in Ghaillish, singular: seanadóir). In 1814, the Seanad was established by the Constitution of Caldia and the first democratic national elections were held in the country that same year. Unlike the Comhthionól, it is only partially directly elected. More than half of its members are chosen through various methods, typically rooted in appointment. Its powers are considerably more limited than those of the Comhthionól and it can only delay laws with which it disagrees, rather than veto them outright.

Teachtaí Comhthionól (TCs) and elected Seanadóirí serve for five year terms until elections are held once again. The last Seanad election was on 26 May 2016 and the last Comhthionól was on 18 February 2019. The appointed seanadóirí do not stand for reelection and serve their term either for life or until they are dismissed by the taoiseach or the other respective nominating bodies.

Political parties and elections

Elections to determine the composition of the legislative bodies of the three levels of government in Caldia are held on a rotating five year schedule. The five-tiered system, known commonly as the cúig vótaí (five votes) system, starts with elections to the health boards in the first year, municipal elections in the second, county elections in the third, Seanad elections in the fourth, and Comhthionól elections in the fifth. Elections to the Euclean Parliament are held every four years, with the last election having taken place in 2019

At the highest level, elections to the Tionól are held under different electoral methods. For the Seanad, the twenty-six elected senators are selected using first-past-the-post. These elections are held every five years on 26 May, with the last Seanad election taking place in 2016. Regular elections to the Comhthionól are similarly held every five years on 12 June. The last regular election was held in 2017, however a snap election was held on 18 February 2019. The next election will take place in 2019. Elections to the Comhthionól use mixed-member proportional representation. Its 399 seats are divided into 200 multi-member constituencies and 199 seats that are selected based on a party's vote share. These seats are allocated to parties who rank their candidates on an open list in which voters can rank candidates on their own. Parties need to pass a threshold of 2.5% to qualify to win list seats. Caldia has XX multi-member constituencies. Each consistency consists of three to five members. Members are selected using a version of single-transferable vote known as the Ní Dochartaigh method. Under this process, voters rank candidates by first and second preference. Unlike other methods of single transferable vote, they can only rank candidates in this order and cannot transfer their vote to more than one additional candidate. For the candidates elected using open list, voters can either support a party's top candidate or give their vote to another candidate on the list. This could allow a candidate to move up the list. For this to occur, a candidate must receive more than 25% of the total number of votes cast for the party. This allows for parties to retain significant control over the TCs elected on the open list.

Judicial branch

In Caldia, a civil law system is used where laws are drafted and amended in the legislature. The system is regulated by the nation's court system. There are four tiers to the court system, known as the Ceithre Chúirt (Four Courts). The High Court, the national courts, county Courts, and municipal courts. The judiciary is independent from the executive and legislative branches and has high levels of judicial independence. The national government reserves the right to nominate judges for all four tiers. These are then confirmed by the lower-house of the legislature, the Comhthionól Náisiúnta.

The High Court serves as the nation's supreme court. It has 11 permanent members who are nominated by the executive and confirmed by the legislature. It is led by the Chief Justice who is elected from among its members for a permanent term. Its mission is to interpret the constitution, determine the constitutionality of legislation, and regulate the national judiciary. Decisions of all lower courts can be appealed to the High Court, who has the power to overturn their rulings. Through its judicial reviews, it has significant authority over both the government and the legislature. It monitors both branches to ensure they compliant with both the constitution and provisions of existing legislation. The High Court meets at the Fitzwallace House in Spálgleann. The current Chief Justice is Bríanna Ni Flaithbheartaigh who has held the post since 2011.

National courts are courts that have jurisdiction over the nation. There are six national court districts in which counties are grouped. The authority of national courts supersedes that of both county and municipal courts. Each court consists of five members nominated and appointed by the national government. The rulings of county and municipal courts can be appealed to national courts, who have the jurisdiction to overturn or place a stay on rulings from lower courts. County Courts operate at a county level. They play a similar role to the High Court as they ensure county governments are compliant with the law. Municipal courts handle the legal affairs of municipality. Their size ranges significantly with larger cities employing over two dozen judges while the smallest municipalities have only one judge. Metropolitan counties in Caldia have county courts that include the functions of municipal courts.

Administrative divisions

International organisation participation