Politics of Glanodel
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
Glanodel, officially the Glanish Commonwealth is a federal republic in which the president, Congress, and courts share powers reserved to the federal government according to its Constitution. At the same time, the federal government shares sovereignty with the cantonal governments.
The Glanish political system differs from that of most developed democracies in a variety of ways. Perhaps the three most notable being the executive branch's formal separation from the legislature, greater powers exercised by the legislature's upper house, and the extent of influence over the application of law expressed by the judiciary. The executive branch is led by the President and their cabinet, composed of the various heads of the executive agencies and departments. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Congress of the Commonwealth (Kongres Glanodæl; unofficially referred to as the Landsmót, tr. Landsmeet), the Council of State (Senatet; upper house) and the National Council (Nationalråd, lower house). The federal judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, and function as the interpreters of the Constitution and federal laws and regulations. This includes resolving disputes between the executive and legislative branches. The federal government's layout is explained in the Constitution.
Since the 1950s, Glanish politics has been dominated by two major political parties, the Liberal People's Party (Folkpartiet) and Conservative Democratic Party (Borgerligt Demokratisk). Third parties generally hold less political influence in Glanodel than in other developed countries, receiving moderate but consistent levels of minority support at the national level. Among the most notable being the Green Party (Grønne) and Agrarian Party (Agrareparti), as well as the religiously affiliated party, the Trúathist Democrats (Demokrater). On many issues the political parties tend to opt for co-operation, and the Glanish state welfare model receives broad support by lawmakers. This, in addition to a heavy reliance upon court decisions to extend or better define legal precedents and protections by most levels of government (in lieu of passing additional, similar laws), helps to ensure a focus on public-sector efficiency and devolved responsibilities of local government on cantonal and municipal levels.
Glanodel has a tradition of direct democracy. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory (mandatory referendum); for any change in a law, a referendum can be requested (optional referendum). In addition, the people may present a constitutional popular initiative to introduce amendments to the federal constitution. The people also assumes a role similar to the constitutional court, which does not exist, and thus acts as the guardian of the rule of law. The degree of transparency and accountability is reflected in the public's high level of satisfaction with the political institutions, while Glanodel is also regularly considered one of the least corrupt countries in the world by international organizations.
Federalism, along with a form of classical liberalism, remains the dominant ideology in Glanodel. Among the core tenets of this ideology are: all citizens have the responsibility to understand and support the government, participate in elections, pay taxes, and perform military service; an opposition to political corruption, support for the rule of the people, equality before the law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression.
Voting in general is perhaps one of the most important institutions to the Glanish population and, to an extent, even seen as sacrosanct. The federal constitution defines it as a civil right and while cantons do control when their elections are held and the locations and number of voting areas, cantons are prohibited from passing laws restricting voter registration or the free exercise of voting.
Federal elections are usually held over a three day period whereby citizens can vote up to two days before the official election day. Federal election days are national holidays and canton elections are usually regional holidays with all but emergency services being shut down for most of the day.
Glanodel features a system of government that is fairly unique, sometimes called half-direct democracy. Referenda on the most important laws have been used since the Second Constitution. Amendments to the Constitution or changes to federal laws that have no foundation in the constitution but will remain in force for more than one year must be approved by the majority of both the people and the cantons, a double majority. The Government and Congress can supplement the proposed amendment with a counter-proposal, and then voters must indicate a preference on the ballot in case both proposals are accepted.
Any citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by Congress. If that person is able to gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority of the voters whether to accept or reject the law. Also, any citizen may seek a decision on an amendment they want to make to the constitution. For such a federal popular initiative to be organised, the signatures of 100,000 voters must be collected within 18 months and is formulated as a precise new text whose wording can no longer be changed by the legislature and the government. in addition, the federal legislature may create a counterproposal to be presented alongside the original. Such counter-proposals are usually a compromise between the status quo and the wording of the initiative. Voters will decide in a national vote whether to accept the initiative amendment, the counter proposal put forward by the government.
Herregard (Lhedwinic: Herregård) is a small archipelago located just off the coast of the Skjelby peninsula in Vænholm. Along with several local shops, restaurants, and hotels, as well as several commercial and public ports, the island primarily serves as the seat of the Glanish government and includes: the Landsmótbygningen, which houses the offices of the members of Congress and holds the legislature's convening chambers; the Føderalebygning, which serves and the primary headquarters for most cabinet officials, including the President; and the Højesteretbygning, which houses the offices of most federal judges and the supreme court justices, as well as the primary courtrooms used by the federal court system. The islands also include the headquarters of the First Bank of Vænholm, the nation's central bank, as well as the Krigsbygning (literally: "war building"), the main headquarters of the Glanish Armed Forces.
Originally constructed around the King of Glanodel starting in 16th century, most of the structures on the islands were completed by 1683. However, most of the buildings on the island suffered severe damage during the Great War and have since been refurbished. As of 1973, the buildings have been carefully maintained as historical buildings and most have modern amenities.
Glanodel employs a mixed-member proportional representation electoral system in which both plurality voting and party-list proportional representation play roles in the composition of both houses of Congress and in the election of the President. Individuals at the local and canton levels are most commonly elected by a simple, plurality vote whereby candidates with the most votes are elected. On the cantonal level, these officials can be elected from and by a specific area within their canton (the region or district they are representing) or they can be elected on a canton-wide basis. Additionally, the exact election system used by the governments of cantons can vary.
Elections on the national level are split, with lower house elections being based on nation-wide party-list proportional representation, while upper house elections are based on a plurality vote within the canton they are representing. Furthermore, the President of Glanodel is elected by a nation-wide popular two-round system, requiring at one candidate to receive over 50% of the popular vote, or gain the most votes in a runoff election which includes only the top two winners of the first election.
Glanodel has often been incorrectly described as operating under a two-party system since the 1950s. This is mainly due to the fact that Glanish politics has been dominated by two parties: the Liberal People's Party (Folkpartiet) and the Conservative Democratic Party (Borgerligt Demokratisk). However, a two-party system has never been an official institution within the nation's political system and no laws have ever been enacted to enforce this tendency of two-party dominance.
In addition to the two dominant parties, the Agrarian Party (Agrareparti) and the Glanish Green Party (Grønne) have consistently received support from sizable segments of the population and as of 2014, the reemergence of extreme-left and -right political parties has resulted in the creation of the Red Wolves (Rødeulveparti; a neo-communist movement) in 2015 and the Black Wolves political party (Sortulveparti; a neo-fascist movement) in 2016.
List of political parties in Glanodel
|Name||Abbr.||Alignment||Ideology||National Council||Council of States||Cabinet||Total|
|Liberal People's Party
|FP/LPP||Center-left||Progressive, modern liberalism||80||15||23||458,230|
|Conservative Democratic Party
|Citizen's Rights Party
|BRP/CRP||Right wing||Laissez-faire capitalism, libertarianism, confederalism||36||4||0||204,847|
|AP/AGP||Left wing||Modern-agrarianism, social democracy||30||6||1||168,446|
|Glanish Worker's Party
|GAP/GWP||Left wing||Democratic socialism, trade unionist||26||4||0||148,461|
|AD/ADP||Center-right||Alydian democracy, economic liberalism||7||0||0||37,829|
Cantonal and local governments
As a federal state, the Glanish Commonwealth consists of 13 cantons (Glanish: kantons), which are further divided into counties and municipalities. Under the Constitution, all of the 13 cantons are equal in status. Each canton has its own constitution, and its own legislature, government, and judicial system. Canton sovereignty or autonomy has fluctuated throughout the centuries depending on policies enacted at the federal level. There are considerable differences between the individual cantons, not only in terms of population and geographical area, but also culturally. The cantons comprise a total of 3,217 municipalities and each municipality has its own municipal government and courts.
Cantonal governments tend to have the greatest influence over the daily lives of Glanish citizens. The Constitution prohibits the federal government from exercising any power not delegated to it by the cantons in the Constitution; as a result, cantons handle the majority of issues most relevant to individuals within their jurisdiction. Like the federal government, cantons have three branches of government and their own court systems. There are often great differences in law and procedure between individual cantons concerning issues such as property, crime, health, and education, the primary responsibilities of cantons. The chief executive of a canton is its popularly elected governor, who typically holds office for a four-year term. With the exception of Keledalr, all cantons have bicameral legislatures with an upper and lower house. Because cantonal governments are not authorized to print currency, they generally have to raise revenue through either taxes or bonds. As a result, cantonal governments receive financial support from the federal government in order to avoid imposing severe budget cuts or drastically raise taxes when the economy falters.
The institutions that are responsible for local governance within cantons are typically municipal boards, water management districts, fire management districts, library districts and other similar governmental units which make laws that affect their particular area. These laws concern issues such as traffic and the keeping of animals. The highest elected official of a town or city is usually the members of an elected City Council, who appoint a Council Chairman from their council. In most cantons, towns operate in a direct democratic fashion for most laws. In some cantons, cities have little or no power, existing only as geographic distinctions. In other areas, county governments have more power, such as to collect taxes and maintain law enforcement agencies.
List of Glanish cantons
|Region||Canton (Kanton)||Administrative center||Region||Canton (Kanton)||Administrative center|
Canton court systems
Separate from, but not entirely independent of, this federal court system are the court systems of each canton, each dealing with, in addition to federal law when not deemed preempted, a canton's own laws, and having its own court rules and procedures. Although cantonal governments and the federal government are legally dual sovereigns, the Supreme Court of Glanodel is in many cases the appellate court from the Cantonal Supreme Courts. The Supreme Courts of each cantons are by this doctrine the final authority on the interpretation of the applicable canton's laws and Constitution. Many cantonal constitution provisions are equal in breadth to those of the Federal Constitution, but are considered "parallel" (thus, where, for example, the right to privacy pursuant to a cantonal constitution is broader than the federal right to privacy, and the asserted ground is explicitly held to be "independent", the question can be finally decided in a Cantonal Supreme Court—the Federal Supreme Court will decline to take jurisdiction).
A Canton Supreme Court, other than of its own accord, is bound only by the Federal Supreme Court's interpretation of federal law, but is not bound by interpretation of federal law by the federal court of appeals for the federal circuit in which the canton is included, or even the federal district courts located in the canton, a result of the dual sovereigns concept. Conversely, a federal district court hearing a matter involving only a question of cantonal law (usually through diversity jurisdiction) must apply the substantive law of the canton in which the court sits, a result of the application of the Erie Doctrine; however, at the same time, the case is heard under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence instead of canton procedural rules (that is, the application of the Erie Doctrine only extends to a requirement that a federal court asserting diversity jurisdiction apply substantive cantonal law, but not procedural cantonal law, which may be different). Together, the laws of the federal and cantonal governments form Glanish law.
Federal judicial system
The Glanish Constitution establishes the Supreme Court of Glanodel and authorizes the Congress to establish inferior (i.e., lower) courts as their need shall arise. It also establishes a lifetime tenure for all federal judges and cantons that their compensation may not be diminished during their time in office, and it establishes that all federal judges are to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Council of States. The nation is subdivided into judicial districts and created federal courts for each district. The Congress retains the power to re-organize or even abolish federal courts lower than the Supreme Court.
The Glanish Supreme Court adjudicates "cases and controversies"—matters pertaining to the federal government, disputes between cantons, and interpretation of the federal constitution, and, in general, can declare legislation or executive action made at any level of the government as unconstitutional, nullifying the law and creating precedent for future law and decisions. This power is given to the Supreme Court by the "Judicial Review Clause" and is a cornerstone in Glanish politics in preventing corruption and the misuse or overreach of power and preserving balance of powers.
The judicial power extends to cases arising under the Constitution; treaties; cases affecting ambassadors, ministers and consuls of foreign countries; cases and controversies to which the federal government is a party; controversies between cantons (or their citizens) and foreign nations (or their citizens or subjects); and bankruptcy cases (collectively "federal-question jurisdiction"). The power of the federal courts also extends both to civil actions for damages and other redress, and to criminal cases arising under federal law.
The federal Constitution safeguards judicial independence by providing that federal judges shall hold office "during good behavior"; in practice, this usually means they serve until they die, retire, or resign. A judge who commits an offense while in office may be impeached in the same way as the President or other officials of the federal government. Federal judges are appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Council of States.
Many generally, left-leaning, public officials have claimed that Glanish lawmaking operates under a partial kritarchy, or rule by the judiciary. This accusation is mostly in reference to the tendency of the Glanish political system to rely more on legal precedents than in the passing of new laws. This tendency is commonly referred to as the "simple governance approach" and is believed by a narrow majority of the Glanish public (52%) to help prevent the creation of unneeded or overly complicated bureaucracy within the government.