Politics of the Erishlands
|State type||Federal semi-parliamentary directorial crowned republic|
|Constitution||Constitution of the Erish Federation|
|Name||Council of States|
|Presiding officer||Taulv Worlac|
President of the Council of States
|Appointer||Appointment by federal and state governments|
|Presiding officer||Melsta Gailstasdogdar|
Speaker of the People's Convention
|Appointer||Double mandate and|
two-round proportional direct election
|Head of State|
|Head of Government|
|Current cabinet||First Kairalcssun government|
|Appointer||Federal Minister, with|
approval of Federal College
|Federal Supreme Court|
|Chief judge||Graubert Gendrassun|
The politics of the Erishlands take place within the framework of a federal, representative democratic semi-parliamentary directorial crowned republic established by the Constitution of the Erish Federation. Under the Constitution, the people delegate political power to the state in pursuit of “common freedom upon the foundations of law and justice”. The head of state is the Queen, currently Lousna III, but the position is ceremonial, with actual political leadership being exercised by the Federal Minister, currently Hairic Kairalcssun, who is the head of government. Erish politics and governance are characterized by a common striving for broad consensus on important issues, within both politics and society as a whole.
The Erishlands have a semi-parliamentary system that mixes responsible government with strong constitutional checks and balances between four branches of government. Federal moderative power is vested in the Federal Presidium, a collegial presidency with several significant, oft-exercised political powers and which includes the presiding officers of the Federal Diet and the Federal Minister. Legislative power is vested in the Federal Diet, a semi-tricameral parliament consisting of the upper Council of States and the lower People’s Convention, the latter of which is a joint convention of two houses, the Districts' Assembly and the Federal College. Executive power is exercised by the Federal Cabinet, which is presided over by the Federal Minister, who is elected by the Federal College. Ministers of the Cabinet are nominated by the Federal Minister and confirmed by the Federal College, which can also dismiss individual Ministers or the Federal Minister and the entire Government through a vote of no confidence. The judiciary is independent of the other branches. There is a Federal Supreme Court with powers of judicial review of the constitutionality of federal and state legislation, but judicial review of federal laws is weaker than in many jurisdictions.
The Erishlands have a multi-party system with two large parties at the federal level, the conservative Royalists and the center-left Republicans, along with several other smaller but influential parties. The Federal Diet's lower chamber, the People's Convention, is directly elected every four years, albeit by different methods for each of its houses. The Districts' Assembly's Representatives are elected through double mandate voting in constituencies apportioned to each state based on population. The Federal College's Senators are federally elected using two-round proportional voting, which results in a Senatorial split between a majority Government party and minority Opposition party. The two different electoral systems allow for the creation of “majority governments” in a parliament which has not seen a party control a majority of seats since 1905, while necessitating negotiation and compromise between several parties on legislation. The upper house of the Diet, the Council of States, consists of delegations from the federal and state governments. Voting in elections for the Diet, as well as for the state parliaments, is compulsory.
The Erishlands are an asymmetric federation, wherein the states, the 20 Lands and the Shire of Vorkbork, are cosovereign with the federal government. Vorkbork, the capital city of the Erishlands, has less autonomy than the Lands. Vorkbork and a majority of Lands use a form of government after the federal government, with legislatures elected through a mixture of two-round and proportional voting and cabinets being responsible to the two-party chamber of legislators. Eight Lands, however, follow a model with a multi-partisan lower house and a coequal upper house chosen lottocratically.
- 1 Constitution
- 2 Queen
- 3 Moderative branch
- 4 Executive branch
- 5 Legislative branch
- 6 Judicial branch
- 7 State and local government
- 8 Political culture
- 9 Political parties
The Erish constitution consists of two fundamental laws, the most important of which being the Constitution for the Erish Federation (Erish: Xʀʌoᴅɢϙxϙ vϙʀ ʃɵʀbвϙoɥƞv [ˈqʼũːd̪ˌlɔːkʷʼᵿ β̞ᵿ ˈʕ̞æʢːʃt̠ˌɸũːt̪ʼɐɸ], Lat.: Kruñðloko vor Härscboñdev), which is a supreme federal law of the Erishlands governing both the federal and state levels of government. It establishes the principles of Erish democracy, lays out a bill of rights, and sets the framework for federal and, to a lesser extent, state politics. The Federal Supreme Court does exercise a limited form of judicial review against unconstitutional laws, but the primary institution dedicated to protecting the constitutional order is the Federal Diet's joint Constitution Committee.
The Constitution came about in the aftermath of the Third Erish Civil War (1809-1812), where what began as an uprising in Scheppa against the central monarchy escalated into a democratic and federalist revolt. After the end of mass conflict in late 1811, culminating on December 5 in the Queen ousting the King, who had been de facto political leader for centuries, the First Constitutional Convention spent several months creating the Constitution. When it came into effect in 1813, the Constitution established a federal representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with a Federal Government responsible to an indirectly elected Federal College, one of the three houses of the tricameral Federal Diet. The most significant changes since 1813 took place during the late 1800s and the turn of the 20th century, which restructured the tricameral system, stripped the Queen of political power and declared the Erishlands a "crowned republic", made the Federal College directly elected, revised and expanded constitutional rights, and established the Federal Presidium and certain independent oversight bodies.
The Constitution consists of 14 articles. Article 1 lays out the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Article 2 establishes the personal, political, civil and social rights guaranteed to all people. Article 3 describes the functions of the Queen, and Article 4 lays out general principles. Articles 5 through 8 establish the Federal Diet, Federal Government, Federal Presidium and federal courts as the legislative, executive, moderative and judicial branches of the federal government. Article 9 provides for the independent oversight institutions of the Office of the Federal Protectors, the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Media Authority. Article 10 governs the autonomy of the Shire of Vorkbork, and Article 11 governs states of emergency. Article 12 establishes the procedures to revise the constitution, and provides for the Federal Constitutional Congress. Article 13 contains transitory provisions, and Article 14 establishes how the Constitution was ratified.
Despite its age, the Erish Constitution is one of the most heavily amended constitutions in the world; since 1813, there have been 93 revisions. Most revisions require a three-fifths majority of the Districts' Assembly, an absolute majority of the Federal College, and three-fifths of the votes of the state delegations in the Council of States. Revisions affecting fundamental or general principles, rights, the Queen, the autonomy of Vorkbork, states of emergency, the revision process or certain other provisions of the Constitution require greater supermajorities, though almost no part of the Constitution cannot be revised. The only actual constitutional entrenchment is Section 4a of Article 12, which states that revisions to the constitution cannot introduce entrenchments and must be bound by the Declaration of the Foundations of Law and Justice, and that the section cannot itself be revised. Notably, the Constitution requires the Federal Diet to convene a Federal Constitutional Convention every 24 years to conduct a general review of the Constitution and recommend revisions to the Federal Diet.
Declaration of the Foundations of Law and Justice
The Declaration of the Foundations of Law and Justice (Literary Erish: Teʌcɵhhexıвϙoнϙ Xʀʌhþƞᴪe Rƞнɥԑ, Modern Erish: Teʌcɵhhexıвϙoнϙ Rƞнɥԑxʀʌoᴅeϻ [s̪ᵿˈħĩːnɐˌt̠ʼiːɸᵿ̃ŋʷᵿ ˈʕ̞æʃt̠ːs̪ˌqʼũːd̪ʰɐ̃], Lat.: Taucännkibongo Regdskruñðam) is the other Erish constitutional document, which is ordered before the Constitution itself. Adopted by the First Constitutional Convention on 2 April 1812 as the first step towards writing a constitution, the Declaration was created to be a set of foundational principles for the Constitution and the state it creates. Though most well-known in the Erishlands for its first article, which states that "life, freedom and dignity are the fundamental, sovereign, and inviolable rights of all people" and defines what said rights are, several others of the Declaration's seven articles were some of the first modern constitutional expressions of the rule of law in Belisaria, and the Declaration is regarded in Erish constitutional jurisprudence as a binding basis for a state of law and justice.
The Declaration arose out of early, bitter debates in the First Constitutional Convention, to which the Steering Committee resolved that a Fundamentals Committee would be formed to provide a basic framework for the shape of the constitution that could be agreed upon. It was primarily drafted by Borsc Geddassun, Harth Duscassun and Edward Townsend, and originally consisted of 17 articles and had a greater emphasis on rights. During the following debates in the First Constitutional Convention, several principles were condensed, and disagreements on the nature of certain rights and their implications, as well as the appropriateness of including them in a document that would be binding upon the Constitution, ultimately led to rights being largely dropped from the Declaration. On 2 April 1812, the Declaration was adopted by unanimous agreement of the Convention (with opponents to the final draft, mainly consisting of hardline royalists, abstaining).
The Declaration opens with a preamble proclaiming the Erish peoples seek "a society in which all may freely pursue their weal", and that there are “essential and universal foundations of law and justice”, which are declared in order for there to be “a constant standard” to measure state actions by. Article 1 asserts that “life, freedom and dignity are the fundamental, sovereign, and inviolable rights of all people”, and article 2 explains all people have an “inalienable and indefeasible” right to resist subjugation, with subjugation defined as the absence of article 1’s rights. The third article states the state exists to provide “lawful, justified means” to resist subjugation. Articles 4 through 6 establish various constraints and obligations upon the state, with the intention of preventing subjugation by the state. Article 7 calls upon people to inculcate “civic virtue, temperance, and community with each other.”
The Declaration has generally not been as commonly applied in Erish judicial review as the Constitution, but it has played a role in several landmark cases. The Federal Supreme Court, for example, found in Federal Diet v. Federal Government (1881) that a constitutional revision that had granted the Federal Minister unilateral power to call extraordinary assemblies of the Federal Diet where he controlled the agenda contravened the Declaration's mandate for political authority to be diffused (though the ruling was not acted upon until 1887). The main exception to this has been Article 6a, which has been the basis for the proportionality test in Erish law.
Over the past two centuries, the Declaration has become a symbol of Erish national identity. Where the Constitution has undergone significant changes over time, the Declaration has, if by constitutional entrenchment, remained the same. Professor Pilib Bittassun said that the Declaration "has provided a common account of the justification for and goals of Erish society, even if the specifics of what that society entails have been and are ever-changing."
|Queen of the Erishlands|
|Иƞıԑϙ ʃɵʀbɢϙoɥeϻ (Erish)|
since 2 April 2012
|Heir apparent||Melsta, Princess of the Erishlands|
|First monarch||Lousna I|
|Formation||21 June 1297|
The Queen and Her functions
The Erish Queen (Erish: Иƞıԑϙ [ˈt̪ʼiːs̪ᵿ]) is the ceremonial head of state, officially defined by the Constitution to be "the Mother of the Erish Peoples, the Shepherd of Concord, the Harbinger of the Sun, and the Protector of the Erish Federation." The current Queen of the Erishlands is Lousna III, who officially acceded to the throne on April 2, 2012, following the death of Her mother. In contrast to many Belisarian monarchs, The Queen constitutionally lacks both practical and formal political power, with the source of sovereignty being the the Erish peoples and the Constitution only delegating a few, ceremonial responsibilities to Her. Indeed, current Erish constitutional doctrine holds that the Queen is an apolitical figure disassociated from politics. Despite Her lack of political power, the Queen's modern role is often nevertheless likened to Her historical role during the time of the Erish kingship, where She had great symbolism but little political authority.
Within the modern Erish political system, the Queen has few political functions, both formally and in practice. At the invitation of the Federal Presidium or, at the beginning of a new Diet, the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, She opens the annual session of the Federal Diet. The members of the Federal Presidium take their oaths of office before Her, as well as Federal Diet and the Chief Justice. She, on the advice of the Federal Presidium, signs or vetoes with presented objections all treaties passed by the Federal Diet; a veto can be overridden by an absolute majority in the appropriate houses, in which case She must sign the treaty. She also accredits and receives ambassadors and other foreign dignitaries at the advice of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Any other ceremonial functions of Hers are performed at the binding advice of the Federal Presidium.
The Erish Queenship has been governed by the House of Gume since 1297, when the Three Tribes crowned Lousna I Queen. In the aftermath of the First Civil War, when Earlmund I was crowned King in 1334, the Queen lost considerable power, but retained some degree of political power to "mediate". Whilst the Queen's actual political power waxed and waned over the next few centuries, this notion of "mediation" was the foundation for Her original role under the Erish Constitution as the "moderative" branch of government. This first constitutional role granted Her a comparable level of influence to many other constitutional Belisarian monarchs.
Following the controversial government of Graulv Grautassun during the 1870s, however, public sentiment began to sway against the Queen, as She was perceived to have failed to adequately performed Her duties. This led to the establishment of the Council of State (Rƞıcƞԑʀeıɥƞᴅ) in 1887, an originally advisory body that quickly started to supplant the Queen's "moderative" role. In 1913, following the 1912 constitutional amendments, the Queen was formally stripped of political power, and the Council of State took on the majority of Her functions as the Federal Presidium (Bϙoɥԑvϙʀԑeıtƞᴅ).
The Erish Constitution continues the traditional matrilineal principle of succession for the Erish monarchy. As it states, the monarchy is hereditary, and succession follows the principles that "the earlier lines precede the later, the closer degree precedes the more distant in the same line, the female precedes the male in the same degree, and the elder precedes the younger in the same sex." In the event that the heir is not of-age, the closest living of-age relative is designated Regent and acts in Her name until She comes of-age.
In the event that no suitable heir exists, the responsibilities of the Queen devolve to the Federal Presidium until the three houses of the Federal Diet designate a successor. Due to the way the language is phrased in the Constitution, it is legally ambiguous as to whether the Federal Diet would actually be required to choose a successor; in other words, it may be that if the House of Gume were to go extinct, the Erishlands would become a full republic. This ambiguitity has been the subject of some controversy at various points.
|Appointer||Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court|
|Term length||Four years, no term limits|
• Any of the three may be removed by a vote of no confidence from their respective chambers.
• All three end their term when a new Diet sits, including after a snap election.
|Precursor||Council of State|
|Formation||3 January 1913|
The Federal Presidium (Erish: Bϙoɥԑvϙʀԑeıtƞᴅ [ˈɸʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪β̞ᵿˌs̪e̞i̯ːs̪ɐɬ]) is a collegiate presidency which collectively serves as the moderative branch of the Erish federal government. It is comprised of three ex officio members: the Federal Minister, the President of the Council of States, and the Speaker of the People's Convention. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, as the moderative branch, the Presidium "ensures faithful accordance to the law and the proper execution of the duties of the state, by mediating between its powers and between it and the public."
Each member of the Presidium is nominated by a particular house of the Federal Diet: the Federal Minister is elected by the Federal College, the President by the Council of States (with the federal delegation excluded from the vote), and the Speaker by the Districts' Assembly. To be a member of the Presidium, one must have been an of-age Erish citizen for at least twelve years, have served at least four years in the Federal Diet or a state parliament, and must be a sitting member of the house one is nominated by (in the case of the President and Speaker, incumbency may replace this last requirement). A nominee is confirmed by the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, who formally appoints them; the Chief Justice has the right to object to a nominee within three days of nomination, and require the relevant house to either renominate them or nominate another candidate. The three members collectively serve a term simultaneous with the four-year term of the Federal Diet, without limits on re-election; if a midterm election is called for the Federal Diet, the members of the Presidium are discharged at the Diet's first post-election sitting. Each of the three members may be removed by a vote of no confidence by their respective house (a vote of no confidence against the President or Speaker must also simultaneously nominate a successor); the Chief Justice has the right to object to a vote of no confidence, in which case the relevant house must pass another vote of no confidence within a week, or else the Presidium member retains their office. The Chief Justice has only exercised their objection right once, when, in 1951, Chief Justice Carl Webbassun objected to the removal of the President of the Council of States, Gräst Miclassun, on the grounds that his prospective successor had expressed anticonstitutional sentiments; after four days, the Council of States passed another vote of no confidence in Miclassun, but instead nominated Gainreic Gramnassun.
Since 1913, the Constitution for the Erish Federation has provided for a semi-parliamentary system in which the Presidium acts as another branch of the federal government alongside the Diet, the Government and the judiciary. Though the Queen is head of state, it is the Presidium that exercises many powers traditionally assigned thereto in Belisaria; whereas the Queen has ceremonial functions and is symbolic of the Erishlands as a united whole, the Presidium has political functions and is symbolic of the democratic, pluralistic state and the ascendancy of the Federal Diet. In contrast to the situation with certain parliamentary heads of state, members of the Presidium are not necessarily expected to stand above politics in their capacity as members; members, most especially the Federal Minister, can and do use their powers and platform to participate in and influence the political process. There is an expectation, however, that members, most especially the President and Speaker, act with some degree of objectivity.
Under the Constitution, the Presidium has the following discretionary powers, which, due to the Presidium's collegiate nature, are typically exercised on the agreement of at least two out of three members:
- The Federal Presidium signs and promulgates all laws and constitutional revisions passed by the Federal Diet, but may choose to veto and return them to the Diet along with their objections of the bill.
- In the event of a disagreement between the People's Convention and the Federal College, or the People's Convention and the Council of States, on a piece of legislation, the Federal Presidium may convene a joint committee to deliberate thereon.
- The Federal Presidium nominates the Federal Prosecutor and members of the Federal Audit Court, the Office of the Federal Protector, the Federal Electoral Commission and the Federal Media Authority, who are all confirmed by a three-fifths majority of the People's Convention.
- Each member of the Federal Presidium nominates a Justice of the Federal Supreme Court every two years, who is subject to confirmation by the member's house of the Diet.
- The Federal Presidium appoints the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court after the Court nominates them; it may reject the nomination and present objections to the nominee to the Court. The Court can override this rejection by renomination.
- The Federal Presidium approves or denies a proposal by the Federal Minister for a midterm election for the People's Convention, as well as for a federal referendum or a legislative emergency.
- Each member of the Federal Presidium may convene an extraordinary assembly of their respective house of the Federal Diet.
- The Federal Presidium declares a state of emergency, alert or defense after authorization by the Federal Diet.
- The Federal Presidium calls and sets the dates of federal elections and referenda.
- The Federal Presidium appoints commissions of experts on matters of importance to the public.
- The Federal Presidium grants pardon and reprieve for individual offenses under federal jurisdiction.
- The Federal Presidium grants federal honors and distinctions.
- Except as otherwise determined by federal law, the Federal Presidium appoints the civil servants necessary for the fulfillment of its duties.
The Presidium meets on a weekly basis. By convention, the meetings take place after meetings of the Federal Cabinet, with the Federal Minister leaving the Cabinet meeting for the Presidium, whilst the Vice-Federal Minister and Federal Ambassador leave for Question Hour in the People's Convention and Council of States respectively. Chairmanship of the Presidium rotates between the three members every eight months, with the first member chosen by winning the most votes in an internal election.
Hairic Kairalcssun and Melsta Gailstasdogdar were elected Federal Minister and Speaker of the People's Convention respectively on 3 January 2021, following the beginning of the 68th Federal Diet. Taulv Worlac was elected President of the Council of States on 9 May 2021, after his predecessor, Kreim Borlassun, resigned following a Liberal party victory in the 2022 Albight state elections.
|Established||3 January 1813|
|Appointed by||Federal Minister|
|Responsible to||Federal College|
The Federal Government (Erish: Bϙoɥԑpeɢɥϙoнϙ [ˈɸʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪ˌwɔl̪ːt̪ʼᵿ̃ŋʷᵿ]), also known in English as the Federal Cabinet, is the executive branch of the Erish federal government. It is comprised of the Federal Minister, who leads the Cabinet, the Vice-Federal Minister, and the Federal Delegate and other ministers of the Cabinet. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, as the executive branch, the Cabinet "conducts the state’s general policy and is the highest authority of state administration."
Head of government
The Erish prime minister, officially the Federal Minister (Erish: Bϙoɥԑᴅƞıhƞh [ˈɸʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪ˌz̪iːnᵻ̃], Lat.: Boñdsðeinen), is the Erish head of government. They are the first among equals presiding officer of the Federal Cabinet, as well as the formal presiding officer of the Federal College.
The Federal Minister is elected using essentially the same procedures as the President of the Council of States and the Speaker of the People's Convention. At the first sitting of the Federal Diet following a federal election, the Federal College nominates a Senator of the Government by absolute majority to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court to be Federal Minister. Just as with the President and Speaker, if no absolute majority is obtained at the first ballot, a second ballot is held 24 hours later; if still no absolute majority is found, a third and final ballot is held 24 hours later where the two most popular candidates are voted on, and the plurality winner is nominated. Whereas second and even third ballots are not uncommon for elections of the President and Speaker, they are somewhat rare for Federal Minister elections. The most recent multi-round ballot election for Speaker occurred in 2011, when, following Republican losses during the 2011 Mailya state elections, the incumbent Republican Federal Minister Graubart Raukassun contested his replacement by Republican Senator Brüngilda Küdyasdogdar; after two rounds, Küdyasdogdar was elected Federal Minister. Upon being appointed, the Federal Minister relinquishes their seat as Senator to a substitute for the duration of their service.
The Federal Minister is the leading political figure in Erish federal politics, but compared to prime ministers in other parliamentary democracies, the Federal Minister is somewhat limited in their power. This is because the Cabinet originally operated, and to a great extent still operates, more as a collegial body of equals than necessarily at the direction of a particular minister; the Constitution ascribes the primary role of the Federal Minister to be "[guiding] the Federal Government’s general framework of policy." The Federal Minister was originally the Chairman of the Federal College, who had no involvement with the Cabinet originally. Over the course of the 1800s, however, the President became increasingly involved with the nomination of the Cabinet and attended and chaired Cabinet meetings. Graulv Grautessun's government established the office of Federal Minister in 1877, though the Federal Minister's original powers were somewhat retrenched in 1887. The original role as Chairman of the Federal College has become marginal alongside the marginalization of the College in the legislative process; the only times the Federal Minister ever presides over the College is during certain procedural votes exercising the house's powers. The Federal Minister chairs the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, and can set its agenda. Cabinet decisions, however, are made collectively or by individual ministers, instead of at the direction of the Federal Minister. Nevertheless, the Federal Minister serves as the face of the Cabinet to the public.
The current prime minister, the Republican Hairic Kairalcssun, took the office for the first time on 3 January 2021. Following the norms of Erish politics, he is the leader of his party, and his Cabinet is a minority government. In the first Kairalcssun Cabinet, 10 ministers come from the Republicans, and 5 from the Federalists.
Cabinet and government departments
The Federal Government is the leading executive body at the federal level, composed of Ministers (Erish: Þƞıheᴪ) who are each responsible for some component of the federal bureaucracy which executes federal laws, or, in the case of the Vice-Federal Minister and the Federal Delegate, represent the Government to the People's Convention and Council of States respectively. Whilst eight ministers are constitutionally established to varying degrees, almost all ministries are primarily governed by federal law.
Ministers of the Cabinet are nominated by the Federal Presidium upon the binding proposal of the Federal Minister, to be confirmed by a majority of the Federal College; the Vice-Federal Minister, as well as the Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Finance, the Interior and Justice, is required to be a Senator at the time of their nomination. There are no junior ministers or ministers without portfolio. Aside from the Federal Minister, Vice-Federal Minister and Federal Delegate, no minister of the Government is allowed to be a member of the Federal Diet. Senators and Representatives who are appointed ministers relinquish their seats to substitutes for the duration of their ministry; members of the Opposition must rescind their party membership and, if a Senator or Representative, thus give up their seats to be appointed ministers. Individual ministers can be removed by a vote of no confidence from the Federal College, though the dismissal of the Federal Minister triggers the dismissal of the rest of the Cabinet.
The Ministries which each minister leads are composed of smaller departments headed by directors, and are tasked with executing some aspect of the Ministry's area of policy; they themselves are composed of smaller agencies that comprise the vast majority of the actual civil service. These directors and other senior officers are nominated by the Federal Presidium on the proposal of the relevant minister, subject to confirmation by the People's Convention, and are obligated to follow the policy directives of their minister. Though many have terms that by statute are aligned with elections, they are expected to be politically neutral servants who work in their posts regardless of which party is in power. However, because much federal law is executed by state governments (which the federal ministers can give policy directives to with the consent of the Council of States), the size of the federal bureaucracy is relatively small, comprising only 150,000 employees.
From its inception, the constitutional order of the Erishlands has followed the parliamentary principle of responsible government; executive power has always been vested in the Federal Cabinet, which has always required the support of legislators in order to govern. The evolution of the Erish political system, however, has followed a divergent path into what observers have called "semi-parliamentary," "premier-congressional," or "chamber-independent" democracy, a system which, similar to semi-presidentialism, hybridizes features of parliamentary and presidential democracies.
Much like regular parliamentary democracies, the Federal Cabinet of the Erishlands governs on the basis of political support in the Federal Diet; any government which loses confidence must resign. In the Erishlands, however, the continuance of the Federal Cabinet is not based upon the support of the entire lower house, the People's Convention, but instead upon the support of its Senators in the dedicated, standing electoral college, the Federal College. Senators are elected through a nationwide two-round proportional vote, which results in Senators coming from either a governing majority party and an opposing minority party. These Senators, however, as members of the People's Convention, constitute a small, two-party, federally-elected minority, in contrast to a multipartisan, constituency-elected supermajority of Representatives, thus limiting the fusion of powers otherwise found in parliamentary democracy.
The dynamics of Erish politics which have arisen as a consequence of the restriction of cabinet responsibility to Senators have led several observers to refer to Erish democracy as "semi-parliamentary," "premier-congressional," or "chamber-independent". The supermajority of members of the People's Convention are separated from the executive, and have a starkly different partisan composition; in the current People's Convention, there are 2 Senatorial parties holding 55 seats, but 9 Representative parties as well as 2 independent Representatives who collectively hold 220 seats. Governments thus face a congressional-type legislature whose independence and scrutiny of the executive is fairly high; governments do not have the same degree of certainty in the success of their legislative agendas as may be found in parliamentary systems, being forced to build a coalition on each bill. At the same time, the governing (and opposing) party is directly elected and the government is fairly stable, much as a presidency, as the governing party always has a majority of seats in votes of confidence, though the presence of the opposing minority party keeps the parliamentary check.
Since 1991, the Cabinet has been formed by either the Republicans or Royalists, though the two parties respectively appoint Federalist and Worker Representatives as part of their cabinet by convention. The number of ministries split between parties in Republican-Federalist and Royalist-Worker cabinets is traditionally based off the share of the vote in the first round of votes for Senators in a federal election. However, because only Senators from the Government and Opposition parties are allowed to participate in a vote of no confidence, the junior partner cannot participate in one; customarily, junior partners are thus allowed to contradict the Cabinet's positions, insofar as they do not contradict their own portfolios. Loss of supply is not considered a vote of no confidence, and a vote of no confidence does not (and cannot) trigger a snap election, but simply leads to a new Cabinet being appointed.
|61st Federal Diet|
|Houses||Council of States|
• Federal College
• Districts' Assembly
|Founded||3 January 1813|
Hairic Kairalcssun, Republican
since 3 January 2021
President of the Council of States
Taulv Worlac, Liberal
since 9 May 2022
Speaker of the People's Convention
Melsta Gailstasdogdar, Federalist
since 3 January 2021
• 55 Senators
• 133 Delegates
• 220 Representatives
Council of States political groups
People's Convention political groups
Length of term
|People's Convention: 4 years|
Council of States: by appointment
Council of States voting system
|Appointment by federal and state governments|
People's Convention voting system
|Double mandate and|
two-round proportional direct election
People's Convention last election
|6 November 2020 (Representatives)|
4 December 2020 (Senators)
People's Convention next election
|Redistricting||Redistricting is carried out by the Federal Election Commission on a state-by-state basis every 12 years, subject to Districts' Assembly approval|
|Federal Diet House|
Shire of Vorkbork
The Federal Diet (Erish: Bϙoɥԑɥexƞh [ˈɸʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪ˌt̪ʼɔːqʼᵻ̃]) is the legislative branch of the Erish federal government. It is a semi-tricameral parliament, consisting of the upper Council of States and the lower People's Convention, the latter of which is a joint convention of two houses, the Federal College and the Districts' Assembly. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, as the legislative branch, the Diet "is the supreme representation of the populace and guarantor of its authority", and "enacts laws, provides a forum for consideration of matters of importance to the public, and oversees the other branches."
When the Constitution was first instituted in 1813, the Federal Diet was constituted as a fully tricameral parliament, consisting of the Districts' Assembly (the directly elected lower house representing the interests of localities), the Federal College (the indirectly elected upper house representing federal interests) and the Council of States (a special house having delegations representing the interests of states).
Though the basic structure of the Diet was similar to today's, there were important differences, as well as features that would shape the course of Erish democracy. Perhaps the most significant difference between the original and modern Diet is that the Federal College functioned as the upper house, whereas the Council of States had a more marginal role. The authors of the constitution intended for the Diet to, in practice, function as a bicameral legislature, with the Council of States only participating when state interests were affected; that additional burden of a third house in those circumstances would, ideally and practically, serve to restrict the power of the federal government. Another defining feature of the original Diet, one which persists into the present, was that the Federal Cabinet was made responsible to the Federal College; whereas modern convention is for the government to be responsible to the lower house, at the time, this was a remarkably democratic constitutional decision, as the government was responsible to a body with at least some democratic legitimacy instead of to the monarch. Another facet of the Cabinet's responsibility to the College was that it would be accountable to a body concerned with a national interest, as opposed to the other houses' more regional concerns.
The first major changes to the structure of the Diet came in 1877: in response to the degree of gridlock that had ultimately ensued from the original tricameral structure, the Districts' Assembly and Federal College were made to normally assemble in joint convention as the People's Convention, and the Federal College gained a delegation in the Council of States. After a series of standoffs between the College and the Convention during the 1890s, where the Convention unsuccessfully attempted to make the Cabinet de facto responsible to it, an 1896 constitutional revision made the Federal College a more directly elected house. The 1912 constitutional revisions further moved the Diet to its modern state, making the Convention a fully directly elected body, synchronizing the terms of the Assembly and Convention, and reducing the size of the federal delegation in the Council of States.
Composition and elections
Council of States
The Council of States (Erish: Γϙoɥԑʀeıɥƞᴅ [ˈɮʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪ˌʕ̞e̞i̯ːt̪ʼɐɬ], Lat.: Loñdsraideð) is the upper house of the Federal Diet, and consists of members called Delegates (ʃeoвɥeᴪ), of whom there have been 133 since 2015. Similar to upper houses in other federations, the states of the Erishlands are more equally represented than in the lower house. However, instead of being completely equal, states are represented in proportion to the square roots of their populations, being guaranteed at least two Delegates; while this means larger states have a greater say, smaller states are still overrepresented. The Federal Cabinet is also represented in the Council of States, proportional to the square root of the Erishlands' population, multiplied by the percentage of the vote the Government received in the third round of federal elections. The Shire of Vorkbork is not represented in the Council of States, but does elect Representatives to the Districts' Assembly.
In contrast to the other two houses, which consist of directly elected members of parliament who each have their own vote, cast according to their own conscience, the Council of States consists of blocs of delegates from the federal and state governments, who are appointed from their government and vote en bloc in line with the position thereof on a particular issue. Each state is guaranteed at least two Delegates, which are its chief minister and Federal Delegate; further delegates are appointed by and from the federal and state cabinets. As the federation and many states have coalition governments, votes are often cast as a bloc-internal compromise; this article displays the distribution of seats based on the senior party of each bloc. Because both federal and state governments are represented in the Council of States, the balance of power in the house changes in light of the results of federal and state elections.
Every six months, the Council of States convenes as the Federal Convention (Erish: Bϙoɥԑvϙʀԑeϻᴦϙoнϙ), with the head ministers of the federal and state governments attending along with the Foreign, Interior, and Defense Ministers of the Federal Cabinet. The Convention does not vote on legislation, but instead meets to help set the general political agenda of the country. While the Convention submits a report of its agreed-to (but non-binding) positions to the Federal Diet, the actual proceedings are not public.
The People's Convention (Erish: Yʌɢcԑvϙʀԑeϻɢϙoнϙ [ˈbʰʊɫ̥ʷːkʷʼs̪β̞ᵿˌs̪ãːd͡ɮʰᵿ̃ŋʷᵿ], Lat.: Vulcsvorsamloñgo) is the lower house of the Federal Diet, and consists of a joint convention of two houses that conduct almost all of their business in joint session. The number of members of the People's Convention is constitutionally linked to the overall population of the Erishlands, with the overall membership being the closest odd number to the cube root of the population; membership is then split between the Federal College and Districts' Assembly, with the former having the largest odd number that does not exceed a fifth of seats, and the latter having the remainder. Thus, there are 275 seats as of the 2018 census, which found there to be 20,814,657 residents of the Erishlands, 55 seats have been apportioned to the College, and the remaining 220 seats have gone to the Assembly.
The People's Convention is directly elected every four years, with the Federal College and Districts' Assembly each using their own constitutionally-set electoral system.
The Federal College (Erish: Bϙoɥԑϻeʌtƞᴅ [ˈɸʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪ˌmo̞u̯ːs̪ɐɬ], Lat.: Boñdsmauteð) consists of members called Senators (ʃɵɢɥᴪeᴪ), of whom there have been 55 since 2021. All 55 seats are elected on a federal basis, using the two-round proportional system. Any party which receives at least eight percent of the vote in the federal elections for the Districts' Assembly is put on a second ballot two weeks later for voters who are at least 22 years old. The two parties that receive the most votes on that ballot proceed to a final third round another two weeks later, where the percentages of the vote each party receives determines the amount of Senators each is allotted. The party with absolute majority support and thus the majority of Senators is officially known as the Government (Yϙʀpeɢɥϙoнϙ), and the party with absolute minority support and the minority of Senators is officially the Opposition (ʃehᴅpeɢɥϙoнϙ). The same "Big Two" parties are generally re-elected, though with Government and Opposition swapping between them, until a major political realignment occurs, enabling Senators to have longer average incumbencies than Representatives. In order to be a Senator, one must be an of-age citizen for at least eight years, and have served at least four years as a member of the Federal Diet or a state parliament.
The Districts’ Assembly (Erish: Yᴀɢcҁϙԑᴅıoxƞᴅ [ˈbʰɪʎ̥ːt̠ʼᵿs̪ˌz̪ĩːqʼɐɬ], Lat.: Vülcyosðiñkeð) consists of members called Representatives (Yϙʀtʀıɥƞhᴅ), of whom there have been 220 since 2021. Representatives are split amongst districts apportioned to states and the Shire of Vorkbork based on population, with Vorkbork and each state being guaranteed at least one district. Each district elects its Representatives using the double mandate system, a mixed electoral system that combines plurality and proportional into a single vote that elects two Representatives in each district. This has facilitated the representation of many parties in the Assembly, as well as the representation of independent politicians. In order to become a Representative, one must be an of-age citizen for at least four years and reside in the district one represents.
A distinctive feature of Erish elections is that voting is, by constitutional mandate, compulsory in both federal and state elections. The authors of the constitution viewed voting as a civic duty, and feared that not having it be so would eventually lead to a cycle of the electorate feeling disconnected from their elected officials and not voting, which would then reinforce the feeling and so on. Due to compulsory voting, voter turnout tends to be high in the Erishlands, ranging from 85 to 95 percent since 1912.
2020 federal election
The Erishlands held federal elections on 14 November 2020 to elect the members of the 61st Federal Diet. At stake were all 271 seats of the previous People's Convention, as well as 2 new Districts' Assembly seats and 2 new Federal College seats as a result of the 2020 federal census. After the Republicans and Royalists gained the greatest amount of votes in the second round of voting on 20 November 2020, they proceeded to the third round on 5 December 2020.
The Republicans won the highest percentage of the Districts' Assembly vote with 24.1 percent, as well as the two rounds of the Federal College vote, leading it become the Government and the largest party in the People's Convention. The Royalists suffered their worst losses in decades, falling almost four percentage points in the Districts' Assembly vote, but still managed to win Opposition and the second largest amount of seats, despite polling in the preceding months suggesting the Liberals might be poised to gain Opposition. On 3 January 2021, the 57th Federal Diet began its term, and the Federal College elected Republican Senator Hairic Kairalcssun Federal Minister.
|Party||Districts' Assembly||Federal College||Total|
|1st round||2nd round||3rd round|
|Justice Party (RN)||747,873||5.1||12||–||–||–||–||–||12|
|Christian Democrats (CÞ)||728,933||5.0||9||–||–||–||–||–||9|
|New Right (ⱵR)||160,542||1.1||2||–||–||–||–||–||2|
|Source: Federal Election Commission (2020)|
As the legislative branch of the federal government, the Federal Diet's primary function is the creation of federal laws. Laws can be introduced in either the Council of States or People's Convention by their members, although financial legislation and treaties must be introduced in the Convention. In practice, most legislation is introduced by the Cabinet; Cabinet bills are required to be presented to the Council for comment before introduction to the Convention. According to one analysis of laws passed by the Diet between 1992 and 2012, an average of 82 percent of successful bills were introduced by the Cabinet, followed by 12 percent by a member of the Convention, and six percent by a non-federal Delegate in the Council. Because most laws are introduced by the Cabinet, the main role of the Assembly and Council is scrutinizing and amending government bills. Since Erish governments have almost always been minority governments for over a century, negotiation and compromise on legislation is necessary, oftentimes being worked out in committees.
The legislative process of the Federal Diet is fairly complex and unique, as bills formally require the agreement of four bodies: the People's Convention, the Federal College, the Council of States, and the Federal Presidium. However, depending upon the type of bill and the level of support backing the bill, a bill can still be passed without the consent of one, two, or even three bodies.
- Cabinet bills must be presented to the Council for a comment period that is normally six weeks before being introduced to the Convention. The period may be shortened to three weeks or extended to nine weeks, depending upon if the Cabinet declares the legislation to be urgent and/or if the Council requests an extension.
- In all cases, the agreement of a simple majority of the Convention is required for a bill to become law.
- The agreement of the College occurs simultaneously to that of the Convention; when the final version of a bill is presented for a vote before the Convention, it must receive a simple majority from the entire Convention that includes a simple majority of Senators.
- If a bill does not receive the agreement of the College, the Convention can still pass it by an absolute majority.
- Financial legislation, treaties and any bill rejected by two-thirds of the College with a majority of Senators present, however, requires a two-thirds majority of the Convention with an absolute majority present to override a veto of the College.
- A bill passed by the Convention is then sent to the Council. To pass the Council, a bill must receive a qualified majority (55 percent) of the votes of the Council within three weeks. Unlike the Convention, the Council must vote on a bill as-is and cannot directly amend it.
- If a bill is rejected or does not receive the agreement of the Council within three weeks, the Convention can still pass it by an absolute majority.
- If a bill is rejected by the Council with a two-thirds majority, or required a supermajority override of the College to pass the Convention, the Convention can only override the Council's veto by a two-thirds majority of the Convention with an absolute majority present.
- If a bill affects state jurisdiction, the Council's veto is absolute.
- A bill passed by the Council is then sent to the Presidium. To pass the Presidium, a bill must either receive at least two out of three members' agreement or not be rejected by at least two out of three members' agreement within a week.
- If a bill is rejected by the Presidium, it must present objections to the bill and send it back to the Convention.
- If a bill received the agreement of all three legislative bodies, the veto can be overridden by a simple majority of the Convention and College, and a qualified majority of the Council.
- If a bill required an absolute or supermajority of the Convention to override the College and/or Council, it must receive that majority again before the veto is overridden.
- If a veto is overridden, the Presidium must sign the bill within a week.
A common procedure to resolve disagreements between the People's Convention, Federal College and/or Council of States is for a joint mediation committee to be formed to negotiate on the bill. The amended bill that comes out of these committees are reconsidered by the Convention, though they can still be further amended unless the mediation committee was convened by the Federal Presidium.
The Erish scholar Reicard Kuscyubassun asserts that the central notion underlying the role of the Federal Diet is that of "ascendancy" (vϙʀϻeнɥ), a concept similar to that of parliamentary supremacy. The Constitution clearly implies the Diet to be the highest federal body when it uses language like "supreme representation of the populace and guarantor of its authority" and "oversees the other branches," elevates the presiding officers of the three houses to quasi-head of state status as members of the Federal Presidium, and grants it extensive powers. However, the Diet does not have "supremacy" (pϙveʀϻeнɥ), as its power is constitutionally constrained both through an internal division of powers or an external separation of powers. Though the Federal College can elect and dismiss the members of the Federal Cabinet as it wills, for example, the rest of the Diet can only remove members of the Cabinet through the impeachment process.
The Federal Cabinet has played a leading role in crafting the Diet's parliamentary agenda since the late 1800s. Starting in that time period, it came to be believed that part of the solution to the gridlock that plagued the original tricameral system was a strong executive that could act as chief legislator and provide direction to the Diet. The Cabinet has the ability to set the agenda of the People's Convention as well as the Council of States for every two out of four weeks of a session, and to further grant on its proposal legislative priority to its financial legislation, treaties, and requests for a state of emergency of authorization of military force. The Cabinet exerts even further influence indirectly through the Federal College, as can, to a lesser extent, the Federal Minister through the Federal Presidium, which have veto power over legislation being passed by the Convention and can call for a midterm election, referendum or extraordinary session of the Diet. The Cabinet does not, however, have the ability to pass legislation on its own except as delegated by the Federal Diet.
Though the Cabinet has a strong influence on the Diet, the Diet has a strong ability to scrutinize the Cabinet. Since most of the People's Convention and Council of States do not have a relationship of confidence with the Cabinet and are not members thereof, the Diet still can assess, amend and vote on legislation independent of the Cabinet. Moreover, there are constitutional guarantees for at least a week out of every four weeks of a session to be dedicated to scrutiny of the Cabinet's acts and policies, for at least one day out of every four weeks of a session to be dedicated to the agenda of the Opposition, and for Question Hour to be held on a weekly basis, even during extraordinary sessions. Furthermore, the Federal College provides checks on the Cabinet through the election of the Federal Minister, confirmation of ministerial appointments, and the ability to dismiss individual ministers or the Federal Minister and the Cabinet as a whole through a vote of no confidence. Additionally, the Opposition and coalitions of other parties can instigate parliamentary inquiries, or challenge the constitutionality of proposed laws before the Constitutional Law Committee.
The Erish Constitution provides for a separate, independent judiciary. As most Erish federal law is administered by the states, the federal judiciary is relatively small, consisting of the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Audit Court, and certain other courts established by constitutional and statutory law. Erish law follows the civil law tradition, primarily drawing upon Leutish, Anglic and Nordic law, though case law does play some role in the decisions of courts. A characteristic feature of the Erish judicial system is weaker judicial review, where the effects of judicial review require either a period of time or a supermajority to take effect. According to Article 1 of the Erish Constitution, the role of the judiciary is to "hear civil and criminal cases, administer justice therein in defense of rights and the impartial rule of law and justice, and enforce its judgements and other functions with the assistance of other authorities."
Federal Supreme Court
The Federal Supreme Court (Erish: Bϙoɥԑɥeʌϻʒeʌɢƞh [ˈɸʊ̃t̪ʼːs̪ˌt̪ʼo̞u̯ːmˌs̪t̪o̞u̯ːlᵻ̃]) is the supreme court for the Erishlands. Its primary function is to exercise ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all questions of law arising under federal and, depending upon the laws of each Erish state, state law. Although the Federal Supreme Court has power of judicial review over federal laws, the Federal Diet's Constitutional Law Committee is the usual avenue for resolving questions of constitutionality, with laws being revised preactively during the legislative process over reactively in response to a Court decision.
The Federal Supreme Court consists of 15 members called Justices (Rƞнɥƞhᴅ), who are selected for staggered, one-time ten-year terms. Every two years, the Federal Minister, the President of the Council of States and the Speaker of the People's Convention each nominate a Justice for confirmation by the Federal College, Council of States and Districts' Assembly respectively; while Justices nominated by the Federal Minister require only an absolute majority, Justices nominated by the President and Speaker require three-fifths majorities in their respective houses. In order to be nominated, a Justice must have been a judge, prosecutor, professor of law, lawyer, or other jurist of renown for twelve years prior to their nomination; at all times, at least six Justices must have been a serving judge at the time of their appointment.
The Constitution grants the Federal Supreme Court the unique power of judicial review over questions of the constitutionality of federal laws; whilst lower courts may make decisions that deeming federal laws unconstitutional, only the Court has the power to strike down federal laws. In contrast to the situation with many other courts with such powers, however, such decisions are neither immediate nor final in effect. From the time the Federal Supreme Court rules a law, or any provision thereof, unconstitutional, the Federal Diet has 18 months to repeal, revise, or renew the law in question; if the Diet does not act within this timeframe, the Court's decision takes effect (though the Diet may act later). If at least 10 Justices of the Court strike down a law or provision thereof on the grounds of "manifest unconstitutionality", however, the law is immediately struck down, and it takes a qualified majority of the Federal College, a two-thirds majority in the Districts' Assembly, and a two-thirds majority of state delegation votes in the Council of States to issue an "interpretive correction" and override the decision; in several cases, however, the Diet has chosen to outright revise the Constitution, as "interpretive corrections" can be more difficult than the ordinary constitutional revision process.
At the outset of Erish democracy in 1813, the idea of judicial review over questions of constitutionality of federal laws was rejected. Many members of the First Constitutional Convention believed they had just fought a civil war to entrench the rule of the people, and viewed the Federal Diet as the appropriate body to decide issues of constitutionality. Indeed, the joint Constitution Committee (Xʀʌoᴅɢϙxeԑpϙʌtbʌtƞᴅ) would and continues to be one of the most important and prestigious committees of the Federal Diet. Nonetheless, early courts occasionally attempted to assert the right of judicial review (and were ignored), up until the case of Smith v. Federation (1834). In this case, the Federal Supreme Court held that laws requiring Christians (and other religious minorities) to pay taxes that would go to the Ardist Order were "manifestly breaches of freedom of belief under the federal constitution", but that it was also unconstitutional for the Court to not uphold the law; critically, however, the Court called upon the Federal Diet to amend the existing laws. A year after the decision, the Diet amended federal laws to the modern system, wherein officially recognized organized religions may, for a fee, request the state to collect taxes from its members.
Smith v. Federation established a precedent of advisory review (ɢϙxeԑʀeıɥϙoн) that still underlies the system of judicial review in the Erishlands: within the boundaries of a given jurisdiction, the normal role of the judiciary in answering questions of constitutionality is to instigate parliamentary debate and review, not to decisively answer such questions. For several decades, advisory review would be the only type of review used against federal laws. Only after the government of Graulv Grautassun in the 1870s and early 1880s, when advisory review was ignored, did the Federal Diet seriously consider a stronger form of judicial review. In 1887, a constitutional revision was passed creating the current system, where the Federal Supreme Court has a limited form of strong judicial review, but the Federal Diet still ultimately decides questions of constitutionality.
State and local government
The Erishlands are a federation comprised of 20 states (ɢϙoɥ Lat.: loñd, singular ɢeoɥ Lat.: lañd) and the Shire of Vorkbork (Бҁϙʌʀϙ veh Yϙʀxвϙʀx). Each of the 20 states exercises sovereignty over all areas of policy except as otherwise specified by the Erish Constitution, whereunder the federal government is afforded certain exclusive powers and can legislate on certain areas of state jurisdiction; the Shire of Vorkbork only exercises sovereignty as specified by the Constitution. Major areas of state law include, but are not limited to, education, family and criminal law. Notably, Erish states (but not Vorkbork) maintain the power to conclude international treaties (within their jurisdiction and with the consent of the Federal Cabinet), as well as the right to secede (subject to the procedure used for more difficult constitutional revisions).
|State||Capital||Population||Convention seats||Council seats||Governing party/coalition||Political system||Next election|
|Yorshland||Yorthem||2,774,532||28||11||Republican, Federalist, Liberal||Parliamentary||2025|
|Shire of Vorkbork||Vorkbork||1,263,099||14||0||Republican||Semi-parliamentary||2024|
|Erish Federation||Vorkbork||21,387,329||55||9||Republican, Federalist||Semi-parliamentary||2024|
Section 3 of Article 1 of the Erish Constitution grants considerable leeway to state governments and the Shire of Vorkbork in how they structure themselves politically, enabling an atypical internal diversity of political systems. While all states and the Shire of Vorkbork have the four branches of Erish government - legislative, executive, moderative, judicial - there is a split in the Erishlands between semi-parliamentary and parliamentary states.
11 states and the Shire of Vorkbork follow a semi-parliamentary system akin to the internal division of the People's Convention at the federal level, having two directly elected bodies: a smaller, two-party body elected by a statewide two-round proportional vote (or ranked party voting in the states of Albight and Veure) that the executive is responsible to, and a larger, multiparty body that has an absolute veto on all legislation (the term "body" is used because six states use a joint convention of houses akin to the People's Convention). Nine states follow a more parliamentary system, where there is a larger, directly elected, multiparty lower house that the executive is responsible to, and a smaller, lottocratically selected upper house who only has a veto on non-financial legislation that can be overridden by a three-fifths majority in the lower house (or two-thirds in Yorshland). The latter system arose during the early 1900s, when the state of Yorshland adopted it as part of anti-corruption, pro-democratic reforms; it would further expand during the mid-1900s, with the latest state to adopt the system being Norstaund in 1996.
The other branches of state government tend to align more closely with the federal government in terms of structure. States have Head Ministers (Nϙvɥᴅƞıheᴪ) that lead a cabinet government responsible to a body or house of their state parliament. The state moderative branch is typically structured as a collegial presidency that includes the Head Minister, the speaker of the body or house the Chief Minister is not responsible to, and the chief justice of the supreme court; the states of Albight, Maile, Braidvild and Norstaund have their state president be the speaker.
The larger Erish states, apart from Vorkbork, have local governments distinct from the state government. Erish local governments are primarily governed by state law, though the federal constitution guarantees municipalities the right to financial autonomy and to regulate their local affairs. The Shire of Vorkbork as well as the states of Guipya, Switwald, Veure and Scheppa lack local governments, instead being more or less city-states.
As of the early 21st century, Erish political culture is marked by a general consensus on social security ensured by the state, a social corporatist economy that includes capital and labor, and a multi-party system dominated by federalist neorepublican and centralist paternalistic conservative forces, with strong influence from liberal, federalist and conservative socialist parties. Coalition governments, in the sense of multiple parties coming together to form a governing majority, are non-existent in Erish federal politics, as the Federal Cabinet is always formed by a single-party Government majority in the Federal College. Nevertheless, there is an expectation and necessity for building consensus within the Erish political order. With the strong separation of powers between four branches and two levels of government, and an emphasis on collegial decision-making at the institutional level, political actors must be willing to negotiate and compromise to govern. While institutions and individual politicians like the Federal Cabinet and Federal Minister can help push the governing process along through deadlocks, none have enough power to govern alone.
"At home" economy
A major issue in Erish political discourse is the "at home" economy (Neıϻepɸxϙhϙϻıҁϙ), which refers to the prevalance of shorter full-time labor in the Erish economy.
As industrialization progressed during the mid-to-late 1800s, Royalists railed against the emergence of a developed economy, fearing that changes in labor were undoing the fabric of Erish culture. Conservatives argued that imbalances in division of labor and wages, combined with the atomization of family members in labor, would lead to women becoming economically dependent upon men, upsetting the traditional balance of the Erish family unit, where women are the heads of household. During the government of Graulv Grautassun during the 1870s, a series of federal laws were introduced that mandated a lack of sexual discrimination in hiring in most occupations, equal wages for equal work, and a forty-hour work week consisting of four ten-hour days. Grautassun originally faced opposition from fellow Royalists, and yet he argued that dogmatically clinging to the status quo in the short-term would inevitably lead to the long-term destruction of the Erish social order; in his own words, "How unseemly would it be to our lands, that in twenty years, a woman would be led about by the coins of her man in her own house, all in the name of how utterly uncouth it was for her to work the mines so she could share in the same wealth as she always had?"
The "at home" laws, so named because nearly half the week would be spent at home, ultimately passed, and dramatically altered the tenor of Erish politics. The burgeoning trade union movements of the time, as championed by the nascent Workers, found themselves aligned with their theretofor political opposition, while the Federalists and emerging Liberals decried the laws as excessive intervention in the economy. Even with the demise of both the Royalists and Federalists as major parties, the Workers and Liberals that succeeded them, and the Erish right and left more broadly, had their platforms shaped by the wake of the "at home" laws. During the 20th century, the Erish political left, espoused by the Liberals, was characterized by a mixture of social progressivism and economic liberalism, whilst the Erish political right, the Workers and then the Royalists, advocated social conservatism and economic intervention. Since the emergence of the current party system during the 1990s, political scientists have questioned whether there has been a realignment, as the Republicans are notably more amiable to government action in the economy, whilst the Royalists have started to place greater emphasis on the role of private charity. In the modern day, the term "at-home economy" is commonly used to refer to the 32-hour work week, a later 1922 expansion upon the original "at home" laws.
The Erishlands have a distinct mixture of two party and multiparty politics. In Erish politics, control over the Cabinet normally alternates within a pair of "Big Two" (Ϻıcɢϙԑ Tpeʌԑ) parties until a major political realignment occurs; since 1993, the center-left Republicans and conservative Royalists have been "the Big Two". However, parliaments regularly seat several more parties, with the current Federal Diet seating 9 different parties as well as 2 independents, and the Republicans and Royalists have consistent coalitions with the Federalist and Workers parties respectively. This results in a political climate where the single party in power has a fairly stable government that is principally supported by the majority of the electorate, but coalition-building and compromise is a necessity.
The Republicans (нƞhԑ Yʌɢcԑʒɸᴀʀƞhᴅ [jᵻ̃t̪ʰ ˈβ̞ʊɫ̥ʷːkʷʼs̪ˌs̪t̪iːʕ̞ᵻ̃n], Lat.: gens Vulcsstöürenð, abbreviated: YZ), also known in English as the Democrats, are a center-left political party in the Erishlands. Since the 1990s, it has been the major left-wing party in Erish federal politics, following the period during the 1950s through the 1970s where the Liberals competed in opposition to the Royalists. It is currently led by the Erish Federal Minister, Hairic Kairalcssun, and is in Government at the federal level as well as in 6 states, though it is the junior partner in Grelland.
The Republicans' politics are often compared by observers to social democracy, but the party's platform identifies itself with the tradition of Erish republicanism. The Republicans favor a more restrained role of the federal government, a comprehensive welfare state, and greater labor, minority, and states' rights. The Republican platform lacks a firm position on mode of economy, instead advocating for regulatory measures, taxation, and other state measures to combat concentration of economic power. They are more skeptical of the "at-home" economy, and believe in economic incentives to promote longer work and economic development. Rural areas, the working class, minorities, and the Outlands are major bases of Republican support. Republicans are primarily split between the progressive faction favoring substantive economic reforms, and the moderate faction favoring a more gradual, incremental approach.
The Republicans trace their origins to the republican movements that emerged out of the Third Erish Civil War into the early years of Erish democracy, but there is no clear lineage from the short-lived Republicans (1813-1821) to the modern Republicans. The Republicans of today were founded in 1919, presenting themselves as a middle road between the then-big two parties, the Liberals and the Workers. Republicans recognized the need for meaningful social security, labor reforms, and even some degree of capital redistribution, but were skeptical of nationalization of industry, promoting collectivization, and supporting the at-home economy. Republicans initially enjoyed only limited success, only making gains in suburban and rural areas without strong labor movements; but fifty years before it would become one of the Big Two, it had only 7 seats in the People's Convention in 1941.
Between the 1940s and 1970s, the Republicans began to emerge as a more influential left-wing party, consistently making gains (alongside Royalists) in areas traditionally held by both the Liberals and Workers. With some adjustments to its platform, namely shifting towards support for the Federal Health Service, its message gained a significantly broad appeal across the Erishlands. It first gained Senators in 1985, forming the Opposition to the Loyalists for the first time, but lost its Senators to Liberals the following election. In 1993, it was elected to Government for the first time, and has since stayed one of the Big Two parties.
The Royalists (нƞhԑ Tʀϙxxƞhᴅ [jᵻ̃t̪ʰ ˈs̪ʕ̞ɒkʷʼːᵻ̃n], Lat.: gens Trokkenð, abbreviated: TR), also known in English as the Loyalists, are a conservative political party in the Erishlands. It is currently one of the major parties in Erish federal politics, having supplanted the Workers' status as the largest right-wing party after the 1965 elections. Following the defeat of prime minister Wulla Näsy in the 2020 federal election, Senator Starcweik Korthasdogdar has taken leadership of the Opposition; the Royalists are in Government in 6 states.
The Royalists espouse a paternalistic conservative platform advocating for greater cultural, political, and social cohesion in the Erishlands. They advocate for a stronger national government, traditional values, law and order, and a moderate welfare state that supplements private charity. Similar to much of the political right within the Erishlands, the Royalists are staunch defenders of the "at-home" economy, with its platform having included since 1880 a "faithful commitment to the principle that women have and ought to keep their traditional role within the family." Since their return to prominence in the 1960s, the Royalists have adopted a "pro-democratic" platform, supporting direct democracy, greater autonomy for the capital city, Vorkbork, and increasing the amount of locally-elected officials. The Royalists' most dedicated electorates come from their support from urban areas, the middle class, and the Heartlands. The Royalists are split between the more moderate traditionalist faction of the party, and the more hardline nationalist faction.
The Royalists emerged during the 1800s as one of the first two major political parties in the Erishlands, coalescing around common points of policy such as a strong national government, national cohesion and tradition, opposition to land reform, and skepticism of the emerging industrialized market economy. During the latter half of the 1800s, the party introduced the "at-home" economic reforms to preserve the traditional social order between men and women, facilitating an alliance between the emerging labor movements and conservatives. Under the governance of Prime Minister Graulv Grautassun during the 1870s and early 1880s, the Royalists took an authoritarian, pro-centralization, pro-nationalist platform, and suffered a crippling political blow when the Queen called for Grautassun to resign "lest he ignite a Fourth Civil War". Between the 1890s and 1940s, the Royalists fell from political power, and were generally perceived as a far-right, anti-democratic party. During the 1950s, the Royalists began to regain political salience under the leadership of Stolt Göüdassun, who moderated the party, made "deeper democracy" a component of its political platform, and marginalized the nationalist components of the party. In 1965, the Royalists returned to Government for the first time in over seventy-five years, and have been one of the major political forces in the Erishlands.
While the two-round proportional system for the Federal College has generally ensured a two party system for executive politics that only sees change every few decades, the broader use of the double mandate has maintained a multiparty system for the past century. The other parties currently represented in the People's Convention include:
- The Liberals (нƞhԑ Yʀıxƞhᴅ, Lat.: gens Vrikenð, abbreviated YR) are a centrist liberal party. Their platform supports liberal policies on social issues such as LGBT rights and drugs, as well as economic issues, supporting the free market and private business. They take a centrist position on the role of the federal government, supporting more centralization than the Republicans, but less centralization than the Royalists. They are currently in government in eight states.
- The Federalists (нƞhԑ Bıoɥƞhᴅ, Lat.: gens Biñdenð, abbreviated BO) are a center-left to left-wing federalist party. Their party places great emphasis on political decentralization, small business, and green policies, but opposes market liberalization. They are currently in government at the federal level and in eight states.
- The Workers (нƞhԑ ʃeʀвɥƞhᴅ, Lat.: gens Harbdenð, abbreviated ʃR) are a conservative socialist party. The party mixes its support for democratic socialism and a comprehensive welfare state with conservative social and federal policies, supporting traditional Erish culture and a strong federal government. They are currently in government in five states.
- The Justice Party (Rƞнɥԑвeʀɥƞıҁϙ, Lat.: Regdsbardeiyo, abbreviated RN) are a center-left social liberal party that split off from the Liberals in 1997. Their economic platform is moderately left-wing, supporting welfare policies such as unemployment support, the Federal Health Service, and other such policies.
- The Christian Democrats (нƞhԑ Cʀıʒɢıн Þƞϻϙxʀeɥƞhԑ, Lat.: gens Cristlig Ðemokradens, abbreviated CÞ) are a big tent party dedicated to representing the interests of the Christian minority in the Erishlands. The party generally supports multiculturalism, a greater role for states, and minority rights.
- The Tarkalters (нƞhԑ Иeʀxeɢɥƞhᴅ, Lat.: gens Darkaldenð, abbreviated ИX) are a left to far-left political party that split off from the Federalists in 1846. The party advocates for decentralized democratic socialism with a minimal role for the federal government, with certain factions supporting moves towards a confederation.
- The New Right (нƞhԑ Ⱶɸxx Rƞıcƞhᴅ, Lat.: gens Nökk Reicenð, abbreviated ⱵR) are a far-right populist monarchist party. The party stands for the restoration of the Queen's political power, a strong federal government, economic interventionism, and promotion of traditional Erish values.