Thingspeaker of Azmara

Thingspeaker of Azmara
Þingspreker âb Azmaara
Coat of arms of Azmara.png
Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Azmara
Azmaran Flag.png
Flag of the Commonwealth of Azmara
Official portrait of Angela Rayner MP crop 2.jpg
Incumbent
Sofija Anasdohter

since 13 July 2020
StyleThe Honourable (diplomatic, outside Azmara)
StatusHead of government
Member ofGovernment
Euclean Conference
ResidenceNysted Place
SeatStefansberg, Aalmsted, Azmara
NominatorFolksmot
AppointerPresident of Azmara
Term lengthWhile commanding the confidence of the Folksmot.
Formation28 October 1915
First holderLeif Aansgaarsun
DeputyDeputy Thingspeaker
Salary€150,000/year
Websitewww.thingspreker.az

The Thingspeaker of Azmara (Azmaran: Þingspreker âb Azmaara) is the head of government of the Commonwealth of Azmara.

The office was created upon the passage of the Basic Law of 1915 which served to transition Azmara away from a presidential system towards parliamentarianism as many of the executive powers given to the President under the Basic Law of 1855 were transferred to the position, with the inaugural officeholder being Leif Aansgaarsun of Gold Flame.

The Thingspeaker serves as the head of the Government of Azmara, being responsible for chairing meetings of the body, resolving disputes involving multiple members of the Government and directing the official policy of the Government. While the appointment of the members of the Government is left largely to the Thingspeaker's official wishes, to serve in the office themselves they are required to possess a majority of support within the Folksmot. Due to the fact that no party has won an overall majority in the Folksmot since the implementation of proportional representation in 1933, deals between multiple parties are normally required to take office and as a result every Government since 1933 has had multiple parties represented.

The current Thingspeaker is Sofija Anasdohter of the Workers' Party, who has served since 13 July 2020 as the head of a coalition with the The Radicals and the Green Party.

History

The use of "Thingspeaker" to describe a senior political position dates back to the creation of the Azmaran Confederation in 1623, where the Thingspeaker was the second most important government office after the Chancellor, being appointed by the Chancellor to mediate between the two houses of the Alþing and to carry out the Chancellor's political will. While clearly subordinate to the Chancellor, the position showed elements of parliamentarianism, with the appointment of a new Thingspeaker having to be confirmed by both houses of the Alþing.

While during the brief Republic of Westmarck the position would be abolished in favour of executive power being held collectively by a Directory, a new Thingspeaker position with similar responsibilities existed in the succeeding Kingdom of Azmara. The political setup of the Kingdom gave significant power to the King, who appointed his own Government and had the right to veto and propose laws and dissolve the Alþing at their wish, yet the new Thingspeaker position would serve to try and mediate between him, his Government and the Alþing.

The position would be abolished during the 1855 Revolution as a democratic republic was created in place of the monarchy, as executive power would be held in the hands of a directly-elected President. The Alþing would be retained as an institution, however, yet it was thought that due to the President being elected by the same electorate as the Alþing that it would not need the same mediation.

However, due to an increasingly ideologically fractured Alþing in the early 20th century leading to increasing gridlock between the President and the Alþing, the idea of an executive elected by the Alþing carried increasing appeal amongst the electorate and as such the modern position of Thingspeaker would be introduced in the Basic Law of 1915, to be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Folksmot, its directly elected lower house and to lead the Government in the place of the President.

The position would first be held by the former President of Azmara, Leif Aansgaarsun, of Gold Flame, who would switch office to continue serving as the main executive power of the government. He would be one of three individuals to serve as Thingspeaker under the 1915 Basic Law and would serve between 1915 and 1921, being succeeded by Freidrik Aarnessun of the Azmaran Section of the Workers' International, who would serve between 1921 and 1923, and Þurisas Siimunssun of the National Coalition, who would serve from 1923 to 1932.

After the fall of the National Coalition during the Realignment, the office would be retained in the 1933 Basic Law but both it and the office of President would be reformed to prevent them being used for authoritarian rule, with the President being reduced to a figurehead office and the Thingspeaker being officially designated as a primus inter pares leader of the Government.

Since the enactment of the 1933 Basic Law, the position has been held most often by members of the Workers' Party, with 11 out of 19 Thingspeakers being members of the party and holding it interrupted between 1933 and 1954, yet since then the position has become more competitive, with four Thingspeakers coming from Gold Flame and two each from the Sotirian Democrats and the Radicals since 1954.

Function and appointment

List

1915 Basic Law

1933 Basic Law

Thingspeaker Term of office Political Party
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took Office Left Office Days
4 Stauning i1920-erne.jpg Hjalmer Alekssun
(1883–1985)
25 January 1933 3 September 1947 5334 Ap
Alekssun was both the first and longest-serving Thingspeaker under the 1933 Basic Law. His government enacted many social reforms that have been said to lay the foundation for Azmara's social democratic model, with the government enacting a massive expansion of the country's unemployment insurance, sick pay and public pension systems and establishing the Tripartite Council in which trade unions and employers' organisations could collectively agree on economic policy and workplace practices. Furthermore, many sectors were brought under government control, with utilities such as energy, rail, mail and water and key sectors such as coal steel and shipbuilding being nationalised. Alekssun's government would seek economic co-operation with other Euclean countries, co-establishing the United Nations of Euclea, and would maintain a strong anti-functionalist stance, joining the Community of Nations intervention in the Solarian War against functionalist Etruria.
5 Einar Gerhardsen 1945.jpeg Mâþijas Aansgaarsun
(1900–1991)
3 September 1947 11 November 1954 2626 Ap
Alekssun would be succeeded by Aansgaarsun as Thingspeaker, who had served as Foreign Minister from 1944. While Thingspeaker, Alekssun would finish his work in setting up the modern-day Euclean Community, with Azmara being a founding member of the organisation in 1948. He would also expand the welfare reforms of his predecessor, initiating an overhaul of Azmara's previous health insurance systems into the modern-day Universal Healthcare Insurance System culminating in 1951 and delivering a significantly more comprehensive system than previously.
6 Julius-Raab-1961.jpg Helmut Freidrikssun
(1902–1980)
11 November 1954 12 October 1957 1066 SF
The two-decade dominance of the Workers' Party would be broken after the 1954 election as Freidrikssun claimed victory as his Sotirian Democrats, originating from a moderate splinter of the National Coalition, would form a centre-right coalition with Gold Flame and the Farmers' Party. Ahead fears they would revert the welfare reforms of the Workers' Party, the coalition promised to uphold the welfare state, albeit with reforms inspired by ordoliberalism to the private sector and a focus on Sotirian and family values in the social sphere.
(5) Einar Gerhardsen 1945.jpeg Mâþijas Aansgaarsun
(1900–1991)
12 October 1957 1 November 1960 1116 Ap
Aansgaarsun would be re-elected as Thingspeaker in 1957 after centre-left forces regained a majority in the Folksmot. His second government would be characterised by a significantly more managerial attitude to government, with many critics saying the Workers' Party had "run out of social reforms to pursue". While the economy remained strong throughout the premiership, problems with wildcat strikes in 1959 and 1960 would lead to tensions within the party as to an appropriate response, with the left and right of the party disagreeing.
(6) Julius-Raab-1961.jpg Helmut Freidrikssun
(1902–1980)
1 November 1960 3 October 1963 1066 SF
Freidrikssun would be re-elected after the 1960 election after the centre-right parties regained their Folksmot majority. His second term would be marked by relatively stable economic growth as new technologies and the large generation of young consumers from relatively stable households as a result of the baby boom of the late 40's and early 50's led to a consumer boom, and as a result the term is commonly remembered as a period of great prosperity. While popular, a stroke in May 1963 meant that he would stand down at the election and as such his government would not be re-elected.
7 Jens Otto Krag 01.jpg Frei Jorśsun
(1914-1979)
3 October 1963 31 October 1966 1124 Ap
Jorśsun would become Thingspeaker after the 1963 election in coalition with the Radicals, which would notably not hold a majority outright but require support from the remnants of ADAA. His government would pursue a pro-Euclean agenda and as Thingspeaker he would preside over the signing of the Treaty of Morwall, which would create the Euclean Parliament and Commission.
8 Per Borten i Folldal i 1987.png Eryk Aansgaarssun
(1916-2000)
31 October 1966 12 October 1969 1077 GF
After the party had an upsurge in support in the 1963 and 1966 elections, Aansgaarsun would become the first Thingspeaker from Gold Flame since 1921. His personal style and government would often be accused of populism and lacking ideology, with his heavy use of media such as radio and television being criticised alongside his 1968 attempt to engineer an economic boom through cutting taxes and defence spending while pushing up spending on other expenditures, most notably the authorisation of new highways in his native Westmaark province.
(7) Jens Otto Krag 01.jpg Frei Jorśsun
(1914-1979)
12 October 1969 12 January 1973 1188 Ap
Jorśsun would win a second term in the 1969 election and would reiterate his coalition with the Radicals. His government would focus on welfare reform, introducing new reforms to welfare designed to make unemployment benefits more generous, and would also preside over a liberalisation of divorce laws in order to allow the dissolution of marriages between separated or abusive couples.
9 Verteidigungsminister Dr. Hans Apel (4909219537).jpg Aleksaander Mâþijassun
(1916-2009)
12 January 1973 20 October 1975 1011 R
Mâþijassun, a former history professor, would bring his party to lead the government on the back of protests against various perceived social injustices such as gender inequality, Azmaran membership of ECDTO and social inequality in education, causes the Radicals promised to address. Coming in a close second place, a Radical-only government with support from Gold Flame was formed which attempted reforms on these ideas - comprehensive schools were introduced, equal pay was made law and contraception pornography laws were relaxed. However, attempts to withdraw from the ECDTO and relax abortion laws were not successful due to opposition from other parties and thus his party would decline in popularity.
10 Ola Ullsten.JPG Stefan Mâþissun
(1923-1999)
20 October 1975 15 October 1981 2187 Ap
Mâþissun would lead the Workers' Party back to government in 1975 under a campaign branding the previous government as "chaotic" and promising "strong and stable government" for Azmara. However, his government would face economic troubles as Azmara entered a period of stagflation - low growth and high inflation. While initially, demand-side policies would be used to try and drive growth up first, these did little to encourage growth and merely increased inflation, resulting in a change of leadership soon after the 1978 election in which tax hikes and high interest rates would be introduced to try and put a hold on inflation, yet these would prove particularly unpopular amongst voters.
11 Ed van Thijn portrait.jpg Aarne Leifssun
(1931-2018)
15 October 1981 13 October 1987 2191 GF
Leifssun's government would be elected as a response to the poor economic situation under the previous government on a promise to return the country to prosperity. While keeping interests rates high, his government would repeal the unpopular tax hikes of the previous government, combining this with wide-ranging reforms to the Azmaran welfare state and to the government's expenditures in general, pursuing a policy of reconstruction and cuts, notably decreasing and closing significant parts of the Azmaran coal and steel industries. He would also pursue further economic integration with the rest of the Euclean Community as the Treaty of Weisstadt was created in an attempt to introduce a common monetary policy.
12 Proinsias De Rossa, cropped.jpg Herman Jonssun
(1940-)
13 October 1987 4 October 1990 1087 Ap
Jonssun would defeat Leifssun in the 1987 election, capitalising on the unpopularity of his government amongst wide sectors of Azmaran society and promising a market change away from neoliberal economic policy. Jonssun's government notably declared a "war on unemployment", investing heavily in retraining schemes to areas affected by industrial decline and the move to a services-based economy. While this policy saw success, he would come into conflict with his coalition partners on other economic reforms, who were unenthusiastic about the proposed renationalisations Jonssun proposed and wished to continue the monetarist economic policies of Leifssun.
(11) Ed van Thijn portrait.jpg Aarne Leifssun
(1931-2018)
4 October 1990 1 September 1993 1063 GF
Leifssun returned to government after the 1990 election, notably forming a coalition with The Radicals and Democrats as opposed to the Sotirian Democrats. His second government saw further privatisation and deregulation, with the national stock exchange being deregulated in 1991 and significant government shares in Azmaariś-Lesten and Azmaariś-Telekom were sold off, with the government cutting its share down to 45% in both companies. His second government also saw a noted liberalisation in social policy, introducing both legal recognition for same-sex couples and abortion on-demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
(12) Proinsias De Rossa, cropped.jpg Herman Jonssun
(1940-)
1 September 1993 12 January 1999 1959 Ap
After losing office in 1990, Jonssun changed the party's stance to official support for an approach of "professional socialism", dropping opposition to the neoliberal reforms of Aarne Leifssun's government and focusing on strong public services and social welfare. His government implemented a number of tax and welfare reforms, streamlining the tax code and cutting rates on working-class families, shifting the burden to indirect taxation, and merging many low-income support programs into a single Unemployment and Poverty Insurance system with the intention of reducing bureaucracy and wait times. He also began a major program of investment in transport and communications, improving Azmara's road and rail connections and attempting to connect it to the World Wide Web. Ultimately, his passionate Pro-Eucleanism led to his acceptance of an EC Commission role in 1999, resigning as Thingspeaker.
13 Roger van Boxtel 2010.jpg Jorś Mâþijassun
(1947-)
12 January 1999 3 May 2003 1572 Ap
A leading figure on the right of the party, a skilled media performer and a believer in consensus, Mâþijassun was brought in to provide a new face for the Workers' Party in the 1999 election. He continued the narrative of "professional socialism" adopted by the government since 1993 and continued it further, entering the first grand coalition in Azmaran politics between the Workers' Party and Gold Flame. This government would be responsible for further deregulation of the financial sector, in an attempt to capitalise on the boom in that sector that had gripped much of Euclea. Another major policy area was structural employment and schemes in co-operation with major businesses to create apprenticeships and vocational training were introduced in areas particularly hit by this such as Ostlaak and Sompland. This would lead to his downfall, as a conflict of interest scandal emerged over the prominent role of his wife's company in these schemes and led to his resignation.
14 Verburg Dutch politician kabinet Balkenende IV.jpg Eleina Helmutsdohter
(1958-)
3 May 2003 29 September 2005 880 Ap
Eleina Helmutsdohter, formerly the Environment Minister in the Mâþijassun government, became the first female Thingspeaker of Azmara and was seen as a charismatic, modern face for the party. Her government largely continued the professional socialist approach of the previous government, controversially selling off 30% of the shares in the state-owned Ostlaak-Haadland Port Authority. Her government also focused heavily on public services, significantly increasing spending on education and healthcare and aiming for school choice and greater competition between hospitals. She is also commonly associated with her socially liberal policies, legalising same-sex marriage and liberalising Azmara's immigration laws. However, despite initial popularity, her government was tainted as the 2005 Recession hit, leading to a crushing defeat of the Workers' Party and Gold Flame in August 2005.
15 Jack de Vries 2009 (1).jpg Helmut Þurisassun
(1961–2007)
29 September 2005 19 December 2007 811 R
Helmut Þurisassun became the second Thingspeaker from the Radicals in Azmaran history after forming a government with the Sotirian Democrats and the Greens after anger over the recession led to the end of the Grand Coalition. Þurisassun's government was thus primarily concerned with solving the economic crisis, to which end the government implemented a fiscal stimulus programme. This programme included tax reforms aimed at increasing the disposable income of the working and middle classes, increases in infrastructure and welfare spending, subsidies for new and small businesses across the economy. The government also announced their top priority to be education, abolishing student tuition fees and greatly increasing funding for scientific research. However, Þurisassun would not serve a full term as he would die in office from a heart attack in December 2007.
16 Karel-de-gucht.jpg Stefan Aansgaarssun
(1949–)
19 December 2007 1 August 2008 226 SF
Aansgaarsun succeeded Þurisassun after the latter's untimely death, having served as Deputy Thingspeaker and Defence Secretary throughout Aansgaarsun's premiership. As campaigning for the 2008 election began shortly after, his government saw almost no new legislation enacted, and he has largely been described as an "interim Thingspeaker" and his ruling style as "technocratic".
17 Tallinn Digital Summit. Handshake Theresa May and Jüri Ratas (37357846742) (cropped).jpg Niina Hermansdohter
(1957–)
1 August 2008 27 October 2009 452 Ap
Hermansdohter came to power after the 2008 election in a grand coalition with the Christian Democrats, the Radicals and the Green Party. Her short tenure saw a few notable achievements, such as as the Discrimination Act which toughened Azmara's anti-discrimination laws and made attempts to make education more inclusive. However, the initial recovery from the recession began to unwind as growth rates slowed, yet Hermansdohter's coalition could not agree on action to take towards the crash and the Azmaran economy contracted in Q3 of 2009. Hermansdohter would resign as Thingspeaker after little more than a year's service in 2009, and soon later would be announced as an EC Commissioner, leading to a sense of anger and betrayal among much of the electorate as the coalition's approval ratings fell.
18 Official portrait of Lord Browne of Ladyton crop 2.jpg Frei Alekssun
(1952–)
27 October 2009 7 June 2011 588 Ap
Alekssun took the position of Thingspeaker after Hermansdohter resigned after political gridlock, having previously served as Home Secretary in her government. His short tenure saw little changes in policy, apart from attempts at demand-side policies to solve the ongoing economic crisis; his government saw historically low interest rates. However, his approval ratings stayed consistently poor and he was defeated in a motion of no confidence at the end of 2010 after the Sotirian Democrats withdrew from the coalition.
19 Foreign Secretary briefing on recent visit to Pakistan (4743128802).jpg Jon Jorśsun
(1961–)
7 June 2011 2 February 2014 971 GF
Jorśsun came to power in 2011 in a coalition with the Sotirian Democrats, controversially backed up by the right-wing populist People's Party. His administration implemented controversial reforms to Azmara's immigration and crime policies, introducing a yearly cap on immigrants from countries not in the Euclean Community and introducing longer sentences for crimes. These moves, however, proved unpopular with many in the country, and as he moved to reintroduce tuition fees, mass student protests broke out, citing the reintroduction of fees, hostility towards immigrants and a lack of action on climate change as their driving factors. Ultimately, these protests would lead to the breakup of his government as the People's Party withdrew due to their opposition to fee raises, and he would lose votes of confidence from both the Folksmot and his own party congress.
20 Marie-Christine Marghem.jpg Sofija Freidriksdohter
(1971–)
2 February 2014 19 May 2017 1202 GF
The daughter of a confectionary magnate and a frequent fixture on talk shows, Freidriksdohter was chosen as Thingspeaker in an attempt to revitalise the Gold Flame party, being parachuted into the Landsmot by the Westmaark provincial government. She became the youngest Thingspeaker of Azmara in the post-war era, and gained her party one of its best results in the 2014 election, entering government with the Sotirian Democrats and the Radicals. Her government repealed much of her predecessor's changes to immigration and crime policy. Other notable policy moves included passing the Gender Reform Act allowing for legal gender to be changed without surgery, reforms to make it easier to set up a business, and subsidies to new tech startups in order to encourage Azmara's growing technology industry. However, her government would lose much of its popularity after multiple scandals involving ministers and would lose its majority in 2017.
21 Charles Kennedy.jpg Eryk Jorśsun
(1959–)
19 May 2017 13 July 2020 1151 Ap
Eryk Jorśsun, a former Professor of Economics at Sloh College, was instrumental in moving the Workers' Party back to the left, a move many cite as the cause behind their 2017 election victory. His premiership was characterised by a series of reforms, most notably reforming the Azmaran National Healthcare Insurance to cover the full costs of all non-cosmetic treatments and reversing the partial privatisation of Azmaran Rail, as well as a return to collective bargaining and a series of policies geared at reducing the carbon emissions of Azmara. He also saw a move away from the presidentialism of the previous administrations as he moved towards more of a cabinet style of leadership, focusing on the talents of individual ministers. After his party's 2020 victory, he announced a desire to step down and let "the next generation of politician" take over, resigning as Thingspeaker in 2020.
22 Official portrait of Angela Rayner MP crop 2.jpg Sofija Anasdohter
(1981–)
13 July 2020 Incumbent 504 Ap
Sofija Anasdohter, who had served as Home Secretary in Jorśsun's government, succeeded him as Thingspeaker in July 2020, becoming the fourth woman and the first person from Haadland to serve as Thingspeaker. Her government, a three-party coalition with the Green Party and The Radicals, declared its key area of focus to be that of progressive reform in educational, environmental and constitutional issues.

Timeline

Sofija AnasdohterEryk JorśsunNiina Hermansdohter