The Hakamim The Government Political Parties
The Sanhedrin Exercising Power Colonial Government

 

Government and Politics in the Union of Xyon

The Union of Xyon has a bi-cameral and federal government with a 20 member High Council (Hakamim) and 146 member Parliament (Sanhedrin).  The primary role of these two bodies is to work together to preserve the integrity of the Union against any possible external threat or internal dissention.  The former is to be countered through appropriate defences and alliances, and the latter through promoting prosperity and peace throughout the Union whilst allowing a high degree of autonomy for member systems.

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The Hakamim (pl)  Hakam (sng) (“The Wise”)

The leader of the Hakamim is called the Speaker who, along with 4 other senior members, forms the Quorum.  At least one member of the Quorum is required to be present for the Hakamim to function constitutionally.

The Speaker is chosen by the Hakamim from within its number.  The way this has worked in practice is that the outgoing Speaker nominates his successor who is then approved by the rest of the members.  The members of the Hakamim serve either for life, until they choose to retire or, in exceptional circumstances, are sacked by the Speaker.  The Speaker can only sack one Hakam per year, and the majority must approve anyone brought into the Hakamim from outside.  This acts as a check on the powers of the Speaker, not that a Speaker has ever tried to abuse those powers.  The Speaker can only be removed by at least 3 Quorum members baked by 11 other members of the Hakamim.  There has never been any cause to do this in the history of the Union.

Agama provides 8 members of the Hakamim, Haggai 2 - because of its status as a founding member of the Union - with the other systems in Quadrant 0 providing 1 each.  The remaining 6 members are selected 1 from each of the outer quadrants except Quadrant 3.

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The Sanhedrin

The citizens of the systems within the Union directly elect their representatives to the Sanhedrin, with elections being held at least every 7 years.  The number of seats a system has in the Sanhedrin is related to its population and its net contribution to the federal budget, but each system has at least 2 representatives.  The representatives are constituency based, with the top two candidates in an election going through to a second ballot.  Each candidate also has a running mate who acts as their proxy in the Sanhedrin or their representative in the constituency, since they can't be in two places at once.   If, for whatever reason, a seat becomes vacant, a bye-election will be held.

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The Government

The Hakamim appoints a Prime Minister who in turn appoints a Cabinet to form a government.  The Prime Minister and Cabinet members can be from either the Hakamim or Sanhedrin, but it has become customary for them all to be members of the Sanhedrin.  Indeed, it has been over 180 years since a Hakam held a Cabinet post, and over 200 years since one held the Premiership.

The Cabinet posts after the 3204 election when the position of Deputy Prime Minster was created are, in order of precedence:

Prime Minister

Deputy Prime Minister

Commercial Secretary

Treasury Secretary

Secretary General of the Union

Secretary of Defence

Secretary of External Affairs

Secretary of Science and Research

Speaker of the Sanhedrin

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Exercising Power

The Cabinet has Executive powers.  So does the Hakamim, and occasionally it will use them.  However, the Hakamim more usually confines itself to an advisory and scrutinising role.  Any legislation has to be approved by both the Sanhedrin and the Hakamim, and both have the power to amend legislation.

In an Emergency, the Speaker of the Hakamim can rule by decree, provided he has the support of the Quorum.  For this reason it is a constitutional requirement that at least 4 of the 5 Quorum members are always present in the Agama system.

Only the Speaker of the Hakamim has the power to dissolve the Sanhedrin and call an election outside of the constitutional requirement of at least once every 7 years.

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Political Parties

Political parties in the Union come in 2 flavours: those with support across many systems and quadrants, and those drawing their support from only one or two systems.  The former have the most influence politically and the latter are mainly found in Quadrant 0.

The current coalition consists of 3 parties:

Maskalim – the second oldest party and the one that has done most to shape the Union over the past 300 years.

Labour – the oldest party, originally drawing the corps of its support from Belters.

Harikat Amal – founded on Akhenaton in 3171 and drawing support mainly from the Outer Quadrants.

Other Parties:

Xyon Unity Party – over 200 years old, formed from a number of smaller conservative parties, drawing most of its support from Quadrant 0.  Now the official Opposition. Last in government in 3176.

True Zion – what is left of the original fundamentalists that founded the Union.  Limited to a few worlds in Quadrant 0.

Social Union Party – left wing and radical, founded in 3188.  Drawing most of its support for the poorer Outer Quadrants.

Agama Prime – an alliance of independents formed this party over a hundred years ago.  Tend to be conservative and insular, they average around 20% of the poll on Agama and advocate the primacy of Agama’s interests above the rest of the Union.  They are an Imperialist Party, but shy away from the title.

Independents – they have consistently formed a considerable percentage of the Sanhedrin and many governments have relied on their support.  In recent years they have declined as the SUP and HA have increased their support.

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Colonial Government

Each planet/belt has a bi-cameral government: an elected Knesset with Executive and legislative powers, and an appointed assembly (Kahal).  The appointees in the Kahal represent a wide variety of interest groups from business to labour, religions to educational institutes, the military (must be retired) to legitimate free traders.  There categorically are no pirates sitting in any Kahal.

There is also a Shaliach (Governor) appointed by the Hakamim.

The Kahal has to approve all legislation and has the power of amendment, but it cannot introduce legislation.  In the event a deadlock between the Knesset and Kahal the Shaliach has the casting vote.  In practice this rarely happens as the two normally will reach a compromise rather than see the Shaliach intervene.

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