Conseil Populaire de la Fédération

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The Conseil Populaire de la Fédération or Conseil Fédéral (Ingerish: People's Council of the Federation or Federal Council) is the main democratic body of the Federation of Ataraxia.

It was created in 1701, with the surrender of Ataraxia City at the end of a 2-year siege and its incorporation into the Kingdom of the Var and Sher as the Federal Council, originally to give the merchant class a say in government. With the creation of the Federation, it became the democratically-elected People's Council of the Federation.

Voting in elections is only permitted by Ataraxian Citizens (and not nationals), those who have completed at least a 2-year program in the Ataraxian Civil Service.

Elected Councillors are referred to by rank, party and province, for example Océane de Mauzy, CF (ConfAx-60). 'CF' serves to distinguish Federal Councillors from other levels of government: Regional Councillors (CR), Provincial Councillors (CP) and Municipal Councillors (CM).

The governing coalition has been led since April 2015 by the Social Federalist Party, with the MDNA, Ataraxian Greens and the ConfAx as coalition partners.

In Ataraxia, the slow transition to representative democracy meant that the Orthodox Church never lost its place in the public sphere. The Orthodox Church runs two political parties on the left and right, though in practice most practicing voters overwhelmingly support the right-wing People's Orthodox Party to the left-wing Believers' Left.

While the National Republican Front has been increasing representation in recent elections, it is taboo for it or the Union of Workers of the Left to serve in government due to avowed anti-monarchist tendencies. The latter was recently allowed to reorganize after serving a 10-year ban for support of anti-monarchist terrorist groups and demonstrations.

Current Makeup

Current seat distribution in the Federal Council
Conseil federal 2015.svg
Legend
   Union des Travailleurs de Gauche ("Union of Workers of the Left", UTG): 13 seats
   Confédération Ataraxienne des Syndicalistes ("Ataraxian Confederation of Union Workers", ConfAx): 39 seats
   Parti Écologiste Ataraxien ("Ataraxian Greens", Écolo): 15 seats
   Mouvement-Démocratie-Nouvelle-Ataraxie ("Movement for Democracy in a New Ataraxia", MDNA): 64 seats
   Parti Fédéral-Social ("Social Federalist Party", PFS, PFS-HV): 127 seats
   Gauche Croyante ("Believers' Left"): 4 seats
   Parti Orthodoxe Populaire ("People's Orthodox Party", P-O-P): 42 seats
   Rassemblement pour l'Unité et la Justice ("Rally for Unity and Justice", RUJ): 130 seats
   Parti Libéral ("Liberal Party", PL-HV): 10 seats
   Parti Démocrate Libre ("Free Democrat Party", PDL-HV): 11 seats
   Droite Ouvrière ("Workers' Right", DrO): 5 seats
   Front Républicain National ("National Republican Front", FRN): 21 seats
   Parti Pirate ("Pirate Party", PP): 5 seats
   Alliance pour des Amateurs des Animaux ("Alliance for Animal Lovers", AAA): 2 seats
   Parti Humaniste ("Humanist Party"): 1 seat

Electoral System

Each province is allocated a number of councillors proportional to its population, with less populated regions allocated a slightly higher number of councillors per capita to reduce the weight of the Centre region in the body (143,538 per councillor in Centre region, 96,645 per councillor in the Haut-Var SAR).

Councillor seats within provinces are allocated to parties proportionally. Parties nominate ranked lists with a total number of possible candidates equivalent to the number of seats in that province.

For provinces with 1 councillor, the plurality leader wins.

For provinces with 2 councillors, the top vote-getting parties each win seats, unless the leader wins over 60% of the vote, in which case both seats are awarded to the winning party.

For provinces with 3 and more councillors, the hurdle for representation is generally equivalent to =1/(number of seats). This means that in some provinces, the hurdle for representation in the Federal Council is quite low. The largest province in Ataraxia, Régie du Nord surrounding Léopoldville with 3.8 million inhabitants, has 29 seats, with 3.4% of the vote sufficient to win at least 1 Federal Councillor.

In general, smaller provinces only elect councillors from the largest parties on the right and left. But in practice, smaller and fringe parties have been successful in targeting the largest provinces, leading to a high number (15) of parties in the legislature. New in 2015 was the Humanist Party from Régie du Nord. In the last legislature, the Parti de l'Est won representation from the Val-de-Marien province.

This in turn leads to difficulty forming a stable majority, often resulting in weak minority-led governments. Several reforms have been floated to reduce this tendency: circonscriptions within the largest provinces to reduce the number of representatives for a given area; reducing the total number of seats in the legislature; or, a nationwide hurdle of 10% to 20% for representation in the Federal Council. All have of course been fiercely opposed by the smaller parties, while the 2 main left- and right-wing parties represent barely more than 50% of the Council - not enough to force constitutional changes.

Recent Events

In 2014, the governing coalition of right-leaning parties, led by the Rally for Unity and Justice began to show cracks over slowing economic growth and positions on social issues.

In January 2015, the Prime Minister, Sébastien d'Antan, consented to a vote on legalizing gay marriage as demanded by left-wing parties. He consented to a conscience-vote within the coalition, allowing many socially-tolerant members of the RUJ to vote in favor. This enraged the religious P-O-P, leading it to walk out on the coalition.

On January 26, 2015, a motion of no confidence was called by the main left-wing parties. It was lost by the disintegrating governing coalition's remaining parties. This led to the Queen to declare a new election after a 3-month campaign period, with elections held on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

Post election, the RUJ remained the largest party in the Federal Council, barely ahead of the PFS by 3 seats. However, the PFS, helped by large gains by the MDNA, was able to stich together a 1-seat majority of 4 left-wing parties. As the new coalition endorsed several controversial social measures, the Gauche Croyante refused to join the coalition. The coalition refused to consider the UTG, still considered a controversial and anti-monarchy political force.

The right-wing coalition lost every region except the North, historically its main base. In the Haut-Var, the Liberal Party came in 3rd behind the governing PFS and the separatist PDL.

Major Political Parties

Ataraxia Political Compass.png

The ease of election for small parties to Ataraxia's Federal Council has resulted in most major political viewpoints being represented in parliament. The breadth of choice also results in parties tending to disassociate from each other over time on the political compass, to better distinguish from rival factions and build loyalty from followers.

The 2015 election resulted in a tenuous left-wing coalition with a slim 1-seat majority, albeit without the Gauche Croyante (Believers' Left) that traditionally joins left-leaning governments. With the MDNA entering government for the first time ever (and the Greens for the first time in 23 years), the current federal government has some of the widest gaps ever seen in viewpoints on policy positions as diverse as economic policy, social policy, the Ataraxian language, Ataraxian civil service and the monarchy. Some political commentators have predicted that this will result in instability leading to early elections as soon as 2017.

2015 Federal Election Results (Federal Regions, Major Parties)

Icon Abbreviation Parti (nom en Ataraxien) Party (name in Ingerish) Ideology Party Leader  % of the vote Number of seats  % of seats
FRN Front républicain national National Republican Front Far-right, nationalist Louis Thor 21 4.3%
P-O-P Parti orthodoxe populaire People's Orthodox Party Religious right Emmanuel Collaix 42 8.6%
RUJ Rassemblement pour l'unité et la justice Rally for Unity and Justice Centre-right Ana Langevin 130 26.6%
PFS Parti fédéral-social Social Federalist Party Centre-left, traditionalist Tiphaine Raude 109 22.3%
MDNA Mouvement-démocratie-nouvelle-Ataraxie Mouvement for Democracy in a New Ataraxia Centre-left, internationalist (new) William St. Richard 64 13.1%
Écolo Parti écologiste ataraxien Ataraxian Green Party Green-left Éric Senhor 15 3.1%
ConfAx Confédération ataraxienne des syndicalistes Ataraxian Confederation of Union Workers Centre-left syndicalist Océane de Mauzy 39 8.0%
UTG Union des travailleurs de gauche Union of Workers of the Left Far-left marxist Théo Brandt 13 2.7%

2015 Federal Election Results (Haut-Var SAR)

Icon Abbreviation Parti (nom en Ataraxien) Party (name in Ingerish) Ideology Party Leader  % of the vote Number of seats  % of seats
PFS Parti fédéral-social (Haut Var) Social Federalist Party (Upper Var) Centre-left, federalist Elizabeth Levy 18 3.7%
PL Parti libéral Liberal Party Centre-right, federalist 10 2.0%
PDL Parti démocrate-libre Free Democrat Party Right, Independantist 11 2.2%

2015 Federal Election Results (Non-aligned parties)

Icon Abbreviation Parti (nom en Ataraxien) Party (name in Ingerish) Ideology Party Leader  % of the vote Number of seats  % of seats
DrO Droite ouvrière Worker's Right Right, syndicalist 5 1.0%
GC Gauche croyante Believer's Left Left, religious 4 0.8%
- Parti de l'est Party of the East Separatist 0 0.0%
PP Parti Pirate Pirate Party Anti-corporate 5 1.0%
AAA Alliance des Amateurs des Animaux Alliance of Animal Lovers Pets' rights 2 0.4%
- Parti humaniste Humanist party Scientology/cult 1 0.2%

Representation by region