Politics in Karolia

From OpenGeofiction Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This article covers the history and current situation of politics in the republic of Karolia.

System of government

Karolia is a parliamentary republic, with a president as head of state and a prime minister, officially titled Chancellor, as head of government. The parliament (Riikskogu) is divided into two houses; with the lower house (Kogupaani Liikme) decided by proportional representation at national level and the upper (Elektorikogu) elected via wards and at state level. There are also local governments for each federal state. Voting age for all ballots is 16 and anyone with full or joint Karolian citizenship may vote, including prisoners. Universal suffrage was introduced in 1894.

President

The president is elected directly by national referendum every five years. Normally there are around five candidates, but any Karolian citizen aged over 21 may run for the office with the endorsement from five other citizens. The candidates will normally choose a vice-president themselves and stand for office jointly, but the constitution allows for a separate vote to be held to choose the vice-president if all the candidates agree. The president is officially neutral and does not represent any particularly party, and in practice they have little say in day-to-day politics, filling a role as a national representative and normally only possessing emergency powers.

Historically, the President was more powerful than today, filling many of the roles of the head of government. However, by the late nineteenth-century the growing power of the Labour movement in the Riikskogu forced the transfer of political powers to the leader of parliament.

Chancellor

The Chancellor is the most powerful individual in government and is usually (but not always) the leader of the largest party in government. Karolian governments have, for the last half-century at least, been comprised of coalitions, normally split between the left and right, but with many different combinations depending on whose side the centre parties prefer to align with. A general election may be called by the Chancellor at any time provided one month's notice is given. During this time parliament is dissolved and the President assumes greater responsibility.

Lower House (Kogupane Liikme)

The Lower house has the most executive power and legislative ability. Members of the upper chamber are commonly referred to as KLs. Any Karolian citizen above the age of eighteen may stand for office, although in practice it is rare for an independent to gain a seat. Voters choose one party from an open list relating to their electorial district, which is in most states the third-level political division (usually called a county). The number of citizens in each county is used to decide the approximate number of seats for each party, which are then adjusted to get as close as possible to the national totals.

Upper House (Elektorikogu)

The upper house, with less legislative power, is the House of Electors. Electors are returned through still smaller divisions of wards of around 50,000 people.

State governments

As well as the national government, each state has its own government which is also elected using PR.

History of politics

Early Karolian democracy was dominated by the need to consolidate the newly-formed and still fragile Union of States. In the years following the Wars of Unification there were still many Royalist and Self-Government groups that wanted to return to the old system of completely independent states. Maasriiäs was responsible for bringing the country under tight central control, despite the risks this would spark further civil war. In subsequent administrations, the backlash from states would result in a gradual easing of the Santjana government's control, leading to the semi-independent nature of the states seen today. Another key incentive was industrialisation and the creation of a modern economic basis for national finance and banking.

The rise of the early Labour movement in the 1870s-1890s was as a result of the poor living conditions and rapid change in lifestyles many Karolians suffered from. The first Labour governments were able to make some sweeping changes to the political landscape and although their influence waned during the early part of the twentieth century as the conservative parties formed most governments, the resurgence of the centre-left in the last fifty years has been the main force in Karolian politics up to the present day. The creation of a welfare state is still considered one of the crowning achievements of the country in the last century and has been maintained even by those on the mainstream right wing.

In very broad terms, the main policies of the past fifty years have been the maintenance of a significant welfare state (although its reach, remit and budget have varied with successive governments); an increase in liberalisation of trade, particularly with foreign countries; the raising of personal wealth and living standards; and economic and military co-operation without placing the military in an adventurist role. Major issues in recent times have been immigration, and in particular the relationship with Arataran; increasing pressure to act on green issues; the role of the welfare state in an increasingly affluent society; nuclear energy; involvement in global trade and globalisation; the Kyori Question; continued public ownership of transport and utilities companies and the maintenance of Karolian manufacturing power.

Political parties

All parties must be self-funding and must hold transparent processes to elect a leader.

Current

Labour Party (Toopaarti)

Leader: Tänii Säpaarv

Formed in 1864 as the Worker's Party, initially to act as an incorporated body for the growing trade union movement. Gained its first KL in 1870, and in 1893 led a majority government for the first time. Has moved more towards centrist policies in recent governments.

Centre Party (Kesketpaarti)

The modern Centre Party was formed in 1921, as a breakaway from the Liberals. Has followed a centrist liberalisation policy.

Karolian Liberals (Karolijas Liiberaalpaarti)

The oldest established party formed in 1816 to further the interests of trade. Centre-right economics.

Socialist Party (Sociaalistipaarti)

Formed by a breakaway from the Labour Party in 1934, to pursue a more hard-left agenda

Green Party (Puhanapaarti)

Broadly similar to Labour Party in social politics, but with focus on green issues. Anti-nuclear and anti-military, restrictions on liberalisation of trade

New Democrats (Neuu Demokraatid)

Centre-left protest party following perceived move of Labour into centre-right territory.

Karolian National Party (Karolijas Riikspaarti)

Right-wing populist, seeks reduction of social welfare and greater industrial power. Somewhat anti-immigrant

Kyori Independence Party (Kyoras Paarti)

Seeks greater autonomy and eventual independence for the state of Kyorimaa

Karolian Way (Karolijas Raud)

Right-wing populist, anti-immigration and anti-globalisation emphasis on 'traditional values' and self-sufficiency.

Communist Party of Karolia

Hard-left, Communist

Farmers' Party

Represents rural issues

Communities Party

Informal alliance of independents, focused on community issues. Socialist/left-of centre

Former

Unionist Party

Short-lived breakaway from the Centre Party.

Karolian Fascists

Advocated strong military government and expulsion of immigrants. Banned in 1938.

Kyori Nation Party

Kyori independence movement, absorbed into Kyori Independence Party in 1988.

Current government

The current administration was elected in 2012 and is a 165-seat coalition with the Labour Party leader Tänii Säpaarv serving a second term as Chancellor.

Government coalition (165 seats)

   *Labour Party (Toopaarti)103
   *Green Party of Karolia (Puhanapaarti) 48
   *New Democrats (Neuu Demokraatid) 12
   *Socialist Party (Sociaalistipaarti) 2

Opposition coalition (160 seats)

   *Centre Party (Kesketpaarti) 97
   *Karolian Liberals (Karolijas Liiberaalpaarti) 59
   *Solidarity Party (Solidarnospaarti) 4

Non-aligned (5 seats)

   *Karolian National Party (Karolijas Riikspaarti) 3
   *Karolian Way (Karolijas Raud) 1
   *Kyori Independence Party (Kyoras Paarti) 1

Such a small majority for the ruling coalition is not uncommon in the house, neither are minority governments. They must hope to persuade the non-aligned parties to vote with them or hope to win over rebel opposition KLs or the Electorikogu to secure legislation.

Great Offices (Suurufficid)

  • President: Rülik Loeslaes, neutral; formerly leader of the Liberal Party
  • Vice-President:
  • Chancellor: Tänii Säpaarv, leader of the Labour Party
  • Leader of the Electors: Jan Torväs, neutral
  • Finance Minister: Hino Raautäkainen (Labour)
  • Homeland Minister: [[Sära di'Merii (Labour)
  • Foreign Minister: [[Rijkä Pärvainen (Labour)
  • Defence Minister: [[Maark va'Partaras (Green)
  • Environment Minister: [[Lars Leito Puntakaras (Green)
  • Education Minister: [[Saara-Bekka Tőő (Labour)
  • Culture Minister: [[Joos Miekkulä (Socialist)
  • Transport Minister: [[Ösal da Fontjäna (New Democrats)

Lesser Offices (Vaikeufficid)

  • Schools Minister:
  • Universities Minister:
  • Energy Minister:
  • Police Minister:
  • Trade Minister:
  • Tourism Minister:
  • Maritime Minister:

History

List of former Presidents

Of the Union of Twelve States

Of the Union of Sixteen States

  • 1798-1803 Huuvik Seis Jorven

Of the Federation of Twenty-One States

  • 1803-1807 Jän Maasriiäs
  • 1807-1811 Jän Maasriiäs
  • 1811-1816 Gospat va'Muuri
  • 1816-1818
  • 1818-1823
  • 1823-1826
  • 1826-1832
  • 1832
  • 1832-1837
  • 1837-1840
  • 1840-1844
  • 1844-1849
  • 1849-1852
  • 1852-1857
  • 1857-1861
  • 1861-1866
  • 1866-1869
  • 1869-1870
  • 1870-1875
  • 1875-1879
  • 1879-1883
  • 1883-1888
  • 1888-1894

(In 1894 fixed five-year terms were established)


List of former Chancellors