Politics of New Ingerland

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The politics of New Ingerland takes place within the framework of a parliamentary democracy based on the Winburgh system.

Political parties

Parties in Parliament

Name Leader Position Ideology Senators MPs
Democratic Party DEM Matthew Jones Centre Social liberalism
Economic liberalism
31 / 86
68 / 128
National Party NAT Kristine Dawkins Centre-right Liberal conservatism
Economic corporatism
19 / 86
51 / 128
Social Democratic Labour Party SDLP Frances Clark Centre-left Social democracy
Democratic socialism
9 / 86
4 / 128
Green Party GRN Joel Cook Left-wing Green politics
1 / 86
0 / 128
Independents, Non-aligned, etc
17 / 86
5 / 128

Parties outside Parliament

Name Leader Position Ideology
Christian Democratic Party CDP John-Paul Mainwaring Centre-right Christian democracy
Distributism
New Labour Party NLP
Outdoor Alliance OUT
Peoples Party PP
Pink Elephant Party PEP None Satirical

Democratic Party

Logo NI Democratic Party.png
The Democratic Party is currently the largest political party in New Ingerland. Ideologically, the Democrats are a liberal party (with both classical and social strands), that was formed with the merger of the Liberal Party and the Reform Party in July 1959. The current leader of the Democratic Party is the Rt. Hon. Matthew Jones MHA, and current Prime Minister of New Ingerland.

The Democrats have maintained a number of strong and competing factions with the strongest is the classical liberal element that makes the Democrats a party in the mould of the Gladstonian Liberal Party in nineteenth century Ingerland. The party enjoys strong support in the electorate and since it was established has generally polled about 40% of the vote. The heartland of the party is in the urban constituencies (particularly Kingsbury and Port Frederick), and the some rural areas such of the counties of Deverauxshire and Westerland.

more to be added

National Party

Logo NI National Party.png
The National Party is a centre-right and conservative political party and is one of the two major political parties in New Ingerland. The Nationals have elected representatives in both Houses of Parliament and in all local councils. Today, the Nationals control four of the eight county councils, and have governed New Ingerland for 46 of the 78 years since the party was established in 1935, a period longer than any other party.

National Party policy continues to reflect the moderate conservative model of politics that developed in New Ingerland after the World War. The Nationals see themselves as a 'big tent', with many competing ideas and goals. Despite this, the party is renowned for its party discipline and single-focused agenda that is meted out the party's annual conference.

Outside of urban areas, the party continues to focus on agrarianism as the central tenant of economic management, and so it is the natural choice for many people who work in the agricultural sector. The party believes in minimum economic intervention, but reserves the right to do so when it believes necessary. On most social issues, the party allows a conscience vote, but in a nation that is essentially socially conservative, it is seldom exercised.

The National Party is strongly in favour of preserving the independence of New Ingerland and maintaining the institutions of government as they were established in the Constitution. Past experience has shown that the party is not afraid to take aggressive action against any nation that would seek to compromise New Ingerland's independence.

The National Party was formed in 1935 through the merger of the Conservative Party and the Country, at which point the Nationals became the sole centre-right party in New Ingerland. The former Country Party leader, Donald Burleigh, became the first leader of the new party. Richard Brabazon, the former leader of the Conservatives, served as the first deputy.

Throughout the late 1940s and in to the 1950s, the National Party was dominated by the leadership of Robert Kettering. Kettering was a strong advocate for the paternalistic One Nation school of conservatism that dominated many right of centre parties of the era. Under Kettering, many of the policies and actions of the socialist Sims government were retained or only slightly modified to make them amenable to the party's upper-class base. However, the new policy direction of the government was not without its critics, and led to many liberal conservative members of the party breaking away to form the Reform Party in late 1954. The breakaways perceived Kettering's policies as being a weak and insipid response by the National Party to growing size of the welfare state and the role of government generally. The Reform Party later merged with the Liberal Party to form the modern liberal Democratic Party.

The split did not prove to be immediately fatal to the government, with Kettering successfully winning the elections of 1955 and 1958. But the loss of volunteers at the local level eventually caught up with the party, and it was heavily defeated by Jonathan Braddock's Democrats in 1961. The party would spend the next 14 years in opposition, whilst many of the attributes of the welfare state were wound back or terminated altogether. Whilst the Nationals under Tony Hendon and John Collier vigorously opposed this wind-back, Collier's successor, Jacob Meyer was very much of the Tory old school, despite his Jewish heritage, and steered the party back to it's traditional corporatist economic roots.

more to be added

Social Democratic Labour Party

Parliament

The Parliament of New Ingerland forms the legislative arm of the central government of New Ingerland. The Parliament consists of the King, the Senate, and the House of Assembly; whose powers and functions derive from the current Constitution of New Ingerland, as enacted on the 1 October 1982 and subsequently amended on several occasions. The Parliament is a descendant of the Ingerish Parliament from which many of the traditions, procedures, and conventions are drawn from and used.

Senate

Senate of New Ingerland
57th Parliament of New Ingerland
Type
Upper house
Founded8 February 1636; 385 years ago (1636-02-08)
Leadership
Lord Chancellor     The Baroness Fairfax, (DEM)
since 13 March 2012
Leader     Jasmine Cassidy, (DEM)
since 13 March 2012
Structure
Seats86
Structure of the 57th Parliament
Political groups
  •      Democrat (31)
  •      National (19)
  •      Independents (17)
  •      Bishops (9)
  •      SDLP (9)
  •      Green (1)
Length of termVaries (see text)
AuthorityChapter IV of the Constitution
Salary£50/day + per diem
Elections
Various (see text)
Last election5 March 2016
Next election7 March 2020
Meeting place
Debating chamber of the Senate
Parliament House
Kingsbury, CENT

The Senate is the upper legislative chamber of Parliament. Like the Assembly, the Senate has the power to initiate and debate bills on almost any matter (the exception being the money bills and the budget, which the Senate may not propose or amend), and also has the capacity to block legislation initiated by the government in the lower house. The 86 senators who make up the chamber are elected from a variety of constituent groups, utilising a number of different electoral system for terms of either four or eight years, with regular elections taking place every four years.

The Senate is the oldest political institution in New Ingerland, and was created on the 18 February 1636.

Function and powers

The powers of the Senate are designed to be almost the same as the House of Assembly, with the exception of a few key areas. Senators are elected to take in the "big picture" when debating legislation. Their election from special interest groups and the county level electorates instead of local constituencies was done in the hope of giving senators some ability to escape the popularism of local politics.

All bills passed by the House of Assembly must be passed by the Senate before they go to the King for his assent. Likewise, bills first passed in the Senate must be passed by the House before they can become law. The only bills the Senate cannot initiate or amend are bills relating to the appropriation of funds from the treasury, although it may block them.

Unlike many upper houses around the world, the Senate of New Ingerland can block any bill placed before it indefinitely. If any bill is blocked twice in not less than three months, §58 of the Constitution allows the Sovereign to convene a joint sitting of both houses to resolve any deadlock.

Membership

Current composition

Membership of the Senate is currently set at 86 members. The members of the Senate are drawn for the following constituencies and interest groups:

  • 47 Elected senators:
  • 12 Peers of the Realm;
  • 10 Members of His Majesty's Executive Council of no less than two years standing, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister for a duration of four years;
  • 9 Bishops in the Apostolic Church of New Ingerland; and
  • 8 Representatives of the functional constituencies of the agricultural, commerce, labour, and scientific sectors, elected by various interest groups from among their respective memberships, using the single transferable vote for a duration of eight years.
Qualifications

Qualification for election to the Senate is slightly different to that required for membership of the Assembly. As with the lower house, §50 of the Constitution of New Ingerland states that any prospective senator must be:

  • Be an enrolled voter;
  • Must have been resident in New Ingerland for at least three years;
  • Must be natural-born subject, or have been naturalised as a subject at least five years previously;
  • Is a person of integrity, good character, and reputation; and
  • Has not been disqualified from being a Member of the House of Assembly under the provisions of §58 of the Constitution.

In addition, §39(2)(b) requires that a person must have reached the age of 35 to be eligible to seek election to the Senate.[1]

Under the provisions of §62 of the Constitution, a person is disqualified from sitting as a senator if he:

  • Is a subject of a foreign power[2];
  • Has been found guilty of treason, or any other offence where the punishment exceeds one year in gaol;
  • Holds an office of profit under the Crown; or
  • Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with a government entity.

Furthermore, anyone who becomes a bankrupt loses the right to sit as a member of the Senate and must resign.

Party representation

Just like the House of Assembly, most senators are members of political parties. Whilst a government is not formed on the basis of results in the Senate, the composition of the upper house can have a dramatic impact on the fate of a government. Indeed, most governments have failed to gain a majority in the Senate, and relied on the other parties to pass bills through the chamber.

Party Seats held 2016 - Senate
Democratic Party 31                                                              
National Party 19                                        
Independents 17                                    
Bishops 9                    
Social Democratic Labour Party 9                    
Green Party 1    
Oath

All senators are required to the oath of allegiance before they can assume their seats in the chamber. The present oath, as outlined in the First Schedule of the Constitution reads:

I, [AB], do swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Geoffrey VII, his heirs and successors, according to law.

Political leadership

Leader of the Senate

Concurrently serving as the Cabinet Secretary and Treasurer of the Crown Estate, the Leader of the Senate is the minister responsible for promoting and defending the government's programme in the Senate. As a cabinet position, the Leader is appointed by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister. The position has its difficulties, with the government often lacking a majority in the Senate. It usually falls to the Leader of the Senate to negotiate the passage of legislation through the chamber through discussions with cross-bench and opposition members.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

The opposition counterpart to the Leader of the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate manages the oppositions response to the government, and proposes changes and amendments to the government's agenda that it believes will deliver a better outcome. The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, along with other Senators, lead the negotiations for the passage of legislation when the government does not have a majority in the Senate.

Officers

Speaker of the Senate (Lord Chancellor)

The chairman and the most important officer in the chamber, the office of Speaker of Senate, whilst technically a separate office, is by prescription vested in the Lord Chancellor of New Ingerland|. As such he sits upon the woolsack, which is not strictly within the Senate, but like the throne is considered to be outside the Senate. Unlike the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Lord Chancellor takes part in debates, speaking from his place in the Senate. He entitled to vote on all debates and motions brought before the Senate, and votes from the woolsack instead of going into the division lobby. The only function which he discharges as Speaker is putting the question; if two debaters rise together, he has no power to call upon one, nor can he rule upon points of order. Those taking part in debates address the whole House, as "Senators", and not the Lord Chancellor. Since the 1890s, the Lord Chancellor always belonged to a political party and is affected by its fluctuations. He is typically appointed by the Prime Minister for a four-year term after each election. The current Speaker of the Senate is the Right Honourable The Baroness Fairfax.

Clerk of the Senate

The speaker is assisted by a number of clerks, who advise him on the various rules and procedures of the Senate. The clerks are all legal officers with expert knowledge in not only parliamentary procedure, but also the constitution and the various unwritten conventions. The Clerk of the Senate are also responsible for ensuring information about the chamber is provided to schools and other interested bodies and often act as spokesmen for the non-political aspects of Senate business.

Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod

The officer responsible for security and enforcing order within the chamber, the Black Rod play a critical role in ensuring that the chamber operates smoothly. Whilst the office has a well-known ceremonial role, much of the Black Rod's work goes on behind the scenes overseeing the protocol, administrative and logistical details of the Senate and with the assistance of the Serjeant-at-Arms, the entire parliamentary precinct.

Committees

The Senate committee structure serves a variety of purposes. Committees consider bills in detail, and may make amendments. Other committees scrutinize various government agencies and ministries and hold their actions to account.

House of Assembly

House of Assembly
57th Parliament of New Ingerland
Type
Lower house
Founded29 April 1854; 167 years ago (1854-04-29)
Leadership
Speaker     Helen Carter-Jones, (IND)
since 8 April 2012
Leader     Sebastian Vincent, (DEM)
since 13 March 2012
Structure
Seats128
Political groups
  •      Democrat (68)
  •      National (51)
  •      SDLP (4)
  •      Independent (4)
  •      The Speaker (1)
Length of term4 years
AuthorityChapter IV of the Constitution
Salary£50/day + per diem
Elections
Plurality by electoral district
Last election5 March 2016
Next election7 March 2020
Meeting place
Parliament House
Kingsbury, CENT

The House of Assembly is the lower house in the Parliament of New Ingerland, and consists of 128 members. The Assembly, along with the Senate, has the sole authority to debate and enact legislation. By convention, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition must both be members of the Assembly. Established by an amendment to the Constitution in 1854, the Assembly is a democratically elected body consisting of 128 members, who are known as Members of the House of Assembly or MHAs.

Members are elected by the plurality voting system, holding office until the Assembly is dissolved (terms are presently set at a maximum of four years, although the Constitution allows for terms of up to five years[3]). These members are elected from constituencies known as electoral districts. The House of Assembly is where most members of the Cabinet are drawn[4], and the chamber also provides the Prime Minister, who is leader of the largest party in the Assembly.

Elections

References and notes

  1. See Chapter IV of the Constitution of New Ingerland
  2. Except for citizens of other Commonwealth countries, there is no recognition of dual citizenship in New Ingerland, and any New Ingerish who takes citizenship of another country automatically loses his New Ingerish citizenship.
  3. Constitution of New Ingerland (1982). §47(2)
  4. According to the unwritten convention in existence since at least 1900, one-quarter of the Cabinet of New Ingerland should be drawn from amongst the members of the Senate.