Constitution

From Einwimz
Jump to: navigation, search

The Constitution of Einwimz establishes a religious–secular, democratic–autocratic federation, encompassing the entire land area enclosed by the Big Big Sea, the Blue Ocean, and the Sploosh.

Drafting and Ratification

The creation and adoption of the current Einwimz constitution took five long years after the end of the war between the Four Factions. In order to appease all sides, all decisions on the content of the new constitution had to be unanimous among the factions. The writing of the constitution took three years of regular meetings between the factions, with consultations with the local princes and kings who would eventually become party to it. There are many contradictory clauses within the document as the result of frequent facile arguments where one or two factions would demand that a clause be inserted stipulating one thing, and the others would agree only on the condition that another clause be inserted stating the exact opposite. The constitution is long and rambling and is susceptible of multiple interpretation, but it has (barely) functioned for long enough that it is now effectively entrenched.

General Maximilian Ayre watched over the process of drafting the constitution to ensure that the terms of the armistice that led to it were followed throughout, but (by most accounts) did not contribute to its content significantly.

Despite the long drafting process designed to ensure a peaceful settlement upon which all could agree, it took a further two years for all the various kingdoms, principalities, and upstart independent communes to agree to sign the constitution, which came into effect with the final signature of the Crown Prince of Aal, almost 10 months after the previous final holdouts against the new order, on the 34th day of Woman Month, 1362. The Crown Prince had been hoping to obtain independence of the Aal Valleys from the rest of Einwimz, but gave in when all the other states threatened to invoke §391 of the new constitution, which allowed them to declare an internal war of settlement to ensure the state’s existence and safety. Whether this would actually have been legal (since the constitution was still not actually in effect at the time) remains a matter of debate among legal scholars. To thank the Crown Prince for being so accommodating, the month in which he signed was renamed Crown Month.

Offices and Institutions

The main institution created by the Constitution of Einwimz is the Federalificabilitudinitatibus, the federal parliamentary body. The name comes from the words 'Federal', 'ific' (meaning excellent or grand), 'abilitude' (the degree to which something is able to be done), 'initiate' (to begin, however this was misspelled by the creators of the constitution, with only two letter 'I's), and 'ibus' (an Einwimzian word for a thing). Thus it is the Grand Federal Ability-to-Begin-Doing-Things Thing.

The Federalificabilitudinitatibus is comprised of representatives selected by the various constituent areas of the federation in any manner they see fit, with each area being able to send as many representatives as they like. For instance, in the Aal Valleys, each principality’s prince is the representative in the Federalificabilitudinitatibus for that area, and the people have no democratic say in what happens at the federal level (though, in a rarely-carried-out procedure, the Crown Prince can select another family to replace an existing royal family and prince if one of them displeases him; likewise the existing princes together can demote the Crown Prince to a normal prince and replace him with one of them if he displeases them); other areas such as Moregreen have a king who is bound by local convention to send an arbitrary number of representatives selected by a meeting of potentially all the local citizens of voting age; while in the very populous city of Lorenfall, there is only one representative, elected directly by the people. This apparent disproportionality is of little import, since in any counted vote each representative's vote is weighted by the population of the area they represent.

Nevertheless, egregious disproportionality of control does exist: a fair number of seats in the Federalificabilitudinitatibus are controlled ultimately by the private owners of large tracts of farmland, who use coercion and threats to force the real local leaders (kings, state councillors, etc.) to send their own choice of representatives to the parliament. Then, despite them owning mostly uninhabited land, their choice of representative will vote on behalf of all the people within that local leader's realm.

The Federalificabilitudinitatibus is responsible for electing the Prime Magnate and the Lord Archpresident ('President' for short). The Prime Magnate is a member of the parliament, who serves for as long as the Federalificabilitudinitatibus allows, but whose position is typically reconfirmed every year with an election in which he is usually unopposed except if there is serious discontent with the progress of government. The Lord Archpresident is not in the parliament but is typically a retiring long-serving member, whose term is for life (though there is precedent for resignation). However, neither of these positions hold very much power: policymaking initiative must typically be brought by a group of regions acting in coalition to pass a new law. The President’s main rôle is as an advisor on procedural matters.

Reception and Rôle in Current Political Affairs

At first, those regions which favoured the old Froohlahlah order were unsatisfied with the new constitution and wanted the pre-war state of affairs restored; but its relative weakness allowed them to continue locally much as they had done before, and this placated them somewhat. Today, in a strange reversal, the formerly pro-Froohlahlah regions tend to favour proposals giving more power to the Federalificabilitudinitatibus, believing that a stronger central power could help Einwimz regain its supposed glory under the power of the Grand Froohlahlah; while the formerly anti-Froohlahlah regions yearn for more independence from the other areas and tend to oppose such proposals.

Most of the early sections of the constitution are, together, a re-statement and strengthening of the terms of the Armistice of Lorenfall. These ensure harmonious relations and free trading between the different areas of Einwimz, but they often cause fierce debate in the Federalificabilitudinitatibus about whether particular laws are in violation of the provisions and guarantees made in these sections. The anti-federal elements within the Federalificabilitudinitatibus are often those stirring up these debates, trying to weaken the constitution's effect by interpreting it as significantly hobbling the power of the central government.

Citations: Big Big Sea, Four Factions, General Maximilian Ayre

David P. Kendal (talk) 17:34, 16 February 2016 (EST)