“Iuvans illos qui auxilium requirunt”
|Category: Scandinavian Liberal Paradise|
Regional Influence: Squire
Location: 10000 Islands
Election Type: Mixed proportional representation with a 4.5% electoral threshold
States: Paffnia is divided into 33 states, which have nearly equal population. Thus, their borders are adjusted with each decennial census. Each state has a popularly elected governor and an eleven-person state chamber. The governors have veto power over the state chambers, which are elected by proportional representation. Each state chamber elects a speaker from among their membership.
Legislature: The National Chamber, the legislature of Paffnia consisting of 300 chamberpeople, is divided between the 99-person Senate, the upper house, and the 201-person Assembly, the lower house. Senators serve five year terms; assemblypeople serve for two and a half years, though neither has term limits. All laws must pass both chambers.
National Elections: Every five years, on October 3rd, all 300 members of the National Chamber are up for election. Each state elects one senior senator, for a total of 33, while the remaining 267 chamberpeople are elected by national proportional representation. On the last Wednesday in October, following the election, the National Chamber meets. All chamberpeople vote 66 of their members to become junior senators, who join the 33 senior senators to form the Senate (Ten years ago, a provision was added ensuring that at least 15 of the senators must be from opposition parties.). The remaining 201 chamberpeople join the Assembly. Following this, the National Chamber as a whole elects a prime minister and a deputy prime minister from among the junior senators. Then, they elect a president from among the senior senators. Finally, the Assembly elects its speaker from among its membership. Two and a half years later, on April 3rd, all assemblypeople are up for election in the midterms. The senators, though, are not up for election in the midterms. On the last Wednesday in that same April, the Assembly holds another election for its speaker. All vacancies are filled by special elections in the state of residency of the former chamberperson. Paffnia's unique governmental system tends to lead to both houses being controlled by the same coalition for the first two and a half years and often a divided government following the midterms.
State Elections: Governors are elected for five year terms every midterm election, while state chamberpeople are elected for two and a half year terms every election.
Executive: The Prime Minister is the Head of Government. Because Paffnia is a parliamentary system, he or she has no veto power and remains a member of the Senate. However, the Prime Minister wields much power, controlling the National Chamber's agenda, appointing many bureaucrats, and often proposing laws. The Prime Minister appoints the Cabinet, who cannot be members of the National Chamber. Cabinet members do not need to be confirmed by the National Chamber, but a majority vote by both houses can remove any cabinet member. The Deputy Prime Minister, in addition to being next in line to the Prime Minister, runs Paffnia's diplomatic service and represents Paffnia abroad. The President is the head of state, but it is largely a ceremonial position.
Legislative Procedure: The President chairs the Senate, while the Speaker of the Assembly chairs the Assembly. The Senate has a form of filibuster, in which the invocation of cloture requires 66 votes on the first attempt, but the threshold reduces by one vote each subsequent day to a minimum of 50, a majority.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court of Paffnia has seven justices, who each serve for life, unless recalled by a 2/3 vote of both houses. Justices are nominated by the Prime Minister and must be confirmed by the Assembly. The Supreme Court's chief justice appoints a chief judge for each state, subject to approval of each state's chamber. Lower judges are appointed directly by the Prime Minister, with the consent of the state chief judge.
Diplomatic Service: Ambassadors are appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister, with the consent of the Prime Minister, and confirmed by the Senate.
Regional Semi-autonomy: The northern six states of Paffnia, which are by-and-large different ethnically and in dialect, comprise Vardinya. Vardinya has a Regional Council of seven members, elected by proportional representation every five years at midterm elections. The Regional Council, which was established after protests twelve years ago, can only pass legislation in certain areas, like education and culture, and has no executive.