The Flag of the Dual Republic
The Democratic Republic of Favonia-Hesperia
The Exterior Consul is responsible for defense and foreign affairs; the Interior Consul is responsible for civil administration and police; they are elected by the legislature for six-year terms. There are, thus, two distinct "cabinets": the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Army, and the Navy are appointed by the Exterior Consul, and responsible to him; the Ministers of Finance, Administrative Affairs, Public Works, and Police are appointed by the Interior Consul, and responsible to him.
The Securitas Reipublicae is an independent agency, whose chief has cabinet status under the Exterior Consul. It handles intelligence-gathering, counter-intelligence, and (unofficially) covert operations abroad. To avoid interdepartmental friction, it is divided into several sections, each dedicated to one special part of the whole: these include those devoted separately to Spies and Signals (HUMINT and SIGINT, in spyspeak), and a Cryptography section (commonly called the Puzzle Workers).
The Ministry of Finance draws up the budget (subject to the approval of the Senate) and collects both customs and internal taxes.
The most distinctive bureau of the Ministry of Administrative Affairs is the Censorate. Its responsibilities include the census, draft-registration, and public morals: the commonality of these duties being the need to ensure that the men of the country have the virtus to serve it when called upon, and to know how many of them there are. One Censor is appointed to each of the seventeen provinces; the agency itself is headed by the Secretary of the Censorate. This ministry is also responsible for public health and education. Recently, as part of a generally restrictive trend, the Bureau of Metic Regulation (i.e., immigration and naturalization) was transferred from this ministry to the Ministry of Police.
In addition to building and maintaining roads, bridges, railways, etc., the Ministry of Public Works is the chief agency for public welfare, by providing workhouses for paupers and debtors. It also maintains the prisons for criminals convicted to hard labor, and thus administers the new insular penal colonies. (Public institutions for the feeble-minded and insane are maintained by the MAA.)
The Ministry of Police administers the central, provincial, and municipal police departments. Ordinary law enforcement is a local or provincial responsibility; the central police is primarily responsible for tracking down interprovincial fugitives and protecting the Consuls, Tribune, and Senate (the latter section is commonly called the Hastati, or Spear-carriers). It also has a crime lab, commonly known as the Boffin Squad, that maintains fingerprint, DNA, and ballistics databases from all over the country.
The Tribune is elected by the population at large for a four-year term. He has the power of veto over acts of the legislature (which may only be overridden by majorities in three consecutive sessions of the Senate), and heads the Inspectorate, which investigates charges of corruption and maladministration. The office of the Tribunate is also charged with the appellate and supreme court system, in particular appointing judges, subject to the approval of the Senate.
The Senatus/Boulhhas 217 members, elected by combined constituent/proportional representation. 200 members are apportioned among the provinces according to their number of voters, and each province is a multimember constituency. In addition, each province has one extra seat that goes to whichever party gains a plurality. The legislature is renewed biennually.
The proceedings of this legislature are rather unusual. In effect, it consists of two coequal houses: the Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking members meet separately from each other, in the same chamber but on alternate days. Each half of the legislature elects a "Speaker" for the term -- a Perorator for the Latins and a FwnisthV for the Greeks. These officers preside over the meetings of the legislature, mediate between the two halves, and supervise the translation and publication offices.
All the political parties of Favonia derive from one or the other of two: the Pars Regis and the Pars Reipublicae. After the founding the Republic, the two naturally dwindled as new groups emerged to compete over new issues under the new conditions. Hesperian politics largely paralleled these developments, except that the nationalist element was more salient, both asserting its Greek identity and interests against the Latin majority in the country and reacting defensively against immigrants from outside, who are mainly concentrated in the Hellenic coastal cities. In the West, however, the united Hesperian Orthodox Church has enough of a symbiotic relationship with Hellenism (as opposed to the divergent Catholic/Mithraic traditions in Favonia) to provide the focus for it.
In general, the Latin provinces lean more to the Right, the Greek provinces more to the Left. The Religious and Republican parties are the main contenders in the former, the Phileleutheran and Ergistic in the latter. The nationalist parties are strongest in the mixed provinces, where some degree of interethnic friction is inevitable. The Monarchists are relatively strong in Angurax, and are usually able to win a seat from each of the west-coast provinces, but virtually nonexistent in Aximes and Xifteris, where large numbers of immigrants have pushed many Greeks to the Ethnosynarchist Party. Likewise, the Royalists are a substantial presence only in the central provinces.
Since no single party has commanded a majority in the Senate in living memory, the Consuls must be elected with the support of more than one party. Traditionally, the first cabinet appointment of each Consul is chosen from the party that gave him the most votes, other than the party to which the Consul himself belongs; this appointment is a tacit announcement of the general direction of the new administration. Even if both Consuls are of the same party, their cabinets may have quite different compositions, and their policies may have quite different tendencies.
It is interesting to note that the patriotic holidays retain their original political significance only for the two small royalist parties. They celebrate Union Day with dinner parties, royal standards, royalist toasts and similar gestures. For most people, it is a day for engagements, marriages, christenings, and family reunions, celebrated by private family feasts. For the burgeoning nationalist parties, it is a day to display their organic Hellenic or Latin heritage, as against the metics and other foreigners, celebrated with song-singing, flag-waving, torch-burning demonstrations. Republic Day is celebrated by all except royalists (who stay indoors and wear black) with crowd-gathering, flag-waving, speechifying, and fireworks, after which everyone sings "Nostra Bella Terra" and goes home.
© 2000 by Karl Jahn
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