Federal Assembly (Balakia)
|National Assembly of the Balak Federation |
Balāk Cankoroc Movadareh Moḑem
Balâk Şankoroş Movadareh Mojem
|4th Federal Assembly|
Council of Elders
President of Balakia
Length of term
|5 Sayanic years|
Common Council voting system
|Multiple proportional systems|
(varies by state)
|This article is part of a series on|
The National Assembly of the Balak Federation (Balak: Balāk Cankoroc Movadareh Moḑem Balâk Şankoroş Movadareh Mojem [bɑˈlæ:k ˌʃɑŋkɔˈɾɔʃ mɔˌvɑdɑˈɾɛh mɔˈd͡ʒɛm]), commonly known as the Federal Assembly (Balak: Cankorocmoḑem Şankoroşmojem [ˌʃɑŋkɔˌɾɔʃmɔˈd͡ʒɛm]), is the supreme bicameral legislative body of Balakia. The Federal Assembly is a bicameral legislature operating under the Terminian parliamentary system, consisting of the Common Council and the Council of Elders, its lower and upper houses respectively.
- 1 History
- 2 Building
- 3 Composition and powers
- 4 Legislative process
- 5 See also
The Maram Qakate would begin to industrialise in the 1830s, and with the resulting increase of influences from Ekuosia, the Maram Assembly was reorganised and an imported Terminian system of parliament adopted. With Maram being the driving force behind Balak unification and the dominant regional power, its adapted Terminian system would become the basis for the parliament of a united Balak Empire in 1866. The Council of Kings, as the upper house was then known, would consist of delegations from the formerly independent polities, as well as the Imperial Government itself, while the lower house, then the Council of Lords, still consisted of the entire nobility as was the case in Terminia.
The 1891 Constitution
As the Balak Empire was established and greatly expanded under the reign of Emperor Jimâşim I, the system as inherited from Maram became unwieldy and inconvenient. With unrest already needing to be addressed in the colonies (with revolts in South Herayan being chief among them), Jimâşim hoped to expand the federal system to grant representation to the colonies as constituents unto themselves. A simple extension of the contemporary system was, however, impractical, as it was difficult for Councillors to legislate for both their colony and for the Empire as a whole as things stood. Another concern was a severe imbalance in power, as under the current constitution, the system had been flooded, and more recently exploited, by a myriad of Sonkhai soursop farmers who qualified as landed nobility in Sonka.
To address these issues, the 1891 Constitution included parliamentary reforms and introduced further democratic elements. For one, the Noble Council was reorganised into the Common Council, with the positions noblemen had previously held within the council by default instead being reserved for specially elected local representatives. Regional assemblies and their procedures were better codified, and any proposal from the Council of Kings would be simultaneously run through all regional assemblies (possible due to the lack of distinction between constituent legislatures and the Common Council), whereafter all the votes would be tallied up back in Qersheven. Furthermore, provisions were made for distinct upper houses for each constituent, meaning that Councillors approved legislation from both the Council of Kings and their own local upper houses.
Union of Shomosvan
The Imperial Government effectively became a government in exile in 1952 due to the Kúúlist takeover of the mainland in the Balak Golden Revolution, with the Imperial Assembly operating from Sonka and a new Supreme Assembly established in its place. Meanwhile, the newly established Balak Helsonian Republic, which soon merged with Gushlia to form the Union of Shomosvan, also used a continuation of the Imperial model as a claimant to the rightful governorship of Balakia, having made the decision not to radically overhaul or abolish the system, much like in the Helsonian Union. A further justification used by Shomosvani officials was that the current system was already sufficient to represent the helsens. Newer, communal Kúúlist systems of governance were adopted more broadly at regional and local levels of government.
A number of reforms were made by the Kúúlist regime that brought the parliament closer to its modern iteration. For one, there was a dramatic shift in the balance of power from the upper house to the lower house; the lower house was given an equal right to legislative initiative, while the cabinet was excluded from the upper house, which came to house regional delegations exclusively. The cabinet would operate independently of either chamber, and primarily consisted of high-ranking party officials, but would be accountable to the lower house. Any lower house member appointed to the cabinet would be forced to resign as representative if applicable, although this was a rare occurrence. While the composition and appointment of the lower house would change (for example with the representation of certain interest groups), the core structure remained intact.
The Supreme Assembly was supplanted by the modern Federal Assembly in 2002 as the new Balak constitution came into effect and the provisional government was abolished. ... Proportional elements, such as the party seats in the Common Council and vote allocation in the Council of Elders, were introduced in [year].
Composition and powers
The Common Council currently comprises 1,345 representatives, known as Councillors, when in full session. Each state is allocated a set amount of Councillors by the federal government based on population, with approximately 50,000 people represented per Councillor. Balakia operates under Terminian Federalism, wherein state legislatures do not exist as independent institutions, only as subdivisions of the Common Council which serve the same purpose (also referred to as compartments). While not independent organisations, these state compartments have full legislative authority in their respective states, and are still typically referred to as the State Parliaments; Councillors thus legislate both for their state and for the country as a whole. The State Parliaments as units play a key role in the national legislative process, as national debates are held simultaneously in all state legislatures as opposed to the Common Council's primary meeting place when the Council is not in full session, with votes being collected locally and sent back to be counted.
Allocation of seats
The prescribed national total of seats in the Common Council is determined after each census; this number is attained by dividing the total population of Balakia by 50,000 and rounding the result down to the nearest integer. This can be expressed through the formula ⌊total population⌋. The current number of seats is 1,345. The number of seats apportioned to each state is calculated using the Sainte-Laguë method, using each state's total population figures as an analogue to votes cast for each state.
|State||Population|| Common Council
| Percent of|
|Manatak Autonomous Territory||2,757,613||55||4.09%|
Balakia uses a multitude of voting systems to elect Councillors, who serve for a term of 5 Sayanic years following every general election. The Constitution of the Balak Federation outlines a state's rights and responsibilities in organising elections, namely that a state may decide on any voting system to elect its number of assigned Councillors. The vast majority of states use either mixed-member proportional representation or single transferable vote; Ayalshemir and Hamavan are the only states to use pure party-list proportional representation. In states which use MMPR, a two-round voting system is used to elect Councillors representing counties. No state uses plurality voting, as in most states a frequent redrawing of electoral boundaries is equivalent to a redrawing of administrative boundaries, which would incur high costs and confusion among citizens.
The Common Council comprises 15 compartments, which serve as substitutes for independent state legislatures under Terminian federalism.
- Ayalshemir: Ayalshemir Council (8 seats)
- Balachik: Balachik State Parliament (184 seats)
- Boghshuy: Boghshuy State Parliament (100 seats)
- Chindensven: Chindensven City Council (83 seats)
- Chindush: Chindush State Parliament (62 seats)
- Covaya: Covaya State Parliament (36 seats)
- Hamavan: Hamavan State Parliament (160 seats)
- Kazan: Kazan State Parliament (51 seats)
- Kojara: Kojara City Council (54 seats)
- Lower Maram: Lower Maram State Parliament (102 seats)
- Manatak Autonomous Territory: Manatak Territorial Parliament (55 seats)
- Mechin: Mechin State Parliament (21 seats)
- Qersheven: Grand Qersheven Assembly (145 seats)
- Tarashik: Tarashik State Parliament (126 seats)
- Upper Maram: Upper Maram State Parliament (158 seats)
In most states, the office of Councillor overlaps with the office of Count, particularly for representatives from local constituencies in states which use MMPR in elections. These Councillors have tangible administrative authority in their respective counties and serve as their leaders.
Council of Elders
Members of the Council of Elders are not elected, either by popular vote or by the state parliaments, but are instead delegated by the respective state government. They do not enjoy a free mandate and serve only as long as they are representing their state, not for a fixed period of time.
Normally, a state delegation consists of the State President (or Mayor in the case of city-states) and other cabinet ministers. The state cabinet may appoint as many delegates as the state has votes (all other ministers/senators are usually appointed as deputy delegates), but may also send just a single delegate to exercise all of the state's votes. In any case, the state has to cast its votes en bloc, i.e., without vote splitting. As state elections are not coordinated across Balakia and can occur at any time, the majority distributions in the Council of Elders can change after any such election.
The number of votes a state is allocated is based on a form of degressive proportionality according to its population. This way, smaller states have more votes than a distribution proportional to the population would grant. The allocation of votes is regulated by the Balak constitution. All of a state's votes are cast en bloc, either for or against or in abstention of a proposal. Each state is allocated at least three votes, and a maximum of six. States with more than
- 2 million inhabitants have 4 votes,
- 6 million inhabitants have 5 votes,
- 7 million inhabitants have 6 votes.
Since 2002, the presidency of the Council of Elders has rotated annually among the State Presidents of each of the states. The order of succession is fixed, cycling through each of the states in alphabetical order (in the Vaniuan script) each Sayanic year, starting with Qersheven in 2002/2003.
|State||Population|| Council of
| Governing parties
|Ayalshemir||401,477||3 █ █ █||4.55%||133,826||TBD||2020/2021|
|Balachik||9,194,768||6 █ █ █ █ █ █||9.09%||1,532,461||TBD||2006/2007|
|Boghshuy||5,019,476||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||1,254,869||TBD||2007/2008|
|Chindensven||4,139,560||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||1,034,890||TBD||2015/2016|
|Chindush||3,108,642||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||777,161||TBD||2016/2017|
|Covaya||1,812,045||3 █ █ █||4.55%||604,015||TBD||2014/2015|
|Hamavan||7,987,194||6 █ █ █ █ █ █||9.09%||1,331,199||TBD||2018/2019|
|Kazan||2,569,139||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||642,285||TBD||2009/2010|
|Kojara||4,139,560||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||1,034,890||TBD||2011/2012|
|Lower Maram||5,108,567||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||1,277,142||TBD||2010/2011|
|Manatak Autonomous Territory||2,757,613||4 █ █ █ █||6.06%||689,403||TBD||2013/2013|
|Mechin||1,035,875||3 █ █ █||4.55%||345,292||TBD||2013/2014|
|Qersheven||7,248,604||6 █ █ █ █ █ █||9.09%||1,208,101||TBD||2017/2018|
|Tarashik||6,294,764||5 █ █ █ █ █||7.58%||1,258,953||TBD||2008/2009|
|Upper Maram||7,895,727||6 █ █ █ █ █ █||9.09%||1,315,955||TBD||2019/2020|
Introducing a bill
Bills can be introduced through one of four means:
- The Federal Government or the President themself may decide to introduce or amend a law.
- Any member of the Council of Elders can introduce a bill directly.
- A parliamentary committee or other group consisting of at least 15 Councillors can introduce a bill directly to the Common Council.
- Citizens may introduce a bill to the Common Council by the mechanism of popular initiative, requiring the signatures of a group of 100,000 citizens with the right to vote in elections to the Common Council. This typically takes the form of an online petition.
Certain bills may only be submitted by certain groups; only the Federal Government can introduce a draft budget. Additionally, certain bills can only be debated in the Common Council when it is in full session. All bills must be introduced at the main Federal Assembly building in Qersheven; no individual state compartment of the Common Council can independently propose a national bill.
The first reading of a bill introduced by the Common Council takes place in a meeting of a committee concerned with the bill; in the case of a bill introduced by popular initiative, the bill is appointed to a relevant committee by the Speaker of the Common Council. A finalised draft is then voted on by the committee, requiring the approval of 3/5 of the members present. This first reading does not apply to bills passed on to the Common Council by the Council of Elders.
Once a bill has been approved by its respective committee, or has been received from the Council of Elders, a debate is held in the Common Council, and an initial vote is held with three options; Approved, Rejected, or Requires amendment. Councillors interested in participating in this initial debate must travel to the Federal Assembly building to do so. Until an absolute majority is reached to either approve or reject a bill, amendments are proposed and voted on, though a bill must be either approved or rejected by the fourth vote. If the Common Council is in full session, amendments require the sponsoring of at least 100 Councillors, or an absolute majority of Councillors from one of the states. Upon the approval of a bill, one of two things can happen:
- If the Common Council is in full session, the final bill is considered approved at this time.
- If the Common Council is not in full session, the bill is forwarded to the State Parliaments for their approval.
If a bill is forwarded to the State Parliaments, an initial vote on the bill is held in each of them, with the same options of Approved, Rejected, or Requires amendment. Unless an absolute majority is reached to approve a bill in a given State Parliament, the floor is opened to amendments, subject to submission requirements depending on state procedures. Amendments are either approved or rejected by a State Parliament, with approved amendments being passed on to all other State Parliaments for them to approve or reject in a second amendment session the following day.
Once all of the State Parliaments have cast their votes, the number of votes for the bill and for each amendment are tallied back in Qersheven. Depending on the results of the calculation, the bill is either rejected and discarded, or the text of the amended bill is finalised. In the case of the latter, the bill is then sent back to both the main Federal Assembly building and to all of the State Parliaments with the option to either approve or reject the bill. The votes are once again tallied up, and the final bill is either approved or rejected.
Upon a bill's final approval in the Common Council, it is forwarded to the Council of Elders for review if it has not yet been approved by them in its current state (i.e. including any amendments made by the Common Council).
Council of Elders
The process for approving a bill is more streamlined for the Council of Elders due to all debates being held in a singular location. Once a bill has been proposed by either an Elder, the Federal Government, or the President, a debate is held in the Council of Elders, and an initial vote is held with three options; Approved, Rejected, or Requires amendment. Until an absolute majority is reached to either approve or reject a bill, amendments are proposed and voted on, though a bill must be either approved or rejected by the fourth vote. If the bill in its current state (i.e. including any amendments made by the Council of Elders) has not yet been approved by the Common Council, it is forwarded to them for review.
Once a bill has been approved in its current form by both the Common Council and the Council of Elders without further amendments, it is sent to the President to be either signed into law or vetoed. A bill that has been vetoed by the President can be overridden by a majority of 3/5 of all Councillors, after which the President is required by law to sign the bill. Failing this, the bill may not be reintroduced by either chamber of the Federal Assembly for 6 Sayanic months.
If the President has doubts concerning the constitutionality of the bill, they may appeal to the Constitutional Tribunal, forfeiting their veto in so doing. If the Tribunal is satisfied with the constitutionality of the bill, the President is required to sign it, while if they find the bill in its entirety to be unconstitutional, the President must refuse to sign it. In the scenario the Tribunal finds that only some provisions in the bill are inconsistent with the constitution, the bill is returned to the Common Council if the offending provision[s] is/are not inseparable from the bill itself. This triggers an additional round of debate in each house. Following the successful correction of a bill, it is sent to be signed by the President.