Terminian parliamentary system
The Terminian parliament is a parliamentary system of government modelled after that which developed in the Terminian Three Kingdoms in the 16-1700s, as a consequence of Terminian republicanism. Descended from earlier institutions in the Terminian Empire, such as the Congregation of the Wise and even earlier the Vizier's Council, it is used or was once used in several places where Terminia held a large impact, such as Fyevan or Letzia.
The lower house in a Terminian parliament is organised using Terminian federalism. This refers to the compartmentalised nature of the parliament. There are not independent lower-level legislatures, only smaller subdivisions of the national parliament. These smaller subdivisions are usually constitutionally given responsibility for certain areas of local government (eg. healthcare, policing, other devolved issues).
The consequence of Terminian federalism is typically a large lower house, made up of all the lowest-level representatives (some form of constituency representative, or proportional representation organised on a regional level).
Generally, the upper house is not compartmentalised in the same way as the lower house. Each parliament, including the federal parliament, chooses an individual (often a President, but terminology varies) to represent the region/state in the upper house. The upper house also has other members, traditionally including the executive branch, ie. the head of government and their ministers. Some members may also be elected proportionally, or appointed through various other means (eg. clerical representatives, union leaders, party officials).
Terminian parliaments can vary wildly in terms of:
- Which house is more powerful / holds legislative initiative
- Pure parliamentary, semi-presidential or presidential setup
- How large the lower house is
- How the members of each house are elected / appointed
- How presidents are elected
- Seat layout
- Whether the government sits in the upper house
- How the judiciary works
Bicameral and unicameral parliaments
History and development
For most of the Second Terminian Empire, Terminia functioned more or less as an absolute monarchy, with a small group of Viziers being appointed by the Emperor to run an expansive bureaucracy.
As the Empire began to lose its moral authority in the latter half of the 15th century, Terminian nobles began to jostle for expanded powers and influence. By the time of the Terminian fracture in 1558, the Council of Viziers was a chaotic organism which comprised nearly the entire Terminian minor nobility, numbering more than 10,000 men. As the Terminian Isles were slowly reconsolidated by the Olboros in the 17th century, the establishment of unified Kingdoms in Terminia, Amerhan and Utol was dependent on keeping powerful dukes and burghers in check. As such, to keep the large Parliaments with hundreds of nobles in order, a national upper house was established to approximate the original consolidated power of the Council of Viziers. While nobles had the theoretical right to overturn the King’s and the Viziers’ legislation, this rarely happened because it was nearly impossible to get the various voices of the nobility to agree on anything.
In 1743, to further stem the number of nobles flooding the lower house, representation was more intimately tied to land ownership, culling the lower echelons of nobility and bourgeoisie from the lower council. While a controversial measure, this solidified the power of the standing landed elites and granted some temporary stability. A few of these regions still persist as modern electoral districts, even though long detached from nobility.
Each Kingdom in Terminia between 1696 and 1925 had a ...
Due to Terminias role as a naval power and global center of trade, it's political system was eventually adopted by several polities across the globe. One of the most notable of such instances was the Kingdom of Maram adopting a system based on the Terminian parliament in the early 19th century. The institutions of Maram would form the base for the later Balak Empire, which would see the first instance of the democratisation of the system through the implementation of the 1891 Constitution under the guidance of Emperor Jimâşim I. From Balakia it spread further into other Vaniuan polities, as well as globally in Balak colonial possessions, such as Sonka in Puzimm.
Upon the Helsonian Revolution in 1925, nobility and land ownership in the way it existed were abolished in Terminia and most nobles were either banished, executed, or just stripped of their titles and assets. This did not however substancially change the parliamentary system; the degree of fragmentation and local representation proportioned by the system was highly compatible with the land reforms and the system of helsens supposed to be implemented by the Adhelsonian Provisional State and in line with early Kuulist ideology. The system was however reformed, with the representative for each helsen being democratically elected. Democratic process was not strictly maintained during the statist period but the skeleton of the system was preserved, and still is, although current electoral districts do not carry the economic and cultural weight helsens did during the Kuulist period.
Current and former countries
Countries that use variations on the theme of the Terminian system, as of 2020, include the following:
|Country||Legislature||System of govt.||Notes|
Council of Elders
|Republic||Federated nation, meaning that the power to govern the country and its people is shared and divided between national and state governments.|