Administration of Talossa
The administration of Talossa is divided into four areas. These are the executive functions (performed by a politically-appointed government), legislative functions (performed by a politically-elected Parliament, known as the Ziu), judicial functions (with Talossa's court of final appeal being known as the Uppermost Court), and state functions (performed by the strictly apolitical Officers of the Royal Household).
The King is the head of state of Talossa. As such, the king holds no political power whatsoever, and is not (along with his Consort) eligible to hold any political, governmental, or judicial office, nor any office within his own Royal Household. The powers of the Throne have, with royal consent and guidance, been reduced consistently since the abdication of Robert I, such that other than making public and personal appearances as a symbol of the state and personification of the culture of his subjects, the King is now restricted by Organic Law to a specific small set of official duties, most of which may only to be performed upon recommendation by an elected official or body, such as the Prime Minister.
The King appoints the head of the government (Prime Minister) after the results of each election are certified and the party or parties constituting a majority of the elected Cosa (lower house) recommend an appointee to the Crown. The King also officially makes all other appointments to the Government (ministerial posts), and to the Royal Household and the Judiciary, although in practice, since these appointments may only be made after their recommendation by the Prime Minister or other body, recommended appointments are usually considered as made even without explicit royal consent. While the King may refuse to make a recommended appointment, he may not appoint his own candidate. In this way, blame for the appointment of any candidates who fail to perform sufficiently or in whom personal or official faults are later found can never be laid at the King's feet. This preserves untainted the apolitical nature of the Crown and assures that the actions of the Crown can never admit or betray any failure on its part to best see to the needs and interests of all his people; this is a paramount consideration of the Talossan constitutional monarchy.
The exceptions to this rule of advisory appointment are those positions that are purely personal to the King in their nature. These include appointments to the King's Privy Council (advisors), his provincial Constables (viceroys, one of whom is appointed to act as the royal representative in each province), and Governors of non-provincial territories claimed by the Crown. Appointments to these offices are freely made by the King at his pleasure.
The King is an ex officio member of the Ziu, giving him the right to introduce bills thereto, but does not serve as a voting member of either chamber. However, assent of the King must be granted to each bill passed by both houses before such a bill becomes law. However, bills that pass both houses but receive the King's veto are automatically returned to the Ziu where they may be overridden at the next session of the Ziu by a two-thirds vote of both houses. The King also holds the power to dissolve the Ziu, and is required to do so if a vote of confidence fails of passage in the Cosa, or if advised to do so by the Prime Minister.
The King responds to petitions from his citizens, usually through his Royal Officers, and issues grants of citizenship, and to worthy citizens issues arms, knighthood, and nobility according to good council and whim. The King is empowered to declare holidays or days of observance at his pleasure, traditionally makes a significant public address on Talossan Independence Day (26 December), and often makes other apolitical pronouncements and cultural declarations.
The King of Talossa is His Majesty King John, scion of the house of Lupul. John's consort royal is Queen Kristine, and the royal family consists of Her Highness Princess Danielle (Nellie), His Grace and Highness Princes Patrick (Duke of Florencia and Prince of Prospect; presumptive heir to the throne) and His Highness Prince Peter. Princes Andrew and James, other sons of the royal couple, are currently ineligible to the throne, as they do not hold Talossan citizenship. Princess Nellie's son The Hon. Xhorxh Sudquella is a Talossan "dandelion" (native born or minor citizen).
The official title of the King is John by the Grace of God, King of Talossa and of all its Realms and Regions, King of Cézembre, Sovereign Lord and Protector of Pengöpäts and the New Falklands, Defender of the Faith, Leader of the Armed Forces, Viceroy of Hoxha and Vicar of Atatürk.
The King's Offices maintain control of the items of state, including the royal crown (referred to as a "Romanian train conductor's hat" but actually a Milwaukee Fire Department Captain's hat from a uniform retired by that service in the 1980's), which the King wears on state occasions.
Offices of the Royal Household
The Royal Household consists of those functions of the Kingdom that are most appropriately administered in a nonpolitical manner, and thus are not under the direct authority of the elected Government. These Offices (as most recently fixed by law in 2006) are the Chancery, headed by the Secretary of State; the Royal Treasury, headed by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue; the College of Arms, headed by the Squirrel King of Arms; the Scribery of Abbavilla, headed by the Scribe of Abbavilla; the Royal Talossan Bar, headed by the Chancellor of the Royal Talossan Bar; the Royal Archives, headed by the National Archivist; the University of Talossa, headed by the Regent of the University; and the Civil Service, headed by the Commissioner of the Civil Service.
Each Royal Officer determines the staffing needs of his Office, and is empowered to meet those needs by appointment without requirement to seek royal consent. Officers of the Royal Household hold their positions at pleasure of the King, who must fill any vacant office only with a candidate recommended to the Crown by the Prime Minister (or, in the case of the Chancellor of the Royal Talossan Bar, by a recommendation made by a resolution of the Senate).
- The Chancery is easily the most important of the state functions, as it administers elections, oversees the operation of the Ziu, and receives and acts upon most petitions made to the Crown, issuing royal grants under the Lesser State Seal, including the granting of citizenship. The duties of the Chancery include the preparation and publication of the legislative journal, The Clark, issued with each monthly session of the Ziu and containing the text of all proposed legislation and results of the previous session's balloting. The position of Secretary of State is widely regarded as the most onerous in Talossa, and many of Talossa's most important figures have served as Secretary of State, including King John before his election to the throne. The Secretary is empowered to distribute the duties of the Chancery to a single deputy and any number of lesser "Members of the Office of the Secretary of State", referred to as Undersecretaries. The current Secretary of State is Sir Iustì Canun, served by Deputy Secretary Éovart (Eðo) Grischun and Undersecretary of State Béneditsch Ardpresteir.
- The Royal Treasury is responsible for the safe custody of all property of the Crown, financial or otherwise. The Treasury is obliged to report to the government of the day as regards the balance and disposition of funds being held, to receive all fees and other funds collected by the Government or other Royal Offices, and to release funds for expenditure, or commit funds for investment, as directed by the government and authorized by law. The current Burgermeister of Inland Revenue is Bleic'h Ianescu.
- The Royal Talossan College of Arms maintains the heraldic armorial of the Kingdom, as well as determines protocols of state and for peers and knights of the realm. The Royal Academy of Vexillology, an arm of the College, maintains the official flags and other seals of the Kingdom, while the business of the main body of the College is to receive and respond to requests for assistance in designing achievements of arms to be granted at the pleasure of the King. The College is exclusively empowered to petition the Crown for grants of arms, and is also responsible for preparing grants of knighthood and nobility at the direction of the Crown. The College is staffed by Heralds (senior members), Pursuivants (members who have achieved standing), and Fellows. Each member of the College holds and is known by a named seat or fellowship. It is led by the Squirrel King of Arms, the Rouge Lobster Herald Ma la Mha, Baron Tepistà, and administered by his appointed Dean, the Penzance Pursuivant, Sir Mick Preston.
- The Scribery of Abbavilla is charged with maintaining and recording Talossa's Organic Law and statutes, and changes thereto. The current Scribe of Abbavilla is Vitxalmour Conductour.
- The Royal Talossan Bar is a mandatory (integrated) bar that supervises the practice of law in Talossa. Any person wishing to practise law as a barrister, solicitor, lawyer, or attorney must be a member of the Royal Talossan Bar, and the Bar is in charge of legal education and certification. The current Chancellor of the Royal Talossan Bar is Litz Cjantscheir.
- The Royal Archives is charged with preserving and making available historical artifacts and information about the Kingdom in museums and other venues so they are easily accessible to the citizens of the Kingdom. The current National Archivist is Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h.
- The University of Talossa is charged with providing educational opportunities and recognizing achievement in Talossan academic studies and accomplishments. While it claims authority over the campus in Atatürk Province (better known as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), it only actively manages the operation of an online extension college. The athletic and academic mascot of the University is the Fighting Squirrel, and the current Regent of the University of Talossa is Istefan Perþonest.
- The Civil Service is officially and formally charged with doing absolutely nothing. However, the power of the Commissioner to hire recklessly into a multitude of posts within the Civil Service is widely acknowledged as an excepted duty. The office of Commissioner of the Civil Service is currently vacant.
After each General Election (every eight months, if not sooner), the political party or coalition of parties holding a majority of the 200 seats in the newly elected Cosa organizes the government by recommending that the King appoint a particular person to the office of First (or Prime) Minister.
The Prime Minister (known as the Seneschal) conducts the executive administration of the laws of the Kingdom, relying on a Cabinet consisting of a Distain (Deputy) and other Ministers holding portfolio of one or more legislatively-created ministries.
The Seneschal also speaks for the nation on current events, either personally or through his ministers, and issues proclamations of mourning and other calls for national observance or commemoration.
The Seneschal holds the power to unilaterally issue Prime Dictates, which have the effect of Talossan statutory law, precisely as if passed by the Ziu. Prime Dictates are subject only to veto by the King (but the veto may not be reversed without action of the Ziu). Traditionally, Prime Dictates are reserved for use in extraordinary circumstances, when the calendar of the Ziu will not meet the needs of the nation.
By law, the Seneschal is required to propose to the Ziu, for consideration either in its first or second session after each election, an act to itemize and authorize any and all planned expenditures of the government during its administration. This budget act, once enacted, empowers the Prime Minister (through, typically, his Minister of Finance) to obtain funds from the royal treasury to meet those legislatively authorized expenses.
The Prime Ministry itself currently contains one bureau, the Büreu d'Esploraziun Espaçal es Rac'hetría (BEER, the Bureau of Space Exploration and Rocketry), which is overseen directly by the Seneschal.
The current Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa is The Most Honourable Litz Cjantscheir.
In addition to the Distain (Deputy Prime Minister), who acts in place of the Seneschal when required or instructed, and who assists the Prime Minister and all subordinate ministers in the conduct of their duties, the ministerial portfolios in the Cabinet of the Government of Talossa are:
- The Ministry of Justice provides legal advice and assistance to the government as requested. The holder of the portfolio of this ministry is known as the Attorney-General. He and his subordinate officers prosecutes actions brought by the government and defend the government against actions brought against it in the Kingdom's courts.
- The Ministry of Culture is charged with promoting and publicizing Talossan culture, including (through its Language Bureau) the national language, (through its Wargaming Bureau) the national pastime, its musical and sporting life and heritage, its history and mythical Berber connections, and all other cultural affairs.
- The Ministry of Defence manages the defence of the Kingdom. The Defence Minister commands the armed forces of the Kingdom during peacetime and during times of declared war, subservient in these duties only to the King. During periods of war, the Defence Minister is referred to as "War Minister". The ministry also marshals and provides the Invincible Moral Support of the Talossan Peoplw to the good and right side of any international conflict, as determined by the government, conveying to the preferred belligerents Talossa's proud "we would stand with you, but it's safer to stand behind you" stance.
- The Ministry of Finance is responsible for setting and implementing the economic policies of the Kingdom, requesting and receiving disbursals from the Royal Treasury, and directing the course of investment to be followed by the treasury for the balance of the royal funds. Unless he or the Government appoints a Chairman of the Banqeu es Post Rexhital (Royal Bank & Post), the Ministry of Finance serves in this post. The Bank & Post is the solitary bureau under the purview of this ministry, and is responsible for the design, minting, printing, valuation, distribution, and redemption of all national currency, postage, and commemoratives.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for the order and well-being of the homeland and its environs. It provides a public presence in or near the Greater Talossan Area, and assists in the organization of official events held therein, and sees to any needs of the Cestours (non-citizen residents) that merit attention by the government of Talossa. This Ministry includes a single bureau, the Büreu dels Afaes Cestoureschti (Bureau of Cestour Affairs), led by the Piaçateir Naziunal (National Pacifier) and assisted by bureaucrats known as C'huescours (or "Binkies"), who see that the interests of Cestours receive the proper attention of the government.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sees to diplomatic relations between the Kingdom and the other nations of the world. The ministry establishes and maintains all embassies, consulates, and other missions to foreign states, and provides each with properly accredited diplomatic or consular staff (including ambassadors-general, ambassadors, consuls-general, consuls, attachés, spies, and other officers) and administrative and technical staff.
- The Ministry of Immigration is responsible for the execution of the Kingdom's laws pertaining to immigration of new citizens into the realm. The Minister and other officers of the Ministry of Immigration work closely with the Chancery and its Bureau of the Census to ensure that all incoming citizens are properly processed through immigration as provided by law.
- The Ministry of Stuff is responsible for the promotion of the Kingdom via public relations (the name of the ministry is obtained from an acronym in the Talossan language, Sanavarh da Talossa àls Ultra-Fiovan Folas (Heralding Talossa to Those Beyond the River). This ministry is charged with ensuring that the Kingdom and events therein are regularly publicized in any and all worldwide media, and maintains the public Internet presence and other official public outlets of the Kingdom.
While the size and composition of the Cabinet has historically varied wildly, as it can be modified by law (other than to deny the Organic charter of four specific ministries as permanent members of the Cabinet), the current composition has been in place since 2007.
The Talossan legislature is known as the Ziu. It consists of two deliberative chambers and the Crown as an ex officio member.
Members of either deliberative body who fail to vote in two consecutive legislative sessions forfeit their seats.
Each General Election elects all seats in the Cosa, and two (soon to be three) of the eight Senate seats. Elections run from the 15th day of one month to the 14th day of the next, with the government then formed by the party or parties holding a majority of the Cosa. The first session of the new Ziu commences on the first day of the following month. The legislative terms are known as Cosas, and the most recent Cosa (dissolved May 31, 2012) was the 43rd Cosa.
Each legislative term consists of up to six sessions, known as Clarks (after the name of the legislative journal, which itself takes its name from the printing company where it was first produced). Each Clark convenes on the first day of a month and adjourns on the 21st day of the month. The disposition of bills (passed, failed) is then determined and the King asked for his assent or veto. If the King fails to either assent to or veto any bill before the end of the calendar month, it is declared passed as if the Crown had explicitly assented to it.
Within each Clark, a Vote of Confidence in the government is taken in the Cosa (only). Members of the Cosa may not abstain from this vote, being required to answer it yes or no, and if they do not, their votes on all other matters before the Cosa in that Clark are invalidated. Should the vote of confidence fail of passage (by simple majority), the Cosa is immediately dissolved, and a General Election is immediately scheduled.
Should the Cosa be dissolved early, the number of Clarks in the term is obviously shorter than the planned six. Additionally, if the Prime Minister chooses to prorogue the first Clark of the Cosa, only five Clarks will be held in that term.
The Prime Minister may also chose to call once for a month of recess (or "no business month"), to be held between any of the six Clarks, or after the final Clark.
Most resolutions must pass both chambers by a simple majority, and may be introduced by a member of either house, however some resolutions (such as referral to the people of a referendum for amendment to Organic Law) require a supermajority of two-thirds, and others (such as recommendation of a Chancellor of the Royal Talossan Bar) are matters for only one of the houses. It is not uncommon to see members of both houses co-sponsoring legislative initiatives.
Neither the King nor his consort, nor any Regent during his regency may hold seats in either the Cosa or the Senate, and no Senator may hold any seats in the Cosa.
The 200-seat Talossan Cosa is filled by the leaders of each political party receiving votes in a general election, such that the Cosa is filled by party proportionate to the vote received by each party. Persons may hold multiple seats in the Cosa, though no person may hold more than thirty. Seats once given by a party leader must be explicitly returned (or forfeited) before reassignment. It is not unknown for a single person to hold seats granted to him by leaders of multiple parties.
Each province is entitled to one Senate seat, with provinces electing Senators in a rotation consisting of three provinces in each General Election. Should a vacancy arise during a Senator's term, the seat is filled by appointment of the Executive Officer of the province, then (if necessary), at the next general election, filled as a by-election to complete the term.
Each bill passed by both the Cosa and the Senate requires the assent of the Crown before passing into law, although vetoes may be overridden at the next session by two-thirds majority of both houses.
As a member ex officio of the Ziu, the King may also introduce bills thereto.
The Uppermost Court
The judicial power of Talossa is invested in one Uppermost Court of three justices (one Senior Justice and two Puisne Justices), who receive their royal appointments at the recommendation of the Ziu, and who serve indefinite terms, recallable by a two-thirds vote of the Ziu. Justices on the Court are required to wear judicial wigs when conducting business (and the Senior Justice has such a wig provided for him by the nation), but precedent has been established that draping a paper napkin over the head suffices to meet this Organic requirement.
The current court consists of Chief Justice Sir Tamorán dal Navâ and Puisne Justices Ián Tamorán and Tímoþi Asmourescu.
The Court of Magistracy
A Court of Magistracy, adjudicated by from two to three appointed Magistrates, was established in 2008, to aid in reducing the caseload of the Uppermost Court. Decisions of the Magistracy may be appealed to the Uppermost Court.
Magistrate seated on the court are Owen Edwards (Chief Magistrate) and Martì Prevuost.
Other Minor Courts
Other inferior courts may be established by law, provided that the appellate path leads to the Uppermost Court.
The Royal Talossan College of Arms also convenes a Court of Chivalry as needed; its jurisdiction does not extend to questions of Organic or statutory law, and its decisions may be appealed only to the Crown.