The government of the Intersystem Alliance is a representative democratic republic with powers centralized in the federal government with member worlds still retaining their form of government and laws unless superseded by those of the federal government. Members of the Senate and the Republic Council are work as groups, individuals, or as part of a committee to write, propose, debate, and ratify legislation. The president, as the head of state and head of government, signs the legislation into law or vetos the legislation while also having the authority over the military (for short periods) and over executive actions among other duties. Members of the Alliance High Courts serve as the moral compass of the Alliance and often provide interpretations of the Alliance charter or hear cases against the Federal government or high-profile cases referred up to the High Courts.
The central government – or core government – is situated in the government complex in Geneva Switzerland. Consequently the government is sometimes, colloquially referred to as “Geneva.” Other major government facilities are located on the central world’s of each region, usually housing the regional government led by that area’s Vice President and the locally elected Governor.
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THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
The executive branch of the Intersystem Alliance has its powers vested in the President of the Alliance who is elected by a majority vote by all Alliance citizens registered in the general election. Powers of the President are often delegated to various ministers and cabinet positions who assist in the overall authority of major Alliance programs. In addition to the president, governors are elected over the 14 regions of the Alliance by popular vote on a pool of candidates nominated by the top three partners in the Alliance Senate. Elected governors are supplemented by the region Vice Presidents selected by the President and his cabinet which represent the president’s interests in the region.
PRESIDENT OF THE ALLIANCE
The President of the Alliance is the Head of State and Head of Government for the Alliance. He has ultimate authority over short-term actions involving the military, approval authority of the budget, and by nature of his position sets the political goals for the government. By nature of the size of the Alliance, the President’s many responsibilities are often delegated to various ministry postings. The President has the authority to approve legislation, veto that legislation, sign treaties, and proposed budget. Additionally, the President has the authority to direct military action for a period of one year without senatorial confirmation. In addition, the President selects fourteen region Vice Presidents – the highest ranking being the Vice President of the Core World’s – to represent the republic’s interests alongside the locally elected regional governors. The President serves for ten years with a three, consecutive term limit.
Presidential authority and governance is made possible by means of the Ansible Network. Communications on a small scale allow the government to provide direction to Vice Presidents, relay new government documents and laws, as well as respond to a crisis in regions far flung from Earth. Additionally, Presidential Couriers throughout the Alliance allow for the shuttling of important information to and from planets to include the delivery of formal orders, sealed records, or classified information too sensitive to transmit via Ansible.
One of the greatest difficulties for the president is dealing with the huge range of cultures that make up the Alliance. A vastly diverse set of religious and social morality influence Alliance law and doctrine meaning that policies established between different administrations can be dramatically varying. Additionally, the significance of central and industrialized worlds in swaying majority opinion in the Alliance can create some divides and bitterness between fringe world’s in different regions and their metropolitan cousins at the heart of the region.
VICE PRESIDENTS OF THE ALLIANCE
The Vice Presidents of the Alliance are the executive arm of the republic government in the fourteen regions of the Alliance. Appointed by the President, the Vice Presidents represent the republic’s interests in the region and can direct military action as appropriate for a period of one week without presidential concurrence though some presidents place standing orders to Vice Presidents which deny the military powers available to them. Additionally, they serve as the president of the republic’s government in the region with approval authority for regionally drafted laws. Alongside the elected governors, they convene regional republic quorums to vote on regional issues presented to the republic senate for confirmation.
The most important role of the Vice President is to serve as a rallying voice in their region during times of conflict or disaster. Possessing the President’s powers with the military to a limited extent, they often make the early initial decisions for their region, more often than not defaulting to the President’s own standing orders or to the recommendations of the military commanders. However, their leadership is vital to permit action when events do occur.
In addition, the Vice Presidents have the difficult task of selling the President’s agenda and policies to the local governments in their regions. This often requires significant collaboration with the regional governors and the local quorum. Because the Vice-President serves at the pleasure of the President and is not an elected official, failure to successfully mesh with the elected regional officials can often force them to step down in favor of a different candidate with better chemistry with the reigning government in that respective region.
As with the President, the Vice Presidents rely on the Ansible Network to coordinate their own vast microcosm of governance, coordinating and directing action to planetary ministers under his cognizance.
Regional Governors are intended as checks to the appointed Vice Presidents. Elected by the populace of the region they represent, they serve as the head of the regional legislative branch, have a vote in regional quorums, and veto powers in regional quorums. Additionally, in absence of the Vice President, the powers of the Vice President are afforded to the governor. In most cases, the Governor is elected independently from the regional governments, with the position considered over the planetary government. However, in some cases – such as the Star Kingdom of Sunderland – the Governor is a member of the larger regional government and appointed by the regional leadership (in the case of Sunderland, the ruling monarch) – and serves as the representative of the larger regional government. In this case, the Governor is often a conduit through which the Vice President coordinates and communicates with their regional officials.
Governors enjoy direct lines of communication with the President, able to bypass the Vice President to voice their concerns directly to the president. In most cases, the Vice President is given the courtesy of knowing that they are being bypasses; but it is not unheard of for disgruntled Governors to bypass their Vice Presidents in favor of dealing with the President directly.
Governors are often treated as an asset by the government in most cases, used as a tool to establish a better understanding of the region’s political and social environment to help frame proposed laws and doctrine and help approval in the Senate.
Within the executive branch are the various ministry posts which take government policy under their jurisdiction and create the framework and infrastructure to make them functional. Over time, as the federal government’s power has expanded, the number of ministry postings has expanded.
- Minister of State– The Minister of State is the head of the Diplomatic Corps and the ultimately responsible for executing the diplomatic policy of the president. They report directly to the President and appoint regional directors to help coordinate policy and maintain diplomatic relations. They also – with the president’s approval – appoint envoys to the various planetary governments of Alliance member nations. Additionally, the Ministry of State is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Alliance’s embassies in various star nations.
- Minister of the Interior– The Minister of the Interior is responsible for the management and control of the vast space and natural resources under control of the Alliance. They manage the vast federal resource expanses in various regions, establishing contract rights to resources and development of various industrial resource zones. Additionally, the Minister of the Interior is responsible for the evaluation of new worlds added into the territory of the Alliance to include cataloging, surveying, mapping, and geologically classifying new worlds. Lastly
- Minister of Treasury– The Minister of the Treasury is the head of the economic policy of the Alliance. Using the budget presented by the Senate and approved by the President, the Minister of the Treasury allocates credits for budget expenditures in the various government ministries. Additionally, the Minister of Treasury is responsible for issuing additional credits into circulation and provides banking certifications for new banking institutions. Finally, the Minister of Treasury is responsible for regularly monitoring, inspecting, and regulating the electronic currency as well as providing physical currency for use in foreign trade.
- Minister of Defense– The Minister of Defense is the civilian head of the three branches of military service in the Alliance – the Alliance Navy, Alliance Marines, and Alliance Army. Ultimately, the minister has direct authority over the three under-secretaries for various branches. Together with these under-secretaries, the minister establishes the military operational doctrine, outlines budgetary plans for approval by the Senate, and acquires new assets for to meet defense goals (among other responsibilities). During wartime, the Minister of Defense is the principal civilian authority after the president responsible for coordinated military operations.
- Minister of Industry– The Minister of Industry is ultimately responsible for the regulation, inspection, and approval of industrial efforts in the Alliance. After the Minister of the Interior establishes regions for industrial use, contracts with corporations are transferred to the Ministry of Industry for continued development. Additionally, the Minister of the Industry is responsible for monitoring for environmental compliance, health and safety compliance, worker’s rights compliance, and equal opportunity and employment. These responsibilities include everything from heavy industry to commerce and “white collar” business but not agriculture.
- Minister of Agriculture-The Minister of Agriculture is responsible for the management of all food generating industries in the Alliance. These include mass production fusion printer protein/carbohydrate supplements. The Minster of Agriculture regulates the establishment of new genetically modified crops, consumption of new alien species of both fauna and flora, and the pricing of all food sources among other responsibilities. Most importantly, the Minister of Agriculture is responsible for the regulation and control of foreign-produced food as well as livestock and crops entering the Alliance.
- Minister of Commerce– The Minister of Commerce is responsible for the regulation and monitoring of trade and sales of materials throughout the Alliance and with foreign nations to include foreign nationals selling and trading within the boundaries of the Alliance. Ultimately responsible for establishing acceptable exchange rates for foreign currency and placing a value on imported goods, most of these regulatory powers are only employed in severe cases where obvious price fixing or rate fixing are occurring. Additionally, the minister is responsible for granting foreign traders licenses to sell as well as regulate indigenous sellers.
- Minister of Labor– The Labor Minister is the other side of the same coin that is the Minister of Commerce. In the case of the labor minister, their role centers around the regulating and enforcing worker rights as well as helping to enforce company’s rights. In addition, they are responsible for monitoring worker conditions, work environments, and overall health and safety of human, cyborg, and artificial workers. More often than not they are also heavily involved in corporate/worker bargaining.
- Minister of Sentient Services– The Services Minister is the regulating authority for human, cyborg, and artificial intelligence services including health care, government housing, access to information, and other basic services. The ministry maintains offices on every world in every major settlement. In addition to government services, the ministry maintains a network of private services approved for civilian use. Artificial Intelligence services include network access and storage space as well as updated processing units and maintenance.
- Minister of Transportation– The Ministry of Transportation is the single largest ministry in the Alliance, exceeding even the Ministry of Defense. As a ministry, they include everything from public transportation on planets, intersystem transportation, and government-funded interstellar transportation. In addition, they regulate, certify, and maintain all traffic control systems, police authorities on a federal level, and handle customs and importation into the Alliance. Furthermore, they manage all licenses of both indigenous and foreign merchant ships operating in the Alliance.
- Minister of Education– The Ministry of Education is the governing body for all stages of education in the Alliance. They manage the funding of education at all levels as well as the entrance exams for higher level education. Furthermore, they establish the base curriculum for all levels of education but do not regulate the specific education practices of a school. Rather, they approve educational texts and maintain education testing standards and teacher certification.
- Minister of Security– The Ministry of Security is the newest ministry established in the Alliance. They are viewed as a coordinating authority for all intelligence bureaus both under the Ministry of Defense and civilian to include the Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Marine Intelligence Division (MID), the Army Security Bureau (ASB), Federal Security Agency (FSA), and Internal Security Bureau (ISB). The ministry has direct authority over the FSA and ISB and has positional authority to direct peacetime operations of ONI, MID, and the ASB.
THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
The Legislative Branch of the Alliance government is partial two house system with the responsibility of deliberating on, establish, and maintaining law. This cognizance includes the development of the bi-annual budget, the approval of extended military action, the deceleration of war (at the proposal of the President), the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justices, and the establishment and maintenance of governmental committees continually evaluating issues of “federal importance” (i.e. The Energy Conservation Committee, the Armed Serice Committee, the Transportation Services Committee, etc.).
THE REPUBLIC COUNCIL
The Republic Council is a quorum of one representative from each world who permenantly reside on Earth (or wherever the government resides). They were conceived of as a wartime insurance policy. Such that in the event that war precluded the recall of the Senate to Earth, the Alliance had governing representatives on Earth to represent their respective world’s. Members of the council are elected for a ten year terms and are provided residences on the Presidio in Geneva. They serve for a period of ten years with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The council serves as the upper house of the Alliance. They do not write legislation themselves and vote in the Senate as regular members during normal sessions. In the event of a voting tie in the Senate, laws are voted on independently by the Republic Council. A subsequent tie is broken by a Presidential vote. During the wartime, in the absence of the Senate, the Republic Council serves to confirm presidential orders for military action, write law and legislation during the period of senate absence, and holds all other powers normally possessed by the Senate.
During normal government operations the Senate is the primary representative body of the Alliance. Each member world has regular two voting members, a voting member who is also a member of the Republic Council, and an additional non-voting member for every ten billion citizens on their world. Non voting members can serve on committee, can serve on senatorial panels to pass recommendations to the Senate floor, can write and present legislation for deliberation on the senate floor, can speak on the senate floor, and can vote in absence of their named voting members. Voting members retain all the rights of a non-voting member while also having a rated vote in Senate voting periods.
Senators are selected by their planet in a process determined by the member world and serve for a period of ten years with a maximum two consecutive term limit. The process by which Senators are selected vary from world to world. In the case of Earth, popular vote is used to selected members, with slots filled based on percentage of votes recieved. In the case of the Kingdom of Sunderland, representatives are selected from the House of Lords or House of Commons by the King/Queen. Regardless of station, each member is accorded the same rights on the Senate floor and no other title is used by the members other than “senator.”
The Senate functions by individuals, groups of senators, or committees proposing legislation. Legislation is “on the floor” for review for a period of one week during a senatorial session. During this time, deliberation behind closed doors occur. After the one week “floor” period, the legislation is opened for debate and the pleasure of the Senate President – the majority party leader. A bill cannot remain “on the floor” for greater than two weeks without being opened for debate unless other legislation is being debated, in which case legislation will be reviewed in the order it was submitted. After deliberation for a period not to exceed two weeks, the bill will be opened to a vote. Votes are passed with a simple majority (or by a three-fourths majority if a vote is to overturn a Presidential veto). Senators can vote “Yes”, “No”, or “Abstain.”
THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
The judicial branch of the Alliance is the governing authority on the law and interpretation of the law. At various levels, Judges and Justices hear and rule on cases or – as required – preside over cases ruled upon by a jury of the accused’s peers. The branch is layered based on authority and hierarchy of that authority. The lowest tier of the court system is the Local Federal Courts. These courts here cases specific to a planet or star system that are federal in nature and brought to the courts attention either by petition of the planet’s government or by criminal/illegal activity in violation of federal law. The second level is the Regional Federal Courts which are the ruling judicial body for one of the fourteen regions in the Alliance. These courts here cases appealed at their level and sometimes preside over high profile cases considered beyond the scope of the local federal courts. These include cases that include multiple star systems or cases which include citizens from outside the region (and thus outside of local law). The third tier is made up of the High Courts. These courts are part of the central government and preside over cases appealed form lower courts or cases of a complex nature that include multiple regions, citizens from other regions, or non-Alliance citizens. The highest tier of the court system is the Alliance Grand Court. Presided over by fifteen grand justices – including one acting as the Grand Court Moderator – the court oversees cases of a significant nature to have an effect on the entire Alliance. Additionally, they provide interpretation of the Alliance charter and provide rulings on the nature of specific elements or wording in the charter should questions arise.
A MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM
In the current political climate, the majority of politicans are selected from one of three major parties.
- The Federalists – a group pushing for stronger powers in the central government, greater social and economic programs, and an expansion in the military presence. They adopted their name from the old Earth’s country of the United States’ political party that called for a strong central government. They are popular in the military regions like the Elysian Reach and Citadel.
- The Unionists – a group calling for a shift to a more socialist form of government with a reduction in military and the vast expansion in social programs. Their social policies are similar to the Federalists but often go for more extreme distribution of wealth and taxation of the wealthy with a vast reduction in military power.
- The Confederalists – a group pushing for a dramatic reduction in central government powers, increase in the duties and responsibilities (as well as funding) in local militias rather than the central military and reduction in the interdependence of each region’s economy. They are popular in many regions including the Star Kingdom of Sunderland and the Capernican Reach.
Multiple smaller parties vye for power and relevance in the government as well. Communist parties and Nationalist parties (some with ties to other star nations like the People’s Coalition and the Empire of Leon) push agenda’s that get little traction in the diverse social climate in the Alliance that depends on a balanced approach to politics. Others still push succession agenda’s for their region or regions while others still call for specific social, cultural, or religious action.