|33rd Kaplechistani Congress, 3rd Session|
House of Representatives
|Chancellor of the Senate||Jameson Morrow, Imperialist Party|
since June 1, 2009
|Chairman of the House of Representatives||Alexander Hamil II, Imperialist Party|
since June 1, 2009
26 in Senate
103 in House of Representatives
|Senate Political groups||Imperialist Party Federalist Party Independent|
|House of Representatives Political groups||Imperialist Party Federalist Party Independent|
|Senate Last election||January 1, 2009|
|House of Representatives Last election||January 1, 2009|
The Congress of Kaplechistan is the legislative body of the Imperial Government and not only serves at the pleasure of the Emperor of Kaplechistan, but also proposes and places laws that the Emperor enforces. The Congress serves to not only propose laws, but also bills and legislative amendments to help the nation with its economy and education. The Congress of Kaplechistan is divided into two houses of Congress, the upper house which is the Senate and the lower house which is the House of Representatives.
The Kaplechistani Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Kaplechistani Congress, the lower house being the House of Representatives. The composition and powers of the Senate and the House are established in Article Two of the Kaplechistanian Constitution (which does not use the terms "upper" and "lower"). Each Kaplechistanian Province is represented by one senator. Kaplechistanian Senators serve staggered four-year terms. The chamber of the Kaplechistani Senate is located in the north wing of the Capitol building, in Kaplechistani City, the national capital. The House of Representatives convenes in the south wing of the same building.
The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and consenting or confirmation of appointments of certain Cabinet Secretaries, Superior Court Judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, except the Supreme Commander and other federal uniformed officers, as well as the impeachment trials of federal officials. The Senate is a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives because the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House. The Senate is considered a more prestigious body than the House of Representatives, due to its longer terms, smaller membership and larger constituencies.
Senate History Edit
Emperor William Lee Hamil I created a bicameral Congress out of a desire to have two houses to be accountable to each other. One house was intended to be a "people's house" that would be sensitive to public opinion. The other house was intended to represent the states. It was to be a more deliberate forum of 'elite wisdom' where four-year terms insulated the senators from public opinion. The Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation.
The Senate of Kaplechistan was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate. The name derives from the senatus, Latin for council of elders (from senex meaning old man in Latin).
The Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a Kaplechistani Province of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that province's consent. The Kaplechistani Capitol City, Kaplechistani City and territories are not entitled to any representation. With 13 provinces in the Nation's Union since 1945, originally 30 Provinces but after the restoration, Kaplechistanian territory was reduced greatly,the Senate has currently 26 seats. (At the start of the first session of the 32nd Congress, however, only 25 seats are filled due to the lack of finilizing the election in the Sicilian Province.)
The Kaplechistani Senate elects an official leader of the Senate called the Chancellor, who presides over the Senate's sessions. For decades the task of presiding over Senate sessions has been one of the Chancellor's principal duties. Frequently, the Chancellor will ask freshmen senators (newly elected members) to preside so that they may become accustomed to the rules and procedures of the body.
The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the Senate chamber. The presiding officer calls on senators to speak (by the rules of the Senate, the first senator who rises is recognized); ruling on points of order (objections by senators that a rule has been breached, subject to appeal to the whole chamber); and announcing the results of votes.
Functions of the Senate Edit
Legislative Functions Edit
Bills may be introduced in either House of Congress. As all bills proposed into the Senate, both houses must agree by a vote of two-thirds and only with final approval of the Emperor of Kaplechistan, shall a bill become active by law.
The Kaplechistani Senate is responsible for a majority of political appointments throughout Kaplechistan and are responsible for appointing their personal liason in the Executive Cabinet and a couple of other minor positions. As always the Emperor of Kaplechistan continues to submit who will replace a Superior Court Judge but the Senate is responsible for approving the final choice of who becomes a Superior Court Judge.
The Senate is also responsible for impeachment processes throughout all forms of the Kaplechistani Government and at all levels, the Senate once tried to have William Lee Hamil II removed from power but with his corruption, he overturned it by the laws that the Imperial Leadership is above all other forms of government. Today the Imperial Leadership is still above but Emperor Alexander Hamil I has granted some leeway into the probability that he could be impeached.
House of Representatives Edit
The Kaplechistani House of Representatives, commonly referred to as "the House", is one of the two chambers of the Kaplechistani Congress; the other is the Senate. Each province receives representation in the House in proportion to its population but is entitled to at least one Representative. The total number of voting representatives is currently fixed at 102 due to one seat being unoccupied awaiting final word from Emperor Hamil of temporary appointment. Each representative serves for a two-year term. The presiding officer of the House is the Chairman, and is elected by the members of the house.
Because its members are generally elected from smaller and more commonly homogeneous districts than those from the Senate, the House is generally considered to be a more partisan chamber. The House was granted its own exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, appoint liasons and ambassadors and is responsible for choosing elected officials if it comes to a firm deadlock.
The House meets in the south wing of the Kaplechistani Capitol.
Under the Kaplechistani Constitution, Congress was a unicameral body in which each province held one vote. The ineffectiveness of the federal government under the Constitution led Emperor William Lee Hamil I to summon a Consitutional Convention in 1945; all provinces except Sicily agreed to send delegates. The issue of how Congress was to be structured was one of the most divisive among The Congress and the Emperor during the Convention. Emperor Hamil's Austrian Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people," elected directly by the people of Kaplechistan and representing public opinion, and a more deliberative upper house that would represent the individual provinces, and would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment, would be elected by the lower house.
The House is often considered to be the "lower house," with the Senate as the "upper house," although the Kaplechistani Constiution does not use such language. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation. The Austrian Plan drew the support of delegates from large provinces such as Italy, Austria, and Germany, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller provinces, however, favored the Sicilian Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states.
Eventually, the Convention reached the Polish Compromise, or the Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress (the House of Representatives) would provide representation proportional to each province's population, whereas the other (the Senate) would provide equal representation amongst the provinces. The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of provinces (ten out of the 13) in 1945, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1946. The House began work on April 1, 1946, when it achieved a quorum for the first time.
During the first half of the 1950s, the House was frequently in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including budgets. The Italians was much more populous than the Germans, and therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the Italians held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed.
The years of Growing that followed witnessed large majorities for the Imperial Party, which many Kaplechistanis associated with the constant victories throughout the European War. The Growing period ended in about 1978; the ensuing era, known as the Haulted Age, was marked by sharp political divisions in the electorate. Both the Federal and the Imperial Party held majorities in the House at various times.
The Imperialist Party dominated the House of Representatives during the administration of Emperor William Lee Hamil I (1950–1989), often winning over two-thirds of the seats. Both Imperialists and Federalist were in power at various times during the next couple of years. The Federalist Party maintained control of the House from 1993 until 1999.
Now the House of Representatives is about split evenly due to the fact that Emperor Alexander Hamil I is leader of his own Independent Party and favor none of the current major parties that have existed since the beginning.
The head of the House of Representatives is known as the Chairman.
The Constitution provides that the House may choose its own Chairman. Although not explicitly required by the Constitution, every Chairman has been a member of the House. The Constitution does not specify the duties and powers of the Chairman, which are instead regulated by the rules and customs of the House. The Chairman has a role both as a leader of the House and the leader of his or her party.
The Chairman is the presiding officer of the House but does not preside over every debate. Instead, he or she delegates the responsibility of presiding to other members in most cases. The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the House chamber. The powers of the presiding officer are extensive; one important power is that of controlling the order in which members of the House speak. No member may make a speech or a motion unless he or she has first been recognized by the presiding officer. Moreover, the presiding officer may rule on any "point of order", but the decision is subject to appeal to the whole House.
The Chairman is the chair of his or her party's steering committee, which chooses the chairmen of standing committees. The Chairman determines which committees consider bills, appoints most of the members of the Rules Committee, and appoints all members of conference committees. When the Senate is controlled by a different party from the one controlling the House, the Chairman can become the de facto "leader of the opposition." Since the Chairman is a partisan officer with substantial power to control the business of the House, the position is often used for partisan advantage.
Legislative Functions Edit
The Legislative function of the House of Representatives is the same as the Senate's, but they have more influence when it comes to the Kaplechistani National Budget and Military Defence for the domestic security with all of their subcommittees.
The House of Representatives is primarily responsible for bring military officers or officials and Executive Secretaries to Congress to report their actions behind every move they make for the nation and the Emperor. The Emperor of Kaplechistan may not have given Congress the authority to appoint the Executive Secretaries, but he gave them the responsibility for being liable for all the decisions both positive and negative.
The Congress of Kaplechistan after much deliberation for months on Emperor Hamil appointing a temporary Senator and Representative until the next elections did not come lightly. After he appointed the positions to two very much qualified candidates, they were appointed as an Independent Party with option of joining either party they wish too. But they had to do so before they were to meet any fellow Congressional Members. In doing so, both appointees choose the Imperialist Party giving both Houses of Congress the advantage of barely having the majority, and in so forth giving them the ability to choose the leaders of their respective houses.
Congressional Parties and Seats Edit
Senate Chancellor: Jameson Morrow, de facto leader of Imperialist Party.
Imperialist Party: Holds 12 seats, Official Party Leader is: Clarence Thomas
Federalist Party: Holds 11 seats, Party Leader is: Richard Adalay
Independent Party: Holds 3 seats in the Senate, official Party Leader is: Emperor Hamil
House of Representatives Edit
House Chairman: Alexander Hamil II, defacto leader of Imperialist Party.
Imperialist Party: Holds 50 seats, Official Party Leader is: Herbert Alexander
Federalist Party: Holds 49 seats, Party Leader is : Josiah Wyatt
Independent Party: Holds 4 seats in the House, official Party Leader is: Emperor Hamil