Parliament is the national, bicameral legislative body. The two houses are the National Assembly, which is the lower and more powerful house, and the Senato Del Regno, the upper and partially-elected house. Assembly Members and Senators are directly elected by registered citizens over the age of 18. Elections take place every four years, unless a Lord Celestine resigns in which case they must take place within three months of the Lord's resignation. Senato elections are held once every 8 years and are not affected by a Lord Celestine's resignation.
The National Assembly, officially called The Honourable Assembly of the Nation of Cattala, is entirely elected and is where a majority of the laws of Cattala are made. There are 100 seats in the Assembly, and the Government needs at least 51 seats to govern with a majority. The Assembly must vote on all legislature introduced by the Government, and the Opposition. Each Assembly Member, or Membro Assemblea, (MA) belongs to a political party, or runs as an independent. They hold their seats until the Royal and Holy Majesty dissolves Parliament, which must happen every four years. There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms a single MP can serve. The Government is responsible for the National Assembly, and every Lord Celestine is selected by his party from this Chamber. The head of Parliament is the current monarch, and they open each Assembly session, which begins on the first Monday after the Epiphany, and closes for a two-week break during August, before re-opening until the last Friday prior to Christmas Day.
Senato Del RegnoEdit
The Senato, officially called the Senato Del Regno, is a semi-aristocratic and partially-elected upper house consisting of 35 elected members and 15 hereditary members. In the past the Senato was the most powerful chamber, and could overrule the Parliament. However since 1949, the Senato has been reformed to take on the role of a debating chamber to decide whether legislative introduced by the Assembly should be put into law and passed onto the monarch for Royal Assent. The 35 elected senators are voted on in every other general elections, meaning their terms are 8 years. Five senators are elected from each province, and represent their provincial Government in the upper house, as well as the citizens of their province. The 15 hereditary senators are made up of the three Lords of each province, from the three most aristocratic families of each province. The Regal Monarch sits in the Senato when they open the Twin Chambers. Lord Celestine, the only MA who can sit in the Senate, can also ask permission for the dissolution of the Senato, meaning that all 50 members can be removed at once, and replaced. This happened in 1971 when the Government collapsed, and Lord Bertollini attempted to cling onto control. Lords do not have to be members of any political party. Senators are given the title of "Lord Senator", and once they leave the Senato are titled "Lords".
There are seven provinces in Cattala - Amosseri, Fieranti, Jennai, Lessito, Monte Calida, Hellas and Roumeli. Each one has a regional Government and regional Parliament. The oldest province is Amosseri, which has been in existence since the Amadeus revolt in 1861. Amosseri Province includes the city of Celeste, and the military town of Kallaghan. It borders Monte Calida Province. The provinces of Hellas and Roumeli are the only island provinces, and also the only islands where Greek is the main language. Monte Calida province includes the area between Calora and Jennai, and is centred in the town of Seina. Lessito is the biggest province land-wise, and includes the Almae region and the town of Cape Almae on the east coast, the island of Ontano and the south-eastern tip of the Kingdom.
Each province has an Executive Governor, elected by the public in local elections every three years, on the same day as a national election. All of the current provinces have an active parliament, the smallest of which is in Hellas province, with only 15 elected officials serving, and the largest of which is in Jennai, where 80 elected officers serve nearly half of Cattala's population. They all have at least one Regional Court. Provinces are allowed a great deal of freedom in their self-governing abilities, including funding public projects and have the opportunity to put forward motions and can join together to veto decisions in the National Parliament. However, laws are nation-wide and cannot be changed in any individual area, and taxes cannot be different in each province.
Cattala has three major political parties, and three significant (>1%+) minor parties. The current Lord Celestine is Cattolici Conservatori leader Lord Anthony Secolo, who has run a majority Government since 2007. The leader of the opposition Democratic party is Dominic Greenwood, who has been in the position since May 2010.
Past Political LeadersEdit
Democratic --- Cattolici Conservatori --- Il Popolo
Lord Chancellor Esmettalo, 1951 – 1954
Lord Chancellor Harrison, 1954 – 1957
Lady Fernandez, 1957 – 1963
Lord Brunskills, 1963 – 1970
Lord Bertollini, 1970 – 1971
Lord Veloce, 1971 – 1983
Lady Caldero, 1983 – 1986
Lord Veloce, 1986 - 1991
Lord Winnocai, 1991 – 1995
Lord Dannici, 1995 – 2001
Lord Williams, 2001 – 2007
Lord Anthony Secolo, 2007 –
Cattolici Conservatori PartyEdit
The Catholic Conservative party, originating from the English Conservative party and often called the Tory party due to this link, have been in power since 2007, after being out of Government for 36 years. In the 1970s the party nearly imploded after a series of power struggles crippled the party financially and destroyed public support. Since the early 21st century, the party has returned to its core values of Euroscepticism, mild free market capitalism (although the party recognises the need to keep control of the profitable public companies) and monarchism. The current leader of the party, Lord Anthony Secolo, has also introduced environmentalist policies to the party and much of the party supports military growth. They are associated with the colour blue and the crown, and support has risen to pre-election levels of nearly 50% in autumn 2010. However by spring 2011, support had fallen to 38%.
The Democratic Party is the most successful party in the history of Cattala - they have ruled the country for six of the twelve Governments since 1951, and hold the record for biggest landslide victory, which was achieved in 1963. The party is historically socialist, but has moved more to the centre (unsuccessfully) in recent years. The party is a strong supporter of the welfare state, joint public/private growth, environmentalism and more investment in public services over the military. The current leader, Dominic Greenwood, is seen as a left-wing leader and has been called "out of touch" by the right-leaning media. He is the least popular Democratic leader for 16 years. They are currently in opposition, with support at around 22% in Spring 2011.
Il Popolo PartyEdit
The People's Party is a left-wing, authoritarian party that was in Government between 1991 and 2001. Their central policies are nationalisation, large rises in military spending and is the most eurosceptic of the major parties. A majority of its supporters live in rural communities. The current leader of Il Popolo is the 61-year-old Dr Rohan Viscoti, a former medical soldier and the most "socialist" leader of the major parties, and was once called "Cattala's closest answer to a communist". The party had around 22% of public support in autumn 2010, but by Spring 2011 it was at 38%.
Cattala has three other, minor, parties, all with at least 1% of the public supporting them. These include the Federal Party, who believe that the Seven Provinces should become autonomous regions again and that Cattala should become a Federal Kingdom, the Europarty who are the largest pro-european party in Cattala and the Unionist party which strongly defends the monarchy and the union between Cattala, Hellas and Roumeli.
In June 2011, Lord Anthony Secolo announced that Queen Alexandra the Fifth had agreed to dissolve Parliament on the 20th July, meaning that the 2011 Election could take place in August. On the day of the announcement, the polling agency Regina found that support for the Government was at 38%, level with the left-wing Il Popolo party. The Democratic Party was on 20% support.
The National Government is divided into fifteen offices and ministries, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of governance. The Ministers form the Cabinet Ministry, and all of the ministers have underministers and many of the ministries also have Secretaries, who are specialists in their chosen field and are occasionally independent RGs and from the opposition parties. Ministers report to Lord Celestine, and can be removed from office at any time, if granted Royal Permission. Ministers lose their positions if they are voted out of office. Ministers hold the title of Regal Government (RG) or Lord Senator (LS), to show which Chamber they sit in.
Office of the Loyal Lord of CelestineEdit
Minister: Lord Anthony Secolo (RG, LC) The OLLC is the formal title for the ministry that is headed up by Lord Celestine, the equivilant of a Prime Minister. He is the political voice of the nation. This office is one of the smallest, having only one Regal Government member as it's staff. Despite this, it is the most important ministry and is located on the second floor of Parliament itself.
Office of the Holy Master of the ChamberEdit
Holy Master: Master Phillips (LS, HMC) The HMC holds arguably the central position in Parliament. He manages both of the Chambers of Parliament, and has undermasters that preside over parliament sessions alongside him, or in the place of him. His position is impartial, although he often comes from a political background within one of the chambers. The Master of the Chamber is selected by the Monarch and holds the position for a 10 year term. Because he is selected by the monarch, he is considered Holy.
Director: Oliver Francisci (RG, DPC) The Press Office manages all public communications, media interviews and press releases. Traditionally the Director is not from within Parliament, however the Government often selects an RG to fulfill the role during interviews and media statements. Most of the Press Office work is done by non-political employees and former media industry employees.
Minister: Lord Gerenomi (LS, MRHM) The Imperial Office was formed in 1402 as the first Government Ministry in Cattala, and managed the entire Cabinet for the Monarch. Nowadays it releases statements from the Monarchy, instead of the Press Office doing so, and manages all royal tours and visits. The Imperial Office is one of the most distinguished offices to be held in Government. Lord Gerenomi is the longest serving Minister in history, having held the position of MRHM for nearly 20 years. He is a close friend of the Queen and therefore successive Governments have kept him in the position.
Lord: Lord Estaban Montez (LS, LM) The position of Lord Monete is the most powerful role beside Lord Celestine. Lord Monete manages all the Government finances and controls the Treasury and Exchequer. The Lord Monete offices are the largest in Government and are located opposite the Parliament building in Alder Hill. It has six ministers assigned to it and also control the Work and Pensions departments and Skills and Innovation.
Ministry of AcademiaEdit
Minister: Miguel Domentino (RG, MA) The Ministry of Academia controls all education facilities in Cattala and also controls funding for universities and colleges across Cattala, as well as running exam boards, school review boards and school culinary enterprises. The Ministry of Academia has existed for nearly 200 years and used to be managed by the Cattalian Catholic Church, but was taken over by the Government in 1906.
Ministry of HealthEdit
Minister: Dr Nicola Festi (RG, MH) Cattala's healthcare system is managed by the Ministry of Health, which until 1986 was known as the Mutua Office. The Ministry controls all of the funding for the Mutua and co-ordinates grants to Provincial Care Trusts alongside the Public Health Office, an independent clinical organisation run by doctors. It used to control the now-independent Health Review Board.
Ministry of Social AffairsEdit
Minister: Veronica Taylor (RG, MSA) The Social Affairs ministry is in control of welfare, social services and public development projects. Much of it's power was devolved to provincial governments in the 1980s, and the control of pensions was moved to Lord Monete in 1991. It is one of the smallest ministries and is based outside of Alder Hill; the only ministry to not be based in the political district.
Ministry of Natural ResourcesEdit
Minister: David Partridge (RG, MNR) The Ministry of Natural Resources controls the environmental agencies that manage climate change controls, maritime and nature reserves, the Forestry Commission and the Energy Ministry. The MNR is one of the broadest ministries and controls the largest area of land of any Cattalian ministries, due to its management of forests and territorial waters. Traditionally, the biggest drain on the MNR's funding has been energy imports, however the cost of flood defences and anti-erosion works have overtaken the cost of energy imports as the biggest funding drain.
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural AffairsEdit
Minister: Joan Westeros (RG, MARA) The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs manages Cattala's oldest economic sector. It provides subsidies for farms, encourages growth in the agricultural sector. It also carries out investigations into animal welfare and animal abuse, as well as being the department in charge of sustaining rural communities and supporting rural shops with financial loans and advice. MARA issues quarterly reports on the price of goods and produce. It also controls the Meteorological Office of Cattala.
Her Majesty's Foreign MinistryEdit
Minister: Lance Cottlesely (RG, MFM) The Foreign Ministry implements and controls all foreign relations and foreign affairs for Cattala. It manages embassies in Cattala and all Cattalian high commissions abroad. Trade missions, foreign aid and overseas investment are all under the Foreign Ministry's jurisdiction.
Ministry of National AffairsEdit
Minister: (RG, MNA) The Ministry of National Affairs includes the emergency services hotline, fire service, prison service and police service. MORE SOON
Ministry of DefenceEdit
Minister: Lord Taddeo Horandi (LS, MD) See more on the Ministry of Defence here .
Ministry of TransportEdit
Minister: Mario Ellord (RG, MT) The Ministry of Transport controls the Transport Police and holds 100% ownership over Ferrovie Cattala, the state-run railway service, which runs train services and maintains the tracks. It also owns 75% of the Cattala Aviation Authority, which manages the entire aviation industry and aerospace around Cattala. The Ministry also maintains the roads and pavements, as well as leasing out bus routes to private companies and managing the rural routes. Seaport management, Vehicle registration and speed controls are also run by the Ministry of Transport.
Ministry of Culture, Media and SportEdit
Minister: Andrew Lennon (RG, MCMS) The MCMS manages all funding for arts and media, as well as funding Royal Media International and partially-funding the Cattala Broadcasting Corporation. Sports projects and facilities are funded and managed by this ministry.