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Government and Politics

Government and Politics

Constitutional make-up
The Democratic Republic of Pætland is a unitary state and a constitutional republic. The state is constitutionally defined as both democratic and a republic, describing itself thusly as a representative democracy under a republican form of government. The highest office in Pætland's government is the Prime Minister; there have been thirty individuals to hold this post since its creation in 1938. The constitution of the Democratic Republic of Pætland is a three hundred and thirty-six page document adopted on the 1ˢᵗ Shiwol 1938, amendments notwithstanding, but also incorporates traditions, conventions and other disparate sources which are compiled in several compendiums - the most notable of which is Ƿaldhere's Oxnaford Bōcwēla on þe Grundgesetnes þāra Pætland, which is the most commonly-cited source within government and in academia.

Pætland is a parliamentary democracy, as it hold regular elections (every 5 years) from which its parliament is composed. It is from this parliament that the executive is derived, rather than a presidential system where the executive is elected separately from the legislature. The executive is headed by the Prime Minister, who is both the head of state and head of government, and has been since the abolition of the position of President in 1948.

Executive branch
The executive branch of government is one of three and is the seniormost of the branches of government. In essence, the executive branch is made up of the Prime Minister and their cabinet. The Prime Minister of Pætland is currently Hereƿard Bældæging of the Progressive-Conservatives, and has been since 1ˢᵗ Shibirwol 2020. The cabinet headed by Bældæging numbers 21 individuals aside from the Prime Minister himself, and contains members belonging to the Progressive-Conservatives, Civic Alliance, Economic Liberals, Farmers’ Party and the Unionist Party.

The Prime Minister of Pætland is the figure described in the language of the constitution as being able to "command the confidence of the Ƿitanagemot". In practice this means the leader of the party that can form a majority in the Folceþing becomes Prime Minister after a vote to that effect. The Prime Minister then remains in office so long as their party - or coalition - can maintain the confidence of the Folceþing. This position can be lost, due to:
• The Prime Minister's own volition (resignation).
• The Prime Minister becoming incapable of discharging their duties (death, illness, etc.).
• The government losing a vote of confidence.
• The Prime Minister losing the confidence of the speaker of the house (dismissal).
• An election depriving the government of a workable majority.

Logo of the Ƿitanagemot.
The Prime Minister has a wide range of powers; among the most significant including the ability to form cabinets - appointing and dismissing ministers -, directing government policy and advising government whips, and representing Pætland on the international stage through the attending of summits & signing treaties.

The cabinet of Pætland is what is most often referred to by the phrase "the government", and consists of both the Prime Minister and his ministers. The Prime Minister has sole discretion over who serves as a minister, excepting that a minister must be a serving member of either house of the Ƿitanagemot. In practice however, the formation of cabinet is heavily influenced by the make-up of the ruling coalition: Coalition partners are usually represented in cabinet according to their numerical strength in the Folceþing.
In the case of the current cabinet 12 ministries are held by Progressive-Conservatives, 4 by Civic Alliance politicians, 3 by Economic Liberals and of the remaining two, one each are held by the remaining coalition partners - the Farmers’ Party and the Unionist Party.

Legislative branch
The legislative branch of government is the Ƿitanagemot, which traces its origins to the institution of the same name which once existed in the Kingdom of Ƿestseaxnarīce. The Ƿitanagemot has several functions, the most significant of which being to conduct debates, to write and amend legislation and to oversee and exercise oversight over the work of government.

The lower house of the Ƿitanagemot, the parliament of Pætland, is the Folceþing. The Folceþing is the most important of the two houses as it has the sole right to initiate legislation, can override the upper house, and is the house that forms and dismisses governments.
The Folceþing is a wholly-elected body, which must face election at least every five years. All members are up for re-election during any one poll, and there are no nominated or appointed members. All members are elected from single-member constituencies utilising the first-past-the-post electoral system excepting on military cantonment lands where the Armed Forces of Pætland control elections. These cantonments, three in Greater Ƿitanageburh and one encompassing most of Colgræfs-af-þe-Ƿanscuanisce County, elect seven members in total using a proportional-representation system in constituencies ranging from three to one member. The Folceþing currently has 204 members, of a possible maximum of 205.
Elections to the Folceþing are conducted on two lists: 184 members are elected on "Roll A", otherwise known as the "general electorate", and 20 are elected on "Roll B" or the "Kinh list". This is in accordance with one of the earliest provisions of the constitution, which guarantees that the Kinh minority always hold 20 seats in any Pætlandic parliament.

The upper house of the Ƿitanagemot is the Ealdorþing, the so-called "elder house". This is an advisory body, meant to scrutinise and amend bills that have been passed by the lower house. The Ealdorþing can slow or stall legislation by refusing to pass the bill, or by amending the bill in a manner that the lower house finds unacceptable, except with budgetary bills which can be passed by the Folceþing using a veto system.
The Ealdorþing is elected at the same time the Folceþing is, except utilising multi-member constituencies with a proportional system. In addition, there are top-up seats that ensure the various parties are represented according to their strength of the vote (should the constituency results not reflect this). The number of top-up seats varies from ten to forty-five depending on the number needed to secure proportionality, though in practice this means the full forty-five are nearly always used.
The Ealdorþing has attracted a reputation for being used mostly as a sinecure for party élites whom have not secured an elected position in the Folceþing.

Political parties
Since the re-establishment of democracy in Yuwol 1982, Pætland has been a multi-party democracy. Before the "Three Marshals coup" this was mostly a contest between the conservative United Party and the left-nationalist Social Democratic Front, though since that coup Pætland's politics have been dominated by the successors of those parties: The Progressive-Conservatives and Social Democratic Party respectively.
Political parties in Pætland are much the same as elsewhere: Organised primarily according to ideology, but also networks of patronage and access to élite largesse. In Pætland, historically the left-wing parties have been more nationalistic, whereas conservatives have been internationalist and business-friendly. A defining feature is that both before and after elections parties typically form alliances - with the chief goal of avoiding vote-splitting by agreeing to contest set seats.

Electoral map, 2020.
The following parties are represented in the Folceþing:
• The Progressive-Conservatives (Forþþōht-Geƿunaƿeardings) are the single largest party in the Folceþing, and the head of the informal "government alliance". They contested the 2020 election under the "Alliance for Justice and Development" and won 66 seats. Since that time, with defections from other parties, the Progressive-Conservatives hold 68 seats.
The Progressive-Conservatives are the direct heir of the United Party, and have continued that party's tradition of business-friendly and non-sectarian, non-tribal politics. The current leader of the Progressive-Conservatives is Hereƿard Bældæging (F. for Bricgstōƿ Ūpland), the Prime Minister of Pætland. Their support base lies in agricultural regions, suburbs and among Sæxons in general, and the party's colour is turquoise.
• The Workers' Party (Ƿyrhtenasdang) is the second-largest political party, and the party of the opposition. It is at the head of the Opposition Alliance, and won 45 seats at the last election. It now has 46 seats. Previously a minor party, it exploded onto the mainstream at the 2020 election with a reliable support-base in industrial areas. The leader of the Workers' Party is Ƿōden ap Æppelby (F. for Stōc Ƿest), a trade unionist and perennial opposition politician. The party's support base is industrial workers and miners, and the party colour is scarlet.
• The Civic Alliance (Folcsforbounde, called in Kinh 联明公民) is a party of the Kinh minority. Part of the "government alliance" and formerly of the Progressive-Conservative-led "Alliance for Justice and Development", the party has dominated the Kinh vote for decades. It is business-friendly and the foremost advocate for Kinh minority issues. Its support base is among Kinh people and the business community in particular, and the party is currently led by industrialist Lê Văn Quyết (F. for Rāþoffa-Rāþdūn). Its colour is light blue, and the party is unique in that it only contests seats on the Kinh roll.
• The Social Democratic Party, historically a dominant party, collapsed during and after the 2020 election. Now referred to as the Social Democratic Party (Org.) - Sahœmincusdōmsdang (Inhryting) - the party has 13 seats after nine elected Folceþingmenn defected to various parties following the election. The S.D.P. (Org.) sits in the opposition, and is led by the career politician Friđuƿald af Loidis (F. for Loidis and Fuđþerland). The party only retains its hard-core support base, and its colour is gold.
• The Economic Liberals (Cēapsbefrēogandas) are a relatively new party, having only contested two national elections. It forms part of the governing coalition and has 12 seats. Its support-base is varied, and usually consists of voters who lie between the ideological poles of the two main parties. The Economic Liberals are led by Osƿiu af Tomtūn (F. for Lougburh), and their colour is orange.
Cymdeithas y llanciau (Fyrd af þe Yeoguþ), which roughly translates to "society of the youths" or "army of the youths" is a Gwaela-interests party on the moderate end of the Gwaelic movement. The party has 10 Folceþingmenn in the Folceþing, and is led by Þorfinn ap Llaennog (F. for þe Ƿēalaslands). It has a substantial base among Prythonaidd-speaking Cymbry throughout the country, has no alliance, and uses forest green as its colour. It is the oldest continually-existing political party in the country.
• The Farmers' Party (Ceorlingsdang) is an agrarian party which is closely-aligned with the Unionist Party, though it is more centrist. It is one of the country's oldest parties, descended from the Agrarian Bureau and its successor the Farmer-Labour Front. Led by Hilda af Ƿitanageburh, the party numbers ten in the Folceþing and forms part of the government. Its colour is dark green.
• The Unionist Party (Ānlæcansdang) is a conservative traditionalist party whose full name is "Unionist Party of Pætlandic Landowners, Farmers and Peasants" which is closely allied with the Farmers' Party, although it is more left-wing on economic issues and much more right-wing on social issues. Since the imprisonment of its longtime leader Orrin Ælfƿyrd on charges of inciting intercommunal violence, the party has been led by interim leader Æscƿine af Gīslflēot (F. for Yeoguþsbēam). The party's base is almost exclusively among members of the Ēastseaxe and Lindesƿara tribes. It has had seven members of parliament since Ælfƿyrd's imprisonment, and its colour is purple.
• The Progressives (Forþþōhtings) are a party formed after the 2020 election by former Prime Minister Æþelflæd Nīƿetūn (F. for Ūter-Ƿitanageburh Suþƿest) together with four of her colleagues, who defected from the Social Democrats. The party is progressive, and uses pink as its colour.
• The Communist Party of Pætland (Soganncoelsrædsdang þæs Pætland) is the country's only active communist party, and one of the few parties to win support on both electoral rolls. Currently standing at three members from the Kinh roll and one from the general electorate (all in the region of Greater Ƿitanageburh) the party is led by Lê Ēadgār (F. for Ƿitanageburh Norþ) and heads the "Left Front" alliance. Its colour is dark red.
• The All-Yoju Congress (Eallehƿītland Gesamnungsdang) is the only political party that claims descent from the Pan-Yojuist political tradition of the dictator Æđelbryht Æþelþegnƿīne. However, in practice its main cause is representing religious minorities including Myeongists, Sabbatarians and Jaatunists, and tribal minorities including Ēotas, Gēatas, Francans and Frescans. It has three seats, uses dark red as its colour and is led by Gregōrius Ealleþegn (F. for Cantƿaraburh Norþ).
• The Armed Forces Joint Electoral List (Pætlandsfyrd Ānþingƿritsdang) was at one time a powerful political force, as the electoral arm of the armed forces of Pætland. However, as part of a growing trend towards democracy the armed forces have withdrawn from the electoral process and the Electoral List only won two seats, both from military cantonment territories. It is led in the Folceþing by Æþelheard Cuþredson (F. for Colgræfs-af-þe-Ƿanscuanisce (2)). Its colour is khaki.
• The People's Movement (Folcsbrædung) is the personal vehicle of television personality-turned-politician Eobera Ƿægnƿyrhta. It is right-wing and based almost entirely in the constituency of Dene af Edoras. It is led by the said Eobera Ƿægnƿyrhta (F. for Dene af Edoras). Its colour is dark blue.
• The Internal Gwaela Chaonaigh Revolutionary Front (in Gwaela Inmheánach Gwaela Chaonaigh Réabhlóideach Tosaigh and in Sæxisc Inhauccinƿealh Onhebbungscieldƿeall) is a military-backed party which secured the seat of þe Mær and Hiđer Leiþninatīn at the 2020 election. Its main strength being in the Ealdorþing, not the Folceþing, this was the first time it had secured such a seat, won by Diarmaid Súilleabháin. The party is led by Oengus Murchadha, a member of the Ealdorþing. Its colour is green.
• The Social Democratic Party (Æ) (Sahœmincusdōmsdang (Ælfred)) is a splinter of the Social Democratic Party proper, formed after the 2020 election by Ælfred Cædƿallason (F. for Beormingahām Norþ). It is more oriented towards industrial workers and coal miners than the mainstream party, though has found little popularity during its nascent existence.
• There are currently five independent politicians: The member for Pætland Norþēast on the Kinh electoral roll, and the members for Geatasþorp Norþ, Osƿald Cantfyrdwīc, Norđaneiđhæfen, and Colgræfs-af-þe-Ƿanscuanisce (3). One seat, Cyngscēapford, is vacant.

Pætland's Election to the Folceþing, 2020