Anisoran Imperial Senate

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Imperial Senate
Senato Imperiale
Anisoran Imperial Coat of Arms
Type
Type Middle house of the tricameral Parliament of the Anisoran Empire
Leadership
President The Countess of Bonaldo
Lord Speaker The Lord Ludavicano
Structure
Seats 347
Political groups HAIM Government
          Liberal Party (98)
          New Radical Party (7)
Official Opposition
          National Party (111)
Other Opposition
          Independents (101)
          ODP (22)
          Lusavan League (6)
          Pastanan National Party (2)
Length of term Life
Elections
Voting system 18 peers elected using two-round system
Last election 7 April 7577
Next election N/A
Meeting Place
File:Your info
Senato Imperiale, Pena


The Imperial Senate of the Anisoran Empire (Anisoran: Senato Imperiale di Impero Anisoro; Pastanan: Senatus Imperiosus Imperii Anisorani), also known as the Chamber of Peers (Anisoran: Camera dei Nobili; Pastanan: Camera Dominorum), is the middle house in the tricameral Parliament of the Anisoran Empire, the upper house being the Federal Assembly and the lower house the Chamber of Deputies. The Imperial Senate's members are known as senators, Senatori (singular senatore/senatrice), but are commonly referred to as peers, Nobili (singular nobile).

Unlike the elected Chamber of Deputies, the members of the Senate are a mixture of hereditary, appointed and a small number of elected peers, elected by the Chamber itself. The membership of the Senate is drawn from the peerages of the Anisoran Empire, with the majority of members sitting as hereditary peers of the aristocratic and royal houses of the 41 constituent states of the Empire. A sizeable number, however, are more recent creations and appointments, with persons deemed to have provided great service to the nation granted noble titles and privileges by either the emperor or the monarch of the constituent state in question, allowing them to sit as imperial senators. Once a peer assumes a seat in the Senate, whether by inheritance, appointment, or election, they retain it for life.

As of 7523 the Chamber of Deputies' powers are set in tandem to those of the Imperial Senate's, although the former chamber is becoming increasingly powerful and assuming a greater authority in Anisoran politics than ever before. Assent from the Senate is required for a bill to pass to the emperor for it to become law; a power it shares with the other two chambers of parliament. Bills and other legislation are debated in the Imperial Senate and voted on when the imperial government tables the bill. Legislation can be presented in any of the three chambers of the Anisoran Parliament, although legislation is more often than not put before the Chamber of Deputies before the Imperial Senate, and the Imperial Senate before the Federal Assembly. Prime Ministers who sit in the Senate are, by and large, more likely than those who sit in the Chamber of Deputies to table bills in the Imperial Senate. Due to Anisora's complex tricameral parliamentary system, the Anisoran imperial government remains accountable to all three chambers of parliament to varying degrees, but today remains primarily responsible to the Chamber of Deputies, from where most tribunes and ministers are drawn, although it is still common for prime ministers to appoint senators to government office.

The seat of the Imperial Senate is the Senato Imperiale building in Pena, Grand Principality of Casella.

Contents

Relationship to HAIM Government

Much like the Chamber of Deputies, the composition of the Imperial Senate plays an important role in the imperial government. The prime minister, appointed by the emperor, is answerable to, and must maintain the support of, the Imperial Senate. Although maintaining the confidence of the Senate is still of vital importance (any piece of legislation must secure Senatorial approval for it to be passed to the emperor to be made law), the Chamber of Deputies has increasingly during the last fifty years become the de facto most important chamber of the tricameral parliament for the formation of governments and the debating of legislation. Furthermore, due to the high number of peers who sit as independents rather than as a member of any political party, maintaining a majority in the Senate is of less importance to the imperial government than maintaining one in the Chamber of Deputies. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be difficult for governments to pass legislation through the Senate, due to the large proportion of independent peers.

Whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of primarily the Chamber of Deputies, or who is most likely to command the support of the Chamber. The prime minister, however, is not required to sit as a member of the Chamber of Deputies - he or she can rather be a member of either the Federal Assembly (although this is extremely rare) or the Imperial Senate (as has been common throughout Anisoran history). It is therefore not uncommon for the Anisoran prime minister to head their ministry from the Imperial Senate, although in recent years the most meaningful legislative motions are discussed in the Chamber of Deputies.

The Imperial Senate may indicate its lack of support for the government by passing a motion of no confidence, although this function is also employed by the other two chambers of parliament and has not been used by the Senate since 7523. When a Government has lost the confidence of the Imperial Senate, or indeed either of the other two chambers, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another deputy, peer or federal representative (RF) who can command confidence, or to request the emperor to dissolve the Chamber, thereby precipitating a federal election. In this capacity, therefore, the Imperial Senate can technically trigger a federal election, even though their members would not be affected by it. However, in reality and since the 7523 reform act brought the Chamber of Deputies to full legislative parity with the Imperial Senate, the Chamber of Deputies has begun to assume formal supremacy in the matter of government responsibility. In essence this means that commanding the confidence of the Senate means less than it did prior to 7523 (confounded further by the high number of independent peers) and that the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies is in reality vital, while the Senate less so. The confidence of the Federal Assembly remains of vital importance, however. As the upper house of the Anisoran parliament, the Federal Assembly retains the power to bring a formal motion of no confidence against the government, which would function similarly to those drawn up in the Deputies - i.e. triggering a leadership change or a federal election.

According to the Constitution of the Anisoran Empire all tribunes and ministers appointed by the prime minister to positions in government must have seats in one of the three legislative chambers of the Anisoran parliament. In the last half-century, however, appointments from within the Senate have become fewer, with the majority of those tribunes and ministers primarily being drawn from the Chamber of Deputies, although appointments from the Senate are still common.

History

Membership

Part of a series on the
Anisoran Peerage

Ranks

DukeDuchess
MarquessMarchioness
CountCountess
ViscountViscountess
BaronBaroness

Types

Hereditary peers
Delegate peers
Courtesy peers
Elective peers

Divisions

Casella
Pastana
Matrignano
Vattoro
Torzarola
Anisoran Empire

Institutions

Anisoran Imperial Senate
(Chamber of Peers)
Noble Houses of Anisora

See also

Nobility of Anisora
Anisoran Order of Precedence


Anisora  Anisora portal

Nobility  Nobility portal

Membership is technically not limited in the Senate, as the emperor is entitled to create as many peers as he or she wishes. However, with the increases in appointments and ennoblements the number of seats has been rising slowly, reaching its current greatest extent with 347 peers (as of 7577). Due to the makeup of the Anisoran peerage, a majority of senators also retain seats in their respective state governments or parliamentary chambers. While not all states have a Chamber of Peers (as they are generally called at a state level), most large states do. These include, the Casellan Chamber of Peers, the Matrignanese Chamber of Peers, and the House of Nobles of the Grand Principality of Lusava and Vascano, among others.

Unlike other aristocratic upper houses in Anaria, and all state-level Chambers of Peers, not all hereditary peers who belong to the six peerages of the Empire have the right to sit in the Imperial Senate. All hereditary peers whose title is older than 7367 have the right to sit in the Chamber, regardless of which peerage they belong to, and all those hereditary peers created in the Peerage of the Anisoran Empire (the most recently created peerage) since 7367 also retain that right. However, peers created in any of the other five peerages (i.e. the peerages of Casella, Pastana, Matrignano, Vattoro and Torzarola) since 7367 do not have that automatic right. For example, the Viscount of Trivano, created by Michele XI, Grand Prince of Matrignano, in 7573, is not entitled to sit in the Imperial Senate, but he is entitled to sit in the Matrignanese Chamber of Peers. However, numerous nobles who were created in those five peerages since 7367 have acquired the right for themselves and their heirs to sit in the Imperial Senate, but this right can only be conferred by the emperor.

Once a peer assumes a seat in the Senate, they retain it for life. A peer cannot technically resign his or her seat, although in practice this happens by nominating a proxy, known in Anisora as a Delegate Peer (Nobile Delega), who has the right to vote and speak on the peer-proper's behalf. A Delegate Peer cannot, however, sit as a proxy while also retaining a sit of their own, or if they are a member of the Chamber of Deputies.1 The heirs to a noble title have special privileges in the Senate and are called 'courtesy peers' and can legally sit in the Imperial Senate in the place of the higher peerage holder - this is the most common form of seat delegation in the Senate.

Elective Peers

Although the majority of senators are hereditary or appointed peers, 18 seats in the Senate are distributed via an internal election. Known as 'elective peers', the 18 positions originated in the 7370s when emperor Marius I permitted 18 nobles to sit in the Chamber who did not have a title in their own right. Primarily meant to elevate important relatives of senators, and as a mechanism to grant senatorial privilege to important second-sons and siblings of incumbent senators, elective peers must be of noble or royal blood and not be a member of the Chamber of Deputies. An election occurs only when one or more of the 18 elective seats are made vacant (i.e. when the incumbent senator dies).

Somebody wishing to stand for election must be nominated by a sitting member of the Senate, with a maximum of ten candidates eligible to stand for any one seat.2 The Senators then vote by secret ballot using a two-round system, with the first round determining the top two most popular candidates, who are then voted on in the second round (unless a straight majority is won by a single candidate in the first round). The winner is then ennobled by the emperor and takes their seat in the Senate (the emperor technically retains the right to veto their appointment, although this has never happened).

An elective peerage is not hereditary, and their descendants are not entitled by right to sit in the Senate after they die, unless they inherit a title or are appointed in their own right as a senator by the emperor.

Styles and titles

Dukes use His Grace, Marquesses use His Honourable Lordship and other peers use His Lordship. Peeresses (whether they hold peerages in their own right or are wives of peers) use equivalent styles. In speech, any peer or peeress except a Duke or Duchess is referred to as Lord X or Lady X (Anisoran: Padrone/Padrona).

Individuals who use the style Lord or Lady are not necessarily peers. Children of peers use special titles called courtesy titles. The heir apparent of a duke, a marquess, or a count generally uses their father/mother's highest lesser peerage dignity as their own. Hence, the Duchess of Moratto's son is called the Marquess of Sorena. Such an heir apparent is called a 'courtesy peer' and can legally sit in the Imperial Senate in the place of the higher peerage holder. Furthermore, the holder of a peerage can delegate his or her seat in the Senate by nominating a proxy, known in Anisora as a 'delegate peer' (Nobile Delega), who has the right to vote and speak on the peer-proper's behalf. The delegate is addressed as Lord or Lady as a courtesy within the Senate Chamber itself - but unless they hold a noble title themselves, they revert to their conventional title and mode of address when they leave the Chamber.

Current composition

98 7 111 22 6 2 101
Liberal NR National ODP LL Independents
Party Leader Seats
Liberal Party (PL)The Countess of Bonaldo98
National Party (PN)The Marquess of Toralino111
Orkanan Democratic Party (ODP)Lord Sonagorina22
New Radical Party (NR)Lady Almarena7
Lusavan League (LL)Lord Morantosyan6
Pastanan National Party (PPN)The Count of Rivandrona2
IndependentN/A101
Total 347
Majority needed 174
Government majority short by 69

See also

Anisora  Anisora portal
Nobility  Nobility portal

Notes

1 The ability for peers to effectively control several seats in the Senate was an historic issue that was particularly prevalent in the Chamber of Peers of the Kingdom of Casella in its last century of existence. Under the weak Tortagno-Nespola monarchs, powerful peers came to increasingly dominate senatorial politics, with some peers controlling as many as five seats. After the culmination of the Anisoran Civil War and the foundation of the Anisoran Empire in 7367, seat distribution in the Senate was overhauled. The reforms prevented peers from controlling multiple seats and therefore exercising numerous votes.

2 If more than ten candidates present themselves, the Chamber of Peers selection committee decides the ten who can stand.

References

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