Senäts

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Senate
Senats.png
Upper house of the Ziu
Senate for the 54th Cosa

Leadership and operation
Mençei dal Senäts (Lord President) Lüc da Schir
Standing Rules of the Senate

Structure
Seats 8
Senators HM's Government
Açafat del Val (FL-FreeDems)
Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h (FV-FreeDems)
Ian Plätschisch (MM-AMP)
Éovart Grischun (VD-PNP)

HM's Loyal Opposition
Sevastáin Pinátsch (KA-IND)
Lüc da Schir (BE-IND)
Beneditsch Ardpresteir (MA-IND)

One vacant seat
Length of term Staggered, variable
(typically 16 to 24 months)

Elections
Voting system Instant Runoff Voting
(when conducted by the Chancery)
Last elections November 15 - December 1 2019
Next elections around July 2020

Meeting place
Senate greenehall ext.jpg
Online, cerimonially Greene Hall, Abbavilla

The Senäts ([sɛˈnæt͡s] ( )), or Senate, is the upper house of the Talossan legislature, the Ziu. Like the Cosa, it meets in Abbavilla; its meeting place is Greene Hall, while the offices are located in the neighboring Johnston Hall.

Each province is represented by one Senator, so the Senate is composed by eight seats.

History

The Senate in its current form was created by the 1997 Organic Law. Before the promulgation of that document, the Ziu long consisted only of a single house (now termed the "lower house"), the Cosa, with the proto-Senate being only added from 1 January 1996 as a check and balance, formed by appointed, long-tenured citizens.

Therefore, the first modern Senate was the Senate for the 23rd Cosa. The first (and so far only) change in the number of Senators was in 2012, when a seat was added to represent Fiôvâ following Reunision.

Ever since changes ratified after the 35th Cosa, the King has been Organically barred from holding a place in the Senate, and indeed from entering the Senate chamber unless summoned there to provide testimony to a Senate commission. The consort of the King, and any regent during his or her regency also is forbidden from holding a seat in the Senate; this most recently happened in the 52nd Cosa as Ma la Mha surrendered his seat for the First Clark to serve as Regent to King John.

Furthermore, no Senator may hold seats in the Cosa.

Role

The powers of the Senate are equal to those of the Cosa, except that no bill appropriating revenue may have a Senator as its primary sponsor, and the Senate does not participate in the Vote of Confidence in the government; this means that the Senate is typically less partisan than the lower house. Even though the Government does not require to mantain the Confidence of the Senate, there have historically been only a few times when the Senate has not been controlled by the Government.

The approval of a majority of the Senate to all legislation is required before royal assent can be sought. The number of seats being very small means that ties are relatively more likely than in the Cosa; however, no tiebreaker exists. In the case of bills recommending referenda for the ratification of Organic amendments affecting those articles concerning the Senate itself, the process of amending Organic Law, or the territorial subdivisions of the Kingdom, a super-majority of two-thirds vote in the Senate is required.

The Senate also may pass resolutions without involvement of the Cosa, to commemorate events, create Senatorial commissions or honours, or grant those honours to specific persons. Two typical "Resolutions of the Senate" (RS) are the recommendation of a Chancellor of the Royal Talossan Bar to the King, and the awarding of the Senatorial Medal of Honour.

Members and elections

The Senate is composed by one seat for each province, and so for the first fifteen years of existence it counted seven Senators; an eight member being added in 2012 to account for the creation of the new province of Fiova.

The electoral procedure in the Senate has varied markedly over the years; provinces can now choose to conduct their own Senatorial elections, and each province can effectively decide the electoral law for its own seat. Provinces who have conducted their own Senatorial elections include Cézembre, Fiôvâ and Maritiimi-Maxhestic. However, the national Chancery still conducts most of the races; by law, it is now obliged to do so by Instant Runoff Vote. Previously, Senatorial races were all conducted by the Chancery using First Past the Post.

Senatorial terms are staggered so that a third of the Senate is up for reelection at every election cycle, in a similar arrangement to the United States. However, an important distinction is that the Talossan Senate seats are not divided into classes: while in the United States the seats have been divided into three groups of 33, 33 and 34, where each class is always up for reelection at the same time, the Talossan Senate simply picks the next three seats from a fixed rotation order, meaning that each seat will have one every three terms shortened by a full Cosa.

Another important distinction between the Senate and its American relative is that the terms are pegged to the Cosa's own: an early dissolution would mean that each Senatorial term is shortened respective to its theoretical length, while a month of Recess or any other unexpected delay, such as the month-long one that occurred before the elections to the 49th Cosa, would conversely lengthen a Senator's term in office. However, since Cosa cycles typically last nine months (two months for elections and formation, six Clarks and one month of recess), each province elects its Senator for cyclical terms of 18, 27 and 27 months.

There are no provisions for Senators to be recalled; however, the Senate can adopt motions of censure against its members, and can impeach a Senator by supermajority. In the latter case, the home province shall hold a ballot to remove the Senator by majority vote. In addition, Senators may lose their seat by resignation, failure to vote or death. In any case, each province's government is empowered to appoint an interim Senator to complete the former Senator's term, until the next available General Elections. If at that point the former Senator's term would have expired anyway, a regular election is held; otherwise, a special election is held for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Special elections mean that the number of seats up for reelection can be higher than three; in the July 2018 General Election, a record six seats (75% of the Senate) were up for reelection due to the resignations of three Senators and the regular expiration of three terms; one of the latter also fell into the former category (the M-M race), but as the term would have expired nonetheless a special election was not held.

Officers

The Senate is led by the Lord President, or Mençei, elected by the Senate from among its own members at the beginning of each term. The Mençei's powers are generally greater than those of the Cosa counterpart, the Tuischac'h, as he conducts debates on the monthly business and is more involved in the day to day operation of the Senate, while the Tuischac'h's official duties outside of Living Cosas are restricted to advising members of proper decorum and directing Terpelaziuns.

Rules Committee

The Senate mantains a body of Standing Rules governing its operation; to propose additions and amendments to the rules, a Senate Committee on Rules and Administration is estabilished by law and composed of three Senators. The Mençei is by right the chairman of the Committee, even if not a full member, although in practice operation of the committee is left to common consensus.

The most recent members of the Rules Committee are senators Valcadac'h, da Schir and Siervicül.

Tenure

Senators by tenure
Senator Took office
S. Pinátsch 1 Jul 2015
G. Valcadac'h 1 Feb 2017
I. Plätschisch 27 Apr 2018
B. Ardpresteir 15 Dec 2019
A. del Val 15 Dec 2019
E. Grischun 3 Mar 2020
E. Börnatfiglheu 1 Aug 2020
I. Tamorán 1 Aug 2020

The Senator for Atatürk, S. Pinátsch, is the current longest tenured Senator (Dean of the Senate), having served since July 2015.

During the 50th Cosa, Senator Tresplet had the longest tenure, joined by Senator d'Auribuerg during the 48th and 49th; and from the 41st to the 47th Cosas, corresponding to approximately five years, the title was held by Senator Holmes of Atatürk, who still is the senator with the largest number of Cosas served.

Current Senate

Membership

File:Senate55.png
Partisan control of the 55th Senate by province.

The members of the Senate for the 55th Cosa, listed in the order of the scheduled expiration of their terms, are:

Province Senator Senate Seat Contested
1 2 3 4 5 6
Atatürk Sevastáin Pinátsch for 56th Cosa
Cézembre Ián Tamorán for 56th Cosa
Florencia Açafat del Val for 56th Cosa
Maricopa Beneditsch Ardpresteir for 57th Cosa
Fiôvâ Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h for 57th Cosa
Maritiimi-Maxhestic Ian Plätschisch for 57th Cosa
Benito Eiric Börnatfiglheu for 58th Cosa
Vuode Éovart Grischun for 58th Cosa


Election cycle

As reflected by the table below, at each general election, three Senators (out of the eight) are elected. This means that the term of office for each Senate seat is three Cosa-elections two times and two-Cosa-elections the third, repeating. That’s more-or-less 16 or 24 months to each Senatorial term. However, a Senator’s term may be shortened by early dissolutions of the Cosa or lengthened by no-business months inserted between Clarks [For full details, see the Organic Law Article IV: Election to the Senäts and Article V: Composition of the Senäts].

Cosa Senate Seat Contested
56 Atatürk, Cézembre, Florencia
57 Maricopa, Fiova, Maritiimi-Maxhestic
58 Benito, Vuode, Atatürk
59 Cézembre, Florencia, Maricopa
60 Fiova, Maritiimi-Maxhestic, Benito
61 Vuode, Atatürk, Cézembre
62 Florencia, Maricopa, Fiova
63 Maritiimi-Maxhestic, Benito, Vuode

(The Election Cycle Then Repeats)