Senäts

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Senate
Senats.png
Upper house of the Ziu
Senate for the 52nd Cosa

Leadership
Mençei dal Senäts (Lord President) Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h

Structure
Seats 8
Senators HM's Government
Sevastáin Pinátsch (KA-MRPT)
Lüc da Schir (BE-MRPT)
Alèxandreu Soleighlfred (CZ-MRPT)
Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h (FV-FreeDems)
Ian Plätschisch (MM-MRPT)

HM's Loyal Opposition
Ma la Mha (FL-RUMP)
Cresti Siervicül (MA-RUMP)
Trotxâ Betiñéir (VD-RUMP)
Length of term Staggered, variable
(typically 16 to 24 months)

Elections
Voting system Instant Runoff Voting
(when conducted by the Chancery)
Last elections June 15 - July 1 2018
Next elections about March or April 2019

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 was created by the 1997 Organic Law. Before the promulgation of that document, the Ziu consisted only of a single house (now termed the "lower house"), the Cosa. Therefore, the first 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. Furthermore, no Senator may hold seats in the Cosa.

Powers

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.

The Senate is led by a ceremonial "Lord President" or Mençei, elected by the Chamber from among its own members, who may resign or be removed by vote of the Chamber.

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.

Tenure

Senators by tenure
Senator Took office
L. da Schir 1 Oct 2014
S. Pinátsch 1 Jul 2015
G. Valcadac'h (Mençei) 1 Feb 2017
C. Siervicul 23 Oct 2017
T. Betiñeir 12 Feb 2018
I. Plätschisch 27 Apr 2018
A. Soleiglhfred 1 Aug 2018

The Senator for Benito, Lüc da Schir, is the current longest tenured Senator, having served since October 2014. He is holding the title alone since the sixth Clark of the 51st Cosa; previously, he and former Senator Magniloqueu da Lhiun were the joint longest tenured Senators, and before the resignations of Vuode Senator Eovart Grischun, the three held the distinction concurrently.

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

The Senate for the 52nd Cosa consists of eight members. Seven were returned from the previous Senate, while Alèxandreu Soleighlfred was elected to the open seat in Cézembre.

Elections

Partisan changes in the 52nd Senate by province.
Light green: RUMP hold; Light blue: MRPT hold; Light red: FreeDem hold; Dark gray not up

A record six seats were up for reelection, including three special elections in Cézembre, Maricopa and Vuode. Only one seat was open (in Cézembre), and only the Benitian and Vuodean races were contested. Despite the unusually high number of seats up for reelection, no partisan gains were made by any party.

Benito

Lüc da Schir won reelection to a third term, defeating Eiric Börnatfiglheu with 75% of the vote. No other people received first round preferences.

Benito Senate Election
Lüc da Schir 15
Eiric Börnatfiglheu 5
MRPT hold

Cézembre

Former PP Senator and current MRPT Sénéchal Alèxandreu Soleighlfred won his race without a declared opponent. Unlike in the previous race, which was awarded without ballots being cast under Cézembrean law due to the absence of a challenger to Glüc da Dhi, voting took place as the race was conducted by the National Chancery.

This will be Soleighlfred's second stint in the Senate, the first as a result of an election, but he will serve only one Cosa as this was a special election for the remainder of Glüc da Dhi's term.

Cézembre Senate Special Election
Alèxandreu Soleighlfred 8
Glüc da Dhi (write-in) 3
scattered write-ins 4
MRPT hold

Fiôvâ

In Fiôvâ, the sitting Lord President of the Senate Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h has been reelected to a second term, his first term in his own right.

Fiôvâ Senate Election
Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h 12
scattered write-ins 2
FreeDem hold

Maricopa

In Maricopa, interim Senator Cresti Siervicül will get to complete the two remaining Cosas in Béneditsch Ardpresteir's term, after winning the election with no opposition. The race, however, required three rounds of IRV to be declared due to the high number of scattered write-in votes. This interestingly marks the second time out of two that the Maricopan seat was won at the third countback, despite the previous election having three candidates as opposed to the lone candidacy of Siervicül in this instance.

Maricopa Senate Special Election
IRV/RCV First and Second Rounds
Cresti Siervicül 7
Tariq Zubair (write-in) 2
Txoteu É. Davinescu (write-in) 2
scattered write-ins 3
The race advances to a third round.

(Txoteu Davinescu received a second vote from a second preference in one of the scattered write-ins)

Maricopa Senate Special Election
IRV/RCV Second Round
Cresti Siervicül 7
Tariq Zubair (write-in) 2
Txoteu É. Davinescu (write-in) 2
scattered write-ins 2
RUMP hold

Siervicül will continue his first term as a Senator.

Maritiimi-Maxhestic

New Moderate Radical Party Leader Ian Plätschisch has been elected to a first term in his own right, with no opposition. He had served during the last Clark of the previous Cosa as an interim appointee. This continues a curious coincidence by the MRPT of always having its current leader serve in the Senate.

The election was conducted by the provincial government by public ballot.

M-M Senate Election
Ian Plätschisch 5
MRPT hold

Vuode

In Vuode, Trotxâ Betiñéir won the special election to complete Éovart Grischun's term against Viteu Marcianüs. The seat will be up in the next General Elections as well.

Vuode Senate Special Election
Trotxâ Betiñéir 5
Viteu Marcianüs 2
RUMP hold

Membership

Partisan control of the 52nd Senate by province.

The members of the Senate for the 52nd Cosa, listed in the order of the scheduled expiration of their terms, are:

Province Senator Senate Seat Contested
1 2 3 4 5 6
Vuode Trotxâ Betiñéir for 53rd Cosa
Atatürk Sevastáin Pinátsch for 53rd Cosa
Cézembre Alèxandreu Soleighlfred for 53rd Cosa
Florencia vacant[1] Ma la Mha vacant[2] for 54th Cosa
Maricopa Cresti Siervicül for 54th Cosa
Fiôvâ Gödafrïeu Válcadác'h for 54th Cosa
Maritiimi-Maxhestic Ian Plätschisch for 55th Cosa
Benito Lüc da Schir for 55th Cosa
  1. Ma la Mha served as Regent for King John for the entire duration of the First Clark, leaving the seat vacant. No interim replacement was appointed.
  2. Ma la Mha failed to vote in the second and third Clarks and lost his seat.

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
53 Vuode, Atatürk, Cézembre
54 Florencia, Maricopa, Fiova
55 Maritiimi-Maxhestic, Benito, Vuode
56 Atatürk, Cézembre, Florencia
57 Maricopa, Fiova, Maritiimi-Maxhestic
58 Benito, Vuode, Atatürk
59 Cézembre, Florencia, Maricopa
60 Fiova, Maritiimi-Maxhestic, Benito

(The Election Cycle Then Repeats)