Archive

Archive for May, 2020

Lord Gordon appointed Deputy Prime Minister as Dragovina dissolved

Yesterday saw Lord Edward Gunderson replaced as Deputy Prime Minister with Lord John Gordon, after Gunderson’s town of Dragovina was dissolved.

Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford

Using the emergency powers he assumed on Monday 25th to restore order and unity to the country, Emperor Jonathan I yesterday dismissed Lord Gunderson from his Austenasian positions and offices, and appointed Lord Gordon as his successor in the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

Shortly afterwards, Parliament was convened and passed an Act dissolving Dragovina.

The wording of the legislation alludes to Lord Gunderson causing difficulties in the process of restoring unity to the government.

Lord John Gordon is the longest continually serving Representative in Parliament, and previously served as Deputy Prime Minister to Countess Eritoshi between 2013 and 2015. He recently received 40.9% of the vote as opposed to Prince Dionisiy’s 52.3% in February’s general election.

As such, being appointed as Prince Dionisiy’s deputy is to be seen in the context of cementing the drive for unity and common ground agreed upon by Parliament earlier this week, with the two rivals now agreeing to work together.

Statements by Austenasian officials in Parliament and associated chat groups following yesterday’s events suggest that the current period of crisis is seen to be coming to an end.

Partisan politics forbidden in unity drive

An Act of Parliament was passed yesterday evening which abolished the system of partisan politics that has grown up over the past two years.

Representatives voted in favour of no longer being formally grouped into political parties, which will no longer be registered or officially recognised.

The division of Representatives into “Government” and “Opposition” groupings, a concept introduced in Austenasia only in June last year in imitation of the United Kingdom, has also been abolished.

The Fatherland Party and Peoples Party have both announced their dissolution, whereas the Whig Party will continue to exist as a private organisation.

This Act was proposed by Emperor Jonathan I just a day after having assumed emergency powers to combat deep divisions which have emerged in Parliament.

Returning Austenasia back to a non-partisan system is seen as the first step towards healing the said divisions, which primarily ran along party lines.

Emperor assumes emergency powers to heal deepening divisions in Parliament

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I this evening made an unprecedented announcement, assuming emergency powers in accordance with the Constitution’s provisions for an “existential threat to the state” with the support of the Senate, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition.

It is understood that in the space of the past 48 hours, disagreements primarily related to recently proposed constitutional amendments have spiraled out of control, splitting the House of Representatives deeply along party lines. A vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister was tabled by opposition Representatives but failed, there are rumors that a coup was considered, and some Representatives suggested secession as a response to the ongoing arguments. The announcement by the Emperor is reproduced in its entirety as follows:

In accordance with Article II, Section E of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, with the support of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and a majority of the Senate, we hereby temporarily enact the following provisions and accordingly override the Constitution where necessary in order to enable their enactment and exercise:

1) The House of Representatives shall not meet or convene without a prior summons from the Monarch.

2) All titles, offices and positions shall be held at and by the sole will and permission of the Monarch.

3) The position of Proconsul is hereby created, to be held by two individuals each of whom will hold the powers and authority of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister shall not be divested of his powers and authority, but the three shall work together under the direction of the Monarch to aid in the re-establishing of civil order and constitutional government. Lord Edward Gunderson, Count of New Grémmia and HG Bradley, Duke of Dullahan shall serve as the first two Proconsuls.

These three provisions will remain in place until 13 June 2020, when they will be reviewed to ascertain the necessity of expanding, extending or revoking them.

Threats of coups and secession, civil strife, and the inability of incumbent Representatives to productively work together has resulted in what can accurately be called “a time of great crisis and existential threat to the state”, as required by the Constitution for these emergency measures.

Furthermore, we hereby decree that the referendum scheduled for 30 June 2020 to vote on the proposed Third Constitutional Amendment is brought forward to 12 June 2020.

Decreed at Wrythe this twenty fifth day of May during the eighth year of our reign, in the year of the consulship of Hannah Augusta and Brenda Bargerii Nova Richmondiae Domina, anno mundi 7528.

*

It brings us no pleasure to make this announcement. Many of you may not even have been aware of the deep divisions within Austenasian government. However, such divisions exist and have been getting worse. With the support of our Prime Minister and newly appointed Proconsuls, we shall work together at healing these divisions moving the country forward into a new age. All around the world, societies are falling prey to division, hatred and strife due to political differences. Austenasia shall prove to the world that in this respect, as in many others, there is a different and better way. This way is what we shall find and follow, towards the goal of a brighter future for our beloved country. God bless you all, and God save the Empire!

Referendum on constitutional amendments called for 30 June

An Imperial Edict was passed on Friday 15th May in which Emperor Jonathan I formally proposed various amendments to the Constitution, to be voted on at the end of June.

This follows on from a broadcast by Prince Dionisiy in February, shortly after his election as Prime Minister, in which he proposed various changes to Austenasian government.

Work is currently underway on a system of “e-Government”, which will once completed provide an online system for the Austenasian electorate to easily vote on various legislative matters directly.

The constitutional amendments to be voted on at the end of June, however, primarily concern the other major change proposed by Prince Dionisiy, which is to replace the Prime Minister as head of government with the Consuls.

Currently, two consuls are annually appointed by the Prime Minister for a year-long term, and are in charge of judicial sentencing.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, the consuls would instead be elected by the House of Representatives at the nomination of the Monarch, or by the public themselves should a third or more of the Representatives present alternative candidates.

Prince Dionisiy was elected on a platform part of which was to strengthen the Roman culture of Austenasia. Establishing the consulate as the head of executive government would be a further step towards consolidating the Empire’s Roman heritage.

Other more minor changes in the proposed amendments include removing the requirement for the Empire’s Archdukes (that of the Archduchesses was not required; a typo with discriminatory consequences) to give consent for the Monarch to bestow the titles of Augusta and Caesar outside of the Imperial Family, and to allow an abdicated Monarch or a clergyman to officiate in a coronation if the head of government is unavailable.

The amendments would also make the rules governing the institution of the Senate more flexible, giving Parliament more say over its composition and permitting the Princeps Senatus (its chair) to resign that post without leaving the Senate itself.

Should the proposed amendments be approved in referendum on 30 June, they will still require the support of over 80% of the House of Representatives, as well as Imperial Consent. They would comprise the Third Amendment, with the Constitution also having been amended in 2015 and 2018.

Should the Third Amendment pass, the changes – including the dissolution of the office of Prime Minister – would come into effect at midnight on the morning of 1 January 2021, although the process for electing the new system’s Consuls for that year would begin in December.

Kingeston expands into Town

Lord Austin Jaax, Baron of Kingeston

Monday 11th saw the Crown Dependence of Kingeston expand into Austenasia’s newest Town with the annexation of part of a nearby residential property.

Kingeston’s governing commissioner, Austin Jaax, claimed a part of his house in which both he had his brother live, offering the land to Austenasia with the consent of the property owners.

The section of the property was officially claimed by an Act of Parliament and annexed to Austenasia as an exclave of Kingeston, which was transitioned into a Town.

As the now Lord Jaax was already a non-residential subject, this has raised Austenasia’s population by one with his brother – who has been appointed Kingeston’s Police Inspector – now also living in the country.

Lord Jaax, who was appointed Baron of Kingeston, has also been appointed its Acting Representative and will therefore represent the new Town in Parliament until a local election is called.

Now serving in Parliament, Lord Jaax has also succeeded Lord John Gordon as Leader of the Peoples Party and therefore as Leader of the Opposition.

Kingeston was originally annexed in December 2018, and until this recent expansion consisted of parkland bordering Canada.

New South Scotland election: Legislative Assembly split

By Sir Hugh McFarlane, KCA. Originally published on the Quadrangle Gazette.

In a crowning moment for New South Scottish democracy, the Crown Dependency has successfully concluded its first elections, with 100% voter turnout. The groundbreaking territorial poll has seen four parties elected to fill the five-seat Assembly, with the Green Monarchist Party and Grand Alliance (PNRDNSS/CLANSS) holding two seats each, leaving the Assembly split.

The elections come a full eight years after New South Scotland was first established as a Wessaxon colony in 2012 – a remarkable achievement for what was once a quiet, fringe territory. Under the new Legislative Assembly, the recently-formed Green Monarchist Party holds two seats, with its second member elected under a somewhat narrow second preference run-off. It stares off against Arcadius Tomson (PNRDNSS) and Silvia Paysais (CLANSS) of the ‘grand alliance’, which entered the elections as a joint ticket alongside the Behemoth Party. Whether Mr. Tomson and Ms. Paysais will look to transition their electoral alliance into a formal governing coalition remains to be seen.

The resulting split leaves Citizen’s Party MLA, Sophia Albina, in a kingmaker position, essentially having the choice of who enters government following the establishment of a legislative coalition. At present, there has been no indication by any of the party leaders as to possible coalition combinations. 

Once a government has been decided, the Legislative Assembly will need to turn its attention towards a number of pressing issues highlighted during the electoral campaign, including New South Scotland’s international relationships, economic performance, cultural identity and activity-generating events. While the precise nature of the future government remains unclear, its monumental legislative agenda is abundantly clear. 

Imperial Geographical Society’s May Expedition goes ahead to Navasota River

The bass caught by the Expedition to the Navasota

Friday 1st May saw a small expedition of the Imperial Geographical Expedition (IGS) undertaken to the Navasota River in Texas.

The expedition consisted of two people, namely King William I of Gradonia and his father.

William I, who in Austenasia serves as Representative of Nahona, put forward the idea after it was noted that the traditional IGS expedition annually undertaken at the start of each May would be unable to take place due to restrictions on movement enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Every May since 2009 (not including 2018, when the Emperor was in Spain) has seen the IGS launch an expedition to an area of countryside in Surrey. This year, however, the traditional expedition was cancelled due to a lockdown being in force in the United Kingdom to combat the transmission of the coronavirus.

William I and his father were, however, able under American regulations to travel to an isolated spot by the Navasota River.

While there, they went fishing, and King William made a catch – a 6.1 pound bass – at an area which the expedition named Peter’s Promontory in honour of the fish-related miracle related in Matthew 17:24-27.

Some pieces of citrine quartz were also found in the area.

King William also led a small IGS expedition of two members on 9 February earlier this year, which explored the city of San Antonio and its Alamo Mission and river walk.