§1.1 Government Structure:
- Even if not a true democracy the county value public opinion.
- Political power can be achieved through mastery of your profession.
All regions of Elyria are placed under the practices of feudalism and Claudia won't be any different. Despite this however the county will strive to maintain a nurturing and caring authority as opposed to a predatory one. This doesn't mean the county will actively restrict local authority, but will have a low tolerance for incompetence and corruption among the local authority figures and will expect that the needs of the citizens will have a high and equal priority.
To ensure that the aristocracy are able to grow and realize their goals for their settlements, as well as provide for their citizens, the county will have a dedicated administrative council that will work alongside the local authority figures in addressing their concerns and visions for the land, its settlements, and inhabitants.
The political system Claudia primarily aspires towards can be described as a type of technocracy, or in other words a government ruled by those with the most experience in their field of expertise. Claudia will therefore also be ruled by a second council, the master council.
Both the master council and the administrative council can when necessary combine into the grand council to address the more delicate matters concerning the county.
Aside from reasonable opportunities for the citizens to gain political power through the master council there will be no representative elections at the county level. Still, the people will be encouraged to bring up any issues that is of concern, either through petitions or directly through any council member. Public opinion is thus welcomed despite not actively pursued, at least to begin with. Expansion of democratic rights in the future will be addressed by the administrative council. Individual settlements are also free to pursue any additional democratic measures on their political level.
§1.2 The Decisive Rights of the Countess:
Council Head and Secretary:
The Countess directs and monitors all county councils and will be the one to manage meeting schedules, membership candidates, and other council invitations such as guests and honorary members. Other council members are however free to make requests in these matters.
The Countess can give a "cease and desist" warning or order a full investigation if any member of the councils is found to be predatory on the citizens, disloyal, corrupt, or simply incompetent. Depending on its nature the investigation will be handled by an envoy of the Duke (like a Baron) or the CSA (Claudia Shadow Agency).
The countess maintains the right to act on minor matters without vote, but will still report to the council afterwards. If the measure is found to not be minor by the council or undesirable in other ways then alternative measures can be voted on if possible to change or reverse the action. If found to not be minor then the countess will agree to take all similar cases to the council in the future.
Not-so-minor matters that have a predictable nature can also be given standardized measures to be acted on without vote in the future. The standardized measures will be determined by the council, and can be changed or modified in hindsight.
As both a representative of the people and a mediator of the higher authorities the Countess maintain veto rights in any council. The veto can be invoked on any case within an IRL month from the votes was cast as long as there is at least one other member that is opposed or willing to change their vote. The veto require to be funded on public or administrative concerns and not on personal concerns or similar; a measure having undesirable effects may for example be revoked by a veto. If the council is able to provide a satisfactory solution to the concerns the veto is lifted. A revote can be requested after a veto.
Outside the state of emergency the grand council can initiate the countess can call for an urgency on individual cases in all councils. A case of urgency requires votes to be cast within the same meeting it is brought up, and often require a measure to be taken in one form or another. A case of urgency is also grounds for a council meeting to be scheduled on a short notice. If a matter is so urgent it needs to be acted on before a vote then it will be treated similarly as other matters of efficiency.
§1.3 Administrative Council:
- Decides and regulate county policies, laws and regulations.
- Administrates public properties and resources.
- Monitors public projects and finances.
- Addresses the concerns and projects of the nobility.
- Maintains measures of security decided by the Duchy and Monarchy.
- Appoints diplomats, addresses foreign concerns, and maintain agreements.
Members of the Council:
In addition to the Countess this council will primarily consist of the leaders of the local settlements (Mayors, Magistrates, and Barons) and any councilors they've appointed.
The King/Queen and the Duke/Duchess, as well as other high ranking public officials (such as judges), is able to attend this council anytime they want. These honorary members do however not receive notifications when there is a council meeting, unless relevant.
Hamlets and villages are generally considered too small to be represented on the administrative council by default, but are allowed to apply for a honorary membership position.
A settlement of Town size or larger have the option to appoint additional advisory councilors in addition to their chief councilor, though a settlements total number of representatives can't be more than their voting power (VP). How additional councilors is elected or appointed and if they are given any VP is up to the individual settlements.
On the administrative council the chief councilor doesn't need to be the actual settlement leader, a substitute representative is allowed if the primary representative is unable or disinterested in attending the council in person.
§1.4 Master Council:
- Monitors and addresses the concerns of local organizations.
- Monitors the free market and local trade routes.
- Monitors and manages public demand and local resources.
- Seek economic opportunities and new trade routes.
- Establishes and promotes public and private research projects.
- Delegates apprenticeship programs.
Members of the Council:
In addition to the Countess this council will primarily consist of local merchants and master craftsmen that have earned a seat on the council. The members will have to represent themselves (no councilor system), though in some cases family or fellow guild members are allowed to act as substitutes. Also, the council will in most cases only offer one seat per organization unless the organization only act as a manager on behalf of its members ("employee" vs "freelancer").
School principals, religious leaders, guild/association leaders of otherwise unrepresented guilds etc. may also have the right to attend this council. Organization is required to have a local representative however. Leaders with a foreign citizenship can recommend a local branch manager as their representation on the council.
Although limited to citizens the honorary membership is not a citizen right and will without an exclusive invitation require an application. The application have a small fee associated to it, and might be denied if reason for joining is poor.
Council guests are however exempt from the local citizen requirement and is a temporary position exclusively acquired through invitation. Guests are observers and usually aren't given voting power in the council.
Note: Anyone who joins Claudia before launch may claim honorary member status on the master council, if interested. These honorary members will essentially be the foundation of this council before official members can be selected.
§1.5 Grand Council:
- Manages and decide additional measures of security.
- Takes control during times of crisis.
- Addresses serious diplomatic issues, such as casus belli.
- Tackles issues that require to be addressed by both lower councils.
Members of the Council:
The countess, and all primary members of the lower councils have membership on the grand council. Honorary members on any council do not have membership on the grand council and substitutes also can't be used. Guest members may however be invited on a case by case scenario.
State of Emergency:
The grand council can initiate a 'state of emergency' which gives the countess the right to act without delay, or in other words, measures can be taken without any council approval. A declaration of emergency only requires the support of 1/3 of the present council and will last until the situation that called for the emergency is resolved. It is however still possible for the council to cast votes towards a veto on individual measures if they in hindsight disagree with the measures taken. The vetoes requires that suitable alternatives can replace the original measures though.
State of Exception:
The grand council can also initiate a 'state of exception' which means all county policies will be temporarily suspended. This may for example be invoked during times of war when the council do not have time to address other county matters in detail. Suspending policies doesn't mean they are no longer in effect, just that the council no longer guarantee them.
Note: The county will also start the exposition in a state of exception.