by Max Barry

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The North German Legislature

The North German Legislature

As according the Constitution of North Germany, the Realm has two different bodies of legislators. The Bundesrat and the Reichstag. While most people believe these two to be two different "chambers" of a non-named Parliament, this is in fact not true. Bundesrat, while in truth in charge of legislature as well, is "Federal Council" that binds and convenes the Alliance of the thirty two States that form the North German Federation. Their functions and duties are well defined.

The Federal Council


Current formation of the Bundesrat:
NNP + LP vs Zentrum + SPN
NKP + RadP neutral

The Bundesrat is made up of representatives appointed by each of the individual states. The Number of votes (and seats) are decided proportionally and by population. It was designed to be the Highest Authority of the North German Realm. Its President (Bundespräsidium) is the King of Prussia and holds the title "Norddeutscher Kaiser" (North German Emperor), while its Chairman is the Chancellor. Originally, the Emperor appointed the Chancellor as he wished, but following 1891, the Chancellor can only be appointed from the pool of members of the Winning Coalition. They can be part of the Bundesrat or the Reichstag, but the last 4 Chancellors (since the reforms) have all been members of the Reichstag. Members of the Bundesrat enjoy Legislative Immunity in and outside of North Germany for all but the most horrible crimes.

The Bundesrat's agreement (a 66% majority) is the second stage of the process of lawmaking in North Germany (After the agreement of Bundesrat, the Assent of the Kaiser is also necessary). It in addition rules on situations a dispute between multiple states requires military or political intervention from the Federal Government (Bundesexekution), It can vote on acts performed by the Kaiser such as Declaration of War or dissolution of the Reichstag (following 1891), and resolve constitutional disputes within a state. It also divides into eight "eternal committees" on the following. The committees for Land Defense of Naval Affairs are appointed directly by the Kaiser, while the rest are decided by the Bundesrat itself. Each Committee must at least have delegates from six federal states from different party affiliations..

  • Land Defense;

  • Naval affairs;

  • Taxation of all kinds;

  • Trade;

  • Transportation and communication;

  • Accounts;

  • Foreign Affairs;
    Electoral proceedings.

The number of representatives for each state, 115 in total, is listed below. These members were, dependent on the type of government of the State in question, decided either by local vote, local legislature, or appointment by state royalty.

State

Seats

Prussia

17

Hanover

9

Mecklenburg

8

Saxony

8

Hesse

8

Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

6

Oldenburg

4

Luxembourg

4

Schwarzburg

4

Mittelafrika

4

Anhalt

3

Nassau

3

Brunswick

3

Saxe-Altenburg

3

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

3

Saxe-Meiningen

3

Reuss

3

Limburg

3

Kamerun

3

Pacifica

3

Lippe

2

Schaumburg-Lippe

2

Gold Coast

2

Qingdao

2

Waldeck and Pyrmont

1

The Three Free and Hanseatic Cities

1

Frankfurt

1

Berlin

1

West Indies

1

Total

115

A total of 35 Seats were appointed, while local legislature appointed another 71, and the last 9 were decided by Local Vote, normally due to the low population of the States that allowed such an action to happen. In case of Berlin, the Kaiser's decision could overrule the local legislature.

The Realm's Diet


Current formation of the Reichstag

The Reichstag, in truth the only legislature of the North German Realm (but considered the "Lower Chamber" of the German Parliament). Its members are elected by universal suffrage and by direct secret ballot. Each State is divided into a number of districts (Kreise), and each district, drawn independently by the member-states, elect a seat. Reichstag currently has 335 seats. Members of the Reichstag are not allowed to hold any other Government office (they automatically lose their seat upon accepting an office), their meetings are public and can be attended by anyone, and is elected for three years. Reichstag can be dissolved by the Emperor with the agreement of the Bundesrat in which case a new election will be held in sixty days and reassemble in ninety. The Diet requires an absolute majority (50%+1 of all members) to pass a law, enjoy full legislative immunity, and are not allowed to draw themselves a salary from General Government.

The Reichstag is the only body that is allowed to bring forth legislation to be discussed and voted on. While the Emperor is allowed to make law by Edict and while Constitutional Reforms only go through either by Bundesrat majority or (in case of the Bundesrat disagreeing) the Kaiser and the Reichstag voting in favor of it. It can make laws on the following:

  • Colonies;

  • Citizenship, freedom of movement, immigration and emigration, extradition;

  • Currency;

  • Customs, including uniformity in customs and commercial districts and the free transit of goods;

  • Posts and telegraphs, including telephones.

  • Civil law;

  • Criminal law;

  • Judicial procedure, including the execution of justice; as well as official assistance by one public authority to another;

  • Passports and police supervision of aliens;

  • Poor relief and vagrancy;

  • The press, the right of association, the right of assembly;

  • Problems of population, and protection of maternity, infancy, childhood, and adolescence;

  • Public health, veterinary regulations, and protection of plants against disease or injury;

  • The right to work, insurance and protection of workers and other employees, and employment exchanges;

  • The organization of professional associations extending over the Empire;

  • The care of discharged soldiers and their dependents;

  • The law of expropriation;

  • Commerce, weights and measures, the issue of paper money, banking, and stock and produce exchanges;

  • Commerce in foodstuffs and food luxuries, as well as in commodities of daily use;

  • Industry and mining;

  • Insurance;

  • Maritime commerce, deep sea and coast fisheries;

  • Railways, internal navigation, motor traffic by land, sea, and air, and the construction of roads for general traffic and national defense.

North German Political Parties



North Germany has a number of Political Parties. The following is a list of all these parties with a short description of each of them.

Nationale Norddeutsche Partei

NNP

Seats in Bundesrat: 35
Seats in Reichstag: 98

Nationalism
German Liberalism
Colonial Assimilation
------

The current holder of the largest seats in both the Federal Council and the Realm's Diet, the National North German Party (Nationale Norddeutsche Partei) was originally founded in 1875 as a friendly and minor protest against The Reactionary and Conservative dominated North German Government; the National North German Party has been one of the most important Parties in North German Parliament. The minor member of a coalition with the Center Party in the third Government of North Germany (Karl von Wustenberg, 1893 - 1897), they currently hold 35 Bundesrat and 98 Reichstag seats. Their Representative Alfred von Wastrecht-Orenblau (founder of the Party's Imperialist branch) is the current chancellor, and four of the seven Ministries are filled with their members.

NNP is divided into three branches. The Nationalist, the Liberal, and the Imperialist Branches. The Liberals (Hans Schmidt) support political freedoms and privatization of more of North Germany's assets. The Nationalists (Karl von Wustenberg, 3rd Chancellor) believe in North German Nationalism and support reforming the state into A Nation by creating a "North German" specific culture. The Imperialists (Adolft von Wastrecht-Orenblau) support colonial ventures and assimilation of natives into the German Culture.

Norddeutsche Zentrumspartei

Zentrum

Seats in Bundesrat: 29
Seats in Reichstag: 91

Political Catholicism
Christian democracy
Social conservatism
------

Founded as early as 1870 by the Catholic victims of Bismarck's Kulturkampf, the North German Center Party (also called The Center Party or simply the Center) is one of the most relevant parties in North German Politics. Following a fiercely Anti-Reactionary rhetoric against Revolutionary Conservatism, The Center was the major party of the third government (1893-1987), and then the minor party of the fifth (1897-1897), and now act as the largest opposition of the current North German Government. With 29 Bundestag and 92 Reichstag seats, they are the second largest party in the Government.

The Center Party does not have any branches, but its members inch anywhere on a spectrum between Social Conservatism and Christian Democracy, with the most democrat of them closer to the most religious of the National Liberals, while the most conservative would have joined the North German Conservative Party had it not been partially in favor of Bismarckian Revolutionary Conservatism.

Liberale Partei

LP

Seats in Bundesrat: 24
Seats in Reichstag: 77

German Liberalism
Parliamentarianism
Conservative liberalism
--

Originally breaking away from the National Liberal Party in late 1880s, the Liberal Party is a herald and a holder of German Liberalism. Mostly Conservative liberal, the party has been largely relevant in post-Wilhelmine Germany, and it was the Major Party of a short-lived Government (1897-1897), until it joined the National North German Party as the increasingly popular party had some Liberal elements. Currently the minor party of a coalition leading North Germany, Liberals hold 24 seats in Bundesrat and 77 in Reichstag, the third largest in the entire country, and three of the current Ministers (including the Vice-Chancellor) hold Liberal Party membership.

The Liberal Party has two branches. One focuses on Social Liberalism, believing in Political Freedoms and Civil Rights, while the other is Economically liberal. The Social Liberal faction has seen more of its goals met, as the Nationalists are more than insistent on keeping up the Welfare State.

Norddeutsche Konservative Partei

NKP

Seats in Bundesrat: 20
Seats in Reichstag: 43

German Conservatism
Revolutionary Conservatism
Political Protestantism
--

Originally created in response to North German unification, universal and equal franchise in national elections and rapid industrialization, this party turned to Bismarck in 1874, and until 1893, they were part of the majority government. Mostly in support of the Junker politicians while also anti-Catholic and in support of Bismarck's revolutionary conservatism, this party was the major member of the 1890-1893 and later the fourth (1897-1897) governments. It currently holds 20 Bundesrat and 43 Reichstag seats, but is not a member of the official opposition due to the tensions between the Center and the Conservatives.

The North German Conservative Party has its base polarized. One side supports Bismarck's revolutionary Pragmatic Conservatism; believing in "doing whatever it takes to keep the status quo as it should", while another are more concerned with the rising tide of secularism and atheism, in turn pandering to political Religion.

Sozialdemokratische Partei Norddeutschlands

SPN

Seats in Bundesrat: 4
Seats in Reichstag: 13

Social Democracy
Reformist Socialism
Parliamentarianism
--

One of the only parties in the current parliament that ages from before the North German Nation, the North German parts of the Social Democratic Party of Germany separated from the larger party when it fell apart during the Brother's War only four years after the party was founded, and like their South German counterpart, were founded again in the new Nation state. The Social Democrats maintain a moderate amount of popularity in the country, but with the welfare state -and the bulwark opposition of the Conservatives and Liberals- they've never managed to form a government. Until now. With 4 Bundesrat and 13 Reichstag members, it is the minor member of the current Opposition.

Social Democrats are divided between the more politically active supporters of reformism and the unpopular revolutionaries. Largely in support of Socialism, the Reformers use union powers and nationalisation as their primary manifesto, mostly voting in favor of labor rights and against acts bolstering private property.

Minor parties

Name

Ideology

Colors

Seats in Bundesrat

Seats in Reichstag

RadP
The Radical Party
Die Radikale Partei

Economic liberalism
Parliamentarism
Conservative liberalism

--

3

9

FVP
Progressive People's Party
Fortschrittliche Volkspartei

Liberal democracy
Social liberalism
Parliamentarism
Laicism

--

0

3

NLP
National Liberal Party
Nationalliberale Partei

German liberalism
National liberalism

--

0

1

ASK
All-German State's Congress
Alldeutsche Staatskongreß

Pro North and South Unification
Republicanism
Anti-Pluralism
German Nationalism
Antisemitism

--

0

0

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