the San Carlos Islands
28 June 1941
Tsarina Maria Vladimirovna
Speaker of the House
President of the Senate
286 (200 MP's, 86 Senators)
House of Representatives
... Social Democratic (70)
... Ecological (25)
... Socialist (10)
... Conservative (48)
... National (31)
... Liberal (5)
... Democratic (4)
... Christian Democratic (3)
... New Right (4)
Senate political groups||||
... Social Democratic (29)
... Ecological (7)
... Socialist (6)
... Conservative (23)
... National (11)
... Liberal (3)
... Democratic (3)
... Christian Democratic (1)
... New Right (3)
House of Representatives
Mixed member proportional
Senate voting system
Proportional single transferable vote
House of Representatives
10 March 2020
Senate last election
10 March 2020
House of Representatives
By March 2023
Senate next election
By March 2023
Ketchikan, San Carlos Capital Territory
San Carlos Islands
The Parliament of the San Carlos Islands (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch of the government of the San Carlos Islands. It consists of three elements: the Crown (represented by the Governor-General), the Senate and the House of Representatives. The combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modeled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, however, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system.
The upper house, the Senate, consists of 86 members: twelve for each state, and two each for the sole territory of the San Carlos Islands, the San Carlos Capital Territory. Senators are elected using the proportional representation system and as a result, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power. The governing party or coalition usually has not held a majority in the Senate since 2009 and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.
The lower house, the House of Representatives, currently consists of 200 members, 150 elected using first-past-the-post voting from single-member constituencies known as electoral divisions (and commonly referred to as "electorates" or "seats") and 50 using proportional representation. This tends to lead to the chamber being dominated by two major political groups, the centre-right to right-wing Conservative Coalition (consisting of the Conservative, National, San Carlos Democrat, and Christian Democratic parties) and the centre-left to left-wing SDES Coalition (consisting of the Social Democratic, Ecological, and Socialist parties). The government of the day must achieve the confidence of this House in order to gain and remain in power.
Although elections can be called early, every three years the full House of Representatives and half of the Senate is dissolved and goes up for reelection. A deadlock-breaking mechanism known as a double dissolution can be used to dissolve the full Senate as well as the House in the event that the Upper House twice refuses to pass a piece of legislation passed by the Lower House.
The two Houses meet in separate chambers of Parliament House (except in a rare joint sitting) on Capital Hill in Ketchikan, San Carlos Capital Territory.
The Constitution establishes the Commonwealth Parliament, consisting of three components: the Tsarina of the San Carlos Islands, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Most of the constitutional functions of the Crown are given to the Governor-General, whom the Tsarina appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister to act as her representative to the government. Specifically, the Constitution gives the Governor-General the power to assent to legislation, refuse to assent, or to reserve a bill for the Tsarina's pleasure. However, by convention, the Governor-General does not exercise these powers, other than in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
The upper house of the San Carlos Islands Parliament is the Senate, which consists of 86 members. Like the United States and Australian Senates, on which it was partly modelled, the San Carlos Islands Senate includes an equal number of Senators from each state, regardless of population.
The Constitution allows Parliament to determine the number of Senators by legislation, provided that the seven states are equally represented. Furthermore, the Constitution provides that each state is entitled to at least six Senators, these provisions do not apply to territories. However, Senators are still elected to represent the territories. Currently, there are two Senators representing the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory. While only half of the federal Senate seats go up for re-election each three years (except in the case of a double dissolution) as they serve six-year terms, all of the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory Senators must face the voters every three years.
Single transferable vote proportional representation on a state-by-state basis is the method for electing Senators. This has led to the rise of a number of minor parties to achieve parliamentary representation and the balance of power.
The lower house of the San Carlos Islands Parliament, the House of Representatives, is made up of single member electorates with roughly the same population. As is convention in the Westminster system, the party or coalition of parties that has the majority in this House forms the Government with the leader of that party or coalition becoming the Prime Minister. If the government loses the confidence of the House, they are expected to call a new election or resign.
House presently consists of 150 members. Each state is allocated seats based on its population. The Constitution does not guarantee representation for the territories, however the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory has been granted three seats. Federal electorates have their boundaries redrawn or redistributed whenever a state or territory has its number of seats adjusted, if electorates are not generally matched by population size or if seven years have passed since the most recent redistribution.
From the passage of the San Carlos Act, first-past-the-post voting was used in order to elect members of the House of Representatives but since the 1976 the voting method has been mixed-member proportional. Under the MMP system each person has two votes; one is for electorate seats, and the other is for a party. Currently there are 150 electorate seats, and the remaining 50 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, although a party has to win one electorate or 3.25% percent of the total party vote before it is eligible for these seats.
It is not possible to be simultaneously a member of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, but a number of people have been members of both Houses at different times in their parliamentary career.
Only San Carlos Islands citizens are eligible for election to either house. They must not also hold citizenship of a "foreign power".
Since 2008, citizens have had the right to vote upon turning 16. Prior to this it was 28.
San Carlos Islands Federal Police officers armed with assault rifles have been situated in both chambers of the Federal Parliament since 2015. It is the first time in San Carlos Islands history that a parliament has possessed armed personnel.
Each of the two Houses elects a presiding officer. The presiding officer of the Senate is called the President; that of the House of Representatives is the Speaker. Elections for these positions are by secret ballot. Both offices are conventionally filled by members of the governing party, but the presiding officers are expected to oversee debate and enforce the rules in an impartial manner.
The Constitution authorizes Parliament to set the quorum for each chamber. The quorum of the Senate is one-quarter of the total membership (twenty-two); that of the House of Representatives is one-fifth of the total membership (thirty). In theory, if a quorum is not present, then a House may not continue to meet. In practice, members usually agree not to notice that a quorum is not present, so that debates on routine bills can continue without other members having to be present. Sometimes the Opposition will "call a quorum" as a tactic to annoy the Government or delay proceedings, particularly when the Opposition feels it has been unfairly treated in the House. The session of the relevant House is suspended until a quorum is present. It is the responsibility of the Government whips to ensure that, when a quorum is called, enough Government members are present to make up a quorum.
Both Houses may determine motions by voice vote: the presiding officer puts the question, and, after listening to shouts of "Yea" and "Nay" from the members, announces the result. The announcement of the presiding officer settles the question, unless at least two members demand a "division", or a recorded vote. In that case the bells are rung throughout Parliament House summoning Senators or Members to the chamber. During a division, members who favor the motion move to the right side of the chamber, whereas those opposed move to the left. They are then counted by the "tellers" (Government and Opposition whips), and the motion is passed or defeated accordingly. In the Senate, in order not to deprive a state of a vote in what is supposed to be a states' house, the President is permitted a vote along with other Senators (however, that right is rarely exercised); in the case of a tie, the President does not have a casting vote and the motion fails. In the House of Representatives, the Speaker does not vote, except in the case of a tie.
Most legislation is introduced into the House of Representatives and goes through a number of stages to become a law. The first stage is a first reading, where the legislation is introduced to the chamber, then there is a second reading, where a vote is taken on the general outlines of the bill. The legislation can then be considered by a House committee, which reports back to the House on any recommendations. This is followed by a consideration in detail stage, where the House can explore the bill in detail and make any amendments. This is finally followed by a third reading, where the bill is either passed or rejected by the House. If passed, the legislation is then sent to the Senate, which has a similar structure of debate and passage except that the consideration in detail stage is replaced by a committee of the whole. Once a bill has been passed by both Houses in the same form, it is then presented to the Governor-General for royal assent.