The grant (Nord-Brutlandese: grattio) is a basic local government unit of Brutland and Norden. Currently, there are 130 grants in the Kingdom, governed by grant councils (Consellio Grattia).
When the Rumans came, they converted the small kingdoms into Ruman tributary kingdoms, misleadingly called provinces. There were eleven provinces then, and these reverted to being kingdoms when the Ruman Empire fell.
The roots of grants came in the year 687, when King Knut IV of the Brutes (Bruttii) gave the present-day Trascara Valley to his loyal subordinate general, Matthew Porscale, soon to be the Duke of Trascara. Porscale was awarded the grant in recognition of his brilliant performance in defeating the Kingdom of the Bruzzi at the Briggio Valley. Soon, to control their expanding realms, the Brute monarchs granted lands to their loyal subordinates, thereby establishing a feudal state.
Granting lands to loyal personalities soon became the norm in the islands. But with the land grant comes a responsibility. The grantee is expected to defend his land against foreign aggressors and to be loyal to the grantor. Many times this has been broken, as in the Eighty Years’ War between the Brutes and the Cantabris. Several Cantabri grantees failed to defend their grants, notably when the grant of Toscaria fell to the Brutes. Others switched sides, as what happened in 1058, when the Cantabri grantee of Pianuro (now in the present-day grant of Plano Verta) turned over his grant to the Brutes.
When the Brutes finally controlled the entire island in 1457, they reorganized the grant system, requiring that grantees have a presence in the capital, and establishing rules for grantees. In 1550, a grant council, composed of nobles from the grant, was established. An exception was the grant of Pannondrio, which was under the control of the citizenry and had no grant council. (Pannondrio was a direct democracy, almost akin to a republic, enjoying a “special relationship” with the Brutish kingdom since the year 406.)
The Nordeners copied the Brutes’ system, but the nascent Nordener system was demolished with the Nordener Revolution. The revolutionaries executed nobles and redrew grant boundaries, dividing the island into governorates. But when the Brutes forcefully restored the monarchy, they reestablished the grant system and introduced the concept of grant councils.
The system was unchanged even as the kingdoms of Brutland and Norden merged into one. But when King Kyle the Fair ascended to the throne in 1855, the new king was bent on slowly democratizing the country. He ruled, in 1868, that half of the grant councils’ membership should be commoners. (Many Nordener grant councils include commoners, usually the rich, but Brutish ones are comprised exclusively of nobles.) Some petty nobles protested, and the grantees of the Brutish grants of Valda, Bordana, and Pianuro made moves to rebel. But the new king was very popular with both the nobles and the people, the grantees found themselves isolated. The King, by a decree in 1870, removed the grantees from their positions and placed the three grants under direct royal administration. In 1877, the King removed the direct royal administration and experimented with the three grants by giving the commoners full control of the grant councils. He decreed that the inhabitants elect their own council, composed entirely of commoners. The first experiment on democracy was a success, and the grants of Valdilacrime, Ollinòcchiese, and Plano Verta became models for the kingdom. The grant council of Valdilacrime renamed their grant Vallo di Stresu (“Valley of Kings”) to honor the King. To the King, and to many of the Nord-Brutlandese, a democracy in the Kingdom was feasible. King Kyle the Fair went on to create a constitution for the kingdom and usher its transformation to a constitutional monarchy.
But the King did not finish his constitution, and his son, King Chester II, finished it. The Constitution states that each grant should have its own grant council, but left it to the individual provinces to choose the systems of electing the grant council. So although both Brutland and Norden have their grant councils, the process of electing them are markedly different.
The province of Brutland has 61 grants, each with its own Grant Council. The Brutland Constitution provides that the Grant Council to have a minimum of 15 members, with an additional member for every 100,000 population over 500,000. A cap was added in 1987, stating that a Grant Council has a maximum membership of 500. Thus, Brutish Grant Councils vary in size, from 15 (Nevade, Esolu di Pecadi, Olba, Piccu, Saotivalles, Stellago, Tomo, Tortona) to 334 (Padania). Many large grant councils resemble provincial legislatures.
The president of the Grant Council, which serves as the executive for the grant, is elected from the party with the plurality in the Grant Council. Thus, the party of the grant president is always the same as that of the party holding a majority in the council. Currently, the Popular Party controls all of the Brutish Grant Councils except that of Esolu di Pecadi and Micchiolli.
As many of the Brutish grants still have their nobility, many of the nobles serve as ceremonial leaders of the grant, though some stepped down from public life, and some even got elected to the Councils. Currently, 54 Brutish grants are led by a ceremonial leader.
An exception was made in the Brutish Constitution for the grant of Pannondrio, which operated under the concept of direct democracy for over sixteen centuries. During the month of May, when the mountain passes and valleys are surely passable, local representatives from the grant’s 19 valleys representing 289 communities meet in the capital of Pannondrio. This system went on until 1977, when the population increased and the May meetings (consellimàio di Pannondrio) became untenable. Pannondrio still operates with direct democracy below the grant level.
Norden has both grants and independent cities. Currently Norden has 56 grants and 12 independent cities. Both have their councils, called grant council, and city council, respectively.
The Nordener Constitution states that grant councils have a fixed membership of 21. The councilors are elected grantwide and the grant president is the councilor winning the most number of votes. Thus, the party of the grant president may be different from the majority party in the grant council. (Currently, 16 of Norden’s grants have this arrangement.)
The grant council controls only the area within the grant, which excludes independent cities. Independent cities are formerly parts of the grant which had been separated by an act of the legislature, with or without the grant council’s consent. They are not represented in the grant council, and have a council of their own, and a mayor.
Union Territories are under direct federal jurisdiction. There are eleven such grants, and the constitution said nothing about their grant councils. Thus, in 1902, the Christian Democrat (Partide Democrazietto C’hristiana, PDC) government of Adam Borgòlambio passed an act establishing grant councils in the Union Territories. It provided for a grant council with a fixed membership of 21, but the grant president is chosen from the majority party in the grant council. Thus, as in Brutland, the party of the grant president reflects the composition of the council. Currently, the PP holds 8 of the grant presidencies, and the PDS one, and the PV two.