Seal of the Silvereye
the National Assembly
| Aaron Thorne|
308 assembly members
National Congress political groups:
| Senate voting system
National Assembly voting system
| First-past-the-post voting, sortition|
Single Transferable Vote
| Last Senate election
Last National Assembly election
| 24 October 2011|
10 May 2011
This article is part of the series:
The Silvereye (Latin:Argentum Oculus) is the supreme legislative body in Billopesha; a bicameral parliament with an upper house, the Senate, and a lower house, the National Assembly. The Chancellor of Billopesha is the leader of the body as a whole while not being a member of either house and directs the legistures unique parliamentary procedure. The Chancellor appoints a Vice-Chancellor for each house. The current Chancellor is Timothy Darwin, elected on October 14th 2007.
The Silvereye was created on Billopesha's independence from Norman rule in 1285 as a united chamber of 60 members appointed by the Diarchs. It acted more as an advisory council, substituting for a Privy Council, but with significant powers over fiscal policy.
It was in 1832 that the first elections were held and the first two parties were formed; the Imperialist Party and the Liberal Party.
The Senate of Billopesha is the upper house with 308 voting members, all of which by law are independent. 231 members are elected by the public for their constituencies while the remaining 77 are randomly selected from a pool of candidates nominated by local officials. Although true political independence cannot be guarenteed, the anti-partisan measures have been successful in making the house much more non-partisan than it would be otherwise.
Elected members serve renewable terms six years in length with elections occuring every year in a sixth of constituencies. Sortitioned members can only serve unrenewable one year terms. A term can be shortened by death, resignation or dismissal in which case a bi-election or allocation is held.
Senators are formally addressed as "The Honourable..." and can be removed by an impeachment made by the Chancellor with approval by all other senators.
The National Assembly of Billopesha is the lower house formed by combining all 308 members of the regional assemblies elected through Single Transferable Vote system. Its party composition is largely proportional and no party has obtained a majority. As is common with lower houses, legislation originates solely from its members. Unusually though, it shares voting powers with the Senate and acts largely as a deliberative assembly - more so than the Senate. It arguably has the least power because the Senate has the last say on the passing of legislation, especially when there is little consensus in the Assembly.
The process begins in the National Assembly with the leading party proposing a bill via their appointed cabinet. The next three largest parties then respond by proposing alternatives to the bill (the four parties together are called the "quadriad"). After a period of debating determined by the Chancellor, the bills are put to the vote where members vote for which bill they believe should be passed. Regardless of the result, the bills are passed on to the Senate but the Assembly results put pressure of the Senate's result. In the Senate, the Cabinet members can argue in support of their respective bills but naturally cannot vote. Once the Senate vote results are announced, the Chancellor decides whether any of the bills has recieved satisfactory approval.
If a bill received the majority of votes in either house, then the Chancellor is very likely to sign the bill into law; otherwise he can reopen debates or actively encourage a compromise depending on urgency and the nature of the bill's subject. A Chancellor essentially has many options, making his role particularly important and it is his or her responsibility to ensure both an efficient process and sufficent agreement. Often, the Chancellor will dismiss all but the two most approved bills and initiate a final vote with the bill receiving the most votes being passed.