Guide to the Legislature

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Guide to the Legislature

Introduction
There are currently two legislative branches in Europeia: The Senate and The Citizens Assembly. The Senate is the more senior of the two. The Senate is a deliberative body whose primary role is create and amend laws. The legislature, however, is not a bicameral system. The Senate is the primary legislative body, while the Citizens' Assembly is a ley-legislative body that can advise and propose legislation for Senate consideration, but has no formal legislative power. To read more about the Citizens' Assembly, click here

How do you become a Senator?
A senator is an elected individual of Europeia. Whenever there is a Presidential election there is a Senate election 35 days afterwards. This means any citizen can put their name forward to be voted into the Senate. In Europeia the election takes the form of a poll in the Oval Room (which is located in the 'Palace of the People'). The electoral committee decides on the number of senators there should be the next term. The candidates with the most votes win. There must be at least five Senators at any given time.

If there is a tie, then a “run-off” is held. This means that the tied citizens compete against each other for the final Senate seat(s).

How does the Senate fit into the region?
Europeia follows a Presidential system, where the Executive is of equal power to the Legislature. The President and Vice President cannot be members of the Senate, however.

What do Senators do?
Once in the Senate, any senator can propose a bill. Bills are proposals before they become law (that is, binding to all citizens). When a bill becomes law it is called an Act (there is one exception to this though).

The bill is put forward to the rest of the Senate to read and discuss (the period of time where the Senate is deliberating is called a “reading”). After at least two readings, when the Speaker is satsfied that sufficient debate has occurred, the bill is put to a vote.

What does the Senate Speaker do?
The Speaker is the head of the Senate. When the Senate is first convened after an election the Senators are obliged to immediately select the Speaker from amongst themselves. The Speaker’s duties are mainly administrative, such as pinning topics and moving bills onto readings. The Speaker serves as the oil that keeps the Senate machine well-oiled, providing both guidance and order.

How are laws passed?
A bill becomes an Act when the majority of the Senate have voted for it (traditionally, "AYE” is posted to signify that the Senator is for the bill). The President has the power to veto (he can stop it from becoming law), but the Senate can request the People overide a President's veto by calling a referendum.

Is there anything else the Senate do besides making laws?
In addition to creating and amending laws, the Senate confirms Presidential cabinet appointments and can remove governmental officials, including the President.

So the Senate is the only law-making authority in Europeia?
The Senate, however, isn’t the only body that can create and amend laws. The President and Vice-President can issue an “Executive Order” (EO). This does not need the approval of the Senate, unless it is a Constutional Amendment. The Executive Order can be executed immediately from its posting. The Citizens Assembly is also there to make proposals that, if approved by the Citizens' Assembly, are forwarded to the Senate for consideration.

You can see who the current Senators are as well as the current Chair of the Citizens' Assembly in the forum header, by clicking where it says "Government."

How can I learn more about legislation in Europeia?
The Citizens' Assembly has established a pool of resources for just that reason. Check out the CA's Educational Resources to learn more about Europeia's legislation.
 
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