Guide to the Legislature

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Guide to the Legislature

Introduction
There is currently a single legislative branch in Europeia - the Senate. The Senate is a deliberative body whose primary role is create and amend laws. They also ratify treaties, amend or reject Executive Orders (see below), and are responsible for confirming or denying any nominee to the Council of State or Cabinet, which make up our Executive.

How do you become a Senator?
A Senator is an elected individual of Europeia. Every 90 days, there is a General Election in which the Senate is elected. 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 number of senators in a term is also decided by a concurrent poll with the election poll. 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 republic system, where the Executive is of equal power to the Legislature. The Chief of State and the First Minister 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 satisfied 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 First Minister has the power to veto (they can stop it from becoming law), but the Senate can request the People override a veto by calling a referendum (or the people can request a referendum themselves!).

Is there anything else the Senate do besides making laws?
In addition to creating and amending laws, the Senate confirms Minister/Councillor appointments and can remove governmental officials, including the Chief Executive themselves.

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 First Minister and Deputy First Minister can issue an “Executive Order” (EO). This does not need the approval of the Senate, unless it is a Constitutional Amendment. The Executive Order can be executed immediately from its posting.

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 previously 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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