Government in Freedemia

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This article is about government and national politics in Freedemia.

Free Reedemia is a constitutional presidential democratic republic, in which the president (the head of state and head of government), legislature, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with state and local governments.


Freedemia's current constitution, adopted in 1898, is technically its third, after the original 1737 monarchical constitution and the 1811 constitution that granted several rights and abolished the monarchy. The 1898 constitution largely solidified several rights and transformed the country into more of a modern democratic republic as had been established by other democracies and republics globally. It is primarily a written document, though reinforced and interpreted through the judiciary. All law and actions taken by any level of government must fall within line of the constitution and can be overturned if found unconstitutional.

Amending the Constitution

Amendments to the Freedemian Constitution requires approval by both the Legislature and the Judicial Branch as well as occasionally the general public, depending on the choices made by the House of Referenda. The 1898 constitution has been amended several times, including to add a ban on political parties and to add articulation of additional rights and responsibilities.

Amendment process
# Step
'1 The amendment is proposed in either House of Populus or the House of Equal Representation (legislature).
2 The amendment is properly worded in whichever House it originates in, and the Final Draft moves on.
3 The amendment is voted on in whichever House it originated in. 55% approval needed.
4 The amendment is voted on in the other House. 55% approval needed.
5 The amendment is sent to the Judicial Branch, where it is declared Constitutional or Unconstitutional by the cardinal judges.
6 The amendment is sent to the House of Referenda, where it is decided whether the amendment needs to go to the citizens for a vote or not.
6b If sent to the people for a vote, the people vote on the amendment at the next election, 51% approval needed.
7 The amendment is officially part of the Freedemian Constitution.



Freedemia's government is primarily split into three branches, an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judiciary branch.

The executive branch is headed by the President and Vice President and includes an administration of various advisory positions. The president has the power to veto laws sent to them, though the legislature can override. They are also generally seen as the head of state. Unlike most other countries with a presidential system, the runner up candidate and running mate of each presidential election become Executive Whip and Vice Executive Whip, positions within the administration where they play an advisory role to the president and try to work with them on certain ideas. The Executive Whip is also the 3rd in line for the presidency behind the Vice President, with the Vice Executive Whip 4th in line. The idea behind the Executive Whips is to ensure that candidates with reasonably different ideas are made to work together on a solution that's more problem-solution focused than strictly partisan or ideological, and that candidates coming from different perspectives can help ensure that problems the President and Vice President may not see are brought to light.

Freedemia's legislature is tricameral, consisting of the House of Poplators, an upper house where representatives are based on population, the House of Equal Representation, a lower house where each state gets an equal number, and the House of Referenda, which decides whether legislative-introduced bills need to be approved by the public by referendum to become law and oversee referendas initiated by the public, getting them to ballot or voting them down. The legislature makes federal laws, and has the ability to override a presidential veto with enough support.

Freedemia's judiciary, known as the National Court, handles major cases that involve constitutional rights as well as appeals that reach the highest level of the court system.

Checks and Balances

Freedemia's government is set up to make use of a series of checks and balances to hold each of the main branches accountable (in addition to oversight agencies that fall somewhat outside of the three primary branches).

Executive Branch
  • Power against Legislative Branch
  • ::Can veto decisions made in the legislature
  • Power against Judicial Branch
  • ::Appoints 5 out of 11 main judges
Legislative Branch
  • Power against Executive Branch
  • ::Can impeach President
  • ::Can overturn Presidental decisions (House of Populus, House of E.R.)
  • ::Can bring Presidential decisions to a citizen vote (House of Referenda)
  • ::Can overturn Presidential vetos
  • Power against Judicial Branch
  • ::Verify President's four choices for judges
  • ::Chooses tiebreaker judge (judge 11, only votes when necessary)
Judicial Branch
  • Power against Executive Branch
  • ::Can rule Presidential decisions unconstitutional
  • Power against Legislative Branch
  • ::Can rule decisions made in the House of Populus or the House of Equal Representation unconstitutional
  • ::Can turn down decisions made by the House of Decisions over which House should vote on an issue
Citizen Power
  • Power against Executive Branch
  • ::Votes for President and Vice President
  • ::Can petition House of Referenda for a recall vote of a president
  • Power against Legislative Branch
  • ::Votes for legislators
  • ::Can petition House of Referenda for a recall vote of a legislator
  • Power against Judicial Branch
  • ::Vote for 5 out of 11 judges

The Central Power Paradox

Freedemia is in a unique spot in balancing federal and local power. Compared to nations like the Federal States, Freedemia has a strong central government. Most logistical things including licenses and IDs, public housing, healthcare coverage, intercity transit, and public higher education are done mostly at the federal level, not by individual states, and often ensures that states and local municipalities are covering the bases in certain areas like housing and healthcare that are regulated at the federal level. Yet, local municipalities have a lot of say on the details and a lot of power to address their own unique issues free from federal interference. The state acts largely as a go-between. Since the federal has the funding, states have say to an extent on how that funding gets used. States present local priorities to the federal and help set their own local priorities in tandem with the federal.

Overall, Freedemia's system could perhaps be most accurately described as a strong central government in tandem with strong local governments and weak state governments. However, state governments do still have a lot of agency in decision making.


Political Party Prohibition

Since the 1960s, Freedemia has had a constitutional ban on political parties. This was largely put in place to avoid party line votes and to encourage voters and legislators to look at each candidate and policy individually. This policy has been criticized by some as rewarding name recognition and reinforcing power structures, but applauded by others for a reduction in partisanship and attraction of a diversity of individualized candidate platforms. Domestically, the policy is viewed favorably, and repeal is unlikely.

Main Political Factions

Split over Alliances, Trade, and the Open Economy

Moves like joining the TCC and taking a liberal approach on trade and immigration beginning in the ~1970s made a large impact on Freedemia's rise. The new approach helped Freedemian businesses in tech, fast food, retail, and other major sectors expand and succeed internationally, attracted the best from around the world to its universities and technology/engineering firms, and allowed tourism and entertainment to flourish. These in turn directly helped most cities like Quentinsburgh, Frankelyn, Vandoveur, and Jhuandan thrive and grow. In addition, new direct rail ferry trade routes from Cabelia and Aerágny to the Vandoveur shore helped Frankelyn and Vandoveur thrive as trade-centered port cities on top of their already growing entertainment industry.

However, in contrast, increased trade and patronage of goods and industry from other TCC nations like Aerágny, Paroy, and Tigeria directly hurt Freedemian heavy industry, as other nations, especially Aerágny, had the edge on manufacturing ability and cost. Lawrence and Lenseter, home to much of said industry, were hit extremely hard and went into a state of stagnation and decline. Many industry jobs have actually returned in recent years in the form of Cabelia-owned companies opening factories in cities like Lawrence. However, for some conservatives with the strongest "Freedemia First" beliefs, losing ownership of the factories was still a major loss even when the jobs were retained.

This has led to a major political split within Freedemia, where most of the country is strongly in favor of globalization and an open economy but the Lawrence-Lenseter metro is fiercely in opposition. Lawrence State is known to strongly favor protectionism and to vote heavily against globalization/free trade/TCC alliances and those that support it, while metros like Quentinsburgh, Frankelyn/Vandoveur, and Jhuandan that thrive on it overwhelmingly outvote them.

Neglect and Exploitation of Northern Interior

In many ways the natural resource exploitation of the northern interior is part of what allows Freedemia to function as a somewhat wealthy regional power, but the region's low population leaves its residents with little voting power, and many of the area's unique issues are largely taken for granted or ignored by the populated and wealthier coastal population.

The rural areas of the northern interior are home to the highest levels of poverty in the nation, with most living conditions ranging from rundown mining towns full of trailer parks to villages of tiny shed homes with unreliable electricity, outhouses and water basins. Fotja Rejt, the largest city in the interior, has slightly better conditions, but is still one of the poorest cities in the nation. The region also sees heavy environmental exploitation, as the location where most of Freedemia's natural/mineral resources are mined. These dirty industries tend to be the largest employers in the north and are notorious for terrible working conditions and insufficient protections for employees and for those living in the area. Pollution and contamination of towns and villages throughout the Northern Interior is common, and the region has the highest rates of cancer and other health issues in the country.

The northern interior also has the highest concentration of Native Tarephian population, partially due to many natives having moved inland during the colonial era to flee the encroachment of the colonies along the coast. In contrast to most other parts of the country where assimilation and erasure of native cultures was emphasized, Budrian culture and language are still strong in the communities of the northern interior.

Many theorize that subconscious racism and prejudice against non-assimilated native Tarephians is the true reason for the geographical neglect and heavy exploitation, similar to deliberate disinvestment in areas de-facto segregated in other nations. However, this is often difficult to prove due to the population and geography factors. The northern interior has by far the lowest and least concentrated population in the nation and a difficult mountainous jungle-filled terrain. Because of this provision of services and infrastructure to the most isolated communities is difficult, and many leaders from the higher populated coasts claim that the investments being asked for are not financially feasible for such a large area with such low population density.

National Stability and Avoiding War as Number One Priority

It's been said that the easiest way to get Freedemians to turn on an ally is to make them fear that their partnership puts them at risk of war. This tends to stand true.

Outside of regions like Lawrence state that have been hit hard by regional competition, support for involvement in the TCC, open trade alliances, and other various global partnerships tends to be fairly high across the board. That support, however, though strong, is extremely fragile. For most Freedemians, regardless of what other beliefs they hold or what stances they have on controversial issues, the number one priority is domestic stability and avoiding war/international conflict. While it hasn't come to be in recent decades, polling has consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of Freedemians would swing heavily in favor of isolationism and disengaging from regional partners in the name of national security and peace.

In many ways, it is the prolonged peace itself that Freedemia has experienced that has allowed the pro-cooperation culture and attitude to thrive in Freedemian government and society. While initially met with skepticism in the 60s and 70s, the idea that a country could have close international relationships and lasting peace/good relations simultaneously is somewhat taken for granted in Freedemian society today. However, polling shows risk of war is the one area where fearmongering is very effective on Freedemians. Unlike concerns of loss of industry or changes in culture, Freedemians tend to be legitimately horrified of the risk of being drawn into international conflicts, and such fears have at times been exploited to rile up a very strong protectionist "Freedemia First" anti-collaboration sentiment among much of the population.

Debates Over Strict Approaches to Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs

Freedemia has fairly strict laws banning the sale of alcohol or tobacco products within the country, as well as public intoxication and public smoking. While possession itself and even private use of alcohol or tobacco products are not illegal, any form of sales or public use is fully prohibited. Freedemians generally cite the damage both can have on others (drunk individuals being more of a risk for drunk driving, domestic violence, etc; secondhand smoke causing damage to bystanders and others) as justification.

Rather than being punished with jail time, there has been an attempt in the past decades to turn sentencing towards rehabilitation. Public intoxication, possession of hard drugs, and crimes (especially domestic violence) committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs come with mandatory rehab sentencing. In addition, voluntary rehab is offered at no risk to those who come forward if they have not committed a crime by these standards.

In recent years, there have been debates over whether this approach is too harsh, with some critics advocating for a more libertarian approach, especially to alcohol. Many cite several other countries where alcohol use is fully legal that don't see rampant drinking-related offenses, as well as have a strong economic benefit from breweries and alcohol-serving restaurants and groups. Some also argue that the banning of safe regulated alcohol has led to many turning to even more dangerous moonshines or to mouthwashes and other products with alcohol content. While similar arguments have been made for smoking and drugs, the understanding of the effects of secondhand smoke and some of the more direct effects of hard drugs have prevented them from gaining any traction. In contrast, the debate on alcohol has continued to grow, though the vast majority still currently support the ban.

As it stands currently, Freedemia has a thriving and somewhat unrivaled mocktail industry, with nonalcoholic mocktail bars and pubs thriving in the place of their alcoholic counterparts (partially because of a lack of competition from them). The industry has seemed split on proposals for less strict alcohol policies, with some wanting to be able to expand offerings and others fearing competition. Some pro-alcohol-policy-reform groups have claimed "Big Mocktail" has lobbied to keep alcohol illegal to help their own industry.

The current leading proposal by pro-legalization groups is to legalize but with strict limits on amount purchased at any one establishment and limits on alcohol content in all sold alcohol.

Foreign Relations

Freedemian Passport
The cover of a Freedemian passport, including the Tarephia Cooperation Council logo.

Free Reedemia has an established structure of foreign relations. While historically it had been somewhat isolationist out of pacifist tendencies and fear of war, today Freedemia is known for its regional and internartional collaboration. Freedemia is a founding member of the Tarephia Cooperation Council, allowing free trade and visa-free travel to member nations, and a member of the Assembly of Nations.

Freedemia has especially close partnerships with several neighboring countries in Tarephia and Antarephia, including Paroy, Aerágny, Cabelia, Geare, and Mandatory Meilan. Countries such as Vodeo, Allendea, and Barzona are also close regional partners, and Freedemia has strong relationships with most other Ingerish colonies such as New Ingerland and the Federal States. Freedemia also has many close partners across other continents.

Freedemia is generally understood to aim for diplomacy and mutual understanding with most countries, even those it is not very closely allied with. While relations with countries like Bai, Suria, and Demirhan Devleti sometimes see tensions, collaboration still occurs frequently, and the only countries Freedemia currently does not recognize relations with at this point in time are Antigo and Kuehong, both over human rights violations and militarism.

Strategic Internationalism

Due to the strategic position along the Strait of Lyc, Freedemia is theoretically a ripe target for attack. As such, Freedemia has a fairly large and strong defense-oriented military, but does not use it as an exploratory military.

The typical foreign policy stance is that Freedemia would only go to war when attacked or at very imminent threat of being attacked, and as an anti-interventionalist nation, never to initiate an attack. However, Freedemia will fight back whenever and wherever it is attacked. Freedemia does not attempt complete neutrality, and it will generally assist nations it aligns with using internationalist methods- monetary assistance, diplomatic assistance, and in select cases weapons and assistance. However, it will almost never take militaristic action against another country or in favor of another nation unless put directly at risk. One major exception is Geare, as Freedemia has an agreement with Geare to provide defense services.