7.20.2014

I always thought it was weird in the Kingdom of Talossa that the appointment of the esteemed Tuischac’h - Speaker and President of the lower chamber of the legislative branch of state is left to the Seneschal. Most folks who belong to liberal democracies outside of Talossa might also find it weird; it differs substantially from the parliamentary set-up that they’re accustomed to. You’ll probably grow tired of the comparison, but until I receive huge amounts of complaints I will continue to use it: it differed substantially from our set-up in the Republic as well.

In the Republic, as with most parliaments in liberal democracies, the Speaker is chosen from among the elected parliamentarians. The Chamber of Deputies picked its own Tuischac’h, just as the House of Commons in the UK picks its Speaker or the House of Representatives in the US picks its own Speaker. Hell, just like most of the provincial legislative bodies pick their own Speaker. Why then is there any difference in how we do things in the Cosa? Further, why is the Secretary of State so intimately involved in the legislative procedure in the Cosa?

Apart from the obvious answer, that this is just what it says in the law books then I don’t rightly know. It seems absurd to me that it continues, and yet it does because it simply hasn’t been a particularly high priority. Our Tuischac’h isn’t important, so really elections for the position are unnecessary. Consider then that just maybe the Tuischac’h should be important, and that the position should come with it a list of duties that we would find appropriate in any other country of a democratic character that we also share in. It’s also an issue that has largely been ignored by both the government and RUMP opposition. It’s only now that Liberal Congress member Txosue Roibeardescu has brought the suggestion to the Hopper that we’re talking about it at all.

It is an important issue though. Changes to the status quo in this area could easily change the way we conduct business in the Cosa quite dramatically, which is why I would call on all our MCs to join the conversation on the reform of the role. We need to set out a concrete proposal as to what we think it’s appropriate for the Tuischac’h of the Cosa’s duties to be. Before that, however, it’s important that the role has legitimacy when it acts – an issue important to liberals (in particular), democrats and indeed politicians of all political persuasions. How ought we to ensure that the Tuischac’h can legitimately act with authority in the Cosa, to accept bills and to ensure vigorous debate between MCs? The answer’s already been said... Elections. Elections are the single most effective way of securing legitimacy for officials because we’re all engaging in the contractual obligation that we will accept the outcome as all are given an equal opportunity to stand and win. When you consider that the Seneschal does not necessarily have to be an MC in Talossa, then you enter into a situation where some guy from the executive is now telling the legislative branch how to do its business. I don’t think that’s right.

The Cosa needs to make the decision itself. It’s not necessarily going to be an easy process, of course, nor indeed a quick one. There are a number of issues that will need to be solved before this can be made into a workable law. In the capable hands of our MCs and Senators, I’m sure we’ll get there in the end. 

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