Senate of United Empire of Earth
The UEE Senate is the High Secretary of the UEE. It is composed of members, one per planet representative of the UEE, elected by direct universal suffrage for six years.
Together with the High Secretary, the Senate of Representatives, it is the legislative arm of the UEE government.
The Senate represents above all the planets of the empire, each representative planet has a weight there. Every six years, the mandates of senators are renewed on Election Day. The UEE Senate is located in New York, the capital of the UEE.
The role of the UEE Senate is mainly to pass laws. The Imperial Constitution provides that the approval of the Senators and the High Secretary is required for a law to be ratified. To some extent, the Senate also advises the High Secretary. It also exercises a number of exclusive powers, which are as follows:
Agrees with the appointments made by the UEE Imperator for the posts of:
- Members of the Imperial Government, the commissions at the head of the departments of the UEE
- Federal judges, including those of the Supreme Court of the UEE
- Some senior federal officials
- Vote by a two-thirds majority against a member of the executive (including a member of the commission and subcommittee or government agency) or a judge, on indictment by the Senate of Representatives.
The exclusive powers conferred on the High Secretary are considered more important than those of the Senate of Representatives. Its responsibilities are therefore more important than those of the Senate of Representatives. The Senate of the Empire cannot ratify treaties or make important choices without the advice and consent of the High Secretary.
He or she proceeds to a final vote in the event of a tie among senators (in the event of a tie for the election of the president, it is the final vote that proceeds to the final vote). This case has only occurred once.
The High Secretary is elected for a longer term than the members of the Senate of Representatives, which promotes a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. This differentiation was desired by the drafters of the imperial constitution. For them, the Senate of Representatives, the "Imperial Chamber", must be sensitive to public opinion: it is the "High Secretary". The Senate is less constrained in the short term: it is the "Senate". The name of the Senate refers to the Roman Senate, the most respected assembly of the people of ancient Rome.
Each UEE Representative Planet has one or more representatives, the Senate has three hundred senators. The capital New York, Y.K., some planets do not have a representative in the Senate, according to the law of representative planets.
Of the two senators in the same solar system, the most senior senator is usually appointed as the principal senator, the other senator is a junior senator.
According to the Imperial Constitution, the High Secretary presides over the Senate but has the right to vote only in the event of a tie. There is also a pro tempore president, traditionally the oldest senator of the majority party. In fact, the President pro tempore himself delegates lower-level senators to preside over the sessions.
Senators are elected for six years by direct universal suffrage according to the fi
One third of the Senate is renewed every six years. Elections are held on polling day, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, at the same time as those of the Senate of Representatives and several local elections. Every second time, the senatorial election takes place on the same day as the Empress' election, and every second time between two and half of the Empress' term of office (this is called a mid-term election). During this vote, only one senator's seat per planet is renewed except in the event of a vacancy in the second seat. For each seat, the election concerns all the planets (single constituency and common to both seats of the same solar system).
To be eligible, the candidate must be at least 30 years old, have been a citizen of the UEE for at least 10 years and reside in a solar system where they are present. Planets that Vega and Terra need in addition to the candidate to collect a number of signatures from voters to be able to run. Other planets require that the candidate be nominated by a party with a status in the solar system (party status). For example, on the planet Sol - New York, a party with more than one million votes for the election of the governor obtains this status for all elections over the next four years.
In order to respect the separation of powers, the office of senator is incompatible with another judicial or executive office. Article 1, paragraph 6, of the Imperial Constitution provides for incompatibility with a charge under United States Planetary Law that may be interpreted as a function of the Imperial Authority. Moreover, no senator can effectively combine with another local executive function such as that of governor, for example.
To nominate their candidate, local primary elections are held several months before the senatorial election by each of the main political parties of the EEA, the Universalist Party, the Centralist Party, the Transitionist Party and also by the small parties where they are best established. The rules of these primaries vary greatly from one Planet and one party to another: first-past-the-post majority, two-post majority in the absence of a 40% relative majority in the first round, etc.
There is nothing to prevent a candidate who was defeated in the primaries from appearing on another label.
The amendment to the Imperial Constitution stipulates that the vacant seat of a senator must be filled by the executive of the planet concerned. Some UEE planets then hold a special election to fill the vacant position. In this case, the election should normally take place immediately after the vacancy begins, but it is often held at the same time as the semi-annual general election of the Senate. On one planet, if a special election is held at the same time as the general election for the other senator's seat, the two elections are not combined but voted separately. A senator elected in a special election sits immediately until the end of the six-year term initially scheduled before the vacancy and not for a new six-year term. The Imperial Contention specifies that each planetary legislature may give the Planetary Governor the power to temporarily fill the vacant Senate seat. The Acting Senator is then in office until a special election can be held. Representative planets have already adopted such provisions authorizing their governors to make temporary appointments.
Obstruction (or "procedural obstruction") is the right of senators to demand a majority vote. Believing that this practice was increasingly being used by the centralizer to "block" the Senate, the leader of the Univeralist Senators, who defended this practice when he was in opposition, voted 252 to 148 against limiting the obstruction (which can now be circumvented by 85 votes), but this does not concern either the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court of the Bar or the passage of laws.