Government of Westarctica

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The government of Westarctica is the system by which Westarctican rule is implemented. Westarctica is a constitutional monarchy with the nation's ruler, the Grand Duke, as the national sovereign. The Sovereign is assisted in these duties by a number of people in positions that, as a whole, make up the Royal Council.

The Sovereign

The role of sovereign is to serve as the head of state. The current Sovereign, Grand Duke Travis, currently retains many of the rights of an absolute monarch, including the personal power to enact laws, appoint members of government, and function as the judiciary. The role is primarily hereditary, although Westarctican law dictates that the Sovereign may choose their successor.

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Grand Duke of Westarctica Grand Duke Travis Grand Duke Travis.jpg 21 September 2012

The Prime Minister

The role of Prime Minister is currently the only elected position within Westarctica's government. The Prime Minister's primary function is to represent the citizens of Westarctica to the Crown and to speak on their behalf during sessions of the Royal Council. In accordance with the Charter of Westarctica, the Prime Minister is responsible for presenting laws and ordinances to the Crown for approval. The Prime Minister is also responsible for suggesting new and replacement Ministers to the Grand Duke.

The current Prime Minister, Jordan Farmer, was elected in February of 2019 to a term of four years.

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Prime Minister of Westarctica Jordan Farmer Jordan Micro19.jpg 11 February 2019

Ministers

The largest group of government appointments are those that make up the higher tier of the Royal Council, which include the title "Minister," as they are each respectively the head of a Ministry. There are currently seven Ministers on the Royal Council.

Current Ministers

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Minister of Defense Duke Wolf of Waesche Dukewaesche.jpg 29 July 2005
Minister of Foreign Affairs Count Stefan of Goldstream Count-Goldstream.jpg February 2018
Minister of Communications Danni Michele Danni Michele - Minister of Comms.jpg 29 June 2018
Minister of Commerce Baron of Bastanchury Baron of Bastanchury.jpeg 8 May 2019
Minister of Conservation Duchess of Eights Min-Conservation.jpeg 16 May 2019
Minister of Education Ms. Jama Jenkins Min-Education.png 16 May 2019
Minister of Culture Duke of Fox Grove Duke August of Fox Grove.jpg 28 January 2020

Open Ministry positions

As of 2020, several governmental positions remain without a personal appointment. Until such an appointment occurs or as long as that appointment remains open, the Grand Duke is the appointment's de facto holder. These vacancies are:

The High Commissioner

The High Commissioner is a role that is largely advisory. It is intended to serve as a sort of "right-hand person" to the Grand Duke. The High Commissioner's role is also intended to act as an occasional liaison between the Grand Duke and his council-level appointments, much as the Prime Minister does with the Ministers. As this role has never been officially filled, much of the minutiae of its responsibilities are unclear.

Council-Level positions

These positions, often called "Commissioners," are ad hoc appointments, usually for a limited and specific purpose. These roles are created and filled solely at the discretion of the Grand Duke, and are not subject to direct oversight from the Prime Minister. While these are members of the Royal Council, they are distinct from ministries, as they report directly to the Grand Duke and often have a much smaller scope and area of responsibility. There are currently five such positions.

These positions are also unique in that they may also have limited oversight from a minister with whom the responsibilities overlap or align. Two such examples are the Commissioner of the Civilian Corps, and the Captain of the Royal Guards. The Civilian Corps currently falls in line with the citizen's affairs side of the Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration. As both roles are currently filled by the same person, this distinction is essentially meaningless. The Captain of the Royal Guards also falls under the purview of the Minister of Defense. Since that position is primarily honorary, the role falls directly under the Grand Duke, in practice.

Current Council-Level positions

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Ellsworth King of Arms Baron of Abele Baron Abele1.jpg 25 January 2020
Captain of the Guard for the Westarctican Royal Guard Prince Dinny, the Marquis of Sarnoff Prince Dinny Background.jpg 29 October 2017
Commissioner of the Treasury Baron of Bastanchury Baron of Bastanchury.jpeg 28 September 2018
Commissioner of the Westarctica Civilian Corps Jessica Barton Commissioner-Jessica.jpg 11 February 2019
Commissioner of Elections Baron of Abele Baron Abele1.jpg 18 December 2018

Government roles outside of the Royal Council

There are a number of additional roles in Westarctica's government that do not have a place on the Royal Council. These roles are typically very limited in scope or may even be largely honorary, with no actual responsibilities required of the holder.

Territorial and Regional Governance

Westarctica currently has three territorial claims on areas not within the area of Marie Byrd Land addressed within the Claimant Letter. Each of these have their own specific governance, all of which report directly to the Grand Duke.

Peter I Island

Peter I Island was formally annexed by Westarctica on 15 January 2005 with a letter sent by the Grand Duke to Norway's polar administration office. Peter I Island was then made the capital of Westarctica. The position of Archduke of Peter I Island was subsequently created as a purely ceremonial recognition of Grand Duke Travis' infant son and heir apparent, Prince Ashton Roman. As the territory is officially part of Westarctica proper, the need for a specific colonial governance is unnecessary. This role is currently known as Viceroy of Peter I Island.

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Viceroy of Peter I Island Prince Ashton Roman Prince Ashton Roman.jpeg 15 January 2005

The Balleny Islands

The Balleny Islands became a colony when Westarctica formally annexed it from New Zealand on 14 January 2005. Westarctican citizen Jorge-Fernandez Vidal was made Governor of the new territory and subsequently made the Count of Sturge. This was made both in recognition of his new role as the Minister of the Treasury, and his related permission to mint Westarctican coins. The vast majority of these coins were minted as currency of the Colony of the Balleny Islands. Though this partnership ended years ago, the now Duke of Sherman has been allowed to retain the title ceremonially out of respect for his contributions, until such time that the Grand Duke deems it prudent to name another Governor.

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Governor of the Balleny Islands Duke Jorge of Sherman Jorge-Fernandez1.jpg 14 January 2005

Calsahara

In October 2017, Grand Duke Travis became concerned that the leaders of Calsahara weren't taking a big enough role in managing the internal or external affairs of the nation. Rather than see the country he founded continue to stagnate until it descended into oblivion, Travis made the strategic decision to liberate Calsahara from its absentee landlords.

On 29 October, the Grand Duke led a coalition force comprised of the Westarctican Royal Guards and the Knights of Shiloh to Calsahara, liberating it from negligent rule. He subsequently set up a Colonial government, comprised of a Viceroy and a military governor to oversee the transition from an independent kingdom to a colony of Westarctica.

Position Current Appointee Portrait Since
Viceroy of Calsahara Prince Daniel Nicholas Nicholas Kingly.jpg 29 October 2017
Captain-General of Calsahara Baron of Bastanchury Baron of Bastanchury.jpeg 15 November 2018

The Honorary Consular Corps

Main article: Honorary Consular Corps

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs directs the various Honorary Consuls, who serve as overseas diplomatic representatives of Westarctica's government. They are a key part of Westarctica's foreign affairs program. In the future, some of these Consuls will likely be allowed to enter into official negotiations on behalf of Westarctica.

The Peerage of Westarctica

Main article: Peerage of Westarctica

These are the nobility, and they are sometimes consulted by the Grand Duke on important national issues. While they have no formal decision-making power, their voices may have a large influence over national decisions. Occasionally the Grand Duke may invite them to express their desires in a one-peer-one-vote system, though he is not legally bound by the outcome of such a vote.