First Constitutional Convention
The First Constitutional Convention was a group of seven citizens of Westarctica directed by Grand Duke Travis to draft a Constitution of Westarctica to serve as the new supreme law of the land and provide guidance for the Government of Westarctica.
The members of Convention were selected by the Grand Duke on the advice of the Prime Minister. The final selection was made on 9 April 2019 and was announced during a meeting of the Royal Council on 13 April 2019.
In creating the Convention, the Grand Duke expressed a desire to draw from as wide a range as possible of Westarcticans. Reflecting this philosophy, His Royal Highness selected a member of the Old Guard, two members of the Royal Council, two members of the Peerage of Westarctica, a Knight of the Snowflake, and two common citizens. These decisions would inform much of the official rules for future conventions, as seen in Article 81 of the Constitution.
These seven, at the time of the convention, were:
- Grand Duke Travis - Chairman
- Prime Minister Jordan Farmer - Vice-Chairman
- Princess Rebecca, Duchess of Rockefeller
- Duke Wolf of Waesche
- Duchess Dany-el of Hanessian
- Sir Christian Seitz
- Christine McPhee
Before the main portion of the convention kicked off, the Grand Duke and Prime Minister worked to create a first draft to be utilized in convention debates on a myriad of topics, from defining Westarctica to government structure to human rights. This draft went through roughly a dozen iterations before the two were prepared to move forward.
The core of the convention was hosted in a private online forum. Each topic, called an "article" was introduced for discussion individually, with up to four articles open at any time. Each topic was open until a week had passed or everyone had given their opinion on the matter, whichever occurred first. During this window, all seven members were free to ask questions, raise concerns, and suggest changes. After any changes were made and discussion either completed or stalled, a vote was held of the members (minus the Grand Duke). Four of the six votes were needed for a majority. Once a measure passed the vote, the Grand Duke approved or rejected the measure as it stood. In total, 83 articles were approved for inclusion in the initial constitution. The final article was approved by the convention on 28 August 2019. Altogether, more than 1700 posts and comments occurred across more than 70 different threads.
The convention was formally concluded on 30 August 2019. The citizens of Westarctica voted to ratify the constitution during a voting weekend, which was held on first weekend of February 2020. After successful ratification, the Grand Duke and Prime Minister signed the document into law, with it taking effect 15 February 2020.
Aftermath of the Convention
For their efforts, Grand Duke Travis bestowed the following recognition:
- As all seven were members of the Westarctica Civilian Corps, they each received a Civilian Corps Commendation ribbon.
- All members except the Grand Duke and Prime Minister were named an Honored Volunteer of Westarctica.
- Additionally, Prime Minister Farmer gave the five non-chair members a Prime Minister challenge coin, as a personal thank you.
- Duke Wolf was named a Knight in the newly created Illustrious Antarctic Order of the Orca, due in part to his work with the convention.
- Duchess Dany-el's Life Peerages was transferred to a Hereditary Peerage.
- Sir Christian was invested with the hereditary title of Baron of Hadley, in part for his work with the convention.
- Christine McPhee was named a Dame in the Order of the Snowflake, in recognition for her work with the convention. She would eventually go on to serve as the first Chief Justice of the Grand Ducal Court, due largely to the interactions on legal matters she had in the convention and the impression they made on Grand Duke Travis and Prime Minister Farmer.
- Prime Minister Farmer was named a Knight in the Illustrious Antarctic Order of the Orca and made Prince of Rhye in the Colony of Calsahara's Peerage. Both of these were only in part due to his work with the convention.