Government of Westarctica
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.
As mandated by the Constitution of Westarctica, the government is comprised of three branches:
- Executive: The Sovereign and the Royal Council
- Legislative: The Prime Minister
- Judicial: The Grand Ducal Court
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.
|Grand Duke of Westarctica||Grand Duke Travis||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, Brendan Cook, was elected in February of 2023 to a term of four years.
|Prime Minister of Westarctica||Brendan Cook||20 February 2023|
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.
|Minister of Defense||Duke Wolf of Waesche||29 July 2005|
|Minister of Communications||Countess of Carter||29 June 2018|
|Minister of Culture||Duke of Fox Grove||28 January 2020|
|Minister of Colonial Affairs||Duke of Tapley||2 November 2021|
|Minister of Citizen Affairs||Baron of Hull Bay||2 November 2021|
|Minister of Sports||Dame Kristina Sullivan||2 November 2021|
|Foreign Minister||Sir Charles Ross||12 November 2022|
Open Ministry positions
As of 2022, 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 offices' de facto holder. These vacancies are:
- Foreign Minister
- Minister of Finance
- Minister of the Treasury
- Minister of Citizenship & Immigration
- Minister of Technology
- Minister of Commerce
- Minister of Transportation
- Minister of Education
- Minister of Conservation
The High Commissioner
The High Commissioner of Westarctica 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.
|High Commissioner of Westarctica||Count of Discovery Ridge||2 November 2021|
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 example is the Captain of the Royal Guards. The Captain of the Royal Guards falls under the purview of the Minister of Defense, but since that position is primarily honorary, the Captain answers directly to the Grand Duke, in practice.
Current Council-Level positions
|Ellsworth King of Arms||Baron of Abele||25 January 2020|
|Captain of the Guard for the Westarctican Royal Guard||Viscount Atwood||9 November 2022|
|Commissioner of Economic Development||David Eckhard||2 November 2021|
|Commissioner of Elections||Baron of Abele||18 December 2018|
Executive 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.
|Viceroy of Peter I Island||Prince Ashton Roman||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.
|Governor of the Balleny Islands||Duke Jorge of Sherman||14 January 2005|
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.
|Viceroy of Calsahara||Prince Daniel Nicholas||29 October 2017|
|Captain-General of Calsahara||Damien Kramer||18 March 2021|
On 19 November 2022, following the conclusion of the Westarctica-Raphania War, the micronation of Raphania became a colony of Westarctica. Its previous Grand Emir was made a Royal Viceroy with the title Prince of Raphania while Grand Duke Travis gained the additional title Sultan of Raphania.
|Royal Viceroy of Raphania||Prince Charles I||19 November 2022|
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.
The Grand Ducal Court
- Main article Grand Ducal Court
The Grand Ducal Court is comprised of four justices who serve as the primary adjudicators of Westarctica's constitutional law and law in general in the nation. It is the highest court in the nation, and is analogous to the United States Supreme Court.