Category Archives: King John

“Intriguing” language proposal from immigrant

Jack Walker, a prospective citizen with an interest in el ghleþ (the Talossan language) has made a linguistic reform proposal on Wittenberg that HM King John has described as “intriguing”.

S:reu Walker has suggested revising the grammar rules to allow for an optional accusative case that would permit a change in word order, by adding a prefix to a word. Like most Romance languages el ghleþ does not have the elaborate system of cases found in Latin, though it still exists in Romanian, according to S:reu Walker. He feels that such an option would be not only be a tribute to Talossan’s Latin and Oriental roots, but would be unique to the language, since no other tongue has quite the same feature, though Turkish uses something similar.

Initial reaction from Ladintsch has been enthusiastic, with Senator Ian Anglatzarâ applauding a potential nrw member of CÛG, the Talossan language academy. The proposal also prompted a rare intervention from King John, who described it as “intriguing”.

King and Seneschal meet in “low-key” gathering

Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül has revealed that he recently participated in a “low key TalossaWest gathering” in Colorado, USA.

Taking advantage of a family visit to the American West in June Sir Cresti arranged to meet with the King and other Talossans resident in Colorado. In the event HM King John, Baron Hooligan and Sir Trotxa Betiñéir were able to join the Seneschal for a Lebanese meal, followed by some beverages at a local microbrewery. 

A planned ceremony for the administration of the Seneschal’s oath did not in the end occur, but Sir Cresti stated that it was otherwise an enjoyable social occasion and that he hoped it could be repeated on his next visit.

Patrick Woolley exits Cosa following two missed Clarks

HH Patrick Woolley, the Prince of Prospect (heir apparent to the throne) has exited the Cosa after missing two consecutive Clark votes, as announced by Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir in his report on the May Clark. Prince Patrick, who is also a member of the Royal Commission on the Organic Law, had been assigned one seat by the RUMP following the 49th Cosa election.

According to the Organic Law, an MC who misses two consecutive Clark votes is deemed to have vacated his seat. Prince Patrick is the first MC of the 49th Cosa to lose his seats in this fashion. The RUMP has already reassigned the vacant seat to Bradley Holmes, who was himself among 4 MCs holding 31 seats who were stripped of their membership of the 48th Cosa due to inactivity.

Prince Patrick has not made any public statement since the Chancery announced the loss of his seat, and had not responded to a request for comment by ETT at the time of publication. His last posting on Wittenberg was an attempt to vote on the April Clark, to which S:reu Furxheir responded “sorry Parrick, you’re too late”.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu told ETT that his party hoped the Prince of Prospect “would have time to be more active in Talossa this term”, but that “even though it didn’t work out, we don’t regret it”. He told ETT that he did not know the reason for Prince Patrick’s inactivity.

Distain and ModRad party leader Senator Lüc da Schir told ETT that “I’m sorry to see him go after only two Clarks, although I can’t see I didn’t saw it coming…as far as our Royal House is concerned this is really nothing new under the sun, so to speak”. The ModRad leader told ETT that “the House of Lupul has been going downhill for quite some time now”, and that this recent incident did not help the public perception of the monarchy.

The Distain also claimed that it was the already limited presence of Prince Patrick  in Talossan affairs that led his party to oppose the latter’s nomination to a government post in March. The ModRad leader declined to state which post was involved.  When asked about this claim,  Sir Alexandreu Davinescu told ETT that “I don’t want to talk about discussions on any particular person” and that the government “worked really hard to find possible candidates for a number of positions”. He did declare that he “was happy with the great work we’re doing” with the team that was finally recruited.

FreeDem deputy leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă told ETT that “frankly, I’m not surprised at all to hear that Prince Patrick is out of the Cosa after having failed to vote” and declared that “it is obvious that the Prince is either too busy with non-Talossa life or he is like his father in that he only gets involved when it is important to him”. The FreeDem MC claimed that “the royal family never do anything for Talossa”, and that the Prince “should resign [from the RCOR] as he is not active”.

When asked for his reaction to the latter point, Senator da Schir stated that he agreed that the Prince should resign from the RCOR, although he stated that it was “not because he’s Patrick — as a matter of principle, any appointed/elected official with no time to do his job should step aside.” Sir Alexandreu however declined to comment on the affairs of the RCOR, on the grounds that he was not a member of the Commission himself.

The Commission itself has become increasingly controversial in recent days, with FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ repeating accusations that the RUMP had sabotaged its operations, and the Seneschal declaring that he was planning on prioritising projects with more potential for success.

Organic Law: Cort closes “proclamation” loophole

In a decision announced on 18th April, a five-justice panel of el Cort pu Inalt has rejected the King’s assertion of a power to block Organic Law changes by refusing to proclaim them after they had been duly ratified. The King claimed that by “explicitly refusing” to proclaim 47RZ28, which curtailed his discretion in appointing provincial representatives, he was able to prevent its inclusion in the Organic Law. The subsequent controversy has become known as the Proclamation Crisis.

Four of the Justices of the Uppermost Cort, with one Justice abstaining, upheld the appeal launched by the last government to a previous decision of the Cort delivered in November 2015. At that time a three-Justice panel decided 2-1 that the King’s action was Organic, and that 47RZ28 could not be incorporated in the Organic Law.

However following an appeal launched by the outgoing government prior to the general election, the Cort has now determined that such a power was “undemocratic and not in keeping with the body of law upon which the Kingdom was founded. The Cort has thus ordered that all amendments certified as having been ratified by referendum are to be incorporated in the Organic Law, regardless of whether they are proclaimed or not.

This means in practice that both 47RZ28 and the more recently ratified 48RZ16, the so-called “3/4 Majority Amendment”, are now the law of the land, despite the King’s rejection of the first and controversial reticence on the second. The latter measure, intended as a solution to the Crisis, grants the King a veto over bills amending the constitution, which will be possible for the Ziu to override with a supermajority, or by re-enacting the same amendment following a general election.

In a public statement FreeDem leader and former Attorney-General Miestrâ Schivâ described the decision as both “gratifying” and “vexing”. She declared that the decision vindicated her legal strategy and provided a “legal, political road” to political reform, even over the monarchs objections. However she regretted that the Cort had not suspended the holding of the referendum on 48RZ16, as she had requested. She stated that her party’s attitude of cautious support towards the proposal would have been different had the Cort been able to reach a decision before the vote was taken, and that the amendment had “made things worse”. She accused 48RZ16’s RUMP supporters of deliberately obstructing her case in order to “win whichever way the Cort ruled”.

Reaction from other MZs was swift. ModRad Senator Epic da Lhiun welcomed the decision and bluntly reiterated his lack of confidence in the King. His party colleague and fellow sponsor of 48RZ16 Ian Plätschisch MC took issue with D:na Schivâ’s criticism of the amendment, calling it a “landmark compromise” and denying it would have negative consequences. The Minister of Stuff later told ETT that in his opinion 48RZ16 was most in line with moderate principles and that he believed that the Proclamation Crisis was over, “but you never know what could happen”.

Speaking to ETT Minister of Finance and Cabinet Chief of Staff Sir Alexandreu Davinescu stated that he welcomed the “practical effect” of the ruling, even as he criticised its legal basis. He noted that the two Justices in the majority in the November 2015 decision, Justices dal Nordselvă and Cjantscheir, had now reversed themselves in what he claimed was defiance of the principles of precedent. He also stated that as far as he was concerned the Cort’s ruling and 48RZ16 had closed the issue, expressing a desire to “move on” from the controversy.

There has been no official statement from the Royal Household at the time of writing.

Repost: Crowned Radicals and Conservative Democrats

Your humble correspondent is away on vacation until next Monday. Follow ETT on Twitter for breaking news @ElTamlalt

In the meantime, I am republishing my take in the failure of the Democratic Amendment in July 2015. The first, and certainly not the last, attempt to resolve the Proclamation Crisis.

The Democratic Amendment has gone down to failure. While 123 seats in the Cosa and 6 of 8 Senators supported the Amendment, this was not enough to overcome the opposition of the RUMP, which narrowly retained a blocking minority in the Cosa after the general election, even while losing 11 seats in the process.

One of the ironies of the situation we now find ourselves in is that the most conservative measure yet proposed is the Democratic Amendment itself. It was a direct solution to the crisis, in that it removed the legal ambiguities exploited by the King to radically assert a power to block duly authorised constitutional amendments that was dramatically at odds with the customary way our constitution has worked. The Amendment would have brought the letter of the Organic Law into line with decades of precedent that even the unlamented King Robert never dared to challenge. No Talossan, including it seems not even the King, would want any but the people to have the final word on an issue like this, but here we are.

Unlike the Balanced Government Amendment proposed by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, the Democratic Amendment would not have created new supermajority requirements triggered entirely at the King’s discretion that would make any change to the Organic Law unacceptably slow, if not impossible, without virtual unanimity in the Ziu. Sir Alexandreu’s proposal was eloquently made and undoubtedly well-meant, but it unfortunately smacks of special pleading for a minority and has been marginalised as a result.

And unlike Ian Plätschisch’s Court Ordered Pontification proposal, the Democratic Amendment would not have created an unprecedented situation where the Uppermost Cort would in effect be asked to pronounce on the comparative representivity of the Ziu that voted the law, and the quality of the debate that led up to that vote-an innovation the Chief Justice has himself expressed public reservations about. S:reu Plätschisch’s political courage and honourable desire to bring both sides of the Ziu together should be heartily commended, but in my view he errs in bending too far to accommodate rhetoric about “wave elections” which are almost impossible to satisfactorily define in practice.

The reality is that the King is not a deaf mute, trapped in a gilded cage by crypto-Jacobins. He is a member of the Ziu and has the perfect right to participate in debates, and to propose alternatives in the Hopper to measures he views as unwise or ill-conceived (he has for example already done so with the so-called “Time Bomb Amendment” in the 48th Cosa). This is a privilege that most modern constitutional monarchs do not enjoy. Furthermore the King also has the right to offer his own advice to voters in referenda on Organic Law amendments since he is not bound by any law to remain silent if his conscience moves him. If in his opinion the level of debate or the quality of the proposals are lacking, the King has many tools at his disposal to intervene.

My modest proposal for resolving the Proclamation Crisis is for the Ziu to do…nothing. If the King does not wish to have the power he asserted in strangling 47RZ28 at birth, then he should reverse his explicit inaction on that measure, and state that he will never exercise it again, or at the very least not without seeking the advice of his government. And for the future? Most Members of the Ziu, and I believe most Talossans regardless of their view of hereditary monarchy, would welcome the insight and intelligence of a constitutional scholar of the King’s calibre in what are often highly technical debates. Let him exercise that formidable legal intelligence constructively when laws are made, and leave the final word to the sovereign people.

The best protection a constitutional monarch can have is the respect of his people and the trust of his government (whatever its political stripe). It seems to me that rather than trying to create a paper palisade around the monarchy by legalistic means, the King should seek to rebuild that respect and that trust, for the sake of his own legacy and that of the House of Lupul.

(NB: the above is strictly the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers)

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King appoints “well-respected” Sir Cresti as Seneschal

HM King John has appointed Sir Cresti Siervicül MC as Seneschal. In a brief public statement, the King stated that he had been formally notified that a majority coalition of the RUMP, the ModRads and the TNC had been formed in the Cosa, as announced via press release on 26th March. Under the Organic Law, he would therefore appoint the nominee of that majority. Sir Cresti described himself as “truly humbled” by the appointment.

Sir Cresti Siervicül was recently described as “one of the most well-respected Talossans in the country” by RUMP party leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu. According to TalossaWiki, Sir Cresti, an attorney by profession with a young family, became a Talossan in 2005. He was initially attracted by his interest in el ghleþ, the Talossan language, which he has continued to pursue as el Ladintsch Naziunal (leader of the country’s linguistic efforts). In this capacity he has published a number of linguistic works, notably Prüms Päçen, a guide for beginners in the language, which was published in association with the Ministry of Culture.

In 2007 he was knighted by King John as a member of the Order of the Nation in recognition of his services in the study of el ghleþ, and for his work as a jurist and lawmaker. Sir Cresti is Constable (personal representative of the King) in the province of Cezembre, and was an MC during the 35th Cosa before being appointed Puisne Justice of el Cort pü Inalt. He later returned to the Cosa, serving from the 44th Cosa to the present. He was a founder of the RUMP, of which he continues to be a senior member.

Sir Cresti recently became embroiled in the Canun Case, due to having failed to publicly disclose his discovery of the latter’s conviction for serious crimes in the United States. He did not reveal the information at the request of Iason Taiwos, a friend of Canun’s. He later described this as a “serious error of judgement”, and was removed from the proposed FreeDem “Cabinet of Talents” as a result of the controversy. Sir Cresti was critical of ETT’s coverage of the affair, describing it as politically motivated, an accusation rejected by the publication.

49th Cosa Election: 3/4 Majority passes, but doubts raised about King’s intentions

According to the provisional results published by the Chancery, voters in the 49th Cosa election have approved the two Organic Law amendments submitted for their approval. The Automatic Voting Validation Amendment and the 3/4 Majority Amendment were ratified by 77.6% and 61.6% of the voters respectively.

The Automatic Voting Validation Amendment is a technical measure that would allow for the validation of the Chancery’s electronic voting system prior to the vote. At the moment the Electoral Commission validates each vote cast individually after the election, a practice which the Amendment would end.

The 3/4 Majority Amendment, a measure addressing the aftermath of the “Proclamation Crisis”, would remove the monarch’s right to absolutely block an amendment by refusing to proclaim it, replacing it with a veto that could be overridden by the Ziu via a new 75% supermajority requirement. It would also deem an amendment proclaimed after a certain amount of time if the King takes no action on it.

The Proclamation Crisis began when the King asserted this constitutional right to block Organic Law amendments after their ratification by popular vote, by refusing to proclaim them. The King’s position was later ruled Organic by el Cort Inalt in 2016, following a legal challenge by the outgoing government.

The concern now being expressed is that the 3/4 Majority Amendment, which is still subject to the King’s existing right to “refuse to proclaim” an amendment, might be blocked either explicitly or by being left in a legal  limbo, if not dealt with by the King in any way.

On election night Miestrâ Schivâ called on the King to “proclaim 48RZ14 explicitly and formally, as soon as possible” describing this as “a gesture of trust”. Dama Schivâ has however told ETT that she believed that the King was “unlikely” to proclaim the amendment, though she thought that an explicit refusal may not be the route the King chooses.

She claimed that the Cort’s decision, the full version of which remains unpublished, has created a “constitutional mess” that gives the King a “line-item veto over the OrgLaw, simply by refusing to ever formally proclaim any amendment to it”. The King has himself identified this as a “timebomb” in the Organic Law.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu disagreed however that there was cause for concern, telling ETT that “yes, I think His Majesty will proclaim the 3/4 Majority Amendment”. ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir and TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx could not be reached for comment.

It seems unlikely any decision will be announced by the King before the completion of the Electoral Commission’s work. However the King’s most recent public comments on the issue may give an indication of his attitude to the amendment.

The King devoted his traditional Independence Day Speech from the Throne last December to the telling of a parable which concluded with a description of the gratitude of the residents of a traditional town towards their “Town Curmudgeon”, who stopped a destructive but popular redevelopment through use of a power similar to that claimed by the monarch. The King also declared in the Speech that he would be “careful not [original emphasis] to give up power…necessary to protect and preserve the Kingdom of Talossa”.

49th Cosa Election: King appoints Electoral Commission

HM King John has appointed the Election Commission for the 49th Cosa election. Justices Litz Cjantscheir, Txec dal Nordselvă and Beneditsch Ardprestéir join Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir on the body which according to the Organic Law “shall independently confirm the final tally and together shall certify the election”.

Just prior to the royal announcement, S:reu Furxheir had expressed public concern that the election would be delayed due to what he claimed was royal inaction with respect to appointing the Election Commission, as  that the new automated voting system had to certified by that body first. S:reu Furxheir insisted he had reminded King John of this and that it was a “huge problem”.

A number of commentators however pointed out that such a certification was not yet necessary under the law, and that the election would be held under the established rules. The change in the law, known as the Automatic Voting Validation Amendment, is included among the referenda to be voted on during the 49th Cosa election.

Justice dal Nordselvă also stated that “in fairness to the king, he asked the advice of the UC Justices a couple weeks ago on whom he should appoint and notified us at that time who he was going to choose”.

Concerns about the availability of Justice Ardprestéir were expressed by RUMP Senator Éovart Grischun, who claimed the judge was “AWOL”. This was denied by Justice dal Nordselvă, who stated that despite a low public profile Justice Ardprestéir “does participate in camera with the other justices”.

Cort rejects Schivâ brief: 3/4 Majority vote to go ahead

Justice Txec dal Nordselvă has announced that the Uppermost Cort had ruled against the request to block the referendum on the “3/4 Majority Amendment” made by Attorney-General and FreeDem leader Senator Miestrâ Schivâ.

The 3/4 Majority Amendment was passed by the Ziu in an effort to resolve the Proclamation Crisis. King John I had claimed a right to block Organic Law amendments approved at referendum by “explicitly refusing” to proclaim them. The 3/4 Majority Amendment would limit this to a suspensive veto only, and would place the King’s intervention in the process before the popular vote.

In a brief appealing an initial Cort ruling on the Crisis Senator Schivâ argued that if the King’s action was in fact inorganic the Ziu had “solved” a problem that did not exist. As the Amendment was passed “under false pretences” she asked the Cort to enjoin the Secretary of State from including the measure on the ballot, pending the final ruling of the Cort on the substance of her brief.

Writing on behalf of the Cort, Justice Txec dal Nordselvă stated that the Cort could not find any flaw in the process by which the amendment was passed by the Ziu, and that despite the Attorney-General’s contention otherwise, the Cort had to assume “MZs voted with due dilligence” on the matter. Justice dal Nordselvă concluded that to interfere with an amendment otherwise Organically enacted by the Ziu would be a violation of the separation of powers, and that the Organically required process of ratification by popular vote had been triggered and could not now be interfered with.

The 3/4 Majority Amendment will thus be on the referendum ballot on 15th February. Senator Schivâ called on the Cort to move to the substantive issue in her petition, claiming that “the Cort will be doing the people of Talossa a disservice if they do not know, when voting in this election, whether they are voting for a limit on or an expansion to Royal powers in re: Organic Law amendments”.