Clerk of the Stanora
|Single transferable vote|
|Stanora Hall, Kartika, District of Coïnvra|
In ancient Peninsular Coscivia, the stanora was the name given to the location where citizens might gather to petition (stan idaŭ) the governing kirstuv ("selectmen") of a village or city-state. This name derives from the word stan, translatable as "advocacy", "testimony", "support", "endorsement", or "plea", and the derivational suffix -ora, denoting a place for something. In the city-state of Era, the first permanent stanora was a firepit at the foot of Kaurkus Hill used to roast meat for certain ritual feasts. During this time, any citizen of Era could come to stan idaŭ before the kirstuv, but as the state grew in size and population, this privilege was increasingly delegated (and eventually restricted) to "delegates" representing a particular clan, tribe, or other interest group. As time wore on, the location of the stanora moved to the acropole atop Ŭlyam Hill, and its purpose shifted from that of a forum to petition the kirstuv to that of a deliberative assembly. By the time of the First Coscivian Empire, the Stanora had become a constitutional entity in its own right, with a political role beginning to resemble that of a legislature.
The framers of the Fundamental Statute of the Confederate Republics of Kirav originally titled the confederal legislature as the Xēmbra in earlier drafts of the document, but later changed it to Stanora in homage to the Stanora of the Coscivian Empire, as the term carried stronger connotations of authority and permanence.
In contemporary written Ænglish, the term Stanora is increasingly left untranslated. However, the term "Kiravian Senate" is still commonly used, and "House of Delegates" can be found as well, usually in older sources. Delegate Vespasian Odrilaven (LUP-Fariva), a fluent Ænglish speaker, has argued that a more etymologically correct and æsthetically pleasing translation would be the "House of Common Pleas", and has made efforts to popularise the term.
The Stanora is the supreme lawmaking body in the Federacy. Laws passed by the Stanora are inferior only to those set down in the Fundamental Statute and to Federal Consistory rulings on constitutional matters, and can overwrite executive orders and regulations issued by the Prime Executive, except military commands.
The Fundamental Statute establishes the Stanora as the organ with the strongest control over government finances, and it has the exclusive power to levy taxes, mint currency, authorise funds, determine salaries, and contract loans on behalf of the government. The Federal Treasury is directly subordinate to the Stanora, and the Stanora appoints the Secretary of the Exchequer. Although the collection of taxes and enforcement of the tax code are carried out by the executive branch, all revenue is turned over to the Stanora. Nonetheless, in financial matters the Stanora is accountable to the Council of States, which has the power to audit the Stanora and its agencies.
The Stanora's influence on foreign policy is comparatively weak, the design of the Fundamental Statute and decades of standard procedure having assigned most powers relevant to foreign affairs to the Prime Executive. Nonetheless, the Stanora retains some constitutional powers over foreign policy, most prominently the authority to ratify treaties and declare war.
After each general election, the Stanora holds an internal election during a plenary session to elect a Chancellor from among its number. The Chancellor is the presiding officer of the Stanora and wields important procedural powers that facilitate and expedite the passage of legislation. Unlike the heads of most national legislatures, the office of Chancellor is not created or recognised by the Kiravian constitution. Rather, it is an internal office created by the Stanora itself under the Ordering Conventions passed by the first Stanoral assembly in 20XXX, and could theoretically be abolished by a unanimous vote affirmed by the Prime Executive. The Chancellor is usually (but not always) the Chairman of the majority caucus (when one occurs) or the largest caucus of the leading coalition. Notable exceptions include Sārden Ēvūrverd, who was Chairman of the majority SRA when he was elected Chancellor but later resigned the Chairmanship while remaining Chancellor for twelve years, and Karín Asad-Haydar who was Chairman of the junior party in a lime coalition and elected Chancellor as part of the coalition agreement.
The majority of the Stanora's business is handled by a hierarchy of committees and subcommittees. Legislation submitted to the Clerk of the Stanora is referred to the lowest-level subcommittee most germane to its subject matter, and is then either rejected or passed up through multiple tiers of committees before being put before a plenary session.
Calendar & Schedule
The Stanora is a permanent, standing body that cannot be dissolved or prorogued. When not actively conducting business, the Stanora is said to be in recess, as it is during the several scheduled recesses planned throughout the three-year legislative cycle for holidays, constituency tending, and campaign seasons. When not in recess, the Stanora's affairs are structured according to an annual and weekly schedule that has evolved over time but is rarely deviated from except in response to unusual circumstances or to adjourn meetings early.
Unlike many other legislatures, which are formally divided into the government and the opposition, the Stanora's major political dividing line is not between the leading coalition and its putative opponents, but rather between the pro-administration and anti-administration "camps". The pro-administration camp is the grouping of caucuses and individual Delegates who support the incumbent Prime Executive and work with the executive branch to push forward a common agenda. The anti-administration camp (when one exists, see below), is the grouping of caucuses and individual members who band together to oppose the incumbent Prime Executive's policy direction. Both groups are informal and may fluctuate in membership over the course of a legislative season. Despite lacking formal procedural powers, the pro- and anti-administration camps are of greater consequence in the policymaking process than the Stanoral leadership: When the pro-administration camp commands a majority, there is a unified government, generally resulting in more legislation being passed, a streamlined amendment process, and a larger domestic policy rôle for the Prime Executive. When an anti-administration camp commands the majority, the Prime Executive's domestic influence and the volume of legislation passed both contract, and contentious budgetary disputes are more likely to occur.
- Recording Secretary - Responsible for Stanoral records, the recording and enumeration of votes, quorum calls, authentication of documents, and other such tasks.
- Permanent Secretary - Oversees the day-to-day operations and non-legislative business of the Stanora.
- Sergeant-at-Arms - Enforces Stanoral rules and procedures and commands the Stanoral Guard. By convention, Sergeants-at-Arms must be former noncommissioned officers in the Kiravian Army, honourably discharged above the rank of Corporal and below the rank of Sergeant-Major.
- Chaplain - Leads daily prayer services, delivers benedictions, and provides religious services to delegates. The Chaplaincy generally rotates between the nation's main Christian denominations - Coscivian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Insular Apostolic - and the Rurican, Komarist, and Læstorian faiths, though there has been one Methodist Chaplain.
- Porter - Manages the flow of people and materials in and out of the plenary chamber, accepts deliveries, provides alcoholic beverages to delegates during sessions, and adjusts lighting and temperature controls in the plenary chamber.
- Postmaster - Oversees postal delivery and mail screenings.
- Secretariat of the Exchequer - Manages the government's finances on the instructions of the Stanora.
- Treasury of the Kiravian Federacy - Receives, holds, and diburses the federal government's money, precious metals and stones, and financial instruments.
- Account Comptrol Bureau - Audits the executive branch and creates projections for government spending to inform fiscal policy.
- Kiravian Federal Mint - Mints the Kiravian saar, auxilliary currencies, and bullion coins. Issues postage stamps.
- Stanoral Research Service - Conducts research and reports to the Stanora and its committees on subjects of interest, as requested by the Chancellor and committee chairs.
- Legislative Publishing Bureau - Prints and publishes the Compendium of Federal Statutes; public copies of laws, bills, and resolutions; Stanoral records, calendars, and periodicals; and various internal materials.
- Stanoral Guard - Responsible for the physical security of the Stanora Hall and other Stanoral properties, Delegates, and their families. Under the command of the Sergeant-at-Arms.