Mellifera

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Melliferan Union

Unio Melliferarum
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Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Quis separabit?
Who shall separate us?
Anthem: "Salve Regina"
CapitalMaristela
LargestLeopolis
Official languagesLatin, Ænglish
Religion
  • 78.6% Catholic
    • 80% Levantine
    • 12% Istroyan
    • 6% Audonian
    • 2% Marcian
    • 1.5% Caphiric
  • 6.5% Evangelical
  • 6% Orthodox
  • 4.3% Muslim
  • 1.8% Jewish
  • .6% Samaritan
  • .2%Almanic
  • .1%Oriental Catholic
  • 2.2% Other
Demonym(s)Melliferan
GovernmentDual executive federal constitutional gelasian republic
• Palatine
John Marie Hardouin
• Preses
Andeimir Barcho
• Lictor
Maron Ghiz
• Chief Magistrate
Adalbert Swailes
LegislatureTemporal Courts
Curia
Popular Assembly
Formation
• Jesuit Arrival
February 22nd, 1615
• Namook Treaty
March 7th, 1616
• de Crona promulgated
September 30th, 1624
• Dominus ac Redemptor is promulgated
June 18th, 1773
• Constitution ratified
August 3rd, 1775
• End of the Civil War
December 6th, 1948
Date formatdd-MM-yyyyy

The Melliferan Union, commonly known as Mellifera, the Union, or the Marian Republic is a country located in north-east Crona, bordering Pauldustllah to the north, Allomania to the south, and Titechaxha to the west. Mellifera's northerly coast lies on the Bight of Crona, in the Odoneru Ocean. Roughly average in size, at 1.6 billion km2 by land area, Mellifera is one of the most least densely populated countries in the world, with only sixteen inhabitants for every square kilometer of land on average. The population is roughly equally divided between urban and rural settlements. Mellifera's capital is Maristela, while its largest city, and the only one with a metropolitan area population in excess of one million inhabitants, is Leopolis. Climatically diverse, Mellifera's coastal regions are oceanic-temperate, enjoying mild temperatures and significant rainfall throughout the year, and are dominated by temperate rainforests, while the interior tends towards severe weather and is characterized by grassland and the presence of the Namook mountains.

The earliest archeological evidence of human habitation in modern Mellifera dates to 15,000 years ago. Kiravian sailors were aware of and had mapped the coast by the 13th century, but Coscivian permanent settlements failed to endure beyond the 1400s and never penetrated the interior. In the early 17th century, Urcean Jesuit missionaries arrived in Mellifera, converting the indigenous Oklahomans and transforming their societies, both deliberately and as a result of the transmission of diseases, which resulted in a drastic drop in the population. Large-scale Levantine immigration and intermarriage transformed society further, but Oklahoman descent remains a mark of pride, and 12 out of Mellifera's 15 Commonwealths maintain continuity with a tribal territory.

In 1773 with the suppression of the Jesuits by Urceopolis, Mellifera became the only region where the Jesuits maintained their titles and hierarchy, due to the lack of a national authority to ratify the suppression. Formerly opposed to plans to federate Mellifera and form a national government, which had been proposed by lay intellectuals for decades, the Jesuits moved to spearhead the plan as a protection from foreign intervention and a means to perpetuate their influence. In 1775, the Provisional Assembly approved a Catholic and Republican constitution, built largely on the natural law theory expounded by Jesuit philosophers. Even today, the Jesuits wield enormous influence in Melliferan society, and are often referred to as the "Invisible Empire." Opposition to the constitutional order and Jesuitism boiled over during the mid twentieth century in the Melliferan Civil War, and while the Establishment was preserved, it resulted in a long-term dampening of the country's economic and demographic health.

Mellifera is a developed country, though it lags behind most of Levantina in terms of per capita income. Thanks to extremely low corporate taxes and generally business friendly policies, in recent years Mellifera has come to host numerous multinational businesses, and possesses a strong financial sector. Agriculture is also an important component of the economy, and Mellifera is a global leader in agritech. Within the agricultural sector, a high-intensity export-focused component exists alongside a heavily subsidized and deliberately traditional sector that supplies the domestic market. Industry in Mellifera is largely geared towards military production.

Mellifera is a member of the League of Nations. Since the end of its Civil War, it has espoused a foreign policy of active neutrality, remaining aloof from most intergovernmental organizations but maintaining close economic and political ties with Urcea and Kiravia, while ties with Caphiria are chilly at best.

Politics

Palatine John Marie Hardouin
Premier Mick ó Conchobhair

Mellifera is a federal dual executive republic, with a strong tradition of limited government and guaranteed rights. State power is triune, divided between the coequal Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches. Due to the enormous formal and informal influence of the Church, Mellifera is sometimes classified as an ecclesiocracy, and its cultural and political conservatism stands in contrast to the liberalism associated with most of the world's republics. The three major political political parties, the neoliberal Democratic Humanist Party, distributist Social Chartist Union, and the agrarian-green National Peasants' League accept the institutional status quo and profess adherence to the confessional state and Catholic political principles.

Legislative authority is vested in the Temporal Courts, which consists of the Curia and the Popular Assembly. Members of the Curia are appointed by the presidents of the commonwealths, with the consent of their respective legislatures, and each commonwealth entitled to two curates. Curates are appointed for life. The Curia must approve all legislation, and has certain exclusive prerogatives, including the sole right to ratify treaties, and approve judicial nominations made by the head of state on the advice of the head of government. All legislation must originate in the Popular Assembly. Members of the Popular Assembly, known as syndics, are elected through mixed-member proportional representation to four-year terms, with constituencies delineated on local administrative boundaries. Each individual votes for a syndic to represent his county, there being 234 counties in all. A further 102 non-territorial offices even out representation in the Assembly based on the total share of the vote won by candidates of each respective party.

The head of state is the Palatine, who is elected to a six-year year term by an absolute majority of the popular vote (there are no term limits) and invested in a chrismation ceremony by the Bishop of Leopolis. The constitution mandates that he be a political independent, though in practice he is generally closely aligned with a party. The Palatine plays an important ceremonial role, appointing the government and embodying the spirit of the Union and the political order. He also possesses important actual powers, mainly in the area of foreign policy, which he conducts independently of the Prime Minister, illustrated by the appointment of the foreign and war secretaries independently from the advice of the government. The Palatine also exercises the power of veto and possesses the ability to declare martial law.

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Legislative Palace, Maristela

The head of government is the Premier, who is appointed by the Palatine based on his ability to command a majority in the Popular Assembly. The Premier determines the program of the government, and chooses cabinet secretaries to be invested by the Palatine. The job of the cabinet secretaries is to advise and execute policy as set by the Premier. In contrast to the Prime Minister, the Premier's authority is limited to domestic political matters. In practice, the division of authority between the Palatine and Premier varies widely across governments and administrations. The Premier always possesses some de facto influence on foreign policy through the appropriations process. When one party or coalition holds the premiership and a sympathetic Palatine is in office, the distinction is often ephemeral. As a general rule, while the Premier is general secretary of their party, Potestates tend to be drawn from the civil service, military, judiciary, or are moderates if they are politicians.

Mellifera uses a unique familial voting system, whereby each nuclear family, or household under certain circumstances, is granted a number of votes equivalent to its size, and these votes are exercised collectively by the family as a juridical person, and can be split between multiple candidates. This model was developed as a compromise with the suffragists, but failed to satisfy the movement and continues to be under sustained criticism both domestically and internationally. By decision of the Supreme Court in 1949, competency as established by the Constitution, natural law, and federal statute was incorporated into the law of the commonwealths. In 2015, the Temporal Courts passed a law granting suffrage to ex-offenders.

Papa flag
The flag of the Holy See, which by law must fly alongside the national flag in all public facilities

Mellifera uses a unique familial voting system, whereby each nuclear family, or household under certain circumstances, is granted a number of votes equivalent to its size, and these votes are exercised collectively by the family as a juridical person, and can be split between multiple candidates. This model was developed as a compromise with the suffragists, but failed to satisfy the movement and continues to be under sustained criticism both domestically and internationally. By decision of the Supreme Court in 1949, competency as established by the Constitution, natural law, and federal statute was incorporated into the law of the commonwealths. In 2015, the Temporal Courts passed a law granting suffrage to ex-offenders.

Federal political campaigns are entirely privately financed, and there are no caps on the amount of money that can be spent on elections or on the amount of money that can be donated by individuals or groups. However, all financial sources and expenditures must be clearly documented and made publicly available, and any funds left over from donations must be turned over to the treasury. Campaigning may only begin seventy days before the day of the election, and television advertisements are prohibited, due to their disproportionate cost and difficulty in obtaining. As a result, the ability to "flood" elections with cash is severely restricted.

Law

A reddish, columned structure.
Judicial Palace, Maristela

The Melliferan Constitution, one of the oldest in the world, holds the potestas of the state, guaranteeing certain natural and attained rights, and establishing the fundamental political order. However, natural law in the scholastic tradition and the revealed sacred law of the Levantine Catholic Church is recognized as bearing a distinct and ultimately superior importance, auctoritas. Thus, Mellifera can be said to be the only bi-constitutional state in existence. This distinct system reflects the influence of the Gelasian dyarchy,Jesuit political philosophy, and Urcean common law in the development of Melliferan law. The federal judiciary plays an important role in the interpretation of the Constitution and the application of natural and sacred law principles, and the Supreme Court has the power to strike down federal and commonwealth laws which it finds to be contrary to the law of the land. The court also may, but never has, strike down sections of the written Constitution that it finds to be in violation of natural and sacred law. To safeguard the execution of this significant power, the constitution mandates that magistrates of the Supreme Court be trained in theology, philosophy, and canon law, and invested by the Church in a chrismation ceremony similar to that of the Palatine. As in other areas of politics, spiritual sanctions by the Church on those supporting laws it interprets as against the sacred and natural law can be imposed to great effect.

Other than constitutional law, federal courts deal with intellectual property law, crimes committed in properties owned by the federal government, some aspects of market regulation, cross-commonwealth crimes, environmental law, admiralty law, disputes between states, and cases involving foreign officials. While the commonwealths establish law in most other areas, ecclesiastical courts have an exclusive right to adjudicate cases involving family law and wills.

Law enforcement is primarily the responsibility of the commonwealths, however the State Gendarmery is in charge of protecting federal installations, supporting federal investigations, and provides significant technical and material aid to regional police forces, particularly in rural areas and the more economically depressed commonwealths.

Commonwealths

Mellifera is composed of fifteen subnational commonwealths. Although generally classified as a federation, the specific organizing principle of Melliferan governance is subsidiarity. This principle is reflected in the constitution and the Melliferan legal tradition, but was not formally articulated until a decision of the Supreme Court in 1905. According to subsidiarity as understood in Melliferan constitutional law, societal problems ought to be solved at the most organic possible level. This includes not only the dichotomy between the national and commonwealth governments, but also the competency of local authorities and social institutions such as the Church and the family. In practice, this has meant that federal power remains largely limited to foreign policy, national defense, trade policy, enforcement of the Constitution, transportation, and, most recently, energy and environmental policy. All other powers, such as the establishment of benefits programs, some economic regulation, and justice are left to the commonwealths. The prerogative to tax is a component of this relationship: As established by the constitution and elaborated by the Supreme Court, the only taxes the federal government is legally allowed to levy and collect, except in times of war or national emergency, are the land value tax, tariffs, and regulatory fines. Other potential streams of revenue are reserved to the commonwealths.

Under the natural law theory of the Constitution, states are obligated to uphold the rights held as being God-ordained under the Constitution, and the national government has a duty to intervene to protect these rights. However, the Constitution does not mention specific administrative or legislative obligations on the part of the states, and until the Melliferan Civil War even laws on elections to the federal legislature were left to the commonwealths. Four of the commonwealths are monarchies, while most of the rest have a unitary, executive presidency. fourteen have representative legislatures, and all have judiciaries rooted in Urcean common law, though many have adapted elements of Oklahoman tribal law. One, Mariana, is a monastic state ruled by the Grand Master of the Brother Crucifers of Saints George and Michael. Under the constitution, both the entities of Mariana and the Brother Crucifers enjoy special privileges and autonomy.

Foreign relations

Despite its small population, Mellifera is a regional power in Crona. For the last three centuries, it has been the dominant economic force in Crona, with capital invested throughout the continent and strong economic relations with the otherwise largely isolated Cronan states. Furthermore, for much of this period Mellifera was the gateway to Crona, as the lawlessness and hostility of the indigenous states made direct trading relationships impractical for the Occidental powers, and Mellifera's policy of neutrality in Cronan and Occidental disputes made it even more attractive as an intermediary. As a result of this unique position, Mellifera gained significant soft power across the continent. However, with the Great Deluge, Mellifera's traditional role has been undermined by greater direct Occidental involvement in Crona, leading to a minor recession and significant political upheaval.

Mellifera's de jure foreign policy is laid out in the constitution, which declares that "the Union has the duty of formulating its general policies with a view to the unification of Christian peoples, and it must constantly strive to bring about the political, economic, and cultural unity of Christendom under the Sovereign Pontiff." The constitution further declares that all Melliferan military activity must be in accordance with just war theory. In pursuit of these ideas, Mellifera was a founding member of the League of Nations, participates in the Holy League, a Catholic voting bloc in the LoN General Assembly, and has led several abortive attempts to establish a Cronan continental union and a union of Catholic states. Mellifera has traditionally enjoyed strong economic and diplomatic ties with Urcea as a result of the state's creation by Urcean Jesuits and Urcea's assistance during the Melliferan Civil War, but this relationship has been strained by the Deluge, and interaction with the government of Kiravia has increased notably in recent years. Relations with Pauldustllah are polite, but distant, due to historical animosity.

Military

Mellifera's military, the Melliferan Defense Forces, consists of an Expeditionary Army, Home Guard, Air Force, Navy, and the State Gendarmery. The Palatine is the Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces, and power is delegated through the civilian Defense Ministry, subject to the advice of the [[General Staff of the Defense Forces(Mellifera)|General Staff], consisting of the leadership in each branch and under the overall leadership of the Head of the General Staff. The cornerstone of Melliferan military doctrine is deterrence, ensuring that, Mellifera, though small and population and incapable of defeating a concerted invasion by a major military power, makes such an invasion unthinkable due to the losses that would be inflicted on an invading power. Defense spending is 4% of Mellifera's GDP and consumes the largest portion of the federal budget in both mandatory and discretionary spending, with the Armed Forces receiving a total of $34.8 billion in 2036.


The Expeditionary Army consists of 150,000 men, all of whom are classified as active duty. Its primarily role is to act in power-projection and multilateral security efforts, as opposed to territorial defense. The EA is an all-volunteer, professional forces, with high standards of training, readiness, and outfitting, and it is highly mobile. In addition to power projection, the EA trains and conducts opposing force war games with the Home Guard.

The Home Guard is a conscript force, consisting of all capable Melliferan males outside the other branches of the Defense Forces between the ages of 21 and 65, around 8 million. However, only 490,000 men undergo regular training, and of the rest only those ages 21 to 40 must participate in staggered, annual exercises to demonstrate continued proficiency (and only receive payment for this period). The Home Guard is a purely defensive force, and cannot be deployed abroad. An important component of Home Guard training is instruction in basic survival and partisan warfare techniques, which is an important component of Mellifera's deterrence strategy. The Home Guard, though it does have some regular mechanized and artillery units, consists primarily of motorized infantry capable of operating as light infantry when necessary. Home Guard units are organized around individual towns and city districts, and play an important role in society, participating in charity, organizing patriotic commemorations, and organizing shooting sport events. Civil Defense is also an important part of the Home Guard's mission. In recent years, significant controversy has emerged around the Home Guard, with elements of the political left decrying it as fascistic and a number of scandals involving the exploitation of Home Guard units for electoral success. Also controversial is the policy of allowing soldiers to keep weapons and ammunition in their homes.

The Melliferan Navy is a green-water navy, tasked primarily with the defense of Mellifera's shores and with expeditionary capabilities in the Crona region. It maintains two fleets: the Mediterranean fleet, which operates in the Ogegeo and Miramal seas, and the Eastern Fleet, which operates in the Odeneru Ocean, chiefly in the Bight of Crona. The Navy operates 20 warships, including 4 pyre-class [wikipedia:Ballistic missile submarine|ballistic missile submarines]], Mellifera's nuclear deterrent force. The Melliferan Marine Corps also falls under the jurisdiction of the Navy.

The Air Force's mission is to defend the Union's airspace and support the deployment of the Expeditionary Army abroad. It operates around 300 aircraft.


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