|Presidential Council of the United Republic of Cascadia|
|Term length||Five years|
The Presidential Council is the executive council which constitutes the federal government of the United Republic of Cascadia and serves as the Cascadian collective head of state.
While the entire Council is responsible for leading the federal administration of Cascadia, each Councilor heads one or more of the fifteen federal executive departments.
Members of Council
The current members of the Presidential Council are, in order of seniority:
| 1st Presidential Council of the United Republic of Cascadia|
April 1, 2015–April 1, 2019
|Member of Council||Took Office|| Party|
|Home State||Function|| Voting|
|Tarif Athir Khoury||April 1, 2015|| Cascadian Democratic Party|
|Washington||Head of the Federal Department for Administration and Development||No|
|John Brooks||April 1, 2015|| Independence Party of Cascadia|
|Oregon|| Vice President (April 1, 2015–August 1, 2016)|
Head of the Federal Department for Communications and Transportation
|Mia Keating||April 1, 2015|| Cascadian Democratic Party|
|Washington||Head of the Federal Department for Constituent State Affairs||Yes|
|Blake Emery||April 1, 2015|| United Cascadia Party|
|Washington||Head of the Federal Department for Domestic Affairs||No|
|Toby Baird||April 1, 2015|| Greens of Oregon|
|Oregon||Head of the Federal Department for Economic and Trade Policy||Yes|
|Piper Hoskins||April 1, 2015|| Washingtonian Greens|
|Washington|| President (April 1, 2015–August 1, 2016)|
Head of the Federal Department for Finance
|Florence Jamieson||April 1, 2015|| United Cascadia Party|
|Washington||Head of the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs||Yes|
|Dennis Orozco Carranza||April 1, 2015|| Cascadian Democratic Party|
|Oregon||Head of the Federal Department for Justice and the Police||Yes|
|Zhen Chou||April 1, 2015|| Greens of Oregon|
|Oregon||Head of the Federal Department for Natural Resources and the Environment||No|
The nine seats on the council must be allocated to the constituent states proportionally to their respective populations, provided neither state is given fewer than a third of either the voting or non-voting seats.
The Presidential Council is established by the federal Constitution, which outlines its composition and functions. It consists of six voting members and a variable number of non-voting members, elected by the federal Parliament by special majority to a five-year term.
The Constitution provides that two members of the Council, not hailing from the same state, shall be elected President and Vice President of the Council for its full five-year term, and that they shall rotate in their offices every ten months for the first ten years, and every twenty months thereafter, beginning with the member hailing from the more populous state. The Council can modify the way the presidency rotates amongst its members by a unanimous decision of its voting members.
According to the constitution, the President of the Presidential Council represents the Council as head of state. He or she presides over Council meetings and carries out certain representative functions that, in other countries, are the business of a head of state. He or she also represents the country at meetings of heads of government. Apart from that, though, the President of the Council is a primus inter pares, having no power above and beyond the other members.
The Presidential Council operates mainly through twice-weekly meetings, which are held on Monday and Thursday at the Government Complex in Portland, the seat of the Cascadian federal government. Apart from the Councilors, the heads of the governments of the two constituent states are often invited to attend meetings of the Council, who participate in the discussion but without a vote.
After the meetings, the Councilors always take lunch or dinner together. The Council also meets regularly in conclave to discuss important topics at length, and annually conducts what is colloquially referred to as its "field trip," a weekend excursion to some attractions in the President's home state. In that and other respects, the Council operates not unlike a board of directors of a corporation.
Decisions and responsibilities
Each Councilor heads a government department, much like the ministers in the governments of other countries. Colloquially and by the press, they are often referred to as ministers or secretaries, even though no such post officially exists. However, as Council members, they are not only responsible for their own department, but also for the business of their colleagues' departments as well, and for the conduct of the government and the federal administration as a whole.
It is up to the Council to decide on the allocation of portfolios among its members. In the event they are unable to agree, the allocation will be based on the size of the political party groups in the Senate.
The Constitution strongly encourages the Councilors to take decisions by consensus, however when consensus cannot be reached, decisions are taken by a majority of voting members, provided at least one Council from each state votes in favor.
The meetings of the Presidential Council and the result of the votes taken are not open to the public, and the records remain sealed for 72 years. Despite criticisms that this undermines the principle of transparency of government, the Council maintains that secrecy is necessary to arrive at a consensus and political independence of the Councilors.
Election and composition
The members of the Presidential Council are elected for a term of five years by both chambers of the federal Parliament. The Councilors are elected on a single list by secret ballot. The list must specify which of the proposed Councilors will be voting members and which will be non-voting members. Every adult Cascadian citizen is eligible to be elected to the Council. The voting is conducted in several rounds under a form of exhaustive ballot: in the first two rounds, any representative or senator may submit a list; but in subsequent rounds, the list receiving the fewest votes is removed from consideration until a single list gains the sufficient majority to be elected. It is not uncommon for the same person to be named on multiple lists.
The election of the Presidential Council requires what the constitution calls a special majority. A special majority requires:
- a simple majority of all members of the House of Representatives present and voting; and
- a simple majority of all members of the Senate present and voting, provided at least two-fifths of all senators from each state vote in favor.
Once elected for a five-year term, Presidential Councilors can neither be voted out of office by a motion of no confidence, nor can they be impeached. Reelection is possible for an indefinite number of terms.
Status of Presidential Councilors
Unlike most senior members of government in other countries, the Presidential Councilors are not entitled to an official residence. Mostly, they choose to rent apartments or hotel suites in Portland, at their own expense. However, they are entitled to use Olympic Lodge for holidays; the Lodge is also used to host official guests of Cascadia.
While Councilors can draw on a security detail if they need personal protection, it is more usual to encounter them without any escort at all in the streets, restaurants and rail stations of Portland.
The spouses of Councilors do not play an official part in the business of government, apart from accompanying the Councilors to official receptions.
Presidential Councilors draw a yearly remuneration of CSD 370,000 (about USD 400,000). After completing a full term of office, they are entitled to an annual pension of half that amount after leaving office.