The Grand High Council of the Federation of Saydneyan States is the offcial title for the body more commononly known as the High Council of Saydney. The High Council is one of two houses of parliament in the Saydneyan systems and was orginally envisgaed as the "states house" by the orginal drafters of the Saydneyan Constiution.
The High Council is the chamber in which government is formed as constitutionally both the President and Vice-President must be elected from this body. Further the magority of Saydneyan cabinet members must also be members of this body.
Following constiutional reform in 2004 the High Council consists of 60 members. Each state in the Saydneyan Federation elects 10 Councilors to an 8 year term with half the chamber being elected every 4 years on a rotational basis.
Powers and Duties
The Primary power of the High Council is to form the government of Saydney. Constituionally both the President and Vice-President are elected from this body at the begining of every parliamentary term, that is following each election.
Further the the magority of Cabinet must be members of the High Council and the High Council must confirm all Saydneyan Ministers.
As the second house of the Saydneyan system the High Council is also involved with the legislative system, and like the Congress has the power to pass legislation.
There are some specific powers granted to the High Council. The High Council is the only house with the capacity to authorise a declaration of War, the power to amend or reject budgets. The Chamber may initiate referendums.
The House also has a number of unpopular powers, which despite their suspicions nature have remained despite recent reforms. That is the High Council can suspend elections for itself for up to 5 years via a 2/3 vote of the house. This vote can by overturned by the Congress and is subject to review by both the Congress and Supreme Court. However no other part of the constitution can be suspended. The other unpopular power is the ability of the house to pardon criminals, many see this as a breach of the seperation of powers.
The Presiding Officer of the High Council is the Chancellor of the Grand High Council of the Saydneyan Federation. However they are most commonly known as the Chancellor.
The main task of the Chancellor is to preside over the High Council when during parliamentry sessions. The Chancellor maintains order, works with the party whips in declaring votes and with the manage of government buisness in decising the order of proceedings. The Chancellor is also known as the Minister of the Parliament and with the Speaker of the Congress has responsibility for the operations of the parliamentary building itself, its staff and day to day operations.
Since Saydney does not have a head of state in the usual fashion The Chancellor must co-sign with the President and the Speaker of Congress all bills that are to become law. This is designed to show that all laws have been approved by the High Council and the Congress
The Chancellor has a deliberative vote on the floor of the chambers, however by convention this is rarely excercised.
The Chancellor is a member of the High Council and like the President and Vice-President is elected by the chamber following each election. The Chamber also elects a Deputy Chancellor to assist the Chancellor in their duties and preside at High Council sittings should the Chancellor be unable.
The Current Chancellor of the High Council is Councilor Julia Montenaux, a Councilor for Piedmont and a member of the SDC. Her Deputy is Councilor Robert Kent, a Councilor for Candarra and a member of the Labour Party.