King of Begma: By Grace Of God, His Majesty, King Albert Ottokar Perlmutter IV
Prime Minister: Sir Cuthbert Q. Adirondack of the Grand Unified Party
Leader of the Loyal Opposition in Parliament: Louis-Phillippe Tessier-Ashpoole of the Pneumatic Tube Party
Minority Whip: Artemis Haight-Ashbury of the Pneumatic Tube Party
The Begman Government
The Republic of Begma is not, like as it publicly proclaims, a Republic. Begma is, in actuality, a Constitutional Monarchy with a constitutionally established Parliament. However, the citizens of Begma always refer to their country as "the Republic of Begma."
Begma has been a Constitutional Monarchy for a little over 300 years. Before the "great Enlightenment" brought by the Civil War, known to Begma as "the Great Discussion on Laws and Other Important Things (with Explosions)," Begma was a pure Monarchy based on the Amber Kingdom model with one strong, hereditary King. After lopping off the head of one King, chasing off another, and forcing a third to sign on to the Begman concept of a Constitution, it transitioned to its current state.
The Civil War was ended by Sir Rufus Cottonward, Lord Salisbury, who established the Common Constitution of the People of the Republic of Begma. The establishment of the Constitution separated powers from the King. The King may sign off or have ultimate authority over laws, but as time passed, the power of the King waned until he became a pure figure head. In modern days, the King has some minor powers and presides over Snooker Tournaments and the opening of grocery stores. Mostly he is a celebrity figure.
The Civil Service is the means by which the decrees of parliament, and the policies of the Government are turned into actual workable policies and actions on the ground. They check the law. They gather data. They tax. They distribute monies, to enable people to achieve an appropriate level of Rights. The Civil Service is large, bureaucratic, inefficient, and alternately a source of pride ("They never let a man starve, or go without shelter, or hot water") and irritation for the populous ("Another *()&)^)& form to fill out?"). Nobody is entirely sure where the forms which are filled out go. Some say everything ends up with the Ministry of Tourism, as a sort of sink, but the sheer amount of form filling makes this unlikely.
The King —- Good King Bertie IV
Begma still maintains its King and its Royal Family. Begmans never get rid of an idea, even if it is an old idea and past its prime. One never knows when one needs a reference, and the King is as good a reference as any.
The current King is His Majesty, King Albert Ottokar Perlmutter IV. He is a congenital, handsome man in his mid-30s with excellent grey hair and an easy smile. He is generally powerless, but a darling of the broadsheets. His unmarried status has generated a large number of rumors from his playboy status to his favorite girlfriend of the week. Strangely, according to the constitution, King Bertie IV has the disturbing ability to declare War, but he is often too drunk or too busy playing Snooker to notice little things like foreign relations.
King Bertie IV is a very laid-back, non-interventionist King who prefers to compete in National Snooker Meets to ruling. He believes the Prime Minister has it Well In Hand. The King's predilection for Snooker has made it second in popularity only to Boat Race Night.
King Bertie IV also has a very hot sister, and since the King is a Confirmed Bachelor, she represents the best chance of a continuation of the Royal Line.
Legislative Branch — Parliament
Begma has one great House of Parliament in the form of a Constituent Assembly. Parliament can create laws by a simple majority of votes, elect a Prime Minister and a Comptroller. According to the Constitutional Mandate, the Parliament of Begma has the following powers:
- The House of Parliament is unicameral. It has 120 seats.
- The Prime Minister is the Head of Government. He has the power to appoint Ministers to Heads of Ministries of the Government.
- Parliament selects their Prime Minister from among existing members of Parliament. This tends to be the Head of the Majority Party.
- Members of Parliament (MPs) serve 4-year terms and can serve an unlimited numbed of terms.
- MPs are selected through the D'Hondt Method selection, which is averages through Party Selection to figure out the number of allocated seats. This method is rarely fair.
- The Government has a State Comptroller who deals with the powers, tasks, and duties of supervisor of government bodies, ministries, institutions, authorities, agencies, persons, and bodies operating on behalf of the state.
- The State Comptroller is also elected by Parliament. This is also often a member of the Governing Majority Party.
Voting for Parliament
Technically, any citizen over 18 years old who can prove they have proper Begman Citizenship may vote in the yearly Begman Elections. The Truth is a bit more toward the elitist than the egalitarian: who can and cannot prove they have proper Begman Citizenship is often up to interpretation and the end result is a vote often held by the wealthy and the middle Engineering class.
Voters may only vote for parties. They cannot vote for individuals. The party heads decide who will become an MP should the party pick up seats during an election year. A party must have a minimal 2% of the total vote to gain a seat in Parliament regardless of seat distrubution.
Ministers of major Government Offices are appointed by Prime Minister and signed off (boilerplate) by the King. The Ministers are almost always of the same Party as the Prime Minister, so whomever controls Parliament also controls the Ministry. The Prime Minister may also appoint "Ministers without Portfolio," who are often friends, relatives, and assorted cronies looking for a job. Ministers without Portfolio often outnumber real Ministers with real Cabinet Positions 2:1 in any administration.
The current Real Ministries are:
- Ezekiel Trask, Foreign Affairs
- Lord Evelyn Duncastle, Trade
- Phineas T. Wolfcastle, Tourism
The Minister of Tourism is AWESOME. (This comment brought to you by the Ministry of Tourism.)
The Begman Judicial Courts consist of a three-tier system:
- Magistrate Courts serves as the court of first instance
- District Courts serves as the appellate courts and also serve as the court of first instance for some cases;
- Supreme Court is located in Begma City and acts as an appellate court, and as the High Court of Justice as a court of first instance often in matters concerning the legality of decisions of state authorities.
Politics and Sport
1. According to the Minister of Tourism, Politics is the Third Most Popular Begman Organized Contact Sport after Crew and Snooker.
2. Begma supports a very lively election system during the election year.
- Alexis Warner Dare, Ministry of Safety, married into the Dare family. Good connections!
- Quentin Watson, a Clerk in the Amber Embassy.
- Admiral Tillsworth, Admiral of the Begman Navy.
- Miss Esther Piddingsworth Wolfcastle, daughter of Begma's Minister of Tourism.
- Miss Geraldina Dearborn Trask, niece of the Begma's Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Miss Deirdre Alouicious Farbuckle, infamous daughter of Mister Herbert Q. Farbuckle, President of BCM.
- Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Anastasia Dualla Greycomb Perlmutter, sister of Good King Bertie!