the Sandum Republic

In Sandus, there exists a political theory surrounding the definition of the Sandum government. One side believes Sandus to be a constitutional monarchy; the other, a republic. In Sandus, both definitions are considered and honoured for their unique benefit to governance, to society, and to cultural development.

When the State of Sandus was founded in April 2011, one person – the Sôgmô – was invested with all the power of government and state according to the Founding Law based on his status as founder of Sandus in May 2009. The only check against the Sôgmô’s powers were the rights of Sandum citizens, including the influential right to petition for change in government policy and creating new government policy. In September of that year, the Sôgmô voluntarily applied two checks to the Office of the Sôgmô: there would be elected representatives of both the electorate (the Sovereign People) and the Party and – by far more important – it placed an annual referendum on the Winter Solstice for the Office of the Sôgmô, asking if the Sôgmô maintained the legitimacy of the People; if the Sôgmô’s government was illegitimate, constitutional provisions would be added to remove power from the Office. Though the elected Comrade and Sanôba/Phanem Representatives were disbanded following a period of inactivity, the election has remained as an important constitutional change in Sandus’s largely unwritten constitution.

Elections are still held — held annually on the Winter Solstice in December. In December 2011, however, the second great constitutional change was added to the unwritten constitution of Sandus: the enfranchisement of the Citizens’ Communist Party of Sandus, now the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. The month before the enfranchisement, the CCPS held its first Party Congress and began with its first activity as a separate institution apart from the government. The enfranchisement of the Party made it a non-governmental organisation and a legal cooperative in Sandus; the Party was tasked with two objectives: (1) serve as a democratic forum for all Sandum citizens and (2) advocate for Socialism and advancements to the Sandum Socialist system. For a year and a half, the CCPS operated biannual Party Congresses. With the independence of Volfa and the departure of one citizen from micronationalism, however, the Party Congresses became annual (around the beginning of November) and the Congress for 2013 was cancelled and became an international conference held by the CCPS. In 2014, the Party became the Citizens’ Party of Sandus.

Until 2014, the third constitutional change was being planned. At the 2014 Party Congress, the Party voted to form a direct democratic assembly, known as the Council. In anticipation of the future Council, it was decided that the Party would still act as a platform for democratic discourse in Sandus, while it would focus primarily on social equality, political activism, state planning, and economic custodianship.

During the Winter Solstice elections that December, the plan to form a direct democratic assembly passed and, on 1 January 2015, the Council was promulgated by the Sôgmô. Today, the Council’s constitutional exists as both the former direct democratic forum found in the Party and as an advisory body to the Sôgmô. The Council even has a leading elected official, the Facilitator, who is both a direct adviser to the Sôgmô based on the Sovereign People’s mandate and weal and is also an equal to the Sôgmô in the republican constitution. In other words, both definitions of Sandum government can still be found in our government, whether or not the republican constitution is now “complete.” The Council has the power to pass laws and specific political decisions, while this does not necessarily negate the Sôgmô’s own power of issuing decrees and making law.

These three constitutional changes mark the development of Sandus’s Republican government. There is, in many ways, an indistinct separation of powers in Sandus, and the dual definition of Sandum government is now reiterated in similar terms after the republican constitution was “finalised.” Each branch’s decisions have the effect of law in Sandus, while all three branches generally recognise the constitutional primacy of the monarchy. To a modernist, this arrangement likely seems contradictory, but Sandus is at best a classical republic much in the vein of Ancient Greek and Roman discussion of constitutional theory.

The next planned stage in the development of the Sandum constitution is the development of a legal, judicial, and philosophical system and a clear delineation in arbitration. In the future, as well, it is expected that antagonism amongst the branches of the Sandum republic will necessitate a more distinct separation of powers.

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