“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
— Plato, The Republic
GGGovernments follow an upward trend of size and complexity. Local governments, like those found on a Lord’s estate, inside a city, or a military encampment, give way to provincial governments. These provinces may have all kinds of different names; oblasts, cantons, states, or prefectures are some examples of these. As collections of smaller governments, they exhibit services that are available more easily on a larger scale to their members.
The Planar Council is one of the few multi-planar governments that exists in the Trigate universe. As individual planes started interacting with each other, it made sense that those that were like-minded should work together. Though it has stumbled along the way, the concept of a planar government has proven effective.
In this post, we’ll cover the delegates from individual planes as they make up one part of the Planar Council’s legislative branch.
The Role of a Delegate
DDDelegates have a singular intended function: to represent the individuals from the plane they are chosen to represent. As with anything, however, it is not that simple. Do these delegates represent most of the population of their world, or is their purpose to represent the smaller governments that exist there? This is a subject of debate still to this day, as the view changes from delegate to delegate.
The delegates, sometimes also referred to as councilors, are responsible for proposing or voting for proposals that come up on the council floor as lawnotes or solutions, offer amendments to existing legislature, and serve on various committees and sub-councils within the legislative branch of the Planar Council.
When a delegate is chosen, it is done so with the understanding that they represent the interests, beliefs, and best intentions of the individuals they represent. In ages past, this could prove a difficult and lengthy process because of the sheer scale of the distance involved. This has improved considerably because of the adaption of psionic communication methods, amongst others.
The opposite side of this relationship is that delegates are also responsible for disseminating changes that the Planar Council implements and general news of the goings-on within. There are also individuals whose job is to relay this information, but delegates will often do so with those in the upper echelons of the societies they come from.
The tricameral legislature of the Planar Council is composed of three branches, with these delegates belonging to the Planar Council proper. They only make up one part of the Planar Council’s legislative branch, though, with the other two being the Parliament of Planarchs and the Historium. As the Planar Council is drawn from anyone wishing to be elected into the position, we could think of it as the branch closest to the commoners across the planes.
Becoming a Delegate
TTThe process for becoming a delegate is transcribed into Planar Council law; it essentially boils down to individuals who wish to fulfill the role of delegate, gaining the most votes in an area. However, the law is loosely written enough where there are a lot of specifics that are left up to the regions sending delegates to provide some cultural wiggle-room.
What is a “region” in terms of the area that makes up where the votes come from? Is it the capital of a kingdom? The entire kingdom? The royal estate, filled with those loyal to the rules of the area?
Once individuals are voted on, there is nothing stating that another process can’t be involved past that. It would be legal to have your voted individual have to fight other potential delegates to ensure they earn the right to be the representative.
How are the votes intended to be collected? Do people collect them, or is there somewhere that the votes are supposed to be done? What happens if this is in an area that most of the people cannot get to? (For example, if it was in a city surrounded by a rough landscape that is difficult to traverse because of hazards, dangerous wildlife, and who knows what else, individuals may not feel voting is worth it.)
Determining a lot of measures on how the voting process happens. How do you prevent people from voting twice? How do you protect people from being intimidated to vote a particular way?
Once chosen, they send the new delegate chosen to live on Metron with their family. The previous delegate can do as they wish if their position is to be relinquished to their new replacement.
TTThere are an incredible number of measures and issues that come up on the Planar Council floor. As to be expected, delegates will vote on these based on the values bestowed upon them from the cultures they grew up in.
They present these measures as a lawnote that goes forth onto the Council floor.
For example, Canyon Folklings from Luan Apach vote against measures of war, aggression, invasion, or conquest, as well as things involving the widespread or reckless use of magic, psionics, or technology. However, measures involving increases in infrastructure, civilian aid, exploration, and colonization are looked upon favorably.
The Karayib Elves from Calinago meanwhile also dislike measures that involve a lot of magic, but those that appease their sense of curiosity and passion for life, battle, and crafts, infrastructure, exploration, and colonization typically receive their votes. They need to be swayed on matters such as civilian aid, as they typically believe that people should be able to care for themselves.
Things being voted on can be minuscule, “The Tsardom of Teryarch wants to seek aid from Terratheurgists, Hydrotheurgists, and engineers to expand the harbor facilities of the capital because of expanded traffic from other planes.”, and some things that affect multiple planes, “We need to increase the recruitment of the Planar Militia and expand the budget to give them better equipment due to increased Recreancy activity.”
Generally, lawnotes that are aimed at assisting singular planes involve working out deals with other delegates. You know how it goes, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Lawnotes, Solutions, and Amendments
TTThe legislative branch of the Planar Council holds the power to create, amend, and ratify Council laws. There is more to this process that involves the other bodies, but as far as the Planar Council is concerned, they usually do these through the following methods.
Lawnotes are typically the most common type of legislation to get voted on, as any delegate can draft and present them. It is considered good form for them to be presented on a planar basis so they are introduced by a group of delegates, but because of events in the Planar Council’s past, even lawnotes proposed by singular delegates must be treated with the same respect as any other.
Solutions are presented as temporary measures to assist with emergency situations or times of great crisis. The most recent solution that was brought to the Planar Council floor was to acknowledge the movement of military assets to repel the forces of the Recreancy once they had invaded Council worlds. The fundamental difference between a lawnote and a solution is that a solution can go into effect with only votes from the Planar Council with feedback from the Parliament of the Planarchs and Historium not being required. They exist in case the people of the Planar Council feel there is a threat that needs to be addressed that is otherwise ignored, but because of this, a solution has more strict prerequisites before making it to be voted on.
In the case an existing lawnote needs to be changed, or a solution is deemed to be made more permanent, they can bring an amendment to the Planar Council floor with the proposed changes.
Committees and Sub-Councils
CCCommittees and sub-councils exist to focus on specific subjects and can hold members from the three bodies of the Planar Council legislature. They monitor ongoing Council operations, identify issues suitable for review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action to the Parliament of Planarchs and Historium.
The number of lawnotes that could be brought up to the Planar Council floor would be immense and the committees and sub-councils help manage the volume and complexity of that. The primary difference between a committee and a sub-council is that committees only allow delegates as members, whereas sub-councils allow members from all three bodies to work together. Members can be part of both.
The purpose of the committees is to promote diversity in opinions and background on singular issues. Whereas the Canyon Folkling delegates would most likely have similar feelings on several subjects, bringing them together with members of other species to discuss, say, agricultural changes that could benefit the Planar Council would promote far more ideas and discussion than a single species alone.
Some example committees and sub-councils include things such as Foreign Planar Affairs (Focuses on legislation that revolves around non-Planar Council entities that exist on planes not considered a part of Council territory), Internal Relations (Focuses on legislation that revolves around non-Planar Council entities that do exist on planes that are members of the Planar Council. These would be other sentient and sophont beings.), Education, Arcane Oversight (Focuses on legislation that relates to the practice of arcane magic), with many others existing outside of those.
Next time, we’ll cover the other two bodies of the Planar Council’s legislative branch: the Parliament of Planarchs, individuals who are elected by delegates to “represent the best of us and the ideals of the Planar Council”, and the Historium, individuals who, through the use of primarily Chronotheurgic and Anitheurgic magics, bring individuals of importance back to life or otherwise able to be communicated with.
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
— Mark Twain