TRINIA

Gathering of Monitors

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The Gathering of Monitors (usually referred to simply as the Gathering) is a deliberative body within the Trinian government. It is elected directly by the voting public, and is responsible for monitoring, commenting upon, and if necessary correcting the actions of other branches of government. It is considered to be a way in which the people have direct input into government in the period between full elections.


Election

Seats are assigned to the thirty-seven Houses roughly based on their population. The current system of distribution results in approximately one seat for every 250,000 people. House Tinaţor, the largest, currently receives ten places, Houses Irinor and Maviriol receive eight each, and House Terentor receives six each. The next seven Houses all receive four, followed by fifteen Houses with three places each, seven Houses with two places each, and four Houses with just one place each. There are a total of 123 places, with the average number of places per House being somewhat over three.

Each House choses its representatives in the Gathering based on its own procedures and timetable - there is no standard system. Some Houses fill all their places at once, while others elect representatives in stages — slightly more Houses do the former than the latter, although the larger Houses almost all tend towards the latter. The term of a member of the Gathering can vary between two years and six years, sometimes being fixed and sometimes being flexible. The only requirements that the central government places on the Houses are those designed to ensure that the elections are indeed properly democratic.


Deliberation and Decisions

The customs and conventions of the Gathering are substantially different from that of foreign assembies to which it is compared — the Gathering evolved out of informal discussions among the nobility at social events, and this forms the basis for its structure today. Rather than sit in rows or in a semi-circle, the Gathering stands, occasionally listening to a speaker but mostly talking amongst themselves, moving around the room to discuss matters with different people. Topics for deliberation are determined by prior consultations, and will be stated beforehand by the Seneschal. Officials will circulate to record the decisions of participants as and when they care to make them — once there have been enough decisions on an issue that no further contributions could alter the outcome, the Seneschal will announce it.

The Gathering does not make law, like foreign assemblies to which it is compared, but does have a considerable impact on government. The topics on which it deliberates cover the entire field of state activitity — the national budget, public services such as healthcare and education, foreign affairs, law enforcement, and many other things.


Party Associations

Trinian political parties are somewhat less substantial than those found in most countries, but the Gathering of Monitors provides one of their clearer manifestations. In elections to the Gathering, groups of candidates will be endorsed by existing party blocks, meaning that the elections are essentially partisan despite there being no formal recognition of this in the Gathering proper.

As of mid 308, the largest party in the Gathering was the Party of Memory, with 53 attendees at least nominally affiliated with it. Behind it are the Party of Thought with 41 attendees, the Party of Hope with 18, and the Party of Action with 3. There are also eight attendees who disclaim formal association with any party, although some are sometimes considered de facto members of Memory, Thought, or the Aigadoro-Moranguese Rights Party.

Strength of Trinian political parties in the Gathering

House colour House colour

Tinaţor

10

Memory

House colour House colour

Irinor

8

Thought

House colour House colour

Maviriol

8

Memory

House colour House colour

Terentor

6

Hope

House colour House colour

Galador

4

Memory

House colour House colour

Ulŭkan

4

Memory

House colour House colour

Barezăno

4

Thought

House colour House colour

Kućaĭor

4

Hope

House colour House colour

Zaradan

4

Thought

House colour House colour

Luvilos

4

Hope

House colour House colour

Silimas

4

Thought

House colour House colour

Kralniriya

3

Thought

House colour House colour

Jandaror

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Oradinel

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Sienŏlo

3

Thought

House colour House colour

Viukur

3

Independent

House colour House colour

Romias

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Olenzal

3

Thought

House colour House colour

Avŏsa

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Turelas

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Deniriănzo

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Zerĭmar

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Şiulaţa

3

Thought

House colour House colour

Turandăta

3

Thought

House colour House colour

Zatĕndas

3

Independent

House colour House colour

Korenamos

3

Memory

House colour House colour

Uḱmar

2

Memory

House colour House colour

Kaurak

2

Hope

House colour House colour

Koroven

2

Independent

House colour House colour

Lalakur

2

Thought

House colour House colour

Tuzănţa

2

Action

House colour House colour

Elenmar

2

Thought

House colour House colour

Enkbŏrda

2

Hope

House colour House colour

Akunor

1

Action

House colour House colour

Telebis

1

Thought

House colour House colour

Aşazană

1

Thought

House colour House colour

Ustălya

1

Memory


Commentary

A meeting of the Gathering actually looks more like a cocktail party than serious deliberation — and in the days when Trinia was a real monarchy, that's what it was, since all the political plotting among the aristocracy happened at such functions. Trinia maintains the tradition partly because it likes tradition and partly because it genuinely thinks that you reduce confrontation and antagonism this way. (This is especially true since it's not being recorded by the media, and politicians can actually talk to each other casually without needing to think about what the press will say. The downside is that it can be hard for voters to know exactly what their representatives are getting up to.)