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In Sierra, a Lord Superintendent or Lady Superintendent is the viceregal representative in a province, state, or area of the Sierran monarch and head of state Queen Elizabeth II. Lords and Ladies Superintendent are appointed by the Queen on the advice of her prime minister. Lords Superintendent are appointed to serve at Her Royal Majesty's pleasure, meaning that the length of their service is based on the discretion of the Queen alone under normal circumstances. In practice, each PSA maintains its own conventions regarding the length of service for their Lord Superintendent, ranging from 4 years to life tenure. Similar positions in Sierra's territories and crown dependencies are Lords Proprietor.
The origins of Lords and Ladies Superintendent derive from the British North American tradition of lieutenant governors. When the 1858 Constitution established the monarchy, Article XX declared the supremacy of the Crown over the provinces and required that every provincial government be headed by the Monarch-in-right of the province. The creation of Lords and Ladies Superintendent served to fulfill the provinces' requirement for the Crown's presence when the monarch was not personally residing or traveling within the respective province.
Lords and Ladies Superintendent exercise the constitutional authority and roles of the Queen when she is not present in their respective PSA. Their primary responsibility is to fulfill the Queen's obligations, responsibilities, and duties in their capacity as her viceregal representative. They must act in accordance to relevant provincial laws. In PSAs, which practice the Westminster system of governance, the Lord Superintendent may exercise most, if not all of the Queen's royal prerogatives, including giving royal assent, summoning and dismissing the legislature, and issuing writs of elections. In PSAs which practice the Anglo-American system of governance, the role and importance of Lords and Ladies Superintendent is considerably reduced, and is limited to acting on the advice and counsel of the popularly elected governor. In both systems, the Lord Superintendent carries out ceremonial duties belonging to the Queen and function as guarantors of responsible, continuous government. In limited instances, the Lord Superintendent may exercise reserve powers to prevent abuse of power in the elected government, or provide immediate relief during states of emergency and distress.
History[edit | edit source]
The office of the Lord Superintendent is based on the lieutenant governor, which existed in Canada since early British colonial rule in North America. Elements of the Canadian lieutenant governor were borrowed and codified into constitutional law when the California Republic reorganized itself as the Kingdom of Sierra in 1858. Article Twenty of the Constitution of Sierra declared that the Crown held supremacy over the Kingdom including its provinces and was the fount of government. The Lords Superintendent were created as the Monarch's official viceregal representatives to satisfy the constitutional requirement that every province within the Kingdom be headed by the Monarch personally. This concept, known as the King or Queen-in-right of the province, served as the basis of the monarchy's federalist relationship between the provinces. The Crown was to be simultaneously shared between the federal government and the provincial governments equally and totally.
The Viceregal Representation Act in 1862 further elaborated and standardized the roles, functions, and powers of the Lords Superintendent, by establishing that the Lords Superintendent could exercise nearly full range of the Monarch's royal prerogatives. It also allowed the provincial legislatures to make suggestions and influence the selection process of candidate Lords Superintendent, although this power remained in the hands of the King. Under the government of Ulysses Perry, a Democratic-Republican, Parliament passed the Viceregal Representative Accountability Act which curtailed the Lords Superintendent's authority to interfere with provincial legislative processes and required that the Monarch's appointments be based on the advice and consent of the prime minister.
Selection and appointment[edit | edit source]
Lords and Ladies Superintendent are appointed by the Queen based on the advice and counsel of the prime minister. There is no constitutional requirement for the Prime Minister to consult with the provincial governor or legislature on the appointment of the Lord Superintendent. Legislative statutes exist, however, that affirm the provincial governments' rights to be involved in the selection process for candidates under consideration as Lord Superintendent.
There is no standardization for the administration of oaths of office for Lords and Ladies Superintendent beyond the universal requirement that all sworn-in government officials pledge their allegiance to the Queen and the Constitution. Most provinces have established local statutes or adopted conventions which deal with this formality. Since the Lord Superintendent is not a royal, their appointment is not comparable to the Monarch's coronation ceremony or a royal's investiture ceremony. The appointee is generally invited to the provincial legislature building at the provincial capital where they are received by the governor and their ministers, justices of the province's supreme court, members of the provincial legislature, and other invited guests. While the Monarch is not obligated to, it is customary for them to be present at the swearing-in ceremony or for them to send a letter to be read aloud during the ceremony. This letter is distinct from the standardized commission the Monarch issues to all appointees, which is read immediately before the oath of office. Depending on the province, the chief justice of the provincial supreme court, the provincial secretary of state, or a minister of State appointed by the Crown may administer the oath the appointee makes. While the wording and number of oaths may vary, all oaths must feature an oath of allegiance to the Queen. Typically, there are two other required oaths, an oath of office as Lord or Lady Superintendent, and an oath as the keeper of the province's great seal.
The length of service Lords and Ladies Superintendent serve varies considerably between PSAs. While all Lords and Ladies Superintendent serve solely at Her Royal Majesty's pleasure, in practice, their terms are determined by the relevant statutes or conventions which exist in place of the PSA. Only 5 PSAs (Honolulu, and Oahu, Reno, Sonora, Tahoe) have implemented non-binding term limits which are nonenforceable but nonetheless observed by the Queen. Each of these provinces have set the term limit to four years, but allows incumbent Lords and Ladies Superintendent to serve renewable terms. In 7 provinces, Lords and Ladies Superintendent effectively serve a life tenure. Other PSAs practice convention rather than by codified law, which may have the Lord or Lady Superintendent tender their resignation after a certain number of years, usually between 5–15 years. In all cases, because they serve at Her Royal Majesty's pleasure, Lords and Ladies Superintendent serve at-will of the Crown and may have their service terminated by the Queen for any reason and at any time. In addition, the death, severe illness, incapacity, or resignation of an incumbent will also terminate service.
Role and powers[edit | edit source]
A Lord Superintendent is responsible for carrying out the official functions, duties, and obligations of the Queen on her behalf as her viceregal representative. They serve to maintain the foundational basis and legitimacy of the provincial government, by ensuring fair and democratic rule, and responsible government. The Lord Superintendent exists as a safeguard against the abuse of power and government breakdown by retaining the Queen's reserve powers. While the Queen has the right to exercise executive, legislative, and judicial authority over the provinces, the Lords and Ladies Superintendent are authorized to exercise them, including the royal prerogatives in the Queen's name. The Lords and Ladies Superintendent alone hold the authority to appoint and dismiss ministers of government, judges, and other officers of the state, as well as summon, prorogue, and dissolve the legislature. All legislative acts passed by the provincial legislature must receive the royal assent, which is granted or withheld by the Lord Superintendent in the Queen's name.
The Lord Superintendent is also responsible for performing ceremonial functions in their capacity as the Queen's personal representative. He or she may host members of the Sierran Royal Families, foreign heads of state and royalty, and other dignitaries who visit the province. When traveling outside the province while remaining within the Kingdom, the Lord or Lady Superintendent may represent the province. When traveling abroad, the Lord or Lady Superintendent may only conduct state duties and represent their province and Sierra if permitted by the Queen.
The Lord or Lady Superintendent may issue awards, orders, honors, or decorations in the name of the Queen, although there are certain awards which they may issue which are personally associated with the Lord Superintendent such as the Lord Superintendent's Award for Outstanding Civil Service in most PSAs.
Symbols and protocol[edit | edit source]
In provincial orders of precedence, the Lord Superintendent takes precedence immediately after the Queen, preceding even members of the Royal Family. As the Queen's viceregal representative, the Lord or Lady Superintendent is the highest ranking person in the provincial order of precedence when the Queen is not present. In the federal orders of precedence, the Lords and Ladies Superintendent rank below the House Leader of the Opposition and above members of the Privy Council who do not possess a title higher than the Lords or Ladies Superintendent, and the provincial governors. Among the Lords and Ladies Superintendent, they are ordered based on the order of when their province, state, or area was admitted into the Kingdom.
All incumbent Lords and Ladies Superintendent are styled His or Her Excellency The Right Honorable, which they retain for life. In addition, each Lord and Lady Superintendent is automatically inducted as a knight or dame of the Order of the Golden Poppy and the Order of the Rose of Sharon. They are also the chancellor of their province's order and is the honorary provincial king of arms.