Secretariat of the United Commonwealth
|State Secretariat of the United Commonwealth of Continental States|
Central Committee |
September 1st, 1919
|Salary||$51,000 per year|
This article needs to be updated.
The State Secretariat of the United Commonwealth of Continental States (commonly referred to as the Secretariat of the United Commonwealth, the UC Secretariat, or simply the Secretariat) is the de jure head of state and de facto head of government of the United Commonwealth. Historically, the office of the Secretariat consisted of several distinct positions held by different individuals (including the Presidency). Under the leadership of Seamus McCallahan, the offices of the Secretariat were consolidated and merged into one and the name of the office (secretariat as opposed to secretary general) was adopted to refer to the individual who controlled it. Since then, the powers, responsibilities, and duties of the Secretariat has continued to evolve although the extent of its actual power and relevance to the overall leadership of the country has greatly varied among past secretariats.
The Secretariat is a standing member of both the Central Committee of the Continentalist Party and the National Committee of the Continentalist Party and may serve as the chairman to either or both bodies. Officially, leadership roles in the party and the military remain separate and independent from the Secretariat. By convention, the Secretariat has held the title of Chairman of the Continentalist Party and the Commissioner of the Continental Armed Forces since the early 2000s as the powers and responsibilities of the Secretariat have increased. It is one of the major offices of the Government of the United Commonwealth and is one of the world's powerful offices in the world due to the United Commonwealth's status and influence.
The Continental Constitution designates the Secretariat as the head of state and an institution of the state, rather than an administrative or party office. The Secretariat is elected to serve and hold the office by members of the National Committee of the Continentalist Party. Since 2016, following legislative changes to the Constitution, the Secretariat may serve at the pleasure of the National Committee, rather than eight-year terms as used prior to the legislation. The Secretariat is responsible for executing and enforcing national law, representing the country as the head of state, overseeing foreign relations and diplomatic missions, making or receiving official state visits, appointing or dismissing certain government and party officials, chairing statutory committees, directing the national agenda and domestic policy, declaring a state of emergency, issuing state honors, and managing the state bureaucracy.
The Secretariat has no official residency, the Biltmore Estate is currently used for state functions for international dignitaries. Secretariats, along with most members in government live within Cook County. Nathaniel Scribner reportedly lives in the South Side of Chicago in a undisclosed two story bungalow; a modest precedence set by Warren who lived in the Cabrini–Green Homes during his post.
Qualifications and election
According to the current Constitution of the United Commonwealth, the Secretariat must be a Continental citizen who has attained the age of 35 and has full electoral rights in one of the four Registered Sections of the Continentalist Party of the United Commonwealth. The Secretariat is elected by members of the National Committee of the Continentalist Party, a body which functions as the de facto national legislature and convenes together as a 600-member body every four years for about a month or during special sessions as directed by the Secretariat. The National Committee reserves the right to remove the Secretariat from office and requires only a simple majority to do so.
Candidates for the Secretariat are screened and evaluated by the Central Committee of the Continentalist Party. Once a candidate has been selected, the Central Committee nominates the candidate for review by the National Committee for approval. In practice, the office of the Secretariat has been reserved for the Chairman of the Continentalist Party who is a sitting member of the Central Committee and the National Committee. Generally, all nominated candidates have been elected from one-name ballots.
In the event that the office of the Secretariat has a vacancy or the incumbent is otherwise incapacitated, the Deputy Secretariat succeeds and assumes the office. If both offices are vacant, the Chairman of the National Committee Board of Commissars serves as the temporary head of state until the National Committee elects a new secretariat and deputy secretariat.
Before 2016, the Secretariat was limited to two terms of eight years each for a total of sixteen years (non-consecutively or consecutively). Exceptions were made for standing members already present on the Central Committee, who were granted by the Central Congress the right to run past the post's term limits. These term limits have been removed and are now theoretically based on the discretion and pleasure of the National Committee. In practice, the term is likely to be served for life.
Powers and duties
According to the Constitution, the Secretariat exercises an extensive range of powers, duties, and responsibilities. The Secretariat is the de jure head of state and is the official representative of the United Commonwealth at the international level. As the head of state, the Secretariat is responsible for overseeing the United Commonwealth's foreign relations, which includes negotiating and signing treaties and other international agreements, receiving foreign diplomats and dignitaries, commissioning and sending diplomats to overseas countries, placing or issuing trade embargoes, and declaring war. Domestically, the Secretariat may appoint or dismiss certain government or party officials, as well as judges. They are responsible for overseeing the state bureaucracy and apparatus, with direct control over the various commissariats and offices of the Continental government. The Secretariat is charged with creating and drafting a national agenda and economic plan for the country, and is vested with the power to enforce the law, agenda, and party line policies.
Although central party matters and military issues remain officially reserved to two distinct posts: the Chairman of the Continentalist Party and the Commissioner of the Continental Armed Forces, in contemporary times, these two offices have been held by the Secretariat. Through these combined offices, the modern-day Secretariat is responsible for directing the Party, overseeing its members and officials, maintaining party loyalty, managing internal affairs of the Party, and chairing leadership meetings and committees belonging to the Party including the Central and National Committees. They are also the country's commander-in-chief and exercise ultimate administrative and operational command over the nation's armed forces, including access to the country's nuclear codes and military intelligence. They may declare a state of emergency and call upon the military to maintain public order and the general security of the people.
Theoretically, the Secretariat is the first among equals of members in the Central Committee of the Continentalist Party, the highest ranking body in the entire state of the United Commonwealth and the Party. Historically, when the Secretariat was a smaller, less prominent post, leadership was shared collectively and powers were divided between members of the Central Committee. Gradually, the powers of the Secretariat have evolved to encompass the roles of now-defunct or obsolete posts, or render existing ones redundant.