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(Created page with "{{Cygnian founding documents}} '''Article One of the Constitution of Cygnia''' establishes the legislative branch of the {{JoW|Government of Cygnia|Cygnian federal government}...")
 
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===Clause 1: Legislative power vested in Congress===
 
===Clause 1: Legislative power vested in Congress===
 
{{Quote|The legislative power of the Union shall be vested in a Federal Congress, which shall consist of a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is hereinafter called "The Congress", or "The Congress of the Union".}}
 
{{Quote|The legislative power of the Union shall be vested in a Federal Congress, which shall consist of a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is hereinafter called "The Congress", or "The Congress of the Union".}}
Section 1 contains three clauses, the first of which vests the legislative powers of the federal government in the {{JoW|Cygnian Congress|Congress}}. Similar clauses are found in Articles {{JoW|Article Two of the Cygnian Constitution|Article II}} and {{JoW|Article Three of the Cygnian Constitution|III}}, which establish the executive and judicial branches respectively. The separation of powers established by the Constitution is fundamental to the idea of a limited government accountable to the people.
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Section 1 contains three clauses, the first of which vests the legislative powers of the federal government in the {{JoW|Cygnian Congress|Congress}}. Similar clauses are found in Articles {{JoW|Article Two of the Cygnian Constitution|II}} and {{JoW|Article Three of the Cygnian Constitution|III}}, which establish the executive and judicial branches respectively. The separation of powers established by the Constitution is fundamental to the idea of a limited government accountable to the people.
 
===Clause 2: Assembly of Congress===
 
===Clause 2: Assembly of Congress===
{{Quote|After any general election the Congress shall be summoned to meet not later than thirty days after the day appointed for the return of the writs. The Congress shall be summoned to meet not later than six months after the establishment of the Union.}}
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{{Quote|After any general election the Congress shall be summoned to meet not later than 30 days after the day appointed for the return of the writs. The Congress shall be summoned to meet not later than six months after the establishment of the Union.}}
 
Clause 2 of Section One requires the assembly of Congress no later than 30 days after the {{JoW|Elections in Cygnia|election}} of a new Congress. This ensures continuity of the legislature, and the minimisation of disruption to that continuity by the election cycle.
 
Clause 2 of Section One requires the assembly of Congress no later than 30 days after the {{JoW|Elections in Cygnia|election}} of a new Congress. This ensures continuity of the legislature, and the minimisation of disruption to that continuity by the election cycle.
 
===Clause 3: Annual sessions of Congress===
 
===Clause 3: Annual sessions of Congress===
{{Quote|There shall be a session of the Congress once at least in every year, so that twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Congress in one session and its first sitting in the next session.}}
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{{Quote|There shall be a session of the Congress once at least in every year, so that 12 months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Congress in one session and its first sitting in the next session.}}
Pursuant to Clause 3, the four-year legislative term of the Congress before 1977 was divided into four sessions, each beginning with the official {{JoW|State Opening of Congress}} on 23 January each year, and ending with its prorogation (or, in the case of election years, its dissolution) on 24 December. However, the division into sessions is not required, and was not always the case. The practice of having multiple sessions in the same Congress gradually fell into disuse, and all Congresses from 1977 to 2013 had a single session. Between 1961 and the turn of the century, the only prorogation occurred in 1968 to allow a new ministry to be formed following the death of {{JoW|Harold Holt}}.
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Pursuant to Clause 3, the four-year legislative term of the Congress before 1977 was divided into four sessions, each beginning with the official {{JoW|State Opening of Congress}} on 3 January each year, and ending with its prorogation (or, in the case of election years, its dissolution) on 24 December. However, the division into sessions is not required, and was not always the case. The practice of having multiple sessions in the same Congress gradually fell into disuse, and all Congresses from 1977 to 2013 had a single session. Between 1961 and the turn of the century, the only prorogation occurred in 1968 to allow a new ministry to be formed following the death of {{JoW|Harold Holt}}.
   
Clause 3 also prohibits the {{JoW|Empress of the Cygnians|monarch}}, who summons the Congress, from delaying the opening of a session for a period any longer than twelve months. This prohibition constitutionally prevents the executive from operating without the oversight of the legislature.
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Clause 3 also prohibits the {{JoW|Empress of the Cygnians|monarch}}, who summons the Congress, from delaying the opening of a session for a period any longer than 12 months. This prohibition constitutionally prevents the executive from operating without the oversight of the legislature.
   
 
==Section 2: House of Representatives==
 
==Section 2: House of Representatives==
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{{Quote|The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Union. The number of members chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective members of their people, and shall not, until the Congress otherwise provides, exceed one for every hundred thousand.}}
 
{{Quote|The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Union. The number of members chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective members of their people, and shall not, until the Congress otherwise provides, exceed one for every hundred thousand.}}
 
Section Two provides for the election of the House of Representatives. Since Members are to be "directly chosen by the People of the Union," State governments are not allowed to appoint temporary replacements when vacancies occur in a state's delegation to the House of Representatives; instead, the Speaker of the House issues a writ for a by-election to fill the seat.
 
Section Two provides for the election of the House of Representatives. Since Members are to be "directly chosen by the People of the Union," State governments are not allowed to appoint temporary replacements when vacancies occur in a state's delegation to the House of Representatives; instead, the Speaker of the House issues a writ for a by-election to fill the seat.
===Clause 2===
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===Clause 2: Number of Members===
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{{Quote|Subject to this Constitution, the Congress may make laws for increasing or diminishing the number of the members of the House of Representatives.}}
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Clause 2 grants Congress the power to change the number of members sitting in the House of Representatives.
 
===Clause 3: Term limits on the House===
 
===Clause 3: Term limits on the House===
 
{{Quote|Every House of Representatives shall continue for four years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer.}}
 
{{Quote|Every House of Representatives shall continue for four years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer.}}
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===Clause 7===
 
===Clause 7===
 
===Clause 8: By-elections===
 
===Clause 8: By-elections===
{{Quote|Whenever a vacancy occurs in the House of Representatives, the Speaker shall issue his writ for the election of a new member, or if there is no Speaker or if he is absent from the Union the Emperor in Council may issue the writ.}}
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{{Quote|Whenever a vacancy occurs in the House of Representatives, the Speaker shall issue his writ for the election of a new member, or if there is no Speaker or if he is absent from the Union the King in Council may issue the writ.}}
 
Clause 8 makes it clear that it is officers of the federal government — not those of the States — that preside over special elections to fill House vacancies. In the event that a Member should resign or die in office, the {{JoW|Speaker of the Cygnian House of Representatives|Speaker of the House}} is responsible for issuing the writ of election for the vacant electorate. If the Speaker is absent or the position is itself vacant, the monarch, acting with the advice of the {{JoW|Federal Executive Council}}, issues the writ in the Speaker's place.
 
Clause 8 makes it clear that it is officers of the federal government — not those of the States — that preside over special elections to fill House vacancies. In the event that a Member should resign or die in office, the {{JoW|Speaker of the Cygnian House of Representatives|Speaker of the House}} is responsible for issuing the writ of election for the vacant electorate. If the Speaker is absent or the position is itself vacant, the monarch, acting with the advice of the {{JoW|Federal Executive Council}}, issues the writ in the Speaker's place.
 
===Clause 9: Qualifications of Members===
 
===Clause 9: Qualifications of Members===
 
{{Quote|Until the Congress otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:<br>
 
{{Quote|Until the Congress otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:<br>
i. he must be of the full age of twenty-one years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Union as existing at the time when he was chosen;<br>
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i. he must be of the full age of 21 years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Union as existing at the time when he was chosen;<br>
 
ii. he must be a Citizen of the Union, either natural-born or for at least five years naturalised under the law of the Union.
 
ii. he must be a Citizen of the Union, either natural-born or for at least five years naturalised under the law of the Union.
 
}}
 
}}
 
The Constitution provides four requirements for Members: A Member must be at least 21 years old, must be entitled to vote at House of Representatives elections (or a person qualified to that entitlement), must have been a Cygnian resident for at least three years, and must be a Cygnian citizen. Members do not have to be citizens born in Cygnia to be qualified, and naturalised Cygnians may stand for election to the House.
 
The Constitution provides four requirements for Members: A Member must be at least 21 years old, must be entitled to vote at House of Representatives elections (or a person qualified to that entitlement), must have been a Cygnian resident for at least three years, and must be a Cygnian citizen. Members do not have to be citizens born in Cygnia to be qualified, and naturalised Cygnians may stand for election to the House.
 
===Clause 10: The Speaker===
 
===Clause 10: The Speaker===
{{Quote|The House of Representatives shall, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business, choose a member to be the Speaker of the House, and as often as the office of Speaker becomes vacant the House shall again choose a member to be the Speaker. The Speaker shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member. He may be removed from office by a vote of the House, or he may resign his office or his seat by writing addressed to the Emperor.}}
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{{Quote|The House of Representatives shall, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business, choose a member to be the Speaker of the House, and as often as the office of Speaker becomes vacant the House shall again choose a member to be the Speaker. The Speaker shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member. He may be removed from office by a vote of the House, or he may resign his office or his seat by writing addressed to the King.}}
 
Clause 10 establishes the office of Speaker (although the post is mentioned earlier in Clause 8). After an election, the Constitution requires that Members of the House elect one of their own to serve as their chamber's presiding officer. Speakers must also be members of the House, and a Speaker "shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member." Speakers do not have a specific term limit, can be removed from office by an absolute majority vote in the House, and can be re-elected after the House assembles for the first time following a federal election.
 
Clause 10 establishes the office of Speaker (although the post is mentioned earlier in Clause 8). After an election, the Constitution requires that Members of the House elect one of their own to serve as their chamber's presiding officer. Speakers must also be members of the House, and a Speaker "shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member." Speakers do not have a specific term limit, can be removed from office by an absolute majority vote in the House, and can be re-elected after the House assembles for the first time following a federal election.
 
===Clause 11: Acting Speaker===
 
===Clause 11: Acting Speaker===
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The Constitution provides for the temporary absence of the Speaker, such as when they are unable to attend the House. In these cases, the House is empowered to elect an Acting Speaker to perform presiding functions on behalf of the Speaker. In modern times, the House of Representatives normally elects two Deputy Speakers &mdash; one each from the Government and Opposition &mdash; to assist the Speaker, and ordinarily the First Deputy Speaker simply succeeds to the Speakership in the event of the Speaker's absence. Should the First Deputy Speaker also be absent for any reason, the Second Deputy Speaker then takes over.
 
The Constitution provides for the temporary absence of the Speaker, such as when they are unable to attend the House. In these cases, the House is empowered to elect an Acting Speaker to perform presiding functions on behalf of the Speaker. In modern times, the House of Representatives normally elects two Deputy Speakers &mdash; one each from the Government and Opposition &mdash; to assist the Speaker, and ordinarily the First Deputy Speaker simply succeeds to the Speakership in the event of the Speaker's absence. Should the First Deputy Speaker also be absent for any reason, the Second Deputy Speaker then takes over.
 
===Clause 12: Resignation from the House===
 
===Clause 12: Resignation from the House===
{{Quote|A member may by writing addressed to the Speaker, or to the Emperor if there is no Speaker or if the Speaker is absent from the Union, resign his place, which thereupon shall become vacant.}}
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{{Quote|A member may by writing addressed to the Speaker, or to the King if there is no Speaker or if the Speaker is absent from the Union, resign his place, which thereupon shall become vacant.}}
 
Clause 12 lays out the procedure for formally resigning from one's seat in the House of Representatives. Members wishing the resign must inform the Speaker &mdash; or the monarch if the Speaker is absent &mdash; of their intent to resign. Upon receipt and acceptance of the letter of resignation, the seat immediately becomes vacant, and the mechanisms established in Clause 8 are employed to elect a new Member to replace the outgoing one.
 
Clause 12 lays out the procedure for formally resigning from one's seat in the House of Representatives. Members wishing the resign must inform the Speaker &mdash; or the monarch if the Speaker is absent &mdash; of their intent to resign. Upon receipt and acceptance of the letter of resignation, the seat immediately becomes vacant, and the mechanisms established in Clause 8 are employed to elect a new Member to replace the outgoing one.
 
===Clause 13===
 
===Clause 13===
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===Clause 1: Legislative powers===
 
===Clause 1: Legislative powers===
 
Congress' legislative powers are specified in Section Five, Clause 1:
 
Congress' legislative powers are specified in Section Five, Clause 1:
trade and commerce with foreign nations, and among the States;
 
 
{{Quote|The Congress shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Union with respect to:
 
{{Quote|The Congress shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Union with respect to:
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*trade and commerce with foreign nations, and among the States;
 
*taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States;
 
*taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States;
 
*bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout the Union;
 
*bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout the Union;
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*matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Congress or in either House thereof, or in the Government of the Union, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of the Union.
 
*matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Congress or in either House thereof, or in the Government of the Union, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of the Union.
 
}}
 
}}
The powers listed in this clause are known as "specified powers". The Constitution prohibits Congress from passing legislation regarding issues or subjects for which it is not empowered to legislate, instead reserving all legislative powers not constitutionally provided to Congress to the States. Pursuant to the "Referral Subclause" (Subclause 38), however, State Legislatures may grant Congress the power to legislate for matters not listed in Clause 1. Even in that case, such legislation only applies to States whose governments granted Congress the ability to legislate for that matter in the first place, unless other States adopt the law after its passage. This agreement was made during the {{JoW|Cygnian constitutional convention, 1792|1792 Constitutional Convention}} in order to preserve the power of the States.
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The powers listed in this clause are known as "specified powers". The Constitution prohibits Congress from passing legislation regarding issues or subjects for which it is not empowered to legislate, instead reserving all legislative powers not constitutionally provided to Congress to the States. Pursuant to the "Referral Subclause" (Subclause 37), however, State Legislatures may grant Congress the power to legislate for matters not listed in Clause 1. Even in that case, such legislation only applies to States whose governments granted Congress the ability to legislate for that matter in the first place, unless other States adopt the law after its passage. This agreement was made during the {{JoW|Cygnian constitutional convention, 1792|1792 Constitutional Convention}} in order to preserve the power of the States.
   
 
Further flexibility is given to Congress through the "incidental power" listed in Subclause 39, which allows Congress to act on matters "incidental" to an enumerated head of power.
 
Further flexibility is given to Congress through the "incidental power" listed in Subclause 39, which allows Congress to act on matters "incidental" to an enumerated head of power.
   
In {{JoW|Cygnian constitutional referendum, 1967|1967}}, Congress was granted the power to legislate for {{JoW|Aboriginal Cygnians}} by the {{JoW|Second Amendment to the Constitution of Cygnia|Second Amendment}}, which added Subclause 25. While the subclause didn't mention Aboriginals by name, it allowed Congress to create "special laws" for any race "for whom it is deemed necessary."
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In {{JoW|Cygnian constitutional referendum, 1967|1967}}, Congress was granted the power to legislate for {{JoW|Aboriginal Cygnians}} by the {{JoW|Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of Cygnia|Tenth Amendment}}, which deleted text from Subclause 26. Prior to the deletion, the Constitution made an exception for the "aboriginal race", thereby disallowing the Union from legislating specifically for that group.
   
 
Many of the {{JoW|Supreme Court of Cygnia|Supreme Court}}'s constitutional interpretations have focused on Section 5, Clause 1, due to cases arising out of disputes between the States and Congress. It was noted in ''Pape v Commissioner of Taxation'' that taxation power under s5c1(ii) is not "unlimited" and must be employed so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States.
 
Many of the {{JoW|Supreme Court of Cygnia|Supreme Court}}'s constitutional interpretations have focused on Section 5, Clause 1, due to cases arising out of disputes between the States and Congress. It was noted in ''Pape v Commissioner of Taxation'' that taxation power under s5c1(ii) is not "unlimited" and must be employed so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States.
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===Clause 2: Other powers===
 
===Clause 2: Other powers===
 
{{Quote|The Congress shall, subject to this Constitution, have exclusive power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Union with respect to:
 
{{Quote|The Congress shall, subject to this Constitution, have exclusive power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Union with respect to:
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}}
 
}}
 
Clause 2 grants Congress with several additional powers. Notably, it grants Congress "exclusive" power to legislate for the {{JoW|Territory of Swan|federal capital}}, as well as all federal property. The Territory of Swan had for most of Cygnia's history as a federated nation been the country's capital, having been ceded to the federal government by {{JoW|Carolina}} in 1800 for that purpose. Constitutionally, Congress serves as the legislature of the Territory, and is its only legislative authority. However, in 1960 Congress passed the {{JoW|Home Rule Act, 1960|Home Rule Act}}, which established the {{JoW|Territory of Swan Legislative Assembly|Legislative Assembly}}, giving the Territory limited self-governance. At first, the Assembly served as an advisory body to Congress, which still remained the main decision-making institution for the capital. Over time, the Home Rule Act was incrementally amended, devolving more and more powers to the Legislative Assembly. In 1988, Congress established the {{JoW|Joint Capital Committee|Joint Standing Committee on the Territory of Swan}}, to which it delegated the power of Congress at large to approve the Assembly's legislation. Today, the Legislative Assembly is the primary authority in the Territory of Swan, with the Capital Committee serving as a council of review for the territorial legislature.
 
Clause 2 grants Congress with several additional powers. Notably, it grants Congress "exclusive" power to legislate for the {{JoW|Territory of Swan|federal capital}}, as well as all federal property. The Territory of Swan had for most of Cygnia's history as a federated nation been the country's capital, having been ceded to the federal government by {{JoW|Carolina}} in 1800 for that purpose. Constitutionally, Congress serves as the legislature of the Territory, and is its only legislative authority. However, in 1960 Congress passed the {{JoW|Home Rule Act, 1960|Home Rule Act}}, which established the {{JoW|Territory of Swan Legislative Assembly|Legislative Assembly}}, giving the Territory limited self-governance. At first, the Assembly served as an advisory body to Congress, which still remained the main decision-making institution for the capital. Over time, the Home Rule Act was incrementally amended, devolving more and more powers to the Legislative Assembly. In 1988, Congress established the {{JoW|Joint Capital Committee|Joint Standing Committee on the Territory of Swan}}, to which it delegated the power of Congress at large to approve the Assembly's legislation. Today, the Legislative Assembly is the primary authority in the Territory of Swan, with the Capital Committee serving as a council of review for the territorial legislature.
==Section 6==
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===Clause 1===
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==Section 6: Powers of the Houses in respect of legislation==
===Clause 2===
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===Clause 1: Bills of revenue===
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{{Quote|Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.
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The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.
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The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people.
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The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.
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Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.
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}}
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Section Six, Clause 1, mandates that appropriation legislation &mdash; that is, budgets &mdash; can only originate in the House of Representatives. The Senate is also prohibited from altering budget bills passed by the House, and can only pass or reject them. The {{JoW|Cygnian House of Councillors|House of Councillors}} under the {{JoW|Imperial Constitution of Cygnia|previous constitution}} had the power to alter such legislation, but as part of the constitutional reforms put in place by the 1948 Convention, those abilities were removed when the Senate was established in the Councillors' place.
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===Clause 2: Content of bills of revenue===
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{{Quote|The proposed law which appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government shall deal only with such appropriation.}}
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This clause requires that the content of appropriation legislation not exceed the boundaries of appropriation.
 
===Clause 3===
 
===Clause 3===
 
===Clause 4===
 
===Clause 4===

Latest revision as of 09:45, May 31, 2019

Article One of the Constitution of Cygnia establishes the legislative branch of the Cygnian federal government, the Cygnian Congress. The Congress is a bicameral legislature consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate.

Section 1: The LegislatureEdit

Clause 1: Legislative power vested in CongressEdit

The legislative power of the Union shall be vested in a Federal Congress, which shall consist of a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is hereinafter called "The Congress", or "The Congress of the Union".

Section 1 contains three clauses, the first of which vests the legislative powers of the federal government in the Congress. Similar clauses are found in Articles II and III, which establish the executive and judicial branches respectively. The separation of powers established by the Constitution is fundamental to the idea of a limited government accountable to the people.

Clause 2: Assembly of CongressEdit

After any general election the Congress shall be summoned to meet not later than 30 days after the day appointed for the return of the writs. The Congress shall be summoned to meet not later than six months after the establishment of the Union.

Clause 2 of Section One requires the assembly of Congress no later than 30 days after the election of a new Congress. This ensures continuity of the legislature, and the minimisation of disruption to that continuity by the election cycle.

Clause 3: Annual sessions of CongressEdit

There shall be a session of the Congress once at least in every year, so that 12 months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Congress in one session and its first sitting in the next session.

Pursuant to Clause 3, the four-year legislative term of the Congress before 1977 was divided into four sessions, each beginning with the official State Opening of Congress on 3 January each year, and ending with its prorogation (or, in the case of election years, its dissolution) on 24 December. However, the division into sessions is not required, and was not always the case. The practice of having multiple sessions in the same Congress gradually fell into disuse, and all Congresses from 1977 to 2013 had a single session. Between 1961 and the turn of the century, the only prorogation occurred in 1968 to allow a new ministry to be formed following the death of Harold Holt.

Clause 3 also prohibits the monarch, who summons the Congress, from delaying the opening of a session for a period any longer than 12 months. This prohibition constitutionally prevents the executive from operating without the oversight of the legislature.

Section 2: House of RepresentativesEdit

Clause 1: Composition and election of MembersEdit

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Union. The number of members chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective members of their people, and shall not, until the Congress otherwise provides, exceed one for every hundred thousand.

Section Two provides for the election of the House of Representatives. Since Members are to be "directly chosen by the People of the Union," State governments are not allowed to appoint temporary replacements when vacancies occur in a state's delegation to the House of Representatives; instead, the Speaker of the House issues a writ for a by-election to fill the seat.

Clause 2: Number of MembersEdit

Subject to this Constitution, the Congress may make laws for increasing or diminishing the number of the members of the House of Representatives.

Clause 2 grants Congress the power to change the number of members sitting in the House of Representatives.

Clause 3: Term limits on the HouseEdit

Every House of Representatives shall continue for four years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer.

Clause 3 of Section Two establishes a fixed four-year term for the House of Representatives. However, while it prohibits the House for sitting longer than four years without an election, it does not contain any provision requiring that the term be no shorter. This has resulted in some controversy, with some experts taking the view that the four-year term cannot be shortened, meaning that no federal elections should occur within that four-year period; others, and indeed most politicians and government officials, hold the understanding that should the government lose the confidence of the House, it can advise the monarch to dissolve the House of Representatives and issue writs for a general election for a new House to complete the term of the prematurely dissolved one.

Clause 4Edit

Clause 5Edit

Clause 6Edit

Clause 7Edit

Clause 8: By-electionsEdit

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the House of Representatives, the Speaker shall issue his writ for the election of a new member, or if there is no Speaker or if he is absent from the Union the King in Council may issue the writ.

Clause 8 makes it clear that it is officers of the federal government — not those of the States — that preside over special elections to fill House vacancies. In the event that a Member should resign or die in office, the Speaker of the House is responsible for issuing the writ of election for the vacant electorate. If the Speaker is absent or the position is itself vacant, the monarch, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, issues the writ in the Speaker's place.

Clause 9: Qualifications of MembersEdit

Until the Congress otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:

i. he must be of the full age of 21 years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Union as existing at the time when he was chosen;
ii. he must be a Citizen of the Union, either natural-born or for at least five years naturalised under the law of the Union.

The Constitution provides four requirements for Members: A Member must be at least 21 years old, must be entitled to vote at House of Representatives elections (or a person qualified to that entitlement), must have been a Cygnian resident for at least three years, and must be a Cygnian citizen. Members do not have to be citizens born in Cygnia to be qualified, and naturalised Cygnians may stand for election to the House.

Clause 10: The SpeakerEdit

The House of Representatives shall, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business, choose a member to be the Speaker of the House, and as often as the office of Speaker becomes vacant the House shall again choose a member to be the Speaker. The Speaker shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member. He may be removed from office by a vote of the House, or he may resign his office or his seat by writing addressed to the King.

Clause 10 establishes the office of Speaker (although the post is mentioned earlier in Clause 8). After an election, the Constitution requires that Members of the House elect one of their own to serve as their chamber's presiding officer. Speakers must also be members of the House, and a Speaker "shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member." Speakers do not have a specific term limit, can be removed from office by an absolute majority vote in the House, and can be re-elected after the House assembles for the first time following a federal election.

Clause 11: Acting SpeakerEdit

Before or during any absence of the Speaker, the House of Representatives may choose a member to perform his duties in his absence.

The Constitution provides for the temporary absence of the Speaker, such as when they are unable to attend the House. In these cases, the House is empowered to elect an Acting Speaker to perform presiding functions on behalf of the Speaker. In modern times, the House of Representatives normally elects two Deputy Speakers — one each from the Government and Opposition — to assist the Speaker, and ordinarily the First Deputy Speaker simply succeeds to the Speakership in the event of the Speaker's absence. Should the First Deputy Speaker also be absent for any reason, the Second Deputy Speaker then takes over.

Clause 12: Resignation from the HouseEdit

A member may by writing addressed to the Speaker, or to the King if there is no Speaker or if the Speaker is absent from the Union, resign his place, which thereupon shall become vacant.

Clause 12 lays out the procedure for formally resigning from one's seat in the House of Representatives. Members wishing the resign must inform the Speaker — or the monarch if the Speaker is absent — of their intent to resign. Upon receipt and acceptance of the letter of resignation, the seat immediately becomes vacant, and the mechanisms established in Clause 8 are employed to elect a new Member to replace the outgoing one.

Clause 13Edit

Clause 14Edit

Clause 15Edit

Section 3Edit

Clause 1Edit

Clause 2Edit

Clause 3Edit

Clause 4Edit

Clause 5Edit

Clause 6Edit

Clause 7Edit

Clause 8Edit

Clause 9Edit

Clause 10Edit

Clause 11Edit

Clause 12Edit

Clause 13Edit

Clause 14Edit

Clause 15Edit

Clause 16Edit

Section 4Edit

Clause 1Edit

Clause 2Edit

Clause 3Edit

Clause 4Edit

Clause 5Edit

Clause 6Edit

Clause 7Edit

Clause 8Edit

Clause 9Edit

Clause 10Edit

Section 5: Powers of CongressEdit

Clause 1: Legislative powersEdit

Congress' legislative powers are specified in Section Five, Clause 1:

The Congress shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Union with respect to:
  • trade and commerce with foreign nations, and among the States;
  • taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States;
  • bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout the Union;
  • borrowing money on the public credit of the Union;
  • postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services;
  • the naval and military defence of the Union and of the several States, and the control of the forces to execute and maintain the laws of the Union;
  • lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys;
  • astronomical and meteorological observations;
  • quarantine;
  • fisheries in Cygnian waters beyond territorial limits;
  • census and statistics;
  • currency, coinage, and legal tender;
  • banking, other than State banking; also State banking extending beyond the limits of the State concerned, the incorporation of banks, and the issue of paper money;
  • insurance, other than State insurance; also State insurance extending beyond the limits of the State concerned;
  • weights and measures;
  • bills of exchanging and promissory notes;
  • bankruptcy and insolvency;
  • copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trade marks;
  • naturalisation and aliens;
  • foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Union;
  • marriage;
  • divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants;
  • invalid and old-age pensions;
    • the provision of maternity allowances, widows' pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances;
  • the service and execution throughout the Union of the civil and criminal process and the judgments of the courts of the States;
  • the recognition throughout the Union of the laws, the public Acts and records, and the judicial proceedings of the States;
  • the people of any race, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws;
  • immigration and emigration;
  • the influx of criminals;
  • external affairs;
  • the acquisition of property on just terms from any State or person for any purpose in respect of which the Congress *has power to make laws;
  • the control of railways with respect to transport for the naval and military purposes of the Union;
  • the acquisition, with the consent of a State, of any railways of the State on terms arranged between the Union and the State;
  • railway construction and extension in any State with the consent of that State;
  • conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State;
  • matters in respect of which this Constitution makes provision until the Congress otherwise provides;
  • matters referred to the Congress of the Union by the Congress or Legislatures of any State or States, but so that the law shall extend only to States by whose Legislatures the matter is referred, or which afterwards adopt the law;
  • matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Congress or in either House thereof, or in the Government of the Union, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of the Union.

The powers listed in this clause are known as "specified powers". The Constitution prohibits Congress from passing legislation regarding issues or subjects for which it is not empowered to legislate, instead reserving all legislative powers not constitutionally provided to Congress to the States. Pursuant to the "Referral Subclause" (Subclause 37), however, State Legislatures may grant Congress the power to legislate for matters not listed in Clause 1. Even in that case, such legislation only applies to States whose governments granted Congress the ability to legislate for that matter in the first place, unless other States adopt the law after its passage. This agreement was made during the 1792 Constitutional Convention in order to preserve the power of the States.

Further flexibility is given to Congress through the "incidental power" listed in Subclause 39, which allows Congress to act on matters "incidental" to an enumerated head of power.

In 1967, Congress was granted the power to legislate for Aboriginal Cygnians by the Tenth Amendment, which deleted text from Subclause 26. Prior to the deletion, the Constitution made an exception for the "aboriginal race", thereby disallowing the Union from legislating specifically for that group.

Many of the Supreme Court's constitutional interpretations have focused on Section 5, Clause 1, due to cases arising out of disputes between the States and Congress. It was noted in Pape v Commissioner of Taxation that taxation power under s5c1(ii) is not "unlimited" and must be employed so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States.

Clause 2: Other powersEdit

The Congress shall, subject to this Constitution, have exclusive power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Union with respect to:
  • the seat of the government of the Union, and all places acquired by the Union for public purposes;
  • matters relating to any department of the public service the control of which is by this Constitution transferred to the Executive Government or the Union;
  • other matters declared by this Constitution to be within the exclusive power of the Congress.

Clause 2 grants Congress with several additional powers. Notably, it grants Congress "exclusive" power to legislate for the federal capital, as well as all federal property. The Territory of Swan had for most of Cygnia's history as a federated nation been the country's capital, having been ceded to the federal government by Carolina in 1800 for that purpose. Constitutionally, Congress serves as the legislature of the Territory, and is its only legislative authority. However, in 1960 Congress passed the Home Rule Act, which established the Legislative Assembly, giving the Territory limited self-governance. At first, the Assembly served as an advisory body to Congress, which still remained the main decision-making institution for the capital. Over time, the Home Rule Act was incrementally amended, devolving more and more powers to the Legislative Assembly. In 1988, Congress established the Joint Standing Committee on the Territory of Swan, to which it delegated the power of Congress at large to approve the Assembly's legislation. Today, the Legislative Assembly is the primary authority in the Territory of Swan, with the Capital Committee serving as a council of review for the territorial legislature.

Section 6: Powers of the Houses in respect of legislationEdit

Clause 1: Bills of revenueEdit

Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people.

The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.

Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

Section Six, Clause 1, mandates that appropriation legislation — that is, budgets — can only originate in the House of Representatives. The Senate is also prohibited from altering budget bills passed by the House, and can only pass or reject them. The House of Councillors under the previous constitution had the power to alter such legislation, but as part of the constitutional reforms put in place by the 1948 Convention, those abilities were removed when the Senate was established in the Councillors' place.

Clause 2: Content of bills of revenueEdit

The proposed law which appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government shall deal only with such appropriation.

This clause requires that the content of appropriation legislation not exceed the boundaries of appropriation.

Clause 3Edit

Clause 4Edit

Clause 5Edit

Clause 6Edit

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