Alternative History
Chancellor of the
United Cygnian States
Seal of the Ministry of the Chancellor and Cabinet.svg
Seal of the Ministry of the Chancellor and Cabinet
Anthony Albanese portrait.jpg
Anthony Albanese

since 4 January 2021
Office of the Chancellor
Ministry of the Chancellor and Cabinet
Style The Honourable (formal)
Chancellor (spoken)
Member of CabinetFederal Executive CouncilNational Security Council
Residence The Chancellery
5 Charlotte Avenue
Northam NT1 1AA
Territory of Swan
Appointer The President
Term length At the President's pleasure
Inaugural holder Sir Frederick Northam
Formation 6 June 1792
230 years ago
Deputy Vice Chancellor
Salary £400,000 annually

The Chancellor of the United Cygnian States, referred to constitutionally as the Chancellor of the Union (COTU), is the head of government of Cygnia. The individual who holds the office is the most senior Minister of State, the leader of the Cabinet and the chairperson of the National Security Council. The office is the most powerful congressional position in Cygnia. The Chancellor is appointed by the President of Cygnia.

According to Article Two, Section 4, Clause 1 of the Constitution, the Chancellor must "command the confidence of the House of Representatives". In practice, the Chancellor is therefore the leader of the majority party or largest party in a coalition of parties in the House of Representatives.

The Chancellor is formally appointed by the President to serve "at the pleasure of the President for the time being", though due to constitutionally fixed congressional terms, the Chancellor's term lasts as long as a congressional one — for a period of four years. In all, 42 individuals have served as Chancellor. Five Chancellors, John Russell (10th), William E. Gladstone (11th), Alfred Deakin (18th), Andrew Fisher (20th) and Julia Gillard (39th), served two separate chancellorships each. On 4 January 2021, Anthony Albanese became the 42nd and current Chancellor, and is currently serving the 59th official term.


In 1783, George III, King of the United Kingdom, fled to Cygnia following his deposition by his French subjects and the establishment of the new French Republic. He thereafter declared the six Cygnian colonies' Federation crowning himself King of Cygnia, while maintaining his existing titles as sovereign of the United Kingdom and its colonies, though the United Kingdom itself no longer existed. In creating a new Cygnian royal government, the King created a new Federation Congress, which acted as both a legislative and collective executive authority.

A French invasion of Cygnia began in 1785 in an attempt to "restore" French rule to the Cygnian colonies, precipitating the Cygnian War of Independence. King George I promptly declared war on France, and declared Cygnia's independence. Former Governor of Carolina Frederick Northam, who had become a member of the Federation Congress, was appointed to command Cygnia's armies. Ultimately, Cygnia achieved victory against the French, and in 1792 the Treaty of London was signed, ending the war and affirming Cygnia's nationhood. However, Britain itself became a republic as a result of the subsequent Congress of Vienna, and George I was forced to relinquish his claim to the British throne.

The Constitutional Convention of 1792 was convened shortly after the conclusion of the war to draft the new Imperial Constitution. Following the ratification of the new Constitution by all six States in 1793, the Constitution came into effect in March. The new Constitution replaced the largely ineffectual Federation Congress' executive powers with a new, stronger executive, the Chancellorship of Cygnia, named for the original British position of Lord Chancellor, which was the highest political office in the United Kingdom after the King. However, despite the King's protests, the Convention voted to restrict the Chancellorship to members of the House of Representatives, in effect making the Chancellor an elected official.

Under the new constitution, the Chancellor became the head of George I's new Imperial Government, and was to be appointed by the King. After the abolition of the monarchy in 1948, the monarch's role in the appointment of the Chancellor was filled by the President. Article Two, Section 4 of the Constitution states that the Chancellor "shall be he who will command the confidence of the House of Representatives"; in practice, the Chancellor is therefore determined through the makeup of Congress, and the leader of the largest political sect or party becomes the Chancellor.


While all other members of the Government are appointed by the President after nomination by the Chancellor, appointment of the Chancellor themself is not explicitly addressed in the Constitution. However, as Article Two, Section 4, Clause 1 of the Constitution requires the Chancellor to "command the confidence of the House of Representatives", the Constitution effectively renders the Chancellorship an elected position. Following the precedent set by then-Chancellor-designate Robert Menzies and Speaker Archie Cameron, the House of Representatives elects the Chancellor immediately after the State Opening of Congress. The Speaker then informs the President of the House's vote, after which the commissioning ceremony takes place, normally in the evening after the State Opening. In practice, the Chancellor-designate assumes office immediately upon the opening of the Congress, but cannot legally exercise their executive powers until they have been formally commissioned.

As a result of Article Two, Section 4, Clause 1, there is a constitutional requirement for the Chancellor to be a member of the House of Representatives, though there has been an exception to this rule. When Senator John Gorton won the National leadership in the ballot triggered by the disappearance of Chancellor Harold Holt, Gorton became Chancellor through the presumed confidence of the National House majority. However, Gorton ran and won in the by-election to fill Holt's vacant seat, and became a member of the House a month after being sworn in.

The Treasurer is also traditionally a Representative, although there is no such requirement for the Treasurer in the Constitution. The Chancellor, as a member of the Federal Executive Council, is entitled to the title of The Honourable (usually abbreviated as The Hon.), which he/she holds for life.

The Chancellor is sworn in in a commissioning ceremony held at Mandurah Palace. The oath or affirmation of office is normally administered by the President. Both the President and Chancellor then sign the commission (letters patent) of office. When defeated in an election, or upon resignation, the Chancellor is said to "hand in the commission" and actually does so by returning it to the President. Ministers serve "at the President's pleasure" (Article Two, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution), so theoretically, the President can dismiss a minister at any time, by notifying them in writing of their termination of their commission; however, his or her power to do so except on the advice of the Chancellor is heavily circumscribed by convention.

If a government cannot get its appropriation (budget) legislation passed by the House of Representatives, or the House passes a vote of "no confidence" in the government, the Chancellor is required to immediately advise the President to dissolve both Houses of Congress and call fresh elections, pursuant to Article One, Section 6, Clause 5 of the Constitution.

Following a resignation in other circumstances, removal from office, or the death of a Chancellor, the President under Article Two, Section 5 of the Constitution must appoint the Vice Chancellor to the Chancellorship. Should the Chancellor be incapacitated, the Vice Chancellor also becomes Acting Chancellor until the Chancellor declares or is declared to be fit for office.

Powers and role

Most of the Chancellor's powers derive from being head of government. All decisions made by the Chancellor and Cabinet require the support of the Federal Executive Council, but as the Chancellor is themselves a member of the Federal Executive Council, the Council's assent to government decisions is in practice largely a formality. The powers of the President to grant presidential assent to legislation, to dissolve and prorogue Congress, to call elections and to make ministerial appointments are exercised on the advice of the Chancellor. The Chancellor also nominates all leaders of the civil service, such as Secretaries of the Ministries.

The Chancellor is also the responsible minister for the Ministry of the Chancellor and Cabinet, which is tasked with supporting the policy agendas of the Chancellor and Cabinet through policy advice and the coordination of the implementation of key government programs, to manage Aboriginal policy and programs and to promote reconciliation, to provide leadership for the Cygnian Public Service alongside the Cygnian Public Service Commission, to oversee the honours and symbols of the Union, to provide support to ceremonies and official visits, to set whole of government service delivery policy, and to coordinate national security, cyber, counterterrorism, regulatory reform, cities, population, data, and women's policy.

The power of the Chancellor is subject to a number of limitations. Chancellors whose government loses a vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives are expected to advise an election of the lower house or resign the office. If they fail to do this they will be dismissed by the President.

The Chancellor's party will normally have a majority in the House of Representatives and party discipline is exceptionally strong in Cygnian politics, so passage of the government's legislation through the House of Representatives is mostly a formality. Attaining the support of the Senate can be more difficult as government usually lacks an absolute majority because the Senate's representation is based on the overall proportion of votes and often includes minor parties.

Privileges of office

Since 1983, the chancellor has earned a £549,250 annual salary, which is comprised of their base salary as a Member of Congress (£211,250) plus a 160% additional salary for their work as chancellor. Increases in base salary for MCs and senators are determined annually by the Independent Remuneration Tribunal.

The Chancellery in Northam, TS, serves as the official residence for the chancellor. As well as access to the staff of the Chancellery, facilities available to the chancellor include medical care, recreation, housekeeping, and security services. The government pays for state dinners and other official functions, but the chancellor pays for personal, family and guest dry cleaning and food; the high food bill often amazes new residents. In addition, Kirribilli House in Sydney is retained by the government as the chancellor's secondary residence, and is used when the chancellor visits eastern Cygnia.

For ground travel, the chancellor uses the cancellarial car, an armoured, custom built Holden Commodore. One of two identical Douglas-Royce MAC-35 aircraft, which are extensively modified versions of DR-90 airliners, have since 2021 served as long distance travel for the chancellor and are referred to as Air Force Two while the chancellor is on board (although any Cygnian Air Force aircraft the chancellor is aboard is designated as "Air Force Two" for the duration of the flight). Domestic trips are typically handled with just one of the two planes while international flights are handled with both, one primary and one backup. Any civilian aircraft the chancellor is aboard is designated Executive Two for the flight.

The National Security Intelligence Agency is charged with protecting the sitting chancellor and their family. As part of their protection, chancellors, their spouses, their children and other immediate family members, and other prominent persons and locations are assigned NSIA codenames. The use of such names was originally for security purposes and dates to a time when sensitive electronic communications were not routinely encrypted; today, the names simply serve for purposes of brevity, clarity, and tradition.


Beginning in 1963, all living former Chancellors were granted a pension, an office and a staff. The pension has increased numerous times with congressional approval. Retired Chancellors now receive a pension based on the salary of the current government's ministers, which was £200,000 per annum in 2016. Former Chancellors may also collect congressional pensions. The Former Chancellors Act, as amended, also provides former Chancellors with travel funds and franking privileges. Prior to 1997, all former Chancellors, their spouses, and their children until age 16 were protected by NSIA until the Chancellor's death. In 1997, Congress passed legislation limiting NSIA protection to no more than ten years from the date a Chancellor leaves office. On 8 February 2013, President Quentin Bryce signed legislation reinstating lifetime NSIA protection for then-Chancellor Tony Abbott, his predecessor Julia Gillard, and all subsequent Chancellors. A spouse who remarries is no longer eligible for NSIA protection.

Some Chancellors have had significant careers after leaving office. A prominent example includes Edmund Barton's tenure as Chief Justice of Cygnia. Charles Grey, Robert Peel, John Russell, William E. Gladstone, Alfred Deakin and Andrew Fisher all served additional terms as Chancellor after first leaving office. Many former Chancellors have continued to serve their Division in the House of Representatives after leaving the Chancellery. For example, Hunter Alston was re-elected to the House four more times after his Chancellorship before retiring in 1879 due to ill health.

Chancellors may use their predecessors as emissaries to deliver private messages to other nations or as official representatives of Cygnia to state funerals and other important foreign events. Gough Whitlam after leaving office became a major Cygnian diplomat, being appointed in 1999 as Ambassador to UNESCO by Chancellor John Howard and was lauded as an elder statesman. Howard has also worked as an informal ambassador.

Living former chancellors
Portrait Paul Keating 2017 01.jpg John Howard March 2014 (cropped).jpg Kevin Rudd (Pic 12).jpg Tony Abbott October 2014.jpg Malcolm Turnbull at the Pentagon 2016 cropped.jpg Julia Gillard at Faulconbridge (36190455175) (cropped).jpg
Name Paul Keating John Howard Kevin Rudd Tony Abbott Malcolm Turnbull Julia Gillard
Term 1993 – 1997 1997 – 2009 2009 – 2012 2013 – 2015 2015 – 2017 2017 – 2021
(prev. 2012–2013)
Age 78 82 64 64 67 60

Oath and commission of office

Julia Gillard's commission of office, the official document that formalised her appointment as Chancellor.

The Oath of Office of the Chancellor of Cygnia is the oath or affirmation that the Chancellor takes after assuming the chancellorship but before he or she begins the execution of the office. The wording is specified in Article II, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution. It is taken by the Chancellor-designate during the commissioning ceremony, and is administered by the President.

I, [name], do solemnly swear/affirm that I will well and truly serve the United Cygnian States, her land, and her people, in the office of Chancellor of the Union. (So help me God!)

After the oath is administered, the President and Chancellor-designate sign the commission officially proclaiming the latter Chancellor. The most recent commission read as follows:

Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Carmen M. Lawrence, President of the United Cygnian States


To all to whom these presents shall come


WHEREAS, in accordance with Article Two, Section 4 of the Constitution, the Chancellor of the Union shall command the confidence of the House of Representatives;

AND WHEREAS the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honourable STEVEN GEORGANAS of AVON, has transmitted to the President that the Honourable ANTHONY NORMAN ALBANESE of NEW ALBION now commands the confidence of the House of Representatives:

I DO BY THESE PRESENTS Constitute and Appoint the said ANTHONY NORMAN ALBANESE to be CHANCELLOR OF THE UNION, and do authorise and empower him to execute and fulfil the duties of that Office according to law, and to have and to hold said office with all the powers and privileges thereunto of right appertaining, during the pleasure of the President of the United Cygnian States for the time being

IN TESTIMONY whereof I have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and caused the Great Seal of the Union to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN at the City of Northam, this Fourth Day of January in the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-One, and in the Two Hundred and Thirty-sixth year of the Federation.

List of Chancellors

# Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party Government Monarch
Took Office Left Office
1 OlderPittThe Younger.jpg Frederick Northam
Member for Kelmscott
13 November 1792 3 January 1805 Federalist Federalist I King George III of England by Johann Zoffany.jpg
George I
2 Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey by Sir Thomas Lawrence copy.jpg Charles Grey
Member for Flinders
3 January 1805 3 January 1809 Federalist
3 Lord Castlereagh Marquess of Londonderry.jpg Robert Stewart
Member for Leeuwin
3 January 1809 12 August 1822
Died in office
Tory Tory
George IV 1821 color.jpg
George II
4 George Canning by Richard Evans - detail.jpg George Canning
Member for Fremantle
12 August 1822 8 August 1827
Died in office
5 Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Bt by Henry William Pickersgill-detail.jpg Robert Peel
Member for Darling
8 August 1827 3 January 1829 Tory
(2) Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey by Sir Thomas Lawrence copy.jpg Charles Grey
Member for Flinders
3 January 1829 3 January 1841 Federalist Federalist II
William IV, .jpg
Queen Victoria.jpg
(5) Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Bt by Henry William Pickersgill-detail.jpg Robert Peel
Member for Darling
3 January 1841 3 January 1845 Conservative Conservative I
6 Robert Bridges.jpg Harrison Redford
Member for Penn
3 January 1845 8 August 1854
Died in office
Federalist Federalist III
7 Hunter Alston
Member for Albany
8 August 1854 3 January 1861 Federalist
Liberal Liberal I
8 Lord John Russell.jpg John Russell
Member for Perth
3 January 1861 3 January 1865 Liberal
9 William Gladstone by Mayall, 1861.jpg William E. Gladstone
Member for Moreton
3 January 1865 3 January 1869 Liberal
(8) Lord John Russell.jpg John Russell
Member for Perth
3 January 1869 3 January 1873 Liberal
10 Disraeli.jpg Benjamin Disraeli
Member for Stirling
3 January 1873 3 January 1877 Conservative Conservative II
(9) 1271754717 william-e.-gladstone.jpg William E. Gladstone
Member for Moreton
3 January 1877 3 January 1885 Liberal Liberal II
11 Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery - 1890s.jpg Archibald Primrose
Member for Bunbury
3 January 1885 3 January 1889 Liberal
12 Robert cecil.jpg Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
Member for Melbourne
3 January 1889 3 January 1893 Liberal
13 Sir William Harcourt.jpg William Harcourt
Member for West Sydney
3 January 1893 3 January 1897 Liberal
14 Picture of Henry Campbell-Bannerman.jpg Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Member for Newcastle
3 January 1897 3 January 1901 Liberal
Edward VII in coronation robes.jpg
Edward I
15 Edmund Barton.jpg Edmund Barton
Member for Hunter
3 January 1901 24 September 1903 Protectionist Protectionist
16 AlfredDeakin.jpg Alfred Deakin
Member for Ballaarat
24 September 1903 27 April 1904 Protectionist
17 ChrisWatsonSepia.jpg Chris Watson
Member for Bland
27 April 1904 18 August 1904 Labour Labour I
18 George Reid cph 3c31684.jpg George Reid
Member for East Sydney
18 August 1904 5 July 1905 Free Trade Free Trade
(16) AlfredDeakin.jpg Alfred Deakin
Member for Ballaarat
5 July 1905 3 January 1909 Conservative Conservative III
19 Andrewfisher2.jpg Andrew Fisher
Member for Wide Bay
3 January 1909 3 January 1913 Labour Labour II
King George V 1911.jpg
George III
20 JosephCookPEO.jpg Joseph Cook
Member for Parramatta
3 January 1913 17 September 1914 Conservative Conservative IV
(19) Andrewfisher2.jpg Andrew Fisher
Member for Wide Bay
17 September 1914 27 October 1915 Labour Labour III
21 Hughes15-16.jpg Billy Hughes
Member for West Sydney, Bendigo and North Sydney
27 October 1915 3 January 1925 Labour
National Labour Nationalist
22 Portrait of the Right Hon. J. H. Scullin.png James Scullin
Member for Yarra
3 January 1925 3 January 1933 Labour Labour IV
23 Joseph Lyons.jpg Joseph Lyons
Member for Wilmot
3 January 1933 7 April 1939
Died in office
United Cygnia United Cygnia
Edward VIII Portrait - 1936.jpg
Edward II
24 Earle Page.jpg Earle Page
Member for Cowper
7 April 1939 7 October 1941 United Cygnia
25 JohnCurtin.jpg John Curtin
Member for Fremantle
7 October 1941 5 July 1945
Died in office
Labour Labour V
Isaac Isaacs 1936.jpg
Isaac Isaacs
26 Frank Forde 1941 crop.jpg Frank Forde
Member for Capricornia
6 July 1945 13 July 1945 Labour
27 Benchifley.jpg Ben Chifley
Member for Macquarie
13 July 1945 3 January 1949 Labour
William McKell
28 Portrait Menzies 1941.jpg Robert Menzies
Member for Kooyong
3 January 1949 3 January 1965 National National I
William McKell
Richard Casey 1965.jpg
Richard Casey
29 Harold Holt 1965 01.jpg Harold Holt
Member for Higgins
3 January 1965 19 December 1967
Died in office
National Paulhasluck.jpg
Paul Hasluck
30 Sir John McEwen.jpg John McEwen
Member for Murray
19 December 1967 10 January 1968 National
31 John Gorton Crop.png John Gorton
Senator from Victoria
Member for Higgins
10 January 1968 10 March 1971 National
32 William McMahon 1966.jpg William McMahon
Member for Lowe
10 March 1971 3 January 1973 National
33 Gough Whitlam PM.jpg Gough Whitlam
Member for Werriwa
3 January 1973 31 August 1975 Labour Labour VI
John Kerr 1965.jpg
John Kerr
34 MalcolmFraser1982.jpg Malcolm Fraser
Member for Wannon
31 August 1975 3 January 1985 National National II
Zelman Cowen.jpg
Zelman Cowen
35 Bob Hawke Portrait 1983.jpg Bob Hawke
Member for Wills
3 January 1985 20 December 1991 Labour Labour VII
Sir Ninian Stephen.jpg
Ninian Stephen
36 Paul Keating 1996 Debate.jpg Paul Keating
Member for Blaxland
(born 1939)
20 December 1991 3 January 1997 Labour
Bill Hayden on 29.5.1990.jpg
Bill Hayden
37 Image-Howard2003upr.jpg John Howard
Member for Bennelong
(born 1949)
3 January 1997 3 January 2009 National National III
Dr Peter Hollingworth.jpg
Peter Hollingworth
Jeffery Michael 030238DI-002.jpg
Michael Jeffery
38 Kevin Rudd official portrait.jpg Kevin Rudd
Member for Griffith
(born 1954)
3 January 2009 30 July 2012 Labour Labour VIII
Quentin Bryce No.1 (cropped).jpg
Quentin Bryce
39 Julia Gillard official photo.jpg Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor
(born 1961)
30 July 2012 3 January 2013 Labour
40 Tony Abbott - 2010 crop.jpg Tony Abbott
Member for Warringah
(born 1957)
3 January 2013 16 September 2015 National National IV
41 Malcolm Turnbull at the Pentagon 2016 cropped.jpg Malcolm Turnbull
Member for Wentworth
(born 1954)
16 September 2015 3 January 2017 National
(39) Julia Gillard 2015.jpg Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor
(born 1961)
3 January 2017 3 January 2021 Labour Labour IX
Carmen Lawrence, June 2013.png
Carmen Lawrence
42 20201018 Albanese Council Flat (cropped).jpg Anthony Albanese
Member for Grayndler
(born 1963)
3 January 2021 Incumbent Labour