Duma of Haense
The National Duma or National Assembly is an advisory body of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. Established in 1610, the Duma exists to provide advice to the King of Haense in dire times, and can only be called into session by the King. Although the Duma serves as an advisory body, it is considered secondary to the Privy Council (who are appointed by the King and serve as his primary advisers). In its history, the Duma has only convened once. The Chancellor heads the Duma, who is appointed by the peers and approved by the monarch. The remainder of the Duma is made up of the peers of the realm, both nobility and clergy.
Called to order by the leaders of the Greyspine Rebellion, the Duma convened on the 3rd of the Grand Harvest, 1610. The peers of the realm had been gathered to discuss reformation of the Kingdom of Haense, and the election of a new King to head the reformed state. Of those assembled, three candidates emerged as the front runners in the election. Lord Stephen Charles, head of the House of Barbanov was a favorite of the larger and older houses, given Barbanov's strong claim to the throne. Lord Uthred Ruthern, head of the House of Ruthern and leader of the Greyspine Rebellion was another favorite, due to his role in securing Haense's independence. The final candidate was Ser Adolphus Vyronov, a favorite of the smaller, newer noble houses.
As the debate between the candidates continued to rage, Lord Uthred surprisingly dropped his candidacy in favor of unity, and endorsed Lord Stephen for King. In the following vote, Lord Stephen won a landslide victory against Ser Adolphus, raising him to the status of King of Hanseti and Ruska.
The Duma is made up of three bodies: the Chancellery, the Noble Peers of the Duma, and the Clerical Peers of the Duma.
The Chancellery of the Duma, or commonly referring to the First Chancellor of the Duma, heads each meeting of the National Duma in service to the monarch. The First Chancellor is selected by the consent of the monarch through suggestion by the National Duma, and may be removed by the consent of the monarch or a majority vote of ¾ by the National Duma.
The First Chancellor maintains both the order of the National Duma itself and acts as the unbiased tallier of votes during sessions. The First Chancellor may also raise an individual to serve under him as Second Chancellor, or called the Chamberlain of the Chancellor, to assist in matters of the Chancellery of the Duma. However, the First Chancellor does not carry the ability to vote during sessions of the National Duma unless the selected individual currently possessed a chair within either the Second Body of Noble Peers of the Third Body of Clerical Peers.
The First Chancellor is referred to as ‘His Excellency’, and exhibits all the privileges of a noble gentleman, whether he himself has been ennobled or not.
Noble Peers of the Duma
The Body of the Noble Peers, also known as the Body of Princes, is the second body within the National Duma, composed of the principal noble families in the realm, known as the College of Hereditary Peers, and an appointed selection of the lesser noble families, known as the College of Appointed Peers. Each selected noble is granted the power to vote within the National Duma, whether for the selection of the election of the monarch or the passing of legislation, the power to introduce legislation to the National Duma and the right to title themselves ‘Senator of the Duma’.
Within the College of Hereditary Peers, the aforementioned nobility’s chair will be passed hereditarily to the next of kin, pertaining that they are patrilineally of that noble’s house. The status of Hereditary Peer cannot be removed, however if the main line of the noble house is extinct, the chair itself is abolished. The raising of an Appointed Peer to a Hereditary Peer requires both the consent of the currently-elected monarch and a majority of the National Duma. A Hereditary Peer cannot be removed from his position, however can be suspended by the consent of the currently-elected monarch and a majority vote of ¾ by the National Duma. The vote of a Hereditary Peer counts as two votes, which can be divided among two separate choices or a single one.
Within the College of Appointed Peers, the chair of the selected nobleman can only be granted through the consent of the monarch. It cannot be passed hereditarily, be purchased or traded, though it can forfeited with the consent of the nobleman. An Appointed Peer can be removed from his chair, given the majority vote of ¾ by the National Duma, as well as suspended, given either the consent of the monarch or a simple majority vote by the National Duma. The vote of an Appointed Peer counts as a single vote.
Clerical Peers of the Duma
The Body of Clerical Peers, or the Body of Clerics, is the third body comprising of the entirety of the Duma, to which is divided into the two separate colleges: the First College of Cleric Electors and the Second College of Cleric Observers. Only the members of the First College have the privilege and right to cast a vote in the sessions of the Duma, though each college can introduce separate legislation and speak on the behalf of other individuals.
Each member of the Third Body must be consecrated members of the Holy Church of the Canon, as under the High Pontiff and His bishops, to which must follow and be blessed by the Four Prophets and the Lord Our God. Those clerics with membership within either college are titled ‘Senator of the Duma’, which can appear in their respective titles. If any position is henceforth vacant, it is then represented by the High Pontiff or a representative of his choosing.