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GOVERNMENT OF MARI'IM
In this section, you will find a brief overview of Mari'im's unique form of government.
Mari'im politics is based around a set of fundamental concepts known as ki'ali. These concepts are distilled forms of the traditions which have guided the Mari'im people for centuries, and as such, are held in very deep regard by the Mari'im political system. The structure of Mari'im government is designed in such a way as to protect and promote ki'ali, with the result that our system is quite unlike those found elsewhere. This is only natural - after all, each country possesses a distinct character of its own, and systems of government must be carefully tailored to fit that character. The Mari'im system of government follows the natural flow of Mari'im society, and contains nothing not born of the Mari'im way of life.
There are three primary components of ki'ali - environmentalism, religion, and socialiism. The first component, environmentalism, has always been a part of Mari'im life - living on islands with limited resources, the people of Mari'im have always needed to be mindful of their natural surroundings. Depletion of fish stocks, clearing of forests, and overuse of fresh water can leave a formerly plentiful island uninhabitable. The second component, religion, is also deeply rooted in tradition, enough so that there is no record of what Mari'im believed before the religion's birth. (For more information, see the Religion section of this guide). The third and final component, socialism, is also a reflection of traditional village life - communal ownership of property, especially land, was a necessity for survival, and while modern thinkers have refined the theories of communism to a much greater degree, they nevertheless echo the simple traditions followed in Mari'im for time immemorial.
The diagram below provides a simplified model of how the various components of the Maro'im government work together. There are five basic branches of government - the legislature, the executive, the legal system, the religious authorities, and the security forces. Each is represented in a different colour.
The legislature of Mari'im is bicameral, consisting of the Hall of the People (the upper house) and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house). The Chamber of Deputies is the primary body, and consists of 141 directly elected representatives of the Mari'im people. The Hall of the People, which meets less frequently, consists of 500 people randomly selected from the Mari'im population (in roughly the same manner that some countries select jury members). The random nature of service in the Hall is designed to ensure input by people who are not professional politicians - the Hall effectively serves as a way to give ordinary citizens a means of control over the political establishment.
The legislature has a number of powers. Most importantly, the Chamber of Deputies has the ability to pass new laws. In addition, all members of the Revolutionary Council (see below) must be members of the Chamber, as must half the members of the People's Security Committee (also see below). The Hall of the People. meanwhile, can veto the decisions of the Chamber, and is also responsible for approving the national budget and for confirming judges of the People's Court (see below).
As in most democracies, a number of political parties exist in Mari'im. The oldest surviving party is the Revolutionary Communist-Environmentalist People's Democratic Party (RCEPDP), which led the country to independence. Others include the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Populist Party (PP), the Revolutionary Green Party (RGP), the Free Isles United Party (FIUP), and the People's Theocratic Party (PTP), all of which are represented in the Chamber of Deputies.
The executive branch of the Mari'im government is responsible for the administration of governmental functions on a day-to-day basis. The central element of the executive is the Revolutionary Council, which serves as Mari'im's cabinet. It consists of twenty members, all of whom must be members of the elected Chamber of Deputies. The Revolutionary Council has a large number of functions - it administers government departments and offices (the People's Service), it approves nominations to the People's Security Committee, and it proposes laws to be discussed by the Chamber of Deputies. It also advises the country's religious authorities on matters of politics.
The other main figure of the executive branch is the Commisar, who is the second highest ranked individual in the Mari'im government. The Commisar is responsible for guiding the Revolutionary Council, the People's Security Committee, and the People's Court, including making suggestions to the legislature about appointments. In addition, the Commisar is responsible for selecting the leaders of certain local authorities after consultation with the relevant communities.
In order to ensure that the Commisar is well versed in ki'ali, the philosophy that he or she will have to embody as a senior figure in the Mari'im government, the academic world plays a role. The Rose Academy (so named because ki'ali has often been represented by a rose, in keeping with the tradition of associating flowers with particular schools of thought) is a training centre for future leaders of Mari'im, where the nuances of ki'ali can be studied and debated. The Commandant of the Rose Academy, as the acknowledged authority on interpreting ki'ali, therefore plays a major role in advising members of the executive. Most importantly, it is traditional for Commandants to maintain their service to Mari'im by assuming the office of Commisar for a brief time after their retirement from academic life, allowing them to use their knowledge of ki'ali for the country's benefit.
The Mari'im legal system ultimately derives from its constitution, written in the first days of independence. It is interpreted by a panel called the People's Court, which has the ability to veto proposed laws if they do not accord with constitutional constraints. (This can happen either before or after the laws are passed by the Chamber of Deputies). Law is applied, meanwhile, by the various Courts of Justice, which have several levels. Decisions by a Courts of Justice can be appealed to a higher court, and if necessary, the People's Court will finally resolve the case based on constitutional principles.
Because of the huge importance of religion in Mari'im life and tradition, the monasteries have a significant part in Mari'im governance. The Lai'a Ari'a, who is Mari'im highest spiritual guide (see the Religion Section for details), holds a ceremonial mandate as Mari'im's head of state, and is responsible for appointing law court judges and the Speaker of the People (presiding officer of the Mari'im legislature). The Lai'a Ari'a can draw upon the knowledge and experience of the Revolutionary Council when it comes to complicated issues of politics and administration.
The Mari'im administration, along with all responsible governments, takes the safety and security of its citizens very seriously. The two primary elements of the Mari'im security system are the People's Police and the People's Armed Forces, both of which are under the command of a central People's Security Committee. The Committe consists of twenty people - ten are members of the Chamber of Deputies, six are officers of the police, and four are officers of the armed forces. All must be approved by the Revolutionary Council, which supervises the People's Security Committee on behalf of the legislature.
For administrative purposes, Mari'im is divided into twenty-seven districts and two autonomous regions. The largest island, Mo'i'a, has twelve districts, while the Aka'ia peninsula has four districts and an autonomous region (Rihu). A further nine districts are centred on a particular smaller island, while two districts and the remaining autonomous region (the Free Isles) consist entirely of scattered minor islands.
(Please note that the maritime boundaries in the map above are only illustrative).