This page describes the government of the Twelve Colonies prior to the events of Warday.
The executive branch of the Twelve Colonies is headed by the President of the Colonies, elected every six years on the basis of a system-wide popular vote. The president is assisted by a cabinet, which consists of the heads of various government departments and ministries. The president possesses wide-ranging authority to implement and enforce laws, and he also serves as the commander-in-chief of the Colonial Navy.
As of 26 February 2041 AE, the President of the Colonies was Richard Adar.
The Legislative Branch
Quorum of Twelve
Like its name suggests, the Quorum of Twelve (Q12) is a deliberative body with twelve members, one from each of the Twelve Colonies. Equal in power, the elected delegates of the upper house wield remarkable legislative influence for two reasons. First, they have the power to amend bills passed by the lower house and send them back for debate, granting them a "gentleman's veto" that's often enough to convince the lower house to table the bill for another year. Second, they have the responsibility to check and challenge the actions of the Colonial Government and all its instruments. To this end, the Q12 will often dispatch special investigatory commissions (known as Quorum Delegations, or QUODELs) on fact-finding missions, the reports from which play a tremendous role in shaping its legislative agenda. These QUODELs' impressive track record in ferreting out embarrassing information makes the very threat of their creation a powerful weapon indeed.
The President of the Colonies is the presiding officer of the Q12 and has the ability to break tie votes.
The People's Council
The lower house is significantly larger than the Q12. With 519 members in all (roughly one member for every hundred thousand citizens) elected on the basis of proportional representation, the People's Council (PC) serves as the source of all legislation in the Twelve Colonies: every federal bill must be introduced in the floor of the PC and receive its stamp of approval before it can become law.
In light of the assertiveness of current Quorum delegates, talk of reforming the PC to grant it additional powers has taken off in recent years, with its most vociferous critics accusing it of simply rubberstamping Q12 decisions to lend them a veneer of democratic legitimacy. Unfortunately, PC reform's association with the platforms of several insurgent groups on Sagittaron made raising the issue tantamount to political suicide.
Ex Officio Advisors
The High Priests of the Colonies' largest temples and sanctuaries constitute the "hidden hand" of Colonial politics. Though unelected, they are often called upon by both the executive and the legislative to offer their "advice and consent" to specific policy decisions. Ex officio advisors have no actual vote, but their influence waxes and wanes with the tide of religious sentiment. In certain legislative districts on Gemenon, for instance, to ignore a priest's recommendation is to flirt with electoral disaster.