Federal Chancellor

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Standard of the Federal Chancellor.
Fig. 174 Current F.C., Vian Warespeder.

The Federal Chancellor is the presiding member of the Directory, Faeland's seven-member executive. Elected by the Diet for one year, the Chancellor chairs the meetings of the Directory and undertakes special representative duties. Primus inter pares, the Chancellor has no powers above the other Directors and continues to manage his or her portfolio. Traditionally the duty rotates among the members in order of seniority and the previous year's Vice Chancellor becomes Chancellor.

As first among equals, the Chancellor is not considered the Faelish head of State. Rather, the entire Directory is considered a collective Head of State.

The constitutional provisions relating to the organisation of the General Government and Directory are set out in the Organic Law.

Competencies

The Faelish Chancellor is not – as are, for example, the Presidents in the U.S.A or Germany – the Head of State of the country: the Organic Law knows neither a Head of State nor a Head of Government. Both of these functions are administered by the Directory collectively. If a tied vote occurs in the Directory (which does not happen too often, the number of Directors being an odd number), the Chancellor, being its Chair, casts the deciding vote.

In addition to the control of their own department, the Chancellor carries out some of the representative duties of a Head of State. Foreign visits mean that the Chancellor also often travels abroad.

However, because the Faels have no single Head of State, the country also carries out no state visits. When traveling abroad, the Chancellor does so only as an ordinary minister of a government department.

Visiting heads of state are received by the eleven members of the Directory together, rather than by the Chancellor alone. Treaties are signed on behalf of the full Directory, with all Directors members signing letters of credence and other documents of the kind.

Election

Fig. 175 Liam Soper, the first Federal Chancellor

The Chancellor is elected by the Diet from current or former Directors, in each case for one year.

There is an unwritten rule that the member of the Directory who has not been Chancellor the longest becomes Chancellor. Therefore, usually, every Directory member gets a turn at least once every eleven years. The only question in the elections that provides some tension is the question of how many votes the person who is to be elected Chancellor receives. This is seen as a popularity test. In the 1970s and 1980s, 65 votes (of 100 possible) was seen as an excellent result, but in the current era of growing party-political conflicts, 55 votes are a respectable outcome.

Until 1945, it was customary for the serving Chancellor to also lead the Foreign Office (war was looming, after all). Therefore every year there was a moving around of posts, as the retiring Chancellor returned to his former department and the new Chancellor moved into the Foreign Office. Likewise, it was traditional for the Chancellor, even as Director of the Foreign Office, not to leave Faeland during his year in office.

Special Wartime Status

If needs be, the Federal Chancellor may, in time of war, be called upon to act as Supreme Marshall of the military.

See Also