|Timeline : Superpowers|
|Houses :||Maya Grand Council|
|Members|| 900 Magmagestah|
|Other Groups|| Parliamentarians|
The Maya Grand Council is the legislative body of the Tlahtocaque Maya and the most powerful political body in Columbia. This unicameral parliament has the ability to propose and pass bills, reevaluate old laws, and even veto the decisions of the Federal King when backed by an 80% majority. The Council's greatest power is to elect a new Federal King from surviving male heirs (and females since 1710) of the previous monarch. Although the supreme power wielded by the king makes a parliament seem unnecessary, the king traditionally requires their consent to make laws and enact fiscal legislation. This restriction stems from the cultural importance of Parliament to the Maya people.
Members of the Grand Council are Magistrates (Magestahl), each of which represents one of the 900 Maya City-States (Altepetl) that make up the central territory of the Conglomerate. All Magistrates are equally important and have equal powers - not even the Magistrate of Teotihuacan receives special rights or abilities. In fact, in Maya culture and politics, the only distinction that makes Teotihuacan the capital is that it is the seat of the Federal King. Several major cities actually have a Parliament building and although the one in Teotihuacan is the largest and probably the most frequently used, there is no law that puts it above any of the others. The lack of an actual capital city is just one of the many aspects of the Conglomerate that distinguishes it from European and Asian states.
However, that is not to say that the Columbians have not been influenced in their customs by foreigners. Even the Mayan word for Magistrate, Magestahl, comes from the Latin Magistrassis. The most notable Roman influence on the Conglomerate has to be the creation of the Tribune of the Mexicans in 1792. The Tribune (Twekun) is elected by popular vote of all 100 Mexican Magmagestah (plural form) and given very similar abilities to the Ancient, and Modern, Roman Tribune. Only the King is allowed to ignore the Twekun, to a certain extent anyways. When a vote is taken to oppose a royal decision then the Tribune's opposition counts for 45 votes (5%).
The Conglomerate is also led by a legislative leader, someone who officially enacts Councilor legislation and represents the Grand Council in the court of the King. This Prasidlaca (President) is elected every 6 years by popular vote of the Council. Every Maya magistrate is eligible, though the cost of a campaign for president must be considered before running. Aside the formal power to execute legislation from the Council, the president risks impeachment should he try to oppose a supported bill. Nevertheless, popular Praprasidlak (pl.) have managed to prevent certain bills from being passed, usually by forcing a second vote.
Technically speaking, like in most Parliaments, there are no actual political parties in the Grand Council. However, nearly everyone there is affiliated to a certain ideology and just as birds of a feather flock together, usually work together towards their common goals. There are effectively only four of these major groups.
The first, and currently strongest group are the Royalists. They support the interests of the Federal King and act like his representatives in the Council. As might be expected, Magistrates with a known Royal sympathy would have slightly more trouble than others to get elected in their respective State. In Maya society though they're not actually disliked, as the people do still have a strong liking of the monarch, they are only massively elected in times of great peril, such as during the recent Third World War. In such problematic periods, a strong central government is needed to allow the government to make decisions as swiftly as possible.
One of the two groups that are most popular in stable times are the Populists, who look after the interests of the common people and vote for legislation that ameliorates their lives, often at the cost of the government or the economy. They are usually the biggest spenders, but when they are "in power", as it were, are the most firm supporters of the populace's welfare. The last time a Populist was elected President of the Grand Council was in the 60's, when the people became disinterested in extravagant government programs like the Mars Mission that seemed only to arrive at failure.
The other major group is the Syndicalists, the ones who look after the interests of the economy, and as they say, the country itself. They're goals center around fiscally stimulative measures, maintaining a strong government treasury and keeping the economy functioning without any issues. They are the second group who usually takes power during stable times, but usually only when the people are especially supportive of the government and its actions. As well, a Syndicalist President usually comes into power following the end of recessions, and it is believed that in the next Federal and State elections in 2000, Syndicalists will probably make up the majority of Magistrates and have one of their own elected President.
The last major group, the one which rarely comes into power, and is therefore considered the largest minor party, is the Parliamentarians. They work to serve the interests of the government and, as they also say, the country. They support large spending as well, but usually on social infrastructure that helps numerous people at once, unlike the social plans of the Populists. They have almost never taken power, but due to their occasional support of the Populists, and the unofficial "coalitions" between the two (though with no official parties its more of a moral coalition), Parliamentarians have occasionally taken center stage.
Using OTL Canadian parties as comparisons, the Syndicalists are like the "Progressive Conservatives", the Populists are like the "Liberals" and the Parliamentarians are like the "NDP". The Royalists on the other hand are something like an "emergency party", good when the power of the King ought to be uninterrupted by Parliament.