The United Kingdoms of Celtia, or the United Kingdoms, is an empire governing much of mainland Europe, as well as the overseas commonwealths of New Albion and Canolia. It is a political hybrid, combining aspects of both constitutional monarchism and socialism to create a unique, and functioning, system of government.
While New Albion and Canolia remain sovereign parts of the empire, in practice they are treated as separate entities.
Government & Politics
The UK is governed by a King or Queen. The monarch's power is spelled out in the Rights of the People, a bill of rights that was created in 1489 in response to King Caderyn XII's over-reaches of power. It guarantees the separation of powers into the legislative, executive and judicial branches, with no branch becoming too powerful or interfering with the operation of the others.
Nowadays, the monarch largely remains a figurehead, whose job it is to act as the moral leader and representative of the empire. Monarchical privilege has also been done away with, with no special rights or titles given to the monarch or their relatives. The King or Queen is permitted a lavish lifestyle, though they must make sure not to be too exuberant, as the Constitution gives the people the right to declare a monarch illegitimate and force them to abdicate if they fall out of favour.
The actual governing body of the UK is divided into two parts; the House of Distribution and the House of the People. Both are unicameral, and focus on different aspects of the empire's government. The House of Distribution's function is to monitor and regulate the economy, as well as trade with other foreign powers and the distribution of land ,resources and wealth amongst the populace. The House of the People is a body which deals with legislation regarding human rights, criminal codes, foreign policy and civil law reform. Issues relating to health and education are dealt with by both houses jointly.
Members of the House of the People are elected by the populace, with elections occurring every 5 years. There is a 4-term-limit on the number of times a member can be elected; due to their long lives, a surprising number of members have served their full 4 terms. Members of the House of Distribution are chosen on their achievements and are hand-picked by the monarch him/herself. However, to prevent favouritism, the monarch is prohibited from selecting any close friends or relatives as a representative.
Changes in the lawmaking process, or to the Constitution itself, are not within the power of the Houses, and can only be made when both Houses issue a joint request to the reigning monarch. The monarch may then decide to present it to the public or not (however, it is rare that a monarch would refuse to present a reform to the people; to date it has only happened once) and the people then vote on whether or not the reform shall be accepted. Two-thirds of all the population of the empire must approve of the reform before it is passed into law.
The overseas commonwealths of New Albion and Canolia each have their own Houses of Distribution, which are sovereign to the one in mainland Celtia. The locality of the institutions allows them to better manage their local resources, however, the commonwealths are still subject to all rulings of the monarch and the House of the People.
The economy of the UKC is both socialist and interventionist, as the government retains the rights to intervene in financial situations if it feels that it may benefit the whole.
A large part of the economy is nationalised, such as healthcare and education, as well as mass production. In said nationalised enterprises, private ownership and competition is illegal, and all financial decisions related to that industry are controlled by the state. This is to ensure that no citizen is treated unfairly. It also means that approximately 46% of employed citizens are, in essence, employed by the government, a higher rate than any other nation, with the exception of the communist nations.
Despite this, there exists more private businesses in Celtia than any other nation/empire, even more than the vigorously capitalist Carthage. They mostly work in businesses such as retail and niche markets. Strict regulations relating to wages and income disparity between employees and employers mean that Celtic workers have some of the highest salaries in the world, even for menial jobs such as cleaning.
The point of this is to maintain a balance. The Celtic economic system is based on the idea of government maintaining mass production (and employing large numbers of labourers) while the citizens take care of specialised production. To these ends, the small businesses and self-employed citizens earn the most money, but government-employed citizens can still make more than enough to live a comfortable lifestyle.
Taxes are relatively high, however, and are variable based upon the amount of income a person earns, with the highest paid paying the most in taxes. However, employers are able to offset taxes by employing more workers, oftentimes as a profit to themselves. This also means that Celtia consistently ranks as one of the best in the world with regards to unemployment figures; it is considered a very bad day if the unemployment rate goes over 2.5%.
The dominant religion of the Celtic nations is that of Celtic spiritualism, an animist pantheist religion that emphasises a harmonious relationship with the natural world around them. For more information, visit the Religion page.
Celtia has no official language, but most native Celts speak a language that would best be described in OTL terms as Pan-Celtic. It is a hybrid language derived mostly from Gaulish with a large number of Brythonic, Pictish and Welsh influences.
However, many Celts also speak regional dialects such as Eirish, which has recently resurfaced as Eire has become a major exporter of popular culture. Other dialects include Cornish and Manx.
The overseas Celtic nations each have their own regional dialects as well.