This continental nation now has a representative government with a centrally located national capital. The central government consists of a strong federation of one hundred comparatively free states. These states elect their governors and legislators for ten years, and none are eligible for re-election. State judges are appointed for life by the governors and confirmed by their legislatures, which consist of one representative for each one hundred thousand citizens.
There are five different types of metropolitan government, depending on the size of the city, but no city is permitted to have more than one million inhabitants. On the whole, these municipal governing schemes are very simple, direct, and economical. The few offices of city administration are keenly sought by the highest types of citizens.
The federal government embraces three co-ordinate divisions: executive, legislative, and judicial. The federal chief executive is elected every six years by universal territorial suffrage. He is not eligible for re-election except upon the petition of at least seventy-five state legislatures concurred in by the respective state governors, and then but for one term. He is advised by a supercabinet composed of all living ex-chief executives.
The legislative division embraces three houses:
1. The upper house is elected by industrial, professional, agricultural, and other groups of workers, balloting in accordance with economic function.
2. The lower house is elected by certain organizations of society embracing the social, political, and philosophic groups not included in industry or the professions. All citizens in good standing participate in the election of both classes of representatives, but they are differently grouped, depending on whether the election pertains to the upper or lower house.
3. The third house—the elder statesmen—embraces the veterans of civic service and includes many distinguished persons nominated by the chief executive, by the regional (subfederal) executives, by the chief of the supreme tribunal, and by the presiding officers of either of the other legislative houses. This group is limited to one hundred, and its members are elected by the majority action of the elder statesmen themselves. Membership is for life, and when vacancies occur, the person receiving the largest ballot among the list of nominees is thereby duly elected. The scope of this body is purely advisory, but it is a mighty regulator of public opinion and exerts a powerful influence upon all branches of the government.
Very much of the federal administrative work is carried on by the ten regional (subfederal) authorities, each consisting of the association of ten states. These regional divisions are wholly executive and administrative, having neither legislative nor judicial functions. The ten regional executives are the personal appointees of the federal chief executive, and their term of office is concurrent with his—six years. The federal supreme tribunal approves the appointment of these ten regional executives, and while they may not be reappointed, the retiring executive automatically becomes the associate and adviser of his successor. Otherwise, these regional chiefs choose their own cabinets of administrative officials.
This nation is adjudicated by two major court systems—the law courts and the socioeconomic courts. The law courts function on the following three levels:
1. Minor courts of municipal and local jurisdiction, whose decisions may be appealed to the high state tribunals.
2. State supreme courts, whose decisions are final in all matters not involving the federal government or jeopardy of citizenship rights and liberties. The regional executives are empowered to bring any case at once to the bar of the federal supreme court.
3. Federal supreme court—the high tribunal for the adjudication of national contentions and the appellate cases coming up from the state courts. This supreme tribunal consists of twelve men over forty and under seventy-five years of age who have served two or more years on some state tribunal, and who have been appointed to this high position by the chief executive with the majority approval of the supercabinet and the third house of the legislative assembly. All decisions of this supreme judicial body are by at least a two-thirds vote.
The socioeconomic courts function in the following three divisions:
1. Parental courts, associated with the legislative and executive divisions of the home and social system.
2. Educational courts—the juridical bodies connected with the state and regional school systems and associated with the executive and legislative branches of the educational administrative mechanism.
3. Industrial courts—the jurisdictional tribunals vested with full authority for the settlement of all economic misunderstandings.
The federal supreme court does not pass upon socioeconomic cases except upon the three-quarters vote of the third legislative branch of the national government, the house of elder statesmen. Otherwise, all decisions of the parental, educational, and industrial high courts are final.