Heroes of the Better Age
The City is governed by an elected body of 600 active officials. A citizen must be 30 years old in order to become a senator. Senators are elected for life, though most senators do not command much power. New senators almost never get a chance to speak their minds, as older and higher ranking senators dominate most of the political discourse.
Each year, senators have a chance to hold an "office". Offices are positions in the senate that have 1 year terms and give the senator power over some specific aspect of running the government. After their term of office, a senator cannot be elected into that office again. Most offices require that a senator served in a different office beforehand. The offices and requirements are listed below:
Quaestor: The first and only office accessible to first-time senators. A citizen can become a quaestor at age 30, and this office is seen as the first real step on a senators political career. After their year as a quaestor, the senator is officially inducted into the senate. of the 15 quaestors elected every year, most serve as deputies to higher ranking senators like governors, functioning as tax collectors, quartermasters, or recruiters. Quaestors can be granted temporary power over their governor's military or judicial position in order to serve in his stead. 2 quaestors are appointed every year to one of the two consuls, which is a very prestigious position, but grants almost no real political power, as consuls have hundreds of high ranking senators to delegate to. 2 quaestors serve as urban quaestors, and oversee the treasury and archives of the City. Urban quaestors are forbidden from leaving the City during their term.
Aedile: Technically an optional step in the senator's political career, there are only two open positions every year. Aediles must have been a quaestor and 35 years old. They are responsible for organizing festivals, games, and maintaining public buildings and aqueducts. A wise senator will serve as aedile in order to garner public favor through the organization of extremely lavish festivals in the city. The senate offers aediles a modest fund for events each year, though most aediles will invest their own money and spend several fortunes in order to throw incredibly extravagant celebrations involving city-wide feasts, exotic beast battles, and contests that will garner them admiration for future elections.
Praetor: The beginning of real legislative power in the senate. At the age of 39, an ex-quaestor or ex-aedile could attempt to run for one of the 8 praetor positions each year. Political debate almost never gets to senators below the rank of praetor, and praetors serve mostly as judges. Following their term, ex-praetors serve as generals and governors. Praetors spend most of their time and energy positioning themselves to receive a good, profitable sector of the city, which is entirely determined by senatorial vote. Bribes are common, as praetors generally expect to make back their money as governors, as they receive very little political oversight once they receive their governorship.
Consul: The top of the City's political hierarchy. A senator must be 42 years old, and have served as praetor. There are 2 consul positions each year. One of the three people who can call the senate to meet, they can also set the agenda for the entire meeting. one consul serves for half of the year, and the other serves for the other half. The consul who receives the most votes serves first. The other consul technically can veto the current one, but this is often not done, as to avoid being shut down during their term. They have supreme authority over the City's military. Consuls also assign public holidays for that year and oversee elections, which grants tremendous power.
The First Senator:
One of the three people capable of calling the senate to meet. The First Senator is the most well respected senator, who is usually an ex-consul with the most personal influence amongst the senate, and is typically very old. In the Senate, the order of speaking goes from highest to lowest rank, and the First Senator always has the right to comment on legislation first, which is a very important power. When two senators of equal rank wish to speak, the First Senator may choose who speaks first.
Once a senator has proposed a new law, it must be deliberated on for at least 5 days before being moved into the Public Assembly. Once there, the senator presents the law to a crowd of attending residents (not necessarily citizens) three days later. The senator has the power to choose who speaks and what they speak about. After the law is presented, the assembly votes. They do not have the power to debate the bill, only to vote yes or no.
Every year, each citizens net worth is assessed by ex consuls serving as censers. The citizen is then placed into 1 of 5 classes based on wealth and divided into blocks. Each class has 40 blocks. Each block counts as 1 vote, and during election time, the citizens are expected to go out to the market plaza to vote on new senators and offices. Each block votes one at a time, and once an official reaches a majority, voting ends immediately.