The Impact on Economic and political Structures on Mars
The process of government is designed to offer a balance between direct democracy and a representative system. It is hoped that both the multiple choice ballots and the random appointment of representatives from the entire population will make the electorate more involved in the entire process and discourage an “us versus them” attitude to government. The aim is to create a consensual, rather than adversarial, form of government within practical limits. Both the electorate and the single legislative body, the Senate, must agree on a bill for it to become law. Other features of the system are an extensive committee structure and a President whose role is mostly ceremonial.
The Senate consists of 100 persons each serving for a term of four years. Every year 25 are replaced by new representatives chosen randomly from the population. Appointments occur a couple of months before the end of the year, giving new Senators time for training and job shadowing prior to beginning their year of office. The colony has a President as head of state although he/she holds no direct power, acting as a ceremonial figurehead and the public face of the community. The President is drawn from the general public and anyone can put themselves forward for the position. However, candidates must have an extremely high level of public service and commitment to the community. Those candidates that meet the highest standards are entered into a pool from which the new President is randomly chosen. Terms of office are four years, beginning half-way through the Senate’s four year term.
The Communities on Mars
There are many government committees and every representative is expected to serve on at least one. Some of these are permanent committees, each overseeing the functions of an individual department, and many are temporary and devoted to researching a single bill. It is expected that Senators serve on committees relevant to their experiences. The committees have responsibility for allocating public resources. This system is meant to guarantee that resources are fairly dispersed and used so that they are faithful to the agreed-upon goals of the community. There are eleven standing committees that are understood to be necessary to survival, culture, and the standards of life desired in the colony. At this time these eleven committees are meant to be permanent, but it is the nature of the committee system that it be easily changed. Temporary committees may be formed specifically around the introduction of a bill, policy implementation or other community projects as they occur outside of the realm of the original eleven committees. Senate members voluntarily sign up for the committees of their choice upon allotment and as vacancies occur, It is likely that one senator will serve on at least two committees. One would feel inclined to choose a committee in which they have competency, interest and some degree of expertise or training.
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