"The Government of Pacific Orange is the political body through which laws are created, passed and enacted throughout the nation. It is headed by a President who is elected according to a popular vote. Similarly all major cabinet positions are held by representatives who have been elected to power by the will of the people. Despite the nation's turbulent, at times authoritian, past, the current system of government in Pacific Orange strives to ensure that the principles of liberal, representative democracy continue to flourish throughout the nation. "
The basis of government in Pacific Orange are thoroughly grounded in the principles of seperation of powers, rule of law and protection of liberties. As a result, the Federal Republic of Pacific Orange is arranged into three, distinct and independent entities: the Supreme Court which functions as the nation's judicial authority, the Legislative Assembly and Senate to which the nation's legislative responsibilites are ascribed and the Presidential Administration which is responsible for overseeing the day to day management of the state. Admittedly, the boundary between the latter two - the executive and the legislative - is rather porous at times with members of the higher echelons of the Presidential Administration being selected often from people in the Legislative Assembly or Senate.
Key Offices of State are those positions of government traditionally considered to play a crucial role in the running of government in the Rerpublic of Pacific Orange. Persons elected to these offices, rule by the mandate of the people, and are expected to bring a considerable level of expertise to their positions. These include:
The President is the head of state of the Republic of Pacific Orange and is elected according to a popular vote held once every five years. Following a constitutional amendment, no President may hold office for more than two terms, consecutive or otherwise. He/She is vested with supreme executive authority over the nation - in particular with the Presidential power of veto. All resolutions passed by the Legislative Assembly and Senate can only be turned into law with the President's approcal. Technically, the President is expected to remain impartial to the legislative processes of the country, exercising his/her power of veto only when advised to do so by the Supreme Court though admittedly this protocoal has been ignored many times in the past. As the official head of the executive branch of Pacific Orange government, the President ensures that all laws passed and approved are enacted smoothly and effectively throughout the entire country. Furthermore, as the head of state, the President oversees all major cabinet appointments including that of Prime Minister though admittedly such ministerial appointments are made on the weight of a popular vote. Morever, he/she is vested also with the responsibilities of the commander in chief of the nation's armed forces during wartime. The role is purely ceremonial with much of the actual military decision making process remaining in the hands of the upper echelons of the military.
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the most senior minister of the cabinet in the Pacific Orange system of government and is elected according to a popular vote held once every three years. Following a constitutional amendment, no Prime Minister may hold office for more than three terms, consecutive or otherwise. Politically, the Prime Minister is the leader of the party with the majority of the seats in the Legislative Assembly and is expected to ensure that all major bills are passed smoothly by the Houses of Parliament. Thus in a sense, where the President is vested with executive authority, the Prime Minister exercises legislative authority over the nation, in particular over the formulation of domestic, economic and foreign policies. Whilst not mandated by the current constitution, the Prime Minister and President are often elected from the same party.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the minister in the cabinet responsible for overseeing the Treasury and thus all financial matters pertaining to the nation including taxation, the national budget and general economic policy. Since it is the Treasury which sets departmental expenditure limits, the Chancellor has considerable control over other department making it the third most important office traditionally considered in government. As a result, the position is often awarded to the deputy Prime Minister. Although the amount of power wielded by a Chancellor depends on his personal forcefulness, his status with his party and his relationship with the Prime Minister and whilst it is the Reserve Bank which is responsible for setting interest rates, the Chancellor plays an important part in monetary policy by setting the inflation target the Reserve Bank must set interest rates to meet. To assist with his/her duties, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is assisted by the permanent Secretary and Undersecretary to the Treasury who advise the Minister on particular matters.
Admittedly, aside from the Key Offices of State, other less prominent but nonetheless equally as important roles within Pacific Orange government are commonly referred to as the Other Offices of State. Persons elected to these offices, rule by the mandate of the people, and are expected to bring a considerable level of expertise to their positions. These include:
The Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the minister in the cabinet who handles the nation's diplomatic relations with other countries and is principally responsible for fostering friendly relations with other regional powers. Though it is the Prime Minister and President who generally formulate foreign policy, it lies within the responsibilities of the Minister of Foreign Affairs nonetheless to determine the best means of carrying out such policy. Whilst a ministerial position and thus subject to the pressures of domestic politics, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is traditionally drawn from a select range of candidates with a large amount of experience as part of the nation's diplomatic service. Along with their political roles, the minister is also responsible for many diplomatic duties, such as hosting foreign world leaders and going on state visits to other countries. As a result, he / she is generally the most well-traveled member of any cabinet.
The Minister of Arts and Culture
The Minister of Arts and Culture is the minister in the cabinet overseeing all tourism and cultural matters pertaining to the nation. A recent creation, he / she has specific responsibility to maintain, enhance and promote the nation's image abroad along with the preservation of all art, buildings and other works which form an integral part of the country's national heritage. As the chief person in control over the nation's tourism sector - an integral part of the Pacific Orange - the minister of arts and culture thus occupies a crucial role in developing the nation's economic and social position.
The Minister of the Interior
The Minister of the Interior is the minister in the cabinet responsible for maintaining and developing the nation's infrastructure. Generally this means that he / she oversees all matters pertaining to the nation's roads, mass transit, utilities such as electricity and water, telecommunications and other such public works. The minister is not only expected to maintain or upgrade these public works facilities but also develop operating procedures, management practices, and development policies hat interact together with societal demand and the physical world so as to help facilitate the transport of people and goods, the provision of electricity and water etc. within the nation. In more recent times, the portfolio of Minister of the Interior has extended to incorporate responsibilities overseeing the development of the nation's information technology networks and other new channels of communication. Considered to be part of the nation's infrastructure, responsibility for the nation's emergency services - the police forces included - rests in the hands of the Minister of the Interior.
The Minister of Defence
The Minister of Defence is the minister in the cabinet responsible for all matters pertaining to national security. Thus he / she is in charge of maintaining the nation's armed forces, protecting the nation's interests against external and internal threats and the general security of the nation as a whole. Whilst the defence budget is created and approved by the Treasury, the Minister of Defence plays an important role in how the budget is spent - determining in which areas and to which bidders particular defence contracts are awarded. As part of a recent streamlining of the various ministries, the Ministry of Defence now incorporates the Federal Intelligence Bureau and thus the Minister of Defence oversees also the running of the nation's intelligence and counter intelligence agencies.
The Minister of Labour
The Minister of Labour is the minister in the cabinet responsible for setting national labour standards and federal labour dispute mechanisms. Whilst most of the responsibility for labour belongs with the regional governments under the current constitution, the federal government is nonetheless responsible for labour issues, particularly those which have effects on a national scale. A recent addition to the cabinet, the Minister of Labour enforces and suggests laws involving unions, the workplace and all other issues involving any form of business-person controversies. Furthermore, it falls under the Minister of Labour's responsibilites to handle the payment of the state pension and unemployment benefits along with the creation of employment opportunities within the Pacific Orange state.
The Minister of Environmental and Social Affairs
The Minister of Environmental and Social Affairs is the minister in the cabinet overseeing all health, education as well as environmental matters pertaining to the nation. In terms of the environment, the he / she has specific responsibility for environment, land reform, water quality regulation and sustainable development and in terms of health and education, the minister works to ensure that the quality of schools, universities, hospitals and clinics maintain at least a satisfactory level. Though considered a junior ministerial position, the minister of environmental and social affairs nonetheless plays an integral role in the developing the nation's future potential, particular as the minister is responsible for awarding appropriate federal grants with which to fund certain research schemes.