Martian Governments and Election Results
Martian federal governments are formed in the Senate. There is no formal head of state, but the generally accepted 'chief executive' position is the Chair of the Senate Interstellar Coordination Committee (ICC) - effectively a 'cabinet'. From 3178-3206 the power of the central Council of the Martian Union in Quadrant 0 meant that it was represented at the highest level by the Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union being "invited" to chair the Senate ICC even though no formal legal mechanism existed for such. Resentment of this practice by the increasingly powerful outer quadrants has led to the rise of the Martian Colonial Growth Faction and since it has been part of the governing coalition the Martian Union Supreme Councillor no longer chairs the ICC, and the post has reverted to the Senate Majority Leader. This slightly confusing constitutional set-up is why many people still (erroneously) refer to the MAFC's chief executive as 'Supreme Councillor'.
Martian Chief Executives (Chair of the Interstellar Coordination Committee)
3217 - present: Senator Minos Cornelius (CDP)
Venerable Senator Minos Cornelius had served as Minister for War under the Harness and Banderas administrations, and as the leader of the majority party in the Senate took over as chair of the ICC following the resignation of Senator Banderas in 3217.
3210 - 3217: Senator Antoinette Banderas
Senator 'Toinette Banderas was leader of the Martian Colonial Growth Faction and one of the elected Senators for Quadrant 5. Like the two previous governments she governed Mars from within the Senate without the involvement of the Martian Union - in Banderas' case as a matter of principle, due to her party's federalist stance which believes Q0 already holds too much power within the MAFC. Senator Banderas led a coalition government with support from the CDP, led by Senator Minos Cornelius. The coalition saw the Martian economy return to growth, and won an increased majority in 3214. Banderas led a more flexible approach to international affairs, allowing the Entente with New Venus to lapse and even flirting with Earth. The government also took strong stance on AI, unsurpising given Banderas' background, and overseen the destruction of an AI chip factory in Q8, an alien AI at Mystery and a suspected AI on Sirius. Banderas' initiatives on the domestic front have included an attempt to change the name of the polity (to the Mars Association of Free Planets) - which was unsuccessful - and successful bid for expansion and reform of the Senate. However, the fallout from the Sirius crisis, when it was revealed she had covered up that there had been no AI discovered on Sirius to avoid jeopardising relations with Earth, led to her resignation in 3217 and a government reshuffle.
3206 - 3210: Senator Anton Dec
The MLWP's good showing in the 3206 Senate elections allowed it to form a governing coalition in the Senate with the CDP, Humanity's Future Party and MCGF, even though his party did not control a working majority within the Martian Union Council. Accordingly Dec initially took the step of running Martian government from the Senate without reference to the Martian Union, although the MLWP had a good showing in the 3207 Martian Union elections which bolstered him politically. Under his folksy image, Dec was a financial guru who believed he could turn the struggling Martian economy around, but his ambitious plans for reform of the armed forces ran into major opposition from the Navy, who frustrated his reforms at every turn. The economy did pick up briefly during 3207-08, but thereafter plateaued again and underperformed for the rest of Dec's term. Although the MAFC helped face down Earth during the Amoss crisis, Senator Banderas, as foreign minister, managed to gain much of the credit for this. In 3210 the MLWP lost several seats to the MCGF in the Senate Elections and Banderas elected to break the coalition with Dec and return to government with the CDP.
3205 - 3206: Senator Philip Dermond (FMP)
Following the fall of the Harness Administration after the Douglas Affair, an emergency Government of National Unity was formed under the caretaker leadership of Senator Phil Dermond, one of the elected senators for Quadrant 4. The Government of National Unity had participation from five of the six main political parties, including Senator Frink of the CDP, but the main participants were the MLWP, CGF and FMP, the parties who had brought down the Harness Administration. The Dermond Administration lasted only for five octants, during which it was mostly consumed with budget discussions.
3200 - 3205: Supreme Councillor Charles L Harness (CDP)
The Central Democratic Party had a good showing in the Senate elections for 3198 and then in 3200 stormed to power via a landslide in the Council of the Martian Union, leading to the election of Charles L. Harness. Harness was able to form a governing Senate coalition with the CDP's long-standing allies the Free Mars Party, under Senator Dermond, and with the more independently minded and federalist Mars Colonial Growth Faction, from 3202 led by charismatic Senator Antoinette Banderas. Like his predecessors, Harness was the Supreme Councillor of the Q0-based Martian Union, but was "invited" to chair the Senate Interstellar Coordination Committee and became de facto Martian Chief Executive.
The Harness Administration massively expanded Naval spending and pursued a robust foreign policy, relying heavily on Martian military interventions, especially via Ground Force landings (joking called "Plan A" by the media). In response to Earth First Minister Lee Zhang's New Washington Treaty, involving the GFA and Union of Xyon, Harness' foreign minister Senator Drakkir Hands negotiated the Mars-Venerian Entente, which became the foundation of an alternative power bloc. The Harness Administration was broadly internationalist, and was a signatory to the pioneering Treaty of Old London and the Interstellar Forerunner Foundation, and the VIMES policing treaty with Sirius and Venus. An intervention on Binni in Q0 led to Martian control of the planet after the decapitation of the hold-out Free Republic of Binni under President Ancongo by Earther coup de main. However, while Harness' buccaneering foreign policy played well to the public, his government overreached itself when it attempted to deal with an extreme right-wing government on the MAFC world of Douglas in Q5 via arresting the entire senior tier of government. Using Plan A on independent worlds was one thing, but on a Martian member world, even a rogue one, brought the government crashing down in a No Confidence vote in the Senate. Harness' Foreign Minister, Thrain Shadbolt, committed suicide, and his party was later punished in the 3206 Senate and 3207 Martian Union elections, after which Harness announced his retirement from politics.
3194 - 3200: Supreme Councillor Aster T Pickles (MLWP)
Aster Thierry Pickles was the leader of the Martian Liberal Welfare Party and Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union in Quadrant 0, and followed the recent political tradition within the MAFC of being "invited" to chair the Senate Interstellar Coordination Committee - the MAFC main executive body - folling the MLWP's good showing in the 3194 Senate elections. Pickles had the misfortune to be in government during the first wave of Exterminator Attacks in Quadrants 6-7, but even though his government was later styled by his CDP opponents as the 'Discredited Pickles Administration', even his political allies later admitted that the scale of the Exterminator War came as a shock and the government was overwhelmed and unable to respond coherently. With only a small majority in the Senate and the Martian Union, Pickles' government was consumed by in-fighting and policy was allowed to drift, largely rudderless, with the Navy left under-resourced to deal with the Exterminators on their own. In 3198 and 3200 respectively the MLWP was decimated in first the Martian Senate and then Martian Union elections and Pickles was forced to resign.
Martian Senate Seats, by election year
(nb: 3200 was a change of government as the ruling coalition fell, but there was no election).
|Central Democratic Party||12||(12)*||14*||9||7||9||?|
|Martian Liberal Welfare Party||10*||(10)||5||8*||7||5||?|
|New Helix Party||1||(1)||1||1||1||2||?|
|Humanity's Future Party||2||(2)||2||3||3||2||?|
|Free Mars Party||2||(2)||2||2||3||3||?|
|Mars Colonial Growth Faction||3||(3)||6||7||8*||9*||?|
* = governing party. Bold indicates a party in a governing coalition.
Senate elections are held every four years, but only half of the seats are up for grabs at any one time, as the normal term for a Senator is eight years. There was no election in 3200, but the defeat of the MLWP in the Council of the Martian Union prompted a vote of no confidence and a rearrangement of the coalition. There was also a vote of no confidence in 3205 following the Douglas affair, leading to a short-lived government of national unity until the 3206 elections. Since 3206 it has once again become the norm for the Senate Majority leader to chair the ICC, rather than the Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union.
3218 saw the expansion of the Senate from 30 seats to 50.
Senate Majority Leaders:
Minos Cornelius (CDP)
3210-3217 Antoinette Banderas (MCGF)
3206-3210 Anton Dec (MLWP)
3205-3206 Philip Dermond (FMP)
3200-3205 Minos Cornelius (CDP)
3194-3200 Faika Saleh (MLWP)
Control of the Council of the Martian Union (Q0), by election year
|Central Democratic Party||130||214*||199*||110||169*|
|Martian Liberal Welfare Party||159*||73||79||125*||99|
|New Helix Party||46||54||52||54||48|
|Humanity's Future Party||54||47||51||63||50|
|Free Mars Party||16||15||17||20||20|
|Mars Colonial Growth Faction||5||9||10||16||25|
* = governing party. Bold indicates a party in a governing coalition.
The formation of the Council of the Martian Union in 3178
to replace the old Quadrant 0 Regional High Council was intended as a way for
the Homeworlds of Q0 to try and exert greater political pressure over federal
decision making. However, the creation of the Martian Union and the tradition
of "inviting" its Supreme Councillor to chair the Senate Interstellar
Coordination Committee provoked a backlash from the outer quadrants, especially
as they grew richer and more populous, and led to the formation of the Martian
Colonial Growth Faction to make the voice of the outer quadrants felt. Since
the demise of the Harness Administration it has no longer been common practice
for the Supreme Councillor of the Martian Union to sit on the Senate ICC, although
many states still erroneously call the Martian chief executive 'Supreme Councillor'.
Councillors of the Martian Union:
3212-present Des Rayleigh (CDP)
3207-3212 Gladys Williamstone (MLWP)
3200-3207 Charles L Harness (CDP)
3196-3200 Aster T Pickles (MLWP)