Empire of Austenasia

The Prime Minister of Austenasia is the head of government of the Empire, elected from amongst applicant Representatives. Under current laws, a general election for the position of Prime Minister takes place under ordinary circumstances every four years, on one of the first twelve days of February. The next general election is due to take place in February 2024.

The position of the Prime Minister has evolved over time, with its level of authority dependent upon the holder of the office and their relationship with the Monarch. For Crown Prince Jonathan under Terry I, the Prime Minister was the leader of the nation; for the Crown Prince under Esmond III, the Prime Minister was more of an advisor, and under Declan I was little more than a personal secretary. Under Emperor Jonathan I, Lord Marshal William has been described as functioning as a "rubber stamp" and Countess Eritoshi as an "enforcer", whereas Lord Admiral Kennedy returned the position to one of a proactive executive leader.

Powers of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has numerous powers, rights and duties mandated by Austenasian law, although the extent to which these have been exercised at the Prime Minister's own initiative has varied over Austenasian history (see above).

The Prime Minister:
  • co-ordinates the work of the Government Ministers;
  • appoints the Consuls every 1 January;
  • sets the DEFCON level for the Empire;
  • exercises the functions of the Speaker of Parliament should the office be vacant;
  • is eligible to be a Counsellor of State (the Monarch can temporarily give them some of their powers if they're ill, abroad, etc); and
  • is one of the two candidates for Regent should the Monarch be unable to rule (the other being the Heir to the Throne).

The Prime Minister has the power to:
  • order a general election with notice of seven weeks;
  • cast a deciding vote should any vote of the House of Representatives be tied;
  • declare a State of Emergency if the Empire is at DEFCON 1 or 2;
  • give permission for any threat within an area claimed as an Austenasian Sphere of Influence to be monitored or countered; and to
  • ratify international treaties by signing them.

The Prime Minister must give their consent for:
  • the House of Representatives to declare a Regency if the Monarch is of age and has not declared themselves unfit to rule;
  • the Monarch to appoint someone who is not their relative to the rank of Augusta or Caesar;
  • the Monarch to veto a decision of the War Council;
  • the Monarch to appoint a Judge to a High Court or a jury for a trial in the Imperial Court; and for
  • the Home Secretary to appoint the Chief Inspector.

List of Prime Ministers

HIH Crown Prince Jonathan (Sep 2008 - Jan 2013)
The constitutionally-designated Founder of Austenasia, Crown Prince Jonathan was declared Prime Minister in the Empire's Declaration of Independence on 20 September 2008, and elected to said position on 1 January 2009 and again on 23 December 2011. The Crown Prince's term as Prime Minister saw the position transition from the executive leader of government to a more advisory role as the powers of the Throne gradually increased. The adoption of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, championed by the Crown Prince and in force to this day, cemented the executive, legislative, and judicial authority of the Monarch over that of the Prime Minister. During Crown Prince Jonathan's term as Prime Minister, he wrote the vast majority of the Empire's legislation, defended the constitutional government during the Austenasian Civil War, and even after losing most of his actual power to the Throne was able to work behind the scenes to arrange for Declan I to become joint Emperor after misgivings about the sole reign of Esmond III. Represented Austenasia at the 2011 Intermicronational Summit and the 2012 Polination Conference, and acquired several foreign protectorates for the Empire. Upon the abdication of Declan I on 20 January 2013, Crown Prince Jonathan accepted the Throne and so became the incumbent Emperor Jonathan I, automatically losing the office of Prime Minister.

Lord Marshal William Kingsnorth, Baron of Zephyria (Jan - Nov 2013: Acting)
As Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Marshal William became Acting Prime Minister upon the ascension to the Throne of Jonathan I on 20 January 2013. He proposed no new policies and was unable to take on much executive leadership due both to the proactive exercise of the powers of the Throne by Jonathan I and to his respect for the fact that he had not been elected to the position. Although the Lord Marshal continued to exercise his duties both as Representative of Zephyria and as the holder of several offices in Cabinet, his use of the powers of the position of Prime Minister functioned mostly as a "rubber stamp" for the decisions of the Emperor. He stood in the November 2013 general election, but withdrew and endorsed Countess Eritoshi shortly before voting took place.

HIH Eritoshi, Countess of Memphis (Nov 2013 - Mar 2015)
Countess Eritoshi of Memphis, Representative of Thanasia, was elected Prime Minister on 19 November 2013 with 66% of the vote. Eritoshi developed the role of the premiership by functioning as an "enforcer" for the Emperor's policies, using the Prime Ministerial deciding vote and the prestige of her office to have legislation and policies proposed by Jonathan I passed more easily through Parliament. Despite establishing the Green Party of Austenasia to organise her supporters and manifesto, the Countess lost the March 2015 general election to Lord Admiral Kennedy.

HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Duke of New Virginia (Mar 2015 - Feb 2020)
Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy served as Representative of New Richmond. He was elected on 4 March 2015 with 68% of the vote, and re-elected to a landslide victory on 28 February 2019 with 87% of the vote after his rival dropped out. The Lord Admiral returned the office of Prime Minister to being one of an active head of government, proposing numerous pieces of legislation, overseeing governmental and military reforms, and securing concessions from the Throne such as the pledge to have all Cabinet appointments nominated by the Prime Minister before approval from the Monarch. The Lord Admiral furthermore established a Prime Minister's Staff, the first in the history of the office, consisting of various advisors from the Empire. He resigned shortly before New Richmond led various North American possessions of the Empire in becoming independent from Austenasia as the Commonwealth of New Virginia.

HSH Prince Dionisiy I (Feb - Jun 2020)
Prince Dionisiy I was elected with 52.3% of the vote on 13 February 2020, but resigned on 1 June later that year after the shortest term ever served by a Prime Minister. His brief term was dominated by the issue of constitutional reform, a platform of which he had been elected on. Disputes within Parliament over the Prince's plans for Austenasia led to divisions which eventually became bad enough to force the Emperor to temporarily assume emergency powers to calm the situation. Prince Dionisiy worked towards restoring order and co-operated with former rivals to re-establish unity in the government, but the controversy eventually led to his decision to resign after several territories decided to leave Austenasia.

Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford (Jun 2020 - present)
Lord John Gordon was the electoral rival of Prince Dionisiy in the February 2020 elections, gaining 41% of the vote. This would have been a majority of the vote had the towns which left Austenasia alongside Prince Dionisiy's resignation not been in Austenasia at the time. With this in mind, Lord Gordon was appointed directly to the position of Prime Minister by Emperor Jonathan I on 1 June 2020 following the Prince's resignation, under the provisions of the emergency powers that the Emperor had temporarily assumed during the political crisis at that time and with the blessing of Prince Dionisiy himself. He had also been appointed Deputy Prime Minister shortly before the resignation, meaning he would automatically have become Acting Prime Minister regardless. During his time in office so far, Lord Gordon has overseen a return to calm and stable politics and a steady growth of Austenasia to a record-breaking size and population.