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The Highlandic Constitutional Reform Acts, were a series of legislative acts passed through the Highlandic Federation's Federal Parliament throughout the years 3608 - 3609 during the Riley Government. The constitutional reform acts were aimed to finally cement Highlandic Unionism , centralise government sovereignty and change the status of the Highlandic Federation from a Federal to a Unitary State.
The Home Reform Acts came to prominence within the Highlandic Federation because of a number of factors. The most prominent one being that of the relative successes of Federal leadership in comparison to that of Provincial leadership. Under the political convention of Provincial Soveriengty, it was stressed that supreme governance would be held accountable on the local level, and that only subjects where it was deemed impossible to manage on the local level would be handelled by Federal government. ( Defence , Diplomacy and International Economic Policy for example.)
Over the course of the late 3500's and early 3600's. Popular federal politicians begun to ignite the public imagination, (at least in the eyes of public opinion at the time) it was viewed that Federal politics played a key and ever more important role in the governance within the Federation as a whole. Compounding this fact, was the issue of Federal Unionism and the effectiveness of Provincial Sovereignty in maintaining fairness and providing a fair, even democratic voice throughout the Federation. Regions were originally drawn up according to population, with each region encompassing precisely 5.8 million people and around 57 MFP's to debate within the Highlandic Federal Parliament. Differentiation in population growth over the suceeding decades meant that by 3600 - the provincial regions of the former Kinsekian country, Estobania most notably had considerable less democratic power per person as the rest of the Federation.
Although Provincial Sovereingty had proved surprisingly effective at preventing Republican interests eclipsing that of Kinsekian ones. A public opinion poll in 3600 expressed strong and clear evidence that a majority of Highlanders felt, "The Highlandic Federation could be governed better,". This proved to be a significant setback to the Highlandic Democratic government led by Hariet R. Riley. Who after the 3600 election pledged to review the governance of the Highlandic Federation.
A series of public consultations, mock polls and debating sessions were conducted over the course of 3600 government. It was clear that over half of the population expressed some dissatisfaction with the current arrangements of Provincial Sovereignty - with a overriding majority calling for a least a expansion of the number of Provincial Regions.
The Heratio report was commissioned in 3605 to determine the effectiveness as to expanding the number of Provincial Regions, as well as summon further public opinion as to potential alternatives. Although taking several years to complete, and backed by strong public opinion - the report illustrated and concluded a lack of political will on behalf of the political class of the country to manage and administer more provincial regions and maintain the current provisions of provincial soveriengty.
The Report concluded that 12 would work for the best number, but would only provide a short - medium term solution to the current problem at hand. However the implications lay into the size of the Highlandic Federal Parliament with 12 regions. With the potential number of MFP's reaching almost 600 with 12 provincial regions, it was concluded in the report that such constitutional change would cost SC$Billions for the little gain which would be achieved.Other concerns were also highlighted throughout the report, most notably - the threat of in the long term a provincial region wishing to leave the union. Provincial Sovereignty allowed any country to leave provided they achieved a majority of 75% throughout their respective regional assembly.
The Constitutional Reform Acts
The Constitutional Reform Acts, dubbed 'The Reform Acts' were passed individually through each provincial region, before being floated, debated and passed through the Federal parliament in a single package - it was then put forwards via Federal Refurendum. The constitutional reform acts aimed to solve multiple issues, while being accompanied with a seperate series of acts aimed at domestic reform related to Education, Health and welfare.
Provincial Regions Act
The Provincial Regions Act, was the first piece of legislation to be introduced in relation to Constitutional Reform, and largerly indicated the political will and intention to change the number of Provincial Regions from that of seven - to twelve. This was done generally in accordance with the findings throughout the Heratio Report - which highlighted the population differentiation between the Provincial Regions.
The Provincial Regions Act did not effect the notion of Provincial Sovereignty, and laid the infastructure for further political consultation in the future in regards to the boundries - the provincial regions act did not define the borders, but only constitutionally stated that the number of regions would increase in the future. The Provincial Regions Act was passed rather easily throughout the provincial assemblies and enjoyed popular support from the public, the Provincial Regions Act also left provisions for a revision of the size of Highlandic Parliament in the future.
Government Centralisation Act
By far the most controversial of the Constitutional Reform Acts, the Government Centralisation Act was a legislative document repealing Provincial Sovereignty. The Centralisation Act, annuled some provincial powers such as the power to leave the Highlandic Federation through popular majority, and some other powers in regards the regional governmental policy. Reasoning behind this was the notable political divide between the Provincial Regions of Swampland and Estobania, which expressed economic, social and cultural discrepency - it was believed the Socialist policies of Swampland and the Market Liberalism of Estobania were incompatible.
The Government Centralisation Act also reduced the number of MFP's per provincial region, though this was largerly done in repentance of the Provincial Regions Act. The Government Centralisation Act was almost, at one point individually taken to a public federal wide referendum, however clear popular support for the notion in some areas did not match with political favour in another. Provincial Referendums, via constitutional agreements were called in the Provincial States of Swampland, Estobania and Meretia - despite fierce opposition, the government centralisation act passed in all regions, enjoying majorities of 53% , 69% and 70% respectively.
The Government Centralisation Act, also included various clauses in regards to the creation of a Second Highlandic Consitution, as well as the updating of the flag, coat of arms and respective military and civic equivelents to reflect that of the number of provincial regions. Although such intention was to mostly lay the groundwork for further legislative acts, and thus was removed from the final act.
Governance Provision Act
The Governance Provision Act, despite popular perceptions and the name. Was the legislative act relating to the change of flag, coat of arms and other symbolic provisions. Introduced after the government and provincial acts had passed individually through the provincial regions. The Governance Provision Act suggested a change in the number of stars upon the Highlandic Flag, as well as a new parliamentary coat of arms to reflect the new constitution. The Goverance Provision Act also suggested a rewriting of the Constitution, although the contents of the constitution were to be debated on at a later date.