Appointment by the Senate
The Imperial Senate has the authority to make a number of important appointments. The most significant is The Throne, but the Senate is also responsible for appointing the generals of the Imperial armies. In addition it is common for the Senate to create new Imperial titles which are in turn appointed by the Senate, though it is easiest if they follow the well worn paths laid down by the constitution.
Imperial positions are usually the most important positions made by the Senate. These titles can have far reaching powers that affect everyone in the Empire and are likely to have responsibilities that concern the Empire as a whole.
To elect a citizen to an Imperial position appointed by the Senate requires a member of the Senate to raise a motion of appointment for that position. The election does not happen immediately, instead the motion of appointment is announced by the Speaker for the Senate at the session where it is submitted but the election takes place at the following session to give senators time to arrange their own candidates. When new Imperial titles that are appointed by the Senate are created, it is traditional for the Speaker to immediately raise an administrative vote to carry out an election for the position.
At the following session, the proposer will present their opening address, then the Speaker invites every member of the Senate with the power of proposal to nominate a candidate if they wish. After all nominations are concluded there is a short period for the candidates to speak and answer questions, and then the motion concludes with a vote.
Because of the constitutional implications, election to the Throne require a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate, as does any Imperial position appointed by the Senate which required a constitutional vote to create. Any other position appointed by the Senate only requires a simple majority.
If an Imperial position is vacant, then it remains vacant until a new motion is raised to hold an election and appoint a candidate. Some titles effectively lapse when the holder dies because of this rule.
When an election is announced in Senate, the proposing Senator may call for escalation. The motion will subsequently require a constitutional vote, but the election will be triggered immediately rather than at the next session. Escalation may be used even if the title already required a constitutional vote (such as the Throne, or the Dean of the Academy).
Any senator on the senate floor may propose a candidate (including in absentia). However for a candidate to be appointed they just receive the support of a constitutional majority, the appointment must then receive ratification from the Throne, and the motion is subject to the veto of the Imperial Synod as with any other constitutional vote.
Should no candidate be elected, a new motion to appoint would need to be submitted.
Any Imperial citizen may hold an Imperial position, provided it is the only Imperial title they control.
Some Imperial positions are held for a year. This means that the citizen serves for a year from the summit where they were appointed. Such a position becomes eligible for reappointment at the equivalent summit one year later. The Senate may pass a motion of appointment at any time during that summit. The incumbent remains in position until they are replaced or the end of the summit - whichever comes sooner.
Example, Earl Marguerite D'Alicer is appointed by Senate motion to the Imperial position of Minister of Historical Research at the Spring Equinox 378YE. They will serve for a year from this point, the title becomes eligible for reappointment at the Spring Equinox 379YE unless the Earl dies, steps down, or is revoked before that date. The Imperial Senate may pass a motion to reappoint the title at any point from the start of the Spring Equinox 379YE summit onwards. The Earl serves as Minister until the end of that summit or until replaced by the Senate during the summit.
Other Imperial titles have tenure. The title is held until the citizen dies or steps down.
Imperial positions are subject to revocation by the General Assembly and the Assembly of the Nine of the Imperial Synod. The position becomes vacant and is eligible for reappointment immediately. If the Senate chooses to reappoint the incumbent then this is still considered to be a new appointment - this means that they serve their full term from the point where the new motion passes, and are still subject to revocation by the Synod.
National positions are only eligible to citizens of that nation and usually they have responsibilities that concern only that nation. They are usually less important than most Imperial positions and less likely to concern the Senate as a whole. Consequently there are mechanisms in place to allow the nation to choose the title holder without recourse to the entire Senate.
A vacant national position may be appointed at any time by a unanimous vote of the senators of that nation. To succeed, the vote requires the support of a senator of every territory of that nation in the Empire. If a senator is not available, or one has not been appointed, then the position cannot be filled in this way.
There is no time-limit for the senators to make a decision, they may continue to deliberate and arrange matters amongst themselves for as long as they wish. The appointment takes place at the point where all the senators confirm a single agreed candidate with the Overseer of Imperial Elections (a member of the civil service).
The alternative is that any member of the Senate may raise a motion of appointment for that position. The process then proceeds as normal.
Only Imperial citizens of the appropriate nation are legally entitled to take up an Imperial title that is a national position, regardless of how the position is elected. A Freeborn senator may raise a motion to appoint a Highborn general - but all nominees must be Highborn.
Most national positions, particularly sinecures, are for life, the incumbent serves until they die or are revoked.
In the chaotic years that followed the death of Britta, a number of motions were passed to create titles that were directly appointed by a single senator. After studying the records, the Constitutional Court have issued further guidance that such appointments are not constitutional - the existing titles remain - but it is not possible to create a new Imperial title that is appointed by a single senator.