Auction of the Seats
The Senate will be paupers only so long as honest merchants can grow rich.Emperor Giovanni
At each summit the Bourse selects citizens to fill all Imperial positions that are vacant through an open auction called the Auction of the Seats. The name derives from the tradition of referring to major Bourse titles as "Bourse seats". The Auction applies to the Bourse titles that are Imperial positions as well as specific League national titles; all other seats that are vacant are elected by Tally of the Votes.
Participation in the Auction of the Seats is open to all Imperial citizens. Successful bidders claim their chosen title, while all funds raised go to the Imperial treasury
Under normal circumstances, the Auction will takes place on Saturday afternoon, at 3pm, from the Senate building. If circumstances force a change in timing or location, then the civil service update the event schedule published before the summit begins.
The major Bourse seats operate to a schedule dictated by the materials produced. For example, all titles associated with the production of white granite are elected at the same summit each year
- Weirwood seats are re-elected at the Winter Solstice.
- Ilium seats and the Master of the Imperial Mint are re-elected at the Spring Equinox.
- White granite seats are re-elected at the Summer Solstice.
- Mithril seats are re-elected at the Autumn Equinox.
A list of seats to be appointed at the upcoming event can be found on the recent history page and on notices around Anvil. Once appointed, the new seat holders are announced via the Bourse noticeboard in the Hub.
Any Imperial citizen may hold an Imperial position, provided it is the only Imperial title they control.
All Imperial titles that are auctioned through the bourse are re-elected annually. If the title is elected at the normal summit each year then the chosen citizen serves for one year until the start of the equivalent summit one year later.
If an Imperial Bourse seat becomes vacant outside the normal election cycle (due to death, resignation, or excommunication of the title holder) then the seat is auctioned at the following summit. In this case, the winning bidder will only serve for the remaining term. The title becomes vacant again at the normal point in the election cycle.
Bidding is in thrones and the payment for each seat is required before bidding for the next begins to prevent interested citizens bidding on seats they cannot afford.
The person bidding on the seat need not be the person who takes the Imperial title if successful, but they must be present during the auction to indicate that they accept the title. It is not possible for a proxy to accept a title on another citizen's behalf, not to collect the production on a Bourse seat for them.
The winning bidder immediately receives whatever wains or rings of ilium the bourse seat produced in the period running up to the summit provided they have not already been claimed from the Agent of the Bourse.
The production associated with the Bourse seat is delivered to the title holder by an Agent of the Bourse before each subsequent summit until the last one. The title holder does not receive any production from a bourse seat on the run-up to the summit where the title is due to be re-elected - that is reserved for whoever wins the auction for the title at the summit.
The Bourse is explicitly protected from interference from the Imperial Synod in the Imperial Constitution. Because of this, it is not possible to revoke a Bourse seat holder to remove them from their position. They serve until the title is reelected or until they die or step down.
If a Bourse seat holder dies, is excommunicated, or the seat is overrun by barbarians, then the title holder receives back any money they paid for the seat - in proportion to the number of seasons of production remaining. If there are two seasons production left, they get half their money back. The seat is auctioned off again - and the refund is paid to the seat holder or their estate after the auction is concluded. Any shortfall is taken from the Imperial treasury, any excess is added to it. Bourse seat holders are well-advised to leave a clear will so that Agent of the Bourse can swiftly and correctly identify who these funds should be paid to.
There is no refund payable if a title is resigned.
All Imperial Bourse seats must be re-elected at the specified summit each year. It is unconstitutional to create an Imperial position with tenure that is auctioned through the Bourse (the same restriction does not apply to national Bourse positions).
There are two national League positions that are elected via Auction of the Seats rather than Tally of the Votes. These seats are auctioned just like any Imperial title, but only League citizens may bid on them. In theory it would be possible for the Imperial Senate to create new national League titles elected via auction rather than by votes cast by business owners - in practice they have not chosen to do so in recent times.
In addition there are three identical titles, Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave which are also auctioned. These unusual titles are re-elected each season.
The Master of The Imperial Mint
The Master of the Imperial Mint is a Bourse Seat open to League citizens and elected by auction to the highest bidder. The Master does not receive an income of Bourse resources, but is privy to privileged information about the Imperial economy and has powers to speak and address the Imperial Senate.
The Regario Dossier
The Regario Dossier provides 4 rings of ilium each season, along with an annual report describing the activities of foreign powers. It is open to League citizens and elected by auction to the highest bidder.
Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave
There are three identical titles, each Bearer of an Imperial Wayleave is elected to serve for a single season each summit. The titles are open to any Imperial citizen and elected by auction to the highest bidder.