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Foremost amongst the political bodies of Graecia, the Senate is responsible for co-ordinating the nationís standing army, for diplomatic affairs and for discussing matters of interest pertaining to Graecia as a whole. To the outside world it represents Graeciaís public face, although its powers are purely executive as it canít impose new laws upon its member states.
Originally an informal organisation, the Senate grew out of the need for an organisation to represent the islands as a whole after the collapse of the Tebronian Empire. Previously an Imperial province, the newly sovereign city-states, monarchies and tyrannies that formed in the empires wake, were too equally matched and independent-minded to form a central government and so negotiated amongst themselves on matters of mutual interest. These meetings eventually evolved into the democratic institution now known as the senate.
The Senate is not sovereign per say because its members are. These states still enact their own laws, govern their own internal affairs and run their territories as they see fit. Some states are democracies themselves, some are held by ancient monarchies and others have become theocracies to the ancestors. The sole law of the senate is that Graecian states may not interfere in the internal affairs of others, although this has been sorely tested in the past due to strife and civil war.
The Senateís influence stems from its ability to recognise new Graecian states as members and to sanction existing ones, effectively stripping them of their seat on the senate. This has a calming influence on Graecia as a whole, because it provides encouragement for senate members to talk rather than go to war, especially as entities outside of the senate are offered none of the protections of the senate and therefore are vulnerable to having their internal affairs and borders interfered with by more powerful neighbours.
Each state within the Graecian Senate is represented by a Senator. The Senator is often, but not always leader of their state, as some prefer not to be represented in person. The principle of the Senate holds to one vote per senator and in the vast majority of matters a simple majority wins the day.
In the event of a tie a chairman known as the Graecian Ambassador, splits the deadlock. The Ambassador is herself voted for annually by the Senate and can either by an existing member of the Senate or equally any citizen of the Senates respective members. As well as chairing Senate meetings, the Ambassador also acts as the head of the Graecian foreign ministry to promote Graeciaís interests further abroad.
Also elected annually by the Senate, the Graecian Strategos commands the standing army of the nation, known as the Ares Fury. Whilst each State runs its own militia, the Ares Fury are recruited from the finest warriors throughout Graecia and form an elite regiment to defend the nations interests.