|National motto: Je me souviens|
|Official||Francian, Laurentian, various native tribal languages|
|Important Cities||Ville-Marie, Trois-Rivières|
|Head-of-state (de facto)||Intendant Léonce Boucher|
|First-Minister||Premier-Ministre Paulette du Marais|
|Area||± 1 million km²|
|Population||± 9 millions|
The government of the Intendancy is based on a set of laws and customs refered to as the "Organic Laws". These, based on french (and later colonial) customs, are believed to be so basic to the good order of society that no one, not even the King (if he came back), may go against them.
Head of State
From the time New Francy declared its alliegance to the monarchy, the official head of state was (and according to some, still is) the King of France. Since France is a republic, the de facto head of state became the Intendant, who was said to rule on the King's behalf. Though originaly strictly an administrative title, "Intendant" came to be regarded as the highest rank within New-Francy's patrician class.
Originaly it was only an appointed position though it was made an hereditary one by the framers of the intendancy to prevent infighting amongst the noble families without giving the apearance of democracy.
The Intendant had originaly only taken care of the civilian aspect of the colony and shared his power with the Catholic legate (an archbishop) for spiritual matters while the Governor was in charge of the military. The Intendant's power sometime overlaped those of the other 2 (in term of finance with the governor and laws with the legate) and often resulted in frictions between them. After the death of the last appointed Governor, the 1st and 3rd posts were merged as historically, both could assume the other post during a vacancy.
For many years following the french revolution, the official line was always that the Intendant's government was only a temporary one until such time as France became once more a monarchy at which point the intendancy would simply return into the fold as an integral part of the Kingdom.
Many people have wondered why this state of affair has managed to stay for so long. The reason, sometime refered in the medias as "Le beau mensonge" [the beautiful lie], was that both side pretended for their own reasons that there was a real chance of the french monarchy coming back, the royalists for reasons that are quite evident and the republicans as a sort of bogeyman: "If we don't cut our ties with the monarchy *right now*, we'll be suck back in and lose our independence as soon as the king is back on the throne !".
Some have even gone as far as saying that despite the rhetoric, the Intendant didn't really want to give up his position since, after all, the government could simply have invited the Pretender to the throne despite the official excuse of not having being crowned. This was always denied in the strongest term by the government.
This all changed (up to a point) with the so called green revolution. The Intendant found himself in an untenable position after months of demonstrations and consolidation of the opposition, He stepped down suddenly and went into exile. The country was renamed a republic with a new intendant being appointed by the chamber of patricians until such time as elections could be called, a moment that has yet to materialise.
Follows a complete list of Intendants:
- Jean Talon 1665-1668
- Claude de Bouteroue 1668-1670
- Jean Talon (2nd assignation) 1670-1686
- Jean Bochart de Champigny de Noroy de Verneuil 1686-1702
- François de Beauharnois de LaBoische et de Beauville 1702-1705
- Pierre de la Daube d'Alamry 1705-1712
- Jean-Michel Talon (son of Jean Talon) 1712-1742 (1724-1729 combined with governor)
- (role occupied by Governor) 1742-1744
- François Talon 1744-1786
- Charles antoine Talon 1786-1807
- Jacques Talon 1807-1816
- Jean Talon 1816-1828
- Matthieu Talon 1830-1841
- Richard Talon 1841-1845
- Charles Talon 1845-1887
- Auguste-Réal Talon 1887-1908
- Pantaléon Talon 1908-1915
- Évariste Talon 1915-1958
- Onésime Talon 1958-2008
- Leonce Boucher 2008 to present
Throughout the history of the post, the official residence of the Intendant has always been Castle St. Louis in Quebec. Within the castle is a room in which the Sovereign council meet.
Historicaly, the governor was a man appointed by the king as military commander of a province. He was in charge of both the militia and the regular troops and was responsible for planing the defence of the territory.
The last governor (who publicly opposed siding with the post-revolution monarchists) was accidently shot during a fishing expedition. His 2 fishing companions, the Intendant's nephew and the Captain of the Guard, brought back the terrible news. Sadden by the death of such a capable man, the Intendant was nonetheless forced to assume the burden of his post.
It should be note that although there has not been a governor as such in over 2 centuries, the post is not considered to be abolished but in abbeyance. This is why official documents still refer to the Intendant as "The Governor" when discussing defence matters. The day-to-day role of governor is largely filled by the Minister for Safety Which at various time was either a civilian chosen by the Intendant or the Head of the Militia.
The role was not resurected under the republic.
The Primate of the Catholic Church in New Francy upon being named in his post by the Pope automatically becomes a member of the Sovereign Council as Legate of New Francy with all its right and priviledges. That being said, legates since the creation of the Intendancy have largely chosen to forgo using their powers unilateraly and prefer instead to act as moral advisor to the Intendant.
The role of the legate under the republic is unclear. No laws were passed by the new government striking him from the Sovereign Council (indeed meetings still often begin with him leading others in prayers) but neither as he been given any official role.
The Sovereign council
Below the intendant was the sovereign council originally composed of secretaries appointed by him at his discretion.
After the patoisants revolt and the establishement of a permanent estates-generals, the intendant began to appoint a first minister to represent the Estates-Generals as a whole on the Sovereign Council and act as his second in command. By agreement, the post was given to someone who had received the support of a majority within the 3 estates. Secretaries were chosen from amongst its members with certain portfolios always given to members of a particuliar estates (for example: education to the first, war to the second).
In addition to being the equivalent of a cabinet, the council also served as a court of last resort with its members (or more often, their deputies) hearing cases on appeal from lower courts.
The General council
The General council is composed of representatives of the dominant parties from all 3 estates and is charged with the day to day running of the Estates General
In colonial times, the Intendant had called from time to time an estates generals made up of representatives to discuss issues relating to the colony (and more often then not, getting their approval to spend huge sums of money by taxing them). It was however a strictly ad hoc affair with not actual power to serve as check and balance against the Intendant.
One of the demand of the Rebels during the Patoisants Revolt was the establishment of a permanent Estates-Generals to which the Intendant would be accountable. The uprising failed and the Intendant had no intention to curb his power but it was felt that creating some sort of representative body, even with limited powers, would prevent further unrest.
The Estates were elected, sat and voted separatly, each according to his status:
1st estate: the clergymen 2nd estate: the nobles 3rd estate: the commoners
A person could only belong to one group at a time so that a nobleman taking religious vow would lose his right to vote in the second estate although it did not make him lose his status of nobility in other regards.
Members of the estates would put forth propositions and requests (usualy regarding the area that elected them) that would be written in the "cahiers de doleances" which would then be transmited to the Sovereign Council of the Intendancy for approval or rejection.
The whole arrangement was roughly shaken following a republican/reformist majority in all 3 estates in 2008, the last Intendant of the Tallon family resigned his position and the post became in theory an elected position with the new authorities promise to write a constitution that would modernise the country. Little has changed yet regarding the rest of the political system except for a declaration in mid 2008 that the Intendancy was now a republic. The 3 estates meet jointly so that differences have largely evaporated in regard to making petitions.
Chamber of Patricians
Not part of the Estates-General though intrinsinctly linked to it, the chamber of patricians is, like the 3 estates, made of members from a particular class of society who have a limited franchise. Unlike the other 3, the chamber is meant as a guardian of the Organic Laws and not as a lawmaking body.
Law & Order
The justice system is divided along parish lines with each having a civil and a criminal judge who hear cases and whose sentences can be appealed to the Sovereign Council. Note that the division into parishes has nothing to do with the religious authorities and with time, some judicial parishes came to have borders that didn't match the religious ones.
In addition to the judges, each parish has one or more Fiscal Procurator, assisted by a substitute, who instructed the judge regarding persons who had broken ordinances. Answering to the procurator are also clerks and a number of peace officers charged with arresting accused. Although not part of the Militia, these peace officers could call on them for back up.
New Francy had various methods of executions, based on the french system, depending on the crime:
- hanging: murderers
- burning: Heretics, sodomites & arsonist
- castration: rapists
- wheel: highwaymen and armed robbers
- boilling oil: counterfeaters
- quartering: regicide
Instead of hanging, noblemen convicted of murder were decapitated with a sword. It should be noted that despite being on the book, no one was ever convicted of heresy or sodomy.
In 1791, the guillotine was adopted for every crime deserving of death in France and its colonies including New Francy. After the execution of the King of France, there was talk of reintroducing the former methods of execution but since the decree had been done while the King was still alive, it was felt that it was now part of the organic laws of New Francy.
There has been movement in New Francy for an abolition of the death penalty, often linked with some other demands (such as following the Patoisants Revolt of the 1830s). In answer to growing discontent with the application of the death penalty, the Intendant (who had the power of pardon) started to routinely commute the death penalty into life emprisonment starting in 1963. While de jure still on the book (since the government has no power to change the Organic Laws), no one has been executed in New Francy since that date.
Public Safety in New Francy is the responsability of the Militia which traces its origins to colonial time when all men between 16-65 in each parishes would train a set number of days each years in case the authorities required men to serve with the army.
The French armed forces in New Francy was disolved in the mid-19th century to be replaced solely by the Militia. Part of the reason was that under the ancien regime, only noblemen could become officers, a limitation which didn't exist in the militia and the Intendancy was at that time experiencing a shortage of able officers. Originaly the changes were mostly cosmetic but the lack of shared borders with any ennemies has meant that the force was allowed to fall behind in term of armaments. In effect, the Militia was truly only composed of policemen, firemen, border guards and coast guards.
The haytian Crisis however showed the limits of its abilities to engage in large scale missions and plans were drawn to modernised the Militia. It came to a crux following a pro-monarchist riot after which it was decided to put in place a more heavily armed force that could deal with terrorist threat and potential uprisings So that equipment such as armoured which until then were lacking were bought from France.
Police duties such as highway safety, foot patrols, and criminal investigations are performed by the marechausse. In special circumstances such as hostage taking and riots, the officers who handled the situation were originaly members of the elite Groupe d'Intervention Special (GIS) which formed the nucleus of the Republican Guard. Members of the Republican guard are easily recognisable by the blue-grey-white splattered uniform they wear.
Most of the traditional economy of New Francy is focused on timber, mining, fishing and agriculture. The industrial transformation of materials occurs mainly in and around Ville-Marie. Weapons and other metal work are done in and around St-Maurice.
New Francy is one of the few net exporter of energy outside of the oil producing countries. This comes mainly from hydro-electricity but the Intendancy has recently began efforts into building Tesla Generators as well, being so near magnetic north.
The best known cultural export of the Intendancy is probably the circus troop of Le Cirque du Roi Soleil.
The largest local press agency is Omnipresse.
Following the dramatic events of 2008 when the Intendant resigned his position, New Francy's national symbols have changed, shifting away from the prior franco-monarchist leanings.