2097.181 is often considered the date that the Union began, but the Accords of 2097 were actually only the foundation document that established the principles and the process of creating the Charter of the Union. The Union Charter was drafted by representatives of the remaining governments of Earth and the multinational corporations that retained much of the economic power at that point.
The Charter of the Union was actually ratified by unanimous endorsement on 2100.001
The Union Government is a hybridization of the principles of a Meritocracy and a Technocracy, wherein those who administer are qualified technical experts and are elected by qualified members of the electorate. Further, any member of the population is eligible to be qualified to vote without restriction (providing they pass minimum competency requirements), and they may possess multiple qualifications and therefore vote for representatives in multiple areas.
Those who do not possess qualification are also entitled to vote for representation in a position within the government that serves as a check against special interests of leaders dominating the main government.
Decision making is done by an Executive Council of elected members of the six primary divisions of the government. These six Chancellors enjoy a great deal of autonomy within their own administrative branches of the government (called Cartel) and meet frequently to address decisions that reach across their jurisdictional areas of specialization.
The Executive Council is overseen by an administrative Prime Minister who moderates sessions and votes on Executive Council matters. This individual carries one equal vote on the Council, thus creating a seventh voting member to avoid potential deadlock. The Prime Minister is elected by the members of the Executive Council, but must not be an individual that has served as a previous, or current, Chancellor.
The eighth member of the Executive Council is the Steward of the Union. This individual is elected by majority of the unaligned (unqualified) members of the general population, and does not vote on Executive Council matters. Instead, this person is the only member of the Council authorized to bring agenda items to an Executive Council Session. The primary function of this position is to act as a throttle mechanism on the Council. If the Steward does not believe a matter is representative of the needs of the larger society, no process can bring a matter before the Executive Council (other than in an administrative Sealed Docket Session). Any Chancellor wishing to put a matter on the agenda for a session therefore MUST bring it before the Steward.
The final element of the Union Government is the Grand Assembly. The Grand Assembly is a representative body that convenes semi-annually to advise the Steward of the Union as to what issues and concerns are relevant to the general populace. This body is loosely structured around representing local jurisdictional requirements, and may be made up of appointed or elected representatives. The structure and membership of the Grand Assembly will vary from session to session as it is an informal advisory organization that serves at the discretion of the Steward.
Funding of Operations:
No taxes are collected from the populace for the operation of the government, and all administrative expenses are negotiated and paid by the specific Cartels requiring service.
Expenses incurred to provide services to the unaligned population are borne by the cartels, proportionate to the gross portion of the economy produced by each Cartel.
Executive Council Elections:
Cartel Chancellors (aka the Chancellery):
Chancellors serve for ten years and may be elected for an unlimited number of terms providing they remain qualified and have the support of their specific Cartel Membership. Each Cartel holds an election in the year prior to the end of their current chancellor’s term and the elections are offset between the Cartels so that consistency of purpose is not disrupted by the entire Executive Council being changed simultaneously. This means that for six consecutive years, a new chancellor may be seated every year.
The Prime Minister:
The Prime Minister is elected for a ten year term by 2/3 majority of the Executive Council on the seventh year of the term cycle and may serve for no more than two terms.
The Steward of the Union:
The Steward is elected in the eighth year of the term cycle by simple majority of the unaligned populace and may serve for no more than three consecutive terms.