Reviews for The Structure of the Government in Harry Potter
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 1 . 7/4/2016
I assume that when canon talks about electing the MoM, that it's done British style, and not like in the USA. We know that there is no big hoopla for the election of the MoM as in the USA over elections of the President. No ordinary citizens receive OWLs carrying campaign literature, and no citizens are shown going to the polls. In Britain the PM is elected by the Parliament from among its members. There is no direct election of the head of government by the entire citizenry. Only the citizens of the PM's district ever vote directly for the PM, and they only vote for him to be their MP, not the PM.

The Parliament has two bodies, the mostly hereditary House of Lords (some, like the bishops, are appointed) and the elected House of Commons. (Members of Parliament are called MPs, members of the Wizengamot are apparently called Warlocks since Albus Dumbledore is Chief Warlock.) Since the Wizengamot is apparently unicameral (only one house), we can assume that some Warlock seats are hereditary and represent the most powerful families, such as the Black and Malfoy families, and others are probably elected and represent the interests of districts comprising one or more counties. (Some fanfiction writers assume all seats are hereditary, and others assume all seats are elected. There really is no indication in canon.) We don't know how many Warlocks there are, we only know that there were about fifty that managed to attend Harry's trial that was rescheduled on short notice, so there are at least 50.

The head of the DMLE and the MoM and his Undersecretary also sit as voting members of the Wizengamot. That may be because they were elected to those offices by the Wizengamot from among the Warlocks, or the Wizengamot reserves three seats for those officeholders. They appear to be the only three members of the Ministry that sit as voting members of the Wizengamot. (Percy Weasley was also present as scribe, but there is no indication that he voted.) The MoM is not the head of the Wizengamot, that is the position of the Chief Warlock, normally held by Albus Dumbledore, though he has, at times, been suspended or voted out of office.

During Harry's trial, Fudge appears to be presiding. But it was definitely an irregular meeting and we join it after it's already started so we don't know how Fudge managed to get the floor. Was he standing in for the Chief Warlock in his absence? We don't know. Does the MoM always preside during trials? We don't know. Did some Chief Warlock Pro Tem open the meeting in Dumbledore's absence and then turn it over to Fudge? We don't know. Was this trial conducted any differently because it was taking the place of an administrative hearing? We don't know. Was Fudge simply usurping authority and nobody was brave enough to call him on it? We don't know. Clearly Fudge and Umbridge were planning on pronouncing judgement without the accused even being present to defend himself.

What we do know is that the meeting was irregular, and Fudge presiding was prejudicial and unfair to the accused. Any rational government would have required a trial to be presided over by a disinterested judge not a member of the Ministry, either the Chief Warlock or in his absence a Warlock of his choosing as Chief Warlock Pro Tem. The case for the prosecution would be presented by the head of the DMLE (Amelia Bones) or a lesser member of the DMLE. The case for the defense would be presented by a barrister chosen by the accused. Since Dumbledore was not present at the Dementor attack he could not be a witness for the defense (as he claimed in canon). He would have to be the barrister for the defense since that was the role he took during the trial.

Harry's trial doesn't take the format of an adversarial trial at all. Instead of a prosecution and a defense presenting their cases before a judge and a jury there are interrogators (members of the Ministry) including the presider, the Wizengamot sitting as jury, the accused and defense witnesses. It's doubtful that JKR ever attended a real trial before writing OotP since she doesn't have the essentials down.

On the taxation issue, presumably the Ministry collects taxes from magical businesses. Since the VAT is widespread in the UK and Europe, we can assume it is a sales tax of the VAT variety and the prices quoted for goods and services includes any such taxes, so they are essentially invisible to the general public. There could also be licensing fees for businesses, and application fees for pretty much everything the Ministry does. The Ministry probably also charges a subscription fee and a hook-up fee for the Floo system.
morgan chapter 1 . 11/17/2014
So i absolutely love this! I am a Harry Potter nerd as well and I am doing a paper about the government in Harry Potter for my Humanities class (believe it or not!) and this was so incredibly helpful. Thank you so much!
L's Cappuccino chapter 1 . 8/7/2014
Wow... This makes the series more ominous with all the dirt in the background...

A suggestion would be that the Order of the Phoenix being some kinda vigilante group... Which brings up the question: what we're the ministry doing when Voldemort first popped out of the woodwork?!

Another would be Hagrid's numerous lawbreaking activities: Aragog (enough said), kidnapping Harry, illegal acquisition of Dragon egg (Norbert/Norberta), recruiting foreign giants into their vigilante 'order', smuggling Gawp into the country... How did he manage that?!
MuggleCreator chapter 1 . 10/11/2013
The Non-Magicals could have been told that the Azkaban prisoners were from the IRA or some other terrorist group; I've heard that's what the Death Eaters are based on.
Please read articles in the Essays section of the HP Lexicon site, the Scribblus section of the Leaky Cauldron site, and the HP essays on the website of "whitehound". There are some good ones in there that might help you clarify things a little. Of course, they're all other peoples' musings, but it might still help.
I agree with you by the way. I'm now really curious about how far you'll go with that SPEW Insignificant story...
Guitar Amateur chapter 1 . 1/3/2012
This is really cool. I'd wondered what the HP-verse gov was like, but never really gotten farther than that. (Guess you're the bigger nerd after all! :D ... heh. It's okay. Nerds are cool. Both people and candy. Yummmmm...) So... yeah! It's cool. Super-dooper cool!

COOL! ...I'm going to try that with zeros now C00L! ...D

It's like the noob n00b thing! So weird! But I'm getting used to it, since passwords HAVE to have numbers and weird stuff in it to avoid being guessed by hacker-password-checker-machines.

Y3 H! ...Okay, that was excessive. .
aslansphoenix chapter 1 . 9/8/2011
YOU ARE AMAZING! and probably could be a layer.

In answer to your question - I personally tink the students own Hogwarts, after all the school fights for them in DH.