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It was responsible for drafting and approving legislation in concert with the Conclave of Steadholders.
Unlike the hereditary Conclave of Steadholders, the Conclave of Steaders was an elective body: its members were composed of elected representatives from the steaders (common citizens) of every Steading on the planet. Its powers included the approval, together with the Conclave of Steadholders, of the Grants in Organization issued by the Protector to establish new Steadings. (HH2)
As per the Constitution, the Conclave of Steaders had a corporate and legal equality with the Conclave of Steadholders; despite this, the century-long erosion of the Protector's authority and the concentration of power in the Conclave of Steadholders led to a constant disminution of the Steaders' power and influence in the affairs of government, until it became almost a symbolic body by the early 20th Century PD. (HH5)
Originally, there was no representation of the common citizens in the higher levels of the planetary government, until Benjamin the Great enacted his constitution in the aftermath of the Grayson Civil War. In addition to curtailing the powers of the Conclave of Steadholders in favor of the Protector, Benjamin created the Conclave of Steaders as a countervailing force against the collective power of the Steadholders. (HH5)