Category Archives: Elections

49th Cosa Election: FreeDems largest party in Cosa, TNC make breakthrough

The Chancery has published the unverified results of the 49th Cosa Election. After 199 of 200 seats have been provisionally allocated, and contrary to most expectations, the FreeDems have achieved their goal of overtaking the RUMP as the Kingdom’s largest party:

Votes per party
FreeDems: 39 votes (+9)
RUMP: 36 votes (-7)
ModRads: 22 votes (-7)
TNC: 17 votes (NEW)
Progressives: 2 votes (-7)
Republicans: 2 votes (NEW)

Seven citizens voted “present”, down from 9 in the 48th Cosa election. A total of 19 votes were cast for parties unrepresented in the 48th Cosa, compared to 16 for “new” parties in the last election.

Hailing the result as “historic”, FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ invited the leaders of the other non-RUMP parties to contact her, stating “lets set up a government”. The FreeDem pledge to avoid traditional coalition, expand the role of non-political activities in Talossa and to maintain a hard line against royal “tyranny”” appear to have struck a chord with voters. With 66 seats, the FreeDem leader is however considerably short of a parliamentary majority, and will need to make arrangements with at least the ModRads to be assured of a clear majority in the Cosa:

Seats by party (199/200)
FreeDems: 66 (+19)
RUMP: 61 (-7)
ModRads: 37 (-9)
TNC: 29 (NEW)
Progressive: 3 (-11)*
Republican: 3 (NEW)*
* Provisional. Pending allocation of final seat

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu congratulated the FreeDems for their “strong showing”, and also congratulated the TNC for demonstrating that “new parties have a lot to offer Talossa”. Despite a series of ambitious campaign promises and an unsparing critique of what he claimed was the negligence of the coalition throughout its term in office, the RUMP leader appears to have been unable to convince voters that his party was essential to the next government. Critically for the RUMP, this new decline in support means that they have lost the blocking minority in the Cosa that gave them considerable influence in Organic Law matters. Sir Alexandreu also lost his bid to unseat ModRad Epic da Lhiun as Senator for Mariitimi-Maxhestic.

The ModRads, whose dramatic exit from the previous coalition led to considerable mutual recrimination between them and the FreeDems during the campaign, by contrast appear to have paid a price for their Christmas gambit. Having disavowed any ambition to lead the next government early in the campaign, the party appears to have suffered from the successful framing of the race as a Schivâ/Davinescu horse race, as well as competition from the TNC, led by ex-ModRad Breneir Itravilatx.

The TNC created the other surprise of the election, with a total of 17 votes in their first outing. With the “outsider” parties of the 48th Cosa apparently defunct, the TNC may have picked up support from heir now homeless voters. The party may also have profited from the decline in ModRad support, as well as the collapse in votes for the Progs, who were reduced to residual status with only 2 votes after a late start to their campaign.

Another minor party, Colonel Carbonel’s Republican Party, also has a total of two votes,  leaving the Chancery to decide how to allocate the final seat between them.

49th Cosa Election: Voting underway, 17% turnout after two days

Talossa’s citizens reeived their email ballots courtesy of the Chancery on 15th February. Voting in the 49th Cosa election will run until the end of the month. As well as voting on who will share the 200 seat in the Cosa, voters nationwide will also be asked to pronounce on two constitutional amendments, the Automatic Voting Amendment and the 3/4 Majority Amendment. Citizens of Maricopa, Cezemebre, Maritimii-Maxhestic and Fiovâ will also vote for Senators, and in certain provinces voters will also be able to elect local legislatures.

At the time of writing 42 of the 243 eleigible citizens had voted, according to the list maintained by the Chancery. According to the discussion thread started by the Chancery, a few problems have been experienced with the way party candidate lists (an optional feature) have been published, as well as some controversy over whether Vuode Senator and staunch public voting advocate Eðo Grischun’s belated votes in the referendums shuld be recorded. Dr. Txec dal Nordselvă also pointed out that certain legal options, such as voting by post and by telephone, were not mentioned on the ballot. King John, who voted “present”, commented that “there’ve been a number of glitches, but in general I think we can all thank S:reu Furxheir for all the work he does in the Chancery. It’s a big job”.

Voting is conducted by the Secretary of State, Marti-Pair Furxheir, and according to the Chancery’s election rules votes may be cast electronically using the online ballot provided by the Chancery, or by voting publicly on a special thread on the Wittenberg discussion forum. Votes may also be sent by post or by telephone. Voters may also “write-in” an unegistered party label, with the risk the written-in party will not ultimately register, and may also vote “present”, which is the equivalent of abstention. Under current legislation, voters must vote at least once every two years in a Cosa election in order to retain their citizenship.

Six parties have registered candidacies with the Chancery for the Cosa election, with four (RUMP, FreeDems, ModRads and Progs) already represented in the Cosa. The Talossan National Congress, a new party led by outgoing Foreign Minister and former MRPT MC Breneir Itravilatx, is the only new party contesting the election, with the return of the Republican Party of Colonel Maximo Carbonel, which had not participated in the 48th Cose election, rounding out the list. The Talossan Socialist Party, which gained 16 seats in the 48th Cosa, and independent MC Nicholas Hayes have not registered their candidacies at this time, and would seem to have left public life for the moment.

Three Senators are elected from the provinces in rotation at each election, except, as in the case of Cezembre in 2016, the sitting Senator resigns before the end of his term.

In Fiovâ, which independently conducts its own Senatorial elections, FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ decided not to seek a new mandate, instead focusing on leading her party’s Cosa candidate list. Outgoing Senschal C. Carlûs Xheraltescù is the only declared candidate at the time of writing. Outgoing Interior Minister and ephemeral FreeDem leader Munditenens Tresplet is seeking to return to the Senäts for Maricopa, and is also unopposed at the time of writing, as is Ian Anglatzarâ, an independent republican with a distinguished Talossan legacy in both Kingdom and Republic, who is seeking to replace former FreeDem Senator Txosuè Éiric Rôibeardescù as Senator for Cezembre, who resigned as a result of what he claimed dissastifaction with the FreeDem leadership, as well as widely publicised personal difficulties. S:reu Rôibeardescù hd been expelled from the then FreeDem Alliance in 2015 due to his involvement in the BEER Affair.

In Maritiimi-Maxhestic, outgoing ModRad Senator Magniloqueu Épiqeu da Lhiun faces the only contested election in the Senäts in this cycle. RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu seeks to return to the Senate seat he held from 37th to 40th Cosa.

49th Cosa Election: King appoints Electoral Commission

HM King John has appointed the Election Commission for the 49th Cosa election. Justices Litz Cjantscheir, Txec dal Nordselvă and Beneditsch Ardprestéir join Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir on the body which according to the Organic Law “shall independently confirm the final tally and together shall certify the election”.

Just prior to the royal announcement, S:reu Furxheir had expressed public concern that the election would be delayed due to what he claimed was royal inaction with respect to appointing the Election Commission, as  that the new automated voting system had to certified by that body first. S:reu Furxheir insisted he had reminded King John of this and that it was a “huge problem”.

A number of commentators however pointed out that such a certification was not yet necessary under the law, and that the election would be held under the established rules. The change in the law, known as the Automatic Voting Validation Amendment, is included among the referenda to be voted on during the 49th Cosa election.

Justice dal Nordselvă also stated that “in fairness to the king, he asked the advice of the UC Justices a couple weeks ago on whom he should appoint and notified us at that time who he was going to choose”.

Concerns about the availability of Justice Ardprestéir were expressed by RUMP Senator Éovart Grischun, who claimed the judge was “AWOL”. This was denied by Justice dal Nordselvă, who stated that despite a low public profile Justice Ardprestéir “does participate in camera with the other justices”.

48th Cosa: BenArd seats redistributed; Hayes stays in the Cosa

According to an announcement by Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir, MC-elect Béneditsch (BenArd) Ardpresteir hs not paid the US$20 seat registration fee, nor provided the Chancery with a seat alloction. This means that under Article VII, section 9 of the Organic Law, the seats are considered vacant and, in the absence of a party leader to re-allocate them, a replacement will have to be appointed by the King “using his best judgement”. The King has therefore filled the vacant seats based on the final proposal published by the Chancery.

S:reu Furxheir also revealed that he had finally received the seat allcoation from the other independent MC-elect, Nicholas Hayes. S:reu Hayes, who has maintained a low public profile since his election, was thought to have forfeited his seats in the same way as S:reu Ardpresteir as he had failed to supply a seat allocation to Chancery. This was apparently rectified on 21st July, leaving only the four seats abandoned by S:reu Ardpresteir to be redistributed.

According to the final calculations published by the Chancery for the King’s guidance, the vacant seats are to be allocated as follows:

RUMP 2 seats (allocated to Sir Alexandreu Davinescu)
MRPT 1 seat (to Lupuluc da Fhoglha)
FDA 1 seat (to C. Carlüs Xheraltescù)

This leaves the now 200 seat Cosa with the following composition:

RUMP 69 seats
FDA 48 seats
MRPT 47 seats
TSP 16 seats
PP 14 seats
Hayes 6 seats

The government parties improve their relative position slightly, due to the (apparent) renaissance of S:reu Hayes and the non-arrival of the historically RUMP-aligned BenArd. (Hayes is not formally a supporter of the coalition but was appointed a Deputy Minister of the Interior by the present government). However the RUMP have strengthened their position in constitutional matters by extending their blocking minority position.

July Clark: How Many Divisions?

According to the Chancery, if a party or independent MC-elect has not followed the procedures laid down by the law by the end of the Clark, their seats will be re-allocated to the other parties.

Of the 200 seats in the Cosa, only 190 had actually been allocated at the time of writing, according to the Database. Béneditsch (BenArd) Ardpresteir has not paid the registration fee for the seats he won with his last-minute campaign. The other buccaneering Independent, Nicholas Hayes, has not formally allocated his seats, despite giving every indication of wanting to involve himself in political affairs by accepting a position as Deputy Minister.

The Democratic Amendment, which was the first priority of the Coalition Agreement, was already facing a stiff test in the Cosa, as the RUMP has 68 seats and can thus block any changes to the Organic Law (assuming a united party front). This is regardless of whether either or both unaccounted-for MCs turn up.

ETT’s unofficial calculation puts the broad pro-government grouping at 129 seats, with the RUMP and BenArd together on 71 seats. Bare passage of an amendment to the Organic Law would take the support of 133 seats in the Cosa. On the face of it, the Democratic Amendment (and possibly the Automatic Vote Validation Amendment) will not pass the lower house without the support of 4 anti-government seats (so BenArd’s 2 seats and 2 other RUMP seats, for example).

Assuming neither Hayes nor BenArd resurface before the Chancery confiscates their seats at the end of the July Clark, and after reallocation this arithmetic barely changes. Now it is the RUMP with 71 seats alone, and some possible minor adjustments between the pro-government parties but an unchanged total of 129 seats.

However let us assume another, and possibly more plausible scenario. Hayes has paid his registration fee implying a certain seriousness of purpose. He has also accepted appointment as Deputy Minister of the Interior. This indicates he is at least interested in making his mark on Talossan politics. His obligation to formally allocate his seats may however not be clear to him, but the Seneschal or his supervising Minister brings this to his attention and he complies with the formalities.

Ben Ard by contrast appears to be engaged in something of a spoiling operation against those he feels have cast aspersions on his character during his conduct of the Mhà la Mhà case. So let us further assume that he fails to comply with the law and sees his seats reallocated. The result, as estimated by ETT, would be a pro-government bloc of 131 seats, only 2 short of the magic 133 seats, but an anti-government bloc 2 seats smaller, with the RUMP gaining at most 1 seat in the re-allocation.

Assuming the RUMP do not suffer any last minute defections, this however still leaves the government in the embarrassing position of falling at the first fence with its signature policy. What can the coalition accept short of the customary status quo ante that will find favour with the King (and pass muster with his proxies in the Ziu?)

The other question posed is this: what if one of the absent MCs had held the balance of power in the Cosa, or, worse still their absence actually changed the expected result on the 1st Clark of the new Cosa (but after reallocation the balance of power was materially different in subsequent Clarks?) Will one man write-ins or last minute candidacies be examined again in the light of these possibilities, none of which are healthy for the legitimacy of Talossan institutions?

48th Cosâ Election: Forming a government

According to the Organic Law (Article XI, section 2), the King appoints the Seneschal. If a single party controls a majority of the seats in the Cosa, then they designate the person to be appointed, and the King must appoint that person. It is however certain that once the 48th Cosa election has been validated by the Election Commission, no single party will control a majority.

In that case, the King must engage in talks with the party leaders in order to appoint a Seneschál who is capable of keeping the confidence of the Cosâ. This is of crucial importance as there is a Vote of Confidence each month the Cosâ is in session. If no new Seneschál can be appointed (or the incumbent cannot be re-appointed) who can command a majority within one month of the end of the election then the King must dissolve the Cosâ and new elections are held.

At the time of writing the most probable outcome is a renewed FreeDem-MRPT-Progressive coalition. The (unvalidated) 107-seat total of the coalition parties gives them a clear majority, two seats down from their combined total at the dissolution of the 47th Cosâ.

The RUMP, which as the largest single party in the Cosâ would anchor any alternative coalition, lost eleven seats and would need either the FreeDems or the MRPT to abandon the coalition in their favour. The probability of this at the time of writing would appear to be low. The alternative, to assemble a coalition ranging from the Socialist Party to the Progressives, and including either independents Hayes or Ardpresteir, would also appear ambitious at this point and would only have between a one and three seat majority.

The election has shifted the balance of power within the outgoing government parties. The FreeDems managed to remain the largest single component of the outgoing coalition despite a loss of five seats from the combined ZRT-LibCon total at dissolution, and sources close to the alliance state that the mooted fusion between the component parties is still planned.

This will probably result in a change of Seneschál, as the FreeDem candidate C. Carlüs Xheraltescù staked an early claim to the position during the campaign, and neither MRPT’s outgoing Seneschál Lüc da Schir nor the Progressives publicly demurred from the logic that the candidate of the largest party in the coalition should be the Seneschál nominee.

It was however a narrow margin: forty-seven seats to forty-six in favour of the FreeDems. Indeed the MRPT, alone among the established parties in the Cosa, managed to improve on its seat total at dissolution with a gain of four seats, and will be disappointed at losing the leadership of the government due to such a close result. The third coalition partner, the Progressives, lost one seat.

These seat totals however assume no change in the distribution to each party after the validation of the results. The invalidation of even one popular vote could effect the distribution of one to two seats in the Cosâ-and with it the leadership of the government.

48th Cosâ Election: Election Commissioners appointed

The King has appointed Uppermost Court Justice Txec dal Nordselvă to the Election Commission. He joins fellow Commissioners Justices Litz Cjantscheir and Ian Tamoran, and Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir. The Commission is tasked with validating the official results of the general election, the Senäts and provincial elections, and the constitutional referendums. Three votes have already presented problems, according to remarks by Dr dal Nordselvă and Secretary Furxheir.

This could have change the distribution of between one and two seats seats in the two hundred-seat Cosâ, if related to that contest. One hundred and thirty-six citizens took part in the election, according to the official (but unvalidated) results.

48th Cosâ Election: Record number of votes cast

One hundred and thirty six voters cast a ballot in the general election for the 48th Cosâ, which ran from 15th May to 1st June 2015. Additionally, the citizens of Atatûrk, Cezembre and Florenciâ voted to elect their Senators. Citizenss in all provinces also voted to elect provincial assemblies, with the exception of Fiovâ, where only the governor of the province was elected.

The national turnout was over 58%. More than 78% of citizens voted in Florenciâ, thanks in part to an unexpectedly close Senäts race. The province with the lowest turnout was Vuode, where just over 41% of voters participated.

percent turnout by province bar FINAL-2

According to Article 18, section 10 of the Organic Law, any citizen who has not voted in the last two years is considered to have automatically renounced his or her citizenship. The Chancery is working to produce a list of those citizens who may end up losing their civic rights as a result of non-voting in this election.

Concern has been expressed that more than sixty citizens may be struck from the citizen rolls after the next election if current trends continue. This has been dubbed  the “Red Election“. Implementing the national census provision of article 18.10 has been proposed as a solution.

To Everything There is a Season

Some time back during the 45th Cosa, I started to become dissatisfied with my beginning views on Talossa, her politics, and her political structures. I’ve never been one to hold blind or even myopic allegiance to an idea or a philosophy. I’ve always made up my own mind on what is important to me and how I am going to make whats important a reality.

When I left the RUMP party, that was a tough decision because I genuinely like many of the people in that party. The comraderie and the silliness the party exhibits can be fun to be part of. That same comraderie and silliness can also get exhausting. When I served as Seneschal, I found that many are willing but few are going to follow through. At the end of my term, despite the heavy criticism leveled at me both within and without the party, I had already decided change needed to come – for me personally. It took me some time but I finally left and joined the small monarchist party that I felt best represented my thoughts and views.

However, my transition was not complete. I was still dissatisfied with where I sat on the political spectrum. I’ve become dissatisfied with status quo politics and “this is the way its done” thinking. You see, in my non-Talossan life I am much more liberal and it was never a great fit for me personally sitting on the conservative end of politics. With this in mind, I began having serious conversations with others in Talossa, privately, to explore my idealogy and my views on Talossa. I’ve been a citizen for long enough to understand the dynamics and know the history. I’ve personally had dinner with the King (found him to be quite charming). I’m not the same wide-eyed and filled with nervous excitement guy I was when I first came to the shores of the Milwaukee River.

To put things more succinctly, last night I accepted the invitation of Dame Miestrâ Schivâ to join Zefençadéirs del Repúblicanismeu Talossán. Let me be clear, this is not in response to election outcomes as I fully expect to lose any seats in the 48th Cosa as a result of my change. This is about idealogy. This is about what I believe is best for Talossa and for me personally. Talossa needs a change. Talossa needs the ZRT.