Category Archives: Proclamation Crisis

Organic Law: Cort closes “proclamation” loophole

In a decision announced on 18th April, a five-justice panel of el Cort pu Inalt has rejected the King’s assertion of a power to block Organic Law changes by refusing to proclaim them after they had been duly ratified. The King claimed that by “explicitly refusing” to proclaim 47RZ28, which curtailed his discretion in appointing provincial representatives, he was able to prevent its inclusion in the Organic Law. The subsequent controversy has become known as the Proclamation Crisis.

Four of the Justices of the Uppermost Cort, with one Justice abstaining, upheld the appeal launched by the last government to a previous decision of the Cort delivered in November 2015. At that time a three-Justice panel decided 2-1 that the King’s action was Organic, and that 47RZ28 could not be incorporated in the Organic Law.

However following an appeal launched by the outgoing government prior to the general election, the Cort has now determined that such a power was “undemocratic and not in keeping with the body of law upon which the Kingdom was founded. The Cort has thus ordered that all amendments certified as having been ratified by referendum are to be incorporated in the Organic Law, regardless of whether they are proclaimed or not.

This means in practice that both 47RZ28 and the more recently ratified 48RZ16, the so-called “3/4 Majority Amendment”, are now the law of the land, despite the King’s rejection of the first and controversial reticence on the second. The latter measure, intended as a solution to the Crisis, grants the King a veto over bills amending the constitution, which will be possible for the Ziu to override with a supermajority, or by re-enacting the same amendment following a general election.

In a public statement FreeDem leader and former Attorney-General Miestrâ Schivâ described the decision as both “gratifying” and “vexing”. She declared that the decision vindicated her legal strategy and provided a “legal, political road” to political reform, even over the monarchs objections. However she regretted that the Cort had not suspended the holding of the referendum on 48RZ16, as she had requested. She stated that her party’s attitude of cautious support towards the proposal would have been different had the Cort been able to reach a decision before the vote was taken, and that the amendment had “made things worse”. She accused 48RZ16’s RUMP supporters of deliberately obstructing her case in order to “win whichever way the Cort ruled”.

Reaction from other MZs was swift. ModRad Senator Epic da Lhiun welcomed the decision and bluntly reiterated his lack of confidence in the King. His party colleague and fellow sponsor of 48RZ16 Ian Plätschisch MC took issue with D:na Schivâ’s criticism of the amendment, calling it a “landmark compromise” and denying it would have negative consequences. The Minister of Stuff later told ETT that in his opinion 48RZ16 was most in line with moderate principles and that he believed that the Proclamation Crisis was over, “but you never know what could happen”.

Speaking to ETT Minister of Finance and Cabinet Chief of Staff Sir Alexandreu Davinescu stated that he welcomed the “practical effect” of the ruling, even as he criticised its legal basis. He noted that the two Justices in the majority in the November 2015 decision, Justices dal Nordselvă and Cjantscheir, had now reversed themselves in what he claimed was defiance of the principles of precedent. He also stated that as far as he was concerned the Cort’s ruling and 48RZ16 had closed the issue, expressing a desire to “move on” from the controversy.

There has been no official statement from the Royal Household at the time of writing.

Repost: Crowned Radicals and Conservative Democrats

Your humble correspondent is away on vacation until next Monday. Follow ETT on Twitter for breaking news @ElTamlalt

In the meantime, I am republishing my take in the failure of the Democratic Amendment in July 2015. The first, and certainly not the last, attempt to resolve the Proclamation Crisis.

The Democratic Amendment has gone down to failure. While 123 seats in the Cosa and 6 of 8 Senators supported the Amendment, this was not enough to overcome the opposition of the RUMP, which narrowly retained a blocking minority in the Cosa after the general election, even while losing 11 seats in the process.

One of the ironies of the situation we now find ourselves in is that the most conservative measure yet proposed is the Democratic Amendment itself. It was a direct solution to the crisis, in that it removed the legal ambiguities exploited by the King to radically assert a power to block duly authorised constitutional amendments that was dramatically at odds with the customary way our constitution has worked. The Amendment would have brought the letter of the Organic Law into line with decades of precedent that even the unlamented King Robert never dared to challenge. No Talossan, including it seems not even the King, would want any but the people to have the final word on an issue like this, but here we are.

Unlike the Balanced Government Amendment proposed by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, the Democratic Amendment would not have created new supermajority requirements triggered entirely at the King’s discretion that would make any change to the Organic Law unacceptably slow, if not impossible, without virtual unanimity in the Ziu. Sir Alexandreu’s proposal was eloquently made and undoubtedly well-meant, but it unfortunately smacks of special pleading for a minority and has been marginalised as a result.

And unlike Ian Plätschisch’s Court Ordered Pontification proposal, the Democratic Amendment would not have created an unprecedented situation where the Uppermost Cort would in effect be asked to pronounce on the comparative representivity of the Ziu that voted the law, and the quality of the debate that led up to that vote-an innovation the Chief Justice has himself expressed public reservations about. S:reu Plätschisch’s political courage and honourable desire to bring both sides of the Ziu together should be heartily commended, but in my view he errs in bending too far to accommodate rhetoric about “wave elections” which are almost impossible to satisfactorily define in practice.

The reality is that the King is not a deaf mute, trapped in a gilded cage by crypto-Jacobins. He is a member of the Ziu and has the perfect right to participate in debates, and to propose alternatives in the Hopper to measures he views as unwise or ill-conceived (he has for example already done so with the so-called “Time Bomb Amendment” in the 48th Cosa). This is a privilege that most modern constitutional monarchs do not enjoy. Furthermore the King also has the right to offer his own advice to voters in referenda on Organic Law amendments since he is not bound by any law to remain silent if his conscience moves him. If in his opinion the level of debate or the quality of the proposals are lacking, the King has many tools at his disposal to intervene.

My modest proposal for resolving the Proclamation Crisis is for the Ziu to do…nothing. If the King does not wish to have the power he asserted in strangling 47RZ28 at birth, then he should reverse his explicit inaction on that measure, and state that he will never exercise it again, or at the very least not without seeking the advice of his government. And for the future? Most Members of the Ziu, and I believe most Talossans regardless of their view of hereditary monarchy, would welcome the insight and intelligence of a constitutional scholar of the King’s calibre in what are often highly technical debates. Let him exercise that formidable legal intelligence constructively when laws are made, and leave the final word to the sovereign people.

The best protection a constitutional monarch can have is the respect of his people and the trust of his government (whatever its political stripe). It seems to me that rather than trying to create a paper palisade around the monarchy by legalistic means, the King should seek to rebuild that respect and that trust, for the sake of his own legacy and that of the House of Lupul.

(NB: the above is strictly the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers)

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49th Cosa Election: 3/4 Majority passes, but doubts raised about King’s intentions

According to the provisional results published by the Chancery, voters in the 49th Cosa election have approved the two Organic Law amendments submitted for their approval. The Automatic Voting Validation Amendment and the 3/4 Majority Amendment were ratified by 77.6% and 61.6% of the voters respectively.

The Automatic Voting Validation Amendment is a technical measure that would allow for the validation of the Chancery’s electronic voting system prior to the vote. At the moment the Electoral Commission validates each vote cast individually after the election, a practice which the Amendment would end.

The 3/4 Majority Amendment, a measure addressing the aftermath of the “Proclamation Crisis”, would remove the monarch’s right to absolutely block an amendment by refusing to proclaim it, replacing it with a veto that could be overridden by the Ziu via a new 75% supermajority requirement. It would also deem an amendment proclaimed after a certain amount of time if the King takes no action on it.

The Proclamation Crisis began when the King asserted this constitutional right to block Organic Law amendments after their ratification by popular vote, by refusing to proclaim them. The King’s position was later ruled Organic by el Cort Inalt in 2016, following a legal challenge by the outgoing government.

The concern now being expressed is that the 3/4 Majority Amendment, which is still subject to the King’s existing right to “refuse to proclaim” an amendment, might be blocked either explicitly or by being left in a legal  limbo, if not dealt with by the King in any way.

On election night Miestrâ Schivâ called on the King to “proclaim 48RZ14 explicitly and formally, as soon as possible” describing this as “a gesture of trust”. Dama Schivâ has however told ETT that she believed that the King was “unlikely” to proclaim the amendment, though she thought that an explicit refusal may not be the route the King chooses.

She claimed that the Cort’s decision, the full version of which remains unpublished, has created a “constitutional mess” that gives the King a “line-item veto over the OrgLaw, simply by refusing to ever formally proclaim any amendment to it”. The King has himself identified this as a “timebomb” in the Organic Law.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu disagreed however that there was cause for concern, telling ETT that “yes, I think His Majesty will proclaim the 3/4 Majority Amendment”. ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir and TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx could not be reached for comment.

It seems unlikely any decision will be announced by the King before the completion of the Electoral Commission’s work. However the King’s most recent public comments on the issue may give an indication of his attitude to the amendment.

The King devoted his traditional Independence Day Speech from the Throne last December to the telling of a parable which concluded with a description of the gratitude of the residents of a traditional town towards their “Town Curmudgeon”, who stopped a destructive but popular redevelopment through use of a power similar to that claimed by the monarch. The King also declared in the Speech that he would be “careful not [original emphasis] to give up power…necessary to protect and preserve the Kingdom of Talossa”.

49th Cosa election: FreeDem leader calls for “massive” yes vote on 3/4 Majority Amendment

FreeDEm leader and Attorney-General Miestrâ Schivâ took to the Witteberg Shoutbox on 14th February to call for a “MASSIVE YES” on the 3/4 Majority Amendment, which is before the voters during the 49th Cosa Election. As Attoney-General Senator Schivâ had led an attempt by the government to have the vote postponed, pending an examination of her appeal of a previous Cort judgement which found that the King’s refusal to proclaim an Organic law amendment was constitutional.

In her petition to the full five-Justice Cort, Senator Schivâ claimed that the Amendment was passed by the Ziu “under false pretences”, given that it was her contention that the asserton of a power to block Organic law amendments was not in fact constitutional. She argued that in the interests of avoiding an unintentional expansion of royal power if the Cort eventually ruled in favour of her petition that the Cort should enjoin the Secretary of State from placing the referendum on the ballot. However in a preliminary judgement delivered by Chief Justice Tamoràn, the Cort dismissed the appeal and declared that the vote could go ahead.

Senator Schvâ thanked the Cort for “much-quicker-than-expected decision”. She later said in the Shoutbox that the Cort ruling was “deeply unsatisfactory” in tha the Cort “refused to touch the question of whether an OrgLaw amendment needed to be proclaimed to be enacted”. However gven that all avenues of appeal had now been exhausted her party was now calling for a “MASSIVE YES” on the amendment, claiing that they had “exhausted all legal avenues to bring the monarchy under control”.

Supported by overwhelming majorities in both houses of the Ziu, the 3/4 Majority Amendment would if approved reduce the absolute power asserted by the King during the Proclamation Crisis to a suspensive veto only, which could be overridden by qualified majorities of the Ziu.

The FreedEm leader also expressed satisfaction at the “slapping down” of attempts by RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu to intervene in the case. The RUMP leader had attempted to join the suit on the grounds that as a member of the Ziu the Cort should grant standing to hm and any other fellow MZ involved in the passage of the amendment. He also alleged impropriety on the part of Cort Justice and FreeDem Deputy Leader Dr Txec dal Nordselvă, claiming that there was an appearance of bias and that the Justice had been engaged in ex parte communications with fellow FreeDem activists.

Both Justice dal Nordselvă and the Attorney-General emphatically denied the allegations, which were based on an inadvertantly public post on the FreeDem Facebook group. A party member, Shadow Talossaware Commissioner Iason Bitxichë Taiwos, asked for advice after receiving a message for Sir Alexandreu asking for his support in the latter’s attempt to gain standing in the Cort case. Justice dal Nordselva advised S:reu Taiwos “not to fall for it”. Dr dal Nordselva argued that this was a political, and not a legal opinion, and insisted that he at no time participated in discussions of the legal implications of the case privately.

ModRad Senator for Maritiimi-Maxhestic Magniloqueu Épiqeu da Lhiun, who is being challenged by Sir Alexandreu for his Senate seat, called for an investigaton into the RUMP leader’s conduct, claiming that not only were the allegations unfounded but that it was “conduct unbecoming” of a member of the Bar.  FreeDem Shadow Minister of Stuff Admiral T.M. Asmourscu supported the call, adding that in his opinion Sir Alexndreu had “perjured” himself, and that for the Cort to allow him to present the recusal motion meant that “perhaps the next government ought reconsider its composition to restore dignity to the bench”.

Chief Justice Tamoràn announced however that the Cort had “unanimously” found that Justice dal Nordselva had committed no impropriety. Sir Alexandreu himself expressed disappointment in the ruing, stating that based on the preiliminary judgement “the Cort had legalised ex parte communication”.

 

Cort rejects Schivâ brief: 3/4 Majority vote to go ahead

Justice Txec dal Nordselvă has announced that the Uppermost Cort had ruled against the request to block the referendum on the “3/4 Majority Amendment” made by Attorney-General and FreeDem leader Senator Miestrâ Schivâ.

The 3/4 Majority Amendment was passed by the Ziu in an effort to resolve the Proclamation Crisis. King John I had claimed a right to block Organic Law amendments approved at referendum by “explicitly refusing” to proclaim them. The 3/4 Majority Amendment would limit this to a suspensive veto only, and would place the King’s intervention in the process before the popular vote.

In a brief appealing an initial Cort ruling on the Crisis Senator Schivâ argued that if the King’s action was in fact inorganic the Ziu had “solved” a problem that did not exist. As the Amendment was passed “under false pretences” she asked the Cort to enjoin the Secretary of State from including the measure on the ballot, pending the final ruling of the Cort on the substance of her brief.

Writing on behalf of the Cort, Justice Txec dal Nordselvă stated that the Cort could not find any flaw in the process by which the amendment was passed by the Ziu, and that despite the Attorney-General’s contention otherwise, the Cort had to assume “MZs voted with due dilligence” on the matter. Justice dal Nordselvă concluded that to interfere with an amendment otherwise Organically enacted by the Ziu would be a violation of the separation of powers, and that the Organically required process of ratification by popular vote had been triggered and could not now be interfered with.

The 3/4 Majority Amendment will thus be on the referendum ballot on 15th February. Senator Schivâ called on the Cort to move to the substantive issue in her petition, claiming that “the Cort will be doing the people of Talossa a disservice if they do not know, when voting in this election, whether they are voting for a limit on or an expansion to Royal powers in re: Organic Law amendments”.

Proclamation Crisis: Cort rules Royal “inaction” organic

The Uppermost Cort has ruled on the case taken by Senator Luc da Schir in September 2015, which challenged the constitutionality of King John’s refusal to proclaim an amendment to the Organic Law, 47RZ28.

The amendment received the required double majorities in the Ziu and was approved by referendum and would have made the governor of one province ineligible to be appointed as Cunstaval, or royal representative in another. The King disagreed with the restriction on his discretion in the matter and as a “test case” utilised a hitherto little-understood provision of the Organic Law which stated that the King “may” proclaim changes to the constitution, thus giving them formal force of law. In refusing to proclaim the amendment in this fashion the King sparked what has become known as the Proclamation Crisis

In a majority decision Justices dal Nordselvă and Cjantscheir (with Justice Edwards dissenting) found that “the Organic Law puts no obligation on the King to proclaim the amendment, he has the discretion to do so or not to do so”. Reasoning that as the King is excluded from the Organic Law amendment process up to the point at which the Bill is presented for proclamation, it would be “incompatible with the Organic Law nor is in the spirit of the Organic Law” to remove the prerogative of the King at this point.

An Organic Law amendement passed by the Ziu in September that is known as the 3/4 Majority Amendment will if passed by referendum and proclaimed by the King alter the language of the Organic Law, allowing the King to issue a suspensive veto on constitutional changes unless overridden by a qualified majority of the Ziu.

Proclamation Crisis: Uppermost Cort to proceed on da Schir petition

The fate of the petition for declarative relief submitted by former Seneschal Senator Lüc da Schir will be decided by a three-judge panel of el Cort Inalt beginning this week. This follows the receipt of a motion from counsel for the King Sir C.M. Siervicül to dismiss the case. The petition seeks to have 47RZ28 accepted as a valid Organic Law amendment despite the King’s “explicit refusal to proclaim” it.

Senator da Schir’s petition was filed in the waning days of the previous government, when Senator da Schir was acting Attorney-General as well as Seneschal. Senator da Schir requested that the Uppermost Cort declare that 47RZ28 met the requirments to amend the Organic Law, despite the King’s assertion that an “explicit refusal to proclaim” an amendment rendered it void. Senator da Schir argued that despite the wording of Article XV of the organic law in practice no prior Organic Law amendments have actually been proclaimed by the King, and thus under “well-affirmed precedent” royal proclamation of constitutional amendments should be considered symbolic, rendering the King’s refusal to proclaim 47RZ28 immaterial.

In an amicus curiae submission accepted by the Cort, Senator Magniloqueu Épiqeu da Lhiun stated that in his view that the Crown’s powers were “never meant to supersede the ultimate Sovereignty of the People”. Arguing that the Organic Law locates ultimate sovereignty with the people, Senator da Lhiun argued that no act, or inaction of the King should allow the result of a popular vote to be set aside as this would violate the fundamental principle of the Organic Law.

After a delay granted by the Cort due to travel and a hectic work schedule, Sir C.M. Siervicül submitted a motion to dismiss Senator da Schir’s petition. Arguing that while tacit consent on the part of the King may be presumed by his silence with respect to previous Organic Law amendments, this does not deprive the King of the right to take action (or in this case explicitly refrain from action) in the future. Sir Cresti further argued that proclamation of Organic Law amendments is plainly necessary for them to be enacted, with the approval of the Cosa and Senäts and popular referendum being preconditions to but not substitutes for this decisive step.

The case will be heard by a three-judge panel consisting of Puisne Justices Cjantscheir, Edwards, and dal Nordselvă, with Justice Edwards acting as chair. It has not yet been announced whether Attorney-General Caçeur will present the government case, or if Senator da Schir will continue as counsel for the government.

OPINION: Crowned radicals and conservative democrats

The Democratic Amendment has gone down to failure. While 123 seats in the Cosa and 6 of 8 Senators supported the Amendment, this was not enough to overcome the opposition of the RUMP, which narrowly retained a blocking minority in the Cosa after the general election, even while losing 11 seats in the process.

One of the ironies of the situation we now find ourselves in is that the most conservative measure yet proposed is the Democratic Amendment itself. It was a direct solution to the crisis, in that it removed the legal ambiguities exploited by the King to radically assert a power to block duly authorised constitutional amendments that was dramatically at odds with the customary way our constitution has worked. The Amendment would have brought the letter of the Organic Law into line with decades of precedent that even the unlamented King Robert never dared to challenge. No Talossan, including it seems not even the King, would want any but the people to have the final word on an issue like this, but here we are.

Unlike the Balanced Government Amendment proposed by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, the Democratic Amendment would not have created new supermajority requirements triggered entirely at the King’s discretion that would make any change to the Organic Law unacceptably slow, if not impossible, without virtual unanimity in the Ziu. Sir Alexandreu’s proposal was eloquently made and undoubtedly well-meant, but it unfortunately smacks of special pleading for a minority and has been marginalised as a result.

And unlike Ian Plätschisch’s Court Ordered Pontification proposal, the Democratic Amendment would not have created an unprecedented situation where the Uppermost Cort would in effect be asked to pronounce on the comparative representivity of the Ziu that voted the law, and the quality of the debate that led up to that vote-an innovation the Chief Justice has himself expressed public reservations about. S:reu Plätschisch’s political courage and honourable desire to bring both sides of the Ziu together should be heartily commended, but in my view he errs in bending too far to accommodate rhetoric about “wave elections” which are almost impossible to satisfactorily define in practice.

The reality is that the King is not a deaf mute, trapped in a gilded cage by crypto-Jacobins. He is a member of the Ziu and has the perfect right to participate in debates, and to propose alternatives in the Hopper to measures he views as unwise or ill-conceived (he has for example already done so with the so-called “Time Bomb Amendment” in the 48th Cosa). This is a privilege is that most modern constitutional monarchs do not enjoy. Furthermore the King also has the right to offer his own advice to voters in referenda on Organic Law amendments since he is not bound by any law to remain silent if his conscience moves him. If in his opinion the level of debate or the quality of the proposals are lacking, the King has many tools at his disposal to intervene.

My modest proposal for resolving the Proclamation Crisis is for the Ziu to do…nothing. If the King does not wish to have the power he asserted in strangling 47RZ28 at birth, then he should reverse his explicit inaction on that measure, and state that he will never exercise it again, or at the very least not without seeking the advice of his government. And for the future? Most Members of the Ziu, and I believe most Talossans regardless of their view of hereditary monarchy, would welcome the insight and intelligence of a constitutional scholar of the King’s calibre in what are often highly technical debates. Let him exercise that formidable legal intelligence constructively when laws are made, and leave the final word to the sovereign people.

The best protection a constitutional monarch can have is the respect of his people and the trust of his government (whatever its political stripe). It seems to me that rather than trying to create a paper palisade around the monarchy by legalistic means, the King should seek to rebuild that respect and that trust, for the sake of his own legacy and that of the House of Lupul.

(NB: the above is strictly the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers)

July Clark: Democratic Amendment fails, three out of four bills defeated

As predicted by ETT, 48RZ2 (the Democratic Amendment) failed to overcome determined RUMP opposition in the Cosa. The Amendment was supported by 123 seats, with the coalition parties and the Socialists voting për. The 67 seats held by the RUMP voted contrâ. This meant that the Amendment failed to reach the required two-thirds majority in the Cosa. No MCs abstained, but neither Nicholas Hayes nor Béneditsch Ardpresteir participated in the vote, and thus would seem to have exited the Ziu. As reported by ETT, since since neither has completed the formalities necessary to claim their seats, according to the Chancery, the seats they won the general election will be re-allocated. In the Senäts, the Amendment actually passed, with a majority of 6 Senators voting për, and two abstaining.

In fact three of the four bills clarked failed to pass the Ziu. As well as the Democratic Amendment, two other bills, an Organic Law amendement and an ordinary statute, were defeated.

48RZ1, the Automatic Votes Validation Amendment, clarked by the Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir, would have revised the electoral provisions of the Organic Law. It would have moved the point at which election were validated from the level of each individual vote cast to a verification of the electronic voting system itself. The Amendment failed in the Cosa, as it was unable to reach a two-thirds majority. In the Cosa 100 seats voted për, 79 contrâ, with 11 abstentions. In the Senäts, 4 Senators voted për, 3 contrâ, with 1 abstention.

48RZ4, the Easy Conversions Bill was a statute proposed by Ian Plätschisch MC and would have changed the official system of measurement of the Kingdom to the metric system. In the Cosa, the bill received majority support, but the Senäts deadlocked, leading to its defeat. In the Cosa, 111 seats voted për, 56 contrâ, with 23 abstentions. In the Senäts 4 Senators voted për, 4 contrâ.

The fourth and only successful measure in the July Clark was 48RZ3, the We Had a Short Amendment Buried in a Larger One Act. This Organic Law amendement was proposed by Senator Munditenens Tresplet. Its corrects an anomaly that had been created by a previous constitutional reform relating to the right of Members of the Cosa to declare themselves the nominal representative of a particular geographic constituency, despite MCs actually being elected from one national constituency. The amendment received the required majorities in each house of the Ziu. In the Cosa, 152 seats voted për, 11 seats contrâ, with 27 abstentions. In the Senäts, 7 Senators voted për, with one Senator voting contrâ.

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?