Category Archives: BenArd

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?