2015 Austenasian Constitutional Referendum

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Austenasian Constitutional Referendum
31 August 2015
Option Yes Abstain No
Popular Vote (%) 89.47% 7.89% 2.63%
Count 34 3 1

The Austenasian Constitutional Referendum of 2015 was a referendum which was held in the Empire of Austenasia on 31 August 2015, in which the entire population was encouraged to vote on amendments which had been proposed by Emperor Jonathan I to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011. The referendum took place in conjunction with the August 2015 local elections..

Out of the 49 subjects eligible to vote in the referendum, 38 did so, a turnout of 77.55%. The option to vote in favour of the amendments - Yes - was chosen by thirty four people, an overwhelming majority of 89.47%. Three votes (7.89%) were cast in abstention, and only one person (2.63%) voted against the proposed amendments.

First Amendment to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011

Twenty two individual amendments had been proposed, in an Imperial Decree of Jonathan I promulgated on 10 August earlier that month. As the amendments would be passed or rejected as one, they are collectively known as the First Amendment to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011. All but six of the individual amendments were to correct spelling mistakes, rephrase phrases to make their meaning clearer, and update the wording of some terms (e.g. changing "at present" to "when this Constitution was passed"). The six main amendments were as follows:

  • Giving the Monarch the power to temporarily override the Constitution in "the case of an absolute emergency... and existential threat to the state" when the normal process of a referendum would be impossible.
  • Changing the definition of "legitimate descendant" for the purposes of the Line of Succession so that marriage between parents after the birth of their child will legitimise them.
  • Giving Parliament the power to "decide to whom the Throne shall pass in the case of the Line of Succession... coming to an end."
  • Giving Parliament the power to designate a sixth person eligible to be appointed as a Counsellor of State.
  • Changing local elections so that they only have to take place at least once every five years rather than once every two years, and so that local elections can be called for one or some Towns without having to be automatically called for all Towns at once.
  • Enabling Parliament to repeal and amend some of the clauses of the Constitution which establish the structure of the Austenasian judicial system.

Results

Town Turnout Yes No Abstain
Wrythe 100% 4 0 0
Zephyria 0.0% 0 0 0
Thanasia 100% 2 0 0
Palasia (and Caldari) 100% 5 0 0
Lichtenstein 100% 2 0 0
Porthbokon 33.3% 1 0 0
New Richmond 80% 8 0 0
Shineshore 100% 3 0 0
Terentia 100% 2 0 2
Harenfall 100% 3 0 0
Non-residential subjects 60% 4 1 1
Total 77.55% 34 1 3

Aftermath

With the First Amendment having been approved by referendum, it now had to be approved by both the Monarch and over 80% of the House of Representatives to be brought into force. At that time there were ten Representatives in the House, meaning that nine would have to support; eight would be 80% exactly, and not over. On 15 September 2015, Parliament passed the First Constitutional Amendment Act 2015 - the fiftieth Act of Parliament in the reign of Jonathan I - giving said approval and decreeing that the Amendment would come into force at one second past midnight on 20 September 2015, seven years to the day that Austenasia became an independent country. Whereas most Acts of Parliament are given Imperial Consent by the Monarch as soon as the voting threshold in the House of Representatives is passed, with this Act the Emperor had to wait until nine votes in support had been given; the Representative of Porthbokon was the only Representative who did not vote in support of the Act.

With the First Amendment in place, Parliament began to legislate on matters on which the amendment had given them the power to do so. The Succession to the Throne Act 2015 and the Succession to the Throne Act 2016 (passed on 14 October 2015 and 21 February 2016 respectively) set out a system for determining the next Monarch should the Line of Succession come to an end. The Judiciary Act 2015, passed on 2 December 2015, repealed those parts of the Constitution permitted by the Amendment and reformed the structure of the judicial system. Finally, in an addendum to the Foreign Affairs Act 2016 (passed on 4 June 2016), Parliament designated the holder of the sinecure office Lord of Muschamp Alley to be eligible for appointment as a sixth Counsellor of State.

Preceded by:
2011 Constitutional Referendum
Referendums in Austenasia
2015 Constitutional Referendum
Succeeded by:
Most recent