Adammic national election, November 2017
The November 2017 National Election was an election in the Empire of Adammia held on 19 November 2017 in which Sir Alex Helliker of the Moderate Party was elected as the Empire's fourth Prime Minister. Admiral Ems Simpson of the newly-formed Nuclear So-and-so Party finished in second, whilst General Sir Luca Panconi of the former governing Liberal Party saw his party's vote drop from first to third place. The election was noted for being first with the seat of government being in the newer Birmingham provinces, following a transition several weeks earlier, and for having the most active campaigning seen in Adammia at that time.
|Turnout||66.67% (▼ 16.09)|
After Sir Paul McKenna of the Labour Party won the 2016 election, Emperor Adam I began studying at the University of Birmingham, causing a general decline in activity in the Empire as the Emperor spent time making new friends, and the physical distance between the Emperor and the rest of his government caused many functions to come to a halt. In October 2016, the Emperor and his new flatmate, Luca Panconi, founded the colony of Alluria, the first Birmingham territory. Early in 2017, the Emperor became part of the so-called "Liberal Drinks Mafia" within the university's Liberal Democrats society, and introduced micronationalism to them. Ems Simpson was the first of this group to get involved in Adammia, founding the territory of Pererria and joining the Adammic Navy. At the same time, the Emperor's old friend Alex Helliker, a long-time member of the Ordo Vladius and Adammia's first ever citizen besides the Emperor himself, happened to begin studying at the same university, and the two agreed to share a house together for their second year of study. The Emperor also introduced Helliker to the Liberal Democrats.
When the scheduled national election was held in August 2017, the Emperor's brother, Prince Jake of the Liberal Party was elected Prime Minister. However, delays in the organising of the election, exacerbated by the distance between the Emperor and the Ruling Council for most of the year, led him to consider relocating Adammia's central government functions to the new territories that were being claimed in Birmingham. At the State Opening of Council shortly after the election, the Emperor announced his intent to expand Adammia "aggressively" within the UoB student community, with a view to relocating by the New Year. At the following meeting, on 30 September, he announced that these plans were being accelerated, with a transition set for late October. This came as the Emperor and Helliker's household was claimed as part of "South Alluria", whilst many of the original residents of the old Alluria continued to live together in "North Alluria"; meanwhile, Simpson and her housemates expressed interest in forming their own Adammic province.
On 28 October 2017, the Ruling Council passed the Empire of Adammia Act 2017, merging most of the previous provinces into Greater Tytannia, and establishing Alluria, Serkatia and Paternia as new provinces. Simultaneously, the population approved the Fourth Amendment to the Supreme Directive in a referendum, allowing national elections to be called as soon as a month after the last, rather than the previous six months. This was needed as, although Prince Jake was legally able to continue as a member of the Council as a temporary Duke of Greater Tytannia, he was unable to attend meetings in Birmingham in-person, so a new Prime Minister would have to be elected. On 29 October, local and national elections were called. During this time, Prince Jake nominally led a provisional Cabinet on the advice of the Emperor, which included Helliker as Deputy Prime Minister - effectively the acting Prime Minister, as Prince Jake was unable to meet with the rest of the ministers - and Simpson as Minister of Defence.
The circumstances of the election effectively represented a clean slate for Adammic politics, with none of the previous candidates sitting on the new Ruling Council, and therefore unable to run in a national election. Instead, new figures were expected to emerge in the new Birmingham provinces, now known as South Adammia.
On 4 November, Panconi became the first of the new generation of Adammians to get involved in national politics when he joined the Liberal Party; this was interpreted as giving the party an early advantage in the upcoming elections with two out of ten Ruling Council seats. Panconi already had a Council seat as Duke of Alluria, making him the party's natural choice for its prime-ministerial candidate. Although other figures such as Joe Daniels had joined the party by the time of its conference on 13 November, Panconi was elected as the party's leader unopposed, after Prince Jake officially resigned as party leader the previous day.
On 8 November, Helliker officially joined the Moderate Party, of which he had been a long-time supporter. The following day, Emperor Mother Jayne Belcher stepped down as the party's president and handed the position over to him. When local elections took place on 12 November, Helliker was elected unopposed as Councilor for Serkatia, giving him the Ruling Council seat needed to run for PM. Helliker rapidly became the favourite to win the election, on account of his current position as Deputy PM, his long-standing citizenship, and his reputation as a confident public speaker.
On 10 November, Simpson founded the Nuclear So-and-so Party, establishing a left-wing platform alongside a comical pledge to arm Adammia with nuclear weapons. In the local elections on 12 November, she was returned unopposed as Councilor for Paternia, allowing her to run for PM. Her left-wing position, along with the fact that the Labour Party had not recruited any members in the new provinces, effectively guaranteed her support from Adammia's emerging left in Alluria and Paternia, establishing her as a credible candidate, despite the fact that she was her party's only member. Her decision to found a new party, rather than join the Liberals as had been previously speculated, effectively guaranteed Panconi the Liberal Party leadership.
As the Liberal Party conference closed on 14 November, it approved a revised version of its manifesto from the previous national election. New policies included rejoining the Grand Unified Micronational as a full member state (it had downgraded to observership in March 2017 as part of inactivity measures), replacing first-past-the-post with instant-runoff voting, and recognising non-binary gender titles and styles.
On 17 November, the Moderates and the Nuclear So-and-so Party both published their manifestos. The Moderate manifesto contained three key policies: legal reform, the introduction of a free marriage act, and using Bitcoin as the currency for the Treasury. The former was seen as something where the Moderates could have common ground with the Liberals, with both parties proposing introducing an Attorney General, but the Bitcoin policy was more controversial, with suggestions that it could be the first major legislative battle of the new government, of the kind that had never been seen before during the consensus-driven Ruling Councils of the past. The Moderate manifesto was unusual at the time for including a foreword from Helliker himself, an unprecedented direct address from an election candidate to the Adammic populace; this was representative of the new political culture that the new Adammic politicians brought to the Empire, bolder and more willing to suggest their own ideas, rather than simply supporting everything the Emperor did, as had been common in the past, when most Adammic politicians had been related to the Emperor via the House of Hall.
The Nuclear So-and-so manifesto was the most radical manifesto seen in Adammia at that time; besides jocular policies such as that on nuclear weapons, it included more realistic proposals on civil liberties for recreational drug use and sex work, which, whilst not explicitly illegal in Adammia, was legally difficult due to the influence of the neighbouring United Kingdom. They also pledged to focus on education and promoting Adammic culture, as well as introducing AMS (in contrast to the Liberal policy of introducing IRV). The Adammic Express chose to interpret Simpson's more unrealistic proposals as "ideological signposts" rather than serious proposals.
There was some discontent in Paternia when, on 14 November, Liberal member Callum Gurr was appointed by the Emperor as the province's Duke. Though the monarchy had issued that decree as a matter of standard of procedure following local elections in order to rebalance the Ruling Council, and was largely the result of disinterest from Paternia's residents in sitting on the Council, the move likely played a role in the Liberal Party's poor performance in that province.
Immediately prior to the election, the Adammic Express declined to make a full prediction, as the complete restructuring of Adammia made prior data useless, and simply suggested that all candidates had a chance of winning. In the traditional Express pre-election interviews, Helliker set out legal reform as his flagship policy, and characterised himself as a centrist. Panconi's answers were the most brief, with him simply supporting continued expansion in the UoB community in order to provide more "manpower", as well as perhaps surprisingly describing himself as a socialist as well as a liberal. Simpson pledged to expand Adammia beyond its current borders; she cited her leadership experience outside Adammia in the Liberal Democrats, but continued to describe her flagship policies, somewhat jocularly, as arming Adammia with nuclear weapons and joining NATO. She described her party as left-libertarian with a liberal internationalist foreign policy.
On election day, members of all three parties posted messages in support of their campaigns on Twitter, the first ever recorded use of social media during an Adammic election campaign. However, the official Empire of Adammia Facebook group, which would become a key political background in later years, was still largely unused at this point.
Helliker's 11 votes (39.3%) was the lowest vote share for a victorious candidate in Adammic history, finishing just ahead of Simpson on 9 votes (32.1%) and Panconi on 8 votes (28.6%). The election was the most evenly-split three-way election in Adammic history.
|Territorial division||Turnout||HG Sir Alex Helliker||HG General Sir Luca Panconi||HG Admiral Ems Simpson|
All three candidates performed best in their home provinces. Over half of the Liberal Party's support came from Panconi's home of Alluria, whilst the party's previous support in Greater Tytannia evaporated amidst low turnout. The election being managed from Serkatia meant that there was no opportunity for those in Greater Tytannia to vote in person as was traditional, which greatly depreciated turnout there. Similarly, Simpson performed best in her home province of Paternia; in general she performed better than many had been expecting, leading the polls in the traditionally-Liberal Myway and picking up the previously Moderate Dearneland. However, Helliker was able to attain victory by securing a consistent level of support across all Adammic subdivisions. The support of the Adammic National Party in Kappania and Midgard also helped him get over the line, with former Moderate voters in Midgard returning to the party after failing to turn out at the August election. He also benefitted from a conservative minority in Alluria and Paternia.
Helliker became the first Moderate Party Prime Minister since Emperor Mother Jayne lost the position to Sir Paul McKenna in August 2016. He promptly formed a coalition government with the Liberals, appointing most of his Cabinet on 2 December. Panconi became Deputy Prime Minister, though he rapidly became inactive and never attended a single Ruling Council meeting, with the Emperor, as party president, serving as its de-facto leader. The independent Owain Davies, a housemate of the Emperor and Helliker in Serkatia, became Minister of Finance. Simpson became Leader of the Opposition as the leader of a one-person opposition party; however, she rarely criticised the government, opening a gap which would later be filled by the Storm Party.
Helliker's government implemented its promised legal reforms via the Courts, Judiciaries and Juries Act 2018 and its marriage bill via the Free Marriage Act 2018, whilst dropping its Bitcoin proposals. The Moderate Party's close work with the Liberals and their by-now almost identical ideological position led to the two parties proposing to merge in September 2018, which, whilst successful in creating the Liberal-Moderate Party, saw backlash represented by former Liberal minister Lord Callum Gurr, who resigned and joined the new anti-establishment Storm Party led by Sir Juliano Saunders; this, combined with poor economic news, caused Helliker to lose the 2018 election to Saunders. The merger of the parties was also effectively a coup within the Liberal Party against the inactive Panconi orchestrated by the Emperor. Meanwhile, the rebirth of the Labour Party under Lord Sam Maude saw the Nuclear So-and-so Party being replaced as Adammia's main left-wing party, and the November 2017 election would be the only election the party would ever contest; it would officially dissolve in June 2019, with Simpson going on to join the Red Green Alliance (the successor to Labour).