First Ratification Convention (Silofais)

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First Ratification Convention
29 April 2017
ChairmanAvro Keatings
President electedHoratio Eden
Chief Secretary electedNewton von Uberquie
Senators electedFive
Delegates electedFifteen

A Ratification Convention of the Republic of Silofais took place on the 29th of April, 2017, on the Silofaisan Discord server. Chaired by Avro Keatings, the original framer of the Silofaisan Constitution, the convention lasted just short of two hours, from 19:55 to 21:50 UTC.

The Constitutional Convention created the Republic of Silofais, following unanimous ratification of the Constitution by its attendees on behalf of all the signatories. The Convention dealt with a number of matters, namely the election of a President, a Chief Secretary, and the Senators and Delegates from various electoral districts; the drawing of the said districts, and apportionment of Delegates among them; and the administering of the Oath of Office to attendees.

In sum, the President, Chief Secretary, five Senators and fifteen Delegates were elected at the Convention. The Supreme Court was to be appointed after the fact.

A second Convention was held later on Saturday, June 3, 2017, as a result of the so-called "Great Split".

Prior to the Convention

There was difficulty in commencing the Convention in the first instance. Despite that the initial quorum was set at three fourths of the signees, i.e. 20 of 26, only seventeen ultimately announced their presence. This necessitated an amendment to the Constitution reducing the quorum to an absolute majority of all the signees, i.e. 14 of 26, which was agreed to unanimously by the Convention and promulgated by the Chair.

The Convention

The Convention deliberated a number of matters pertaining to the establishment of the country and a constitutional government.

Constitutional Ratification

The first matter was the adoption of the Constitution, which was was agreed to unanimously by every attendee.

Delimitation of Electoral Districts

The Chair sought to put on record the age and approximate place of domicile of each attendee, as well as the rest of the signees. From this information, and given that Silofais itself has an edge-to-edge distance that crosses from Sydney and Dubai to London and Kansas City, he delimited and proposed five electoral districts, all of which were agreed to unanimously: Kansas City South (KCS), Greater Kansas City (GKC), Western Hemisphere (WHS), U.K. West (UKW), and Eureast (EUE). Each district had five signees within its borders, with the exception of Greater Kansas City having six.

Election of the President

The Chair called for the election of the first President of Silofais, in accordance with the Constitution: "They shall elect among themselves in plenary session a President... [who] shall earn such number of affirmative votes as shall equal a majority of all the signees".[1] Andrew Bevolo and Horatio Eden were both nominated for the presidency.

In order to win, a candidate needed fourteen affirmative votes. The election took place over two rounds. Percentages for candidates are given as a percentage of all signees present, while turnout is given as a percentage of all persons who signed the Constitution:

First round
Candidate Constitutional Signees
Votes %
Horatio Eden 12 80%
Andrew Bevolo 3 20%
Abstentions 0 0%
Turnout 15/26 58%

Horatio Eden overwhelmingly won the first round of the election, but did not gain enough votes on the first ballot to achieve the constitutionally required majority of all signees. This occurred when three attendees, including Bevolo himself, changed their votes on the second ballot in favor of Eden:

Second round
Candidate Constitutional Signees
Votes %
Horatio Eden 15 100%
Andrew Bevolo 0 0%
Abstentions 0 0%
Turnout 15/26 58%

Horatio Eden would be inaugurated at the end of the Convention following the Oath of Office, as administered by the Chair.

Election of the Chief Secretary

The Chair called for the election of the first Chief Secretary, in accordance with the Constitution. The election, contested between Newton von Uberquie, First Minister of Mercia, and Andrew Bevolo, the now-defeated candidate for the presidency, was less clear-cut than that for the President. However, von Uberquie still won a majority of voters in the first round:

First round
Candidate Constitutional Signees
Votes %
Newton von Uberquie 9 60%
Andrew Bevolo 6 40%
Abstentions 0 0%
Turnout 15/26 58%

Though von Uberquie enjoyed a majority, his votes were insufficient to pass the constitutional threshold. Five attendees changed votes, again including Bevolo himself, enabling von Uberquie to cross the threshold and win the election:

Second round
Candidate Constitutional Signees
Votes %
Newton von Uberquie 14 93%
Andrew Bevolo 1 7%
Abstentions 0 0%
Turnout 15/26 58%

Newton von Uberquie would later be named Chief Secretary following the the Oath of Office, as administered by the Chair at the end of the Convention, upon which he took office "as if the President [had] appointed him".[2]

Election of the Senators and Delegates

The Chair ordered that the Convention break into five smaller caucuses, each corresponding to the electoral districts made earlier. In each caucus, a majority of those present elected from among the signees of their district a Senator first, and then a joint slate of three Delegates. The results are shown below.

Adoption of the Minutes, The Oaths of Office, and Dissolution

The Minutes were adopted without objection when the question was put by the Chair, who then administered the Oaths of Office, including an optional religious affirmation and reading as follows:


I swear solemnly that I take this obligation freely and purposefully, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; that I will support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true allegiance to the same; and that, on the Powers and Duties of the Office on which I am about to enter, I will serve faithfully and to the best of my ability. (So help me God.)

— Silofais Constitution, Chapter Five, Art. XXIII[3]


The President-elect, the Chief Secretary-elect, and those Delegates-elect and Senators-elect present took office upon the Oath.

The Chair advised the newly appointed Chief Secretary that the Minutes would be transferred to his custody "in the near future" for certification, and then he adjourned and dissolved the Convention, whereupon the nation, its Constitution, and its Government came into existence with full force.

Formation of the Government

At close of the Convention, the new Silofaisan Government was formed as follows, excluding the Supreme Court. The Court was not elected at the Convention and will be appointed in the future by the President, "by and with the advice and consent of the Chamber of Delegates".[4]

President
Horatio Eden (EUE)
Chief Secretary
Newton von Uberquie (UKW)
Senate
Avro Keatings (KCS)
Caleb F. (GKC)
Andrew Bevolo (WHS)
Mike Lewis (UKW)
Alex White (EUE)
Chamber of Delegates
KCS: Sara K. • Cody M. • Logan W.
GKC: Alex D. • Zach F. • Bharadwaj T.
WHS: David RossDallin Langford • Christopher Woods
UKW: Robert Catcheside • Mark Kavanah • Kit McCarthy
EUE: Stephen FreaythJames FrischPatrick Renwick
Presumptive Nominees for the Supreme Court
Henry Clément (WHS), Tim K. (KCS), and Mark P. (GKC)
Remaining
Samantha R. (GKC)
Source: Daily Micronational[5]

Constitutional Crises at the Convention

Presidential and Chief Secretary Elections

Concerns were raised by the Chair once it became clear that both Horatio Eden and Newton von Uberquie were constitutionally debarred from serving as President and Chief Secretary respectively, neither of them being over the minimum age requirement of twenty-one. This meant that neither would be able to take office at the end of the Convention, despite having won the elections prescribed by the Constitution.

The Convention agreed unanimously to amend the Constitution as to lower the temporary age requirement from 21 to 18. (Note "temporary": in the year 2030 and thereafter, a President must be age 35 or older, and a Chief Secretary 30 or older.)

UK South Delegate and Senator appointments

Under the Constitution, all districts were required to send one Senator and a minimum of three Delegates to the National Assembly. However, the UK South district, created earlier by the Convention, contained both the President-elect Horatio Eden and the Chief Secretary-elect Newton von Uberquie. This meant that, because UK South contained five citizens total, and because the President and Chief Secretary are prohibited from serving in the legislature, the district could send no more than three persons to the national legislature, i.e. fewer than the four necessary.

Horatio Eden was consequently moved unanimously from UK South to the Eureast district, to take the place of Kit McCarthy, who in turn was moved from Eureast to the newly named "U.K. West" district, thereby resolving the issue.

Post-Convention

FLAMN News hosted a thirty-minute livestream discussing the events of the Convention.[6]

President Eden had sixty days following the Convention to call the first session of the National Assembly, i.e. before June 28. Plans to convene the session were underway, but were halted when it became clear in mid-May that a second Convention would be necessary.

While most of the elected officials retained partisan independence, two parties were briefly formed out of the government elected during the Convention: the Silofais People's Party and the Silofais Democratic-Republican Party.

References