Elections in Adammia

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There are two main types of elections in the Empire of Adammia - local elections and the National Election. The former are used to elect Councilors for each province. Though they can be held individually as by-elections, such as if a new province joins the Empire mid-way through the term, they are usually all held on the same day, which is generally a week or two after the term ends in July of each year. They are open to all residents of the province in question. Each August, a few weeks after July's local elections, a National Election usually takes place. This elects the Prime Minister, and it is open to all full citizens of the Empire. Both Councilors and the Prime Minister have a maximum term length of two years, to allow for any delays that may arise in calling a regular annual election. All elections use Instant-runoff voting (commonly known as alternative vote) since July 2018; prior to this, elections used first-past-the-post. Elections are called by the Monarch and organised by the Office of State.

In practice, the low populations of many provinces make local elections a foregone conclusion, rendering the provinces similar to rotten boroughs. Local elections are seen as more ceremonial, a re-affirmation of a province's confidence in its current representative, rather than an actual contest. Tytannia, with its population of 1, is the most extreme example of this - there can be literally only a single candidate for election, who wins by voting for themself. Myway, with its population of 4, is the only place where there are two realistic potential winners; it is considered a Labour-Liberal marginal seat. In contrast to most local elections, the National Election is seen as a genuine contest, with two or three parties and up to 30 votes at play. Despite this, Adammic National Election candidates are notorious for putting almost no effort into their campaigns.

Procedure

Candidates

All candidates standing for any election must be over the age of 12. In order to become a candidate, a nomination form must first be completed, stating full name, micronational address, party affiliation and signature, and returned to the Office of State; they become a candidate as soon as the Office of State declares their nomination valid. The Office of State is required to make nomination forms available as soon as possible after an election is called. Candidates may withdraw at any time before the elections.

Electors

There is no need to register to vote in Adammia; as long as a prospective elector is a registered full citizen, they will be allowed to vote. There is no age requirement.

Party selection

Party candidate selection processes for local elections are not normally necessary since each party usually only has one or two members per province at most, and often these members are also nobles, which means there would be no point in them running since they already have a seat (for example, Sir Christopher Hall and Madam Debbie Shaw are the only Liberal Party members in Myway, and Hall is already Duke of Myway, meaning Shaw is the only logical candidate for election). Selection processes of sorts take place for National Elections. Labour and the Moderates both agree on their candidates by consensus of an informal committee of the whole party. The Liberals, meanwhile, have not stood National Election candidates before, so it is unclear what their process would be. None of the parties in Adammia have a written constitution, which makes most party processes very informal.

Voting

Voting takes place fairly flexibly; due to the small number of citizens, there is no need for an electoral register, so electors are simply given a ballot paper then asked to leave an X next to their preferred candidate before folding the paper in half. The small number of citizens also mean that it is easy for the Office of State to assess when all the eligible electors for a given subdivision have voted, meaning that they can choose to close the polling station for that subdivision and count the results early. Otherwise, polling hours typically start between 10am and 2pm, and close at midnight. In the provinces, votes are usually submitted via paper ballots, but electors who are not present can submit votes via text or email. The preferred method for residents of colonies and those living abroad is Internet communications, such as Skype, Twitter direct messaging or Facebook Messenger.

In local elections, once the votes are counted, the returning officer - usually the Lord Chancellor - will give a short speech declaring the winner; the successful candidate then immediately becomes a Councilor. Typically the results will be announced to the press shortly afterwards via Twitter. With National Elections, counting is mostly the same, however, individual sub-division results are not announced in a speech, but are sent straight to the Office of State headquarters, where the Lord Chancellor will announce them to the press via Twitter as they come in and add up the totals. National Elections usually see more varied returning officers instead of only the Lord Chancellor - for example, Sir Christopher Hall usually acts as a returning officer for Myway, emailing the province's results.

With local elections, if no voters are able to vote on the scheduled polling day, there is a convention that the election can be delayed until at least one elector is able to vote; Myway is notorious for this delay, often declaring its local election result a whole month after the scheduled polling day, often only just in time for the State Opening of Council. With National Elections, subdivisions are expected to return their results to the Office of State within 24 hours of polls closing. Ideally, if all sub-divisions declared before midnight, the final result could be announced as soon as the final subdivision declares, but this is rarely the case. Once a final result is in, the Lord Chancellor announces the result to the press, again via Twitter; the successful candidate then immediately assumes office as Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor will often contact the new Prime Minister to inform them of the result and congratulate them; they may also choose to commisserate unsuccessful candidates. The Monarch, at the State Opening of Council, will later confirm the new Prime Minister as well as their Cabinet members.

Precedent on what to do if a local election is tied is unclear as it has only happened once - the Tytannia local election in 2013. In that scenario, the deadlock was resolved when one of the candidates agreed to back down. It is unclear what would happen if neither candidate agreed to back down. When the 24-hour-after-midnight deadline was reached in the 2016 National Election, the results were also tied; the Office of State chose to resolve the deadlock by allowing extra time for one of the sub-divisions which had still not declared to do so.

Election cycle

By convention, a full term of the Ruling Council lasts one year. The usual timeline of events in each election cycle is as follows:

  • June: At the monthly Ruling Council meeting, the Monarch discusses optimal dates for elections with the Council, before formally calling local and National elections. The Office of State makes nomination forms available.
  • Early July: The Ruling Council has its plenary session, marking the end of the term.
  • Mid-Late July: Local elections are held.
  • Late July - Early August: Parties select their National Election candidates.
  • Early August: Campaigning takes place, and the Adammic Express interviews the candidates.
  • Mid August: The National Election is held. The new Prime Minister is announced a day or two later.
  • Late August: The State Opening of Council marks the start of the new term.

Local elections

Party vote share graph for local elections.

National Elections

Party vote share graph for National Elections.