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. Dank-upon-Bourn, with its population of 1, is the most extreme example of this - there can be literally only a single candidate for election, who wins automatically without a poll taking place. Alluria, with its population of 7, is the only place where there are two realistic potential winners; it is generally a battleground between independent candidates. In contrast to most local elections, the National Election is seen as a genuine contest, with two or three parties and up to 40 votes at play. Until recently, Adammic National Election candidates were notorious for putting almost no effort into their campaigns, but this changed with the 2018 National Election, which saw heavy campaigning and is widely considered to be the most hotly-contested election in Adammic history.

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. Selection processes of sorts take place for National Elections. The Liberal-Moderates annually elect a party leader, who acts as the party's prime-ministerial candidate. The other parties tend to choose their candidates by informal consensus. Most of the parties in Adammia don't 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 rank the candidates by order of preference 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 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: The Ruling Council has its plenary session, marking the end of the term.
  • July - September: Summer recess.
  • Early October: Local elections are held; parties select their National Election candidates.
  • Mid October: Campaigning takes place, and the Adammic Express interviews the candidates. The National Election is held. The new Prime Minister is announced a day or two later.
  • Late October: The State Opening of Council marks the start of the new term. The Budget is tabled.

Local elections

Party vote share graph for local elections.

National Elections

Party vote share graph for National Elections.