The event in question revolved mainly around the Giraffe Concordat.
Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat
Raging Valentines (Also known as Beige Friday according to the Dean Events Naming System) was a series of events that occurred on 14 February 2020, the term relating to the events was first coined by William I of Gradonia. At 20:00, the Giraffe Concordat, a political alliance between the Old Guard Party and the Weeaboo Rights Party, began their operation to seize power. It would end in the ruling of the Supreme Judge deciding that the Concordat (GC) acted in contempt of the Parliament of Essexia and the following vote of no confidence in former First Minister Finn.
Events leading up to Raging Valentines
The GC was inspired to once again try to seize power following the events of the Grey Weekend over a month prior. Primarily Earl Jack and Lord Jacob wished to end the reign of the Rhino Alliance and start a new period of reformation, in which various loopholes and ambiguities would be closed.
On the 14th February 2020 at 20:04 UTC, James (A Member of Parliament for the Royalist Party, led by Jamie and a part of the Rhino Alliance) declared in Parliament the following: "I have lost confidence in the Rhino Alliance's ability to govern this Commonwealth, and am hereby leaving the Royalist Party, and joining the Old Guard Party in order to reform this nation and make Essexia great again." This was immediately followed by a similar statement by Becky (Another Member of Parliament for the Royalist Party) which stated the following: "After months of inactivity, I've come to realise that the ruling party, the Rhino Alliance, cannot lead this country forward. Therefore, I am leaving my party to become a member of the Old Guard Party." These two defections gave the Giraffe Concordat a majority over the ruling Rhino Alliance, and so Jack requested that "Emperor Terry, in your esteemed power, I ask you to empower the majority Government in this Parliament: The Giraffe Coalition, consisting of the Old Guard Party and the Weeaboo Rights Party." The Emperor replied with "I give permission for [Jacob M] to form a government under the Giraffe [Coalition]."
With no votes occurring in the 4 days between the 10th and 14th February 2020, Jack (Then Minister of the Interior) called a vote in Parliament on a Bill entitled the 'Confidence Act 2020', which called for supporting members to retract their confidence in Finn as First Minister and Jamie as Second Minister. Additionally, it specified that after passing the First Minister should resign, and the Old Guard Party would put itself forward to Emperor terry to form a new government as the majority party. The motion passed with six 'Ayes' and one 'Nay', and the Emperor calling the vote for the Ayes. Jack then swiftly put forward the following motion: "I call a vote in the confidence of the new government, under the Giraffe Concordat and myself, to lead this Commonwealth." This motion received six 'Ayes' and three 'Nays', but was cut short by the Emperor stating "Due to a change in circumstances I am postponing calling this vote until I have a clear picture of what’s going on."
During or after this second motion, Matt put out this statement in Parliament: "As His Imperial Majesty has not yet declared the vote, that his proposed government has the confidence of the house, it is so that Lord Finn remains the First Minister. Therefore, under the Electoral Law Act, Article 7, the current First Minister, Lord Finn, maintains the powers of the Office of First Minister, and with this, calls a by-election in seats of the two defective parliamentarians, Lady Becky and Prince James." Both Finn (First Minister) and Jamie (Second Minister) approved of the motion. Matthew also soon after responded to a message from Jack with "if his majesty wishes to approve the government of Earl Jack, then he can do so, but he should be aware that this is an illegal move and contrary to the wishes of the Essexian people."
The reasoning behind the Rhinos' decision to call the by-elections was made clear by Jamie in Parliament a few minutes later at 22:14 UTC, when he said "Princess Becky and Prince James cannot vote as by-elections have been called in their seats; their seats are vacant until a vote is held." However, Jack pointed out that regardless of the by-election, the two were still MPs, and this reasoning was confirmed by the Emperor.
"I can hereby announce that the Old Guard Party, with consent of the crown, has formed a new government this evening within this great nation. Henceforth, I shall again take up the mantle of Second Minister. For this new government, for the transition to a new rule, I shall appoint [The Rt. Hon. Jack] as the First Minister of this government, and shall allow him to reform the cabinet of this nation."
Following this, Jack, Becky, Ben, Emperor Terry, Matthew G, Jacob and James all proclaimed 'Long live the Commonwealth!'. During this, Matthew S stated that "The Commonwealth has made a grave mistake, and pragmatism and moderate government will rise again."
At 20:46 UTC, self-declared First Minister Jack released the following cabinet reshuffle to Parliament1:"As my first act in the reformation and restoration of this great Commonwealth, I hereby reform the Crown Ministries as follows, effective as of 20:47 tonight:"2
|Second Minister||Jacob M||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Elliot B||Liberal Socialist and Cooperative Party of Essexia/Rhino Alliance|
|Minister of the Interior||Jacob M||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs||Matthew S||Liberal Socialist and Cooperative Party of Essexia/Rhino Alliance|
|Minister of Defence||Ben S||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Minister of Justice||Princess Becky||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Minister of Health||Matthew G||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Minister of Education||George S||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Minister of Media||Jamie M||Royalist Party of Essexia/Rhino Alliance|
|Minister of Culture||Nicolás Millán||None|
|Minister of Technology||Ben H||Weeaboo Rights Party/Giraffe Concordat|
|Minister of Environment||James H||Old Guard Party/Giraffe Concordat|
2Table provided out of convenience - actual quotation included a list of names and positions, as well as discord tags
Despite both motions voting overwhelmingly in favour of removing the current government in favour of the Giraffe Concordat, the non-supporters of the Bill along with the Emperor believed that the method in declaring a VNC against the government, that is by Bill, was incorrect and therefore void. Though this was contested, Jack swiftly moved to hold another motion in the form of text; he sent the following: "I call a vote of no confidence in Earl Finn as First Minister." This third motion received six 'Ayes' and two 'Nays', but after Jacob put forward a vote on behalf of Matthew G (as Matthew G had consented to Jacob voting on his behalf earlier), Matthew S declared that "This is an illegal vote", of which the Emperor asked for Order and to move such a discussion. After James' vote, the Emperor called it for the Ayes, but specified that he had not granted Royal Assent (something which he claims not to have officially given in the previous motions, it was merely implied (This is one of the most hotly contested parts of the event).
The Supreme Judge, William I of Gradonia, had been trying to keep up with events as they happened. He declared, after the preceding chaos in Parliament, that "the Confidence Act 2020, is in contempt of parliamentary protocol section 17", yet immediately following this the Emperor granted assent for the third motion (The text-based motion of a VNC), but not before Finn announced that he was "replacing our Interior Minister, with our current Second Minister, [Jamie M]."3 Whilst Matt had called for the Giraffe Concordat to face "action about these members being in contempt of Parliament under the Essexian Parliamentary Procedure", Terry responded by stating that he had "elected to not take action against such members of parliament, as they act they attempted to pass was clearly intended to exercise the will of parliament, and the offense committed is extremely minor." Jacob subsequently asked whether the Emperor would grant assent for the second and third motions, to which the Emperor then stated that the third motion (The second VNC motion) looked legal, and granted assent. However, assent was not given to the second motion (To declare confidence in a Giraffe Concordat government) as the Emperor stated that a VNC against the First Minister would only affect the First Minister - not other parts of the Government would be affected. Jack accepted the Emperor's judgement, believing that a mistake was made on his behalf by not declaring a VNC against the government or, crucially, the Second Minister, in the second VNC motion.
The Emperor affirmed that, in his eyes, Jamie (Who was the Second Minister) was now the First Minister. After being affirmed as the First Minister, at 22:46 UTC Jamie declared that a general election would be held, in order to prorogue Parliament. This would prevent further instability, but he also believed it would keep the Rhino Alliance in power for the remaining period even if they could not pass legislation. he also gave Finn the position of Minister of the Interior, to grant him special powers.
1Due to the state of the Essexian archives, the exact sequence of events is unknown and lost to time. How or why Jack released his cabinet statement at 20:46 UTC is unknown, seeming as Jamie declared the general election in the exact same minute as well. It is generally believed that it had seemed apparent that he was First Minister at that moment, until the Emperor affirmed that Jamie was in fact the First Minister. However, this is not confirmed.
3It is believed that Finn made Jamie the Interior Minister, at some point, in order to grant him the powers to declare the election. Again, it is now unknown whether this truly was legal or at what point this was done, as the exact timings of most messages have been lost saved for some, which have been added for context in this page. All is known is that Finn declared this between Matthew G's consent for Jacob to vote on his behalf, and Jamie's declaration of a General Election.
- On the 15th February 2020 (Likely in the early hours, after the events of the 14th had subdued due to the prorogued Parliament), the Supreme Judge released the following lengthy but significant statement:
"Over the last few hours our parliament has seen, what I can safely say, a great deal of tumult. Throughout this time I have worked to find a legal solution to the issues which I was confronted with. While this has been erroneously classified as a trial or case of the Supreme Court, it has just the same effect. Throughout this "raging Valentines" I have noticed that the Parliamentary procedure, Constitution, and other legislation has been fraught with complications and convoluted procedure. An inter-tangled mess of checks and balances which are made without reference to one another has left me to wonder if change should happen, should it be a change in policy or a change in ideology. My position as Supreme Judge is one which should remain unbiased, but for the betterment of the Essexian people the way in which our parliament legislates should change. I wish Godspeed to the party who would make it so that no Essexian should ever have to wait for the [defence] or prosecution t search through a multitude of laws and procedures for justice to be delivered."
- On the 16th, Matthew announced that the 2020 Essexian general election campaign had stated.
- On the 17th, Emperor Terry put out a controversial statement:
"Due to the [Old Guard Party] legally having a majority, I have decided to put them into government. This government is subject to 3 conditions: - The Election will go ahead as planned by the current Interior minister [Finn]. - [Finn] will remain as Interior minister.
- [Matthew] will remain as Foreign minister.
The government will be lead by [Jack]. I will be personally supervising this government and will intervene if any actions are taken to subvert Essexian Democracy."
Whilst the Emperor's statement fundamentally shifted the political landscape, putting the Giraffes in power where the Rhinos had been, it made sense to the Emperor seeming as the Giraffes had a majority, and could do little to subvert the election or democracy due to the proroguing of Parliament and the conditions put forward.
- At 19:33 UTC, Jack put forward the following cabinet reshuffles:
As the period between the 14th and 17th was only 3 days, Jamie's second term as First Minister was the shortest in recorded history, and considered by some to be one of the worst considering it's short length and lack of any action other than setting up the electoral commission. No legislation was passed, and there was no cabinet reshuffle.
The 17th marked Jack's first term as First Minister, as well as the first government under the Giraffe Concordat.
Raging Valentines/Beige Friday was a strikingly complex affair, with the legality and timings of many actions and events within it vehemently debated. It was fundamental in the establishment and development of the then-new coalitions, the Rhino Alliance and Giraffe Concordat. It also led to Essexia's second general election, and set the precedence for future general elections to be held in March each year.
Whilst it took almost a year for this page to be written, it is considered to be one of the most significant political controversies, among the September Coup (16th September 2018, Essexia's first coup and political controversy), the Black Weekend (20th-21st July 2019, first time Martial Law is declared in Essexia) and the Grey Weekend (4th-5th January 2020, second instance of martial law and a catalyst for the events of Raging Valentines/Beige Friday).