Sonoran general election, March 2019

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The March 2019 Sonoran general elections were held on March 6, 2019. The election was held for the Premiers and individual legislatures, who's leaders are representatives in the Confederation Congress. The leader of the party with the largest amount of votes wins the presidency only if the party receives 50% or more seats. If they fail to do so, a run-off occurs with the top two candidates being elected by the people. The election also decided the next sitting Constitutional Court and the President of the Confederation Congress will instead become the Prime Minister of Sonora, an office which has not existed since 2017. The Confederation Congress will elect the Prime Minister in the first meeting of the Session on March 15th. The Congress will also elect the newly created Chancellor (officially the "Chancellor of the Nations") who shall be the representative in Congress and the Cabinet of the several nation-states. It was created out of the judicial case, Smith v Sonora, in which Titus Smith, who was initially barred from running for President due to his conviction for corruption, treason and sedition, was trying to overturn the conviction on the merit of states' rights and popular sovereignty. As the case was filed on February 28th, just days before the election, the time necessary to gather a case and rule on it was thought impossible. Thus, a Congressional panel ruled that Smith, who was allowed to run and was running for Premier of Cascadia would be eligible to be Chancellor. Popular opinion had been swaying in Smith's favor again after his denunciation of Marxism, his sovereignty advocacy and his heavy handed approach in helping to fix the political instability in Sonora during the February political crisis. As it was likely such redemption would get him elected to any position, the position of Chancellor was created. While it is more of a inter-governmental and cabinet-position with more of an advisory role to Congress and the President, the power that can be wielded in that position would have been a benefit for Smith or any who may hold the position in the future. It is also likely the Chancellery may also become the de facto State Affairs Minister. On March 3, however, His Excellency Buster McCovey pardoned Smith and the following day the Constitutional Court gave a statement supporting the President's decision, allowing Smith to run for the Presidency.

Pre-Election

Election rules were sent out by the Confederation Electoral Council on February 18th. Each party declared their intention to run candidates throughout the individual sovereign states. The contest was a near-direct rematch of candidates from the December 2018 general election. The Socialist Party Congress was held in late January and nominated incumbent President Buster McCovey as their candidate for President of Sonora. They launched their "Furthering the democratic socialist revolution" campaign on a more aggressive progressive reform agenda. McCovey was constitutional eligible for a second term and was planning to run on a more radically progressive reform platform. Diana Smith, who won the August 2018 Presidential election sought to recover her lost position by running on a moderate conservative approach. The National Party selected her at their Party Convention on January 28th and launched their "Reconstruction" campaign on the platform of economic and social reforms. Ceres Smith was selected to run by the Christian Democrats on a platform of "Restoring Order to Sonora" based on social conservative values. Smith said the Christian Democrats "look to put restrictions on abortions and scale back regulations on firearms." Victoria Wilde sought to garner votes from progressives, liberals, and centrists on her "Keep Sonora Beautiful" campaign which seeks environmental protection, gun regulation, and fiscal conservatism. After the fall of the Pagan Unity Party in January, Julia Smith joined the Nationals in an attempt to gain the nomination for President. When this failed, she declared her intention to run as an independent under the slogan "Sonora For All" running on a platform of pure populism and non-partisanship. Smith announced that, if elected, she would find a sensible solution to gun rights and regulations, protect legalized drug laws, and pursue a public health initiative. In addition, she called for the abolition of partisan politics and a transition to non-partisan democracy. Ms. Smith later withdrew from the election to back her son's campaign. Cookie the Cat ran for the Animalian National Union with a policy of "One for All". The platform called for a "national unity government" of Stuffies and Sentients alike and from different backgrounds in order to build a Sonora that benefits all. It advocated for political reform and a strengthening of the national military. After gaining allowance from the government to run and clearance from the Confederation Electoral Council, Titus Smith entered the race as an independent with just three days left but with large support. He ran under the slogan "Change for Sonora" and a platform of electoral reform and national sovereignty rights. He also championed his mother's ideal of non-partisan democracy as part of his electoral platform.

The election was marred by complications of the Confederarion structure with several states and cities leaving. President McCovey temporarily resigned and Cali Bear assumed the role of acting head of state. After intense negotiations, a new government framework was set up to preserve the confederation-style government and the union of the states.

Candidates

Candidate: Buster McCovey Diana Smith Ceres Smith Victoria Wilde Cookie the Cat Julia Smith Titus Smith
Party: Socialist National Christian Democrat Liberal ANUP Independent Independent
Background: Incumbent President of Sonora Short-lived 3rd President of Sonora during August 2018, acting Premier of Dorada Queen of New Reno Queen of Yulyul President of the Confederation Congress Pagan activist and social worker Former leader of Sonora, National Sovereignty advocate, Electoral reformist
# of Congressional seats: 0 1 2 1 2 0 6
Presidential results: 14 votes / 17.72% 3 votes / 3.8% 6 votes / 7.59% 5 votes / 6.33% 20 votes / 25.32% Withdrew before the election 31 votes / 39.24%

Results

The race was a complete embarrassment for the Socialist Party who, while garnishing 3rd place in the popular vote with nearly 18%, failed to retain any seats in Congress. This is mostly in due to the fact that many Congressional candidates held switched to non-partisan affiliation before the election. The Animalian National Union took both national seats while also garnishing a well fought 2nd place finish in the Presidential race with over 25% of the vote. The Nationals scored last with just under 4% but managed to secure 1 seat while the Christian Democrats secured 2 whilst only gaining less than 8% of the vote. The Liberals only remaining stronghold after February remained in Yulyul with the only 5 votes for Wilde all coming from her home state. It dod however give 1 seat to them. With many switching to non-partisan, Smith's election quickly turned favorable with independents gaining 6 seats to gain the 50% majority needed to win in addition to gaining nearly 40% of the popular vote. Polls closed at 8pm (SST) and the Confederation Electoral Commission called the race at 11pm, declaring Titus Smith the President-elect and the future 2nd President of the Republic of the Union of Sonora. Smith gave his victory speech shortly afterwards at 11:20pm where he spoke for 30 minutes on his plans for his 1st 30 days in office which included his massive electoral reforms. At 12:30am it was announced by Smith's camp that he would make a statement the following morning assuring that Cali Bear would serve a second term as Vice President under his new administration. Additionally, outgoing President, Buster McCovey announced he would be resigning as Chairman of the Socialist Party with Cali Bear succeeding him in the interim until the next Party Congress. However, McCovey will remain a provisional member of the Central Commitee.