Sonoran monarchial election, January 2017
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The January 2017 Sonoran monarchial Election (also called the Imperial Election or Imperator election) was a federal election in the Empire of Sonora to elect the monarch of Sonora, the Emperor, and the President of the Imperial Diet. The election took place on January 9, 2017. Nominating contests for the Theodorist Party occurred on December 6th, 2016, nominating party General Secretary, Titus Smith, who ran as an incumbent for President of Shaoshan in the September 2016 Shaoshanian presidential election. Smith, the founder of Shaoshan, called for the reestablishment of Sonora after the former's dissolution. Smith merged his Communist party and the Socialist Party of Shaoshan to form the Theodorist Party. His running mate is his domestic partner, Amy Wilde. The Feline Party nominated incumbent, Pusheen the Cat, once again defeating the former First Cats of Shaoshan, Goldie and Twylie. Pusheen was the acting Empress of Sonora until the elections. The former United Stuffed Animal Coalition (USAC) reorganized as a party with the departure of the Feline Party and the merger of the Stuffed Animal Collective and Olaf National Liberation Front (ONLF) to form the Stuffy Unity Party. Former independent Buster McCovey and former ONLF leader, and acting Prime Minister, Olaf Gustafsen Sr contended for the nomination. After a party conference on December 19th, the SUP nominated McCovey. On December 27th, 2016, Julia Smith announced her and her mother, Diana, would be running with Diana running for the monarchy and Julia as her running mate. The elder Smith later confirmed her candidacy.
The election consisted of the normal electoral process as its predecessor's Presidential elections, with the difference being the election of a monarch for five months, as opposed to the initial four months. The running mates that are elected with the candidate for the monarchy, will take the role of President of the Imperial Diet, the monarch's cabinet, or Privy Council, which is essentially the roles of a Vice President and Chief of Staff. In the event of the monarch's death or inability to perform their duties, the election rules state that the President of the Imperial Diet would step in unless a successor is named, until the next election can be completed.
Incumbent and acting Empress Pusheen announced her intention to run for the monarchy, serving temporarily in the capacity until the election, in due respect to finish her executive role after the dissolution of Shaoshan. The Feline Party confirmed her as their nominee for Empress on December 6th. Pusheen nominated acting Prime Minister Olaf Gustafsen Sr as her running mate after Gustafsen's failed attempt to be nominated by his party.
Following a merger of the Communist Party and the Socialist Party to create the Theodorist Party, the party nominated General Secretary, Titus Smith, as their nominee for Emperor with his domestic partner, Amy Wilde, as his running mate. Election rules do not prohibit a spouse or significant other of a candidate for Imperator from running as a running mate, despite the possible conflict of interest nor does it state a opposition at all. Smith is the former autocratic ruler of Shaoshan and has served as both a President and a Emperor on more than one occasion. After failing to pass the 15% threshold in the first round of elections, Smith dropped out to pursue his run for the Imperial Council.
Buster McCovey announced an independent bid for the Emperor on December 7th. He is a close friend of Titus Smith and a noted stuffy rights activist. He was considered a relative moderate. McCovey accepted a bid to participate in the Stuffy Unity Party convention, following the merger of the Stuffed Animal Collective and the Olaf National Liberation Front. The SUP nominated McCovey on December 19th in which he nominated his former presidential running mate, Bob Minion, as his imperial running mate.
Diana Smith later confirmed her candidacy on December 27th for Empress after an announcement made by her daughter that they would run. The National Party thus confirmed their nomination on December 28th by consensus. The duo Smith campaign would be running against their younger counterpart in what has been described by analysts as a "family election circus". After failing to pass the 15% threshold in the first round of elections, Smith dropped out to pursue her run for the Imperial Council.
Pusheen the Cat Feline Party leader, Stuffy rights activist from Shaoshan City, incumbent acting Empress of Sonora.
Candidates Who Dropped Out
Olaf Gustafsen King of the Olaf Kingdom, Sheriff of the Olaf National Constabulary, former Leader of the Olaf National Liberation Front, leader of the Olaf National Party, member of the Stuffy Unity Party, and Stuffed Animal rights activist and Olaf nationalist from Olafburg; defeated by Buster McCovey in SUP convention; resumed position as Pusheen the Cat's running mate instead.
Goldie the Cat Animal rights and Stuffed Animal rights activist, deputy leader of the Feline Party, former Shaoshanian First Cat; conceded to Pusheen the Cat following defeat in Feline Party election, currently running for the Imperial Council.
Twylie the Cat Animal rights and stuffed animal rights activist, former Shaoshanian First Cat; conceded to Pusheen the Cat following defeat in Feline Party election. Diana Smith National Party leader, Member of the People's Council; failed to meet the threshold to advance to the run off election, conceded to pursue run for Imperial Council
Titus Smith General Secretary of the Theodorist Party and head of the Marxian vassal state; failed to meet threshold for advancement to the runoff election, conceded to pursue Imperial Council run.
Incumbent Empress Pusheen faced off against Titus Smith, Diana Smith, and Buster McCovey in a race for the monarchy of Sonora. She campaigned for a second term as an executive of a nation and her first as Sonoran leader, and her first as a monarch. The Pusheen/Gustafsen ticket ran on a shared campaign advocating the regulation of firearms (a mutual concession by the liberal Pusheen and the more libertarian Gustafsen), more rights for stuffed animals and toys, more autonomy for the Olaf snowmen community (which considers itself a nationality distinct from Shaoshan), strong police force, criminal justice reform, a universal national food program, and a standard minimum wage for citizens.
The Smith/Wilde ticket ran as a left-wing nationalist and socialist campaign, running on the ideas of progressive reform such as low to no taxes, a nationalized minimum wage of at least $4.00 an hour and low spending while as well as negotiating stuffy rights and policing reform, limited gun safety laws and greater social equality. A central theme of the campaign was Smith's level of experience in micronational politics and his intent to regain power as an executive leader.
The McCovey/Minion ticket ran on a platform of progressive reform and stuffed animal rights. He believed that his knowledge gained from being a close friend of Titus Smith and service as a People's Councilor, Constitutional Court justice, and Chairman of the Truth and Dignity Commission and learning how to run a nation and be a politician had earned him the qualities it takes to be a leader. He said he wants to make sure there is equality for all citizens and to do things the "right way". Many considered him to be a moderate compared to Pusheen, Gustafsen, and Smith.
The duo Smith ticket ran on a campaign based on monarchism and a combination of civic nationalism and civil libertarianism with a platform emphasizing preservation of state, capital, and resources as well as individual sovereignty with a strong revived monarchy. As the former mother and grandmother of a Presidential and, at times, monarchial leader, the duo Smiths are considered part of a dynasty. However, some analysts feared the return of the Smith's to power, with some opponents calling them more autocratic than the younger. The Smiths do not seek to exercise much reform, rather de-regulation of certain enterprises and privatization. The are often considered to be more right wing aligned than the rest of the candidates.
On January 5th, 2017, the first round of elections were held with Diana Smith and Titus Smith failing to reach the 15% threshold needed to advance to the runoff. Both candidates dropped out to pursue a run for the Imperial Council. The runoff took place on January 9th, with the Central Electoral Commission calling the race on the night of January 9th, once all votes are counted and checked. At final tally, Buster McCovey had 33 votes to Pusheen's 27 giving McCovey a 55%-45% win over the incumbent. The coronation of the McCovey as Emperor will take place on January 15th, 2017.