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St.Charlian general election, 2011
General Elections' official logo.
The St.Charlian General Elections of 2011 (Italian:Elezioni Generali St.Charliane del 2011) also known as Decision 2011, scheduled throughout December 2010, was the second consecutive annual legislative and presidential election which selected the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of St.Charlie.
The National Party confirmed Alexander Reinhardt, incumbent Prime Minister as its nominee; the Socialist Party chose Nicolò Alvisi, already Vice Secretary of the party and Minister of Justice, as its candidate. The 2011 election was particularly notable because it was the first time in St.Charlian history that the office of Prime Minister and the Federal Presidents were elected at the same time, thus ending officially the IInd Legislature. In addition, the Socialist presidential candidate, Alvisi, then elected, is the first Prime Minister to come from Tor Pendente.
Alvisi defeated Reinhardt. One federation changed allegiance from the 2010 election. The Socialist Party received 42 electoral votes, and the Nationalist Party 35.
As said, the Prime Ministerial election (or Parliamentary) coincided with the Federal elections in all the four federations with an electoral college. The allocation of electoral votes to each state was based on the 2010 Census. The president-elect and vice president-elect were inaugurated on January 8, 2011.
Decision 2011 was the second annual general election taking place in the Federal Republic. St.Charlian citizens had to elect the Federal Presidents of St.Charlie and the rest of the Parliament from December 1 to December 5, and from December 7 to December 11. The dates were later moved due to "school issues", that saw several citizens and members of Electoral Commissions busy with homework. Leader of the National Party and incumbent Prime Minister Alexander Reinhardt was confirmed eligible to run for a third and final term during this election, while the SCSP proposed its Vice Secretary, Nicolò Alvisi. Also, it is the first election where citizens have chosen the President of Greater Ridgeway, a region created on October 16 by the merger of New Ridgeway and Royal Beresford.
As said before, following the electoral reforms, the Prime Minister was elected on the grounds of a parliamentary majority and the election coincided with the end of the IInd Legislature. The IIIrd legislature is expected to start on the first meeting of the General Assembly of the St.Charlian Parliament, between December 31, 2010, and January 6, 2011. During the meeting, members will elect the President of the Parliament.
Electoral campaign and candidates
Despite the beginning of the real campaign in December, both political parties started publishing electoral programs two weeks before the closing of the General Assembly. On November 11, the Socialist Party presented their first electoral manifesto, listing the complete program of the SCSP in case they would have won the elections. The main point that was done was the fact that, after them, the Reinhardt Administration neglected the Ministry of Culture and Education and the University project.
Six days after, on November 17, the National Party leaders published the Manifesto of the National Party. This one, slightly longer than the one published by the Socialists, promised a higher priority on the economy and foreign affairs. Despite it was criticized of being "less concrete" than the one of the SCSP, the NPSC Manifesto was published in both of the official languages of St.Charlie and was presented as an essay instead of a list.
On November 20, SCSP General Secretary Magnus de Armis made it public that the candidate for Prime Minister would have been his Vice-Secretary Nicolò Alvisi, already Minister of Justice. He argued that he wanted to "open the party to young members". On the other hand, the National Party confirmed Reinhardt for a third and final term.
Five days later, on November 25, both parties presented the candidates for the Federal Elections. In case of the Nationalists, all the former Presidents were selected for a second term: Ruvolo for District and Marchesi for Tor Pendente; in the case of New Ridgeway, Annabelle Pincer, Governor of the former Territory of Royal Beresford proposed herself for the "British federation". Due to the lack of citizens, no candidate was selected for Caroline Charlotte; in the beginning, Sebastian Linden was proposed, although it was later decided to go for a "Citizen's List", in order not to candidate someone who was already the leader of a Commonwealth member.
With the case of the Socialists, Alexander Rikkeri was candidated for District, Elena Ferranti for Greater Ridgeway and Elizabeth Evans for Tor Pendente. Leonard Von Sternberg, who announced his resignation from the military in late November 2010, proposed himself as candidate for President of Caroline Charlotte. His name was published on December 1 amid criticism from journalist Nick Maggiore, who reproved the way in which the Chief of Staff later talked of the National Party, who appointed him as leader of the military during the two Reinhardt Administrations.
On November 21 the SCSP presented its electoral posters in order to promote Nicolò Alvisi. The main slogan, "We are history. If you want to be part of history, vote Socialist", was associated with pictures of mass protests and popular meetings. The party also criticized the NPSC by showing it as an "oligarchic" movement, with pictures of Reinhardt as a "Highlander" and Schneider as a "greedy banker".
On November 27, the Nationalists presented the official electoral posters. Against the Socialist Party, and contrary to them, the posters showed normal people stating reasons why they would have voted for the NPSC in the incoming Federal and General elections. They mainly argued that the National Party could "express [itself] in Italian AND in English" and that "the Pianeta, with [it], is not just a piece of paper". Furhermore, unofficial and satirical editions were published, showing a voter affirming to cast his ballot for the NPSC "because I love the smell of Commonwealth in the morning".
The newly-elected Government was sworn into power on January 8, 2011. For the first time in St.Charlian history, the Departments of Defense and Foreign Affairs were independent from the election results.
Technically, December 30 is known as Election Day, as it is the only day in which the country knows all the official results of all the Federations; this is also the first time in which "real-life" ballots are used more than the virtual ones, except for the Federation of Greater Ridgeway.
The voter turnout for this election was broadly predicted to be similar to the past elections. The final tally of total votes counted for the federal, and presumably also for the parliamentary, elections was (without data from Greater Ridgeway) 62, compared to 63 in 2009.
The election saw decreased participation from the Federation of Greater Ridgeway. Only 25% of the population showed up for the Federal elections, versus 75% in 2009. According to the local Electoral Commission, this was due to the "internationality of the Federation: several citizens of Greater Ridgeway no longer live in the United Kingdom, if not in Europe, while others have moved to University or aren't interested anymore". Minister of Foreign Affairs James Lunam argued that no publicity was done in order to attract electors. On the other hand, Greater Ridgeway citizen Heinrich Schneider declared that "the Commission cannot force people to vote. If people are interested, they participate, which did happen". This was not the case in other federations, where more than 75% of the turnout was recorded in all cases.
Voting frauds and irregularities crisis
On January 1, 2011, two days after the start of the election, Home Affairs Minister Heinrich Schneider notified the nation that the Ministry's Electoral Commission was investigating potential voting frauds in District. Two days later, the report was made public by Schneider and an article published on the St.Charlian Observer. Citizenship forms were missing for about twenty citizens registered in the Northern District constituency, where Magnus de Armis lives, and Schneider demanded that de Armis provide valid forms or the votes would have to annulled. The Minister also stated that he wished simply for a "clear and transparent voting", while newly-elected Prime Minister Nicolò Alvisi supported the Commission and claimed that "All this is once more testament to the healthy and democratic structure of our Republic, and the Socialist Party will do its best to overcome this incident."
The news of the report however, was ill-received by De Armis, who openly challenged Schneider in a private parliamentarian conversation, accusing him of acting with the interest of the NPSC in mind and of having acted undemocratically because of his request to Parliament to postpone its first meeting until the issue was resolved. This caused Schneider to publish an open letter to De Armis where he firmly denied the allegations and clearly set out his motivations for the report. Prime Minister Alvisi was again supportive and stated: "...I am certain that [Schneider's actions were] in no circumstance driven by any reason but that of safeguarding the Constitution."
On the same day recently-reconfirmed Foreign Affairs Minister James Lunam published an article on the Observer where he explained to situation within the Assembly and sided with De Armis on the issue of interrupting Parliament by stating: "...is there currently in St.Charlie someone that could interrupt the regular work of the Parliament? Technically, yes, if there was a President of the General Assembly that could suspend this first session, but since there still isn’t someone in charge, I believe that it is best for everyone to elect this President and let the bureaucratic process continue." He also concluded by saying that "Schneider’s report cannot be forgotten and left into a dark closet" and envisaging a broader Commission to investigate the matter.
Lunam's hopes were fulfilled by De Armis on January 12 when he laid out his plans for the year as Minister of Federal and Judicial Affairs and listed as one of his objectives that of creating "with the Parliament and the executive, an ad hoc committee and impartial with respect to the document drafted by former Interior Minister Scheneider (sic)" The Commission was formed January 24 and consisted of Schneider, Alvisi and former Prime Minister Alexander Reinhardt. The Commission finally released its findings on the February 17th and an article was published on the Observer the same day.
According to the Commission, the irregularities "went beyond missing citizenship forms; as citizens from various federations and territories were found to be legally disqualified from voting by Article 4.1.1 of the St.Charlian Constitution, which states that voting can only be undertaken by a person if he or she has been a citizen for more than 180 days." Notable citizens thus disqualified included Patryk Adam Bronisz and Elizabeth Evans. Initially, the Commission asked for voters to privately reveal their votes, but after protests from James Lunam, it was decided to proceed with recounts for the federations of Greater Ridgeway, Tor Pendente and District (North).
However, to this date only Greater Ridgeway has followed the Commission's instructions. On March 7, a constitutional amendment was proposed by Lunam and Reinhardt that would modify Article 4.1.1. to allow anyone above age 13 to vote. Schneider opposed the amendment on the grounds that it would interfere with the recounting process but Alvisi himself dismissed the need for recounts during a parliamentary discussion on April 11. While the amendment was abandoned, the same proposal was integrated in the newly-published Criminal Codex, and the question appears to have been dropped by the Alvisi administration.
|Name||Party||Number of Votes||Percentage of votes||Name||Party||Number of Votes||Percentage of votes|
|Parliamentary Elections||Federal Elections|
|Alexander Reinhardt||NPSC||26||35.1%||Barbara Ruvolo||NPSC||26||56,5%|
|Nicolò Alvisi||SCSP||48||64.9%||Alexander Rikkeri||SCSP||20||43,5%|
|In District||Caroline Charlotte|
|Alexander Reinhardt||NPSC||13||28%||No candidate||NPSC||1||15%|
|Nicolò Alvisi||SCSP||34||72%||Leonard Von Sternberg||SCSP||6||85%|
|In Caroline Charlotte||Greater Ridgeway|
|Alexander Reinhardt||NPSC||0||0%||Annabelle Pincer||NPSC||12||85%|
|Nicolò Alvisi||SCSP||7||100%||Elena Ferranti||SCSP||2||15%|
|In Greater Ridgeway*||Tor Pendente|
|Alexander Reinhardt||NPSC||10||91%||Valentina Marchesi||NPSC||2||22%|
|Nicolò Alvisi||SCSP||1||9%||Elizabeth Evans||SCSP||7||78%|
|In Tor Pendente||National Parliament member**|
|Alexander Reinhardt||NPSC||3||33%||Patryk Adam Bronisz||NPSC||TBA||TBA|
|Nicolò Alvisi||SCSP||6||67%||Nicolò Alvisi||SCSP||TBA||TBA|
- * After recounts
- ** All votes casted in the Parliamentary Elections are added. In case of two MPs for each party, the one with the higher number of votes gets an extra MP, in order to gain a majority.
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Problemi Elettorali (Italian) - 1 Jan 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: Uncertainty on elections - 3 Jan 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Lettera Aperta al Sig. de Armis (Italian) - 5 Jan 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: Foreign Minister Lunam on Parliamentary "pettyfoggery"(sic) - 5 Jan 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Insediamento (Italian) - 12 Jan 2011
- The St.Charlian Observer: BREAKING: Parliamentary Electoral Commission releases findings - 17 Feb 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Risultato Riconteggi Elezioni Generali (Italian) - 7 Mar 2011
- Official St.Charlie Forums: Modifica alla Costituzione St.Charliana, Parte 3, Sezione 1, Articolo 2 (Parlamento St.Charliano: Elezioni) (Italian) - 7 Mar 2011
- Il Codice Legale della Repubblica Federale di St.Charlie: GARANZIE SUL VOTO E SUL SISTEMA REFERENDARIO (Italian) - 14 May 2011
- Results in Tor Pendente (St.Charlian Observer)
- Results in Tor Pendente (Official Document)
- Results in Caroline Charlotte (St.Charlian Observer)
- Results in Greater Ridgeway (St.Charlian Observer)
- Results in Disctrict (St.Charlian Observer)