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89% approve proposed constitutional amendments

1 September 2015 4 comments

The results of yesterday’s referendum saw proposed constitutional amendments approved by a huge majority.

A referendum held yesterday saw proposed amendments to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011 approved by a majority of 89.47%, while local elections held at the same time saw all incumbent Representatives re-elected.

Out of the 49 subjects eligible to vote in the referendum, 38 did so, a turnout of 77.55%. Three votes (7.89%) were cast in abstention, and only one person (2.63%) voted against the proposed amendments.

The main amendments which had been proposed were explained for the benefit of voters in a YouTube video which can be seen here.

Now that the amendments have been approved by referendum, they must be approved by Parliament. A requirement of over 80% of Representatives to be in favour of any constitutional amendments means that if more than one of Austenasia’s ten Representatives opposes the changes, they will not be able to be passed.

Should Parliament approve the amendments, they will come into force at one second past midnight on the morning of Sunday 20th September.

Alongside the voting for the amendments was voting for Representatives, with local elections taking place at the same time. All the incumbents were re-elected, and under the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed in October last year, the Representatives will shortly choose from amongst themselves a Speaker to help moderate parliamentary proceedings.

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Incumbents stand for local elections

Yesterday saw the end of the week-long period during which those wishing to stand for election as Representative at the end of the month could announce that they would be doing so.

In each of the ten Towns of Austenasia, the incumbent Representative or Acting Representative was the only person who announced that they would be standing.

This scenario was not unexpected. On Twitter, Emperor Jonathan I wrote that the nation-wide lack of competition for the office of Representative showed “local elections every five years makes far more sense than every two years”, referring to one of the constitutional amendments that will also be voted on at the end of the month.

As only a single candidate is standing in each Town, voters will have the option to cast an Abstain vote under the terms of an Imperial Edict passed in 2013. Should there be more votes to abstain than for the candidate in any Town, a new vote will be called for that Town in which more people will be encouraged to stand.

The candidates for each Town are as follows:

  • Wrythe: HIM Emperor Jonathan I
  • Zephyria: Lord Marshal William K., Baron of Zephyria
  • Thanasia: HIH Eritoshi, Countess of Memphis
  • Palasia: Lord John Gordon, Baron of Zephyria
  • Lichtenstein: Lord Charles Clarke, Duke of Grantabridge
  • Porthbokon: Lady Evren Filgert, Duchess of Dumnonia
  • New Richmond: HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Count of Greater Richmond
  • Shineshore: Lord Rear Admiral Alastair Cranston, Duke of New Virginia
  • Terentia: Lord Vice Admiral Eren (formerly Jacob) Lewis, Baron of Terentia
  • Harenfall: Lord Sivert MacLean, Duke of Redcaster

Referendum for constitutional amendments to coincide with local elections

11 August 2015 1 comment

A copy of the Imperial Decree passed yesterday which ordered the referendum and election for August 31st.

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor yesterday promulgated an Imperial Decree which ordered a referendum to take place on 31 August in which all Austenasian subjects will be able to vote on proposed amendments to the Constitution.

Local elections will also take place on 31 August, in which each Town will choose who to serve as its Representative in Parliament.

Several of the proposed amendments are little more than corrections to mistakes in the spelling and grammar of the Constitution, which was adopted in September 2011. The main amendments which have been proposed are:

  • Local elections shall take place at least once every five years instead of at least once every two years.
  • Local elections will be able to take place in Towns individually. At present, all Towns have their local election at the same time.
  • The structure of the judicial system will be able to be reorganised by Parliament (it currently being entrenched by the Constitution).
  • Parliament will be able to make provision for whom the Throne should pass to should the Line of Succession come to an end.
  • The Monarch will be able to temporarily suspend the Constitution should there be an emergency so severe (an “existential threat to the state”) that normal government becomes completely impossible.

Subjects will have the option to vote Yes, No, or Abstain to the proposed changes.

Should over half of all Austenasian subjects vote Yes, then an Act of Parliament will be proposed to put the amendments into effect, which will require the support of over 80% of Representatives to pass.

Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy elected Prime Minister

Portrait of Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy, newly-elected Prime Minister of Austenasia.

HIH Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy, Count of Greater Richmond, has been elected Prime Minister of Austenasia with 68.3% of the vote.

Lord Dux Joseph had run as an independent against Countess Eritoshi of Memphis, who had sought to be re-elected on an environmentalist platform. The Countess received 21.95% of the vote, while 9.75% of voters chose to abstain.

Forty one people voted out of an electorate of forty eight – an impressive 85.4% turnout. This was up from a 60% turnout in the previous general election, when Countess Eritoshi was elected in November 2013.

“We congratulate Lord Dux Joseph on his election as Prime Minister, and offer our commiserations to Countess Eritoshi,” Emperor Jonathan I said after announcing the election results. “The Lord Dux worked hard on his campaign, and we look forward to what he will bring to government. We also wish to congratulate the Austenasian people on an impressive turnout – this was your opportunity to have your say in who will lead our government, and you certainly took it.”

Lord Dux Joseph, speaking exclusively to the Austenasian Times, gave the following statement: “It is the greatest honour of my life to be chosen as Prime Minister of the Empire. I shall strive for the remainder of my term to serve the Austenasian people and HIM the Emperor in any way possible.” His official victory speech can be heard here.

Countess Eritoshi and Lord Dux Joseph selected as General Election Candidates

3 February 2015 2 comments

Countess Eritoshi of Memphis (left) and a portrait of Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy (right).

Emperor Jonathan I has chosen the candidates for next month’s general election.

Countess Eritoshi of Memphis, the incumbent Prime Minister, will be running for re-election against Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy. The general election will take place on 3 March, with campaigning now starting to get underway.

Countess Eritoshi, Representative of Thanasia, is running on a left-wing platform and has announced a desire to found an Austenasian Green Party.

Lord Dux Joseph, Representative of New Richmond, describes himself as a libertarian.

Both candidates are leading figures in Austenasia’s legislative, executive and military spheres, and both hold the style of Imperial Highness, with Countess Eritoshi having been appointed an Augusta and Lord Dux Joseph a Caesar by the Emperor.

Under the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, the Monarch selects applicant Representatives to run for Prime Minister three weeks after a general election is called, four weeks before voting takes place (general elections taking place seven weeks after being called). The announcement was made earlier this evening.

General election called for 3 March

Earlier today, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I called for a general election to take place in seven weeks time, on 3 March.

The most recent general election was held in November 2013, with Countess Eritoshi of Memphis being elected Prime Minister.

Up to four years can pass from a general election before another must, under the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, be called. In an exclusive statement to the Austenasian Times, the Emperor explained his reason for calling one so much earlier than necessary:

“Although Countess Eritoshi won the November 2013 election with two-thirds of the vote, Austenasia has expanded so much since then that those who voted for her now make up a mere 16% of the electorate. We have called this election not out of any displeasure with how she has been fulfilling her role as Prime Minister, but out of a wish to ensure that the holder of said office has a genuine democratic mandate.”

It is expected that Countess Eritoshi will run to be re-elected Prime Minister. It is also expected that Lord Joseph Kennedy – and maybe others – will run against her. Candidates will be announced on 3 February after being formally approved by the Emperor.

Local election results announced

Local elections were held yesterday, with the results as expected by many.

All Towns have elected or re-elected the sole candidate standing for election. Shineshore is the only Town to have not yet announced their results, but it is assumed that as elsewhere the only candidate – in this case Lord Centurion Alastair – has been elected Representative.

All elections had the option to abstain – if this got more votes than the candidate running for election, the respective Town Council would have had the authority to take over from the Representative.

Several of the candidates had only been Acting Representatives, having been appointed as such by Parliament upon their Town joining Austenasia but not until now elected. As all members of the House of Representatives are now fully elected Representatives, it is expected for changes in the composition of Cabinet to be announced in the following days.

UPDATE 17 OCTOBER 15:29: Lord Centurion Alastair was elected in Shineshore.