Just a few days ago, the Electoral Commission – an interim body of independent intendents appointed to oversee Sabioveronese elections – announced the next general election in the Kingdom would be held on May 14. The election is being held six months earlier than anticipated due to a new constitution being approved by a Constitutional Assembly that has held legislative powers since early March. Now, less than two weeks away, we tell you everything you need to know about this election.
What are we electing?
The main event will, of course, be the parliamentary election. All 20 members of Parliament will be elected, and with them, a new government for the Kingdom. Additionally, local prefects in the central regions will be elected for the first time since 2015. The Parliament is elected on a yearly basis, the last parliamentary election was held in September. The leader of the party that gets the most seats in Parliament is favored to become Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, in turn, forms a government that must be approved by Parliament.
There are three political parties in Sabia and Verona, all of which will be competing for seats. The largest of them, by share of votes in the last election and number of seats in Parliament, is the Liberal party. The Liberals are running on a socially and economically liberal platform, enshrined in the New Valtirian Plan, the party’s manifesto published this November. The party was until November known as Unity, a name it had kept since its foundation in 2012. The Liberal leader, Andrew Blackhorse, is a bold reformist who’s overwhelmingly liked by the native South Valtirians, the plush toys who lived in Alios and Gonn before the arrival of the Sabioveronese. The Liberals are favored to win a majority in this election, and at his third election since he became party leader, Blackhorse is surely more than ready to become Prime Minister.
Second to the Liberals are the National Artists’ Guild, the Kingdom’s ruling party since 2015. The Artists are the party of current Prime Minister Shounn Virny, who has stood down from the party’s leadership and will likely not become PM, even in the unlikely scenario of his party ending up in the first place. The Artists espouse what they call magic nationalism, a form of civic nationalism with elements of Bleuberrism, the ideology developed by disgraced former Prime Minister Napoléon Bleuberrie. The Artists are expected to lose at least half of their seats in the upcoming election, following numerous scandals involving Virny and infighting between two rival factions in the party – those who traditionally side with the former party leader, and those who support the current leader, establishment politician Snø Jens.
Lastly there’s the Left Alliance, an eco-socialist party that advocates for a system of direct democracy in the Kingdom. The Alliance was originally founded in 2014 as a merger between the Socialist Party of Napoléon Bleuberrie and the Sabioveronese Communist Party (KMCW), and was a major player in national politics (with a Prime Minister of its own, Léon Galieri). After the implementation of the Haronos Plan, the Left Alliance became a purely regional party, confimed to the northern autonomous regions alonside Bakinn. In 2016, the Alliance merged with Bakinn and snatched two of the National Artists’ Guild’s MPs, declaring it would contest in September’s parliamentary election, where it came in third by taking away much of the Guild’s support. The Left is expected to come in second in this election, with its leader, Apollo Cerwyn, being favored to become Leader of the Opposition.
How are MPs elected?
Since the adoption of the 2017 constitution, the first-past-the-post system established by the 2015 constitution has been scrapped in favor of a proportional system in which MPs are elected from the two electoral regions of the Kingdom: Alios and Gonn. 11 representatives will come from the larger Gonn region, and 9 will come from the capital city of Alios. As in past elections, citizens from the autonomous regions will not elect any MPs, instead representing their interests through the United Assembly of Regions.
The Artists – outsiders or kingmakers?
The once largest party in the Kingdom have clearly fallen from grace. In the Assembly that drafted the new constitution, they made up the smallest group and were consistently divided on nearly every issue. The mess-ups of the Prime Minister and the constant bickering between Virnyists and Jensists has completely destroyed the party’s credibility. Even Artist ideologue Napoléon Bleuberrie has criticized his party for being unable to come together.
However, with neither of the two largest parties at the time poised to snatch a majority of 11 seats in Parliament, it’s possible an alliance with the Guild – considered to be a mostly centrist party – will be necessary in order for the next government of the Kingdom to remain stable and legitimate in the eyes of the people.