Disclosure: Four of the candidates mentioned in this article are also staffers of NationStates Today.
As has been previously covered in NationStates Today, The Communist Bloc has been embroiled in a Constitutional Convention since January. As part of the original Act that brought the Convention to life, elections were suspended across the board. A side effect of this was that General Secretary Nate Kuznetsov-Flood (née Penrose) had not been elected in a popular poll – they had risen through the line of succession to the position, and had not faced the electorate. These events led to him serving for over three months without having been to the ballot box, with his most recent election being to the deputy position in November.
Recently, an Act was passed to restore the general and deputy secretary elections, despite the Convention. After the closure of the “standing period”, where candidates were able to self-nominate and campaign, three candidates for general secretary, and two for deputy, were at the polls.
The General Secretary: A 3-Way Race
For the general secretary, the first candidate was Trabardia (also known as Brihimia elsewhere), a long-time member of the region. Trabardia has served as general secretary in the past, and has also run for the position many times. He is best known for being the long-serving minister of defense, and he also has a number of core supporters. His de-facto campaign ended up being, in quite the unorthodox move, an image posted on Discord of handwritten campaign notes. Many, however, believed the real fight would be between LilStapler and Precoixious – the former an experienced general secretary who served for a large portion of 2018, while the latter campaigned on a promise of listening to new citizens, and making sure they learnt their way around.
Of course, it would be remiss to ignore the elephant in the room – all three campaigns mentioned it, while LilStapler put a heavy focus on it. In the case of LilStapler, he called for a “revolution” in the Convention, with a renewed focus on making the government accessible for new citizens. Despite Precoixious and Trabardia putting a heavier focus on the traditional duties of the head of government, the stance that LilStapler held on the Convention obviously paid off; he won with 59% of the vote. While other candidates seemingly hoped that a focus on other areas would satiate voters, LilStapler’s message resonated, and represents an endorsement for his calls for a renewed Convention.
When asked about his victory, LilStapler told NationStates Today:
“Being awarded another chance to serve as the General Secretary of The Communist Bloc is a great honor to myself. Especially in what is probably one of the greatest field of candidates the Bloc has seen in the last year, I am extremely lucky to be granted this position. I ran on a campaign of a new revolution. The People’s Revolution. You see, the Constitutional Convention has brought absolutely nothing to the land, but the people still want something, and that’s what my administration will provide. A new system will be submitted to the people to attempt and make the convention faster, and actually get it done. I am extremely optimistic about the campaign being realized due to the majority of voters my administration picked up.”
The Deputy General Secretary: Dropping Out?
While the general secretary elections were largely quiet, near the end of the standing period for their deputy, who is elected on a seperate ticket, quite the storm arose. C.A.D., one of the two candidates for the role, endorsed Precoixious for general secretary, contravening regional law. That law, however, was not part of the Electoral Code, which made officially enforcing it difficult. C.A.D., who serves as minister of information, felt that it was right for him to drop out of the race. By that time, however, the polling booths had already opened – legally, C.A.D. was stuck on the ballot against his wishes.
And then, in a surprise turn of events, the candidate who almost dropped out came to victory – C.A.D. won 61% of the vote. When I attempted to reach out to him, I did not receive an official statement. While he was radio silent after the victory, he has since become more active in the Cabinet – it appears that previous rumours of a possible resignation were over-blown.
Despite the circumstances surrounding the election, the new general secretary told NationStates Today that “CAD is an important part of my administration. I know from his history that he will work hard to meet the demand of the Bloc” and that “the people wanted him, he works hard, and for as long as he want [sic] to remain in his position, the Bloc will run smoothly.”
It remains to be seen how this new administration will shape up. While LilStapler’s campaign did put heavy focus on the Constitutional Convention, his promise was to get it sorted soon; if he fails to do so, the electorate may not be so forgiving in two months’ time.