Elections in The West Pacific Reinforce Status Quo

Quarterly elections by the Hall of Nations in The West Pacific (TWP) have returned a new Cabinet that will largely retain the status quo. Being held in two stages one week apart, seven positions were declared vacant, including the Speaker of the Hall, four Ministers, and two Deputies.

TWP is unique in that its Delegate is an unelected role passed from the incumbent to their chosen successor. However, they must work with the electoral institutions of the region through their Cabinet, being permitted the appointments of only the heads of Foreign Affairs and Military Affairs, while the deputies for both, as well as the leaders of the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Recruitment and Citizenry, World Assembly Affairs, and Education, are selected by citizens in the Hall of Nations. The Hall similarly elects a figurehead in the Speaker to “represent [them] in discussions with the Guardians or Delegate,” according to the Matters of Governance.

In the election for Speaker of the Hall of Nations, the incumbent, Dalimbar, was the only citizen to throw their hat in the ring. Dali, who also serves as one of six regional Guardians, claimed in their campaign platform that their “main project for this term” would be “the development and implementation of a program to encourage more West Pacificans to endorse the Delegate and Guardians, to endorse each other, and to encourage more West Pacificans to join the WA and regional government.” This simple, but effective, appeal gained them 15 votes in favour and only 1 abstention as the ballot conducted via TWP’s offsite forum concluded on 17 August, further extending their term to November.

The campaign banner of Overthinkers for Minister of Recruitment and Citizenry in the August 2019 election.

In this first week of voting, the Ministers of World Assembly Affairs, Recruitment and Citizenry, and Internal Affairs also went to the ballot box. Each also saw uncontested ballots, with Denieria, Overthinkers, and Bran Astor running for those offices respectively. Overthinkers was unique amongst the three as the only non-incumbent, though they had previously served as the Minister of Recruitment and Citizenry to February 2019, and appealed to voters through an emphasis on “personal interaction” for the following term. Denieria received 14 votes in favour and 2 abstentions, while Overthinkers and Bran Astor garnered 15 supporters and only 1 abstention.

The second tranche of available positions, namely the Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Sergeant-at-Arms, the latter of which serves as the deputy in the Ministry of Military Affairs, then opened for nominations.

Rizorien decided not to recontest their position as Minister of Education, leaving it open to a new nation. Dilber was the only candidate to step up in their place, focusing their platform on two key goals of “helping acclimate new players” and “bringing to life the fascinating history of the game”. They were reported as receiving 21 votes in favour and 1 abstention, a comfortable victory. Vamperiall similarly stood aside from their Sergeant-at-Arms role, allowing Wyvern to assume the sole candidacy, which resulted in 17 votes in favour and 4 abstentions.

The contest for the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, however, was the only race with more than one candidate in the election, which set the stage for a tight finish. In an unusual interchange of positions, Wyvern, who would be elected as Sergeant-at-Arms, evidently did not seek another term in the position. From this, Rizorien, the incumbent Minister of Education who had also vacated their role, decided to nominate themselves for the race. They were matched by another candidate in k1213693, the long-time regional diplomat to Osiris.

Rizorien promised a “strong emphasis on high quality, accurate and engaging updates,” as well as the creation of a “central hub for diplomat updates,” and the provision of “continuous support for said diplomats and the [Foreign Affairs] Minister.” k1213693 presented similar ideas, calling for “accountability by making sure all of our diplomats are posting regional updates and information about upcoming festivals to their respective regions,” and making themselves “available to newer diplomats to help with any questions they have about their job.” Of the 21 votes cast, a slim majority of 11 found their way to Rizorien, who was elected to office, while k1213693 picked up 7, and 3 abstained.

The August 2019 elections have clearly been a resounding statement of support for the current administration. Of the seven newly elected members, three were incumbents in the role they were running for, another two were incumbents that changed titles, one was a former Minister in their respective race, and another was one of the oldest nations in the game, dating back to 2004. The overwhelming lack of competition might raise some eyebrows about activity in TWP, though the stability of the region’s government may attract equal applaud from the wider NS community.

Cover image: Ion Media Networks, Inc.

Llo

Llo has been on NationStates for over three years, residing primarily in The Leftist Assembly. He previously served as its Secretary from June to December 2017, and is currently a member of its legislative General Assembly. He enjoys working in regional governments, particularly in news, elections, and law-making. He is the current Chairman, Chief Operations Officer, and Chief Content Officer of NationStates Today.