Etruria Euclean Community membership referendum, 2016
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|Etruria Euclean Community membership referendum|
|Should the United Federation become a member of the Euclean Community?|
|Date||6 July 2016|
|On the map, the darker shades for a colour indicate a larger margin.|
The Etruria Euclean Community membership referendum, also known as the EC Referendum, took place on 6 July 2016 in Etruria to gauge support for becoming, or not, a member of the Euclean Community (EC) under the provisions of the Popular Euclean Community Referendum Act 2013 and also the National Plebiscite Act 1999. The non-binding referendum resulted in a simple majority of 55.5% of people voting in opposition to joining the EC. The Etrurian government officially recognised the result of the referendum and ceased all preparations for future membership.
Membership of the EC had become a major source of debate within Etruria following the transition from military-rule in 1983 to democracy. Relations between Etruria and the EC member-states had improved dramatically during the 1980s and continued to see improvements and expansions during the 1990s. In 1994, Etrurian President Ivo Vukčević urged for a referendum on membership, however he failed to secure much support from within the Etrurian Federalist Party at the time. At the turn of the 2000s, popular support for membership began a modest increase as successive PFE governments increase bi-lateral engagements with the bloc. Under pressure from the rising Citizens' Alliance which was promoting a referendum, the Federalist Party government under President Emiliano Reali announced in 2012, that it would promise a referendum in its next manifesto.
In May 2016, following the Federalist Party's re-election (albeit with a loss of seats and the popular vote) enshrined its promise through the Euclean Community Referendum Act. The referendum was dated for 6 July 2016, to enable a longer period of campaigning and public awareness. Euclean Etruria was the official group campaigning for Etruria to join the EC, and was endorsed by the President Emiliano Reali and Vice President Andrea Salvini. Free and United Etruria was the official group campaigning against membership of the EC, and was fronted by the Tribune Movement and its leaders, Francesco Carcaterra, Ettore Mantovano and Armin Pavić. Other campaign groups, political parties, businesses, trade unions, newspapers and prominent individuals were also involved, and each side had supporters from across the political spectrum.
Immediately after the result, financial markets reacted negatively but soon recovered, and President Reali announced that he would resign as President and Federalist Party leader, having campaigned unsuccessfully for a "Yes" vote. It was the first time that a national referendum result had gone against the preferred option of the Etrurian federal Government. He was succeeded by Andrea Salvini on 8th July. However, the government collapsed in August and was succeeded by the Tribune Movement under Francesco Carcaterra, the primary force in the "No" campaign. The referendum has been blamed on allowing the populist and nationalist party to seize power, which in turn has resulted in erosion of democracy, freedoms and a collapse in Etruria-EC relations.
- 1 Background
- 2 Legislation
- 3 Referendum details
- 4 Campaign
- 5 Issues
- 6 Responses to the campaign
- 7 Opinion polling
- 8 Result
Growing pressure for a referendum
Free and United Etruria
Responses to the campaign
Results by constituent countries
|Votes||Proportion of votes|
(including Aeolia, Carvagna, Torrazza and Ossuccio)
(including Istoria and Ragazia)
Reactions to the result
Immediately upon the result's being confirmed, President Emiliano Reali announced that he would resign as President and leader of the Etrurian Federalist Party on 7 July. He was succeeded by Vice President Andrea Salvini. The ruling Federalist Party however collapsed into factional in-fighting, with anti-EC groupings blaming the pro-EC faction for the chaos caused to the party and country at wide. Public condemnation for Reali's resignation was widespread, which quickly came to be directed at the Federalist Party, for leading a "torridly poor campaign."
The Etrurian Socialist Party, the official opposition party at the time also too saw a leadership crisis, with its leader, Terese Giorgio resigning as leader. An emergency leadership election was called, but the party struggled to rally around a single candidate, with its friendly newspapers describing the party suffering a "loss of direction, if not the EC, then what would the Socialist Party fight for?" Mario Balzarini was elected leader of the PSE on 10 July. However, Balzarini would resign following the party's disastrous result in the year's general election.
The biggest "winner" out of the referendum was the Tribune Movement, which successfully dominated and led the "No" campaign. The Tribune Movement proclaimed the 6 July as the "National Day of Rebirth" and proclaimed the Etrurian people "proud of its freedom once again." Polls immediately released after the election saw it skyrocket in support from pre-referendum averages of 21% to over 38%, this would continue to rise rapidly as the Salvini government began to collapse. The Tribune Movement however, was accused of using the vote's result to further undermine the government. Tribune Movement aligned newspapers and websites produced numerous fabrications alluding to Euclean Etruria misspending campaign funds, even go so far to claim that corruption lost it the election. The pro-EC newspaper Il Popolo claimed that "the victorious and vacuous Tribune Movement now seeks to bring an election down upon us for its own gain."