Latin general election, 2017

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Latin general election, 2017
Flag of Latium until 1946.png
← 2014 17 April 2017 (2017-04-17) Next →

794 seats in the Senate
397 seats needed for a majority
Turnout61.91% Increase
  NewPompilius.jpeg Senator-Opposition leader Lepera .jpg
Leader Alexander Pompilius Flavia Lepera
Alliance United Latium Progressive
Leader since 8 March 2016 19 July 2015
Last election 409 seats, 47.9% 278 seats, 37.2%
Seats won 423 273
Seat change Increase 14 Decrease 5
Popular vote 15,697,470 12,299,742
Percentage 45.9% 36.3%

  Albert Rivera 2016a (cropped 2).jpg Anna Kinnamos Leadership Photo.jpg
Leader Felix Procilius Anna Kinnamos
Alliance Alius Alliance of the Regions
Leader since 20 January 2017 4 May 2016
Last election new party 36 seats, 5.3%
Seats won 98 0
Seat change Increase 98 Decrease 36
Popular vote 4,410,203 1,313,815
Percentage 12.9% 3.8%

Consul before election

Alexander Pompilius
Conservative and Imperial Party

Consul

Alexander Pompilius
United Latium

The Latin general election of 2017 was held on 17 April 2017. Following the conclusion of succession crisis resulting from the sudden death of Jason VI Augustus, Emperor Constantine XX called for new elections after discussions with Senate leadership. All seats in the Senate were up for election under a semi-proportional party-list voting system. Prior to the 2017 election, the senate majority and Bureau magistrates were held by United Latium, of which Alexander Pompilius served as Consul.

Polls taken immediately following the dissolution of the Senate by Emperor Constantine XX gave United Latium a double digit lead over the Progressives. Future polls began to wildly shift following a dramatic shift in party politics, dissolutions, mergers and integrations. By election night, the Conservatives and People's Party alliance, United Latium had reformed the party a big tent party of the same name. The Libertarian Party merged into Liberal-Labor Party. Imbrosian Voters Union rejoined the Alliance of the Regions with Imbrosian Voters Union, Democratic Labor Party, and the Federal Party, which advocates for further devolution of powers to local authorities.

Local elections were held simultaneously at city and county levels with nearly nearly two-thirds of all local government seats being contested.

On election day, exit polling suggested lower turnout than the previous election in 2014. This was confirmed by the Imperial Electoral Commission following the official election certification the following day after monitoring by representatives from the Belisarian Commission. Alexander Pompilius was invited to serve another term as Consul by Emperor Constantine XX.

Election date and process

Prior to the call for snap elections, the Forum Convention would have lead to the dissolution of the 39th Senate on 5 May 2020 with the election tentatively set of 12 May of the next week, should the Monarch not dissolve the Senate sooner. However, due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the succession of Emperor Constantine, the call for new elections expedited the process. At the dissolution of the Senate by Emperor Constantine, the early election date was set for 17 April 2017. Due to the early nature of the 2017 election, the next election was pushed back five years to 2022 in accordance with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act.

As with all Latin general elections, senators are elected by semi-proportional party list. Parties are not required to publicize their list. If the election results in no single party having a majority, then there is a hung senate. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition government.

Voter eligibility

To be able to vote in Latin elections, one must be:

  • 17 years old by election day;
  • a Latin citizen or Belisarian citizen (with residency of 5 years);
  • not excluded from voting by law (ie. one must be mentally capable and not a convicted felon).
  • registered with the Imperial Electoral Commission.

In order to be vote, eligible citizens must complete their registration forms at least three weeks before the the upcoming election. Citizens that turn 17 years old in this three week period are granted the ability to register if they turn 17 by election day. A registered voter may only vote one time and only within the constituency in which their legal address falls within.

Timetable

25 January Emperor Constantine XX announces plans for early election
9 February Senate dissolved
9 March Last day to file nomination papers, to register to vote, and to request a postal vote; Campaigning officially began
24 March Final debate
17 April Election day
21 April New Senate is assembled and sworn-in
28 April State Opening of the Senate

Contesting Parties

Felix Procilius and Alius participated in their first election.
Alliance of the Regions Leader Anna Kinnamos is the youngest sitting Senator and has served as leader of the IVA since her father's death in 2016.

As of the 9 March deadline to register, the number of political parties registered to stand for the 2017 election was 64 - nearly a 50% decline from the previous election. Three parties submitted full party lists: Alius, Progressive Party and United Latium. This became the first general election where the Liberal-Labor Party did not nominate a candidate in every constituency.

The time leading up to the general election saw a great deal of change and turmoil in the Latin party system. Days after the dissolution of the Senate by Emperor Constantine XX, Consul Alexander Pompilius announced the merger of the Conservative Party and the People's Party to formalize the United Latium alliance into a political party. Pompilius was joined at the press event by nearly fifteen members of the Progressive Party who declared their intent to join the new party. This marked the first shift in political landscape with the previously right-wing Conservatives being replaced with a much broader coalition of both conservatives and more center leaning members of the Progressive Party.

Days later, it was leaked that leaders of the Liberal-Labor and Libertarian Party had been discussing a merger. Prior to 1991, the Liberal party had been one of the largest parties in Latium, though had eventually fallen to become the token third party. The next week, the two parties announced a merger under the Liberal-Labor Party name. In February, the Popular Social Party received a ban participation in elective politics after their active support of Prince Michael in the recent succession crisis. The party had thirty-six senators at the end of the crisis, all of which we charged with treason. The PSP had filed for appeal of the ban at the time of election and was unable to participate.

There were few changes among left leaning parties. The Progressives struggled to regroup following the departure of 15 senators to join United Latium. The Progressive platform saw a large shift to the left, with Lepera incorporating social democratic principles. The left was also represented by Alius, a new party participating in its first national election. Prior to the 2017 election, its leader Felix Procilius served as a county-level councillor. The party was formed in 2015, and has pursued a broad liberal platform with a push for the institution of secularism in Latium. Prior to the dissolution of the Senate, it had not been expected to earn more than 2% of popular vote.

Imbrosian Voters Union announced their intention to stand a candidate in every Imbrosian constituency, just as they have in every election since the 1980s. Imbrosian Voters Union has been led by Anna Kinnamos, daughter of former leader Isaakios Kinnamos following his death. She was first elected to the senate in 2014, and was the youngest sitting Senator prior to the 2017 election. UIV rejoined the Alliance of the Regions for the 2017 election, and has continued their call for Imbrosian devolution, though the party's platform called for a more widespread decentralization with devolution for all other regions of Latium. The Alliance of the Regions consisted of UIV, Democratic Labor Union, Federal Party, and Gelonian Voice.

Main Parties

  • United Latium: led by Alexander Pompilius, the current Consul. Formerly the Conservative Party, United Latium is composed of mostly former Conservative Senatorial party members, and a number of defections from centrist leaning members of the Progressive Party. United Latium has demonstrated a much more centrist platform under Pompilius than the Conservatives saw under his leadership or Tarpeia's leadership prior to that.
  • Progressive Party: led by Flavia Lepera, the leader of the opposition. The Progressives have been one of Latium's largest political parties since the mid-1990s, overtaking the Liberal Party as the main center-left party - holding the Consulship from 1998 through 2013. The Progressives saw a number of defections to United Latium just before primary day, leaving the party's leadership scrambling to find replacement candidates.

Other Parties

  • Alliance of the Regions: led by Anna Kinnamos and the Imbrosian Voters Union. Kinnamos was elected leader of UIV following the assassination of her father in May 2016. She has thus far continued her father's policies in regards to Hellene civic nationalism, devolution and centrist social policies. Following the wave of party mergers and reformations, Leader Kinnamos announced an initiative to rejoin UIV to the alliance in an effort to either federalize Latium or introduce more powers to local and devolved governments.
  • Alius: led by Felix Procilius, a former MBP. Procilius, along with Thomas and Maria Laetoria founded Citizens in November 2015. The party has received a great deal of media attention after being invited to the 24 March debate. This was the first election the party has presented candidates, with candidates standing for election in 563 constituencies.
  • Liberal-Labor Party: led by G. Silvano Tasso. Once the largest political party in Latium, LLP has solidly been Latium's primary third-party since 1998. The 2017 election was the first general election in which the Liberal Party or its successors did not stand candidates in every constituency.

Campaign

There was little expectation of a hung senate occurring following the election. The most recent coalition-majority was in 2010 between the Progressive Party and Alliance of the Regions. Pompilius and United Latium refused to hold any pre-election coalition negotiations with any party, even publicly refusing an attempt by the Liberal-Labor Party to enter into negotiations. The Progressives and Alliance of the Regions came to a coalition agreement in the event of a hung senate, with the Progressives leading the government supported by the Alliance of the Regions. Imbrosian Voters Union leader Anna Kinnamos would have been appointed Deputy Consul and First Magistrate in this agreement. The Progressives also made public their intentions to open negotiations for further devolution in Latium as part of the agreement.

Party campaigns

United Latium

The United Latium platform was focused on a continued stability following the 2016 succession crisis, calling for voters to keep Latium's "strong and stable government in the majority." Pompilius stated his desire to "hopefully lower taxes," but noted that government may have to wait a "year or two into the term to do so without causing more harm [to the people]". Many of the key tenants of the 2017 platform focused on keeping the same senate leadership and growing that support for a "stronger Latium afterwards."

Alexander Pompilius outlined the official platform on 14 March, leading with topics relating to the succession crisis. He offered his continued support to the Justice Department's investigations into the death of Jason VI Augustus and the attempted coup along with any foreign interference there may have been.

Pompilius also offered proposals to increase military spending by nearly 0.5 percent of GDP, and detailed plans for a new gendarmerie, Civilis Guardia, which would be shifted from an official branch of the military to an undermagisterial role primarily within the Home Office, with certain aspects would fall under the Ministry of Defense - most notably the appointment of the Prefect. Pompilius promised that the new national police force would open hiring to both men and women, unlike the its Scholarian Guard predecessor. He rebutted any suggestion of a united Belisarian military, calling it an "unnecessary and dangerous erosion of the nation-state as we know it," though he did state he would be open to further cooperation among Latium and it's BC allies, and possibly even the NATA.

Pompilius and the party were very active on social media, though this was most often attacking the Progressives. Pompilius largely ignored Lepera's attacks early on, but nearing primary day he began to call her "the biggest problem in the Senate...standing in the way of a true government of the people," often pointing to her family's history in the Senate. Throughout the later campaign, Pompilius often spoke of Lepera being "the epitome of the Senatorial class," while simultaneously pointing out his own "rise from the rural farms of central Latium." This would largely contribute to the image problems Lepera faced throughout the election and the growth of Pompilius' popularity and "stately apperance"among, not only his own party, but the entire country.

United Latium also promised gradual increases for the National Health Service at the rate of an additional $7 billion by 2020, increased education spending and a wide availability among all classes for private schooling, and continuing the rebuilding of necessary infrastructure across the country, especially those his hardest by the succession crisis. The party also sought to raise the minimum wage and amendments to the Living Wage Act of 2011. Pompilius and other party members called their platform "prudent...slow and steady," while calling the Progressive proposal "short sighted...[and] reckless."

Progressive Party

The Progressive platform focused on expanded public funding towards healthcare and eduction, along with repeals on a number of right-wing social policies passed in years previous. Opposition leader Flavia Lepera encouraged the Emperor and Imperial Offices to continue with the investigations that came from the 2016 succession crisis. Lepera and the party campaigned on the promise of hiring an additional 12,000 police officers across Latium's major population centers and pledged to submit a proposal for a new national gendarmerie within the first 60 days of the next senate. Lepera's party manifesto was seen as a massive shift to the left, following the departure of 12 Progressive Senators to United Latium in January of the election year. Lepera proposed the nationalization of a number of certain industries, including any and all private power companies in the country.

The Progressives also stated that their increased spending would likely result in a VAT and income tax increase for nearly all levels of income earners with plans for an increased corporation tax. Lepera also spoke of plans to institute junk food taxes and higher capital gains tax for members of the nobility. During the 24 March debate, Lepera stated that the proposed tax increases would raise an additional $50bn in tax revenue to support her spending proposals.

The Progressive controversially spoke in support of a united Belisarian military in campaign events and during the 24 March debate, causing poll numbers to dip. However, she advocated no spending increases for the national armed forces even as tensions rose between nations on Belisaria – most notably {adversary} and Liothidia. The party also promised to repeal the Morality Acts passed under the Tarpeia Consulship in 2014. She blamed Consul Pompilius as being just as guilty as Tarpeia for the mistreatment of the nation's LGBT after refusing to hold a vote on the Morality Acts during his first Consulship. She stated that "homosexuality isn't a crime."

Lepera often attacked Pompilius's speeches and towards the end of the campaign cycle often followed the Consul's event schedule to give speeches counter to those he had recently given. This proved to backfire, as the Consul often spoke against Lepera as "a depressed and shameful member of the Senatorial class," and touting his own roots as a "man of the people." Polls in mid-March demonstrated that Lepera's attacks against Pompilius generally did more harm than good.

Alliance of the Regions

The Alliance of the Regions was once again led by the Imbrosian Voters Union, who previously were in an electoral alliance with the Progressives in 2014. It was led by UIV leader Anna Kinnamos, who was the youngest Senator during the previous Senate. Kinnamos and the Alliance offered an open list of 200 candidates, and a platform that proposed to continue their goals for ethnic devolution and a loosely federal Latium. The Alliance devolution plan sought to work with either government party to work out a popular referendum on devolution. Kinnamos also suggested that certain unitary authorities or regional authorities may also like to seek devolution, including the few remaining Gelonian counties.

Kinnamos agreed to form a coalition with the Progressives should no party in the Senate achieve an absolute majority. Kinnamos and the Alliance pledged to support any measure in the Senate that gave greater governing powers to local city and county governments.

Alius

Alius was among one of the last parties to offer a public party platform, as they were only polling around 2 percent before the informal debate in early March. Leader Felix Procilius performance in the debate saw instant support for Alius after his calls for greater accountability and perceived leadership capabilities. Procilius was widely cited as the winner of the informal debate. The release of the party platform saw Procilius and Alius call for halt in Belisarian integration, disestablishment of Fabrian Catholicism as the state faith and a stricter punishment for those complicit in the coup and usurpation by Prince Michael.

Procilius was often joined at campaign events by former Consul Nicetas Tanetus, who offered his support for Alius and it's vision of a modern Latium. Procilius was initially called abrasive and crass; however, his proposals were often seen as a mix the right and the left. Procilius applauded Consul Pompilius' promises to reform or abolish the Senate subassemblies, but stated that the Consul's proposals didn't go far enough.

Liberal-Labor Party

The Liberty Union Party was among the first parties to offer a party platform, coming in the same announcement as the party's formation. Party leader G. Silvano Tasso outlined the party's platform, which was largely a centrist synthesis between former Liberal-Labor and Libertarian platforms. Leader Tasso promised to repeal the Morality Acts, and institute widespread reforms to make the military more accountable to the Senate. Voters were initially responsive to Tasso and the LLP platform, but his poor debate performance coupled with inability to raise campaign funds saw any chance of the LLP to remain a top minor party dwindle severely.

Debates

Consul Pompilius during the March 24 debate.

Initially there were no plans for debates during the campaign, after a refusal by the current Senate leadership to participate or dedicate time on the RAL for a televised debate. However, two debates were initially held, with the first being more informal and among only leaders of the Progressive Party, Alliance of the Regions, Liberal-Labor Party, and Alius. The informal debate was televised the following day, on 9 March, on TV-RSL. This informal debate saw Alius rise from hardly 1% in previous polls to over 11% in the weeks following.

Eventually a formal debate was scheduled for 24 March at Ravenna Civitas Center, which was televised on RAL. Leaders of all parties standing candidates in at least offering party lists of at least 200 candidates were eligible to participate in the debate. The 24 March debate saw the leaders of United Latium, the Progressives, Alliance of the Regions, Liberal-Labor Party, and Alius, the latter of whom saw rising poll numbers following the first informal debate held two weeks prior. Following the debate, pundits declared the debate a draw, citing that Consul Alexander Pompilius and Alius leader Felix Procilius gained the most and that Flavia Lepera of the Progressives performed the poorest. Nearly 43% of those polled stated that the debate impacted their decision in the election.

Latin general election debates, 2017
Date Organisers Venue     P  Present    S  Surrogate    NI  Non-invitee   A  Absent invitee 
United Latium Progressives Alliance of the Regions Alius Liberal-Labor Party
9 March (unofficial) TV-RSL University of Haenna A P
Lepera
P
Kinnamos
P
Procilius
P
Tasso
24 March RAL Ravenna Civitas Center P
Pompilius
P
Lepera
P
Kinnamos
P
Procilius
P
Tasso

Campaign finance

Over the course of the election cycle, over $20 million was contributed in fundraising. United Latium accounted for 52% of this amount, Progressives collecting the next highest at 36%. This was a decline from the nearly $40 million in the 2015 election.

Candidates

A total of 2,786 candidates stood for election. Three parties stood a full list of 794 candidates: United Latium, Progressive Party, and Alius ran the third most candidates at 563. The Liberal-Labor Party stood candidates in 519 constituencies, marking the first instance in which the original Liberal Party or any of its successors did not nominate a full list.

Polling

2017

Fieldwork date Polling firm United Latium.pngUL Progressive Party of Latium.pngPRO Alius logo.pngA 25pxRA 25pxULP 25pxLLP Other Lead
17 April 2017 General election results 46.4 33.8 10.9 2.3 2.7 Did not exist 3.2 11.4
15-17 April LTC 43 34 12 4 3 4 9
11-14 April RAL 41 36 13 3 3 4 5
8-11 April LTC/Delpha 43 34 12 4 2 5 9
4-7 April EPT+/Thési Olipsio 42 35 12 5 1 5 7
2-3 April BelisMedia 44 33 12 4 1 6 11
1-3 April VosPraesi/ANC 45 33 11 4 2 5 12
1-2 April Alexándreia Champári/EseísKyv 43 32 13 5 2 5 11
29-31 March RAL 44 31 14 4 2 5 13
27-30 March LTC/BelisMedia 43 30 15 4 2 6 13
25-26 March Castellum Inviare 42 31 14 4 1 5 11
24 March Five-way Leaders' Debate between Alexander Pompilius, Flavia Lepera, Felix Procilius, Anna Kloarec and G. Silvano Tasso held on RAL
22-24 March VosPraesi 45 36 9 4 4 Did not exist 6 9
19-21 March LTC/BelisMedia 46 34 9 4 2 5 12
14-17 March Castellum Inviare 46 32 8 4 4 6 14
11-15 March Alexándreia Champári/EseísKyv 41 36 5 4 4 6 5
11-13 March EPT+/Thési Olipsio 45 34 6 4 3 8 11
10-12 March RAL 45 36 2 4 8 6 9
9 March Informal five-way Leaders' Debate between Flavia Lepera, Anna Kloarec, John Florianus, G. Silvano Tasso and Felix Procilius held on TV-RSL
6-8 March RAL 44 35 2 4 8 Did not exist 7 9
5-7 March Castellum Inviare 43 34 2 4 6 11 9
2-4 March LTC/BelisMedia 43 33 1 4 7 12 9
1-2 March VosPraesi/ANC 43 35 2 4 8 8 9
25-28 February Alexándreia Champári/Eseís Kyv 43 35 2 4 7 9 9
24-27 February Castellum Inviare 44 33 1 5 9 8 11
22-26 February BelisMedia 44 35 ~1 4 7 9 9
19-22 February RAL 46 33 1 4 7 9 13
15-18 February EPT+/Thési Olipsio 47 32 ~1 4 7 9 15
9-13 February VosPraesi 46 33 1 4 7 9 13
7-10 February RAL 45 34 1 3 8 9 11
6-8 February Alexandria Champári/EseísKyv 43 37 1 5 8 6 6
4-6 February VosPraesi/ANC 45 34 1 3 8 9 11
2 February Senate is dissolved and campaigning begins
22-25 January EPT+/Thési Olipsio 46 33 2 4 5 Did not exist 10 13
18-22 January VosPraesi 47 32 2 4 6 9 14
18 January Emperor Constantine XX announces plans for early election
16-19 January Castellum Inviare 47 31 2 4 Did not exist 5 11 15
12-15 January Thési Olipsio 46 32 1 4 7 10 15
11-13 January LTC/Delpha 44 35 1 4 6 10 9
5-9 January RAL 44 32 1 4 8 11 12
3-7 January Alexándreia Champári/Eseís Kyv 42 35 1 4 10 8 7
1-4 January VosPraesi 43 33 1 4 9 10 10

2016

Election

After all 794 constituencies had been declared, the results were:

Party/Alliance Leader Senators Votes
Of total Of total
United Latium Alexander Pompilius 423 53%
423 / 794
15,697,470 45.9%
45.9%
Progressive Party Flavia Lepera 273 29.5%
273 / 794
12,299,742 36%
36%
Alius Felix Procilius 98 12.3%
98 / 794
4,410,203 12.9%
12.9%
Alliance of the Regions Anna Kinnamos 0 0%
0 / 794
1,313,815 3.8%
3.8%
Liberal-Labor Party G. Silvano Tasso 0 0%
0 / 794
297,344 .9%
0.9%
Popular League Justin Arrabona 0 0%
0 / 794
88,102 .2%
0.2%
Greens Constantine Eliadius 0 0%
0 / 794
20,414 .06%
0.06%

Analysis

United Latium earned 46.6 percent of the popular vote, making it the highest popular vote total for the party or its Conservative Party predecessor has achieved. It was also the second highest popular vote total received by political party in Latin elections since the original Liberal Party received 47 percent in the 1980 election. The Progressive Party saw a continued decline under the leadership of Flavia Lepera, with a nearly 3 percent drop in popular vote total in the previous election.

There was a shift among minor parties with the Liberty Union Party continuing its rapid decline, despite merging with smaller parties. The ban of the Popular Social Party proved to spread voters of the far-right party among smaller, insignificant parties, with exit polling showing some voters went to United Latium and Citizens – Popular Alternative. The participation of Citizens – Popular Alternative in their first general election proved to be the largest surprise of the election, only polling around 1-2 percent prior to the informal 9 March debate. Pundits are still unsure as to the effect Citizens will have on future elections, some speculating they may one day replace the declining Progressives as the major centre-left party.

The election saw all 64 parties with candidates standing for election gain at least one vote, with another 149 independent candidates receiving votes. Of the 64 parties contesting, only 8 parties received seats and of the 120 independent candidates, only 11 were elected. The election also saw John Daedalus replace Anna Kinnamos as the youngest Senator to be elected to the Senate, at 26 years old; he is two months younger than Kloarec.

International reaction

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