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The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
05-22-2012, 08:27 PM (This post was last modified: 05-22-2012 08:31 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #1
The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
Between September and December 7568, a series of election events will take place in order to form the first Förbundsdag of Vittmark. It is the last phase in the formation of nation state that has very artificial roots.

Evil Anarian minds always state that in an election, it doesn't matter who is casting their votes, it is all about who does the counting. In Vittmark, this saying is of no value. Here it is more a matter of determining who is eligible to vote, and what choices are available.

Let's take a handfull citizens as an example. Take Algot, he belongs to the Grovspång stim which has attached itself to the freethinkers from Fjällsta Stift. This group has 3 seats in the federal parliament, and the stift leaders have decided to run an open party list election for those three. So if Algot can show he has been paying income tax, he can cast his vote on any person or party list that is registered at Fjällsta Stift.

Bernt however belongs to the Liljedal stim, which is a mainstream Mellanhand stim under Lovis Stift, Mellersta Inälvsdalen Härad. Bernt is a full member, which means he has the right to vote.
Inälvsdalen is a small member state with just one seat in parliament. So it's first-past-the-post here. But Bernt can not vote directly. Within his stim, they choose an intermediate, who gets voting instructions from his stim members. This representative will cast the stim's vote in a meeting with the other 75 stim representatives. The candidate who gets the backing of most representatives wins.

For Carl, the situation is even more complicated. His stim is officially located in Skara, a city with three seats in parliament. So here it is the first three past the post... Skara has chosen a system where stim representatives can cast their vote on a single candidate. The candidate with the least votes is eliminated from the process and the repesentatives vote again. So the supporters from eliminated candidates will have to cast their vote on a second or even third or fourth choice alternative. Which means that the stim has to instruct its representative very carefully.

Algot, Bernt and Carl still have a choice. Dagmar isn't that lucky. As an unmarried woman, she's not eligible to vote in her stim. That's not the case in every stim, each group has its own rules. Eie has no choice at all though. He lives in rural Liden and his stim is a solid supporter of the ruling Av Månsta family. Supporting their candidate is just a natural matter. Even if Eie would want to vote on someone else, that's of no use. The majority of the stim decides, the majority of the stims decide... But Eie doesn't mind, Östervallen is far away and of no consequence for his living condition. He trusts the judgement of his alf blindly.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-01-2012, 09:50 PM
Post: #2
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
As the well organized city it is supposed to be, Skara was able to organize the first open elections for the federal parliament. Much to everyone's surprise, one independant member managed to win one of the three seats that are allocated to Skara. The other two went as suspected to De Lidh.

Political commentators are disagreeing on the effect of this surprise. Some see it as a clear warning signal for the most influential factions to tighten their grip on the election process: De Lidh in Liden and Iunsala in Ådalen for example. The result would be a better coordinated election for their purposes. But other commentators expect that with the example of Skara, more people and more stims will dare to cast their votes on independant candidates instead of those from the local ruling families.

During their annual autumn meeting, the Bengtist stond elected its representative. There was only one candidate for the 13 stim leaders, a candidate that has affiliated himself with Öppen Lista already before the election. It is unclear of the independant MP from Skara will join this group as well.

4 down, 96 to go...

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-20-2012, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 06-20-2012 02:26 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #3
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
The "election" in Liden was a whopper. A quarter of the federal parliament was elected here. The influential noble families had tried their best to create a majority for their candidates in each of the 25 voting districts. Their power had a mandate from the lower levels of stims and stifts, and they had to make sure that this mandate made it all the way to the capital.

De Lidh, the political party of the ruling class, had won a landslide victory. But not as "landslidish" as they had wanted to. Sure, they won 18 of the 25 seats. But it was a clear eyesore for them that in some urban districts, independant candidates had managed to gather enough support to get elected. All the hard work to try and make De Lidh the largest party in the parliament had been in vain. While they had prepared for electoral battles in the adjecent territories and independant city states, they had lost 7 valuable seats on home turf. De Lidh would become the biggest faction, no doubt about that, but probably only with 20-something seats instead of the expected 33.

More results:
Ådalen - Iunsala 11 seats, independant 1
Fjällsta Stift - Sörmarkspartiet 3
Kulla - Loialitetslistan 1
Friställen - Loialitetslistan 1
Inälvsdalen - Loialitetslistan 1
Uppforsbackar - Loialitetslistan 1
Kopparbruk - De Lidh 1, Iunsala 1, Folkrörelsen 1, independant 1

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-26-2012, 04:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
The federal territories north of the mountains had their elections on the same day. A mixed bag, as expected.

Kletudde - Iunsala 1, De Lidh 1, independant 1
Kram - Iunsala 1, De Lidh 1
Kopparbruk - Loialitet 1, Folkrörelsen 1, Sörmarkspartiet 1, Iunsala 1
Östvallen - Iunsala 2, De Lidh 2, Loialitet 2, Folkrörelsen 1, independant 1

Bear in mind that the member states affiliated with Hagen still have to vote, so their non-representation up to now is as it was expected. An overview of the allocated seats:

De Lidh - 25
Iunsala - 17
Loialitet - 7
Sörmarkspartiet - 4
Folkrörelsen - 3
independant members - 12

34 more to be allocated...

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-29-2012, 08:08 PM
Post: #5
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
Getting there... The elections are a long drawn process, which take place very much outside the public's attention. After all, it's a new, federal institute with a yet hazily defined task. In most stims, it comes up around lunchtime somewhere in between more urgent matters like the distribution of firewood and coal and the job assignments for the new apprentices.

A similar thing happened in the tightly linked member states Hagen and Kötthagen. They formed one nation before the Pan-Anarian War, with the lords from Hagen conquering large territory in the bassin of the Talpå River in the search for iron and other metals. But that was about a century ago. Today, they tried to get their influence organized in the new nation state they were now a member of.

Hagen on the northern peninsula is dominated by 2 cities, surrounded by vast agricultural tracks of lands, dotted with provincial towns and fisher hamlets. Controlling the outcome of the indirect elections was a lot more difficult here, because the urban areas weren't as tightly organized as the countryside, measured by the ruling class' standard. So 3 independants managed to claim seats in parliament, besides the 8 for Framtid, Hagen's own political vehicle.

In Kötthagen, the situation is much more different. This is a farming community with manufacturing towns and some iron mines in the south. No large cities, no large differences... So the outcome was as expected, all 7 seats to Framtid, even though it was a close call in some places.

Only three states have to elect their representives. All of those are pretty much "open", without any major group claiming power and regulating the elections.

De Lidh - 25
Iunsala - 17
Framtid - 15
Loialitet - 7
Sörmarkspartiet - 4
Folkrörelsen - 3
independant members - 15

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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07-03-2012, 11:28 AM
Post: #6
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
Last bunch of (indirect) votes are in.

Dunsvik: Framtid 1, Iunsala 1, independant 1
Laxholmen: Loialitet 1, Folkrörelsen 1, independant 2
Mivö: De Lidh 5, Folkrörelsen 1, Loialitet 1, independant 3

So this is the final result of the 7568rh elections for the Förbundsdag in Vittmark.
De Lidh - 30 seats
Iunsala - 18
Framtid - 16
Loialitet - 9
Folkrörelsen - 5
Sörmarkspartiet - 4
independant - 20

There is such a thing as final, and final... The independant members are allowed to form an own group (as some already have indicated), while other might affiliate themselves with seated parties.

Some early conclusions: the parties opposing the federation of Vittmark gained 48 out of 100 seats, so just short of a majority. This means that the plans of De Lidh and Iunsala to turn Vittmark into a confederation will have to be put in the ice cellar. The independants have clearly distantiated themselves from these two major parties.

No representatives with a clear Häverist background or ideology have been elected into parliament. Although some might say that Sörmarkspartiet is a cover-up for the Häverists.

Outspoken modernist and liberal parties only gained 9 seats (Sörmarks, Folkrörelsen) although one can assume that many of the independant members also are on the more progressive side.

The inauguration of the parliament is in 2 weeks (Gotha time...) by her majesty herself.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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07-10-2012, 11:58 AM
Post: #7
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
For half a year, frantic building activities had filled the part of the Östervallen complex that was supposed to become the federal parliament. Östervallen, the royal palace with its adjacent buildings surrounded by a 71st century wall, had plenty of room for government activities. It was just a matter of finding the right type of buildings in the right structural condition, so that the complex could be adjusted to its new function. There was no master plan for the royal palace, master plans were something for Vind...

An entire building block at the southern square of the complex had been renovated. It used to accomodate a theatre, so it was easy to adapt the main room into the general assembly of the parliament. Ten meeting rooms and about 50 working offices had been created in the adjacent buildings, which formed the same urban block.

Honestly speaking, the entire complex wasn't ready yet. Building materials had been delivered too late in protest of the job being handed over to constructors from the south. The three building stims of the city of Östvallen weren't amused by that. They insisted on their own suppliers to postpone the deliveries as much as possible. But as the sole owner of the complex, Queen Anna had insisted in having outsiders doing the job. She had enough of the "open doors" character of the complex, which was infested with spies from every member state and many foreign parties.

Security measures were rigorous. First one had to pass through the outer walls of the Östvallen complex. Then each of the 13 entrances to the parliament complex had its own security guards, but since some of them would be staffed by party members, there was an extra security ring built into the complex, before entering the main assembly room.

This was the procedure every single member of parliament had gone through now they were gathered for the first time in history. The scaffolding on the outside was symbolic for the state this govermental body still was in. Queen Anna entered the assembly at exactly 11:44, as it was formulated in the script. She would start to inaugurate each and every of the 100 MP's at noon, which she intended to do in an hour and a half or so. Which was bad luck for the MP's with a last name beginneng somewhere at the back of the alphabet, since none of the MP's were allowed to sit down until her majesty had said so.

"Herr Andersson, Arvid..." Anna started.
A rather short man with almost white hair approached the chairman's cathedra with some paperwork in his hand. The papers had been checked before, so all the clerk had to do was to accept them and check them for the right signature. The man put his right hand on the Tankan, Orkanan's holy scriptures, and stated the standard oath.

"Arvid Andersson from Trähärad, representing Liden. Do you wish to affiliate with any of the registered party groups?"
"Yes majesty."
"Would you state your affiliation?"
"Partiet de Lidh."
"Noted. Herr Andersson, you are allocated seat #21."

After almost two hours, Anna could start to summarize.
"Welcome everyone in Förbundsdagen, the legislative body of the federation of Vittmark. On your shoulders lie the task of defining its role and the future of this nation. It will be a process. To help you get started, I have appointed an executive government. They will appear here according to the schedules that were handed out, to hear your opinions about the topics they're responsible for. Every group will have a defined speech time, individual members must ask for time with the assembly clerks. This round, I have decided the rules, but your next task will be to create your own."

She paused for a second, grabbing a piece of paper she had been making notes on.
"I would like to ask each group to nominate a group head. As the constitutional head of the federation of Vittmark, I have noticed that Partiet De Lidh is the largest registered group in this assembly. I would like to ask them to nominate a chairman of this assembly."

After a short break, the group heads were read out loud, and the group leader of De Lidh got the word.
"Majesty, we would like to nominate Arild Gertson alf av Månsta Åssala."
This was the sign for the group leaders of Iunsala and Framtid to protest. OK, De Lidh might be the largest group, but they were not accepting a Månsta as chairman. During the first vote of the assembly, he was rejected, probably because a lot of the new members just wanted to see what would happen if they did.

A fierce discussion started about De Lidh having or not having the right to nominate someone else. They decided to vote on it, with the result that Iunsala got the opportunity to nominate. Their candidate was axed too of course, and the same faith awaited Framtid's candidate. So, after more than an hour of fruitless debate, Queen Anna took the word again.

"Honorable representatives, I can see that everyone still has to get adjusted to the new roles. Unfortunately, I can't sit here chairing this assembly until eternity, even though I am the constitutional head. I hereby appoint Arvid Andersson from Partiet De Lidh as technical chairman of this assembly. If this assembly can agree on someone else, please inform me through the appropriate channels. Until then, Herr Andersson is the chairman, could you approach?"

The startled Andersson got up from his seat and approached the cathedra for the second time today. Anna got up, handed him a perfectly round granite ball which had been placed at a thick slice of redwood tree. He gestured him to sit down and took her special seat further back, leaving the brand new and reluctant chairman to handle the order of the day. He looked at the paper in front of him.

"Ehm... I'd... I would like to schedule a meeting with the group leaders in order to determine the planning for the upcoming week. I... ehm... propose in ten minutes, in this room?"
He looked around for support, and then turned towards the assembly again.
"Anyone who wants to comment on this proposal?"

A representative from Ådalen tried out how much the man could handle.
"I would like to distribute working places first, mr. chairman."
Andersson looked back again, seeing Anna whipser "clergy" towards him.
"That is a matter for the assembly clerks, not for the entire assembly."
Murmuring started among the representatives.
"Unless... we decide elsewise..."

Andersson was saved by his group leader now.
"I'd like a vote on the original proposal. Hands up if..."
"Representative Lösänge wants a vote on the proposal to schedule a technical meeting with the group leaders," Andersson interrupted, "can I see hands from those who... oppose? This proposal?"

Some 20-25 hands were lifted.
"And in favor of the proposal?"
Also some 25 hands. But Andersson waited until more and more representatives decided they had had enough playtime for one day and started raising their hands."

"Proposal accepted," he said and he banged the ball on the redwood.
"With that, I would like to adjourn this meeting and schedule for reopening in... two hours?"
He banged the ball again, got up and left the room.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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07-15-2012, 02:59 PM
Post: #8
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
"Excuse me..."
A 30-something, almost boyish but already corpulent man knocked on the door of the leader of the loyalist group in parliament.
"My name is Rågersson..."

The grey man in his early fifties got up from his desk.
"... group leader of the southerners. I was already expecting his lordship."
"Indeed?"
The men exchanged a handshake.
"Olsson av Alnarp, by the way. Please sit down."

"Alnarp... from the south as well?" Rågersson replied after he had taken a chair.
"Uppforsbackar," Alnarp replied.
"But not representing Uppforsbackar..."
"No... my family moved to Liden when I was a child. I was elected as an independant in Träsala. I entered the Loyalists after the elections."

"Then I am at the right address. Listen, I am trying to find out what every group, every party actually wants in this parliament. It seems to me that so far everyone has been focussing on getting elected. Some represent the establishment, some distantiate themselves from it. But that doesn't say a thing about what everyone wants..."

"Fjällsta Stift has put a lot of work in getting this parliament up and running. I am not sure this country is ready for it. The elections show that, actually."
"Maybe so, but when is one completely ready? His lordship made a choice, not to sit alone and not joining the open list. Something must be there for the people his lordship is representing."
"I am also representing the people that did not vote for me, contrary to what De Lidh is doing. But my loyalty lies with Kulla, not Liden."
"That gives us something in common. Sörmarkspartiet is loyal to Kulla as well, even though we're not a loyalist party."

"I know. You want statehood for the south, right?"
Alnarp used the word 'you' for the first time. A subtle sign about two people getting closer to each other.
"Yes we do. We want to be a part of Vittmark on a similar basis as Liden, Ådalen, Hagen and the rest. The federation is a construction that will help us in our progress."
"Does that include the crown domain or not?"

The southern region consisted of four territories, of which the Crown Domain of Kulla was one.
"Well, actually, it does..." replied Rågersson.
"If you leave Kulla outside your southern state, then I can guarantee you the support of the Loyalists."
"OK.... let me discuss that with my people. But I'd like to ask something else as well..."

Rågersson waited for Alnarp to object, but he didn't.
"The queen's budget... As you know, Fjällsta Stift pays its federal tax directly to the executive government. Or to her majesty herself, to be more exact. We want to discuss with her how it should be spent."

"That is up to her majesty..."
"Come on, we know how this works. The federal government is trying to make a budget with contributions in kind. Liden will deliver half the navy, so they don't have to pay that part of the tax. That kind of deals. This gives the people obstructing the government a lot of influence. Supportive people don't get anything. Some 15-20% of the federal budget actually gets carried out with money. We want to be able to see if it happens balanced, and not that our money is getting used to buy the support from hagen, Ådalen or anyone else. We know the Loyalists have very short lines to her majesty..."

"Why don't you ask your great leader Palne? Her majesty is practically sitting on his lap."
Rågersson had to laugh, but turned to serious business immediately.
"We want to do this the structured way, in relative openness with accountability towards our voters, not through the shady type of deals this country has been run with since its foundation."

Alnarp extended his hand.
"Herr Rågersson, it will be a pleasure working with you. Let me come up with a draft, then we'll talk further."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-03-2012, 05:28 PM
Post: #9
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
This time it was Alnarp knocking on Rågerssons door.
"Good morning... survived the winter?"
Rågersson got up from his chair and shook hands with his colleague from the Loyalist Party.
"Please, take a seat."

After the exchange of some pleasantries, Alnarp came to the point.
"That proposal for statehood in the south... I've figured it out," he said.
Rågersson leaned back, but in a way that suggested he was interested in how this would continue.

"Let's forget the federal government and this parliament. Let's have the system work our way for one time. I can see to it that the governors of Friställen, Uppforsbackar and Inälvsdalen will come up with a proposal to transform the federal territories into provinces of a newly formed state. It's then up to the residents to decide if they support this proposal or not. There won't be any other proposals to be voted on..."
"But we're outnumbered by the recent immigrants, connected to Ådalen and Liden. A referendum would give them what they want."

"Nope... not if they can't vote. Most of those immigrants are still registered with stifts outside the south. They chose to vote as expats in Liden or Ådalen. So they don't have anything to say about territorial matters within the south."
"That would exclude Fjällsta Stift too, right? In that case, only 20% of the people would vote on the future structure."

"Nope... not at all. Your registers show clearly where your people are residing. They don't have connections to a territorial stift outside the south. Which would make them eligible to vote. Remember, the governors set the rules. People that have no connection to the south are excluded, that's all."

"Sounds like a plan... what's the catch?"
"We want her majesty to be head of state. As the leader of a large and important member state, it will improve her position towards Göran Ådahl and the Av Månsta's."
"No problem."
"And we want a tricameral structure, one for territorial matters in which Fjällsta Stift has no place, one for matters only concerning stims without land ownership, and one for all the issues that matter to both our groups."
"Let's define exactly which authorities fall under which institute, but in principle, this might be a workable strategy. Put the machinery to work, we're in."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-03-2012, 05:40 PM
Post: #10
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
nice!
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