Elections in the Balak Empire

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Elections in the Balak Empire were held to select members of the Imperial Common Council, as well as members of local councils. ...

Standard Imperial Model

The Standard Imperial Election Model (Balak: Cānmareh Yenosā-e Tati-ye Micdarāt Şânmareh Yenosâ-e Tati-ye Mişdarât), sometimes dubbed the Jimashim Model, was a unified electoral system promoted for use across the Balak Empire and adopted by the vast majority of Imperial federal subjects, with occasional minor variations. It was drafted personally by Emperor Jimashim I with professional advice and revised in preparation for the ratification of the 1891 Constitution, to be implemented across the Balak Empire as a simple yet innovative electoral system for the modernising nation. The Standard Imperial Model is unique in being a form of two-round block voting. It was devised to grant each county sufficient representation proportional to population without requiring the creation of arbitrary electoral boundaries susceptible to gerrymandering.

Seat apportionment to counties

The specifics of seat apportionment were subject to more variation between federal subjects than the voting system itself. As outlined by Jimashim in the Standard Imperial Model, each county was firstly granted a guaranteed minimum of one seat. Next, the remaining seats are allocated to counties proportionally based on population; Jimashim specified the use of a largest remainder method using the Hare quota for this purpose.

Voting

The Standard Imperial Model used a system of limited voting, i.e. voters could vote for a maximum of one fewer candidate than there were open seats, unless there was only a single seat open, in which case the system operated identically to first-past-the-post. This was implemented by Jimashim to enable minority groups to gain representation which they would otherwise be locked out from if voters could select the same number of candidates as there were open seats.

As a hybrid two-round block voting system, elections were run thusly:

  • A number of seats would be declared open for the next election.
  • Candidates registered for the first round of the election; parties could in theory put forward any number of candidates to run for a seat, but in practice limited themselves to the number of open seats at most.
  • The first round of elections was conducted; if any candidates secured over 50% of the vote, they were automatically returned and considered a winner.
  • If any open seats remained, the top n candidates would move on to a second round of voting, where n is the number of remaining open seats multiplied by 2.
  • Following the second round of voting, the candidates with the highest vote counts filled the remaining open seats.

Example

Jimashim ordered a mock election to be conducted in [year], in a designated county as a trial of his proposed electoral system. The county which was selected was Cerecven County in Maram, which had been a hotbed for pro-democracy sentiment and unrest in the years prior to this experiment. The trial election was held to fill three hypothetical seats, with voters able to cast two votes in the first round. As this was a mock election, this trial did not result in any changes to county leadership, but rather was used to examine the system in practice and serve as a tool to assist in explanations of the new system. As the prototypical case study used to illustrate this electoral system, the results are shown below.

Cerecven County trial election (first round)
Party Candidate Votes  %
Zarasaist Union Qasam Bashtez 17,154 50.0
Zarasaist Union Bashanon Chivayeshim 13,693 39.9
People's Democratic Party Vujen Halashver 12,603 36.7
Zarasaist Union Hazdamli Vuyafe 9,867 28.8
People's Democratic Party Uresh Ghamre 7,069 20.6
Sons of Thagha Kamat Vashnabash 2,195 6.4
Liberal League Zochey Koskeyishim 1,957 5.7
Independent Baha Yemezen 1,579 4.6
Balak Womens' Party Terez Amey 1,093 3.9
Independent Antar Sasvam 798 2.3
Liberal League Kamat Amey 430 1.6
Total 34,295 100.0

Leading candidate Qasam Bashtez received over 50% of the total vote count, and so was awarded a seat automatically. This left two seats open, and as such the next four candidates who received the most votes proceeded to the second round of voting. As there were two open seats, voters were able to cast one vote in the second round.

Cerecven County trial election (second round)
Party Candidate Votes  %
Zarasaist Union Bashanon Chivayeshim 8,868 31.7
People's Democratic Party Vujen Halashver 7,079 25.3
Zarasaist Union Hazdamli Vuyafe 6,971 24.9
People's Democratic Party Uresh Ghamre 5,050 18.1
Total 27,968 100.0

The final set of candidates returned in the trial election consisted of Qasam Bashtez (ZU), Bashanon Chivayeshim (ZU), and Vujen Halashver (PDP).

Electoral calendar

Jimashim promoted a unified electoral calendar - based on the Sayanic calendar - such that all regular elections (i.e. excluding by-elections) would ideally be held at the same time each year. Jimashim's standard electoral calendar was as follows:

  • Sohâma 1st-5th: Polls were open for any eligible citizen to cast their vote in the first round of all elections taking place that year. Ballots were counted as they came in.
  • Sohâma 6th-15th: Ballots for the first round continued to be counted.
  • Sohâma 16th-20th: Campaigning for the second round of voting commenced if applicable.
  • Sohâma 21st-25th: If there was a second round of voting, it took place at this time.
  • Sohâma 26th - A-Huyil 5th: Ballots for the second round continued to be counted if necessary.
  • A-Huyil 15th: Election results are officially confirmed and fixed in place.
  • A-Huyil 30th: Day of the Old Year; politicians gave speeches reflecting on their previous term in office.
  • Juin 1st: Sayanic New Year; incoming politicians were sworn in.

Deviations from the Standard Imperial Model

Hamawan

Thuyo

In late Imperial Thuyo, counties were adopted a raised minimum of two seats starting in [year]. Here, half of the seats in a county would be dedicated to its Balak population, with the other half being dedicated to its native Lahani populations. Where the number of seats was an odd number, the remaining seat would become a Balak seat. This electoral system was maintained under the regime of Ikevesh Vashnabash, which governed Thuyo following its independence from Balakia, and was abolished in favour of [tbd] after her departure from politics in [year].

Modern usage

Balakia

Gushlia

Gushlia continued the use of the Standard Imperial Model for its elections upon its independence from the Union of Shomosvan in 2002, maintaining this system up to the present day.

Amaia

Amaia adopted the Standard Imperial Model in [year], under Balak influence, and continues to use the system in more or less the same form in modern times.

Baghazan

Kunjut

Elections to the Common Council

Local elections

Voting process