Aaaand the results are in. We got an impressive nineteen votes from a publicly posted poll over only a 24 hour period. I guess it goes to show, sometimes a little chaos creates that political activity we’re all constantly salivating for.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer the poll and let us all know where the race currently stands.
The Big Question: Incumbent ProfessorHenn leads
Prime Minister @ProfessorHenn is coming off the back of a precedent setting and tumultuous term. Of course, the dissolution of the Aurora Alliance grabbed headlines, but the return of a Ministry of Regional Affairs and the end of the Great Council both also deserve mention as notable events. Throughout this process, the Prime Minister has definitely taken a lot of criticism, and one could reasonably assume they may have some difficulty in a re-elect against an experienced opponent who is herself a former Prime Minister.
That said, the top-level poll for Prime Minister showed incumbent ProfessorHenn to have a commanding lead. 7 voters were strong supporters of the incumbent and 9 voters leaned towards supporting the incumbent. Only two voters were either strongly supportive or leaning supportive of challenger @EmC and, perhaps more shocking, only one voter was likely to support re-opening nominations.
That said, this race isn’t a total lock for the incumbent. Fierce questioning, strong outreach, and a good platform by the challenger could sway some of those “lean” voters, but headed into any potential debates it’s clear which candidate has the most ground to cover.
Prime Minister: Potential Additional Candidates
I also asked respondents who that is not currently running that they’d be interested in seeing run for Prime Minister. This optional question received only 9 responses, but the results were still telling. @Pronoun was overwhelmingly a demand for the office, but he seems to have chosen to sit this round out. @ConcreteSlab and myself also both received mention but have announced that we are not seeking election. If either chose to run in this election and won, it would be their first time as Prime Minister. We are also yet to hear from former Prime Ministers @flowerpetal and @Amerion, both of whom could choose to throw their hats into the ring.
Concrete Slab: 2
Purple Hyacinth: 1
Prime Minister: What issues matter?
In an election like this, one of the most important questions is what matters to voters. Integration discussions started by the incumbent have led to a wave of input from members of the role play community, not to mention the multiple dramatic events in foreign affairs this term. As a result, many different issues could potentially pull the attention of the electorate. Foreign affairs (in terms of restoring our public relations after the repeal of the Aurora Alliance) and Integration both tied for 1st place with 5 votes, but several other issues areas including the Aegis Accords, culture, role play, and the RMB all are also on voters’ minds.
Who should be in the Cabinet?
The next Prime Minister, whoever they might be, will need the support of a strong Cabinet to execute their agenda. I asked who people wanted to see in the next Cabinet, regardless of their portfolio or role. 11 respondents answered this optional question. By far the most popular choice was @HumanSanity with 9 votes, followed by @Pronoun with 6, and @flowerpetal with 4. Hya and I are both former Prime Ministers, while @Pronoun has never held the top office before, despite seeming to be highly in-demand for the Cabinet. The candidates at the top of the ticket already, @ProfessorHenn and @EmC, both received relatively few votes, although perhaps respondents did not think of them for Cabinet given they may have picked them for the top spot. @Roavin, Amerion, @anjo, @Belschaft, @Sandaoguo, @Shibuya-Kanon, and @Evi all also received votes. Of those names, only Shibuya-Kanon and Evi have never been in Cabinet before (and, notably, anjo has never been a full Cabinet Minister before, having only served as OWL Director in the past).
Purple Hyacinth: 4
Concrete Slab: 3
Kotoha Tanaka: 2
Neither candidate named their likely Cabinet picks in their campaigns, both choosing instead to leave this for after the election and the confirmation process. I asked voters what they thought of this choice. Many voters were apathetic, with 7 of 19 saying they did not care about the question. Of those who did care, those supporting the practice of not naming likely Cabinet picks outnumbered those who opposed it, 7-to-5. Time may still tell if this election becomes precedent setting.
The Other Big Chair: Delegate
We are also electing a head of state at the same time as our Prime Minister. Delegate @anjo after two terms at the helm will not be seeking re-election, and thus the region will have a new Delechicken. So far, only @Griffindor has declared interest in running for Delegate, so I asked voters how they felt about this.
Of 19 voters, 18 of them were some variety of “happy with Griffindor”. However, only 3 of them said they were sufficiently happy with Griffindor that they wouldn’t like to see other candidates. 15 respondents said they were happy with Griffindor but they’d like to see other candidates. Only 1 of the responses said they weren’t happy with Griffindor and would like to see other candidates.
Time will tell if anyone else will take the opportunity this leaves to challenge Griffindor, but the region seems at a glance to have trust in the current Associate Justice and Coral Guard member.
Potential Delegate Challengers
Like with the Prime Minister race, I asked if there were any last minute candidates people wanted to see enter the field. Former Delegate and current Minister of Foreign Affairs @Amerion was the most popular choice, with 4 respondents wanting the Admiral General to declare candidacy. Several of the nominees are ineligible, with myself not having the required endorsements and Election Commissioner Kringle being unable to run in an election he is facilitating. That said, Chair Cryo, Glen, and Poppy each received a nomination for the position that they could potentially consider.
What matters for a Delegate
Like in the Prime Minister election, we asked what the most important issue is for voters in the Delegate contest. The options offered differed significantly from the Prime Minister election, with an emphasis on gameside and internal affairs rather than matters of executive policy. Two options were the overwhelming priority of voters. 9 of 19 voters said the ability of the Delegate to act as a ceremonial head of state was most important and 7 of 19 voters said the endorsement count of the Delegate mattered to them. One voter each said bridging on-site and off-site divides and on-site/RMB interaction were important to them.
The eternal question…
Lastly, we asked voters the eternal question: cake or pie? By the slimmest of margins, the correct choice (thankfully) won out, with 10 voters preferring the righteous cake compared to 9 preferring the disgusting pie. As for the ice cream lobby, they should be aware they are not a stand-alone desert, but rather a valid complement to either cake or pie, and thus I stand by my decision to exclude them from the poll.
On that note, there’s about 12 more hours for candidates to declare candidacy if they’re interested. And after that, I look forward to seeing people at the polls