[Inside Government] Peeps Wins Senate By-election

Peeps Wins Senate By-election
Close 5-person Contest Goes to Runoff

Written by Seva and Dracondra

(Voting Booth, Europeia) On Saturday, July 2, polls closed for the runoff of the Senate by-election, revealing the Right Honourable Peeps as the winner of the election with a 29-26 vote against returning member Gaudosia, famous for running in two presidential elections while still being a newcomer to Europeia.

This runoff follows a 5-person by-election triggered by the resignation of former senator Poseidon63 (more commonly known simply as Poseidon). On June 9, he had taken a leave of absence due to real life issues from the Senate but not from his position as Minister of Interior, sparking surprise among Europeians. This feeling would have remained merely a surprise; however, on one of the last days of his leave of absence, Poseidon posted 154 times in one of the spam game threads on the forum (spam games are his hobby and he has the third-highest post count of all Europeian forum members). That motivated GraVandius to initiate a recall petition. In his petition, GraVandius stated that he “does not support individuals being able to take a LOA from only some of the things they have committed to in the region”, calling Poseidon’s leave of absence itself “an affront to one of our major institutions.” Spamming while on a leave of absence he considered “ridiculous.”

At first, many citizens were hesitant to support the petition, but that changed when HEM lent his signature to it, saying “at this stage, we need to weigh the interests of one Senator against the interests of the region having full, elected, representation in the Senate.” This statement seemed to have convinced many, and the petition reached the required threshold - 14 signatures - within less than 24 hours. Poseidon commented in the petition, explaining that his spamming helped to relieve stress and was no comparison to work in the Senate. He went on to say that he had focussed on Interior matters and had hoped to return to the Senate with renewed enthusiasm. However, citing the thread’s overall negative view of his service in the Senate as a reason, Poseidon tendered his resignation.

After his resignation, questions were raised, initially by PhDre, about the inconsistencies and confusion in the timeline. These revelations about false information led to some signatures being withdrawn, however the original signatories GraVandius and HEM stood by their positions.

Although discussions continued, the petition had been rendered void by the resignation. Vice Chancellor Istillian confirmed that the now-redundant required signature threshold had been met, and organised a by-election to fill the vacancy in the Senate. JayDee and Celia/Prov were quick out of the blocks to announce their standing; in the next two days they would be joined by Gaudosia, Peeps and then Izzy in a highly competitive 5-candidate election for a single senate seat.

The platforms focused on various issues, including ways to punish inactive senators, minister confirmation reform, the Frontier Act introduced by McEntire, and gameside reform.

Izzy’s campaign was a self-described “form of protest,” and he declared in his platform that “the current political system does not offer enough opportunity for engagement.” Peeps focused his platform on the idea of “restarting Arnhelm City Council as a gameside council” as a way to engage gameside nations. Gaudosia and Celia published platforms that were rundowns of their opinions on current legislation in the Senate, although Gaudosia’s platform was longer and offered an explanation why he was running for Senate right after returning from a long break from the region. JayDee proposed a discussion on how to better punish inactive senators as well as minister confirmation reform to “[allow] the President to appoint Ministers while the Senate can veto appointments if they so choose.” This reform was also supported by Peeps.

The election saw Peeps going into an early lead, and eventually he got a plurality of votes with 22. There was a close contest for second place between Gaudosia and Izzy as Gaudosia clinched a spot in the runoff with 12 votes to Izzy’s 10. Given that Izzy was running as a protest candidate, his success in the election may indicate a degree of dissatisfaction with Europeia’s current system among the citizenry.

In the runoff against Peeps, Gaudosia got most of the votes from the eliminated candidates, climbing to 26 votes, but Peeps also managed to get some additional votes and won the election with 29. He published an acceptance speech in his platform thread where he congratulated Gaudosia on “a well fought campaign”, thanked everyone who voted for him, and promised to be “the strong voice Europeia deserves.”