People’s Assembly Kicks Off With Informal Election of Acting Chair
Citizens Already Discussing Proposals
Written by Pland Adanna
On February 4, 2023, the citizenry elected Ei! as acting Chair of the People’s Assembly. Ei! avoided a runoff, clinching 56% of the vote against Turbiatop’s 31% and John Laurens’s 14%. Senate Speaker GraVandius appointed Ei! to the position of Chair a couple of hours after voting closed. Thirty-six citizens voted, compared to the 63 that voted in the presidential election two weeks earlier and the 48 that voted in the referendum on the People’s Assembly Omnibus Act. Still, turnout exceeded the votes cast in favor of creating the People’s Assembly which stood at 31.
The campaign saw few ideological divides between the candidates, with all of them pledging to champion the new citizens’ legislature. One difference between Ei! and their opponents was Turbiatop and John Laurens’s announcements, in response to questions from voters, that they would pursue legal education if elected. Ei! stated that “legislative training would certainly be a good initiative, but not one that I have any good ideas for as of right now.” During the campaign, Ei! ran on empowering members of the People’s Assembly to practice legislating, as well as reducing anxiety in that process.
“I once again wish to express my gratitude to the people of Europeia for placing their trust in me! I would also like to commend my opponents in the election for a respectable performance, I'm sure that Turbiatop and John Laurens would have been good Chairs,” Ei! told the EBC. “Moving forwards, from the People's Assembly itself, I would like to see citizens engage with the institution, for the institution to inspire citizens and people alike to get involved with it and the wider Europeian community. I am also quite excited to start working on the project of legislative training with my as of now unannounced Deputy Chair.” Ei! has since named Turbiatop to the position of Deputy Chair.
Citizens have already started discussing proposals in the new legislative body, focusing on internal governance and structure. SpagTop proposed the Chair Archival Duties Ordinance, which aims to create records of People’s Assembly legislation, documents, votes, and chairs. The Chair Vacancy Procedures Act, authored by Ei!, seeks to codify that a Deputy Chair of the People’s Assembly would assume the position of Chair if that position was vacated before the end of the term. Turbiatop has presented a third proposal with the goal of setting a protocol for debates.
All of this comes as citizens are watching to see whether the People’s Assembly will succeed. After spending roughly three months in the Senate undergoing much debate and potential change, the People’s Assembly Omnibus Act passed 6-1 in mid-January. President Icarus sent the bill to a referendum, drawing some criticism and debate. Although citizens discussed the merits of the bill, the proposed practicalities of the People’s Assembly, the potential effects on regional activity, and the president’s decision to send the bill to a referendum, the bill received 65% of the vote and was enacted.