Senate By-Election Liveblog -- June 2024

Good afternoon Europeia!!

Voting has begun on our second Senate By-Election in the last week, and the competition is already heating up. We are about two hours into this election, featuring candidates @Caldrasa, @Ellenburg, @Industhan, and @John Laurens, and with 29 votes in, Ellenburg currently holds the lead.

The first correspondent to chime in on today's liveblog will be none other than my Vice President, Grea Kriopia. GK, have just survived your first election in Euro yourself, do you have any thoughts about how this election is shaping up? Any predictions that you'd like to share with the crowd?

Stay tuned for more updates!
Good afternoon all!

I don't see much surprise in voting currently -- Ellenburg is an experienced pick who has been out GOTV'ing already, whereas I personally have yet to hear from any other candidates (maybe that's just me, tho). As with the election you and I recently faced, being first out of the gate with GOTV can make all the difference for any undecided voters out there.

Prior to voting opening, there was some interesting #grand-hall conversation about the region's tendency to skew toward older, established Senate candidates, and voters don't seem interested in bucking that trend this time around. Nor did they really in the previous two By-Elections -- where Gem and OD vastly outpaced Prov to a run-off and Sopo won without a run-off despite standing rather last minute.

While some remain adamant the Senate is open to newcomers, I wonder if recent disagreements over Senate Subs and now three Senate By-Elections offer us more insight into how true this is. My two cents: Euro's core community has aged in time, wanting Senators who reflect themselves rather than Senators who present as younger and more inexperienced. I'm happy to take criticism on this but it felt very pointed in the criticism people offered Industhan and Prov for opposing Minister of Gameside Andy's confirmation. It wasn't the decision itself, as people criticized OD for, rather than their lack of detailed debate and perceived flip-flopping on the topic -- things more characteristic of inexperience than an older senator.
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That is a very interesting point GK! I definitely think that people should weigh in on that either here (DM me if interested) or in the Grand Hall!

Coming up next is the one and only Omukama -- @SkyGreen. Sky, you ran the liveblog for our last By-Election; what differences do you see between this race and that one?
Hello dear UPC.
Yeah, this election is notably different. While in the last one phdre mentioned no gotv, whereas sopo apparently gotved quite strongly. In this situation the two leading candidates have a much smaller gap.
Caldrasa has been doing great and making progress as a newcomer. Industhan has also made some progress, although it seems Cal is the more visible newcomer here.

Ellenburg has an advantage, and if the GOTV I just got from JL is any indication, the advantage might stem from the fact Ell gotved before polls opened, whereas JL seems to be a bit delayed and going into the voting time slot
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Great points all around, thank you Sky! And speaking of Caldrasa's performance, Senate Speaker @Cordova I has informed me that he has some thoughts about that! Mr. Speaker, would you care to comment?
Thank you very much for having me, Mr. President.

I am very impressed with Cal's vote count. As of the posting of this message, Cal has 6 votes, which is quite impressive for someone who has never been a cabinet minister or held elected office before.

Cal is now in third place, just behind Ellenburg and JL.

I attribute Cal's strong showing to their energy, stamina and enthusiasm. This is the third election Cal has run in, the first being the most recent general Senate election and the second being the recent presidential election.

And although Cal lost the first two elections, their energy, eagerness and passion will be enormous assets as they embark on their career in Europeia.

Although I publicly endorsed Ellenburg and did not vote for Cal in this election, I can definitely see myself voting for Cal in the future, once they have gained more experience and become more knowledgeable about the way our government functions and our laws. Of course, only time and hard work will allow them to gain such experience.

Cal is a young rising star in Europeia and I am very excited to see the progression of their career in our region.

Keep an eye on Cal: they're going places!
Excellent points Mr. Speaker, and especially prescient coming so soon after Caldrasa was featured in our Citizen Spotlight!

We have had 7 more votes in since our last check on the vote tallies, and while Ellenburg is still leading with 16 votes, John Laurens is not far behind him at 12.

@Vor, you have been actively engaging with our candidates this election, and recently committed your vote to JL. What convinced you to do that, and do you think that JL's promise to engage in oversight with every minister every week might pose an unnecessary burden on our Executive?
Hello mr. President, thank you for the question!

Like I expressed in my post in JL's platform, I think oversight is generally not done, even when the region really needs it. Senators will often express that they'd step up to do oversight when a ministry is not performing its core duties, but I don't believe they ever pay enough attention to the executive to notice.

JL's promised routine commitment to oversight may be unappealing to most. Simply reporting on ministerial duties to the senate is seen by many as redundant, or like you say, an unnecessary burden. I think what is more than an unnecessary burden, though, is when large periods of inactivity plague a ministry, but nothing is done about it. Equally critical is when several campaign promises are not followed, but there's no accountability or transparency about it. I believe the Senate has an imperative to address these kinds of issues, rather than remain ignorant to them. I expect JL's plan to expose any enduring inactivity issues, something that would've likely caught Lime's inactivity last term earlier for example, which I think is a step in the right direction. That is why I placed my vote with JL this cycle.

As for whether it might pose an unnecessary burden, certainly it can. It all depends on how JL does it. Any questions that would require more investment from a minister than short regular activity updates would, could easily become overkill. JL will have to make sure to keep his inquiries compact, concrete, and otherwise reasonable.
Thank you for your thoughts, Vor!

@sanjurika you are up next. This is our third Senate By-Election in a month, what do you think that means? What are your thoughts on this Senate in general, and how do you think our newest Senator will integrate into the body?
Thank you for your thoughts, Vor!

@sanjurika you are up next. This is our third Senate By-Election in a month, what do you think that means? What are your thoughts on this Senate in general, and how do you think our newest Senator will integrate into the body?
hello o.o

If every senator were resigning for the same reason I think there would be cause for alarm (or at least some soul searching). As it stands though, every former Senator has resigned for a markedly different reason. Speaker Lloenflys due to unavoidable real life commitments. Senator Ervald resigned after stating they would do so in their campaign platform. And Senator Prim resigned after being nominated and confirmed for Chief Justice. So in this particular case, I think the resignations are largely factors outside of the Senates control.

In general I have been very happy with the work the Senate has done so far! There are 6 relatively active discussions being discussed by a 7 (soon to be 8) person Senate. I think that’s great news and bodes well for the future of the Senate. Whoever is elected to be the newest Senator should have plenty of things to talk about and hash out. Regardless of if it’s their first term or if they/ve served multiple!
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Good points, Sanju! While three Senate By-elections has been above the norm, they've all been for fairly typical reasons rather than any wild crisis.

@JayDee is joining us this evening to weigh in -- Mr. JayDee, what are your thoughts on the race so far as we are almost halfway through voting? Any thoughts on this By-Election compared to the previous two?
Whelp I forgot to post and now the election is in a runoff so here we go again.

I can’t say I’m surprised by the result, Ellenburg would’ve really had to wow the region to win right out against a crowded field. Both he and JL have been gotv-ing very intensely as opposed to the previous election where I believe only Sopo was.

As others have pointed out, I think the real stand out performance has been Caldrasa. It’s uncommon for an inexperienced candidate to win a by-election but he’s someone to watch out for in the General Election and has made obvious improvements just between the last by-election. With a bit more gotv-ing I could easily see him and JL swapping places in the runoff.

I don’t think I can make a positive prediction just yet. Ellenburg has the experience but JL seems to have found a style that is authentic and resonates with the region, something that he had been struggling with in previous election. I think we’re in for a good runoff and all candidates have a lot to be proud of!