Historic day as GUM vote earns unanimous support

Standard

Above: election leaflets were erected on bean poles and bird feeders by the Yes campaign ahead of today’s vote.

It was an historic day in Leylandiistan & Gurvata as the country went to vote in the first referendum in the Confederation’s history. In the end, all voters supported the ballot question, which was whether or not to accept the Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM). Béal na Tíre has the full summary of the day’s events.

DSC_0001[1]

Above: the polling station at Orchardstown after opening for voting.

The weather was warm and sunny on the day the Confederation went to the polls. A final bit of campaigning was done by the Yes side, who supported the GUM charter, by erecting leaflets around Orchardstown. There was no campaign put together to oppose the GUM Charter. The Act ordering the referendum set the voting hours as 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. However, the opening of the polling station pushed back to 3:30 p.m., a fact that was announced on the government twitter feed:

Thankfully, no citizen was left waiting outside the polling station. Voting got underway not long after the polling station opened at 3:30 p.m. The ballot box was located centrally in the Government Buildings, the venue for the polling station in Orchardstown, with an area for voters to cast their preference to the left. Béal na Tíre positioned its exit poll surveyer, a tablet on a stand, outside the polling station so voters could avail of it as they exited.

Above: a look into the polling station in Orchardstown, with the ballot papers on the left and the ballot box on the right.

Voters trickled in as the afternoon progressed. Co-President Ó Cathail  was the first to cast his ballot, followed by other Orchardstown residents. Co-President Ó Ceocháin was the last  to cast his ballot, one minute before polling closed at 6:00 p.m. All voters participated in the Béal na Tíre exit poll, which at 6:12 p.m. projected an overwhelming victory for the “Yes” side:

Above: the polling station rules posted on the window (left), voters completed the exit poll survey on the tablet provided by Béal na Tíre (centre), Co-President Ó Cathail casts his ballot (right).

Counting began at 6:30 p.m. and concluded not long after. Turnout was 80%, with one Gurvatan citizen not showing up to vote. All four votes cast were for the “Yes” side, supporting the GUM Charter. The result matched the 100% projection from the Béal na Tíre exit poll.

After the votes were counted, the Co-Presidents signed the Grand Unified Micronational Charter Ratification Act to confirm the result of the plebiscite and consequently ratify the Charter on behalf of Leylandiistan & Gurvata. Commenting on the result, Co-President Ó Cathail said that the vote was “a resounding endorsement for the Confederation’s membership of the GUM, as well as our overall participation in the micronational community.” He added that the success of the referendum paved the way for further decisions to be made through referenda. Co-President Ó Ceocháin said that the result was unquestionable, and that the referendum was very successful. Leylandiistan & Gurvata has been the only nation to put the GUM Charter to a referendum, and with the support of everyone who voted, the Confederation shall now join the 16 other nations who have ratified the Charter in restarting the Grand Unified Micronational. Only one more nation needs to ratify the Charter in order for the organisation to be restarted.

Advertisements

Campaign begins amidst beautiful weather

Standard

Above: oats (left) and barley (right) ripen in the sunshine

The referendum campaign has begun in Leylandiistan & Gurvata as warm sunny conditions were reported across the country. Not a whisp of cloud was to be seen in any corner of the blue sky which has covered the Confederation for the past week, with temperatures well over 20 degrees C. The weather conditions are ideal for cereal crops, like oats and barley, which are currently in the pollinating phase which precedes grain formation. The other crops are also thriving in the pleasant conditions, with the first harvests expected for July.

The beautiful weather today was the backdrop for the start of the campaign. Co-President Ó Cathail was campaigning in support of Leylandiistan & Gurvata’s membership of GUM. He was campaigning under the brand of his mostly defunct party from the pre-Union days, Conradh Daonlathais. He distributed leaflets advocating a “Yes” vote in tomorrow’s referendum. Campaigning will continue briefly tomorrow before voters go to the polls in the afternoon.

Voting begins tomorrow at 2 p.m. with the results being announced after polling closes at 6p.m. Béal na Tíre will be providing a projection of the result before this official announcement using our exit poll, a digital innovation which will be put to voters exiting the polling station. No opinion polling has been carried out to date, so the exit poll will give the first indication of how the Confederation’s citizens voted.

Referendum on GUM Charter to be held

Standard

The Co-Presidents today signed into law an Act which has authorised a referendum to be held this Friday, 3rd June, on the Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM). The Government decided to put the Confederation’s ratification of the Charter to a plebiscite, the first in two years, since the constitutional referendum in Leylandiistan in February 2014. The Grand Unified Micronational Charter Referendum Act 2016 was signed into law in the newly-declared capital of Orchardstown this evening. Leylandiistan & Gurvata will be the only prospective member state of the GUM to put the Charter to a referendum.

The law on the referendum has allowed for just one polling station, at the Government Buildings in Orchardstown. Due to the lack of a census or other form of citizenry records, the National Treasury was authorised to supply a list of known residents who pay taxes to the Treasury, in order to create a list of eligible voters. The polling station will open at 2:00 p.m. and close at 6:00 p.m., after which the votes will be counted.

Béal na Tíre will be providing extensive coverage of the campaign and the vote itself. Arrangements are being made to provide an exit poll, surveying voters exiting the polling station, giving an approximate result half an hour before polls are closed. The campaign will be short, given less than 72 hours remain until the vote begins. Co-President Ó Cathail, a former Vice-Chair of the GUM, is expected to campaign for a “Yes” vote, with Co-President Keohane’s position being unclear.

In other news, Co-President Ó Cathail has written to Co-President Ó Ceocháin to notify him of his absence from office for three weeks, beginning this Saturday. He has invoked the procedure outlined in the Acting Presidency Act 2016, in order to allow Co-President Ó Ceocháin to serve as the Confederation’s acting president for the first three weeks of June from Saturday. Ó Cathail will continue to serve as Foreign Secretary, although he will not be able to exercise this office to full capability due to the lack of access to an internet connection during his absence, which is due to a holiday.

Orchardstown declared capital city of the Confederation

Standard

The Co-Presidents have signed legislation which officially designates Orchardstown as the capital of the Confederation of Leylandiistan & Gurvata. The Classification of Locations Act 2016 was signed into law today to acknowledge the fact that much of the government’s activities are already carried out from the Government Buildings in Orchardstown, as well as to address the lack of a defined capital city under previous legislation. The Act also defined Leylandiistan and Gurvata as the two distinct inhabited constituents of the Confederation, and both will be classed as “regions” of the Confederation. Regional capitals were assigned to both regions, with Leylandiistan’s being Orchardstown and Gurvata choosing “the Tree” as their regional capital, being the former venue of the Gurvatan parliament.

As capital of Leylandiistan & Gurvata, Orchardstown will be considered the seat of government. All governmental activities will be carried out from Orchardstown, and the Government Buildings shall be considered the default location of all government sub-bodies.

Another bill was also enacted today by the Co-Presidents. The Acting Presidency Act 2016 creates the office of Acting President in the case of the absence of one of the Co-Presidents for a long period of time. The Acting President will assume the duties of the absent Co-President, should they give three day’s notification of their absence.  The Acting President does not have any additional duties, however they may sign temporary legislation into law called “Emergency Acts”. These Acts would cease to be law as soon as the absent Co-President returns. The Acting President would also return to being a Co-President as soon as the other Co-President returns. The Act is intended to facilitate the absence of Co-Presidents should they be unable to carry out their duties for an prolonged period of time.

Government formed in Mercia following tense vote

Standard

A government has been formed in Mercia following the first meeting of the Mercian Parliament House. In a surprise defeat for the coalition of opposition parties, the NLP were able to form a minority administration by winning the vote for First Minister. This development was unexpected, as a coalition of the PDP, SDP and one Green-Socialist MP, who hold six seats, was expected to outvote the NLP, who hold the other five seats, and form their own government.

The coalition scheduled today’s meeting in advance with the Speaker of the Mercian Parliament, formally known as the Convener of the Crossbenches, Count Frisch. It commenced at 8 p.m. G.M.T., with the Speaker opening the session when a majority of members were present. 9 of the 11 members were present, with Baron Wu of the PDP and Baron McCarthy of the SDP being absent. The first item on the agenda was the nominations for First Minister. The NLP nominated their new leader Earl Eden, who was selected to replace Baron Ó Cathail following his resignation a few days ago. The PDP leader, Baron Whyatt, nominated himself on behalf of his party. NLP MPs also nominated Baron McFarlane, Baron Newton and Baron McCarthy of the coalition parties, a move the purpose of which is not particularly apparent.

The vote then proceeded, before being suspended and re-ordered by the Speaker in order to make sure all votes were cast in the same format. The result was greatly surprising, given the presumption by some media outlets that the coalition would take power. Earl Eden won 5 votes, while Baron Whyatt won 4 votes. The absence of two of the coalition MPs resulted in the opposition losing the vote to cast the NLP out of power. The coalition MPs made clear their protests to the Speaker, who eventually had to call an end to the vote when it became clear the two absent MPs would not be appearing. Baron Belcher, of the SDP, expressed his condemnation towards “the actions of the NLP in purposefully derailing the business of the House in the interests of their own party”. Baron McFarlane of the PDP said how it was “outrageous that the NLP is trying to ignore 2 democratically elected MPs.” Nonetheless, the vote was called to an end, with Earl Eden nominated by the house as First Minister-elect.

In accordance with the rules of parliamentary procedure, a motion of confidence was then held in Earl Eden, which he also won with five in support and four against. The Speaker then announced the result, and declared Earl Eden to be the First Minister of Mercia. Baron Newton left the House in protest at the announcement. The Speaker called the house into order, after which the House approved a motion for a recess in order to allow the First Minister to prepare a speech. The House reconvened to adjourn for the day an hour later.

The NLP has thus been re-elected to a third term in government, with Earl Eden succeeding Baron Ó Cathail as First Minister and NLP leader. However, as a minority administration, Eden’s government remains vulnerable to being outvoted by the opposition, particularly in a motion of no-confidence. The new Mercian government thus faces additional challenges in the weeks ahead. Earl Eden will be announcing his cabinet in the next few days, and will schedule the next meeting of Parliament with the Speaker.

Response to QSJ editorial on Mercia

Standard

The First Minister of Mercia, Baron Ó Cathail, offers his view on a recent editorial published regarding the current state of Mercian politics.

I would like respond to some of the points raised in a recent editorial published on the Quetico Street Journal. Before I offer my point of view, I would like to state that I am not criticising the right of foreign observers to comment on domestic situations in a given nation, I myself have done so before. I do feel, however, that it is my duty as the outgoing First Minister of Mercia to defend my record.

The first point I would like to respond to is the claim that my party, the National Liberal Party, is involved in “suspicious activities, including bribery”. They are just that, claims. Firstly, it is actually quite difficult to envisage how anyone could be involved in bribery in a micronational situation. Would “Micro-dollars” be covertly added to the perpetrators account, or money sent via Pay-Pal? Secondly, I feel the author has been misled by members of the opposition parties in Mercia, when he speaks of suspicious activities. The party I lead would never tolerate any covert or illegal activities aimed to advance the party’s interest, it is simply inconceivable. I would have no hesitation in removing any member committing such acts immediately. If, however, he is referring to my party’s contact with the other parties in the Mercian Parliament, then I fail to see how there is anything “suspicious” about it. Any party which is mature enough to govern, as my party has shown in the past two terms, is entitled to go about exploring opportunities to form a government with other parties, and making enquiries and offers to other parties. That’s part of politics, and without it the government formation process would be much more prolonged and inefficient.

The second point I want to address is that my party will be “largely void of the decision making”. I have made it clear that my party will push to implement our manifesto regardless of whether we are in government or opposition. This is particularly important when you consider that the NLP manifesto received the most endorsement at the ballot box. In addition, the parties which intend to form a government in the next term should be thankful that it was I who led the last two governments, for I included them as much as possible in the decision making. Collaborative, co-operative government was the trademark of my governments, who supported a number of opposition bills which were in line with our policies and values. I would expect the next government to continue this positive policy, and if so, we shall certainly not be left out of the decision making. It is not in anyone’s interests to leave the party who earned the most votes out of the decision making.

Lastly, I want to challenge the claim that my party’s members have shown disrespect or behaved in a fashion unbecoming of them. Not one derogatory comment has been made by any of my members to any other Mercian. The many opinions offered over the last few days have been legitimate concerns regarding the coalition proposal put together by the opposition, together with their unwillingness to work with the party which received the largest share of the vote. If the opposition cannot handle criticism, then how will they fare in government? Do they then truly value our democratic principles? There is also nothing wrong with our party chairman “pouting” because his party was left out of the next government; it is natural for him to support his party in this way, and to show concern at the possible future direction of the country.

I would like to thank the author for sharing his views, but I would use this article as a cautionary example against the deceptive claims made by the opposition currently trying to form a government. They will make out that we don’t respect democracy, when we have championed it in government, particularly in the case of the Wurtige Referendum. They will make us out as spiteful and un-cooperative, when our party co-operated with the opposition on many things in the past, and will continue to do so. To conclude, I have this to say; judge us not on rumours, but on our record in government.

(This editorial does not reflect the views of Béal na Tíre or the Government of Leylandiistan & Gurvata which acts as operator to Béal na Tíre)

Government website launched

Standard

govlg.orglogo

The Government has purchased an internet domain and published a government website. The domain govlg.org was purchased using National Treasury funding. The website features information on the Government’s agencies, structures and departments, as well as hosting an archive of all legislation enacted. In addition, the website features a summary of the Confederation’s history and a feature page on the products made by various enterprises within Leylandiistan & Gurvata. A summary of the nation’s regions is also given.

No website related to Leylandiistan & Gurvata has been published since the union between the two nations in August 2014. Previously, the Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan had its government website at leylandiistan.co.nr, along with separate websites for its postal service and television broadcasting service. All these websites were subsequently deleted following the union. The government website will reduce the Government’s dependancy on Béal na Tíre in order to make important national announcements, for example the enacting of legislation, and will become the main reference point for the Confederation on the internet. According to the first post in the government updates section, the website is intended to compliment the Government’s existing presence on social media, which includes the Twitter handle @LeylandiiGov and accounts for this publication on Tumblr and Twitter.

The creation of the government website marks a major milestone in the implementation of the “Plan for 2016“, the Government’s agenda for the year. The programme specifically called for the creation of a website as one of the Government’s major goals for the year ahead. With this goal now complete, the Government will now move on to selecting a capital city for the Confederation, something which has not been designated to date.