Elections in New Ingerland
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Politics and government of New Ingerland
Elections in New Ingerland are held every four years. At these elections, the people of New Ingerland elect members to both Houses of Parliament and the numerous local authorities.
New Ingerland has a unique electoral system, with three different methods used for electing candidates. Depending on the election being held, a different method is used. In the course of an election year, an elector will need to complete four separate ballot papers which will determine his local Member of the House of Assembly, Senator, county councillor, and finally municipal alderman. All New Ingerlanders over the age of twenty-one are eligible to vote. Eligibility for candidacy is essentially the same as eligibility to vote, although there are some differences. The exact date of the elections are fixed by statute, with parliamentary elections are fixed to the first Saturday in March and local elections held on the first Saturday in August, also every four years. New Ingerland maintains a compulsory voting system, with all elector being required to vote at all elections, including any New Ingerland residing outside the country when an election is held.
Elections are carried out by Elections New Ingerland, a crown statutory agency created by the Davidson government in 1983. The agency is kept at arms length of government and runs all local and parliamentary elections. The proper management of an election is overseen by a commission of five prominent New Ingerlanders. The system used to elected politicians has changed several times over the years, with most recent changes having come into force for the 1984 general election.
Eligibility to vote
Entitlement to vote in New Ingerland is based on citizenship:
|Resident citizens||Local elections||Parliamentry elections||Plebiscites||Referendums|
|New Ingerland subjects|
Under the provisions of the Electoral Act, a redrawing of electoral boundaries must occur at least once every eight years and must be complete more than two years before an election would be normally due. All of New Ingerland is divided into single member constituencies, the borders of which are determined by population. Each constituency must have a quota of 7,040 electors, with a margin of 10% allowed above or below this number. To ensure that the quota is attained at every election, the constituency boundaries have to be redrawn from time to time through the process known as a "redistribution".
Held every four years, general elections are used to select all members of the House of Assembly (known as MHAs) and some of the members of the Senate. In this parliament there are 128 MHAs and 68 senators. Each MHA is elected to represent a single-member constituency (known as an electoral district) for a term of four years using the first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system. Meanwhile, senators are elected or appointed from a variety of corporatist groupings for terms or four or eight years also using FPTP where applicable. For each election, a roll of electors is kept to list everyone who is entitled to vote. By law, if an elector is twenty-one or older voting is compulsory, unless the person has a valid and sufficient reason for more being able to cast their vote.
Local elections in New Ingerland take the form of separate regional and county polls, and are always held six months after a general election (usually the first Saturday in August). All local elections use the single transferable voting system to elect county councils of 18 members and municipal councils of 12 from a series of multi-member electorates known as wards. Candidates can only put their name forward on one ballot paper, thereby preventing them from standing to county and municipal government simultaneously. As in parliamentary elections if an elector is twenty-one or older, voting is compulsory unless the person has a valid and sufficient reason in not being able to vote.
Referenda and plebiscites
The Constitution of New Ingerland cannot be changed except by a consensual vote of the people. Any proposal to change the constitution must be approved by a majority of voters in a majority of counties. This "double majority" copied from Australia aims to protect the interests of the smaller counties who might otherwise be disadvantaged by a change to the basic law of the nation. There have been six referenda since the present Constitution was promulgated in 1982, of which three have been approved leading a constitutional change.
The Constitution also allows for the consultation of the people by the government on issues of national importance. This option for a plebiscite is used when legislation may have a significant impact on the population or is considered a divisive issue that may lead to unnecessary civil disturbance if passed into law without the electorate being consulted first. There have been 14 plebiscites taken since 1983, and 10 of these have been approved and later passed into law.
References and notes
- Constitution of New Ingerland (1982). §59
- Electoral Act (Public Act No. 47 of 1983).
- Electoral Act §13