Pacitalian general election, January 2006
|Incumbent party||Federation of Progressive Democrats|
|Winner||Federation of Progressive Democrats|
|Prime-minister elect||Constantino Sorantanali|
|Balloting date||25th January, 2006|
|Latest poll|| FPD 43.9, PSC 27.8,|
Strategic Vision (23-Jan-2006)
The 111th federal general election occurred in the Democratic Capitalist Republic of Pacitalia on 25th January, 2006. The incumbent Federation of Progressive Democrats, now led by Constantino Sorantanali, retained their hold on power with a victory that placed the FPD in their sixth-straight majority government dating back to 1988. This was despite the fact that the governing party's popular vote share dropped 9.1% from the 2004 election that saw Timothy Ell elected to a third term. The FPD earned 42.5% of the popular vote, while Fernando Chiovitti's Pacitalian Social Coalition won a 25.7% share. The Pacitalian Greens dropped from opposition status to third in the vote.
The PSC gained an extra few percentage points on the FPD in the early stages of the campaign when Chiovitti blasted the governing party's test of a blanket ban on cigarette smoking (the ban ends 1st January, 2007 unless a member in the lower house submits a bill mandating permanency of the ban). Chiovitti was livid, calling it "arrogant" and "authoritarian" (1), while the FPD and Sorantanali responded by stating there were obvious benefits to the general health of the public (2). This was an interesting twist to the campaign because in a separate poll a majority of those who had just switched from the FPD to the PSC as a result of the ban were indeed cigarette smokers. From then on, the media referred to these people as "tobacco wafflers".
Sorantanali, a Sambucan, had won the FPD's leadership contest in December 2005, defeating rivals Mariana Cosima Vincenza and Castel Devante, both from Ciocanto. It left only three weeks for Sorantanali to campaign but he emerged (somewhat ironically due to developments later in the year) as a competent and no-nonsense candidate for prime minister. He even caused his first bit of controversy when Space Union, Pacitalia's northeastern neighbour, offered to host bilateral diplomatic talks with the new government. Sorantanali told reporters he would do his best to inhibit neighbour Space Union from adopting Absolute Capitalism, a Macabean-born ideology, adding that, if Space Union switched to the AbsoCap system, there would be no such talks if he were elected. The comments were an enormous catalyst, as Space Unionist citizens revolted, booting the increasingly autocratic Harsimran Mann from office and eventually replacing him with Satpul Singh. This peaceful and rather anticlimactic end came after looming threats of small-time conflict between Pacitalia and Space Union, including the possibility that Pacitalia would send elite special operations forces into Space Union to either capture Mann or restore order where Space Unionist national police and the country's army—national guard division were failing.
Two days after Sorantanali's words the campaign received its first comedic twist as the FPD leader was the first federal election candidate in 29 years to be pied by a protestor. Marco Manoni, a 25-year-old anti-globalisation activist from Nortemera, approached Sorantanali, who was flipping pancakes and ham steaks at a breakfast rally, and pied him. He was subsequently tackled by security guards and escorted to a waiting police van. Manoni was wearing a pink Anarchist League of Pacitalia armband but the party's leader, Vera Campagnolo, was quick to distance herself and her party from the act, calling it "preposterous", and adding "[the ALP does] not throw pies at people", that instead, they "wave flags, hold signs, flash banners, and get [their] message out with voices and [literature]" (3).
The pieing seemed to further humiliate Sorantanali as his party experienced another slight sag in party support to the point where analysts predicted an FPD minority was the most likely scenario (4). But even the analysis was out-of-sync, as two different pollsters showed the opposition PSC opening up as much as a six-point lead on the incumbents on polls released on the 14th and 15th January. Sorantanali appeared to turn that trend around quite quickly when he warned that a PSC government would lead to "economic impotency" and that the PSC's budget ideas had as much as a "74 billion doura accounting hole" (5). A poll released two days later showed the FPD back on top with a two-point lead.
Meanwhile, the Greens under Neros Constantakis had experienced a slight spike in support in the last five days of the campaign, but saw that support slowly flayed off by the two leading parties. In response, Constantakis pleaded with voters to consider a "third option" so that Pacitalia's future was "fully protected, economically, socially and environmentally." The voters did not bite and the Greens' support level remained the same (varying between 12 and 14 percent depending on the surveyor) straight through to election day.
The Non-Partisan Association had split from the FPD in late 2005 worrying that Timothy Ell and Constantino Sorantanali were taking the moral weight out of government, and nullifying its purpose. A caucus of 28 FPDers split left to form the centrist NPA, but for a party that was riding a wave of interest, the party was still essentially as quiet as the Communists on the campaign trail.
The Communists, widely seen as having the most intense rhetoric and most intense style of campaign (relying on street-blitz guerrilla campaigning to get their messages across rather than conventional television, radio and newspaper adverts), were oddly quiet due to the poor health of leader Lemvi Megescu, who was recovering from a triple coronary artery bypass. Megescu was absent from numerous debates and party functions. As a result of this silence, the Communists lost much support in opinion polls heading into voting day.
Among major parties
The Federation was still a bit shaken up by the resignation of Timothy Ell, who had quit in order to raise his first-born child, which was due sometime in February of 2006. Ell was concerned that his continued stay in the office might lead to apathy among voters as well as fracture within the party as members looked for a new leader to direct them through the latter half of the decade. Wished well by numerous international political figures, Ell set off to raise his family, leaving the stage open for the next leader of the party. Sorantanali led the FPD to another strong showing, winning a 55-seat majority in the lower house and another senatorial majority.
Fernando Chiovitti was trying to campaign and reform the party's constitution to follow a more centrist ideology, and, according to numerous political scientists, and the numbers themselves, did an honourable job. He inherited a party fractured by the poor leadership of his predecessors Aracio Partiva and Verano Ampasora and funding and advertising scandals which were highly detrimental to the PSC's image. The party finished a dismal third in the 2004 elections, a mere month after Chiovitti had taken over, capturing just under twelve percent of the popular vote. However, they rebounded to wrest opposition status back from the Greens in the January 2006 vote, re-cementing their status as a top-three party in Pacitalia. It was indeed a very different scenario from just two years earlier where the party looked to be in danger of disbanding, as the PSC rebounded from a horrific count of 22 seats in the 2004 election to win 163 in an expanded parliament.
Meanwhile, the Pacitalian Greens, led by Neros Constantakis, settled back down into a more natural third in the January vote. They had only taken opposition status in 2004 because the PSC was in disarray and there was no other real option for an opposition to the government apart from the neofascist Partia di Traditionale or the Communists. Constantakis' leadership did not come into question post-vote as nearly everyone watching the election expected the settling to happen. The Greens still finished with a solid 12.6 percent of the popular vote and 70 seats in the Constazione Ampoliticato Federali.
A new party, the Non-Partisan Association, was making its electoral debut. They fared very well under former Agustinate of Labour Aria Speranza, winning 41 seats in the CAF to finish fourth on election night. It had campaigned on a simple policy of "working government", one which minimised corruption, did not engage in what it called "partisan hackery", and focused on domestic growth in both the fiscal and social realms.
Among minor parties
Marco Quirinamo's Partia di Traditionale had fared respectably in elections since its inception in 1988. However, it suffered heavy blows from the mismanagement of former leader Roberta Santo Paraggia and ex-party president Samueli Spragonti. The PdT replaced them with Quirinamo and Roach-Busterian Dr Alexander Farndorber, who worked to restore the image of the party and bring it slightly left out of its widely-unappealing neofascist beliefs to a more "moralist, Christian-democratic" ideology. The PdT gained from this, but only slightly, finishing with a share of the vote that was 0.4 percent higher than its 2004 tally. They won 15 seats in the 2006 vote.
The election saw the resurrection of the Workers' Cooperative Alliance in Pacitalia, led by Jávier Grandinetti. The party had disbanded previously in order to support the PSC but was increasingly dissatisfied with the latter's shift right and decided to reboot the party with Grandinetti at the helm. It did well in its first election campaign, capturing 1.6 percent of the popular vote and two seats in the Constazione Ampoliticato Federali.
Similarly, separatism reverted to political measures in order to continue to advocate Margheria's purportedly desired autonomy from the Pacitalian republic. The Gruppo Liberacione di Norte Pacitalia, responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in the 1970s and 1980s, and then again between 2003 and 2005, disbanded, and many members founded the Northeastern Independence Party, renouncing their old ways and apologising for their brutality. The NEIP captured a solid share despite its link with the GLNP, and captured just under 81.5 million votes to finish sixth on election night with three seats in the CAF.
Unfortunately, where two parties succeeded a third had to hit rock-bottom. As mentioned, Lemvi Megescu, who had led the party through countless elections and, who today is still seen as the face of collectivist socialism ("supersocialism") in Pacitalia, campaigned lightly due to health reasons, and though he recovered from his surgery (a heart bypass), he did not do so in time to retain the Communist Party's share of the vote. They finished eighth, losing nine of their ten seats in the CAF, and losing nearly 80 percent of their proportionate votes from 2004.
The new Anarchist League of Pacitalia, led by Vera Campagnolo, also had a respectable finish for their first campaign, finishing last but winning over 15 million votes. The party will need to finish with more than 20 million votes in the next election if they wish to qualify for funding grants.
- The FPD's popular vote share loss of 9.1 percent appeared to have been nearly completely gained by the NPA, who took 9.0 percent of the PV on election night.
- Similarly, the PSC's gain of 13.8 percent looked to be mainly drawn away from 2004 Green voters who themselves had switched from the PSC in the previous election. The Greens' popular vote share dropped 15 percent from the 2004 election.
- All nine party leaders were elected in the constituencies in which they were running, the first time since 1996 that this had happened.
- Internationally, most political parties (mainly those ideologically similar) officially expressed their support for the FPD, including, most notably Hamptonshire's Nationalistisk Republikaner Folkeparti (NARP), Popular Party and Center Coalition (all defunct), Nedalia's Liberal Party, Knootoss's SLP and RCPK. Comatican emperor Titus Celmaetus personally endorsed the FPD, as did the government of the Second Empire of the Golden Throne. This wide support for the right-of-centre ProDems was a contrast to the fact that they consistently polled below 50 percent leading up to the election, and did not, despite getting a majority of seats, earn more than 50 percent of the popular vote on election night.
|Surveyor||Date of poll||FPD||PSC||GRN||NPA||PDT||NEIP||CPP||WCAP||ALP|
|Strategic Vision||23/1/2006||43.9||27.8||13.5||15.3 ("Other")|
|Strategic Vision||21/1/2006||41.2||30.6||12.7||15.5 ("Other")|
|PollTex Research||20/1/2006||40.0||31.0||13.0||16.0 (Other)|
|PollTex Research||18/1/2006||37.0||34.0||12.0||17.0 (Other)|
|Strategic Vision||16/1/2006||33.8||37.5||11.9||16.8 (Other)|
|PollTex Research||15/1/2006||33.0||39.0||14.0||14.0 (Other)|
|Strategic Vision||14/1/2006||33.4||36.9||14.1||15.6 (Other)|
|ABM/Capax — PNN||28/12/2005||45.1||24.9||15.0||6.8||3.4||—||2.8||—||—|
| * ForeignVoices.com is an internet surveying service that conducts unscientific polls based on the votes of international visitors.|
** Survista Margheriana's polls are conducted only in the province of Margheria.
Full election results
|111th federal general election, January 2006 (Pacitalia)|
|Federation of Progressive Democrats||Constantino Sorantanali||935,309,973||42.5||-9.1|
|Pacitalian Social Coalition||Fernando Chiovitti||565,587,442||25.7||+13.8|
|Pacitalian Greens||Neros Constantakis||277,291,898||12.6||-15.0|
|Non-Partisan Association||Aria Speranza||198,065,621||9.0||+9.0|
|Partia di Traditionale||Marco Quirinamo||88,029,174||4.0||+0.4|
|Margherian Freedom and Solidarity||Ovito Alcázar||81,426,986||3.7||+3.7|
|Workers' Cooperative Alliance||Jávier Grandinetti||35,211,670||1.6||+1.6|
|Anarchist League||Vera Campagnolo||15,105,405||0.7||+0.7|
|Pacitalian Social Coalition gain from Federation of Progressive Democrats||Swing||+12.5|
|Pacitalian federal elections|
|111th (2006) | 112th (2006) | Future: 113th|