2017 Rainian federal election

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Rainian House of Councillors election, 2017

← 2014 24th August 2017 Next →

135 seats in the House of Councillors
Turnout 67.26% (Increase 4.42%; 12,484,859 votes)

  First party Second party Third party
  Predsednik RS pred dnevom državnosti sprejel pripadnike obrambnih in varnostnih sil ter sil zaščite in reševanja 2014 (4) (cropped).jpg Malcolm Turnbull Jakarta 2017 crop.jpg Butch Otter 2017.jpg
Leader Alexander Llewellyn Andrew Clarkson Wayne Faulkner
Party Labour National Union Reform
Leader since 2017 2014 2014
Leader's seat Portland North Kelowna Canyon County
Seats before 52 70 4
Seats won 77 42 11
Seat change Increase 25 Decrease 28 Increase 7
 vote 5,585,370 3,239,294 2,353,201
Percentage 44.74% 25.95% 18.85%
Swing Increase 8.89% Decrease 17.77% Increase 12.91%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Pramila Jayapal, official portrait, 116th Congress (cropped) 2.jpg 20170607-OSEC-LSC-093 (34351769463) (cropped).jpg
Leader Vishvadharini Paruthy Jon Hatfield
Party Green-Left Movement Democratic Party
Leader since 2015 2010
Leader's seat Nanaimo—Ladysmith Yukon
(Lost seat)
Seats before 3 6
Seats won 3 2
Seat change - Decrease 4
 vote 607,514 440,354
Percentage 4.87% 3.53%
Swing Decrease 0.12% Decrease 3.98%

In 2017 the Rainier held a House of Councillors election Voting took place in all 135 constituencies of the House of Councillors. The date of the election was the 24th August, held three years after the previous election.

In May 2017 Prime Minister Andrew Clarkson requested to the Governor-General Margaret Carmichael to dissolve the House of Councillors on the 24th August 2017. The campaign began in July 2017 with the centre-right National Union Party who were defending a majority from the opposition centre-left Labour party. Other parties involved in the campaign included the economic liberal Democratic Party, the left-wing Green-Left Movement and right-wing Reform party.

The incumbent Clarkson government had suffered from low polling in its second term especially following the Cash-for-Votes scandal, leading many to see the Labour party, led by Alexander Llewellyn, to be seen as early front runners. However a strong challenge from the right-wing populist Reform Party under Wayne Faulkner led to many to discuss the possibility of the retention of a right-wing government of the NUP and Reform, despite worries that the Reform party was to extreme.

The election saw a landslide for the opposition Labour party, whose 77 seats and 44.74% share of the vote being the highest since the 1999 election. The NUP in comparison suffered its worst defeat ever with its seats dropping from 70 to 42 and getting only 25.95% of the vote. In contrast the Reform Party achieved one of the best results for a third party since the 1957 election getting 11 seats and 18.85% of the vote. The Green-Left Movement kept three seats and the Democratic Party lost four seats.

Following the election Llewellyn announced his intention to form a majority government whilst both Clarkson and Democratic Party leader Jon Hatfield who lost his seat announced their intentions to resign.

Electoral process[edit | edit source]

Rainier uses first-past-the-post in elections. The electoral boundaries were last drawn in 2012.

Timetable[edit | edit source]

30 June Prime Minister Andrew Clarkson announced his intention to hold an early election.
2 July Governor-General Margaret Carmichael approves of the Prime Ministers request to hold an election.
4 July Formal dissolution of the House of Councillors; start of campaign period.
28 July Last day members of the public could register to vote.
1 August Last day in which members of the public could apply for proxy voting or postal voting.
18 August Last day for candidates to file nomination papers.
24 August Polling day
31 August New House of Councillors Assembled

Background[edit | edit source]

Since the 2008 House of Councillors election the National Union Party under Jennifer Redford (2008-2013) and Andrew Clarkson (2013-2017) has held government where they had to deal with the economic fallout stemming from the Great Recession. The previous red-green government of Gerald Ruben (2004-2008) had responded to the recession with economic stimulus whilst undertaking some belated welfare cuts and privatisations. The Clarkson government moved away from stimulus to undertake austerity. This included a far-reaching privatisation programme and a series of unpopular spending cuts.

The 2014 election was widely seen as a close race between the NUP and Labour, as economic growth returned albeit at a sluggish pace. The election saw Labour however fail to make serious gains as the NUP retained most of their seats. Clarkson thus continued as Prime Minister albeit on a smaller mandate.

A crash in oil prices in 2014 however saw the economy enter a technical recession causing the government to approve of more spending cuts. This alongside the election of new Labour leader Alexander Llewellyn resulted in a fall of support for the government. This was observed in several provincial elections - in 2017 the centre-right provincial government of Christy Clark in British Columbia lost its majority and was ousted from office on the 29th June by a Labour-Green Left coalition.

Cash-for-Votes scandal[edit | edit source]

In late November 2016 it came to light that the National Union Party had embezzled over £300 million ($180,690,236.70) in public finances over a period of five years to pay for various political party campaigns under the guise of using it to promote federal projections abroad. The NUP was able to do so due to loopholes in public finance laws that allowed them to redirect money from provincial to federal governments without declaring the total sum of money received to the federal government. The details of the embezzlement quickly became known as the "Cash for Votes" scandal.

The Cash-for-votes scandal was the most serious Rainian political scandal in over a decade since the TriMet scandal and one the biggest corruption scandals ever in Rainian history. Despite calls for the Prime Minister's resignation and an early election Andrew Clarkson refused to resign stating he had no knowledge of the affair, blaming provincial governments for deliberately fudging public finances. As a result of the scandal the NUP recorded a sharp drop in popularity.

As a result of the scandal a cross-party investigation has been launched to investigate misuse of public finances with all major parties pledging to examine the issue.

Parties standing[edit | edit source]

11 parties were registered to run on the party list in the election and theoretically get a seat in the House of Councillors. However only five parties were expected to either win seats. All parties have top candidates which are seen as "prime ministerial candidates".

Party Ideology Political position Leading candidate(s) 2013 result
National Union Party Conservatism, Economic liberalism Centre-right Andrew Clarkson
70 / 135
Labour Party Social Democracy, Trade Unionism Centre-left Alexander Llewellwyn
52 / 135
Democratic Alternative Social liberalism, Economic liberalism Centrist Jon Hartfield
6 / 135
Reform Party National Liberalism, Right-wing populism Right-wing Wayne Faulkner
4 / 135
Green-Left Movement Eco-socialism, Left-wing populism Left-wing Vishvadharini Paruthy
3 / 135

Campaign[edit | edit source]

National Union Party[edit | edit source]

The NUP entered the campaign trailing the Labour Party by 20 points, being on average only 5 points ahead of the right-wing Reform party. Despite concerns over his personal unpopularity (with his net approval rating dropping to –34%) Andrew Clarkson fought his fourth campaign as NUP leader, hiring Lynton Crosby to serve as a campaign adviser. Clarkson launched the campaign on the 7th July in Calgary where he promised that a NUP government would ensure economic stability, lower general taxation and preserving "Rainian values" such as enforcing a niqab ban, cutting foreign aid and halving total immigration to Rainier. The campaign opening was seen as a move to the natavist right by some commentators being perceived as an attempt to appeal to Reform Party voters.

Incumbent National Union leader and Prime Minister Andrew Clarkson at the first NUP rally.
Under Crosby's direction the NUP increased their presence on social media spreading posts primarily criticising the Labour party and the possibility of a red-green coalition. The NUP's campaign cost £32,144,179 ($19,549,447.47), the highest of all campaigns.

On the 10th July Clarkson announced that once the budget deficit was eliminated the next NUP government would drastically increase infrastructure spending to modernise Rainier's transport systems. In the same speech Clarkson stated a NUP government would implement a points-based immigration system in regards to all migration and would hold a referendum on CAS membership if the CAS spoke out against such policies.

The NUP's manifesto was launched on the 14th July 2017. Some of the key campaign promises made included plans to introduce privatisations of the postal and telecommunication networks, cut income, corporation, capital gains and goods and services tax, eliminate the budget deficit by the next parliament, clamping down on benefit fraud, bring down net migration to below 20,000 and increase total spending on defence. As a result to economic slowdowns the NUP proposed austerity and increasing the export of "ethical oil". The manifesto stated that Rainier would take in no refugees from Syria and called for greater security operations against China including labelling it at as currency manipulator. The NUP also ruled out voting in favour of same-sex marriage but were ambiguous on whether they would hold a referendum on the matter. Whilst admitting global warming existed the NUP called for market based solutions to the problem and stated they would never impose a carbon tax whilst also defending the practice of fracking. The manifesto was said by the Daily Gazette as being the NUP's most right-wing to date and a victory for the "blue tories" in the party.

The NUP campaign had several controversies. MP for Helena Dirk Bailey was criticised when at a town hall he called for a "final solution" against Muslims, causing Bailey to be removed as a NUP candidate. Minister of Industry and Development Thomas Pullen also caused controversy when he criticised women for "not giving birth enough", which were considered to be sexist comments.

Labour party[edit | edit source]

Labour entered the election with a 20% lead over the NUP with leader Alexander Llewellyn having the highest net approval rating of all party leaders. As such they were widely seen as the front runners in the election.

The Labour campaign was based around the personal popularity of Llewellyn, with the campaign around him being described as "presidential" in character. The presidential nature of Labour's campaign was criticised especially by the NUP as focusing more on style over substance. The total spending by the Labour campaign was £25,779,140 ($15,678,357.91). Labour reportedly looked to their British counterparts 2017 campaign which had netted that party 40% of the vote as inspiration for campaigning and policy prescriptions.

Labour's first rally, held on the 5th July in Seattle emphasised the "social fracture" that had emerged under 8 years of NUP rule and promised to increase spending to ensure a "brighter future for young people". Llewellyn stated the party would take a "flexible approach" to eliminate the deficit intending to reduce it but not at the expense of investment Labour believed was necessary. Llewellyn also promised a pragmatic approach to economic policy, stating a Labour government would neither privatise nor nationalise any industry.

Labour leader Alexander Llewellyn speaking with the Labour executive during the campaign.

Labour was the first party to release their manifesto doing so on the 9th July. The manifesto promised to boost spending in education, health and infrastructure, eliminate tuition fees, reduce unemployment and build more affordable homes. Labour also confirmed it would raise the top rate of income tax and introduce two new tax brackets but reduce income taxation overall; they stated they would also raise the financial transaction and capital gains taxes and decrease corporation tax. In response to the economic slowdown following the 2010s oil glut Labour proposed economic stimulus and a diversification of the economy away from oil and gas exports. The manifesto also promised to pass same-sex marriage through parliament, legalise cannabis and limit immigration overall. Labour's environmental policy however was unclear - whilst expressing a desire to phase out nuclear energy and increase investment in renewable energy Labour neither committed to nor ruled out imposing carbon pricing.

The Labour manifesto also called for a reorientation in foreign relations, most prominently promote better relations with China and South Korea as well as re-examine Rainier's relationship with Saudi Arabia. However Labour also promised to maintain close cooperation with Japan and promote policies that would limit Russian aggression. Labour's manifesto was overall seen as a product of the centre-left of the party, with significant shifts to the left on education policy but a move to the right on immigration policy.

Democratic Party[edit | edit source]

The Democratic Party had declined in the polls. Party leader Hartfield promised to shift the party from a sole focus on economic liberalism to reconnecting with its urban base, shifting the party's social rhetoric to the left in order to appeal to democrat voters who were considering voting for the Labour party. The Democrats total campaign spending was £15,679,283 ($9,535,826.67).

The first rally held by the Democrats on the 6th July with Hartfield calling for a "unabashedly pro-consumer, pro-business" policy, stating the NUP only favoured big business and Labour's policies would damage the economy. Hartfield instead advocated for lower taxation, deregulation and privatisation as well as increasing education and healthcare spending. Hartfield suggested more PFI's as a solution to deal with raising health and education costs.

The Democrat manifesto released on the 19th July was a move to the right for the party that supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage and soft drugs, called for looser abortion laws and a more comprehensive law and order policy focused on rehabilitation for criminals. However the manifesto also saw a firm entrenchment of the DA's neoliberal policies they have promoted since their inclusion in the NUP government including lowering the capital gains and income taxes, privatising state-owned enterprises and ensuring a "bonfire of regulations".

Reform party[edit | edit source]

The Reform party entered the campaign with the intention to become the largest party of the right, either leading a right-wing coalition or as the main opposition party. Previously a minor party stagnating wages, rising immigration and disillusionment with the mainstream parties led to the Reform party to strike a populist cord that resulted in their poll ratings to increase steadily over the last parliament. The Reform Party's campaign cost £17,920,215 ($10,846,274.66)

Under party leader Wayne Faulkner the Reform party endorses broadly a right-wing populist policy programme that retained the Reform party's small government, Template:Country data right-wing libertarian economic policies (such as supporting a flat tax, reductions in expenditure and privatising as well as endorsing social conservatism, in particular Islamophobia and opposition to immigration.

The Reform Party launched their manifesto on the 13th July in the city of Saskatoon. The Reform Party's 2017 manifesto called for tax cuts for lower income families, privatisation of sections of the welfare system based on the Chilean model and boosting spending on the military. The Reform party also pledged to lower the retirement age and reducing tuition fees for medicine & science by raising fees for humanities instead. In foreign policy the Reform Party's foreign policy supported Israel, promoted closer ties with Russia and taking a firm line against China.

On some other issues however the Reform party followed an orthodox line, calling for an end to "political correctness", advocating for a net migration target of zero by the end of the next parliament and outright banning immigration from Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, opposing same-sex marriage, restricting abortion rights, opposing legalisation of soft drugs, clamping down on the sale of porn and endorsing the appellation of Rainier as a Christian nation. The Reform party also challenged the scientific consensus on global warming saying the 2010s oil glut had not affected the economy adversely and that more oil drilling was needed.

Green-Left Movement[edit | edit source]

The Green-Left Movement went into the election to increase their seat share and form government with the Labour party in a red-green alliance as occurred from 2005-2008 under Gerald Ruben. The Green-Left's campaign was the least expensive of the major parties spending £9,175,566 ($5,572,093.28) due to the fact that the Green-Left Movement only takes individual donations and public funds for political parties.

The Green-Left Movement launched their campaign on the 3rd July when leader Vishvadharini Paruthy pledged that in government the Green-Left Movement would fight for environmental policies (such as greater use of renewable energy, the ending of the "myth of ethical oil" and a phase out of nuclear energy) and pro-worker policies (such as more rights for trade unions and raising the minimum wage). Paruthy stated the 2010s oil glut had damaged the Rainian economy moreso than help it and that as a result Rainier should diversify its economy away from oil production for economic and environmental reasons.

The Green-Left Movement's manifesto was released on the 11th July. Described by the Daily Gazette as being an approval of "tax and spend" the manifesto called for increases in the top rates of income tax, capital gains, financial transaction and corporation tax and the imposition of a carbon tax. They also proposed eliminating tuition fees, increasing spending on education, welfare, healthcare and infrastructure, re-nationalising sections of the health sector that is privatised, and clamping down on tax evasion. The Green-Left Movement also called for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and soft drugs, combating Islamaphobia and maintaining Rainier's policy of multicultralism. In terms of foreign policy, the Green-Left Movement called for a "human rights based approach" working with countries such as Canada and member states of the European Union to promote human rights abroad and severing ties with Saudi Arabia. They also called for the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state and disavowed military interventionism. Despite calling for a more human rights based approach Green-Left said they would also seek to mend relations with Russia which had been poor under the Clarkson government. The Green-Left Movement also promised to reduce carbon emissions and redirect subsides from the fossil fuel industry to renewable energies instead.

The Green-Left Movement entered some controversy when one of its candidates, Brittany Rudd, called Israel an "apartheid state". NUP leader Andrew Clarkson criticised the Green-Left Movement for tolerating antisemetism and called for the parties public funding to be stripped from it.

Leaders debates[edit | edit source]

Rainian general election debates, 2017
Date Organisers Moderator(s)         Present        Surrogate        Non-invitee 
National Union Labour Democratic Party Reform Green-Left
20 July NTV Mary Horn
Travis Little
11 August MNTV David Snow P
18 August RTVR Joan Prebble P

Endorsements[edit | edit source]

Newspaper Party endorsed Notes
Daily Gazette Labour Party Endorsed a Labour majority government.
Economic Times National Union Party Endorsed a NUP-led government and encouraged anti-Labour tactical voting.
Global Observer Labour Party Encouraged anti-Reform tactical voting.
Vancouver Star Reform Party Called for a Reform party victory.

Opinion polls[edit | edit source]

Party approval[edit | edit source]

Seat projections[edit | edit source]

Parties Election Forecast Huddlesfeild Polling Yougov
National Union 38 46 43
Labour 79 66 75
Democratic 1 3 3
Reform 14 16 10
Green-Left Movement 3 4 4
Result Labour Party Majority Hung parliament
Labour Party plurality
Labour Party Majority

Preferred prime minister[edit | edit source]

Exit poll[edit | edit source]

An exit poll was released at 10PM when the last ballot was cast. The poll confirmed pollsters predictions that the Labour party would get over 40% of the vote and that the NUP would suffer large losses.

Parties Seats Change
Labour Party 80 Increase 28
National Union Party 39 Decrease 31
Reform Party 13 Increase 9
Green-Left Movement 3 -
Democratic Party 1 Decrease 5

Results[edit | edit source]

The election saw a landslide victory for the opposition Labour party, which achieved 43.94% of the vote and 138 seats - its best result since 1999. Labour performed especially well in the coastal provinces of British Columbia, Oregon and Cascadia almost sweeping the city of Seattle.

The National Union Party recorded its worst result ever in its history, getting only 24.34% of the vote and 74 seats. The Democrats also suffered massive losses with its parliamentary representation being cut in half.

The Reform party meanwhile achieved its best result in it history, winning a majority of votes in Idaho and becoming the third largest party with 18.85% of the vote and 40 seats - the best result for a third party since the 1995 election.

The Green-Left Movement saw a small drop in its share of the vote from 4.99% to 4.87% - however it gained three seats. The collapse of the Democrats meant Green-Left went from the fifth to fourth largest party in the House of Councillors.

The NUP's vote share was the worst for a sitting government in over 20 years, being lower than Labour's 27.80% in 2009 but ahead of the NUP's 1996 vote share of 25.99%. Labour's 5 million votes were the most received by a party in Rainian history.

Summary of 2017 House of Councillors election results
Commons 2017.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Labour 5,485,370 44.74% 77 +25
National Union Party 3,039,294 25.95% 42 -28
Reform Party 2,353,201 18.85% 11 +7
Green-Left Movement 607,514 4.87% 3 -
Democratic Party 440,354 3.53% 2 -4
Other 72,048 0.58% 0
Invalid/blank votes 187,078
Total 12,484,859 100 136
Registered voters/turnout 18,562,085 67.26%
Popular Vote
National Union
Parliamentary seats
National Union

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Government formation[edit | edit source]

Following the election Labour leader Alexander Llewellyn hailed the result as proof that the electorate endorsed change in a progressive direction and stated Labour was "ready for government". Labour's majority meant that on the 31st August when parliament reopened Llewellyn was duly elected prime minister forming a cabinet consisting entirely of Labour ministers. A new speaker, Diane Kwong of the Labour Party, was also inaugurated as her predecessor Harris Northcoate had stepped down as a member of the Councillors prior to the election.

Party leadership changes[edit | edit source]

Following the announcement of the election results Clarkson announced his immediate resignation from the post of National Union Party taking responsibility for the defeat. The NUP subsequently named Mary Towers as interim leader until a leadership election could be held. Democratic leader Jon Hartfield also announced his resignation - only a single Councillor, Damian Foot, put his name forward for leader and so was appointed in an uncontested ballot. Template:Elections in Rainier