Manchurian legislative election, 2015

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Manchurian legislative election, 2015

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All 685 seats in the Supreme National Assembly
343 needed for a majority seats needed for a majority
[[Opinion polls|Opinion polls]]
Turnout 76.54%

  First party Second party Third party
  Hu Zhengming.png Feng Huiyin.jpg Chang Shengzuo.jpg
Leader Hu Zhengming Feng Huiyin Chang Shengzuo
Party Manzuxiehui Progressive Alliance (NPP) SPM
Leader since 2007 2013 2006
Leader's seat PR list Wafangdian Mudanjiang
Seats before 388 115 99
Seats won
285 / 685
233 / 685
103 / 685
Seat change 103 118 4
 vote 23,876,394 17,943,039 12,796,032
Percentage 33.4% 25.1% 17.9%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Li Pingbo.jpg Hou Yongxiang.jpg Ri Ki-nam.png
Leader Li Pingbo Hou Yongxiang Rhyu Ki-nam
Party Qinglonghui MCP UPP
Leader since 2002 2012 2014
Leader's seat PR list PR list Hunchun
Seats before 33 26 24
Seats won
23 / 685
21 / 685
20 / 685
Seat change 10 5 4
 vote 3,002,421 2,930,935 2,859,448
Percentage 4.2% 4.1% 4%

Manchu election map (contituences) 2015.png
Results in electoral districts
 Manzuxiehui  NPP  SPM  QLH  MCP  GP  DUC  UPP 
Elections for the Supreme National Assembly in Manchuria took place on the 22nd December 2015. They were the fifth elections for the Assembly since the signing of the current Constitution of Manchuria in 1990. All 685 seats were up for re-election, with 343 seats being needed for a majority. Of the 93,393,963 registered voters 76.54% (71,486,211) voted, the highest in any Manchurian legislative election since 1990.

Prior to the election the Manzuxiehui dominated the Assembly holding a comfortable majority of 388 seats. The largest opposition party, the New Progressive Party, holds 155 seats. Assembly members are elected via parallel voting with 195 seats being allocated to districts were representatives are elected through instant-runoff voting whereas the other 490 members are elected using a party-list proportional representation system with seats allocation being calculated using the D'Hondt method.

Major political issues that were placed in focus in the election included a contracting economy, controversial austerity measures, rampant corruption within the government/Manzuxiehui and a general upsurge in crime and poverty. Accusations of the ruling Manzuxiehui reverting to authoritarianism and Manchuria's foreign policy also were prominent issues within the election campaign.

Opinion polls were in the lead-up to the election inconclusive, with the Manzuxiehui being projected to either have a slim majority or result in getting a plurality of votes but not a simple majority. Opposition parties are expected to increase their share of the vote, especially the NPP and their Progressive Alliance.

The elections resulted in the Manzuxiehui being reduced from 388 to 285 seats in their worst showing in an election since 1995 having only 33.4% of the vote. In contrast the Progressive Alliance gained 233 seats with 27.4% of the vote performing especially well in the districts. The Socialist Party of Manchuria despite losing some district seats raised their share of the vote and as such rose their seat total from 99 to 103. Smaller parties such as the Qinglonghui, Manchu Communist Party and United People's Party lost collectively 19 seats mostly to the Progressive Alliance.

The election resulted in the second hung parliament in Manchurian history. The Manzuxiehui was at first unable to form a coalition with their preferred allies, the Qinglonghui, as that would put them 25 seats short of a majority. A similar coalition between the Progressive Alliance and their allies the UPP would similarly fall short although at a greater margin of 90 seats short. As such, it was expected that the Manzuxiehui and Progressive Alliance will either form a grand coalition or either one of them will enter a coalition with the Socialists. In January the Manzuxiehui, Progressive Alliance and UPP entered a coalition.

Electoral process[edit | edit source]

The supreme legislature of Manchuria, the Supreme National Assembly, is made up of 685 elected representatives who are directly elected via a parallel voting system. There are 195 districts that are represented by a single Member of the Assembly who are elected using an alternative vote with full preferential voting. Candidates from each party are listed on a ballot paper with voters ranking them based on preference. Candidates are eliminated until one remains with a majority of preferential votes.

The candidates running for the remaining 490 are elected through a party-list proportional representation system. Voters are presented with a closed list of parties whom field a number of candidates. The parties are then assigned the number of seats representative to the percentage of the votes they received with calculations for seat allocation being based on the D'Hondt method. Parties must have however at least 3% of the popular vote to enter the Assembly although independent candidates only need enough to gain a single seat.

Background[edit | edit source]

From 1946-90 Manchuria was governed as a single-party state under the Communist Party of Manchuria. Since the Orchid Revolution which began a transition to democracy the Manzuxiehui and the Minzhudang both won elections at a premierial level, but no single party was able to form a majority in the Assembly until 2000 when the Manzuxiehui won over 50% of seats, a feat they repeated in 2005 and 2010. Until the 2008 Great Recession the main opposition party in Manchuria was the Socialist Party of Manchuria who were the successors of the Communist Party. In 2008 former Manchurian Premier Du Changhao created the New Progressive Party which aimed to be a centrist, liberal alternative to the Manzuxiehui and the SPM. Du, who had already built up a reputation as an accomplished populist, was able to successfully steer the NPP into becoming the largest opposition party in the Supreme National Assembly in 2010, displacing the SPM from that position overnight. In the Manchurian premierial election, 2014 the NPP's candidate Raoguo Jixu attained 31.6% of the vote, ahead of Chang Shengzuo of the SPM but behind the Manzuxiehui's candidate Liu Zhou.

The privatisation of Manchu Airways was considered to be controversial decision by the government.
Since 2010 Manchuria has had slow economic growth with wages falling by 10% in 2014. The Manchurian government has dealt with growing unemployment by further cutting down on wages and limiting the power of trade unions, meaning unemployment has stayed around the 5-6% mark. In 2014 Manchuria entered economic contraction which caused the Manchu government to unveil a new round of austerity packages, cutting back on public services, privatising Manchu Airways and raising income taxes. The largest cuts were aimed at public welfare services alongside the health sector.

The Manzuxiehui has also been rocked by controversies since 2010. In 2012 the Minister of Energy Wang Kun was implicated in a major corruption scandal having diverted funds from the state owned Manchu Coal Federation to his family. Several high ranking Manzuxiehui were also discovered to have claimed millions in tax-payer money for themselves in a series of investigations, which culminated in the revelation that Interior Secretary Wen Feng had ordered public funds to be used to prop up his own businesses, resulting in Wen's resignation. This caused the Manzuxiehui's approval rating to fall to an all time low of 34% whilst the opposition NPP rose to 41%.

When Premier Jin Pai Nai finished his term in 2014 his replacement Liu Zhou improved the party's reputation by conducting an anti-corruption campaign within the party and the government, sacking 13 ministers in the Executive Council a day after taking office in a move nicknamed the "Night of Long Knives". Many contended this campaign was merely a purge of Liu's opponents within government Nevertheless Liu's anti-corruption campaign successfully restored some confidence in the Manzuxiehui.

Since 2014 the Manzuxiehui have steadily declined in the polls whilst the NPP have fluctuated around the 25-30% mark. Meanwhile several smaller parties such as the SPM, Manchu Communist Party, Qinglonghui and United People's Party have retained steady approval ratings of 18%, 5%, 4% and 4% respectively.

Parties standing[edit | edit source]

Ballot # Party Leader Position Ideology Coalition
1
MRNC logo (1934-2011).png Manzuxiehui Hu Zhengming Centre-right Manchurian nationalism N/A
2
NPP.png New Progressive Party Feng Huiyin Centrist Populism PAM
3
Socialist Party of Manchuria.png Socialist Party of Manchuria Chang Shengzuo Centre-left Democratic Socialism N/A
4
Freedpm flag.png Qinglonghui Li Pingbo Far-right Neo-fascism N/A
5
WPM logo .png Manchu Communist Party Hou Yongxiang Far-left Marxism-Leninism-Maoism N/A
6
521px-MPP.png United People's Party Rhyu Ki-nam Centrist Korean interests N/A
7
Green Party of Manchuria logo.png Green Party Chyi Kung-tsao Centre-left Green politics PAM
8
Democratic Union for Change Logo.png Democratic Union for Change Jiang Ran Centre-left Feminism PAM
9
Nationalist Party logo.gif Nationalist Party of Manchuria Song Qingwei Centre-right Manchurian Nationalism N/A
10
Libertarian party logo.png Libertarian Party of Manchuria Tao Jiacheng Centre-right Libertarianism N/A
11
Republican Justice Party logo .png Republican Justice Party Chun Xinshe Right wing Social Conservatism N/A
12
Future for Manchuria logo .png Future for Manchuria Yu Yuanchao Centrism Liberalism N/A
13
NLP.png National Liberal Party Cai Lingzan Centre-right Conservatism N/A
14
New Development Association.png New Development Association Li Zhifu Right-wing Political Buddhism N/A
15
Mongolian Democratic Movement.png Mongolian Democratic Movement Dansranbilegiin Damdinsüren Centre-left Mongolians interests N/A
16
PLP logo.png People's Labour Party Mao Tianpu Left Wing Socialism N/A
17
Citizens for Progress and Democracy logo.png Citizens for Progress and Democracy Yang Wenxia Centre-right Direct Democracy N/A
18
Social Democrats logo .png Social Democratic Party Zhao Xianghua Centre-left Social Democracy N/A
19
Innovation Party logo .png Innovation Party of Manchuria Zhengxu Yuzhu Centrism Technocracism N/A

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

Manzuxiehui[edit | edit source]

Leading Manchurian newspaper Dongbei Jintian stated that the Manzuxiehui staged a "robust, confident campaign". The slogan of the Manzuxiehui's campaign was "For a strong and stable Manchuria". Manzuxiehui officials stressed that the current Manzuxiehui government was making steps to create a strong and stable economy, and that electing the opposition would result in "economic anarchy". The Manzuxiehui manifesto committed to supporting the two-child policy, implement a flat tax, lower value-added tax by 15%, remove welfare benefits for those not seeking employment and oppose further moves to privatise
A Manzuxiehui rally
profitable state owned enterprises. The Manzuxiehui also stated its desire to reform the education system so it would better highlight the "positive role Manchuria has played in world history, and concentrate more on sciences and mathematics". The Manzuxiehui committed to continuing its social policy of encouraging Asian values, enforcing the prohibition of drugs, and supporting Manchurian Nationalism as well as promising to maintain the current defence and foreign policy. When the Manzuxiehui was criticised for not reaching out to students and young people in its manifesto Manzuxiehui chairman Hu Zhengming publicly stated that the Manzuxiehui would push forward legislation that would lower tuition fees for students studying in technical courses, the most sought out and expensive university courses in Manchuria.
Premier Liu Zhou on the campaign trail.
The Manzuxiehui campaign was mainly conducted in the Manzuxiehui heartland in the south of the country around the Jilin and Liaoning regions. The main spokesperson for the Manzuxiehui during the campaign was the Chairman of the Assembly Hu Zhengming, although the Premier of Manchuria Liu Zhou also took an active role in the campaign touring the country and speaking at Manzuxiehui rallies which were the centrepoint of the Manzuxiehui campaign. The Manzuxiehui ran several television advertisements as well as organise a billboard campaign. The total cost of the Manzuxiehui campaign was 元153 million. The Manzuxiehui faced several controversies during the campaign. On the 15th October MRNC candidate for the Ranghulu district Chiang Bufang make several comments that were deemed sexist regarding the NPP leader Feng Huiyin. The government were also alleged to have forced other parties to open their party lists whilst putting less pressure on the Manzuxiehui, an act that was called out for being "unconstitutional" by SPM leader Chang Shengzou.

Progressive Alliance[edit | edit source]

The Progressive Alliance launched their campaign on the 13th November when the New Progressive Party, the Green Party and Democratic Union for Change announced they would once again contest as the Progressive Alliance for Manchuria as they had done in the 2014 premierial elections. The slogan of the Progressive Alliance was Real Change for Manchuria. The Progressive Alliance's campaign focussed around combating corruption amongst the public sector and for government figures. The Progressive Alliance proposed a recall system that would allow citizens to be able to recall legislators and the premierial office if they were deemed as corrupt, as well as conduct sweeping changes in the public services that would squeeze out corruption, such as raise salaries and streamlining the process of removing corrupt officials.

The Progressive Alliance also advocated for raising the minimum wage from 元75 per hour to 元98 a hour and lower university tuition fees 元140,000 to 元85,000. The Progressive Alliance also stated that they will enable 元20,000,000 to be invested into the healthcare system and 元7,500,000 into the schooling system. The Progressive Alliance did not oppose austerity programmes, but in their campaign called the government out on "needlessly implementing austerity that goes well beyond what it necessary" and accused the government of shrinking the economy. The Progressive Alliance stated that for the Manchurian economy to grow small businesses had to grow, and thus advocated for cutting taxes on such enterprises. On a social policy front, the Progressive Alliance opposed the two child policy, pointing to China's recent abolishment of their one-child policy as a precedent for Manchuria to follow. The Progressive Alliance's campaign was notable for having high turnouts to their rallies. The Progressive Alliance spent around 元129 million on their campaign.

Debates[edit | edit source]

Opinion polls[edit | edit source]

Chart (2).png

Endorsements[edit | edit source]

Newspaper Newspaper type Party endorsed Notes
Mukden Ribao Daily tabloid Manzuxiehui Stated that by giving the Manzuxiehui a majority Manchurians would be voting for a speedy economic recovery.
Dongbei Jintian Daily broadsheet Manzuxiehui Endorsed the Manzuxiehui, but also called for Manchurians to fully exercise their voting rights regardless of the party.
Financial Daily Daily broadsheet Manzuxiehui Warned that a non-majority Manzuxiehui Assembly would lead to "economic chaos".
Heilongjiang Morning Post Morning tabloid Progressive Alliance Advocated for tactical voting in SPM-MRNC marginal districts against the MRNC.
Liaoning Evening News Evening broadsheet Manzuxiehui Stated the Manzuxiehui was the only "realistic choice" for government.
Peninsula City News Daily tabloid Progressive Alliance Called for Manchu citizens to "vote for change".
People's Wanabo Daily tabloid Socialist Party of Manchuria Formerly the paper of the Communist Party of Manchuria.

Results[edit | edit source]

{| class="toccolours" style="width: 100%; border-top: none;"

|- style="background:none" ! style="width: 100%; text-align:center;" colspan="2" | |- valign="top"

| style="width:50%;" |
  Manzuxiehui: 88 seats
  NPP: 77 seats
  GP: 2 seats
  DUC: 2 seats
  SPM: 20 seats
  QLH: 3 seats
  MCP: 2 seats
  UPP: 1 seat
| style="width:50%;" |
  MRNC: 197 seats
  NPP: 135 seats
  GP: 9 seats
  DUC: 8 seats
  SPM: 83 seats
  QLH: 20 seats
  MCP: 19 seats
  UPP: 19 seats

|}

285 23 21 103 20 11 10 212
MXH QLH MCP SPM UPP GP DUC NPP
Party Manzuxiehui NPP (PAM) Greens (PAM) DUC (PAM)
Leader
Liu Zhengming.png
Feng Huiyin.jpg
Chyi Kung-tsao.jpg
Jiang Ran.jpg
Hu Zhengming
Feng Huyin
Chyi Kung-tsao
Jiang Ran
Votes 33.4%, 23,876,394 25.1%, 17,943,039 1.2%, 857,835 1.1%, 786,348
Seats 285 (41.6%) 212 (30.9%) 11 (1.6%) 10 (1.5%)
285 / 685
212 / 685
11 / 685
10 / 685
Party SPM Qinglonghui MCP UPP
Leader
Chang Shengzuo.jpg
Li Pingbo.jpg
Hou Yongxiang.jpg
Ri Ki-nam.png
Chang Shengzuo
Li Pingbo
Hou Yongxiang
Rhyu Ki-nam
Votes 17.9%, 12,796,032 4.2%, 3,002,421 4.1% 2,930,935 4% 2,859,448
Seats 103 (15%) 23 (3.4%) 21 (3.1%) 20 (2.9%)
103 / 685
23 / 685
21 / 685
20 / 685