Manchurian legislative election, 2015
All 685 seats in the Supreme National Assembly
343 needed for a majority seats needed for a majority
|[[Opinion polls|Opinion polls]]|
Results in electoral districts
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.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]
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 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]
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]
|- style="background:none" ! style="width: 100%; text-align:center;" colspan="2" | |- valign="top"| style="width:50%;" |
|Party||Manzuxiehui||NPP (PAM)||Greens (PAM)||DUC (PAM)|
|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
|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