Rainian House of Senators election, 2017
39 (of 78) seats in the House of Senators
|Turnout||52.56% (9,756,231 votes)|
The House of Senators is elected by halves to six year terms via single-non transferable vote. The last House of Senators election in 2014 saw the National Union-Social Credit coalition retain its majority which it had gained in the 2008 and 2011 elections. In 2017, the class of Senators elected in 2011 was up for re-election.
The election saw the Labour party make strong gains, getting a majority in the House of Senators and almost 50% of the vote. The NUP suffered a bad defeat getting a lower vote share than the Reform Party who made modest gains. The Innovation party lost all the Senators it had gained in the last election.
Electoral process[edit | edit source]
The House of Senators is elected in staggered elections. Senators are elected to six year terms, with half of the House of Senators being put up for election every 3 years. 39 of the 78 senators are elected via a single non-transferable vote system in several multi-member districts based on population distribution. For the 2017 election the Senators elected in 2011 are up for re-election.
The 2017 House of Senators election was the first since 2005 that the House of Senators was elected in the same year as the House of Councillors.
Timetable[edit | edit source]
|16 September||Formal dissolution of the House of Senators; start of campaign period.|
|2 October||Last day members of the public could register to vote.|
|4 October||Last day in which members of the public could apply for proxy voting or postal voting.|
|8 October||Last day for candidates to file nomination papers.|
|14 October||Polling day|
|20 October||New House of Senators Assembled|
Background[edit | edit source]
Since the 2008 House of Senators election held during the height of the 2007-2008 financial crisis the National Union Party has retained a plurality in the House of Senators, commanding a majority between 2008-2014. Following the 2014 election the National Union and Social Credit parties signed a coalition agreement in the House of Senators enabling the Andrew Clarkson government to pass legalisation with the confidence of both the Councillors and Senators.
The 2017 House of Councillors election saw the government parties (National Union and Social Credit) lose a large amount of seats to the Labour and Reform parties with a red-green coalition of Labour and the Green-Left Movement winning a majority in the House of Councillors. This meant that the House of Councillors and Senators were in the position of being in a "twisted parliament" with one party controlling the lower house and another the upper house.
Following the election the leader of the NUP Clarkson resigned with an interim leader, Mary Towers, being placed in charge until a leadership election for the party is held. The Socred leader and cabinet minister Rhondri Mears also resigned with the party's sole MP Damian Foot being appointed leader. Foot subsequently renamed the Socreds the "Innovation Party" as part of a re-branding effort regarding the party.
Parties running[edit | edit source]
Campaign[edit | edit source]
The campaign period began on the 16th September, with campaigning occurring for four weeks. The main parties did not put forward radically different policy proposals than their manifesto's in the 2017 House of Councillors election with the exception of the Innovation Party which explicitly condemned its years in coalition with the National Union Party. Rather, parties campaigned on either stopping the government taking control of the Senate (in the case of the National Union and Reform parties) or vice-versa (in the case of Labour and the Green-Left).
The Daily Gazette called the campaign the "one of the dullest in recent memory" stating that the weak state of the opposition "did not put the results in doubt".
Endorsements[edit | edit source]
|Daily Gazette||Labour Party||Endorsed a Labour majority government.|
|Economic Times||Labour Party||Stated the NUP "did not deserve" to retain their Senate majority.|
|Global Observer||Labour Party||Encouraged anti-Reform and anti-NUP tactical voting.|
|Vancouver Star||Reform Party||Endorsed a strong opposition to the Labour government.|