University Constituencies Act 2021

From TEPwiki, Urth's Encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The University Constituencies Act 2021 (Long Name: The Act for the Amendment of the Constitution of the Imperial Vistari Confederation to allow the allocation of Representatives to Further Education Institutions with Disparate Communities), also known as the Fakker-Adkin University Act, is an act of the Imperial Parliamentary Council of Vistaraland and the first notable electoral reform following the 2020 Constitution. Introduced to the House of Representatives by the Libertarian Minister of Higher Education and Universities, Raymond Fakker, on the 19th of September, 2021, the Act was debated for seven days before passing the lower house on the 26th. On the 27th, Prince Hendrik van Koersland gave formal introduction of the act to the House of Lord-Advisors, whom gave the act two days of consideration before it was passed and given Imperial Assent by Empress Marium I on the 29th.

Summary

The Act outlined 12 Universities across Vistaraland as extra-provincial communities, outlining the status of the cultural differences between the Universities and their attached University Districts to the Region they reside within, stating that such disparity creates a need for such communities to elect a Representative to the Imperial Parliamentary Council independently, as well as hold exemption from regional legislature that infringed upon cultural or functional precedent within such. Elections, which first occurred on the 29th of November, 2021, granted franchise to all enrolled Students and Graduates of the University that resided within the outlined University District, including the University itself for those which offer on-campus accommodation. The electoral system of first-past-the-post is used to determine the Representative, a contrast from the Proportional System used across most other areas of Vistaraland, making electoral pacts between the parties necessary to effectively run a candidate in such a constituency. This is done through a group primary, in which parties agree to hold an open primary amongst themselves to determine which candidate will be granted the support of the coalition. Notably, those who vote in these elections are not exempt from voting in their respective Province, so long as they also apply for the voting requirements of the Province, granting some University residents a greater influence in Parliament than other constituents of their Province. The Universities given this status are as follows:

University Communities affected by the Fakker-Adkin University Act by Enrolment
University Name Province Enrolment[n 1]
Commonwealth University Various[n 2] 169,213
Emperor's University of Vierbak Verteken 73,812
University of the North Concordian Various[n 3] 61,423
Imperial University of Port Molebaai Molensland 46,125
Ducal University of Sereena Oostereen 42,195
Grand Haasbaai University Zijrivierland 39,073
University of Arendal Koersland 37,925
Willem II University Telerbrocht 35,291
Verian-West University Verteken 34,621
University of Regensburg Gerrtsveld 34,275
Verlateburg University Telerbrocht 33,920
Leopold University Chibilaba 33,479

Reception

According to a Molebaai Times Survey, the general public had mixed feelings on the bill, with commentator Walter de Vos noting the act as "Dividing the people not by left or right as some might have assumed, rather splitting opinions between those who had the means to send their children off the University, and those who wouldn't want their children going even if they could." Many felt the Act was a reminder of the elitism found within the Vistari Parliament, with the leader of the Left-wing Socialist Cause remarking "Is this the Representative Democracy we were promised? Of course not, because it was written without us in mind."

Some saw this as an attempt by the Vistari Government to drive a wedge between the Formal Opposition, with the reform beginning as a policy of the Rational Association, before the Government adopted it, co-opting the proposal with Rational Association Leader Jolijn Adkin, despite the Party being in Opposition and Adkin herself within the Shadow Cabinet. The more working-class orientated parties of the Formal Opposition, the CWP and aforementioned SC, with Leader of the Opposition, Hessel Teuling, regarding it as "an unfortunate cause, showing an the RA's intention to divert attention from the common man when it suits them." Popularist Jakob Klaver remarked of the Rational Association that, "They, like us, are shaped by their environment. Yet their environment was one in which we were just the idiots they stared and pointed at from their windows. You'd think if they spent enough time learning they might learn that we're people, but their parents didn't pay to teach them that."

Notes

  1. While enrolment is a good indicator of the size of the University in question, it does not provide an accurate representation of the size of the electorate.
  2. Commonwealth University serves all 15 Dominions of Valerijk.
  3. The University of the North Concordian is a university system that serves Northern Vistaraland and Vorpest, consisting of 6 campuses.