AN EVERLASTING UNION
Taking off from the trail blazed by the URA Harbinger, the Tribune is the official publication of the United Regions Alliance.
Heralding Truthful News, Unifying Views
The United Regions Alliance (URA) has chosen incumbent Suvmia to serve a second term as it overcame a slight lead by New Eastern Europe WA Delegate Maricoen in pre-election surveys. The first round has Suvmia up by 21 points over distant second placer Maricoen, but is a few votes short of a majority. The second round eliminated last placer The pir, who got 9 percent of the vote. This eventually gives Suvmia a final tally of 51 percent, followed by Maricoen's 31 percent. URA Armed Forces Field Marshal Allangoria polled 13 percent in the first round and 16 percent in the second round. In its post-election speech, Suvmia thanked the candidates as well as the voters in contributing to the highest voter turnout yet. With 117 votes cast, the January 2021 turnout posts a 60 percent increase from that of July 2020. The victorious incumbent also says the following in its call for the Cabinet members to lay down their long-term strategic programs, "It will be my pleasure, as well as my duty, to deserve that honor by dealing with all questions that come before me with firmness and impartiality." Allangoria, meanwhile, announced its intention to sit out the next election cycle, citing its commitment to the URA Armed Forces, as it congratulated the election winners.
The vice presidential race, however, stole the spotlight of the general elections as it took three rounds to determine the eventual victor. Former Head of Public Affairs Lanaograd has seen its pre-election lead slightly shrink enough to deprive it of an outright majority, obtaining 49 percent of the vote in the first round, followed by Ridgefield's The xii legion fulminata with 25 percent, Former Head of Recruitment New reiji with 18 percent, and the Democratic Commonwealth's Trekinstan with 8 percent. While Lanaograd's first round lead of 24 points over XII Legion is larger than Suvmia's lead over Maricoen, New Reiji and Trekinstan somehow overperformed pre-election surveys enough to force two more rounds of voting. With the third round giving Lanaograd 71 percent of the vote, the highest for any vice presidential candidate in alliance history, the URA welcomes the representative from the Philippines as its new Vice President. Both New Reiji and XII Legion have expressed their desire to run for positions in the next election cycle. Unlike the July 2020 results, XII Legion appears more amenable to accept the outcome of his second run for the said position. To recall, XII Legion lost by one vote to outgoing Vice President Honeydewistania in the previous election cycle. Meanwhile, Lanaograd has this to say in its post-election speech, "We have once again proven that the URA is an alliance and an arsenal of democracy. As we embark on the journey of inclusive and sustainable growth, we can hope that more voters would emerge in the years to come."
The race for council heads has been less contested compared to that of the standard bearers. Augustin Alliance Joint Task Force Director Gibraltarica wins over incumbent Freedomanica as Head of Recruitment with 64 percent of the vote, 16 points better than its pre-election showing. In its post-election address, Gibraltarica stresses the immense work needed for the alliance, "The world we work and abide in as players of NationStates is a beautiful, complex, and sometimes difficult world. It is my duty now to reach out into that world, and out of the turbulence therein, attempt to form greater order and more perfect union within it."
Meanwhile, Vermont and Montpelier of The Labyrinth, already leading in pre-election surveys, trumps over The Flyin2 of The United Federations with 57 percent of the vote to become Head of Public Affairs. The Head of Interregional Roleplay is uncontested with Adachi, the only candidate for the position, assuming office. The triumphant candidates take office first day of February 2021 to lead the 30-region alliance.
Authored by Scalizagasti
The January 2021 election in the URA saw the election of three new faces into the positions of Head of Recruitment, Head of Public Affairs, and Vice President. Meanwhile, President Suvmia won a decisive victory to secure a second term as the head of the alliance. Not only did this election bring change, it brought lots of data to be analyzed. The top four regions in terms of vote share were Conch Kingdom, New Eastern Europe, Anteria, and the Philippines, in that order. Collectively, these regions casted 65 votes, already majority of the 117 cast by all 30 member regions. The presence of these four regions should come as no surprise. CK, NEE, and Philippines all had candidates running for high-profile positions. Furthermore, CK and Anteria are two of the URA’s biggest regions by population, so a higher vote share is to be expected.
What is more interesting is the regional breakdown of the votes. First, let us look at Conch Kingdom. Jinkies (Gibraltarica) and Suvmia, both well-known figures in the region, won CK by huge margins (88 percent and 83 percent respectively). Meanwhile, HoPA Vermont and Montpelier underperformed in this region by fourteen points, winning merely 43 percent of the CK vote despite winning the election with 57 percent of the total vote. The VP breakdown is nothing too interesting, reflecting the final vote count with Lanaograd slightly overperforming and New Reiji slightly underperforming. One URA citizen wrote, “Suvmia's time as MoFA in CK probably won him this election.” Analyzing the vote distribution, it may be more complex than that. If no one from Conch Kingdom voted, the final results would be 41.5 percent Suvmia, 33 percent Maricoen, 15 percent Allangoria, 10.6 percent Pir. While Suvmia still has a good lead over his opponents, it is nowhere near the 49.6 percent of first choice votes received with CK’s help. After The Pir’s elimination, the second round results would be: 44.3 pervent Suvmia, 36.6 percent Maricoen, 19.1 percent Allangoria. To win, Suvmia would need only 5 votes from Allangoria. Did Suvmia’s popularity in CK help him win? Undoubtedly. But was it necessary to win? The evidence suggests elsewise.
Interestingly, New Eastern Europe seems to have voted completely differently from the rest of the alliance. Whether that is due to Maricoen’s candidacy or a unique political culture is hard to tell. Freedomanica won the majority of support in the region, far greater than the 36 percent he won throughout the alliance. Vermont and Montpelier took the region by storm, winning 80 percent of votes despite not even being a citizen in NEE. Maricoen won every single vote in the region, which should come as no shock. Half of Maricoen’s total vote share (15/33) came from NEE, which suggests that his strong second-place finish to Suvmia was carried by his home region. Indeed, if no one from NEE had voted, Suvmia would win handily on the first ballot with 57 percent of the vote. Lastly, the region was split three ways between Lanaograd, XII Legion, and New Reiji, each winning about one third of the regional vote. This was especially impressive for New Reiji, who only won 18 percent of the vote alliance wide.
Just as Maricoen’s base of support is in NEE, Lanaograd’s base of support is in the Philippines. Taking 100 percent of the vote, Lanaograd had the support of all 11 voters. However, it should be clear that Lanaograd’s victory could have been achieved without Philippines -- his 40 point lead over XII Legion in the third round of voting needs no analysis. Surprisingly, Jinkies won 100 percent of the vote in the region, performing even better than in Conch Kingdom or Anteria. Vermont and Montpelier and Jambon (The Flying 2) were tied in the region for support. Maricoen, who endorsed Lanaograd during the debates, seems to have been rewarded for doing so. In total, he picked up 63.6 percent of the vote share, crushing Suvmia with a 45-point lead. This information could lead to interesting electoral strategies in the future, where a candidate endorses another from a different region in order to gain even greater support. Hey, if it works in real life it should work in NationStates, right?
Last but not least, Anteria. Their voting patterns greatly resembled that of Conch Kingdom, a curious fact indeed. Does Anteria have a similar political culture to Conch Kingdom? Well, without more data (which we will not have until July) we cannot conclude that for certain. However, it would make sense if they were similar politically. Both regions are associated with the Augustin Alliance -- CK is a member of the alliance, and Anteria enjoys close relations with it (see the Joint Declaration of Friendship). Jinkies swept the region with 80 percent of the vote. Jambon did just as well, winning 73 percent, resembling his other majority in CK. Lanaograd won exactly 50 percent of the votes, comparable to his 55 percent in CK. Interestingly, Legion performed ten points higher than average, winning second with 36 percent. Ridgefield, the region from which Legion hails, is another member of the Augustin Alliance. While Suvmia could not replicate his CK landslide, he won a respectable 53 percent of the vote. In a surprising turn of events, The Pir, who was eliminated in the first round, saw strong support in Anteria. Over a fourth of Pir’s vote share (3/11) came from Anteria. Perhaps his simple messages of greater freedom and community engagement resonated with some voters here.
While this analysis has only focused on four out of thirty regions, the data has revealed some fascinating trends. Firstly (and least surprisingly), well-known candidates will receive disproportionate support from their home regions. Jinkies, Suvmia, Lanaograd, and Maricoen all demonstrated this fact. Secondly, Maricoen’s success in Philippines implies that endorsements can have an impact on the voting results. However, it remains to be seen whether this is true for every region, or only regions that have a relatively homogenous political culture. Thirdly, some regions have similar regional political cultures which could be targeted by candidates in future elections. Conch Kingdom and Anteria, both connected via the Augustin Alliance, had similar vote breakdowns. Anteria also disproportionately supported XII Legion, a candidate from AA region Ridgefield.
Future URA candidates would do well to not ignore these conclusions. Next election, it could be the difference.
Anteria's regional newspaper, the Three-Star Tribune, features URA Founder and Conch Kingdom WA Delegate Free Azell in an exclusive interview on its experience in NationStates. First joining the platform as Ellenburg in 2007, the founder would find it in a decade-long hiatus from gameplay until its return in 2018. Despite its regret, Free Azell also finds its lost years as "blessing in disguise."
The founder also shares its plans to step down from its function as World Assembly Delegate by March 2021, "My future beyond that I plan to continue to work to grow the URA. My first half of 2021 will be spent most likely working with JTF Active and getting some rust off from my R/D skills. Beyond that, I would like to work in a GCR (game created region) which is something I have yet to check off my NS bucket list."
The full interview with Free Azell can be accessed here.
In its monthly feature on World Assembly trends called The Shift, NationStates Today (NST) lists URA member Anteria among the few user created regions (UCRs) which posted positive WA membership growth. In general, UCRs register a 3.6 percent decrease in WA population in January 2021 when compared to December 2020. The global trend also records a similar fall of 3.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Anteria has increased by 1.5 percent, a significant improvement from its 0.8 percent decrease in December 2020. Three other regions besides Anteria also post positive growth among regions with 100-plus WA members, namely Forest (5.3 percent), The North Pacific (2.5 percent), and Wintreath (1.8 percent). The Shift also notes Conch Kingdom in its survey, among other large URA members, with a decrease of 3.7 percent. This is just about the global average, and in contrast with Conch Kingdom's spectacular 9.4 percent growth in December 2020.
Despite the numbers, NST observes the January data as "breaking the curse of real falls" in relation to 2020. Then again, if last year's performance was any indication, any forecast of recovery may be "preemptive" at this juncture.
First founded in 2003 and refounded on January 17, 2011, the Philippines is arguably one of the oldest member regions of the URA. In its anniversary message, WA Delegate Ariusgrad lauds the continued development of the region and its active participation in the alliance, "My hope is that the brand of leadership we inspire in the Philippines will be more recognized in the NS world, for no leader is without followership, and throughout the years, even as I have seen members come and go, we have stayed to become stronger and better together." However, far from its emerging international influence today, the Philippines has remained a relatively small and beleaguered region during its initial years as a region, having no more than 20 members by 2012 and being a constant target of invaders. The instability of the delegacy and the regional government it heads before Ariusgrad was a case in point, with any one Filipino delegate lasting an average of 3 months. The Philippines even had four delegates in August 2005 alone.
The assumption of office by its current delegate and president, Ariusgrad, drastically changed the dynamics of the themed region. As the longest serving delegate of the Philippines, Ariusgrad's continuous service from its first election on January 31, 2012 has provided unity, stability, and progress beyond compare in the region's history. From a peak of around 180 members in 2017, the Philippines has maintained membership above 100 for much of 2020. This allowed Ariusgrad to spearhead and sustain an enlarged government structure encouraging WA membership, doubling the number of operational offices from six in 2012 to twelve by 2020. Also, the longevity of Ariusgrad may well be regarded as world-class, as only six other WA delegates in regions with over 100 members have served for more than three years.
In related developments, Ariusgrad has initiated a new program to further spur growth in the Philippines while keeping its principles of "force in being" to uphold regional security in anticipation of new members. Meanwhile, the following commemorative graphic highlights the rich history of the Philippines under Ariusgrad's inspiring administration, which helped mold leaders such as Alliance Vice President Lanaograd and Philippines Defense Force Chief of Staff Secular State of the Philippines from one of the largest founderless and multilingual regions in the world.
With 300 reads as of this edition's publication, the previous issue of the URA Tribune featuring the January 2021 election campaigns has significantly exceeded circulation of the issue it succeeds by more than three times. This bodes well for the Tribune, one of the flagship programs successfully initiated by the Public Affairs Council this year, moving forward.
The Tribune has also exceeded the readership of its predecessor, the URA Harbinger, which accumulated 235 views since its brief run in June 2020. Outgoing Head of Public Affairs Lanaograd expresses hope that the new council under the leadership of Vermont and Montpelier will be able to carry on the noble task of making the Tribune flourish as the alliance's flagship publication.
In connection to this, January 2021 also features a welcome development in information dissemination by the World Assembly Affairs Council as Scalizagasti initiates to publish dispatches concerning alliance decisions on resolution voting. This new tradition is meant "to make recommendations more accessible to citizens."
Feel free to telegram or Discord message the following if you have any questions or comments!
President Contact Info: Suvmia, @Suvmia#1607
Authored by Lanaograd and the Public Affairs Council. Banner design by Maricoen. All rights reserved.