Namorese Esquarian Community membership referendum, 2016
Results by prefecture
|Date||August 5, 2016|
|Voting system||Majority voting|
|Should the People's Republic of Namor apply to become a full member of the Esquarian Community?|
The Namorese Esquarian Community membership referendum was held in August 5, 2016, called forth by President-General Antelope Shohai. The outcome of the referendum determined whether Namor will apply to become a full member of the Esquarian Community (EC) and participate in the Esquarian Parliament. It is the second nationwide referendum held in PRN history since the referendum on same-sex recognition.
Nearly 228 million voters participated in the referendum, representing 37 percent of the electorate. As Namorese law requires that any referendum must have a turnout of 50% or over to be deemed valid, the referendum was defeated. Among those who did vote, 61.6% voted "no" to EC membership while 38.39% voted "yes." The low turnout of the referendum, coupled with the number of "no" votes, were seen by many as a popular rejection of EC membership and by some as a victory for Namorese isolationism.
Namor under the Wolf administration joined the EC as an observer in 1990. Since then, there has been discussion on whether Namor should become a member of the EC, though none of the proposals for membership in the EC have been seriously considered by the government. Polls administered in the 1990s, 2000s, and to a lesser extent the 2010s, showed that most of the Namorese public is generally uninterested in EC membership.
This started to change in the 2010s, when the Esquarian Union (EU) - often perceived as a rival to the EC - was dissolved, and many of its members, namely Katranjiev and Pavonistade, successfully joined the EC, whereas Luziyca joined as an observer. Proponents of EC membership for Namor argued that as former EU members made their way into the EC, it wouldn't be long before Namor was "left out" of an organization that was becoming more popular by the day. The issue of EC membership was brought up in both the elections of 2010 and 2015.
Prior to taking office, president-elect Antelope Shohai promised to hold a referendum on EC membership. Following his inauguration, he formally announced his decision to hold the referendum. The Central Council approved and set the date of the referendum to August 5, 2016.
All Namorese citizens who are over the age of 18 and have not committed a felony were eligible to vote in the referendum. As in general elections, voting in the referendum was non-compulsory.
The question is "Should the People's Republic of Namor apply to become a full member of the Esquarian Community?" (Намора Имингука сина ге джинве Есикалия Кунгбанг но янгука?) with two choices - yes and no.
Polls opened nationwide starting 6:00 am and closed at 7:00 pm. Vote counting started immediately after polls closed.
Domestic views on EC membership
|Liberationists||Neutral||Although Antelope Shohai favored EC membership for Namor, the Liberationists were divided on the matter. While most in the party supported Namorese participation in the EC, some agreed with Antelope that EC membership is necessary, whereas others saw it as too excessive and preferred that Namor stay an observer. Within the Politburo Standing Committee, three members (Antelope Shohai, Long Jiao-Che and Txo Hengzang) supported EC membership, two (Su Rongyun, Chi Quang) opposed and two (Gang Haiping, Mingling Chunvu) declined to take a position. As a result, the Central Committee announced that the Liberationist Party is neutral on the issue of EC membership.|
|DemSocs||For||When Antelope first proposed a referendum on EC membership, the DemSocs declined to support or oppose EC membership. After the referendum was officially announced, the party announced its support for EC membership, arguing that membership "will solidify Namor's alignment with the liberal democracies of the world."|
|New Democrats||Against||Tsao Haojing, the newly-elected chairman of the NDP, accused President-General Antelope of "oppressing taxpayers with EC membership," arguing that if Namor joins the EC, Namorese will have to share the burden of paying extra taxes to maintain the EC's institutions. Some New Democratic politicians such as Huan An expressed support for EC membership, but Tsao said they do not represent the NDP.|
|People's Firsts||Against||The PFC is staunchly opposed to EC membership, viewing it as detrimental to Namor's sovereignty. PFC chairman Kuo Zhang said "If Namor joins the Esquarian Community, various foreign institutions will supersede our constitution and we will lose our political, economic and cultural sovereignty. No matter which aspect of the EC we're talking about, it isn't good for the people of Namor and we will oppose it with all our might." Unlike other opponents to EC membership, the PFC is also opposed to observer status and has also called for a total Namorese withdrawal from the EC.|
|Socialists||Against||Numerous Socialists had expressed their opposition to EC membership before the referendum was announced. The party officially declared its opposition to EC membership, stating that "as a party that supports a better life for Namorese workers, we do not feel it is right or necessary for foreign legislators to pass laws that Namorese must abide by, especially when some of these laws may hurt workers. Even so, we do not believe this issue is divisive enough to split the governing coalition."|
|Revolutionary Liberationists||Against||The NRLM said it opposes Namor joining the EC, which it calls "a neo-imperialist project."|
|Communists||Against||The CPN released a statement urging supporters to vote against EC membership. Party chairman He Pingtao said "[t]he Esquarian Community is nothing but an organization of bourgeois regimes committed to the spreading of so-called 'liberal' ideas at the expense of the proletariat. Furthermore, membership will impair Namor's ability to independently pursue its own interests."|
|Panda Party||Against||The Panda Party, which runs on an environmentalist platform, opposed EC membership on the grounds that it will promote globalization.|
|Total||227,875,583||100.00% (37% of electorate)|