Government > Laws of the Land

Elections and Referenda Campaigns Act (2016)


Elections and Referenda Campaigns Act (2016)

An act to establish rules regarding campaigning for elections and referenda, and to enable members of the Independent Order to widen democratic participation.
Be it enacted by Her Excellency the Grand Chancellor, by and with the advice and consent of the Regional Assembly, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

General Provisions

(1) During any referendum, there shall be two official campaign groups, one advocating an affirmative vote, and one advocating a negative vote.

(2) During any Premier election, there shall be one official campaign group per Premier candidate.

Official Campaigns

(3) Appropriate provision shall be made to allow members of the official campaign groups to organise and implement a strategy to campaign in favour of their desired cause.

(4) Provisions in Section (3) shall be implemented as soon as reasonably possible.

(5) During referendums, a campaign period of fourteen (14) days prior to and including the referendum shall be allotted for members of both campaigns to convince members of their cause.

(6) During elections, a campaign period of five (5) days shall exist during the nomination and election period for members of each campaign to convince members that they are the most suitable candidate.

(7) During the campaign period, and during the polling days, campaigners shall be entitled to:–
(a) Post in the Politics and Elections forum (and any relevant subforum);
(b) Alter their avatar, signature or Custom Profile field;
(c) Send private messages to members of the Independent Order;
(d) Post messages on the Regional Message Board; and
(r) Post messages in the forum Shoutbox or Discord chat.

(8) Campaigners shall not be entitled, at any point, to:-
(a) Promote their campaign by posting in non-relevant forums or topics;
(b) Act contrary to the Charter of the Independent Order or Criminal Code (2013);
(c) Spam the forum Shoutbox or Discord chat with campaign messages, including the use the @everyone tag on Discord;
(d) Spam the Regional Message Board;
(e) Send telegrams on NationStates;
(f) Use the the forum email function to promote their campaign in any way; or
(g) Post campaign messages, or provide links to a campaign message, in the primary nomination or election topic.

(9) The Grand Chancellor may amend Sections (7) and (8), by Order, for a specific referendum or election campaign, should they be satisfied that this Act does not provide sufficient safeguards against abuse of the referendum or campaigning process.

(10) Members campaigning for an alternative outcome, or campaigning for one of the stated outcomes but who do not wish to join an official campaign group, must remain compliant with Sections (7) and (8), but no provisions under Section (3) need to be made by the Grand Chancellor in relation to their campaign.

(11) Any campaign material included in avatars, signatures or custom profile fields must be removed within 72 hours of the polls closing, while campaign topics should be archived in this same period, unless such campaign material remains compliant with the Political Party Registration and Regulations Act (2017).

Encouraging Voter Participation

(12) The Grand Chancellor, World Assembly Delegate and any member with authorisation from the Grand Chancellor may encourage members to vote in any election or referenda, so long as such message does not promote any particular outcome.

(13) Those authorised may use any method allowed by section (7), as well as:
(a) Sending telegrams on nation states;
(b) Using the @everyone tag on Discord; and
(b) Using the forum email function.

(14) No member of an official campaign group may be authorised by the Grand Chancellor to fulfil this criteria.


(15) Twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start of any campaign period, the Chancellory and executive government shall enter purdah.

(16) During purdah, neither the executive government nor the Chancellory may announce a new policy, publish a report, open a consultation, submit legislation or make any political statements.

(17) The rules of purdah do not extend to candidates or campaign groups not acting in an official capacity as a member of the executive.

(18) Should a matter arise that requires urgent or immediate attention, then the Grand Chancellor may, with the advice of the Attorney General, authorise purdah to be suspended for that particular matter.

Amendments to the Criminal Code (2013)

(15) Section 23 shall be amended as follows:
“(23) Any person, political party, action committee or other political group who knowingly violates the provisions of the Elections and Referenda Campaigns Act (2016) shall be guilty of Illegal Campaigning under this law and liable to a punishment at judicial discretion not exceeding a 48 hour ban for a first offence, up to 5 months for any subsequent offences and a suspension from office for a period not exceeding 12 months. The Court may at their discretion hold the individual or the group responsible for the offence.”

(16) Should a person, political party, action committee or other political group be suspected of violating the provisions of this act, the Grand Chancellor may, upon the advice of the Lord Chief Justice or Attorney General, suspend that individual, party or group from participating in that particular election or referendum campaign.

(17) Should an official campaign or Premier candidate be suspended, then the Grand Chancellor may, by Order, postpone a referendum or election to allow for a trial to take place.

Conflicts of Interest on Matters Regarding the Chancellory

(18) Should a referendum be on the question of the Grand Chancellor’s recall, or on the veto exercised by the Grand Chancellor, then Regional Assembly must appoint an individual to inherit the responsibilities of the Grand Chancellor under this Act.

(19) Any member appointed to exercise such powers must act in a neutral capacity, but may cast a vote during the referendum.

Conflicts of Interest on Matters Regarding the Premier

(20) Should the powers invested in the Chancellory under Article 9 be used during an election in which the present Premier is standing, then the approval of the Lord High Steward, Attorney General or Speaker of the Regional Assembly may be used in lieu of the Premier shall be used.


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