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Re interpretation of the Telegrams (Campaign) Act 2020

Imperium Anglorum

Tinpot Dictator
Staff member
Apr 6, 2015
Re interpretation of the Telegrams (Campaign) Act 2020

This is not a statutory instrument nor is it an order of the European Council. It is a public comment as to my interpretation of the requirements of the Telegrams (Campaign) Act 2020.

The specific timing provisions of the Act read as follows:—

On the same day an election is called, the Government must inform candidates about the possibility of having a campaign message sent on their behalf by government officers. On the day an election starts, the government must send a telegram to electors containing all the campaign messages received.​

There are a few subtle problems here.

The day that the election is called has two interpretations. The first is the day that candidates are called for, the 15th or thereabouts of every month. Commission (Elections) Act 2019 s 2. The second is the day on which the election poll is created, the fifth day before the end of every month. Commission (Elections) Act 2019 s 5(b).

The goal of the Act is to promote equity between competitors and to end the semi-patronage associated with Government members with communications authority despatching telegrams on behalf of candidates which they favoured. This is noted the long title of the Act.

If we take the first interpretation—that the underlined day supra is the date on which candidates are called—there emerge some problems. First, an election overseer "calls for" candidates on the date specified in Commission (Elections) Act 2019 s 2. It is not that the election overseer calls the election into being on that day. Moreover, in light of the next sentence, how can equity be effected when there are no candidates to be informed in the first place? The candidates have not yet declared themselves to the Government!

However, if we take the second interpretation—that the underlined day is the day on which the election itself is created—this resolves that problem. On the latter day, the candidates are all known. And the candidates can in fact be informed. And equity is maintained in that all candidates are given the chance to give their manifestos for publishing.

There does raise a strange incongruity in that the same day is called two different things. It is possible that the author of the law intended for the Government to inform candidates on the 15th. However, given that such an interpretation is incompatible with the text of the Commission (Elections) Act 2019 s 2 and would serve no purpose, there being no candidates on that day, the Government strongly prefers the second interpretation and will default to it unless ordered otherwise.

Incidentally, the word "government" in the last sentence above is not capitalised. This refers to anyone in the government of Europe more broadly, rather than the Delegate's executive Government (and the Cabinet). While this is minor, it also permits the Founder and other Commissioners to send these telegrams on behalf the government. How they would do so is unclear.