Our long national nightmare is over

I’m referring of course to Nauru, if that wasn’t obvious.

Nauru is a pretty interesting country.  In fact, unlike America, it actually is exceptional in a number of ways.  For one it’s the only country to use a Borda count system for electing its parliament. (Slovenia uses a Borda count for two reserved seats for minorities, but  PR for everybody else).   It’s also one of the few nations to recognize the “states” of Abkhazia, Transnistria and South Ossetia.  Why Nauru has such sympathies for misplaced Russian speaking populations is a puzzle to me, (Stay strong Abkhazians, Nauru stands with you!) but what’s even more amusing is it’s past year in political life.

Nauru’s state of emergency, designed to keep government services operating during a political deadlock, was lifted on Monday with the re-election of Marcus Stephen as president. President’s are indirectly elected by the parliament in Nauru, but for the past eight months, no coalition has been able to form a majority in the eighteen-member parliament.   Stephen attempted to break the 9 to 9 split by calling snap election twice, in April and June, but both failed to give either side a majority.  There are no formal political parties in Nauru, but Parliament has been evenly divided between supporters and opponents of Stephen.  The stalemate was finally broken this week in a deal that made opposition lawmaker, and former president, Ludwig Scotty, Speaker of the House.

If the whole “two snap elections fail to give any side in parliament enough votes to elect a president resulting in a year-long deadlock that devastates the country financially” thing sounds familiar, it’s because Moldova has had the same problem.   I think two such examples of this in one year should be enough to tell us that having one branch of government elect a separate branch is a bad idea.  Luckily for Nauru, they appear to be moving out of theirs, while Moldovans must go to the polls again this month for round four, five… eh, I’m not sure actually.  So I guess we can no longer call Nauru, “the Moldova of Oceania,” which is a shame because it’s funny.

Posted on November 5, 2010, in Elections, Electoral Systems and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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