Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Microstory 1447: First Elections

When the Republic first gained traction, the leader of the movement declared himself the first president. He did this with the promise that he would step down, and make way for a replacement in a few years, after the first elections decided on the first official regime. That was exactly what he did in the year 2100. He didn’t even run for reëlection, or allow loyalists to start a write-in campaign. He firmly believed in the government they were building, and didn’t want anyone to be in power who did not deserve it, and did not prove to the people that he did. The system was staunchly misogynistic, but within its own parameters, a fair meritocracy; well...maybe not quite at first. Anyone who wanted to run for a particular position was free to do so, as long as he fit the initial criteria, number one being that he had a penis. Every candidate was given equal opportunity to announce their platform, and raise awareness. Seeing as money was a new thing on this world, they weren’t quite sure how they were going to prevent the wealthiest from having an unfair advantage, but they knew they wanted to protect the elections from it. They didn’t want it to be like it was on Earth. It was the preliminary administration’s responsibility to figure this out. There were technically around twenty thousand eligible voters living in Aljabara at the time of the election. When it came to voting itself, there was a secret rule about who was eligible, and who wasn’t. Bear in mind that formal misogyny was only beginning to take hold, and the Republicans feared that a rebellion would rise up once more if they did not at least pretend to make things fair. Everyone over the age of fifteen was allowed to vote, but that didn’t mean every vote was going to be counted. The voting committee left themselves under no obligation to reveal the final tally of the votes. All they were required to do was announce who won which race. Voters did not place their ballots in the box themselves. They handed it to one of the poll workers, who dropped it into the box in front of their eyes. This gave the appearance of equality, but there was something else they were doing at the same time. Each worker wore a special stamp ring on his finger, which he used to mark the corner of each ballot he received from a woman. Every ballot bearing one of these markings was simply thrown into the recycling bin at the time of counting. The counters didn’t even bother looking at who the woman voted for, because to them, it no longer mattered. Their opinion stopped being valid six years ago. The first official administration would go on to make voting illegal for women, and this was always the plan, but the Republicans didn’t want anyone to know that. There was actually a lot they had planned for the future that they realized they couldn’t introduce all at once. Had they wanted to do that, they would have needed a monarch, and if there was one thing all monarchs from history had in common, it was that they were always—be it sooner or later—overthrown. While things had been bad for years now, this was the day freedom truly died on Durus.

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