Japan Election Commission
Founded on Day 582 of the New World, the Japan Election Commission (JEC) was created to deter illegitimate foreign candidates from winning elections in the Japanese Diet. Previous congressional elections in Japan had always resulted in at least two or three foreign candidates winning the election and taking the gold and experience for the victory when they returned to their home country, often within hours after winning the election. In so doing, these rogue candidates, also called "gold-diggers," denied the Japanese people their rightful representation in congress. Many of the rogue congressmen even introduced malicious legislation before their departure in order to delay real legislative action.
Administration of the JEC was conducted by the Commissioner of the Japan Election Commission. The Commissioner's duties included:
- monitoring the election candidacies
- maintaining an up-to-date list of past and potential rogue candidates
- coordinating with the legitimate Japanese political parties to move voters to regions where rogue candidates run for congress
- managing the JEC budget to purchase moving tickets where necessary to move the voters
First Test - July 2009 Congressional Elections
The July 2009 Congressional election cycle began early for the JEC. Response to the JEC request for assistance was lukewarm, with only Party Presidents Tohru (ISP) and Lauri Mursu (TFC) responding. Rogue candidates appeared in both parties' candidate lists, but last minute candidates organized by Commissioner KITA Ikki allowed the parties to disqualify two of the rogue candidates before the election started. Another rogue candidate was defeated during the election, and only one rogue candidate in Kanto region successfully won, despite a last-second push to secure the many additional voters needed to knock out a candidate in a region with two official seats and six wildcard seats.
Immediately after the election, JEC Commissioner KITA Ikki released an unofficial diary of his JEC activities, available here: My Day as JEC Commissioner
The introduction of Citizenship in eRepublik presented a new dimension for the JEC to consider. It was no longer possible to infiltrate a country with a simple moving ticket and join their elections. Immigrants now required congressional approval from a member of congress to become full citizens, greatly limiting their ability to run malicious campaigns. Japanese members of congress would be able to approve only three or four immigrant applications per month. In the final days before the introduction of Citizenship, North Korean refugees fleeing a massive Russian invasion moved in large numbers to Japan, claiming right of citizenship as Japan controlled all South Korean territories.
Citizenship Module - August 2009 Congressional Elections
The introduction of the citizenship module in late July seemed to render the JEC largely irrelevant, accomplishing its mission to stop gold-diggers before the election cycle started. However, the August 2009 congressional elections featured a new political force on the scene: the Godzilla Party. Comprised mainly of former North Koreans fleeing the destruction of their homeland at Russian hands, they took control of the Korean National Party in a bitter party presidential election. There was some debate in government circles about the role of the JEC in preventing a party of newcomers from immediately controlling 50% or more of the congress in their first election. In the end, the JEC deployed voters to oppose candidates appearing to use multi-accounts.
The JEC appeared well-positioned to coordinate Immigration-related activities, and the Commissioner KITA Ikki advocated the establishment of an Office of Immigration in the forums so that citizenship approvals and denials could be discussed. Members of Congress going against the Office of Immigration directives would face re-election challenges from the JEC as a way to ensure that no one would use their invitations to bring unwanted elements (such as the Theocrats) into the country as legal, voting citizens.
Change of Guard
On November 17th, KITA Ikki stepped down and the National Diet of Japan confirmed ExReality as the new Commissioner of the Japan Election Commission. KITA Ikki had nominated exReality the previous day, stating that exReality was the "right man to lead the noble organization." The new Commissioner worked quickly to establish a new budget for the operation of the organization which would now focus on assisting allies in anti-PTO activities as well as opposing rogue congressional candidates.