RB: Good morning! The sun rises as we bring you the latest results from the elections in Inquista. Let's take a look at where things stand.
RB: Well, it's official, the Kligenbergists have secured 138 seats, which is well beyond 121 needed for a majority. We will undoubtedly see Archbishop Kligenberg be re-elected as Archbishop of Inquista. The Pietists now have 65, while the Reformists have 9 and the Liberationists have 3.
KV: An outstanding victory for the Archbishop and her allies, who clearly ran really enthusiastic campaigns. The Pink Revolution really came to light.
RB: What does this result mean for Inquista?
KV: Well, obviously the Archbishop will go on for another term, but there's going to be a lot of change within the Inquistan Orthodox Church. The Archbishop is going to have a really big tent of supporters who are actually loyal to her interests, unlike the previous government, who owed much of their fealty to Chief Secretary Firoux.
The Church Secretariat is going to see some new faces. This election has seen the Firouxian camp swept out, and the Kligenbergists swept in. Who also gets the Chief Secretary position will be interesting to see. The doctrine of New Public Prosperity has been at the core of the Archbishop's campaign, so whoever is able to push that forward with the most vigour and fervor is likely to get the top job.
For better or for worse, we've seen the Reformists be moderating forces within the Archbishop's government, who have acted as her sober counsel and have limited her more eccentric inclinations. There's no predicting how things will move forward now with a majority at her fingertips as she pursues whatever New Public Prosperity means to her.
RB: And what does this mean for Europe?
KV: There's no denying that the Archbishop is one of the friendliest leaders on the European stage, and she's pursued a very warm and collaborative foreign policy that is very open and willing to cooperate with other European countries. The Archbishop's win signals a continuation of Inquista's open-armed approach to European affairs, and we will likely see Inquista build new relations abroad while strengthening existing ties.
The last three years have been been quite peaceful for Inquistans, which is actually saying something considering that country was at war with Icholasen only weeks before the Archbishop came to power. Since then, there was turmoil and violent uprising in Copala City, divisions and cessations within Icholasen, a genocide and foreign intervention in Eastern Haane, crises with the Spanish straits, "diplomatic bombings", an occupation of Istkalen, civil war in Sertia, foreign intervention into Svarna Surya, just to name a few conflicts, and no Inquistan forces were ever mobilized during any of it.
The Archbishop has steered clear from all conflict-related affairs, though she did come in strong to condemn the violence in Copala City, where she called for peace and a return of Inquistan Orthodox people to the city. The Archbishop also granted genuine independence to the Sahrawi Union, which marked a peaceful end to that chapter. Czech Slavia, which has become a key Inquistan ally, also announced the nationalization of foreign assets, and the Archbishop has so far responded in a very measured and optimistic way.
The Archbishop appears to seek out win-win and peace-driven solutions whenever she gets involved, but I think the biggest criticism laid against her is that she doesn't get involved enough, and that she overlooks confrontational foreign policy actions taken by her allies. In general, the Archbishop has played a very passive role within the Telum Treaty, which isn't appreciated by countries that have an axe to grind with Spain. Certain countries seem to have developed completely one-sided animosity towards the Archbishop largely because they see her as being accepting of the Spanish's President's more hawkish maneuvers.
Similarly, I think a lot of people don't appreciate her coziness with the Czech President for Life, who some see as authoritarian, or her closeness with Emperor Artabanos of Inimicus, who could probably announce a full-on annexation of North Diessen tomorrow that Archbishop would readily accept. Since the Archbishop has shaped Inquista to be quite loyal in our diplomatic ties, I think countries which we have a close bonds with have much to celebrate tonight.
Countries which don't have close ties to Inquista also have much to appreciate about the Archbishop's re-election. The Reformists and Pietists have historically been quite uncompromising in their dedication to their strong principles and values - as we saw in the Craticist years and the Reformists' more radical stances on Icholasen - while the Archbishop's more mutable foreign policy worldview is much more accommodating of foreign idiosyncrasies.
RB: Wow, thanks for that Ted Talk, Kathy. I'm hearing all the results are officially in, so let's take a look.
RB: And there we have it, everyone. All votes have been counted and all dioceses have acclaimed their new bishops. The Kligenbergists have come out on top with 150 dioceses. They shall have a very comfortable majority within the College of Bishops, and Archbishop Kligenberg will see herself re-elected without much resistance.
The Pietists have gained 5 seats altogether, bringing their total to 76 dioceses. The Reformists have fallen significantly, losing 86 seats and only winning in 11 dioceses. The Liberationists have collapsed tonight, only winning in 3 dioceses.
Any last big-picture takeaways, Kathy?
KV: We saw the Kligenbergists win over most of the supporters the Reformists have historically relied upon. I think the Reformists themselves were very significantly weakened by the retirement of Chief Secretary Firoux. Archbishop Kligenberg is evidently seen as the successor of the post-Craticist and post-Firouxian political space in Inquista.
The Kligenbergists also seem to have attracted most of the supporters the Liberationists used to enjoy. The Archbishop's 'pink populist' appeal definitely bled their votes. Strange to see a wealthy celebrity from a famously affluent family attract their support, but they clearly like whatever policies or messaging she's been selling.
With the Kligenbergists on top, and the Pietists as the only real opposition, I can confidently say this election is a win for populist politics. It's a win for the Archbishop's celebrity-driven populism, and a win for the ultraorthodox populism that has always driven Inquista's right flank. Everyone else lost.
RB: That's a lot to think about. Thanks Kathy. Okay, don't go anywhere as will soon have the results of Inquista's councillor election. Please join us again after the latest news headlines.