In the latest chapter of Maoyuu, the Demon Queen faces a confidence vote through a little-known clause of the demons’ constitution. Of course, there appear to be some glaring issues with the demons’ constitution and the procedural bylaws governing the council made up of the eight leaders of the largest clans. This allows our heroes to save the Demon Queen through the classic practice of abusing procedure.
The Blue Demon King, King of the Blue Demons, moves to remove the Demon Queen from office. We can think of this as a confidence motion and it requires a simple majority for it to pass. There are some interesting details here. For instance, the threshold for passing is 50%, not 50% + 1. Also, the Demon Queen appears to have no voting rights in this case, so she’s at the mercy of the members of council. In this case, there are eight members with voting rights, which means that the Demon Queen can be removed with just four votes.
Interestingly enough, they don’t really debate the motion and just kind of wander off to strategize on their own for a few hours before returning to vote. For some reason, they speak when they vote, which really is not a good idea. You don’t really want any shenanigans to be going on while members vote.
Since there are only eight members, the vote becomes 4-2-1 in favour of removing the Demon Queen by the time it’s the Fire Dragon Archduke’s turn to speak and vote, which means it’s a victory for the opposition. The opposition begins to get up and shut the whole thing down since it’s pretty clear they’ve won, but the Fire Dragon Archduke doesn’t have any of it and insists on his right to speak and vote, a classic legislator move.
The other members relent and allow the Fire Dragon Archduke to speak and he uses the chance to play for time. A councillor once mentioned that if they didn’t know what was going on and it wasn’t clear that they’d win that vote, what you’d do is hit the button to put your name on the list up to speak and buy time. Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why in most legislatures around the world, speaking occurs before voting.
Another common feature of most legislatures is that you can’t interrupt a vote once it’s started. Here, we see why this is the case. The Fire Dragon Archduke was buying time for a human delegation to arrive at council. When they do, the Fire Dragon Archduke moves to allow the humans to form a new clan and claim representation on the council, invoking another little-known clause in the demons’ constitution. This is seconded by the Ogre Princess Shrine Maiden and the humans are allowed to sit on the council with full rights since, according to the constitution, the creation and addition of a clan doesn’t require a vote. Of course, with them added, the vote becomes 4-4-1 and the confidence motion loses.
The lesson here is that constitutions are important and procedure is important.