Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A US Parliament

I recently came across this graphic

And it got me thinking what a US Parliament might actually look like.

First off, it would not look like the graphic above. Sanders, for example, was able to get support from those opposed to Clinton taking the nomination, as well as more traditionally pro-labour and social democrat forces. Trump is also doing well among all brands of conservatism who want to see an end to the Obama era.

So I decided to eliminate the job of President and create the job of Prime Minister. I also abolished the Senate just to keep things nice and simple. This leave us with our 435 member House of Representatives, which will be elected based on pure proportional representation, in a single nationwide electoral district. There is a 5% threshold, meaning you won't see parties with under 22 seats.

I also decided that while I'll keep all the US government decisions roughly the same (IE no retconning WW2) that I will consider that the US has had a Parliament since it's founding, with elections in each year a real Presidential election took place.

So I'll jump right to the results of this coming 2016 election, and explain what the heck is happening in it.

The two largest parties are the Liberals and Conservatives. These are the old Democratic and Republican parties, with new colours, to better match how political parties are coloured in Europe. They were first elected to a coalition in 1944, when the existing Liberal-Progressive coalition, lost their majority. Since then, the two parties have always had a majority, and have always chosen to use that majority in coalition. Conservatives are, in some ways, closer to the Liberals than they are to either the Christians or the American Party (nationalists). This is also known as the "post war consensus"

Consider that in reality, the Conservatives, Libertarians (as shown here), Christians, and Nationalists are all within the Republican Party. Also consider that the number of non-Conservatives within that party is huge, and you can see why the party decided to break with the post war consensus in 1994. Our real Republican Party has fewer Conservatives in it, due to the influence of the "Tea Party", which, leads me to some history.

You can easily trace back the Progressives to the early socialist and pro-labour movements. That party is over 100 years old. The Liberals meanwhile, are about 200 years old, give or take, and can be traced back all the way to the Whig Party, and to the populist ideals of Andrew Jackson. The Conservatives have been around for 300 years, prior to the US even becoming a country. The newer parties include the Nationalists, who rose to prominence  in the 1800s before fading away, and failing to pass the threshold for a number of elections. They returned during WW2 with the rise in patriotism, later strengthened by the campaign of it's leader, George Wallace, in 1968, and have been a presence ever since. The two newest parties are the Christians, who first passed the threshold in 1960 as a response to catholic JFK's attempt to become elected Prime Minister. The newest party is the Libertarians, who passed the mark in 1976, out of a feeling that Nixon was too liberal, and that Liberal Leader Jimmy Carter would only make things worse.

One thing we do not see in this Parliament is the famous US Tea Party. Why not? Well in reality our version of the Tea Party is a combo of two movements, the libertarian movement within the Republican Party, and the christian right. In this Parliament these two parties are separate, and as such, there is limited room for famous Tea Party candidates like Bachmann or Cruz, who both sit on the line between the two parties.

On the flip side we see the problem with Obama, who sits on the line between the Liberals and the Progressives. Again, in US politics as we have come to know them, this is a key to success, as you can tap into both movements, but in this new Parliament, it's quite likely that such people would find it hard to become party leader in the first place.

As a result, for the past 30 years, each election has seen the total won by the governing coalition shrink and shrink, as more and more American are dis-satisfied with government itself. The largest third party is the Progressives, and they are also the fastest growing, but the Conservatives are the fastest shrinking party as more and more of their voters leave to support parties further on the right. These people want a Nationalist security policy, Libertarian taxes, and a Christian society.

Such is the situation of this US Parliament. Given the divides in the Conservative Party, the end result is that Hillary Clinton is elected as Prime Minister.

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