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Author Topic: Party Development  (Read 9773 times)
afleitch
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« on: April 05, 2009, 10:04:49 am »
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I've mentioned that I believe we should not 'cut and paste' existing party structures and parties into any new system. While we do not know what system we will adopt, it may be detrimental to the system if we bring with us...'old habits.'

Now I don't believe that a change is that radical. Remember that my own current DA came out of an inactive NLC, which came from Moderates and the FDP. Parties are constatntly changing name and memebership - but the flow of thought is quite similar. I fully expect conservatives to gather into one party, socialists and social democrats into another and so forth.

I think it would be helpful if we began discussion of party systems alongside government systems. Even if no agreement is reached, discussion would get us far.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 10:16:07 am »
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I am very proudly a member of the RPP, however I have often worked closely with and I greatly respect the DA and most DA members (that's not to say I disrespect other party members, but I don't think I could see myself in the same party as Lief - who I respect greatly on a personal level, who received my second preference in his last election and who I hope is returned in the next Senate election). I could comfortably fit in something of a merged party of the RPP and DA - which I guess wouldn't be a merged party, but a new party comprised of overlapping members of those two parties.

I think that your idea has merit.
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afleitch
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 10:25:25 am »
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I am very proudly a member of the RPP, however I have often worked closely with and I greatly respect the DA and most DA members (that's not to say I disrespect other party members, but I don't think I could see myself in the same party as Lief - who I respect greatly on a personal level, who received my second preference in his last election and who I hope is returned in the next Senate election). I could comfortably fit in something of a merged party of the RPP and DA - which I guess wouldn't be a merged party, but a new party comprised of overlapping members of those two parties.

I think that your idea has merit.

Thank you.

I think that if we operated a universal system for example, it would be important to bring independents on board the party system, or at least to caucus with them. Parties have to be less centralist and more open to differing opinion, both of the left and right. I have said before that I think have concentrated too much on forum affairs issues in the recent past and this has affected campaigns and elections. A new way of playing where economics, welfare and foreign affairs become central and the legislature becomes more responsive to these concerns (such as the worldwide recession) would make for a broader game. The more you try and define what is conservative, liberal, socialist the narrower the appeal of such parties become. That is why, for a long time centrists, moderates and independent were so powerful.

I'm not suggesting we should just have two parties, or three parties but we need to come together. If we have to have two left of centre parties for example, lets have that decision made after everyone 'of the left' has came together. It means that there may be two parties as a result, but there is room for consensus between them both.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 11:09:51 am »
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RPP or no RPP, the party will exist with nearly the same members no matter what the system.  We are the conservatives of Atlasia and we need to unite
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 11:15:12 am »
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RPP or no RPP, the party will exist with nearly the same members no matter what the system.  We are the conservatives of Atlasia and we need to unite

But you do understand there are conservatives who are currently outside the RPP, as members of other parties or as independents? Do you think there is any common cause that can be found under a new system and in a new successor party?
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 11:18:55 am »
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RPP or no RPP, the party will exist with nearly the same members no matter what the system.  We are the conservatives of Atlasia and we need to unite

But you do understand there are conservatives who are currently outside the RPP, as members of other parties or as independents? Do you think there is any common cause that can be found under a new system and in a new successor party?
I don't know, they are certainly are not many conservatives outside of the RPP.  AndrewCT is about the only one off hand I can think of, possibly Mr. Moderate could be considered a conservative.  The RPP has done a great job of uniting conservatives into one base, people's ability to get others to unite around their cause isn't going to change because we have a convention.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 11:20:52 am »
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RPP or no RPP, the party will exist with nearly the same members no matter what the system.  We are the conservatives of Atlasia and we need to unite

But you do understand there are conservatives who are currently outside the RPP, as members of other parties or as independents? Do you think there is any common cause that can be found under a new system and in a new successor party?
I don't know, they are certainly are not many conservatives outside of the RPP.  AndrewCT is about the only one off hand I can think of, possibly Mr. Moderate could be considered a conservative.  The RPP has done a great job of uniting conservatives into one base, people's ability to get others to unite around their cause isn't going to change because we have a convention.

I hope you are aware that I'm a conservative Smiley Some others may be considered to be 'classical liberals' in the sense they are socially liberal but economically conservative and right of centre. That's what I mean by a 'big tent' approach.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 11:32:23 am »
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But if we adopt that "big tent" approach, don't we really break ourselves down into merely two parties?  What I like now is that staunch conservatives (although I mean that in Atlasian terms) fall with the RPP, staunch liberals with the SDP, moderate conservatives/liberals with the DA, and liberals in the Pacific with the JCP.  The 4 party approach with smaller tents does seem to have its benefits.
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2009, 11:40:01 am »
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But if we adopt that "big tent" approach, don't we really break ourselves down into merely two parties?  What I like now is that staunch conservatives (although I mean that in Atlasian terms) fall with the RPP, staunch liberals with the SDP, moderate conservatives/liberals with the DA, and liberals in the Pacific with the JCP.  The 4 party approach with smaller tents does seem to have its benefits.

Not necessarily. The plan is for a big tent approach to party formation, prior to any constitutional changes taking effect. If 'the left' and 'the right' meet there may be agreement to create two parties. If however they meet, agree to disagree and form two broadly conservative parties for example, they can still work together as two or more seperate parties. The UK Conservatives had a huge party wide discussion over shared principles and what we stand for as a party back in 2006. It could have caused splits, and out opponents thought it would but we came together and voted on a platform of values we all shared and wanted to expand upon.

I do not want to 'usurp' existing parties, but have a discussion that brings together different strands of what are, when you strip it down, the same principles.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2009, 12:12:01 pm »
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I think a strengthening of the party system is crucial to the game, but I also think that any sort of parliamentary system would necessitate that naturally. In the Presidential Universalism system, I've called for some sort of party-list proportional vote (either fully, or along side members elected in "districts" or regions), to really make sure that the election and support of a Prime Minister and his government functions like it does in parliamentary systems.

I'd also be opposed to any sort of big tent parties, as that would be rather boring.
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2009, 12:31:38 pm »
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I have a slight problem with this sort of thread in the Convention. While I agree that the way in which parties should be involved in the government is important, especially with the inevitable addition of a PM to the game. However, what is so far being discussed is more internal party politics, such as mergers and caucusing.

This thread can be an important resource for the development of the role of parties in Atlas (as Lief was discussing), but I would rather we not see actual party development here.
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afleitch
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2009, 12:43:04 pm »
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I have a slight problem with this sort of thread in the Convention. While I agree that the way in which parties should be involved in the government is important, especially with the inevitable addition of a PM to the game. However, what is so far being discussed is more internal party politics, such as mergers and caucusing.

This thread can be an important resource for the development of the role of parties in Atlas (as Lief was discussing), but I would rather we not see actual party development here.

I don't believe we are anywhere close to talks of mergers and caucusing. But I feel that we are now at a moment in the Convention where the roles of parties and what these parties will constitute should be discussed in relation to the proposed systems. When the new system is implimented, parties will be important - people should know what to expect when the game starts.
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2009, 12:57:47 pm »
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I have a slight problem with this sort of thread in the Convention. While I agree that the way in which parties should be involved in the government is important, especially with the inevitable addition of a PM to the game. However, what is so far being discussed is more internal party politics, such as mergers and caucusing.

This thread can be an important resource for the development of the role of parties in Atlas (as Lief was discussing), but I would rather we not see actual party development here.

I don't believe we are anywhere close to talks of mergers and caucusing. But I feel that we are now at a moment in the Convention where the roles of parties and what these parties will constitute should be discussed in relation to the proposed systems. When the new system is implimented, parties will be important - people should know what to expect when the game starts.

There has been enough talk of RPP or no RPP, creating a center/right party, etc. I'm not saying these discussions should be ignored, but some of the conversation here should be reserved for another time.

An idea regarding parties that I posted earlier: Perhaps create a "cap" for party membership. Essentially a party may have no more than 10 members. This creates a situation in which party membership is more coveted, it creates a greater need for party loyalty, but also inter-party alliances. New members may be admitted to a party at the expense of a more reticent, unpopular current member. Leadership of parties will be important. Ousted members may form their own parties to take down their ousters. This would create a more dynamic, flowing party structure. May increase tension, but the whole game would be a lot more exciting.
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afleitch
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2009, 01:04:34 pm »
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An idea regarding parties that I posted earlier: Perhaps create a "cap" for party membership. Essentially a party may have no more than 10 members. This creates a situation in which party membership is more coveted, it creates a greater need for party loyalty, but also inter-party alliances. New members may be admitted to a party at the expense of a more reticent, unpopular current member. Leadership of parties will be important. Ousted members may form their own parties to take down their ousters. This would create a more dynamic, flowing party structure. May increase tension, but the whole game would be a lot more exciting.

That idea would increase tension...but the wrong sort of tension. It could allow for an interesting game don't get me wrong, but it could also be used against individuals. These 'unpopular' members may be unpopular simply because of personal attacks or moves against them rather than anything they have specifically done. In short, some could essentially be 'bullied' out. The game should be safe and impersonal.
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2009, 01:08:21 pm »
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An idea regarding parties that I posted earlier: Perhaps create a "cap" for party membership. Essentially a party may have no more than 10 members. This creates a situation in which party membership is more coveted, it creates a greater need for party loyalty, but also inter-party alliances. New members may be admitted to a party at the expense of a more reticent, unpopular current member. Leadership of parties will be important. Ousted members may form their own parties to take down their ousters. This would create a more dynamic, flowing party structure. May increase tension, but the whole game would be a lot more exciting.

That idea would increase tension...but the wrong sort of tension. It could allow for an interesting game don't get me wrong, but it could also be used against individuals. These 'unpopular' members may be unpopular simply because of personal attacks or moves against them rather than anything they have specifically done. In short, some could essentially be 'bullied' out. The game should be safe and impersonal.

Well, we could always say politics is rough. But I guess it's more of a community here (usually). Wink

So what can we do to create the right kind of tension here?
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2009, 01:33:27 pm »
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I don't think the Constitution should dictate any rules concerning parties. Parties should be allowed to draft their own by-laws and abide to them as they see fit. I also oppose this idea of setting "caps" on party membership. Yes, it would be fun. But I don't want to see [bad] tension, personal attacks and the like increase as a result of having parties with very limited membership. I don't like the "that's how it's in the real world" argument. We're not the real world. We're not a country. We're a community of a few members who do this primarily to have fun. We're not paid politicians. We do this for fun and not to make new enemies (quite the reverse, actually). As I said in the past, this is a game, peoples. Parties themselves should be allowed to become as large as possible, if there's enough members who wish to join that party. Parties should be allowed to expel members by approval of a majority of members, but clauses like that should not be in the Constitution. That's up to party bylaws and party leaders to take care of. The government has no role to play in internal party politics. I will oppose any constitution, universalist included, which seeks to have the federal government "regulate" political parties and the like.

Party systems is also up to the various members of the various parties. We don't want to have a ConCon set up a party system and then tell them "now, choose one of the parties we created for you". If such and such party wishes to merge with so and so, then they should be allowed to do so. But we shouldn't "force" parties to merge or create coalitions out of the blue. They should come about naturally as a result of a constitutional change. I see nothing wrong with the current parties continuing under a new constitutional set-up if these parties are able to reform accordingly. Do note, however, that I am strong proponent of strengthening parties in Atlasia and turning Atlasia away from a game of various individuals united by weak, leaderless "parties" into a game where parties have a bigger role to play. Of course, these parties must have strong leadership and united. This is why I support the party-list PR proposed by Lief. Or any system that strengthens parties.

The idea of a large tent party has been brought up by Afleitch. I am opposed to this. Firstly, I prefer a multi-party system that allows for fun times, coalition building, and the like. I don't see the fun in a return to a dichotomy of a large left-wing party and a large right-wing party. That would just create two large, very heterozygous parties. That's quite boring, also.

I also think such discussions might be better placed outside of this ConCon, which, as I have said above, should not attempt to regulate parties. This discussion might be better placed later, but there's no harm in having it now.
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2009, 01:44:57 pm »
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I am in agreement with much of what you say, and you've probably put things in a better way than I did! I wouldn't wish for imposed parties, or even necessarily 'big tent' parties (I aired that as a possibility of any discussion - and big tent parties don't necessarily mean 'big parties' - The DA is a big tent party, but we are not the largest party.) but at the same time, I don't think we should simply move to a new system with the old parties without discussion; particularly as a high number of independents exist because they don't want to be part of a party or party structure.

If we propose a strong party system, then we need to look at the independents especially in a larger game. We can't have someone look at the new system, look at the old parties and think 'well I didn't like any of them then and I don't like them now - screw this particuarly if party lists and membership have more weight in a new system.
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2009, 01:58:49 pm »
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I am in agreement with much of what you say, and you've probably put things in a better way than I did! I wouldn't wish for imposed parties, or even necessarily 'big tent' parties (I aired that as a possibility of any discussion - and big tent parties don't necessarily mean 'big parties' - The DA is a big tent party, but we are not the largest party.) but at the same time, I don't think we should simply move to a new system with the old parties without discussion; particularly as a high number of independents exist because they don't want to be part of a party or party structure.

If we propose a strong party system, then we need to look at the independents especially in a larger game. We can't have someone look at the new system, look at the old parties and think 'well I didn't like any of them then and I don't like them now - screw this particuarly if party lists and membership have more weight in a new system.

As I said above, parties should choose to stay, reform, merge, or do whatever on their own. If an old party chooses to continue on as before, then so be it. Good for them, I guess. If they choose to merge with another party and a large part of the membership agrees, then so be it. It should not be up to delegates to a ConCon to make up rules for that. I am of the personal opinion that parties should reform following the convention to fit in with the new system. I also think, not just since today, but have thought for a long time, that parties should be open to various members as long as they adhere to the ideas, values, and desires of said party. All this crap to say that what happens to parties after the convention is up to the respective parties, and not a few masterminds at the convention deciding the past path for them to follow.

On the topic of independents, which I forgot Tongue to mention, it would depend on the system. If thee recalls I proposed a French-like caucusing system if the universal system is adopted. I'll post it here for reference' sake.

Quote
However, I propose a system similar to the one used in the French Parliament concerning parliamentary groups. A parliamentary group should have atleast 5 (or 10, whatever) members. Large political parties should have no trouble forming a group. Smaller parties or Independents that do not pass this threshold can choose to (i) caucus (apparentée) with a larger group or (ii) to sit as non-inscrits, which is not a group per se but a grouping of minor sub-5 parties and "fully independent Indies". Parliamentary groups would each have a leader (or speaker) and a whip, like the current constitution plans for political parties, and have a quota of PMBs like Purple State proposed earlier. A group speaker's would be responsible for addressing the group's response to a NCM, confidence vote, PM vote, law or whatever. He could also delegate this power to another member of the group at any time. Small (small defined as sub-5 members) political parties that would choose to caucus with a larger group would have access to these "advantages". Non-inscrits could choose a "delegate" that has less powers than the other leaders and would not have a whip. I assume non-inscrits MPs should have the right to introduce one piece of legislation per session. This whole thing is just an idea, but I feel that it would allow smaller political parties that do not have 5 members to have a voice.

This is largely conditional to a parliamentary system, of course, but the general gist of this could be a good compromise. I strongly believe that Independents should be allowed to remain Independents. They should also be allowed to become Prime Minister if they can build a coalition around them of various parties. Parties should try to attract these Indies, but, again, that's up to respective parties.
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2009, 02:07:22 pm »
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The causus idea is a fair compromise as long as it does not drive the whole game. By which I mean to the extent that bills have to 'wait' while voting groups, party blocs and indys line up behind the scenes to get the necessary support for it to fail or pass, but again that is conditional to the set up of the game and could only really effect a large universal system.

It's a good starting point though Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2009, 02:41:45 pm »
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I have an idea.

I believe we should get rid of the current parties and have two caucuses to start off with, Constitutive and Liberal. These caucuses aren't parties, but the people you caucuses with on issues/electing PMs/Senates etc. Then you can have a bunch of small parties under each caucus that can have their own special issues to push or whatnot.

For Example:

Constitutive Caucus: The Republican Party, the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party would fall under this.

Liberal Caucus: The Democratic Party, The Green Party, The Socialist Party would fall under this.

Do you get what I am saying?
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2009, 02:57:35 pm »
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None of the parties mentioned above exist in Atlasia, for starters.

On the general idea, I'm opposed to it. I want a strong party system, not just a system of people that are really independents joining small joke parties that have no structure and no point in the game. That doesn't work and it's boring, as shown in the past.
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2009, 03:03:46 pm »
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None of the parties mentioned above exist in Atlasia, for starters.

On the general idea, I'm opposed to it. I want a strong party system, not just a system of people that are really independents joining small joke parties that have no structure and no point in the game. That doesn't work and it's boring, as shown in the past.

I know them parties aren't in Atlasia, I was just using US Parties because I did not want to label any Atlasian party wrong.

I don't think it would make joke parties, I believe it would make the game better then what we have right now. For one it will get other parties to work together to have people elected. You can even have it where each caucuses could hold primaries to elect members to run for offices. It just an idea which is more the most people are doing.

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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2009, 03:41:44 pm »
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I don't think it would make joke parties, I believe it would make the game better then what we have right now. For one it will get other parties to work together to have people elected. You can even have it where each caucuses could hold primaries to elect members to run for offices. It just an idea which is more the most people are doing.

Yes, it would make for joke parties. What are the point of parties if they all end up caucusing together? I'd also note that your wording "Then you can have a bunch of small parties" doesn't make it seem like you really care for a strong party system.

Nothing prevents parties in a strong system from working together. That's the whole point of coalition governments.

We need strong united political parties, not groupings of people or big tent caucuses, and I don't think your plan offers that.
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2009, 04:00:58 pm »
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There needs to be some way to allow for small parties to achieve actual representation and some form of influence. Otherwise you end up with problems like we have now, such as the lack of diverse right-leaning parties. Instead, the RPP has monopolized and rightward leanings, essentially creating a "large tent" party with a "small tent" soul, or a machine of die-hard righties with the support of more moderate conservatives with no other alternatives.

Of course I figured the whole cap thing wouldn't fly, nor would it work to cap the number of seats a party may hold. But is there some constitutional construct we can establish to ensure diversity of parties?
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2009, 04:03:45 pm »
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Strong parties. Mandatory registration. No independents and one-member parties.
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