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Author Topic: Party Development  (Read 10190 times)
Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2009, 04:05:30 pm »
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We need to make sure that several parties can exist and people can survive politically as independents. I don't want to see the party system become mandatory and monopolized by just a couple parties.

As long as whatever people do/come up with doesn't hurt independents and smaller parties, then fine. But I really have concerns about trying to purge the small parties and the independents or force them into a group.

I also don't think we have any right to discuss that sort of thing in the ConCon anyway, party relations should be left up to the people to decide.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2009, 04:06:42 pm »
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Strong parties. Mandatory registration. No independents and one-member parties.

That sounds terrible. People should have the freedom to register as whatever they please and associate with whoever they want to associate with, if anyone at all. I see no reason at all to do something so extreme.
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2009, 04:08:22 pm »
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Strong parties. Mandatory registration. No independents and one-member parties.

How do you make parties "strong?" The larger goal should be to find ways to almost create an environment habitable to a multitude of parties, making parliamentary government more interesting.

I also don't think we have any right to discuss that sort of thing in the ConCon anyway, party relations should be left up to the people to decide.

While the Constitution shouldn't dictate what parties must do, it can very much influence how the party layout is structured. We could easily influence Atlasia into a two-party system or a multi-party system. That's why it is important that we discuss this. Our decisions here have a larger impact on the game than just a little rewording. It changes the whole dynamics.
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2009, 05:32:16 pm »
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Strong parties. Mandatory registration. No independents and one-member parties.

This + proportional party lists and we're golden.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2009, 06:04:54 pm »
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Why should I be forced into a party if none represent my views or I have personal disagreements with others?
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2009, 06:16:15 pm »
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Well, maybe we'd only do it for candidates? I mean, the chances of not finding a party or being able to found a party with enough like-minded people are pretty slim.
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2009, 06:17:32 pm »
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Well, maybe we'd only do it for candidates? I mean, the chances of not finding a party or being able to found a party with enough like-minded people are pretty slim.

Wouldn't it be impossible to found a new party as a new member? You would have to break off from a party you belong to because you can't start off not in a party. I would say mandatory parties is a little...unnecessary. Party membership helps anyway, so people tend to end up in a party.
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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2009, 07:07:01 pm »
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For starters, we need to remove the 5 persons make a major party clause from the Constitution.

I wouldn't set a hard number like 10 for a limit. If atlasia ever gets to 200 people, there will be 20 parties, with two or three from each side of the spectrum being nearly identical. Further it would turn into a game of survivor when you have an 11th member showing interest.

If we are going to have more diverse parties, then we need more diverse political views of our members (meaning less straight party line real life Republicans and Democrats). When Atlasian parties were at their most competitive, we had 5 strong diverse parties along the entire political spectrum.

Question for people from countries that have a parliament: do parties that form a coalition together form the same coalition at lower levels (in our case regions) or only in the parliament?
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2009, 07:10:08 pm »
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Well, maybe we'd only do it for candidates? I mean, the chances of not finding a party or being able to found a party with enough like-minded people are pretty slim.

Wouldn't it be impossible to found a new party as a new member? You would have to break off from a party you belong to because you can't start off not in a party. I would say mandatory parties is a little...unnecessary. Party membership helps anyway, so people tend to end up in a party.

     I'd agree that mandatory parties is overboard. There was a time when I first joined when parties were utterly meaningless. The rise of the RPP & SDP as well as the renewed strength of the JCP has led to much stronger party structures without them becoming suffocating. It helps to be amember of a party, but people can still succeed without being one.
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2009, 07:22:44 pm »
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Question for people from countries that have a parliament: do parties that form a coalition together form the same coalition at lower levels (in our case regions) or only in the parliament?

Canada has fucked up the whole concept of parliamentarianism, so I won't bother.

In France, there has been the development of a gauche plurielle at all levels of governance. The gauche plurielle (Socialists, Greenies, Commies, random lefties) governed at a national level, and, in most cases, they also govern at a local level together, in regions and in towns. In many cases most parties run common lists or common compromise candidates, even. The right, in its pre-2002 days also were in quasi-perpetual coalition at all levels of government.

In Germany, however, it's almost the opposite. Coalitions vary from state to state. Some are Grand Coalitions (SPD, CDU), traditionally centre-right formula (CDU, FDP), traditionally centre-left formula (SPD, Grune), controversial (SPD, Linke), or plain weird (CDU, Grune). It varies. Same thing in Spain, Austria, and a lot of other European countries with coalition systems. In Italy, it's all over the place, since it's Italy.
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2009, 07:39:10 pm »
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Question for people from countries that have a parliament: do parties that form a coalition together form the same coalition at lower levels (in our case regions) or only in the parliament?

I can only speak from an Australian perspective on this one.

The Liberal-National Coalition at a federal level has been very strong. The parties have been in Coalition for as long as I can remember, and as far as I'm aware have not broken from the Coalition since the old UAP-Country Party Coalition before the Second World War. Back then, Sir Robert Menzies and Earle Paige didn't get on so well, despite being the leaders of those parties, and one of the most scathing attacks launched in the Parliament (by the standards of the day) was an attack by Paige on Menzies for not enlisting during WWI. It seems pretty tame by today's standards, though.

Nonetheless, in 1975, when the Liberal Party under Fraser defeated Whitlam, the Liberal Party had enough seats to form a majority government in the House, without the need for a coalition with the National Party. Despite this, Fraser kept the Coalition Agreement in place and gave National Party MPs ministries in the Government and the National Party Leader, Doug Anthony, became the Deputy Prime Minister.

In 1996, Howard swept to power with again enough Liberal MPs to form a majority government without the National Party, however he also appointed National Party Leader, Tim Fisher, Deputy Prime Minister and gave the National Party various ministries - indeed, more than their numbers in the House would have dictated under the Coalition Agreement.

Of course, since then, the Liberal Party would have needed National Party MPs to form a Coalition Government, but the point is that even when this is not the case, the Coalition hasn't been disolved at a federal level and remained strong even when it's been unnecessary. This has led some to say that the Liberal and National Parties are an urban and rural faction of the one conservative party. Relations between the two parties are not always smooth, however.

In Queensland, the National Party has been the dominant conservative party for over fifty years - probably more like eighty years. The Coalition there has been somewhat more unstable in the past, however it must be noted that the two parties have since merged (as of last year). While things seem to be somewhat smooth presently, in the past the Coalition in Queensland has had a rocky relationship. In 1983, the Liberals tore up the Coalition Agreement and left the Government, because of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen's refusal to create a committee - I think it was a scrutiny of government spending type committee. The Labor Party was in Opposition and wanted the committee to keep the government accountable and probably dig up information that could be used against it. The Liberals wanted it more from a philosophical accountability perspective (since they were in a coalition government with the National Party) and the Nationals were opposed to the committee. After being torn up in 1983, it took over a decade for the parties to come together again - the Coalition was re-formed in time for the 1995 state election, in which the Coalition came up two seats short of forming government - a byelection in a Labor-held seat (after the election result from the GE was overturned by the courts) led to the Coalition forming a minority government with the support of an independent (Liz Cunningham from Gladstone). Following the 1998 election defeat, the Nationals tore up the Coalition Agreement, before again re-forming it before the 2001 election. They then tore it up again following that election, before re-signing it less than a year later. The past couple of elections, the coalition has together even following electoral defeats, and as I said, the two parties have now merged.

The Coalition is stronger in Victoria and New South Wales, where the National Party is firmly in the minority and faces a declining constituency due to urban growth. As a result, the relationship tends to be stronger. In Victoria, the parties were out of coalition for a few years (I think since the 1999 election defeat of the Kennett Coalition Government) until last year, when a new agreement was signed.

In Western Australia the parties were not in coalition. There was an election earlier this year (and this was discussed at the tail-end of the thread on that election in the International Elections board). Following the election, the National Party leader toyed with the idea of giving support to Labor, before cooler heads prevailed and the coalition was re-formed.

In South Australia, there was only one National Party MP, who decided to join with the Labor Party in coalition in order to receive a ministry.

So in short, while the Liberal and National Parties have been in Coalition for a very long while in most states and federally, the relationship is not always smooth, and in some cases has actually fallen apart.
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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2009, 07:54:47 pm »
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If we are going to have more diverse parties, then we need more diverse political views of our members (meaning less straight party line real life Republicans and Democrats). When Atlasian parties were at their most competitive, we had 5 strong diverse parties along the entire political spectrum.

It's tough to find people willing to form some of the more radical parties. In fact, most of Atlasia is pretty moderate, with a few hard righties and leftists. I mean, I wouldn't mind a two-party esque system if the parties had a meaningful rivalry, but there is barely any real rivalry between the larger SDP and RPP, while the DA and JCP kinda hang out on the sidelines pulling a few strings. It's so easy to pull a few moderates over that any center-left agenda passes easily. How can we fix this, make it more competitive and broad ranging?
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« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2009, 08:04:32 pm »
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So it varies greatly by country and such. Thank you for your replies.

So in Atlasia, we could conceivable at the national level have parties A and B in one coalition and C and D in another, while in a particular region A and C could be in one coalition while B and D are in another.

What if, there were no national parties and parties only existed in a region. It would be cheating, but it would give us more and smaller parties. Just a thought. Probably wouldn't work, but I could be wrong.
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If we are going to have more diverse parties, then we need more diverse political views of our members (meaning less straight party line real life Republicans and Democrats). When Atlasian parties were at their most competitive, we had 5 strong diverse parties along the entire political spectrum.

It's tough to find people willing to form some of the more radical parties. In fact, most of Atlasia is pretty moderate, with a few hard righties and leftists. I mean, I wouldn't mind a two-party esque system if the parties had a meaningful rivalry, but there is barely any real rivalry between the larger SDP and RPP, while the DA and JCP kinda hang out on the sidelines pulling a few strings. It's so easy to pull a few moderates over that any center-left agenda passes easily. How can we fix this, make it more competitive and broad ranging?

There was a time when any far left agenda was able to pass with little difficulty. But the only way to fix it to get more people, hopefully with less common political views than we currently have.
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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2009, 08:08:49 pm »
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On an aside different coalitions run councils in Scotland. You can often find Labour and the Tories working together to keep out the SNP (!)
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« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2009, 08:26:45 pm »
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On an aside different coalitions run councils in Scotland. You can often find Labour and the Tories working together to keep out the SNP (!)

Back in the day, Griffith University's student union was run by a Liberal-Labor coalition to try to lock out the socialists (Trotskyite Socialists, to be precise), exactly as you've described here. It seems strange but politics can make for strange bed-fellows and sometimes the political strategy of locking out a party is more important than the ideologies involved. Indeed, in the last Victorian election, there were three seats that were marginal, except they were marginal Green v Labor. These seats were all inner city and would have been comfortably won by Labor in a Liberal v Labor split. The Liberal Party didn't run a strong campaign in those seats, however, allowing the Greens vote to pull ahead of the Liberal vote, and the Liberal How To Vote card was 1 Liberal, 2 Green, 3 Labor (well, probably others in between, too, but it had the Greens higher than Labor). The preferences flowed making it a marginal seat and forcing the Labor Party to spend resources defending those seats against the Greens instead of in true left v right marginal seats.
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« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2009, 09:08:33 am »
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The party system is really the best thing Atlasia has going right now.  You have the RPP which accounts for the conservatives, the SDP accounts for hard leftists (although they actually have very few active voters), the DA accounts for centrists and the JCP is a regionalized liberal party.

I will vote against (and a large majority if not all of my party) will vote against any constitution that caps the amount of members in a party.  If the RPP does not have the right to exist the way it currently does, I will be voting against the constitution.
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« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2009, 10:46:24 am »
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I will vote against (and a large majority if not all of my party) will vote against any constitution that caps the amount of members in a party.  If the RPP does not have the right to exist the way it currently does, I will be voting against the constitution.

Likewise.  I'm very much against the idea of capping the number of people in a Party.
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« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2009, 03:10:03 pm »
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I will vote against (and a large majority if not all of my party) will vote against any constitution that caps the amount of members in a party.  If the RPP does not have the right to exist the way it currently does, I will be voting against the constitution.

Likewise.  I'm very much against the idea of capping the number of people in a Party.

as am I...seems to be an unnecessary restriction.
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« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2009, 09:58:02 pm »
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Moving beyond the idea of capping, what role should parties play? How can we establish institutions to make them more a part of the game?
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« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2009, 10:02:31 pm »
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How does parties play a role in the UK?
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2009, 11:20:38 pm »
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Moving beyond the idea of capping, what role should parties play? How can we establish institutions to make them more a part of the game?

Depends greatly on your overall goals.

The easiest way to make parties more influential is to adopt electoral systems that parties can use, namely proportional representation, whether that be by party list or keeping STV entirely. I'm not personally sure where I stand on parties. Obviously, everyone should have the right to form any party they wish with any number of members for any purpose, and it seems quite absurd to suggest otherwise. The only question here is whether we should adopt a constitution that specifically gives parties some sort of power. Take the German electoral system, for example, as the number of seats in parliament are directly influenced by the number of party list votes each party receives. Even if an independent were to win a district, that would have virtually no effect on the balance of power in parliament. In the real world, it's not a system I'm very sympathetic to, but Atlasia isn't quite the same thing.

Parties in Atlasia have lots of potential. In a parliamentary system with some sort of proportional representation, it would be very interesting to watch parties have to form coalitions in order to reach a governing majority, however the growing influence of parties might alienate several members that do not wish to pledge allegiance to any specific political group.

Overall, I'm not entirely sure where I stand on parties, but they're certainly something that we need to consider in our new constitution.
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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2009, 11:23:46 pm »
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So long as there is a PM, I would hope to see a form of government that makes coalitions almost necessary. That said, I wouldn't want to see individual parties lose power because of this. The current system we have actually allows for coalitions, as we sort of see with Senate now of a loose RPP vs. JCP/DA/SPD kind of setup. Perhaps we need not mess with this setup, but simply lend greater importance for that same sort of interaction, i.e. PM and Cabinet positions.
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« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2009, 11:30:17 pm »
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So long as there is a PM, I would hope to see a form of government that makes coalitions almost necessary. That said, I wouldn't want to see individual parties lose power because of this. The current system we have actually allows for coalitions, as we sort of see with Senate now of a loose RPP vs. JCP/DA/SPD kind of setup. Perhaps we need not mess with this setup, but simply lend greater importance for that same sort of interaction, i.e. PM and Cabinet positions.

True indeed, we've seen on several cloture votes how support is necessary from all parties...and it has been successful several times.

A "coalition government" doesn't really function in a different matter, it depends on support from the parties that are members of the coalition to advance the government's goals, but it does require a certain amount of partisan loyalty to function properly.

The independence of individual legislators is something I would not really like to lose.

Although...that could lead to many interesting scenarios in which the government suddenly loses confidence and has to dissolve. Smiley HMMMMM.....!
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« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2009, 11:38:09 pm »
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So long as there is a PM, I would hope to see a form of government that makes coalitions almost necessary. That said, I wouldn't want to see individual parties lose power because of this. The current system we have actually allows for coalitions, as we sort of see with Senate now of a loose RPP vs. JCP/DA/SPD kind of setup. Perhaps we need not mess with this setup, but simply lend greater importance for that same sort of interaction, i.e. PM and Cabinet positions.

True indeed, we've seen on several cloture votes how support is necessary from all parties...and it has been successful several times.

A "coalition government" doesn't really function in a different matter, it depends on support from the parties that are members of the coalition to advance the government's goals, but it does require a certain amount of partisan loyalty to function properly.

The independence of individual legislators is something I would not really like to lose.

Although...that could lead to many interesting scenarios in which the government suddenly loses confidence and has to dissolve. Smiley HMMMMM.....!

To be honest, this Constitution has no sway on the independence of Senators. Essentially, party lock-step voting depends solely on how much power the party decides to extend over its members and how effective the party leadership is at whipping members. IRL, such as the UK, it is difficult for party members to step out of line because their party leadership can deal severely with them. However, in Atlasia it is quite simple for an ousted party member to simply make a new party or join a different one without real consequences. A small online game makes it too tough to really wield that sort of party power efficiently.
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« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2009, 11:46:44 pm »
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Perhaps we need some guidelines for creating new parties. Something like requiring at least five people signing up within a week of the party's creation for it to officially exist as an Atlasian party. If it fails to find five people within that time frame, it will not become a party. If an official party drops under 5 candidates, then it will cease to exist (and its members shall automatically become independents until they join another official party) within 30 days unless it can get back to 5.

Likewise, perhaps we should actually give some benefit to being an official major party... A major party automatically gets its candidates on the ballot. People would still be able to run as an independent, but would be required to get a number of signatures (say 3 for a regional office, 5 or more for a national office). This is usually how it works in the real world.

A party should only be able to run one candidate for an office (and up to five for the nationwide Senate election). We would have to figure out how primaries would work when there's more than one candidate.

Perhaps we could follow New York's example and have fusion voting--a candidate could run with the endorsement of multiple parties.
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