The Loquacious Lipograms of
Left-wing Utopia

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Party lines and a terrific constitution

Zwangzug is a democratic republic, with a parliament comprised of sixty representatives. Each representative is elected through instant-runoff voting by the citizens of their electoral district. While the districts are of different size, they were designed to contain roughly equal populations, so that each individual vote is worth the same. Formed during the national consolidation, the borders of the districts in some cases were deliberately drawn to divide regions with preexisting identities, in the hopes that citizens would be more loyal to the then-powerless districts or the national government than the old regions. Results were mixed: the policy was fairly successful in Tenshire, backfired in Keppal, and was deemed too politically risky to pursue in Namiri.

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The districts of Zwangzug, color-coded by party. Click for full size.

Dark green: Liberal Conservative Party. Red: Progressive Traditionalist Party. Blue: National Socialist Grammarian Writers Party. Pink: Birthday Party. Navy: Pragmatic Radical Party. Purple: Mental Asylum Party. Brown: Isolationist Party. Gray: Digital Party. Lime: Capitalism Now Party. Orange: Libertarian Party. Dark gray: Infinite Power Party. Yellow: Vanguard Party. White: Independent.

The Supreme Court:
  • Alec Wedekind

  • Greta Beadle

  • Noah Arbuthnot

  • Elias Jakin

  • Margot Vyhnoder

  • Jabez McElin

  • Bruce Randolph

  • Clyde Kramer

The parliament is both the executive and legislative branch of the government, and appoints judges to a separate Supreme Court. Because of Zwangzug's multi-party nature, it is impossible for any coalition to survive long enough to control the parliament--while some blocs can be reliably counted on to vote together on certain matters, once another issue comes to the forefront such alliances tend to fall apart. The organizational difficulties with this became obvious shortly after the parliament began meeting, leading to the creation of the office of the Composite Minister. The country's head of state, the Composite Minister (currently Felix Wainwright) exercises symbolic leadership, helps guide policy-making, and breaks ties in the parliament. Composite Ministers are directly elected by the entire country using instant-runoff voting.

Zwangzug arguably lacks long-term heads of government, however. When a bill is discussed in the parliament, the secretary of the department to which the bill most directly pertains tries to moderate the discussion. There are eight departments, and the eight secretaries--all members of the parliament in their own right--comprise the cabinet. While the role of "secretary" is a powerful political position, it should not be confused with "minister"--a term officially abandoned because of its insufficient antidisestablishmentarianism. However, this has not precluded many representatives from self-appointing themselves to "ministries" great and small in the hopes it will lend their positions credence.

There is a written constitution, interpreted by judges at the national and sub-national levels. Its first section lists rights of the people; its second establishes the parliament and its powers. It was amended to create the office of the Composite Minister.

Since devolution, the districts have limited levels of self-government. Their political organizations range from parliaments to bicameral legislatures with governors; all, however, must be democratic in some sense or another.

Parties usually choose candidates in primary elections, or sometimes caucuses, to compete in general elections. While there are many parties of statewide strength, the Liberal Conservative and Progressive Traditionalist parties dominant the current parliament. Their divisive positions on social issues and long-term rivalry, however, prevents them from forming an effective coalition.

The southwest and northeast are Liberal Conservative hotbeds, while the southeast is a Progressive Traditionalist stronghold. Overall, most of Zwangzug is critical of economic freedoms if for very different reasons, which has led to a socialist consensus for much of its recent history.

Political Parties
Currently represented in Parliament:

  • Liberal Conservative Party: liberal (with a small l) on social issues, and for conservatism when it comes to the environment, this party includes many new Supreme Court justices.

  • Progressive Traditionalist Party: having not much of a tradition to follow in, their progressivism comes through by their interests in banning everything. Targets such as tobacco, alcohol, and capitalism have been enthusiastically opposed; Harry Potter books, same-sex marriage, and graffiti are still around.

  • Pragmatic Radical Party: a generally rightist party slowly rebounding from the failures of the Coriolis administration, which tainted indefinitely the relatively strong nationalism the party had extolled.

  • Mental Asylum Party: a rapidly-growing group advocating health-care spending and tolerance of all neurologies, it nevertheless is not understood by much of an apathetic populace. (Electing Coco the Clown didn't help either.)

  • Capitalism Now Party: a vocal minority despite widespread preference for capitalism someday, maybe, or just not at all.

  • National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party: only "nationalist" due to its uninterest in worldwide communist revolution, and the party of the current Composite Minister, Felix Wainwright.

  • Libertarian Party: comparatively late to have reached the Parliament, arguably because its members were too apathetic to have organized before then.

  • Birthday Party: preferring broad community activism to governmental bureaucracy, it manages to be simultaneously in favor of social individualism.

  • Infinite Power Party: formed under the guise of mathematical exploration (n^∞), this group rapidly became a strong force due to its successful push for longer parliamentary terms.

  • Vanguard Party: advocates guarding the van, of course. What else would you need it for?

  • Digital Party: advocates...um, some sort of paring back the bureaucracy, like making decisions by sitting at your computer and clicking. Founded by Aaron Seaberg, before he was eligible to vote.

  • Isolationist Party: advocates the withdrawal of Zwangzug from the world stage. No domestic or economic platform.

Other notable parties are the Socialist Alternatifs, d'Avant-garde des Parties, Equality Movement, a Communist Party (one in a long line), and Гармония Альянс. Excluding the latter, but including Wainwright and independent member of Parliament Siri Prasert, their political compass scores follow. (Note the scale on the top end; Zwangzug is quite left-wing.)

Notable historic parties were the:

  • Centrist Front: fiscally conservative, small-government fans renowned for getting in the way of every "brilliant" scheme proposed by the Pragmatic Radicals, they were unable to garner popular support afterwards and eventually faded out of politics.

  • Conservative Liberals: could potentially have formed an influential coalition with the Liberal Conservatives (both supported personal freedoms, while the Conservative Liberals were ''classical'' (big-L) Liberals in the economic sense as well) to counter the Progressive Traditionalists if the former pair hadn't been forced to spend all their time explaining to an increasingly confused populace how they weren't each other. Some Conservative Liberals eventually formed the much-more self-explanatory Capitalism Now Party, others led the modern Libertarian Party, and a few incongruous stragglers wound up impressed with the "back-in-my-day"ism of the Progressive Traditionalists.

  • Precalculus Party: more active on the local than statewide level, the single-issue educational reformers were eventually called upon to establish the current instant-runoff system. Turns out that reviewing for ridiculous standardized tests actually does pay off in real life.


Parliamentarians

Secretary of Citizens' Affairs: Dean Mollers (Liberal Conservative Party)
Secretary of Education: Adam Bartel (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party)
Secretary of the Environment: Kathleen Hedegaard (Liberal Conservative Party)
Secretary of Finance: Maurice Bakte (Progressive Traditionalist Party)
Secretary of Foreign Affairs: Gabe Atchery (Birthday Party, Holltor)
Secretary of Health: Meg Perlson (Mental Asylum Party, Nauthron)
Secretary of Justice: Alexander McCarthy (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Beldere)
Secretary of Transportation: Louis Dermott (Liberal Conservative Party, Milase)

Henry Huxley (Vanguard Party, Vordex)
Vanessa Lante (Liberal Conservative Party, Ervimnal)
Cornelius Stumpney (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Omephaw)
Ellen Whaley (Liberal Conservative Party, Utekee)
Buffy Silk (Digital Party, Hypread)*
Jason Madley (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Gefnot)
William Schein (Capitalism Now Party, Ostulf)
Hart Crath (Infinite Power Party, Bonarte)
Leonty Gree (Libertarian Party, Glune)
Kurt Michaels (Pragmatic Radical Party, Maenems)
Mu Kwok (Pragmatic Radical Party, Quewi)
Travis Mason (Progressive Traditionalist Party)
Vance Woriano (Progressive Traditionalist Party)

Carla Dyer (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party, Ildynia)
Isaac Salmier (Libertarian Party, Stoal)
Siri Prasert (independent, Ilinge)
Lien Yosliss (Liberal Conservative Party, Erone)
Bert Infamy (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Entique)
Lola Chisca (Mental Asylum Party, Chroxx)
Thomas Brighton (Isolationist Party, Cipid)
Rory Paving (Liberal Conservative Party, Naspe)
Virginia Tosla (Mental Asylum Party, Cugio)
Karp Paxtoly (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party, Egalia)
Lily Sine (Birthday Party, Parmel)
Eleazar Tolbert (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party, Passnet)
Rahm Chandrasekhar (Liberal Conservative Party, Vetlass)
Vanessa Hamonoly (Birthday Party, Slogda)
Melissa Dubois (Liberal Conservative Party, Thertria)
Brandon Sitteidoy (Digital Party, Trevij)
Scotty Marinhan (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Mondly)
Janice McFly (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Dauclem)
Yngve Sitert (Isolationist Party, Jeatt)
Mohammed Pender (Birthday Party, Phinein)
Samuel Zeltz (Liberal Conservative Party, Eenshir)
Lyubov Camp-Newsky (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party, Anaro)
Katarina Geiss (Liberal Conservative Party, Langport)
Grover Blanc (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party, Yeaun)
Sebastien Kaufmann (Isolationist Party, Dancirk)
Olivia Han-Fitch (Birthday Party, Croop)
Tara Matchesla (Birthday Party, Dastron)
Alysoun Taryn (Liberal Conservative Party, Xander)
Shashi Iyer (Liberal Conservative Party, Nevelis)
Nicholas Periak-Suchy (National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party, Homler)
Pramoda Misra (Liberal Conservative Party, Namiri)
Mildred Faraday (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Stuvals)
Kerry Aleman (Liberal Conservative Party, Gleirin)
Chelsea McLachlan (Progressive Traditionalist Party, Rolea)
Boris Empnett-Wiss (Birthday Party, Ecklam)
Russel Sandle (Pragmatic Radical Party, Keppal)

Not listed: 3

*Silk was elected as part of the National Socialist Grammarian Writers' Party.

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