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Old May 18th, 2005, 11:17 PM
reformer reformer is offline
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Democrats vs. Republicans vs. Populists vs. Progressives vs. Socialists

Ok, No clue what the POD would be, but Imagine this:

Democrats: Party of the South. Always wins south, never gets anywhere anywhere else.

Republicans: Party of the middle class and upper class. Win sometimes in New England, and in some midwestern and western states.

Populists: Party of agriculture and small government. Not very racist or southern, so not a part of the Democratic Party, but a natural ally. Does poorly in the House, but has stronger reppresentation in the senate. Wins elsections in the west and midwest.

Socialists: Party of the more exstreme workers, especially European Immigrants. Powerful in very cenered urban areas. Has severall congressman, but very few senators. Has the support of most unions

Progressive Party: Party of the traditional white worker. Anti Immigration because of the want to increase wages by illiminating cheep labor. Becomes more moderate as to win votes in the middle class do to loosing some workers' votes to the Socialists. If it weren't for the socialists, they might actualy gain controll. As is, they are merely a force in congress, with some reppresentation in the senate. Do to the Socialist-Progressive competion, the Republicans often win elections in the industrial north.

All legeslation would have to be passed with coalitions. The logical temporary coalitons would be, on economic and foreign policy Democrats-Populists, the socialists and the Republicans would be against each other at all times, making the Progressives the swing vote.

Social issues, Democrats by themselves most of the time, Republicans-Populists, Progressives-Socialists. Chances are that the Democrats would become the swing vote, giving the south power over civil rights issues and prohibition, among other things.

The presidency would become much less important because the victor would never have majority. Philibustering would become a very common fact of life. Very little legislation would make it through, making states more powerful. The increasing power of states may actualy eventualy give the Populists an edge, allowing them to either take over the Democrats or the Republicans. Chances are the socialists would become the main liberal party, and the Progressives would either colapse or become a party of the center. Then the more radical socialists may become Communists, breaking the left into three parts, same as the right, making the Progressive party either the ultimate swing vote, or, if it colapses, America would become a corpse.

Clearly the POD is in the 1890s. I'm thinking Bryan doen't get nominated by the Dems, joins the Populists, and congress becomes a three way coalition needing entity. Democrats, loosing any hold they had in the Mid-West, revert to their old southern ways to please their constituency. Trying to please the Populists for coalition purposes, the Republicans become more anti-labor and perhaps more isolationist. TR is getting nowhere there, so he joins the small progressive movement (in OTL it is also a Republican splitoff) and is of course a very popular politician, and maybe even gets the presidency one of the terms. (no one would ever of course get more than one term) With the Progressives being more center and less liberal, many workers jump into bed with Debs. Roosevelt eventualy decides to become a little more liberal in order to gain political help from the socialists, and becasue his constituency was more liberal than he was. Chances are eventualy FDR would follow in TR's footsteps, and take over the Progressives. Can't see him going fully socialist or Populist. Taft and the 20s Republicans would probably stay republicans. Al Smith might actualy become a urban populist, which would be a growing popularity movement for smaller government intervention in big cities that gains the support of some disgruntled Socialists and Progressives.

Wilson doesn't fit anywhere, so politicaly he probably dies. A little too progressive for the south.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Othniel Othniel is offline
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Not going to work knowing our potics. Socialists are going to win in Minnesota, and California, prehaps the boarder southern states of Tennesee, Kansas, Missouri, and up north into Wisconsin, Indianna, Ohio, and Illinious. Progressives would prove to be your jacks wild showing up in the house when other candinadents don't meet the populations requirements. Out West both senate and house seats will go to a populist-republican viewpoint most likely. The Pacific states will be open battle grounds between the mix. New York will be highly socialist, with the republicans and progressives taking what they can get, same with Mass. The rest is likely of the North is likely to remain republican.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 02:29 AM
MarkA MarkA is offline
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I don't claim to be an expert on American politics. However, in those countries where there is no proportional representation the natural trend is towards a two party state.

In Britain the decline of the Liberals went hand in hand with the rise of the Labour Party. So a two party system remained. In Australia there is a coalition of two conservative parties the Liberal Party (really a conservative party) and the National Party which used to be called the Country Party and which is very small and is even more conservative than the libs.

The Senate in Australia has a form of proportional representation so other parties appear there.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 04:44 AM
chrispi chrispi is offline
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The only way this scenario could be realized is changing to proportional representation, much in the way that British Columbia may have done today...
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Old May 19th, 2005, 04:59 AM
Strategos' Risk Strategos' Risk is offline
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I tried this once. It would be the 1912 election of OTL, except William Jennings Bryan broke from the Democrats and ran as a Populist...
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Old May 19th, 2005, 05:02 AM
Othniel Othniel is offline
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And in every TL it will result in the same thing as OTL....



Eugene Debs loses.
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  #7  
Old May 19th, 2005, 05:42 AM
reformer reformer is offline
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The house of reppresentatives is somewhat perportional. If the division starts, some states would probably vote in different party governors and senators (which they already were). Multi party systems do not necessarily have to be perportional. The elections would be close enough that they would go to the House, which is very devided. Some parties would have more strength in the house (Progressives, Socialists) and some more power in the senate (populist), creating more of a devide. Considering the popularity of the Populist movement, and how devided the two main parties were, in some ways a multi party coalition system would make more sense. Maybe I'll write up a TL to try to show how this could work.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 05:44 AM
Othniel Othniel is offline
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Basically then it has become a division in idvidual state poltics. Maybe a repeal of the incumbant's rights for free postage within the constution?
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Old May 19th, 2005, 06:00 AM
reformer reformer is offline
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Actualy, several midwestern and western states were already voting in majority populists. William Jennings Bryan had the carisma to unify the religious agricultural base, and transform the populists from being viewed as a radical group of hicks into a working managable party. They also might be able to pick up seats in congress in states with a normally industrial base, for instance parts of rural Michigan. Chances are the senate and the house would become much more antagonistic. Once one third party becomes estabolished, the two party system colapses pretty quickly. Coalitions have to be formed in the house, and eventualy the senate. With coaliton comprimises, Roosevelt would be out of the picture for the Republicans. TR is of course one of the most ambitious politicians ever, and I could easily imagine him taking over an infant Progressive party and making it his own, altering his policies slightly to be more pro labor and anti-immigrant. Immigrants and very badly off laborers who aren't benefiting enough from the Progressive policies will first of course vote Republican. But they have no obvious canidate. Considering America has broken off from being a two party system, I can imagine the socialist party gaining some seats in congress, and eventualy senate seats in New York and Massachusetts, and eventualy Ilinois (California was a progressive hotbed). The south would almost certainly keep to their old party.

Eventualy the Progressives become a comprimising center party, socialists become a radical liberal party, the Republicans become the party of the well to do, the populists become the party of the less developed parts of the nation, and the Dems stay in the south. Chances are Republicans and Progressives are usualy on top, and win the presidency in the House of Reppresentatives, though a powerful populist with Democratic and maybe even some republican support might make it in.

The reason why this works is because there are three very strong independantly minded people at this time who do not follow their parties exact call. Their power toghether could crash the 2 party system.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 06:06 AM
Othniel Othniel is offline
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I could see a Democrat taking it if the rest of the nation isn't unified a few times at least.

Also, this is going to go to congress more than a few times as there is no clear and present majority.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 06:40 AM
reformer reformer is offline
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If the Democrats probably form a coaliton with the populists, while having more isolationist and anti civil rights policies. With the clear and present majority gone, the presidency almost becomes more of a prime minister type thing, decided in congress by coalitions.

Presidency Guesses:
1896: McKinely wins clearly do to a devided Democratic Party
1900: McKinely panders towardes the Populists so that he can win in the House. More agricultural and less industrial policies. Roosevlet stamped out do to the change. Probably no Spanish American War.
1904: Bryan wins with the support of the Democrats in the house. Republicans devided by Roosevelt's splitoff Populists.
1908: Fearing the radical movements, the Republicans and Democrats form a temporary coaliton, and choose a mainstreme wealthy non radical canidate. Possibly Taft or Wilson. Election process takes much longer becouse of larger congress devide. Progressives exspand.
1912: Teddy Roosevelt. Fearing tarrif laws and possible future foreign intervention, the Democrats pull out and support a Populist. Populist party looses seats in the house to the progressives, who eventualy win do to the support of many more agressive reform Republicans.
1916: Debs becomes popular in very Urban and immigrant communities, taking away from Progressive power. The socialists would fear Roosevelt's policies, and in the house side with a canidate who was not putting America into war and taking a huge amount of risks while being anti-immigrant. Though the Republicans are the most obvious choice, the prolitariate has a distrust of the plutocrats, and eventualy sides with the populists. The populists at this point have become a much more religous party. Fearing possible civil rights laws, the Democrats endorse a Republican canidate. (this process probably takes a very long time.) Someone like Fairbanks takes over.
1920: Progressive party, now rid of Roosevelt takes a liberal turn to gain socialist support. Populists run on an anti Globalization isolation platform, which splits the Democrats about 50 50. Republicans, unpopular after previous presidency, remain uncertain having no logical coalition force. The election is very close, but a populist eventualy wins. Seeing the conservative trend, the Progressives take a turn to the right again, temporarily becoming the party of the center.
1924: Civil Rights acts passed, Democrats abandone the Populists. Republicans now have policy similar to the populists, and actualy endorse the previous canidate in the initial election, in exchange for a Republican V.P. and some international trade agreements. The popularity of Communism makes the Socialists take an even sharper liberal turn, while gaining popularity in once Progressive states such as Michigan and perhaps California. The Progressives, fearing the growing strength of the Republican/Populist coalition decide after several ballots to side with the Socialits. In exchange for promises on non interpherence, the Democrats follow suit, leading to a Socialist President.
1928: After several years of unsucesful far left rule, there is a strong small government movement in the big cities, led by Al Smith. Instead of forming their own party, they join with the also small government Populist party, which is dramatically change, patially due to the shock of having a socialist president. Republicans, now very weak, try to endorse a strong southern canidate. Socialists loose their power, and the populists eventualy win, though for the first time since Cleavland a Democrat seemed to have real political possibility. New President: Populist Al Smith.
1932: All parties are scared at the new populist sucess. A strong large government canidate, FDR, appears on the scene as a Progressive following in TRs footsteps. Socialists end up siding with him in the house, along with some Republicans. FDR agrees not to push the Civil Rights envelope, so he gets Democratic support. FDR wins very quickly in the House.

And it goes on and on. This is of course a reppresentaion of how it might work. I have to do more research untill posting a more likely possibility. Surprisng variety though. . . Republican, Populist, Republican, Progressive, Republican, Populist, Socialist, Populist, Progressive. Of course, the presidents would never have congress or senate majority, so they would have less power.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 09:11 PM
reformer reformer is offline
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Am I just crazy, or is this possible?
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Old May 20th, 2005, 12:13 AM
Othniel Othniel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reformer
Am I just crazy, or is this possible?
Not one bit possible. Duelism or Tritarism are invitable. (Yess there are ways to tap a thrid party, it has to be of equal strentgh to the other two, and side with one sometimes just as often as it sides with the other.)
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Old May 20th, 2005, 12:55 AM
reformer reformer is offline
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If two major third parties led by much more powerful leaders than the mainstreme caim about at around the same time, wouldn't the dualistic tendancies of U.S. politics simply disolve? Once elections are controlled through the house, I don't see how third parties couldn't make it. Its not like the two parties fit the political views of that many people back then.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 01:02 AM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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If proprtional representation got passed through the majority of state houses (which is very possible) such a system would be a possibility for some time. Runoffs would need to be included for the presidency. But a winner take all electoral system always develops along US lines, albeit usually not as extreme as the U.S. has developed into in recent years. Sometimes, like in Canada with the PQ, you can have a strong regional party *if* it supplants the regular opposition party in a state/province, but in general having more than two major and one minor national party is very difficult.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 01:38 AM
reformer reformer is offline
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it seems to me that Teddy Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryan are the type of people who could create a strong regional government. The populist party was already winning states in elections and seats in the house.

perportional reppresentation really isn't necessary for this is one third party gets strong enough that there is no clear majority in the college. At that point, elections would be decided in the House, among coalitions. Once there is no longer a majority, there is no reason for the different political sides in the same party not to split from each other.

The very early 20th century is a perfect time for this to happen because of the power of fringe party leaders. In OTL, they eventualy join the party mainstreme. But if Bryan and later Roosevelt can't, then they can run sucessful campagins, and win several states. If the election does go to the house, the third parties gain much more power. The Populist party even had some senators, so they would have a say in legislative policies as well. Once the majority is broken, the two party system colapses. Considering states were very willing to go for a third party in thoes days, it is possible to happen with a strong canidate. After that, individual voting districts are very likely to go for a local strong third party guy.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 02:54 AM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Do you really think the U.S. populace would consent if, say, 3 presidential elections in a row got sent to the house? Especially if the winning candidate was not the one with the most votes. I think electoral reform would happen very quickly under such circumstances.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:09 AM
reformer reformer is offline
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It wouldn't be in the intrests of most of the parties to reform, so they would block all electoral reform. Members of the smaller parties would be unwilling to give up the small amount of power they have for reform. Neither of the original mainstream parties would be strong enough to fight for it either. The people may dislike a more parlimentary government, but my bet is that their party loyalty would trump that. Remember also, with so many parties, a majority is very hard to achieve. 2-3rds for an amndment is nigh on impossible.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 10:33 AM
cow defender cow defender is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reformer
It wouldn't be in the intrests of most of the parties to reform, so they would block all electoral reform. Members of the smaller parties would be unwilling to give up the small amount of power they have for reform. Neither of the original mainstream parties would be strong enough to fight for it either. The people may dislike a more parlimentary government, but my bet is that their party loyalty would trump that. Remember also, with so many parties, a majority is very hard to achieve. 2-3rds for an amndment is nigh on impossible.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 10:12 PM
reformer reformer is offline
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Perportional representation wouldn't ever be passed as an amendment in a multi party congress A. Because it violates states rights B. Because your never going to get a 2 3rds coalition.

With the house of reppresentatives, and a devided college, perportional reppresentation is not the only way to go. All you need are very strong canidates, such as Roosevelt and Bryan, to win. After the initial split happens, I can easily immagine Debs performing much better as well.
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