Al Grito de Guerra: the Second Mexican Revolution (Revived Wikibox TL)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Roberto El Rey, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Threadmarks: Part 17: 1992 Canadian federal election, 1992 Chihuahua gubernatorial election

    Roberto El Rey Minister-Chairman of the Chief Directive Executive

    Mar 4, 2017
    Tukhachevskiburg, Bavarian SSR
    By March of 1992, John Turner’s second term as Prime Minister of Canada was going almost as badly as his first. His attempts to foster national unity had failed due to the collapse of the Meech Lake Accords, a set of proposed constitutional amendments which many Quebecois had regarded as the “last chance” to keep their province an integrated part of Canadian society. [1] Now, rather than holding the country together as he had originally intended, Turner found himself struggling just to hold his own Party together as more and more Liberal MPs from Quebec defected to the Progressive Conservative Party, led by moderate Quebec nationalist Marcel Masse. Ironically, Turner’s most valuable political ally was one of his fiercest personal enemies: Jean Chrétien, a staunch Canadian loyalist who hated Turner, yet supported him politically, because he knew that if Masse became Prime Minister the divisions between Quebec and the rest of the country would only grow deeper.

    However, all of that would change when the Palenque Conference ended in disaster and took the life one of Canada’s most distinguished diplomats. The death of Raymond Chrétien shocked the entire nation, but no one took it harder than Jean Chrétien (who just so happened to be the late Raymond’s beloved uncle). On March 21, a no-confidence motion was tabled in the House of Commons, and when a choked-up Chrétien voted against the government and inspired 11 of Quebec’s 20 remaining Liberals to do the same, it was all over for Prime Minister Turner.

    The ensuing federal election wasn’t much of a contest, as the Liberals were too riven with infighting to wage a cohesive campaign. Knowing Quebec was all but lost, Turner desperately hoped that the populist Reform Party would cut into the PC vote share in the western provinces. In the end, however, the coalition which had delivered a landslide in 1984 held firm. With a comfortable 40-seat majority, Masse would be inducted as Prime Minister on May 19, and immediately set about negotiating a modified version of Meech Lake known as the Moncton Accord which narrowly passed a public referendum in January. However, the relationship between Masse’s government and his home province would not remain smooth for long: within a year, Jean Chrétien would be elected Premier of Quebec, and would go on to spend his entire ten-year term passionately resisting any further attempts to widen the gulf between Canada’s two “distinct societies”.


    Masse was not the only North American leader struggling to keep constituent provinces under friendly control. In his talks with the drug kingpins, Bartlett had agreed to appoint various corrupt officials as state governors in order to abet the illegal drug trade; getting these men selected as PRI nominees was easy as pie, but the elections themselves—which in decades past had been mere formalities—now posed a significant challenge because the PRI’s popularity was at an all-time low, and several of the elections would be held in northern border states, where the opposition PAN was stronger and better-organized than anywhere else in the country. How to pull off a string of victories under such hostile political conditions? For Bartlett, the answer was simple: make the local party grassroots get off its ass and work harder than it had ever worked before.

    After Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios was killed in the Palenque attacks, Bartlett had appointed Carlos “El Profesor” Hank González—a former Mayor of Mexico City and arch-godfather of the PRI hardline—to take Guitérrez's place as Secretary of Government. This put Hank González in charge of the Office of Political Integrity (OIP), a new intelligence agency which had been formed after the Selva Rebellion to root out ELM moles within the ruling party. However, Hank González quickly found a new use for the OIP: in May of 1992, two months before the state of Chihuahua was to elect its next governor, 32 local PRI officials (those most notorious for spending their Wednesday evenings at drug-fueled orgies instead of Party meetings) were arrested, hauled before OIP committees and given harsh prison sentences. Though widely publicized as an anti-corruption measure, party members well understood the hidden meaning behind the crackdown: any PRI member not seen devoting every waking moment to the election campaign would be at the cruel mercies of El Profesor. For the next two months, every priísta in Chihuahua kicked into election mode, scrambling twelve hours a day, seven days a week to get their candidate into the governor’s mansion.

    Yet the race would still be an uphill battle because the PAN candidate, Francisco Barrio Terrazas, had already run for Governor in 1986 and had massive name recognition, while the PRI candidate, Miguel Lerma Candelaria, was a faceless bureaucrat. To improve Lerma's chances, Bartlett directed DFS agents in Chihuahua to disrupt Barrio’s campaign at every possible turn; Barrio would later describe the race as "the worst months of my life", as he would routinely show up at scheduled campaign stops to find all his supporters had been scared away by pushy DFS toughs, and twice was arrested before he could even begin speaking. Lerma, meanwhile, received some very generous campaign donations from the Juárez Cartel, which he used to buy the votes of some 30,000 desperate Chihuahuans. When election day came on July 12, Lerma declared victory before the polls had even closed, ultimately winning with less than 60% of the vote. [2] Pro-democracy activist Sergio Aguayo led a wave of sit-ins and civil demonstrations across the state to protest the results, but the protests petered out within a month and Lerma took office as scheduled.


    A similar scene would play out three weeks later, when nearby Baja California held its midterm elections. The incumbent panista Governor, Ernesto Ruffo Appel, was only halfway through his term, but on August 2 the PRI regained its majority in the State Congress after three years of PAN control. On September 9, one week after the new State Congress sat, Bartlett's Attorney General announced he was filing corruption charges against Governor Ruffo Appel and recommended that the Congress remove him immediately (these charges were, of course, completely false, but that hardly mattered because the local newspapers parroted the narrative that Ruffo was guilty on all fronts).

    Bartlett tried to persuade Ruffo Appel to resign voluntarily, but the Governor refused, and so on September 18, the PRI-controlled Congress voted to remove him from office with immediate effect. The following day, front pages all over Mexico carried the image of a stoic Ruffo Appel being dragged out of the governor’s mansion in Mexicali by DFS agents. The replacement governor, Tijuana Mayor Daniel Quintero Peña, quickly proved to be far more corrupt than the federal charges had alleged of Ruffo Appel.


    When Governor Ernesto Ruffo Appel was removed from office by the PRI-dominated State Congress, Tijuana erupted into street protests. These proved much more destructive than previous civil disturbances because, after the humiliating defeat at San Cristóbal de las Casas, all Army units throughout the country had been relieved of their peacekeeping duties to go through rigorous retraining exercises. This left the city in the hands of the DFS, whose leaders were much less adept at calming civil unrest, responding to even the smallest protests with brutal crackdowns rather than negotiating with opposition figures as the Army had done.

    Though Bartlett was pleased at his success in wresting states away from PAN control, he soon began to worry that he was alienating the Mexican people from his Party. He needed something to galvanize the public behind him, something to revitalize the grand, revolutionary consensus that had legitimized decades of seamless PRI hegemony. And when the crème de la crème of Mexico’s literary elite announced plans to hold an international literary symposium in Mexico City, Bartlett could hardly believe his luck. Called “The Experience of Liberty”, the grandiose cultural summit would be held in October at the UNAM campus, [3] and would attract prominent intellectuals from all over Latin America to discuss the state of the world now that the Cold War was over (the so-called "Union of Sovereign States" may have been the USSR’s official successor state, but no one considered it to be a significant ideological player on the world stage, particularly as President Gorbachev’s Communist Party collapsed around him and most republics elected liberal or nationalist governments). Bartlett, however, saw the summit as a golden opportunity to shift popular opinion in his favor with the help of a secret weapon: Octavio Paz.

    Octavio Paz was perhaps the most famous poet and writer in Mexican history. Through his control of the literary magazine Vuelta he dominated intellectual debate in his country, and his reputation grew even further when was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990. [4] And, best of all (at least from Bartlett's point of view), he was firmly pro-PRI, having strongly defended Carlos Salinas's presidency from leftist critics. After being personally assured by Paz that the author would not speak ill of the government, Bartlett gladly allowed the symposium to go ahead and even arranged for its proceedings to be broadcast live on the TV network Televisa, knowing his popularity would improve immensely if Mexico's greatest thinker endorsed him on national television.


    Between 1988 and 1990, Mexico's literary world had been locked in a war of words between anti-PRI leftists, and pro-PRI moderates. Open dissent had largely disappeared since Manuel Bartlett was sworn in as President, but rumblings of discontent were growing louder by the month, and Bartlett hoped that opposition voices would be cowed if Octavio Paz publicly reaffirmed his support for the government.

    As expected, Paz’s enormous literary stature allowed him to dominate the conference. There were surprisingly few open condemnations of Bartlett's regime; indeed, the most climactic censure came not from a Mexican leftist but from a foreign moderate, the great Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. [6] In a televised discussion with Paz and several other Mexicans, Vargas Llosa opined that, “for many years, the perfect dictatorship wasn’t Cuba or the Soviet Union, it was Mexico—because this dictatorship was often camouflaged in such a way that it seemed like it wasn’t one. But I believe that in the past two or three years, the cosmetic trappings of democracy that disguised this dictatorship for so long have begun to fade and expose the PRI system for what it truly is.” [7]

    The Mexican moderates squirmed in their seats at Vargas Llosa’s brazen condemnation of the Mexican government; several turned anxiously to Octavio Paz, expecting the venerated poet to cut in and put the upstart Peruvian in his place. But instead, Paz allowed Vargas Llosa to finish his argument, then responded with a point of his own: “To liken our country to Cuba or the Soviet Union is to compare Abraham Lincoln with Adolf Hitler. Yet I must agree that this system of hegemonic domination has many flaws. If wrongs are being committed against the Mexican people, I call on them to right those wrongs on an individual basis, to resist any encroachment upon their freedoms with whatever means lay at their disposal.” [8]

    Subdued though they were, Paz’s words rippled instantly from one end of the country the other. Mere seconds later, an incensed President Bartlett ordered Televisa to cut away from the discussion, but it was too late—tens of thousands of free-dreaming souls had already been awoken from their authoritarian slumber. Sergio Aguayo’s anti-fraud movement instantly spiked in support, and on November 16, he led a 17,000-man protest march in the border state of Tamaulipas to beseech President Bartlett not to rig the upcoming gubernatorial election (PRI candidate Tomás Yarrington [9] would end up winning anyway, but the ruling party's vulnerability in Tamaulipas was made abundantly clear).


    Democracy and human rights activist Sergio Aguayo had been fighting the PRI system for decades, having founded the Mexican Academy for Human Rights in 1984. Though not an orator by nature, Aguayo eventually thrust himself into the spotlight and became the leader of an anti-fraud movement in Mexico's northern states that would play an increasingly vital role in the months to come.

    Meanwhile, on the other end of the Gulf, one person who took Octavio Paz’s message to heart was Cancún journalist Lydia Cacho. Since accepting a job with a local newspaper in 1986, Cacho had mostly stuck to light-hearted topics like arts and entertainment. But as she watched one of her literary idols emboldened her to resist authoritarianism “with any means at [her] disposal”, a flame awoke within Cacho’s belly, a burning need to sift through the vast haystacks of government lies and pluck out precious needles of truth. She quickly found her story: like Chihuahua and Tamaulipas, her home state of Quintana Roo would soon be electing a new governor, and it was quietly rumored that PRI nominee Mario Villanueva Madrid was a stooge of the Juárez Cartel. As the election approached, Cacho began to do some digging, hoping to find something that would permanently wreck Villanueva’s credibility and hobble the PRI’s seemingly-invincible fraud machine.

    In the meantime, though, four of Mexico’s five northern border states were now governed by the handpicked puppets of the cartels, whose drug routes quickly exploded into narcotic superhighways. By early autumn, the Transamerican drug trade was working like a well-oiled machine: Every week, mountains of cocaine, heroin and marijuana would be flown 5,000 kilometers from the jungles of Colombia to the deserts of northern Mexico, touching down at airports in Chihuahua, Sonora, Baja California or Tamaulipas with the guidance of state-appointed air traffic controllers. Then, the illicit cargo would be loaded onto DFS vans and trucked up to the border, where it would cross into the United States with the help of state-appointed customs officials.

    Day after day the cycle continued, dumping hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of illegal drugs on American shores for the voracious consumption of American drug addicts. A DEA report estimated that 324 kilograms of heroin, 83 metric tons of cocaine and 435 metric tons of marijuana had entered the United States in September alone, and as drug abuse rates soared and American cities exploded with drug-related violence, more fuel was thrown onto the flames of an already-murky presidential race. As election day 1992 approached, no one seemed quite sure whether President Bush, his Democratic challenger, or the renegade, populist independent candidate would emerge victorious.
    [1] The Meech Lake Accord also failed in OTL when the legislatures of Manitoba and Newfoundland failed to ratify the agreement.
    [2] In OTL, Francisco Barrio Terrazas did run as the PAN candidate in 1992, and not only did he win a majority of the votes, but Carlos Salinas (who was still President at that point IOTL) recognized the results as valid and allowed him to take office as Governor.
    [3] In OTL, “The Experience of Liberty” was held in August of 1990. In TTL, the ideological upheavals of that year, not to mention the troubles at the UNAM, cause the summit to be delayed two years.
    [4] As he was in OTL.
    [5] I initially toyed with the idea of having Mario Vargas Llosa win the 1990 Peruvian Presidential election in TTL, but I eventually decided against it because it would be too much of a stretch with a POD in 1988, and because it would butterfly away this incident, which I believe is important to the story.
    [6] In OTL, Vargas Llosa's said this: "Mexico is the perfect dictatorship. The perfect dictatorship isn't Communism, it isn't the Soviet Union, it's not Fidel Castro, it's Mexico. Because this dictatorship is camouflaged in such a way that it often seems like it's not one." The phrase 'perfect dictatorship' has since become popular shorthand among historians and ordinary Mexicans for the PRI regime as a whole.
    [7] In OTL, after Vargas made his "perfect dictatorship" remark, Octavio Paz offered a much firmer defense of the PRI regime: " Mexico we have a hegemonic system of domination. We cannot speak of a dictatorship." You can watch the full exchange (in Spanish) here on YouTube.
    [8] In OTL, Yárrington was elected Governor of Tamaulipas in 1998, six years later than in TTL. In 2013, he made Forbes's list of the 10 Most Corrupt Mexicans (which also happens to include Raúl Salinas de Gortari and Elba Esther Gordillo).
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

    Jun 23, 2015
    Qo'noS, homeworld of the Klingon species
    I love how you're slowly building up bit by bit as Bartlett's every stupid decision gradually leads to his regime collapsing around his ears.
  3. traveller76 Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Something tells me Lydia Cacho is going to be the one who throws the match on the bonfire.
    Roberto El Rey and rjd1997 like this.
  4. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Hey, good to see that the P in PC isn't in (immediate) danger ttl.
    Roberto El Rey likes this.
  5. Joseph890 Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2017
    I feel that the United States is going to launch the second Second Mexico American war to get rid of the drug cartels.
  6. Reisen Storm Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    Here's hoping Ross Perot wins the elections. He deserves it.
    Catalunya and The Hawk like this.
  7. holyknight Well-Known Dude that comments here and there.

    Oct 15, 2016
    ..Just past Macho Grande, unlike Stryker.
    More than likely, she manages to record something FAR MORE damaging than merely the proof of the PRI Candidate being a Juárez Cartel stooge, but possibly an inter-Cartel meeting... One with a direct representative from Bartlett's trust from the Government.

    Cacho would be literally FORCED to run for asylum, because she knows that unless she gets every single one of her precious people outside México , in the moment that she releases the literal Pandora's Box that she gained ALL the Cartels will be gunning for her and her family and friends , no matter how distant.....

    ...For not talk that the Second Mexican Revolution will truly be ignited after the fact that the Presidente is working with the Drug Cartels...... Bush will be literally forced into a catch 22...... Look like an utter idiot as the Mexican President that he supported, backstabbed him..... Or react like an avatar of wrath and justice
    ......and seal the Mexican Frontiers with the Army, and the Navy, and impose a Blockade.......
  8. Questerr Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    San Antonio
    He certainly has more of an argument ITTL.
    FossilDS and The Hawk like this.
  9. The Congressman Populist Liberty Conservative

    Oct 2, 2015
    Good ol' USA
    Dear God, all bets are off if Perot wins
  10. Kermode Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Snowy climes of Canada
    Wow, the Canadian part of the update sure lived up to my expectations! Very satisfying to see what appeared as a throwaway line in a previous update spiral into something much, much more. I was definitely expecting it to hit Chrétien hard and cause a rift or his retirement, but I wasn't expecting him to make the jump into provincial politics. That's a cool idea just on its own, but for the staunchly-federalist Chrétien to find a spot in Quebec politics really speaks to the different sort of political environment ITTL's Quebec post-Moncton. And of course, Chrétien's departure from the federal scene leaves the party's left without its standard bearer, so it'll be interesting to see who picks up the baton…

    And while still on the subject of Canadian politics, Marcel Masse is a novel choice; usually when people want to keep the Mulroney Coalition going they use Bouchard, so I applaud you for choosing someone else. (Apropos of nothing: ITTL, no Canadian government has won re-election since 1974.)

    On the Mexican side of things, I'm afraid I can't get into the little details and subtle changes, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I like what you did with the Experience of Liberty and Octavio Paz: how pushing it back a couple years changes the tenor of the event, leading Paz to give a mild criticism of the regime, and this sparking renewed unrest. It's a clever little ripple.

    On a broader level, I love how every update has the PRI desperately aiming to regain their unquestioned grip on politics and society, only for it to come at a cost (alliance with cartels) or explode in their faces (the Experience of Liberty). It really gives the impression of a regime that's flailing around and refusing to accept their situation. It's going to be very satisfying to see the PRI finally fall.
    Damian0358 likes this.
  11. Reisen Storm Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    We are about to witness some Alternate History not thought possible.
  12. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

    Aug 26, 2017
    This should be interesting
  13. 49ersFootball Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2019
    San Antonio, TX.
    Oh Boy! Where is de la Madrid & his family during this chaos ? I hope Reagan is giving them safe passage....
  14. Reisen Storm Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    Why Reagan? Shouldn't It be Bush Sr.?
  15. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

    Aug 20, 2010
    Reno, Nevada USA
    I think it should be clear though, that Perot was mighty far from winning OTL. I don't even know what it means to say he "deserved" to win, or why anyone would say that. Why him more than Bush or Clinton?

    But he definitely made 1992 more interesting, and trying to get him to win would be more of a thrill ride yet!

    I should point out that I searched the thread to make sure, and your post was the very first to mention Perot's name. We actually don't know H Ross Perot is the maverick independent--nor do we know Bill Clinton is the Democratic candidate--his name has been dropped before, but not by the author!

    Much of the detailed situations that motivated Perot to put his hat in the ring have been knocked-on here. I searched for mentions of NAFTA for instance--a lot of people mentioned it early on but not the author, and clearly with the ATL tense situation in Mexico, it is not happening, certainly not under that name. I believe though that Perot was largely motivated by personal animosity toward Bush, so perhaps Bush simply being President in any conditions is enough to provoke Perot to try?

    This post has evolved over several started out with some surveys of "facts on the ground" making the ATL different, but honestly I should review the TL. Meanwhile I got interested in what the pattern of Perot doing better would be and I'd like to post my work on that first. Bearing in mind the author is not yet confirmed to actually be talking about Perot at all, nor necessarily Bill Clinton either, let's take a look!

    OK, I start with some numbers from OTL, 1988 and 1992, data from Wikipedia's pages on the respective elections and internet sources of US population in both years. The US population grew by a bit under 5.1 percent in that period, so I am adjusting all the 1988 numbers up and we pretend that the total population of '92 voted in proportion to the smaller one of '88, to get a sense of what changed in 4 years.

    Overall, the popular vote for the Presidency increased 8.5 percent on this adjusted basis, which is to say that with an up-adjusted projected total of 96 million PV for '88 (the real number unadjusted was 91.6 million) the actual 104.2 million votes cast in '92 is a growth of 8.2 million "new" votes from people who did not vote at all in the '88 contest.

    Clinton gained nearly a million votes on this basis versus Dukakis, just under 980,000, a 2 percent gain over Dukakis. Bush lost 12.261 million, a loss versus his '88 performance of nearly 24 percent.

    Looking at the marginal "others" is interesting--the Libertarian candidates lost 163,560 votes or just over 36 percent of their '88 performance (adjusted). Leonora Fulani ran under the New Alliance ticket, getting adjusted 228,237 votes in '88 and only 73,622 in '92--a loss of nearly 68 percent!

    A couple of right wing candidates (besides Perot--he might be perceived as moderate by many but he definitely was no leftist!) in '92, Bo Gritz and Howard Phillips, between them garnered almost 150,000 votes. Lumping them in with a slightly larger number of unnamed Others, they comprised 302,000 versus the same category adjusted in '88 numbering 262,300, so we have a slight growth of 40,000 there--but relatively twice as great as the overall turnout growth.

    And H. Ross Perot got 19.74 million votes, just short of 19 percent of the total.

    I think it is highly unlikely that absolutely all the "new" 8.2 million went to Perot OTL. Clearly the outlier voters who supported third candidates so small as not to be named separately grew a tiny bit absolutely.

    How likely would people who voted for Leonora Fulani in '88 support Perot over Clinton? (For those who might not recognize her, she was a perennial left wing candidate, in California associated with Peace and Freedom Party. These are the kind of people who disdain to vote for Democrats because even the "progressive" Democratic candidates strike them as too far right wing. For the record, I never voted P&F myself, though I was challenged to). They certainly would tend to be people very very critical of the Democratic party's "moderate" right wing compromises and ties, which for savvy people in the know Clinton was the very standard bearer of. But where did they go? I think very few of them would settle on either Bush or Perot--possibly some, let's just guess 10 percent, and some larger percent, say 20, would give in and vote for Clinton. Maybe a lot more did that because in 1992, the Democrats had been out of the Oval office for 12 years and it is always easier to convince oneself of optimistic possibilities when there is no recent track record other than performance as governor of Arkansas to consider. I guess I will go with 1/4? And the other 65 percent I suppose either went in small numbers to the slight increased of unnamed other candidates, or just plain sat out the election completely. That means the "new" voters are higher in number by this difference really. It comes to just under 100,000 other new voters to replace these dissenters.

    How many of the 8.3 million new voters went Democratic? It might seem that they are capped to under a million, but possibly some former Democratic voters switched to Perot, making more room for new Democratic voters--it would be highly unlikely however that anyone who voted for Dukakis in '88 would belatedly switch to Bush at this late date, nor was it a great year to jump ship to vote for a harder left wing candidate as Fulani's misfortunes show. The major purpose of this enterprise of vote juggling, if anyone is wondering at this point, is to suss out the nature of Perot's support. Although from my continually and consistently and forthrightly left wing perspective, Perot was a reactionary quite as bad as any Republican or other right wing party, it does seem many people who supported him apparently regarded him as some kind of moderate splitting the difference between the two established parties, so the most interesting and knotty question is, how many Democrats went for him, being a bit more than made up for by new Democrats voting who had sat out previous elections completely?

    Similarly, can we conclude every 1988 Bush voter who withheld their vote for him in '92 went straight for Perot, or again was it a more complicated revolving door whereby some of them just threw their hands up in disgust and voted for no one while yet more New voters than we have yet identified took their place and went straight to H Ross? In fact, how many additional New voters even came in out of the cold to vote for Bush, meaning yet more 1988 Republicans walking away from the whole mess?

    Starting with the simplest assumptions that no one moves indirectly and Perot's sources were most of the new voters and defecting Republicans, we have--well, Gosh! it seems if I subtract from the 8.2 million growth in new votes the near million increase in the Democratic share, and augment the new votes by an estimated 100,000 replacing Fulani's despairing supporters from '88, and credit Perot with all the balance of new voters plus the defectors from the Republican and Libertarian ticket (which both make some ideological sense as Perot supporters--so would moderate Democrats but the numbers don't seem to be there unless we mix things up in a more complicated way)--it adds up almost exactly to Perot's actual totals!

    By this model then Perot's OTL vote was comprised mostly of 12.4 million Republicans splitting for the "middle" and a break with the party mainstream as they saw it--we can have more speculation perhaps with some actual numbers from God knows what source trying to nail down how many of these were moderate Republicans with reservations about Reagan/Bush excesses, and how many were "True Reaganites" who believed Bush and the party mainstream had somehow deviated from proper Republicanism. And in essence the minority of just over a third of them were "new" voters, about 7.15 million, or 86 percent of all the people energized to newly vote who were not die hard "I vote no matter what" types like me--to be fair, I haven't situated the 1988 election to judge whether it was itself a low turnout, actually a high turnout, or pretty average turnout Presidential election.

    Without diving even further into more abstruse stuff then, it seems fair to summarize 1992 OTL as Perot challenging a Bush ascendency that otherwise, without this challenge, might have simply steamrollered the modest growth of the Democratic brand and added another 4 years to the Reagan regime. Frankly, before I started wrestling with the data, this was not particularly what I expected or wanted to find.

    And there is some counterevidence that suggests that without Perot, the Democrats still might have been poised to win.

    For instance I've done the counting on the partisan composition of the state delegations in the House before. The Democrats controlled more state delegations than the Republicans did, in the Congresses elected in 1990 and in 1992; the Constitutional resolution of a failure to win an EV majority from the Electoral Colleges is for states to vote in the House, and those would be Democrats in the lead. Such widespread support suggests to me that in an ATL contest without Perot throwing his towel in, somehow or other more people would vote Democratic despite the obvious preference of many of Perot's voters OTL for the Republicans.

    After all, I was also surprised, looking at demographic surveys summarized in the Wikipedia 1992 election page, that indeed Perot's support seems to have much more from the "moderate" wing of the Republican inclined partisans and swing voters, and that his strongholds of support were mainly out west, and more north of the Mason Dixon Line than south of it--in fact, his ten worst states in terms of percentage won (plus DC) were all southern states! Just demographically, I suppose if I were less acerbic about the corrupting aspects of our society and the complicity of its privileged in much wickedness, I ought to have a softer spot for Perot than I personally do--I certainly do think of myself as a Western American! And flyover country resident too. (I just doubt doubling down on reaction is likely to be less painful than our current doses of it are).

    So perhaps if Perot had sat things out, and essentially none but the million or so OTL new Democratic voters had come forth, still a good part of those 12 million plus Republicans and Libertarians might have voted for a Democratic candidate perceived as moderate, in favor of some course changes and overhauls from the now old Reagan regime? As a cautionary shot across the bows of out of touch Republican leadership perhaps?

    Armed with this new perspective (new to me anyway) I'd like to look at the electoral numbers in more detail to see what an increase in Perot's appeal on the same lines as OTL would look like, and on that basis see if we can deduce what it would have taken for him to 1) cause someone other than the Democratic candidate to win, or 2) win in his own right.

    This post is evolving over a long period of writing, and I started it with an attempt to survey what is different in the ATL that might change things. I would like to set that aside for a moment and just stick to the numbers a bit.

    Now of course I am careful not even to say Bill Clinton is the Democratic candidate, because he might not be--in fact I seem to recall a certain Texan Democrat being set on a different path than OTL--it might be too early for him to be the front runner and get the nomination, but I imagine we will be hearing more about him.

    So while we are sure it is Bush bearing the Republican standard, we don't for sure know the Democratic candidate (unless I have missed something, I will review the recent canon posts before my next attempt to analyze the subjective ATL variations) and again unless I missed something, while we know there is a strong third candidate, we don't know it is Perot.

    Here I assume the Democrat is essentially similar to Bill Clinton--a "moderate," clearly not demonized among the more conservative Democratic voters, taking progressive elements for granted as people with nowhere to go, particularly liked in the South presumably because he (or she, could Ann Richards have her hat in the ring?) is Southern. The independent I assume is in fact Perot; a different one would have different demographics.

    Empirically, let us say that for every 8 new voters drummed up by the stronger competition, 6 go straight to Perot, 2 are new Democrats, but as these two move into the Democratic ranks, one more right wing "moderate" Democrat defects to Perot, so the upshot is 7 new voters for Perot and one for the Democrats, but we keep track of how many of Perot's ranks are former Democrats. Then these 7 Perot voters are joined by 12 Republicans who simply defect, these are presumptively skewed toward the more moderate wing of their former party so the remnant Republican voters are more right wing. Note that the right had some queasiness about Bush--my late grandfather damned him as a "one-worlder" CFR type, so the weaker Bush's support is, the more discontent against him in the remnants and thus the volatility of jumping ship for a third party is sustained. In parallel, I suppose that the two new Democrats coming in, and defection of one conservative Democrats to Perot, shifts the Democratic position moderately leftward somewhat.

    Thus, every 19 Perot voters break down into 12 moderate Republicans, one moderate Democrat and six new voters presumably happy with this mix. The Libertarians also suffered more erosion than the Republicans did proportionally, OTL losing over a third of their '88 share presumably directly to defection to Perot--thus if Perot's share were to triple (which would give him well over a majority of the total popular vote) the Libertarians would be eliminated completely and go into negative numbers. But modeling would not go so far as to triple Perot's numbers!

    19 Perot voters correspond to 8 new voters versus '88.

    Thus running it in reverse, if we were to reduce Perot's share instead of raise it, every 19 eliminated corresponds to one disgruntled moderate Democrat returning to the fold--or quitting the vote in disgust, but actually there are good reasons to discount that this being a year the Democrats hoped to regain power after 12 years out of the Presidency. So say 1 in 38 returns to the Democrats and another just quits. Half the Perot Republicans do not return but sit out the election, either abstaining from all voting for President or patronizing some other third party--say the Libertarians, or Bo Gritz's Populists, or Howard Phillip's US Taxpayers (who are mostly now known as Constitutionalists, except in Michigan where they retain the old name and in Nevada where the Nevada American Independent Party affiliates with them).

    What happens with those assumptions if we throw Perot completely into reverse and he does not run at all?

    We have 19.744 million Perot voters OTL; if 6/19 of them just withdraw from the effective race, that is 6.235 million, and the same number return to the Republicans. 1/38, or 520,000, return to the Democrats and an equal number sit it out. raising the sit out defection to 6.8 million.

    The outcome of these assumptions, along with assuming the other small candidates stand pat except for the Libertarians gaining 50 percent more and Fulani getting the same share as in 1988, is that there is drop rather than rise in total turnout; and the Democrats get an incredibly tiny edge over the Republicans in popular vote numbers. To know what effect this has on the EV, we need to make some additional assumptions--here I can just assume these proportions hold and give the Democrats and Republicans each their share of the released Perot voters.

    The outcome of that is that Bush does gain votes, but not enough votes quite to win--and "Clinton" or whoever the equivalent Democrat is does retain the popular vote plurality lead, albeit razor thin.

    OTL Clinton's two party lead was much stronger of course, though his total share was well below a majority, and he won with 100 EV margin with 370 EV to Bush's 138.

    But without Perot in this model, Bush gains 91 EV from ten states--Maine, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, Kentucky and Georgia. But Clinton still has 279 EV.

    What if I eliminate that disgruntled OTL Perot voter, half of whom I supposed did vote Democratic without Perot? Well, what that does is first of all drop Clinton's total PV below Bush's, just a hair to be sure, a matter of 430,000 votes across the nation. But he hangs on by the skin of his teeth--Bush almost but not quite crosses the EV win line with 269 EV by gaining Connecticut, but Clinton still has 271 EV--exactly as many as the younger Bush claimed counting Florida as his after the dust settled in 2000 by the way.

    Obviously this does not "'prove" the Democrats were bound to win in 1992 no matter what, if anything it shows how very slim their margin was OTL. But I think it does vindicate the idea that while the nation was sharply divided, it was hardly the case the Democrats had zero mandate! It was their election to lose, after 12 years of Republican control of the White House.

    But the topic here is mainly Perot. Given the above assumptions, what does it take to throw the election into the House of Representatives by Perot driving Clinton under 270 EV? How much more gain for Perot will actually tip over 270 EV to him and thus win him the Presidency directly?

    Because, unless we strongly change the results of the House races, which Perot did very little organizing to do OTL, and would be difficult, although easier if there is a huge bandwagon for him to be sure, the Democrats dominated not only in total seats in the House, but in controlling well over 25 state delegations with majorities there, thus securing a possible resolution in the House for "Clinton" or just about any Democratic candidate.

    Again if we look at the OTL Presidential results state by state and reflect, we can see that the Democrats had yet to lose much of their grip on the "Solid South," and Clinton probably benefited greatly as the candidate from Southern sympathy--with Bush and Perot both being Texan, it was more a case of not alienating the South than wooing it of course. But in Congressional delegations as well as Presidential EV and seats, the Democrats were strong in the South versus today, and Perot's challenge was weakest there.

    So for Perot to "win," he must actually win outright, he is not going to get it awarded to him by power brokers!

    The straightforward model is to simply multiply Perot's OTL votes in each state by a uniform multiplier, which then gives surpluses to guide how many OTL votes for Clinton or Bush should be deducted.

    Perot boosters though have got to realize, especially with evidence indicating overall Perot drew conservative votes, that he was indeed a spoiler from the Republican point of view.

    Increasing Perot's popular vote does eventually start getting him some EV of his own. But before that, for quite a large increase in his vote, it will not be Perot who benefits but the Democratic candidate. I do recall that my assumption is that for every 19 new Perot votes, 2 new Democratic ones show up too, offset by one old Democrat jumping ship for the Perot bandwagon. But while that might be questioned, I think it is reasonable and not out of line with OTL reality--for the only way I could show any Democratic support for Perot whatsoever was to set up such a revolving door, and it is a fact that after Perot, it was the Democrats who got some benefit from the general upswing of voter turnout in '92. And that shift is consistent with US voting patterns throughout recent history--higher turnout generally corresponds to better relative Democratic performance in modern times. The question is, is it reasonable to link a drift of more normal non-voters into the Democratic ranks in lock step with rising support for Perot? I think that is not too far fetched...the more buzz there is for Perot, the more general interest in the election, and the more nervous lefty types get that they will get steamrollered if they don't get out and vote--versus the positive attraction that this is their moment to win perhaps, and that Perot is splitting the Republican vote, which could make Democrats complacent, but might also excite some at the scent of opportunity in the air. So I will stick with this assumption--the upshot of adding 19 Perot voters is also adding a new Democratic voter (in net, one of Perot's 19 is a former Democrat, and the process is making the Democrats more left wing as the most conservative ones drift into Perot's camp--more strongly, the Republican remnant is getting more right wing as their moderates depart in much larger numbers to Perot).

    But Perot has quite a high and hard glass ceiling to break even so! Acting as a spoiler, the states his votes overturn first slip from Bush to Clinton. As low as 1.236 times his OTL vote, when he has yet to quite reach 23 percent of the national PV with 24.4 million votes, 4.7 more than he managed OTL, "Clinton's" EV skyrocket to 452, even though his personal share of PV remains just 42.46 percent. At that point Bush is down to 86 EV from 11 states--ironically a great many of these are high percentage Perot states, including four of Perot's very top five--still more weirdly, Maine, Perot's strongest state, is still Clinton's at this point. As Perot's share rises, first he will gain EV from Bush before starting to poach Clinton's. He would almost immediately get his first, Alaska (his second strongest supporting state by percentage). At 1.289 percent, he has gained Kansas as well from Bush, before he gets his first skim off Clinton--finally Maine! But Clinton still has 448 EV and Perot is still a distant third in EV. In fact around 1.6 Clinton surges back stronger then ever at 456, having gained more EV from the rapidly decaying Bush. By this point both Perot and Bush are neck and neck in PV percents at 29 percent each, but Perot has 56 to Bush's 24! And Clinton's has declined but only by 0.4 percent, still close to 42. at 1.97, Clinton drops below his OTL 370 and Perot climbs above Bush's OTL 168.

    Finally, at 2.3, California flips from Clinton to Perot and Clinton drops below 270, to 236, with Perot holding now 295 and Bush left with just 7 EV , from the state of Mississippi.

    At this critical point, Clinton still leads in PV plurality, with 40.2 percent nationally, though Perot is right behind at 39.5 percent--and Bush still has nearly 20 percent!

    So there we have it---there is no point where the vote would go to the House, Perot and Clinton quickly send Bush down into the lower depths and there is no moment of balance when Bush's weak remnant robs both of EV majority--that passes straight from Clinton to Perot with California's 52 EV.

    We see that for Perot to actually win then, as opposed to making the race a lot more interesting, and be angrily denounced by Republicans as a spoiler, he must more than double his OTL vote. The method I used to model this assumed he would get most new votes in the same states he led OTL, and the least in the same ones he trailed in OTL. Less realistically my model assumed that the drift into the Democrats and suck tide out of the Republicans would happen in each state in proportion to the rate of Perot's own support growing, which might be a bit weird versus reality because we could well have a state where it is the Democrats who lose votes to Perot while Republicans stand pat, or other complications. And where which shifts happen remains highly relevant.

    Still I think this is a fair heuristic of what it takes for Perot to win. He has to more than double his vote. I wanted to see how far it has to go for Perot to win 370 EV, matching Clinton OTL, but before it could get that far the model started registering negative numbers of Republican and Libertarian voters in Maine, so I had to call a halt when he has only 320; by then Clinton has slipped behind Perot in PV and they have traded places there, while Bush still retains well over 17 percent, but zero EV. Perot wins with all 32 states that supported him the most strongly with Clinton still holding the 18 that supported him least (and DC). To reach this point, 12 million more voters than OTL have to pile in, or over 21 percent more--recall that the historic election was already almost 9 percent higher in turnout than in 1988, so we are looking at close to 4/3 more people than '88. Given low American turnout normally, with even Presidential races struggling to get to 60 percent, this is possible--but very close to the line where it would become mathematically impossible.

    Of course there are other assumptions we can make that make Perot's win less heroically improbable. Say the Democrats did not run a candidate the South was comfortable with--say Jerry Brown instead of Clinton--perhaps Perot, being quite authentically Texan by birth, would look better to more conservative Southern Democrats, the very people who ignored him the most OTL. It was still early for former Southern Democrats to leap over the line and embrace the GOP, but perhaps with a halfway house on offer, many would find it easier to go for a new third party that seemed to be taking the nation by storm? Perot getting more Democratic defectors, especially in the South, might make the decimation of the mainstream candidates less onesidedly a devouring of Bush; perhaps the mantle of EV majority would pass back and forth between not-Clinton and Bush, maybe become a three way toss for a bit before Perot emerges in front earlier. There is no telling exactly what effect trying to model where new Democratic voters would be most attracted, or where Republicans would suffer the worst (though that seems more logically linked to where Perot did best) on which states cross EV lines and when. And perhaps Clinton's or some other Democrat's support was saturated at a certain point and he would not keep getting a steady influx of new blood.

    But again, for reasons I elaborated in the "survey of the ground" arguments I have postponed posting with this, pending further research of the TL and discussion, it is the Democrat's year to lose by all conventional wisdom, and I don't think it was an accident one did so in historic 1992. It is very hard to see how the ATL events would somehow elevate Perot as the obvious man of the hour, nor cloud or shadow the Democrats pressing the claim to be that. Nor does Bush have some crowning moment of awesome to make himself a shoo-in for the victory either.
  16. 49ersFootball Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2019
    San Antonio, TX.
    Good point, but you noticed I'm doing my TL on TX Governor Mark Wells White, Jr., (D), like for you to take a look at that TL (which I'm still working on).
  17. Roberto El Rey Minister-Chairman of the Chief Directive Executive

    Mar 4, 2017
    Tukhachevskiburg, Bavarian SSR
    Yup! I thought it'd be fun to try and contrive a way in which the P is maintained despite this not being a Canadian-focused timeline.

    Thanks, I'm glad it came across well! I figured Bouchard was a bit too cliché for the reasons you mentioned, so I did a bit of digging. My addiction to using "original" choices as world leaders in my TLs comes in handy sometimes, although it does occasionally get very tough to find suitable people to insert into office so I'm glad I found someone this time around.

    As for who inherits the Liberal leadership from Turner, I wasn't going to focus much on Canada for the rest of this TL, so I'll just go ahead and tell you: my plan was for Paul Martin to come out on top since his biggest enemy is out of the running, then loses the election of 1997 while Masse's majority decreases by only 6 or 7 seats, thus breaking the 18-year curse of no Canadian governments being re-elected.

    Wow, @Shevek23, I have to congratulate you on the incredible depth of research you did, both into my timeline and actual history, to produce such a comprehensive analysis! I can't yet reveal how true your predictions are the story, but suffice to say you probably put more thought into TTL's 1992 election than I did x'D

    By the way, I'd like to make a quick announcement: I have just moved to a different continent, and I've barely begun the process of settling into my new city. This means I won't have much time in the coming days or weeks to work on this project, but rest assured than my heart is still fully invested in it, and the next updates will come as soon as my frazzled fingers can type them out! I anticipate that the update for the 1992 elections will be up soon even with the disruption, though I can't promise that at the moment.

    Hopefully this story is intriguing enough that the new updates will be worth the wait. Thank you all so much for taking interest in this passion project of mine!
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019 at 6:57 PM
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  18. Reisen Storm Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    Wish You luck, Roberto.
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  19. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

    Jun 23, 2015
    Qo'noS, homeworld of the Klingon species
    Take your time, folks are generally happy to wait for quality content. :)
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  20. holyknight Well-Known Dude that comments here and there.

    Oct 15, 2016
    ..Just past Macho Grande, unlike Stryker.
    The trick here, it depends in HOW and WHEN its released "Cacho's Box", if this happens before the US elections. And more importantly, the effect in the US population.

    If the timing its correct in the revelation of the fact that the Mexican President its in cahoot with the Narco Cartels of Mexico, the first effect, its that Bush's run for a second period it will be pretty much NUKED.

    George Bush in fact, if he has a semblance of sanity, in not trying to harm his party further, and admit that he fucked up royally by supporting the Mexican President and Government and other stuff. . . .In this case, the only SANE choice, its to step down, and carry the blame of the mishandling of Mexico, in order to not further smear the Republicans beyond what would have been already.

    However, "Cacho's Box" leaves us with an interesting quandary. One would think that this would benefit Clinton. However if you think it, the population and MANY politicians, in many cases from those states most affected for the sharp increase of drug traffic, would if anything DEMAND action and firm measures rather than anything resembling negotiation with the Mexicans, and would call for a "Second War in Drugs" both inside and in the Frontier.

    With Bush stepping down, suddenly the Republican Vote , has a SINGLE target. Moreover, the more right-aligned Democrat vote, would DEMAND action and between Perot or Clinton's baseline campaigns, exposed to the sudden retire of the Republican Candidate, Perot's message would spread like fire in a dry field, and would certainly appeal to the American voter that wanted a decisive leadership in front of the sudden crisis to the south.

    The point, is if Clinton could project an image of decisive action and firm leadership in a point where the voter felt like if the US was like a ship adrift, or he couldn't show this against an immensely energized Perot candidacy, what would be likely carrying the Republican vote, and convince the mid and right Democrat vote that a new leader it was needed in the current situation.....
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