Elections 2016: a guide to voting across Airstrip One

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Charles RB, May 5, 2016.

  1. Charles RB Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Elections are taking place across Airstrip One today for politmen and the Commissioner-General, and collectively make up the single biggest test of opinion of Oceania’s Turnbull government.

    How will the elections work?

    As in the rest of Oceania, voters will elect a politman for their union. There are 325 unions across Airstrip One and all are currently up for grabs. Airstrip One is a “hidevelstate” and as such can also directly elect its Commissioner-General.

    All parties running had to be authorised by the Ministry of Love. There are currently four ingsoc parties running and, controversially, one “doubleplusnonsoc”.

    Since the so-called True Revolution of 1999, Airstrip One has habitually supported NewIngsoc. However, this election is expected to be widely different. This will be the second time the entire adult population of Airstrip One can vote and the first time in which the milligen – young voters who have never personally known Big Brother – are voting.

    What will local election results mean for the rest of Oceania?

    NewIngsoc is expected to take a beating. There is extreme discontent that, for the first time in over fifty years, the Leader of Oceania is not from Airstrip One. A large minority of proles are also still disappointed that Leader Rowling – the much vaunted ‘prole made doubleplusgood’ – was deposed at all, disagreeing that she was weak on security and that the charges were trumped up.

    If NewIngsoc outright loses, Turnbull’s position is weaker. This is unlikely to topple him immediately but will increase the violent dissent in “lowdevelstates” and bolster the opponents of his immigration ban. A number of opposition party figures have been arrested for corruption – or paedophilia in Roger Blake’s case – in Australia and South Africa, the next states to vote, and sent to the New Guinea Rehabilitation Colony.

    Nyasaland’s ‘Street Vote’ protests have brought the state to a standstill and whether it is reclassified as hidevelstgate or the crackdown escalates will depend on the Airstrip One vote. Both a NewIngsoc victory or an opposition victory would provoke a crackdown, in shows of strength (albeit for different reasons), while a partial defeat for Turnbull’s party is likely to push him to a deal to buy time. However, an opposition-led NewIngsoc could decline to send troops to support the crackdown and this would greatly undermine any such action.

    The Ministry of Truth has warned Airstrip voters that a ‘bad’ outcome from the election would embolden both Eastasia and ‘oldingsoc’ Soupacific. Two opposition parties have responded that the Free African Union will grant more favourable trade deals with Airstrip One if they win.

    Who is running?

    NewIngsoc is the incumbent party and has a comfortable 57% majority. Nigel Farage is hoping to keep a third term as Commissioner-General despite falling approval ratings. Party campaigning is focused on the immigration ban and the alleged protection to services and jobs; and also on the need for a “Steady Hand”, with posters depicting Farage as literally holding the country steady. The leader has also tried to link himself further to the deceased Commissioner-General Savile in his speeches.

    However, an increasingly emboldened opposition and “smallpress” have accused him of badly managing the country’s supplies – a claim going back to his time as Minister of Plenty – and Farage has been visibly angry at being opposed. He is suspected to have ordered Thought Police arrests of various opponents and opposition leaders, but is shy of directly targeting the leaders themselves.

    NewerIngsoc has been rising in prominence for years thanks to an expanded, younger voter base, with leader Mhairi Black catapulted into position by the “youngvote”. She is not just the youngest candidate – and the first in Oceania to be born after Big Brother – but a rare one from north of Airstrip One. The party is campaigning on the need for lessened authority, reform of Miniplenty, and bringing in an immigration quota to boost productivity. Black herself is the main target of NewIngsoc propaganda, accusing her of lack of experience and presenting her as an Eastasian Commissar (she said refugees from the anarchic post-superstate might be allowed in again).

    TrueIngsoc is the other main rival of NewIngsoc and, crucially, competing with NewerIngsoc for the “youngvote”. While the party is declining in most of Oceania – Confederal is an exception – Seamus Milne has turned TrueIngsoc into an Airstrip force. In a recent speech, he thundered that criticisms of the Big Brother era “are now so well-rehearsed that they are in danger of obliterating any understanding of its achievements” and that the regime successfully ended capitalism and colonialism. TrueIngsoc calls for a rollback of changes that, in their words, have left Airstrip One and Oceania open to “creeping returns of the old ways” and want greater scrutiny of potential hostiles. Propaganda portrays Farage, a suspected material decadent, as a pre-revolution City gent.

    NatIngsoc Airstrip One is the domestic branch of the NatIngsoc Party formed in Mid-North America. While Paul Golding’s political stances are a mixture of NewIngsoc and TrueIngsoc – Black has accused him of “doubledoublethink” – its main stance is that Airstrip One, and all of the states, need greater autonomy from Oceania’s central government to protect its particular culture. An Australian leader has been a huge poll boost for NatIngsoc parties (outside of Australia) and this may cost both New and True some votes. The party has attracted criticism for its “voluntguard” militia which have attacked non-white citizens. Goulding has dismissed this as “a few bad apples”.

    The outsiders in the race are the ManagePlenty Party, one of the few allowed in Oceania that do not follow Ingsoc completely. They are campaigning on government reforms and allowing a greater freedom of small enterprise – all parties have accused them of being a return to the Liberals and Conservatives of pre-revolution. John Major, the founder of the party, has repeatedly rejectived conservativism and instead tried to brand his party as “ingliberism”. While ManagePlenty and NewerIngsoc disagree on most issues, they have pledged to vote together against Thought Police. ManagePlenty is a fringe party (it got 4% of the vote last time) but if it makes gains, or is part of a broader coalition, it will embolden other non-ingsoc groups and could make both Farage and Turnbull’s positions untenable.

    What is the likely outcome?

    NewIngsoc is almost certainly going to have the largest share of the vote but it is unlikely to have a majority.

    Thousands are likely to riot if NewIngsoc and Farage do win a majority due to suspicion vote rigging – and it is unlikely Farage would risk a repeat of the New Zealand Emergency.

    It is unclear who NewIngsoc would form a coalition with if it has to. Most likely is TrueIngsoc but there is extreme bad blood between the two. One alternative would be to rule as a minority and try to keep the opposition divided. This is likely for a large enough majority.

    An outside chance is that either TrueIngsoc or NewerIngsoc will win the largest minority, in which case they will be forced into coalition. NewerIngsoc may be forced to bargain with NewIngsoc (though this would end Farage).

    A rumoured possibility is that Oceanic troops would find a pretext to ‘restore order’, as they did in New Zealand, if the vote is too much against them. This will always run the risk of an Eurasia-style collapse.

    Both the Norman Republique and Calais are hoping for a hole in immigration ban, which would reduce their population pressures, while several nations in the Free African Union hope for a NewerIngsoc or ManagePlenty victory. The government of United Volta in particular has claimed that “landing on the Airstrip” would boost them out of recession by giving companies a whole new market to enter.

    Soupacific is set to portray any potential problems as proof that reforming ingsoc only brings instability; Eastasia has officially made no comment and does not seem to be covering the election at all.


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    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  2. Catsmate Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    I like it!