Page for Saturday, July 13, 2013:


Commentary

A "quick" refresher on Terran system politics and the importance of Jupiter to the Terran Union. The Jupiter Alliance is governed by a provisional government, formed by the leadership of the Jovian separatists, who rose up against the Confederate States of Mars, of which the Jovian moons were colonies, and won independence from Mars with the help of Earth at the start of the Earth-Mars War in 2510. Prior to that, Jupiter was treated as an experiment in unbridled capitalism, with very little regulation and no representative government to fix its problems, ultimately resulting in a small cabal of Martian corporations pretty much running the entire planetary system, while the Martian military put down any protests to the way things were run. Because of this, the resistance had a strongly socialist bent to it and the provisional government has been, essentially, a socialist government, which has nationalised pretty much all Jovian industry.

Jupiter's socialist leanings made its entry into the Terran Union a hot button issue in the treaty negotiations at the end of the war. Conservatives were generally opposed to it (for entirely political reasons), but the Social Democrats demanded it (again, for political reasons -- without the more leftist Jupiter to balance the more right-wing leanings of Mars, the Social Democrats feared that the Terran Union would be more predisposed to electing conservative governments than the current United Nations of Earth is); so they threatened to vote against the formation of any Terran Union if the Jovians were excluded from it. With enough Liberals in support of Jupiter's inclusion (for more pragmatic as well as ideological reasons), the Social Democrats could have denied Earth's parliament enough votes to prevent the treaty from passing. The Conservatives reluctantly agreed to include Jupiter, and the treaty is only valid so long as all parties -- Earth (which includes Venus), Mars, and Jupiter -- remain a part of the treaty.

But it's entirely true that not everyone on Jupiter is a socialist. Indeed, there are plenty of people who are very angry with the extreme leftist leanings of the provisional government; this is most true of wealthier individuals, who are now being hit with very high taxes (having previously had to pay next to nothing), but there are also more moderate people who simply feel that Jupiter's socialist government has gone too far in the other direction to what things used to be like under the previous corporate rule. That said, there is general support on Jupiter for the newly formed Terran Union Social Democratic Party, and it is expected that most Jovian states will vote Social Democrat. Although, as Caradoc says, Jupiter's few million votes are a drop in the bucket next to the billions of votes between Earth and Mars.

Finally, the electoral system of the Terran Union is the alternative vote. Progressives generally wanted proportional representation, whereas more conservative folks wanted simple first-past-the-post. AV was a compromise.

Commentary for July 13, 2013

 


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