by Max Barry

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8

Political Parties in Baizou

At a Glance



Key
— [Party Name] (#% [in Parliament], # [in Council])

Grand Coalition of 1998
Labor (18%, 11)
Lotus Conservative (6%, 1)
Marxist (8%, 1)
International Peace (6%, 0)
Christian-Mahouzouhou (2%, 2)
New Liberal (5%, 2)
Libertarian (2%, 0)

Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004
Wakuna Restoration (8%, 1)
Socialist (8%, 0)
New Conservative (5%, 0)
Self-Defense (3%, 0)
Liberal (4%, 1)
Technocratic (5%, 1)
Video Life (4%, 0)
Village Love (6%, 1)

Independent Parties
Green (4%, 1)
Aboriginal Recognition (4%, 0)
Power (2%, 1)

Visual Graph

Baizoan politics are notoriously fractured, with dozens and dozens of small, local political parties in addition to several national parties. This Factbook will focus on the most notable parties and will divide them into three categories. First to be described are parties that are part of the Grand Coalition of 1998. Next, parties part of the Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004 will be described. Finally, parties that belong to neither coalition will be described.

A bloc is an alliance of parties who come together to empower one another in pursuit of certain political ends. Often, a specific political interest brings the parties together, even though they continue to disagree on other issues.

A coalition is a bloc that has achieved a plurality in a specific legislature. In the case of the Grand Coalition of 1998, it has a plurality in the Upper Parliament.

Baizou's legislature is split into two houses: the Upper Parliament (formerly called the Parliament of Nobles) and the Council of Citizens.

Members of the Upper Parliament are voted for in local instant-runoff elections at the prefectural voting district level. Baizou's fourteen prefectures are divided into six voting districts, and each is assigned representatives proportional to the district's population. Thus, a parliamentary representative is called upon to represent their prefecture's interests.

Meanwhile, members of the Council of Citizens are voted for at the national level. Twenty-four councilors comprise the body, and six seats are up for election every year. Citizens across the nation cast votes in an instant-runoff system to select who fills the seats. Members of the Council, or councilors, are thus expected to represent national interests.

Because of these different electoral methods, the Upper Parliament has far more political diversity than the Council of Citizens, though even the Council is not homogenous.

Although this factbook focuses on a party's representation in the national legislature of the Upper Parliament and Council of Citizens, it is important to bear in mind that some parties while largely unrepresented nationally may be more prominent at the local level.

Grand Coalition of 1998
This coalition has (albeit tenuously) held a plurality in the Upper Parliament from 1998 to the present (2004). Comprised of a surprisingly diverse array of parties, it sometimes has less in common with itself than it does with parties in the Wakuna Bloc. The coalition initially formed in 1998 in order to elevate Fukushima Sonoko to the premiership in order to stall Wakuna Restoration attempts to deregulate magetic tape manufacturing.

Today, the coalition in principle is only united by the shared interest in preventing extremist deregulation from the Wakuna Restoration, though it itself is not fully in agreement on what degree of magnetic tape regulation is appropriate. In practice, the Grand Coalition also broadly supports Premier Fukushima's platform of societal welfare, social justice, and civil freedom, though even in this tensions pop up.

The following parties are part of the Grand Coalition of 1998:

— Labor
— Lotus Conservative
— Marxist
— International Peace
— Christian-Mahouzouhou
— New Liberal
— Libertarian

47% of parliamentary representatives and 19 councilors are members of parties in the Grand Coalition, in addition to Premier Fukushima Sonoko and Ambassador Mizushima Miya.


Labor Party
Labor is the largest party in the coalition and counts Premier Fukushima among their numbers. Nevertheless, Labor is not considered the lead party of the coalition—that honor goes to the oddly anti-revolutionary Marxist Party, whose party leader chairs the permanent Parliamentary Administration Committee. Nevertheless, Labor interests tend to predominate the coalition's interests, if only because most parties are too uninvested to oppose Premier Fukushima's platform.

The modern Labor platform has three key tenets:

Societal Welfare
Labor believes in "taking the rough edges off of capitalism." Because unrestrained capitalism creates social disparity and syncopated economies, state policy must cushion the common person against market failures and stabiliize the economy against spastic change. Industries that provide indispensable needs—such as healthcare, education, and the Internet—should be socialized. However, other industries are better off with market freedom, though within the boundaries of anti-trust regulation and workers rights laws.

Social Justice
Labor claims state policy ought to improve the quality and equity of life. Overcoming systemic prejudices requires systemic solutions, so policy ought to eliminate poverty, racism, religious intolerance, sexism, and queerphobia.

Civil Freedom
Labor policy endeavors to protect individuals' rights to conscience, privacy, and life. This has included accommodating religious practices, legalizing same-sex marriage, having the state health system cover transitional surgery, and protecting free speech. (Hate speech, slander, and false news are exceptions to this, and Labor advocates legally restricting such.)

18% of parliamentary representatives and eleven councilors, in addition to the Premier, are members of the Labor Party.

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Lotus Conservative Party
Although it is much smaller than the Labor Party, the Lotus Conservatives carry political heft due to being Labor's historical political opposite. The Lotus Conservatives are also known as the "Old Conservatives," as they represent establishment Conservatives who split from the Conservative Party in 1995 due to disagreements with the new party leader and new ideas from the faction now called the New Conservatives. Since that split, the Lotus Conservatives have gravitated more and more toward support for Labor policies. For that reason, Lotus is also sometimes nicknamed "Slow Labor."

The modern Lotus Conservative platform has three key tenets:

Fiscal Restraint
Pre-1995, the Conservative Party scrupulously pursued balanced, debt-free budgets. Today, the Lotus Conservatives are not so hardline about being debt-free, but they do advocate for having clear debt-repayment plans before committing to spend more money in a fiscal year than the state has in revenue.

Civil Institutions
Lotus Conservatives believe the state ought to promote the interests and stability of traditional institutions of civil society. Such institutions include churches, universities, and nonprofits. Famous Lotus legislation has included mandating that magistrates accommodate Mahouzouhou requests to perform an occult oath instead of swearing on a Bible in court, guaranteeing education for Baizoans from primary school through university, and ordering a Council committee to recognize a Pride organization's untaxed nonprofit status.

Diplomatic Security
As Baizou's military is quite small compared to others in the world and in East Asia, Lotus Conservatives emphasize the importance of strong diplomatic alliances that disincentivize war with Baizou.

6% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Lotus Conservative Party.

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Marxist Party
The Marxist party leader in Parliament chairs the permanent Parliamentary Administrative Committee. This grants the Marxist Party the right of coalition leadership, though in practice the Marxist Party shares leadership with the other coalition party leaders—after all, the coalition is somewhat tenuously connected, making gentle leadership of the utmost importance. Ever since the 1995 conservative schism, the Marxist Party has been Labor's most significant rival in the political arena. Despite their name, the Marxists are peculiarly anti-revolutionary. This has created their fierce rivalry with the Socialist Party, which strives for a more total alteration of society.

The modern Marxist platform has three key tenets:

Socialize Industry
While Labor has been willing to socialize healthcare, education, and the Internet, Marxists aim to socialize all other means of production, from magnetic tape to plastic video shells.

Localize Democracy
The Marxist Party staunchly opposes the national organization of the Council of Citizens. Marxists frequently propose reorganizing the Council so that Councilors are elected at the prefectural level instead.

Civil Freedom
The Marxists mostly support Premier Fukushima's platform on this front. However, Marxists tend to prefer expanded and stricter hate speech and false news prohibitions.

8% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Marxist Party. Mizushima Miya, Global Federation representative and Goodwill Ambassador for Baizou to the world, is also a member of the Marxist Party. Before her ambassadorship, Mizushima was the second Marxist member of the Council of Citizens.

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International Peace Party
This comparatively niche faction was originally a single-issue party committed to pacifism. International Peace came into existence after World War II and spoke to the outrage over firebombings, the fear of nuclear weapons, and general discontent with the military order of the world. International Peace blocked a mutual defense pact with the United States in the post-war era, and during the Cold War the party also pushed Baizou into the Non-Aligned Movement. Although International Peace's influence has diminished over the years, its core of support remains consistent to this day.

The modern International Peace platform has three key tenets:

Demilitarization
International Peace avers that modeling demilitarization is the only path to lasting peace. Party members strive to cut military expenditure and prevent military action. In 1999, International Peace even successfully achieved its goal of abolishing the draft (although the draft had not been invoked since World War I, by the British colonial authority).

Defund Police
Recently, International Peace has begun to promote police disarmament in addition to military disarmament. Citing new police brutality cases, the party advocates significant cuts to police funding and the creation of nonviolent first-responder units.

Social Justice
International Peace has adopted Premier Fukushima's social justice policies as additional measures to achieve peace in Baizou and in the world.

6% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the International Peace Party.

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Christian-Mahouzouhou Party
This hybrid party formed after the former Christian Liberal and Mahouzouhou Royalist Parties combined forces to form the new Christian-Mahouzouhou Party, otherwise called KMZ (Kirisutokyou Mahouzouhou, or リスト教方). The party is represented by fish—an ancient symbol of Christianity—swimming in a yin-yang pattern—an ancient symbol of East Asia. This eclectic party sometimes seems to have very little in common with itself, but it has achieved a broad national appeal despite winning few local seats.

The modern KMZ platform has three key tenets:

Religious Accommodation
The KMZ advocates for legal religious accommodations for both practicing Christians and Mahouzouhou adherents. As each faith can be quite different, this has caused the party to sometimes seem inconsistent, as it has both asked for Mahouzouhou establishment to receive an exception to a proposed separate-gender-bathrooms law and for an independent fringe Christian sect to receive an exception to a different proposed gender-neutral bathroom law (in the end, both exceptions were granted, but neither law passed). Nevertheless, party leadership maintains that both agendas are consistent with each other as consequences of pluralistic society.

Environmental Reform
Second only to the Green Party, KMZ has been the most vocal faction on environmental issues, including global warming, pollution, overfishing, and smog. Most anti-pollution regulations are proposed by KMZ politicians.

Eliminate Homelessness
Although KMZ mostly aligns with Premier Fukushima's social welfare policies, the party has a greater emphasis on preventing and undoing homelessness. In 2004, KMZ succeeded in passing legislation to provide micro-grants to the newly homeless.

2% of parliamentary representatives and two councilors are members of the Christian-Mahouzouhou Party.

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New Liberal Party
A kind of inverse of the Lotus "Old" Conservatives, the New Liberal Party is comprised of the new generation of Liberals who left the Liberal Party during the 2004 Liberal schism, in which schism the establishment Liberal Party also left the Grand Coalition to join the Wakuna bloc. While Lotuses accused New Conservatives of abandoning the party's principles, the New Liberal Party accused the "old" Liberals of being insufficiently progressive.

The modern New Liberal platform has three key tenets:

Localize Democracy
Like the Marxists, New Liberals oppose the national design of the Council of Citizens and want to adopt reforms to make councilor elections prefectural.

Reform Police
Although they share many of International Peace's concerns about modern Baizoan police, New Liberals prefer reform legislation, such as increasing local civilian oversight and authority over police hiring and firing, raising police hiring expectations and salaries, and increasing incentives to thoroughly prosecute criminal cases involving police.

Societal Welfare
This issue became the main wedge that drove the 2004 Liberal schism. While the Liberal Party continues to support laissez-faire, free market economics, New Liberals have adopted Premier Fukushima's goal of taking the "rough edges" off of capitalism through socialized healthcare and other state-sponsored cushions.

5% of parliamentary representatives and two councilors are members of the New Liberal Party.

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Libertarian Party
The newest member of the Grand Coalition, the Libertarians are the only party to have not originally been part of the bloc since 1998. The Libertarian Party joined the Grand Coalition of 1998 in 2004 (as confusing as that may be) after intensive negotiations with Marxist and Labor leaders. Prior to joining the Coalition, Libertarians were unaligned, having no affiliation with the Grand Coalition or the Wakuna Bloc. Although the Libertarians would seem to have very little in common with the Marxist leaders or Labor plurality, they nevertheless somehow agree that the Wakuna Bloc's magnetic tape deregulation campaign threatens their interests as well.

The modern Libertarian platform has three key tenets:

Fiscal Austerity
This party decries the Lotus concession to reliable debt-repayment plans. Libertarians attempt to insist on perfectly balanced budgets, and at least one hardliner claims the state needs to set aside a rainy day fund as well as balance the budget.

Democratize Everything
In addition to wanting to localize the Council of Citizens, Libertarians also want to democratize the Premier's cabinet, the royal magistry, and the sovereign throne itself. In the Libertarians' eyes, all government positions should be subject to direct election.

Privatize Almost Everything
The Libertarian Party advocates for privatizing education, police, and prisons, and it proposes eliminating all grants and subsidies to business entities. The only exception to this privatization impulse is healthcare, which Libertarians are willing to accept as a socialized industry.

2% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the Libertarian Party.

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Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004
The Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004, naturally led by the Wakuna Restoration Party, formed in an attempt to seize the Grand Coalition's plurality. The Wakuna Restoration Bloc is largely held together by a shared interest in significantly deregulating magnetic tape production, imports, and exports. Otherwise, however, the parties have little in common. Some of the parties do broadly oppose Premier Fukushima's social welfare, social justice, and civil freedom regime, but other parties are more supportive. The bloc failed to achieve a plurality when, after intense negotiations with Marxist and Labor leaders, the Libertarian Party chose to join the Grand Coalition instead of the Wakuna Bloc. Observers question whether or not the bloc will cohere until the next parliamentary election in 2010 or if it will dissolve before then.

The following parties are part of the Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004:

— Wakuna Restoration
— Socialist
— New Conservative
— Self-Defense
— Liberal
— Technocratic
— Video Life
— Village Love

44% of parliamentary representatives and four councilors are members of parties in the Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004.


Wakuna Restoration Party
Named after the capitol city, the Wakuna Restoration Party's primary platform is restoring the Baizoan kingship—the kingship having been converted to a technically-vassal sovereignship since the imperial British occupation. In addition to changing the name, the party also wants to restore governing power to the monarch by ceding some legislative and judicial powers to the throne. In most of Baizou, this is an extremist position, but Wakuna's language reform proposal does resonate with a few prefectures, and its party leader—chair of the Council of Citizens' temporary executive committee—appeals to many Baizoans as a war hero and patriot.

The modern Wakuna Restoration platform has three key tenets:

Restore the King
As aforementioned, Wakuna Restorationists want to crown a king, not a sovereign. As part of that, the party also hopes shift some legislative and judicial powers to the throne, empowering the new king. Because Sovereign Oshiro Haruto has expressed his opposition to being crowned a king, Wakuna Restorationists have been trying to identify new candidates for a king (or queen), though without success so far due to the abolition of the nobility during the Pacific War Japanese occupation.

Military Buildup
The Wakuna Restoration Party also wants to make the king a commander-in-chief, and to that end they aim to build up Wakuna's limited military. Wakuna disdains peace treaties and mutual self-defense pacts.

Nationalize Language
Baizou has, for all its existence, followed the cues of the Japanese Ministry of Education's jōyō list of officially recognized Japanese kanji characters. However, Wakuna Restoration calls for Baizou to develop its own list of official kanji because the 1986 jōyō list excludes about two dozen characters used in traditional Baizoan names (as Baizoan Japanese has diverged from "mainland" Japanese somewhat).

8% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Wakuna Restoration Party.

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Socialist Party
The Socialist Party platform lies somewhere between Labor and Marxist, though most political rhetoric focuses on the rivalry between Socialists and Marxists. Socialists are among the most dynamic and inconstant parties of the current Baizoan legislative order, as their influence in the Parliament and Council seems to grow and shrink with every election. Despite their disagreements with most other parties in the bloc, their vehement commitment to magnetic tape deregulation has led them to cast their political fortunes in with Wakuna Restoration leadership.

The modern Socialist platform has three key tenets:

Socialize Certain Industries
Although Marxists aim to socialize the majority of industries and Labor focuses on only "indispensable needs," the Socialist platform's calls tend to be simultaneously more focused and broader. Socialists believe in socializing specific companies as a penalty for labor rights violations. In other words, if a company is found to have systemic labor rights issues, Socialists call for Baizou to temporarily socialize the organization and hand control to local unions. Marxists believe this is not going far enough while Labor worries it goes too far.

De-institutionalization
This odd turn of phrase perhaps makes more sense in Japanese: 不制度化, meaning "not" "institutionalization." Socialists object to traditional civil society as a barrier to social revolution and call for the state to withdraw support for organizations such as nonprofits, churches, universities, and the sovereign throne. Against foreign expectations, the Marxist Party rejects de-institutionalization, and this forms the root of their rivalry.

Centralize Democracy
Socialists uniquely call for the Upper Parliament to be elected in a national manner similar to the Council of Citizens.

8% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the Socialist Party.

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New Conservative Party
This relatively young party rose to prominence when it split from the "old" Conservative Party in 1995. The "old" party is now called Lotus Conservative, while this splinter has gone on to be known as the New Conservatives. New Conservatives accuse "Old" Conservatives of liberalization. Meanwhile, Lotuses accuse New Conservatives of abandoning traditional principles like fiscal restraint, as New Conservative policies rarely concern themselves with balancing budgets or even having debt repayment in mind, and even civil decency, as New Conservative candidates tend to be populist firebrands.

The modern New Conservative platform has three key tenets:

Military Buildup
Although the New Conservatives have no particular interest in any royal restoration, they do tend to favor hawkish policies and criticize peace treaties as "inflexible" and "foreign-minded."

Privatize Literally Everything
While the Libertarian Party stops short of calling for healthcare privatization, New Conservatives claim healthcare should also be privatized, along with transportation infrastructure, taxation, magistries, and criminal litigation.

Republicanize Democracy
On this point, Lotuses accuse New Conservatives of being undemocratic. New Conservatives claim that directly electing the Council of Citizens leads to "mob rule." Instead, councilors ought to be appointed by either the Upper Parliament or by prefectural viceroys.

5% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the New Conservative Party.

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Self-Defense Party
This single-issue party exists largely as a reaction to International Peace's long-term prominence. The party first formed in 1999, after International Peace legislation abolished Baizou's draft laws. While International Peace presses for demilitarization, Self-Defense advocates significant military build-up. It is a younger party and is more popular at the local level than the international, but such local support keeps it in parliamentary office for now.

The modern Self-Defense platform has three key tenets:

Military Buildup
Like Wakuna Restorationists and New Conservatives, Self-Defense calls for significant military buildup on the grounds that Baizou needs to be ready to defend itself from larger, more powerful actors in East Asia. Self-Defense calls for the state to inject funds into military research and stockpiling units.

Restore the Draft
After International Peace legislation abolished the draft in 1999, Self-Defense formed to call for its reinstitution. However, Self-Defense has yet to achieve internal agreement on whether or not the draft should apply to all Baizoan citizens or only to male citizens.

Militarize Police
Self-Defense often suggests diverting excess or outdated military stockpile to local police units. Most other parties, including members of the Wakuna bloc, object on the grounds that criminal activity in Baizou has been on a decades-long decline.

3% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the Self-Defense Party.

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Liberal Party
Although historically allied with Labor, the Liberal Party made an unexpected—though perhaps a long time in coming—about-face in 2004 to join the Wakuna Restoration Bloc. Although a surprise to many laypeople, political scholars that in retrospect, in addition to recent Liberal trends toward deregulation, especially on magnetic tape production, the Liberal platform had always been a few steps short of Labor's modern societal welfare, social justice, and civil freedom platform.

The modern Liberal platform has three key tenets:

Market Freedom
Although Liberals do not call for much in the way of new privatization, they are very resistant to any new socialization. Liberals and Lotus Conservatives notably clashed on the legislation to provide government grants to subsidize tuitions. The Liberal Party has also clashed with Christian-Mahouzouhou and Greens on environmental protection laws.

Expressive Freedom
Although mostly supportive of the modern Labor platform of civil freedom, Liberals have called for expanded freedom of expression, including rolling back hate speech and false news prohibitions.

Conscience Freedom
Called by critics "limited religious freedom," Liberals advance conscience freedom as an emphasis on the freedom to believe what one wishes to. However, Liberals tend to hedge on supporting freedom of practice—whether religious, philosophical, or irreligious—and disfavor accommodations and exceptions.

4% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Liberal Party.

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Technocratic Party
This dark horse political party has surprised political insiders with their unique platform and diffused base. Completely dedicated to promoting technological interests, Technocrats have advanced the idea that Baizou should commit to becoming an enforced technocracy, where candidates must be technologically savvy to qualify for political leadership. Critics claim that the Technocrats' vision would merely enforce corporate oligarchy, but Technocrats assert that Baizou must play to its technical strengths and prepare for a world ruled by videocassette computing.

The modern Technocratic platform has three key tenets:

Enforced Technocracy
Candidates for political office must meet technological qualifications, such as being trained in videocassette design or programming or inventing a new technology or program.

Prioritize STEM Education
Technocrats accuse humanities and sociological education programs of diverting support and funding away from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The party calls for more support of STEM from primary education through university and for less support for humanities and social sciences.

Market Freedom
Like Liberals, the Technocratic Party is comfortable with certain socialized industries but is eager to prevent any additional socialization.

5% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Technocratic Party.

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Video Life Party
Formed in 1989 after the invention of the Casette-Automated Recorded Responses and Imitated Emotions (CARRIE) device, the Video Life Party is a single-issue faction focused solely on expanding rights for artificial sapience. CARRIE's inventors continue to insist that as a videocassette program, CARRIE's responses are programmatically automated, merely imitate emotion, and demonstrate no sapience. However, not all Baizoans are convinced, and those concerned about mistreatment of CARRIE form the Video Life Party.

The modern Video Life platform has three key tenets:

Prevent Video Abuse
Video Life has advanced policy criminalizing abusive treatment of CARRIE units with penalties similar to laws against animal abuse. These laws include verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Video Life continues advocating new policy to make CARRIE protection laws similar to statutes against human abuse, rather than animal abuse.

Video Time Off
Mandating that CARRIE programs be given leisure or vacation time has been more controversial, but Video Life has been committed. In addition to trying to advance policy making such time off mandatory, Video Life also has a promotional campaign that suggests giving CARRIE units leisure time improves their efficiency and effectiveness. Studies to confirm or deny the claim have yet to be concluded.

Video Humanity
Video Life's most controversial platform tenet is legally recognizing CARRIE and other cassette intelligence units as humans. Support for this is limited, but Video Life has survived as a party for more than a decade regardless.

4% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the Video Life Party.

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Village Love Party
This oddly named party makes more sense in Japanese: 愛里, or "love village," is the given name of the abdicated sovereign Oshiro Airi, mother of current Sovereign Oshiro Haruto. When Oshiro Airi abdicated in 2002, some Baizoans were disappointed by the new Sovereign Haruto's hands-off approach to politics. Village Love organized with the goal of continuing and achieving Airi's vision for Baizou.

The modern Village Love platform has three key tenets:

Nationalize Language
On this point, Village Love is in complete agreement with Wakuna Restoration. As sovereign, Airi had attempted to mandate that the Department for Language Acquisition Education create its own list of official kanji, instead of using the Japanese Ministry of Education's List. However, Airi fell short of achieving this goal due to political bargaining when the mandate was lumped with a joint International Peace—Self-Defense bill to end a military spy plane program and hand over the excess planes to the police department. The chimeric legislation never made it out of committee, and Airi's new kanji list was thwarted.

Reform Police
In this, Village Love was the New Liberal Party before there were New Liberals. Airi had proposed increasing local civilian oversight and authority over police hiring and firing as well as raising police hiring expectations and salaries. Village Love continues to advance these interests.

Prioritize Arts Education
Airi often bemoaned the decline of arts in public education, and in her personal life she was a patron of fine arts and visual arts. Village Love has taken up that cause and labors to revitalize the arts in Baizoan education.

6% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Village Love Party.

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Independent Parties
The following parties have representation in the national legislature but are not members of either the Grand Coalition of 1998 or the Wakuna Restoration Bloc of 2004.

— Green
— Aboriginal Recognition
— Power


Green Party
The Green Party is the hub for environmentally conscious legislators. Although several other parties (such as Labor, Marxist, KMZ) share environmental concerns and vote for environmental legislation, the Green Party is the most vocal on the matter and most committed. Although Green members constitute only a small number of national representatives, their influence on the Baizoan nation as a whole cannot be understated, and their local gains within the last year are significant.

The modern Green platform has three key tenets:

Slow or Reverse Global Warming
The Green Party asserts that environmental health is an existential issue for humans, and it influences Baizou toward becoming carbon neutral and signing onto international resolutions like the Kyoto Protocol.

Invest in Clean Renewable Energy
Green Party members often advance policy to invest state funds in renewable forms of energy, such as solar and wind. Nuclear energy is a thorny question within the Green Party without internal consensus.

Limit Pollution and Waste
Green Party legislation has created a national recycling program, and Green-written Baizoan laws have strict penalties for improper waste disposal or smog production.

4% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Green Party.

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Aboriginal Recognition Party
Although the Po-Usikwa, Baizou's original pre-Japanese contact aboriginal ethnic community, today have a very small population—having largely assimilated into the broader Baizoan people over time—this political party entered the national scene in 1992 to advocate anew for indigenous recognition, rights, and reparations. Though the party is small, like the Green Party it enjoys broader support outside the party itself. In order to heed their constituents, other parties often must bear Aboriginal Recognition interests in mind.

The modern Aboriginal Recognition platform has three key tenets:

Ethnic Recognition
In 2000, Aboriginal Recognition achieved their first goal as a party: official state recognition of Po-Usikwa as an ethnic group. This recognition has enabled aboriginal rights groups to advance anti-discrimination cases, as the state now recognizes Po-Usikwa as an ethnicity distinct from the Baizoan-Japanese majority.

Land Recognition
Party members call for cultural change and official policy to recognize aboriginal Po-Usikwa claims to Baizou's land and waters. What, if any, territorial transition might be attempted has not yet been broached. Recognition party leaders have said they and their constituencies are not yet in agreement, and they would prefer to not broach the question until they are.

Mahouzouhou Accommodation
As Mahouzouhou is the historical faith of the Po-Usikwa, Aboriginal Recognition has pushed for legislative protection of Mahouzouhou religious rights. For example, the party co-wrote with Lotuses a law that requires magistrates to allow Mahouzouhou adherents to perform an occult oath instead of swearing on a Bible before testifying in court.

4% of parliamentary representatives and zero councilors are members of the Aboriginal Recognition Party.

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Power Party
This young, darkhorse party may be few in number, but its message is catching the attention of all of Baizou. The Power Party advocates for disability rights, representing those with different mobility needs, the blind, the deaf, the mentally ill, and certain groups with developmental or learning disabilities. When it organized in 1998, Power chose its name with an explicit interest in defying stereotypes about different ability and empowering long-marginalized voices.

The modern Power platform has three key tenets:

Accessibility in Public
Preeminent among Power interests in increasing accessibility to basic elements of society for those with different ability. This has included, among other initiatives, mandating accessible parking, ramps, elevators; providing government documents in Braille and large print; and providing touch-distinguishable pavement.

Accessibility in Education
Power also advocates for reducing barriers to equitable education in public schools and universities. Recent notable Power policy has included creating resources for students with dyslexia and having sign language interpreters available in school settings.

Medical Care
Power has also worked to create protections against discrimination in healthcare, such as by requiring providers and state health insurance to treat and pay for mental health needs and long-term needs, both physical and mental.

2% of parliamentary representatives and one councilor are members of the Power Party.

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Visual Graph of the Upper Parliament and the Council of Citizens


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OOC: All icons come from Linkgame-icons.net (LinkCC BY 3.0). Parliament chart made using Flourish.

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