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Seren
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[*] posted on 6-22-2011 at 07:15 PM
Basic Politics


Basically, I know nothing about politics. I need it for my story, but only the basics. It's set in Wonderland so I can screw with them as much as I like, but I need something to work from. Oh, and how monarchies work would be helpful too.
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[*] posted on 6-22-2011 at 09:06 PM


Hmm. I would say to use Wiki, set to Simple English XD

Essentially: People want power so that they can get things they want. To get this, they act within the bounds of whatever political system is dominant in their country.

I'm not much of a politics person, but that's how I understand it.
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[*] posted on 6-22-2011 at 09:10 PM


I was hoping for something a bit more detailed, but I'll go to Wiki. Thanks.
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[*] posted on 6-23-2011 at 03:45 AM


Well, you've asked an incredibly vague question! They release entire textbooks just to describe the basics of politics in a single country.

Every country has their own unique parliamentary system and (if they even have one) the monarchy has varying degrees of power and responsibilities. In some countries government is focused only on improving life for themselves and controlling the masses - this is most likely to be a dictatorship, where there is no election to determine a leader; other countries are more interested in improving everyday life for everyone - this is most likely to be a democracy, where everyone over a certain age has the power to vote for the party they want to lead the country. Within a democratic political system there are many ways to tally the votes for the candidate which can produce different outcomes, such as First Past the Post (FPTP), the Single Transferable Vote (STV), the Additional Member System (AMS), etc.

For us to give you any sort of help, you might want to pick an already existing country to use as a base template - preferably one with similar policies and goals to those you wish to implement in your own novel.



[Edited on 23-6-2011 by Kristina]




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[*] posted on 6-23-2011 at 09:37 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Kristina  
you might want to pick an already existing country to use as a base template - preferably one with similar policies and goals to those you wish to implement in your own novel.


Yeah, and it's easiest if you use your own country.




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[*] posted on 6-23-2011 at 09:44 AM


It's worth remembering that political systems do not spring into existence out of nowhere. They are often built out of centuries (or more) of tradition. That means they become incredibly complex, sophisticated, and confusing. If you are trying to invent a fictional political system, I would recommend trying to write out the history of your fictional nation. How was it founded, under what circumstances? How did it evolve and why? What relationship did it have with its neighbors? It will have no doubt gone through both good times and bad times. How did it respond?

The story of politics is really the story of history. If you don't know the history, you can't understand the politics, so I always suggest going back to history first.
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[*] posted on 6-23-2011 at 11:16 AM


Hm...thank you for the advice, everyone! The reason I was so vague was because, well, I didn't know where to start. My story takes place in Wonderland, so it was going to be a monarchy with an up-rise of democracy. However, I think I can probably just do my research, now that I know where to start. Thank you!
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[*] posted on 7-29-2011 at 05:55 AM


Politics is based on a power=monetary worth+land worth+commodities+education+cooperation sort of equation.
Obviously, people being people are going to make this as complicated as they possibly can in as many ways as they can think up or in ways that circumstance +/- custom dictate.
Historical systems may be easier to research in that they don't have such a glut of detail to wade through.
Most power systems/politics have a person or group that is the ruler/leader of a given area. This leader/group always have some sort of support structure. And often various parts of this support structure act as a check or balance on the obvious leader/s, preventing certain sets of abuses of power. Which set varies by country+custom+and the actual laws and people involved.
Some of the best explanations of politics I've ever found were by scifi authors John Ringo and David Weber. However, you may not wish to wade through their books to find those explanations embedded in their stories.
Politics usually start off as for the mutual benefit of a community or an area. Over time, people who come to power, either as nobles or as mayors, etc. start making decisions based more on their own interests and those of their personal group. At that point, the system either corrupts out of control, or the various groups vying for power/advantage balance each other out enough to keep things liveable for the majority of the people who live within that given area.
Hope this helps some.
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[*] posted on 7-30-2011 at 03:47 PM


Wow. You win the contest for the 'Best Answer Award'. Thank you so much!
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[*] posted on 7-31-2011 at 01:45 AM


You're quite welcome. Glad I could help. :) Politics confuses me to death too.

Its like reading Greek translated into Arabic, and then into Japanese, and then into Malay before being translated into English:
"What. Is. That? ...You're kidding? Really...."

Definitely good luck on your story!
It sounds very interesting!
:D;)
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[*] posted on 7-31-2011 at 06:29 PM


Exactly! And thanks for the encouragement! It's gonna be fun, I can tell.
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