A handsome pronghorn

Alex McPhee
Prairie Heart Maps

The New Columbian general election of 2020

News from an alternate North America

The results are in, and the Liberal-Alliance has held its majority. Despite a night of losses in marginal seats, Edward Freimanis (NPA-Westkan) is assured of another term as Premier.

The Popular House

The real business of governing New Columbia's "vacant monarchy" is carried out by its lower chamber, the Popular House. Members are elected under the single-member plurality system.

Liberal

Alliance

Union

Social Credit

Others

Click a province to see popular vote

The decentralizing Liberal-Alliance stands for social progress and less federal intervention. The exact relationship between the historic Liberal Party and the larger Alliance is extremely complex, and is managed by an overcomplicated primary system that no other party has adopted.

The centralizing Union exists to uphold constitutional order. This makes it the party of minority rights and a powerful federal government.

Social Credit is a Christian leftist movement rooted in crank economics, and the country's perennial third party.

Holding down fourth place are the Co-Progressive-Operatives, a doctrinal socialist party with weak mass appeal but pockets of regional strength.

For those who disagree with both of the country's centre-right parties, the fringe Conservatives believe that universal suffrage was a mistake.

The Apostolic Party specializes in recruitment among Charismatic Christians, although it is officially non-denominational.

Finally, the Party of the Sea is a regionally focused environmental movement.

The Viceroyalty

New Columbia's de facto head of state, the Viceroy, is elected by a nationwide approval vote. Although nearly powerless, the post has become increasingly partisan over the years and elections are hotly contested.

Tremblay (I. Lab.)

Aguilar (Union)

Budd (Lib.-All.)

In a shocking upset, the Viceroy-elect is Jean-Michel Tremblay, Governor of Manitou (Independent Labour). This result can be regarded as a complete failure of the approval voting system, which is designed to reward bland candidates. Tremblay ran as a cantankerous socialist and will be the first doctrinally republican representative of the Crown.

As independent governor of a remote and seldom-visited province, Tremblay entered the viceregal arena as an unknown. Never taken seriously at any point of the race, his offbeat remarks proved irresistible to the national press, who he often invited to stay in his home. The establishment parties were happy to paint his "Manitou style politics" as an exotic distraction, which only enraptured the general public further.

No Viceroy has ever won on such an ideologically slanted platform. But there are signs of a wider discontent with the political consensus of the last 30 years, where Union and the Liberal-Alliance have both portrayed themselves as centre-right alternatives to each other. While the actual governance of the country remains as dull and technocratic as ever, oddball parties have won an increasing number of symbolic victories in recent years.

As the only purpose of the Viceroyalty is to accomplish nothing, Tremblay is unlikely to enjoy his time in office. But the partisan members of the Popular House should pay careful attention to the growing frustration that he represents.