The date of the next Zongongian General Election has been officially announced as Thursday 14th September 2023. While this has been the suspected date for years, it has finally been officially set which means that the campaigning period will begin tomorrow. This set of elections are poised to be deeply controversial, as the Economic Focus government of the last four years has radically shaken up the country’s policies regarding foreign affairs – and the monarchy currently has its lowest approval ratings of the entirety of Zongongia’s democratic period.
King Osvald has made many enemies in the country by granting sanctuary to Carmen Robinson, an exiled former member of the Council of Kerlile, and her two daughters. Then, to make matters worse, the King also hosted a number of other Kerlians for a period, including some who have since returned to Kerlile of their own volition. And to top it off, the Robinsons later left Zongongia for Eiria, with the elder daughter Natasha thought to be carrying the illegitimate child of Crown Prince Kristofer.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ivan Kristensen has tried to open up Zongongia to the world, with the granting of Haesanite companies the right to use Rockrose Spaceport; and joining LIDUN. Indeed, Zongongia under Kristensen has been spearheading the possibility of the creation of an international space station either under the framework of LIDUN, or through multilateral agreements. This is a far cry from five years ago, when Zongongia remained isolated from the world.
These changes mean that the landscape of the country has radically changed since the last General Election; which makes this year’s election both unpredictable and liable to produce huge shake-ups that may well be impossible to anticipate. Alongside the parties currently represented in Parliament, there are a number of new or resurgent parties polling well; making this election anyone’s game. A summary of the main parties follows.
The centre-right Economic Focus Party is the current ruling party, led by Ivan Kristensen. As their name may predict, they are focused on the improvement of the economy, the furtherance of the free market and improved trade relations with the world. Their views on social issues vary, with party MPs often given a free vote on these issues.
Social Labour Party
The centre-left Social Labour Party is traditionally the second main party in Zongongia opposite Economic Focus. They believe in maintaining the social safety net with improved welfare policies, and ensuring protections for workers. However, they are often seen as somewhat socially conservative with their support of religion in politics.
Centre Liberal Party
The centrist Centre Liberal Party used to be the primary opponent of Social Labour until the rise of Economic Focus in the 2000s. The party shares most economic policies with Economic Focus, but is staunchly anti-religious, which many contend led to the downfall of the party, relegating it to at most third place in elections since 2000.
The far-left Communist Party was only legalised in 2005 after being banned for most of the period that neighbouring Lauchenoiria retained a communist government – with the fear that the party intended to copy Zongongia’s southern neighbour with a violent revolution.
On the far-right we have Our Zongongia, a nationalistic party that some have called “quasi-fascist”. They wish to close the borders, expel immigrants and promote Zongongian culture. They also want to build up the military and break neutrality policies – with an eventual goal of challenging Kerlile’s right to exist.
On the subject of Kerlile, Zongongia’s gynarchist party would like to turn Zongongia into a state ruled solely by women. The party first gained representation in Parliament in the 2011 elections; and massively increased their standing in 2018.
The Friendship Party is a single-issue group dedicated to maintaining Zongongia’s position of neutrality. They currently have two representatives in Parliament, both from constituencies directly bordering Kerlile.
Green Ecology is Zongongia’s environmentalist party. They are focused on the protection of the environment, and usually take left-wing positions on the majority of other issues.
Rocks of Balance
Rocks of Balance is a Zongongist religious party that wishes to return Zongongia to a state of theocracy ruled by the Zongongist clergy. The party rejects the idea of democracy itself as “an insult to creation”, insisting that allowing everyone to vote will lead to imbalance. They abstain on any votes not directly related to religion.
And the following parties currently have no representation, but are polling highly enough that they have a chance to gain seats either for the first time; or the first time in a while:
Royal Resurgence is a monarchist party that wishes to return Zongongia to a state of absolute monarchy. They are generally unpopular, but have been receiving increased support from people in opposition to their republican opposite.
The aforementioned republican opposite, Republic Now! wishes to abolish the monarchy and make Zongongia into a republic with an elected head of state. The party has never previously had representation, but has been polling very highly – with some polls suggesting they could get as much as a quarter of the overall vote.
The Tomorrow Party is a futurist party that aims to eventually establish a “technocracy”. They were founded just last year, but have received a considerable amount of attention through their novel policies that no other party has considered.
Grow Together is an offshoot of Our Zongongia that not only wants to “protect Zongongian culture” but also “export it to the world” – through imperialism. The party explicitly states their goal is to invade Kerlile and then establish a further empire. They have received lots of social media attention – but little of it has been positive.