Political Life In New-Francy
Though like any other country the political life of the Intendancy is a complex one, most people tend to fall within one of the following categories:
The main royalist political party in New Francy is the Parti Ducal, which traces its roots to the colonial governing body from before the French Revolution. They claim loyalty to the Pretender to the throne of France and advocate a status of Duchy for New Francy if and when monarchy is restored in France.
Up to the mid-19th century the reconquest of North American territories lost to the Republicans (mainly Louisianne) was widespread and considered feasible. This is why the Intendancy sent help to the NAL during the 1828 War, hoping it might succeed in reuniting the whole of New France. This policy started to lose ground after the NAL returned the land gained during the war and then faded completely from the Parti Ducal political agenda at the turn of the century. Nowadays, the vast majority of people see the separation as a fact.
As for taking back the motherland, the answer is a bit more complex. Even at the height of royalist fervor, no one would have even considered trying to retake France. Not only was there an obvious lack of Neofrancian military might (compared to France) but it was felt that if the King himself couldn't hold to his throne by some mean (such as compromise), there was no point in bringing him back. This is what prompted the establishment of the Ligue des nobles émigrés: finding allies and showing to the French people that, unlike the Republican government, the King was suported by Europe in general.
There was *some* discussion during the Second Great War about taking advantage of the situation for a royalist return but this came to nothing. Nowadays, the goal in the pro-restoration corner is to encourage local French organisations with a similar agenda (mostly through contributions) in the hope of stirring the popular opinion.
The only group who still publicly advocate the reunification, even by force, of the whole of the French Empire are "Les Pélerins du Roi Saint-Louis" (the pilgrims of King St-Louis) better known as the "white berets" or something mockingly, "The inequality party". The Pilgrims, whose philosophy is based on strict Catholic and monarchist principles, are mainly from old Francien noble families and are not taken seriously even by other monarchists due to some of their stances: a belief in a global republican conspiracy, a desire for a return to serfdom, etc... They are also the ones who thought that the PPL members who poked fun at the politician's oath of alliegance ("Can I swear alliegance to the Emperor of the Moon too ?") should be tried for high treason or at least, publicly flogged.
Finally, It should be noted that many Neofrancian nobles are not particularly anxious for a monarchist return in France fearing that their prestige and power might get diluted. The "big fish in a small pond" mentality. For this reason, a small but influencial party in recent years as been the Action Royaliste (later known as the Action Monarchique). Its program of establishing a native monarchy (transforming the intendancy into a kingdom) has attracted some supporters of both the PPL and PD though as of yet, this as not translated into much vote for the general-estates.
The main pro-republican group is the Laurentian Republican Party (PRL), which wishes to achieve its goal by strictly political manners. They have elected some of their members to the États-Généraux for over a century.
While some republicans wishes to establish a republic along the lines of either Louisianne or France (such as members of the Nouveau Parti Républicain), most tend to promote a system wherein the infrastructure would stay mostly the same, with only the trappings and privileges of nobility being striped away.
This would mean, for example, that the Intendant would once more become a designated civil servant instead of being hereditary. The prefered scheme would have him being named for life by the members of the États-Généraux. Any citizen would, in theory, be eligible, though in practice many have commented that it would probably be limited to those with a certain status and that are popular enough with the population. This would mean those that have a veneer of social conscience (being philanthropic) but won't try to impose anything on the politicians. Some cynics also suppose that the citizens would not accept someone they see as "common".
Moving to the most extreme view, the rabid anti-royals, The FLU, has not been heard since the string of bombings in the 1970s. Though the later was accused of it by its ennemies, no link ever seems to have existed between the FLU and the PRL with this one publicly speaking against the former's actions on many occasion. Also, The FLU's view that the PRL had betrayed the cause by not boycoting the États-Généraux was well known and lead on some occasions to scuffle between supporters of boths groups.
It should be noted that despite repeated accusation from the royalist side, no proof as ever surfaced to indicate that any of the republican parties are or were in any ways financialy supported by Louisanna. Considering that ideological differences between the republicans of both countries, the absence of links is more then probably correct.
The Soft Vote
While the Royalists and the Republicans represent the two main factions to have influenced policies in the last two centuries, at no time did their combined memberships contained more then 40% of the total voting population. The majority of people are actually considered to be part of "the soft vote" with their vote being influenced by current events.
If one were to try and give a typical image of these voters, it would be of someone who tend to prefer the "Association Souveraine" option, meaning that he wishes to have a say through his representative in the running of the Intendency but prefer the stability of a neutral arbiter (the head of state). He is, at least nominally, a Catholic and feels some attachment to the Intendancy's royalist trapping without feeling that its Francien origins are stronger then his own Laurentien feeling of ethnicity.
The soft voters are the one that are swayed during every elections to the États-Généraux, with the most extreme royalists and republicans positions being puclicly toned down if not completely left aside.
- Parti Ducal: Gold (or if impossible, yellow). It is taken both from the "local" fields of the NF COA (gold, 3 beavers gule) and from the colour of the Fleur-de-lys, a monarchist symbol.
- Other monarchists: white, the colour used by the bourbon line of french kings.
- Parti Populaire Laurentien: Green. During the revolt of the patoisants, the rebels wore a green maple leaf as a distinctive sign on their clothes and flags. The colour has stayed on as a symbol of republican and (laurentian) nationalist feelings.
- Other republicans: some extremists use green and red combinations.
The colours are often use as common terms for members or supporters of the partie themselves. It has also been used for propaganda purposes: Priests in the early 20th century would often, before elections, tell their parishioners "Souvenez-vous que le calice trop longtemps oublié verra sa dorure se couvrir de verte moisissure" [remember that the chalice too long forgotten will see its golden hue covered with green mold] the message being that not to vote (or for the wrong party) was also an act against religion.