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Hi, Abdul-Aziz! Nice work you did on the Seimas. Yet, I have a few remarks.

First of all, factions vs. parties. How precisely do those factions work? On Lithuania, you write that "many of the candidates are independents or belonging to small political parties. Once they are elected [...] they tend to form various larger factions in order to represent their opinions better". But I'm still not clear how that works practically. You said that there is no organisation behind those factions, and I can understand that. But do these factions exist, officially, or is it rather something along the lines of our "left" and "right"? You give the division of seats both according to party and to faction. So, how does that look like? Do factions actually have meetings? Do parties also form their own parliamentary caucuses? What kind of parliamentary majority is required for the formation of a provincial council?

I was going to say something about the DKRKP being part of the KKG faction, but before I could do that you already removed it yourself. Still, all the social-democratic parties are part of the KKG, along with the Respublikonai, the DS and the Christian-Democrats. Wouldn't it be far more likely if the socialists had a faction on their own? It would end up with 16 seats, or 18 if you include the Greens and the Communists. Somehow I can't imagine a leftist socialist in the same group as the Respublikonai, which, mind, is a rather rightist party.

Given the extreme nature of the S"LAV", would a party like the VS really accept it is part of the same faction?

One more thing about factions: wouldn't it be interesting if members of the same party could be part of different factions? You more or less suggested it yourself on Lithuania: "Note that people of the same parties might join different factions in different seimas depending on local situation." Well, some parties, like the Respublikonai and the DS, representing a broad political spectrum, varying from social-democrats and liberals to moderate conservatives. Now I could very well imagine that some leftist DS members would join the socialists and some rightist DS members would rather join the MŽ. Same might go for the Respublikonai and the VS.

Next question: the parties. First of all, did you have any reason in particular to make the NDS the biggest party? On RTC scale, it's only a minor party (with three seats in the Lithuanian Chamber, which overall consists of 81 members). Unless of course the NDS would be operating in Samogitia only... You can see the composition of the current Sejm (well, not exactly current, but I'm still working on the new Sejm) here. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with very small parties suddenly booming to great hights; in Veneda, it happens all the time. But in the case of the Respublikonai, I still have some plans for them, so I'd rather have them a little stronger. And since Samogitia appears to be a conservative bulwark, I'd suspect that if they score bad there, they'll probably score even worse in other provinces. On the other hand, I imagine the DS losing heavily. So, I don't know in what year the elections for the Samogitian Seimas were held (I'd suggest 2004 or early 2005), but I would at least switch the Resp. and the DS, and when possible move a few seats from the NDS to the Resp.

So, if you'll allow me me to make a careful counterproposal, how about this:

Naujųjų Demokratų Sąjunga (New Democratic Union) 25 seats
Tautininkai (Nationalists) 25 seats
Valstiečių Sąjunga (Farmers' Union) 21 seats
Lietuvos Liberalų Demokratų Partija (Lithuanian Liberal-Democratic Party) 20 seats
Respublikonai (Republicans) 16 seats
Dviejų Karūnų Respublikos Socialdemokratija (Social-Democracy of the Republic of the Two Crowns) 10 seats
Centro Sąjunga (Center Union) 10 seats
Demokratų Sąjunga (Democratic Union) 7 seats
Lietuvos Socialdemokratų Darbo Partija (Lithuanian Social-Democratic Labour Party) 6 seats
Žemaičių Liaudies Partija (Samogitian People Party) 5 seats
Lietuvos Demokratų Judėjimas (Lithuanian Democratic Movement) 4 seats
Sąjūdis "Lietuva Aukščiau Visko" (Movement "Lithuania Above Everything") 3 seats
Tikratikių partija (Party of the True Believers) 2 seats
Lenkijos ir Lietuvos Demokratų Partija (Democratic Party of Veneda and Lithuania) 2 seats
Krikščionių Demokratų Sąjunga (Christian-Democratic Union) 1 seat
Dviejų Karūnų Respublikos Komunistų Partija (Communist Party of the RTC) 1 seat
Lietuvos Žaliųjų Partija (Lithuanian Green Party) 1 seat

Based on what I wrote above, that could result in the following factions:

Modernioji Žemaitija (Modern Samogitia) 66 seats (NDS 25, LLDP 20, CS 10, ŽLP 5, LDJ 4, DS 2)
Lietuvių Tautos Sargai (Lithuanian National Guards) 51 seats (Tautininkai 25, VS 21, S"LAV" 3, TP 2)
Karalystės Krikščioniška Garbė (Kingdom's Christian Honour)   23 seats (Respublikonai 16, DS 4, LiLDP 2, KDS 1)
(socialist faction) 19 seats (DKRSd 10, LSDDP 6, DKRKP 1, DS 1, LŽP 1)

So, how about that? --IJzeren Jan 06:15, 19 December 2005 (PST)

Hello. Factions works in a way that after being elected, the parties, depending on the proportions of seats each of them got in respective Seimas, creates these factions. I believe that happens in most democratic countries where there exists more parties, such as e.g. it happened recently in Germany with Christian Democrats and Socialdemocrats. However, in Lithuania there exists a tradition for names of these factions; that is, liberal pro-reform faction is usually named "Modern Lithuania" (or might be named differently in provinces such as "Modern Samogitia") and such.
Inside order in factions differs from faction to faction; e.g. in KKG faction it is more common for party leaders to do decitions for which each party votes separately, while in ML factions usually members vote together. Exact order depends on agreement of the parties after each elections. Depending on the situation of powers, a party might belong to different factions in different seimai. E.g. DS might belong to ML in one Seimas, and KKG in another seimas. This might switch after each elections as well. In general, parties agrees on some compromise set of goal before estabilishing a faction. The reason why the KKG is a single faction in Samogitia according to my view is that all the members shares the common goal at opposing reforms of MŽ (which includes both reductions at social spending and limiting power of nobility in favour of new businessman who are seen as more capable as they earned the money themselves rather than inherited it), they reached a temporary agreement on goals; however, of course if it is voted on some issues where parties have a core disagreement, it might be decided to vote freely (that is, every party of the faction could vote as they wish).
In general, there are usually few minor factions as parties tends to cooperate in order to reach their main goals; so, as neither Republicans nor Socialdemocratic parties got enough votes, the single faction was estabilished in order to make it a tougher contest for the ruling faction MŽ (which, not making up more than 50% of seimas, has to rely on support of either KKG or LTS in order to pass their laws). According to my view, in Vilnija for example two factions would exist (KKG and socialist one) as these parties would have received more seats there. As for people of same party being members of different factions, I think what would happen in such multiparty area as RTC is just that some people would estabilish a new party (although it can be the way you propose as well, but it would be quite rare).
This, by the way, brings anotehr point - I think most of dates for estabilishment of various parties in "Political parties in the RTC" article are too old; I guess parties would be rising and falling quicklyish, with new ones being estabilished almost before every elections. In fact, it happens in real-world Lithuania, but a treshold prevents the Seimas from the smaller parties (neverless, some newly created parties usually gets into it) - while as I understand there is no treshold in the RTC.
As for NDS, it was not a strong faction but due to charismatic leader Artūras Zuokas and proposed reforms it got a strong victory in previous Samogitian elections. As it is written in the article, Samogitia was for long an agricultural area and quite a poor one, with many people eventually leaving it for Vilnija or such. Bad conditions led into change of government in elections where the liberals got the majority. I wouldn't say that Samogitia is the conservative heartland, more likely Vilnija is (Samogitia is nationalist heartland); traditionally however, socialdemocratic and conservative parties were more popular than they got seats in the last elections in Samogtia; so I imagine Respublikonai would have way more seats in Vilnija. The formation of provincial council requires a simple majority, hence the largest faction forms the government. If, however, there are certain troubles that the majority of proposed laws are not approved, a new elections might be called. But as for now, the Samogitian government of MŽ does certain things for LTS faction and its parties and thus at times gets support of LTS (in exchange, MŽ did not attempted to introduce some of planned laws, such as liberalisation of immigrant workforce, which was opposed by the nationalists). Officially however, MŽ and LTS is not a single faction and in fact MŽ sometimes relies on KKG to stop certain nationalist laws. In general, such situation might change with time as some parties might change their factions, negotiations are going on.
S"LAV" is a radical party, but with a few members they cannot really pass their radical laws; however, it beneffits S"LAV"to be able to participate in the faction-level discussions and it benefits the faction to get more votes - they agrees on the support for nationalist ideas, just disagrees on the scope. Communists would perhaps join KKG as well, if not for word "Christian" in the name and some pro-nobility parties taking part in it; in general however factionless parties are very rare as each factions wants to enlarge itself and each party wants to be able to participate more (much of the discussions are done inside the factions). Abdul-aziz 10:10, 19 December 2005 (PST)
Okay, here we go again. I hope you don't mind that I broke your text into paragraphs to make it a little easier to read.
Factions. I think I'm getting it. In fact, the word "faction" is slightly misleading; what you're referring to is usually called "coalitions" or "blocs". The comparison with Germany is not entirely satisfactory either, because there (like here in the Netherlands too) building a coalition is the same as building a parliamentary majority in order to create a government. By definition, there is only one coalition: all parties that form the government. The remaining parties are the opposition.
That aside, I do have a question. Factions are formed AFTER the elections. So, do parties announce in advance which coalition they want to belong to? I can imagine that otherwise the electorate might feel quite disappointed if it voted for f.ex. a socialist party that ends up in a christian-democratic bloc.
Your explanation regarding the high number of seats is satisfying. However, I would still prefer if you would at least switch the Respublikonai and the DS (which wouldn't make a difference for the faction in question anyway).
As for S"LAV": sure, I can understand that it is in its best interests to be part of a faction. But can any party join any faction? Given the not entirely politically correct character of the party, I can very well imagine that certain other parties wouldn't like to be associated with an extremist group like that.
As for the year in which parties were created: yeah, you're probably right. I have to admit that I wrote all that in a hurry and in a pretty random way. That was of course laziness on my part. I'll try to modify them. In the meantime, feel free to do whatever you want with the Lithuanian parties.
One more question: why did you pick a number of 159 members? That's not an objection, mind. Just curious. It does mean that I'll have to change a few more things. I've always assumed that the Kębra Wenedór of the Sejm also acts as Veneda's parliament and the Kębra Litwanór as Lithuania's parliament, and that the provincial councils/seimai consists of something between 25 and 75 members. But if a provincial seimas has 159 members, it would be odd for the national seimas to have only 81 members. So what I want to do is separate parliaments for Veneda and Lithuania. In that case, they can both have something between 200 and 400 members.
More to follow...
--IJzeren Jan 08:22, 20 December 2005 (PST)
It is ok to chapterise my talk if you wish so. I usually forget how many colons to put before each new chapter so that text would look equal therefore I rarely chapterise it. I guess the situation as you explain is common in places where the parliament is elected by proportional representation and with tresholds, which makes it so that every party has relatively many members in parliament. But e.g. even in real-world Lithuania, where half of parliament is elected by proportional representation with 5% treshold and the remaining members are elected by majoritarial repesentation (not sure if this is correct word in English, I mean, it is done in the way like it is done in the USA where each electoral district elects one member), it happens so that members of minor parties are the only representatives of their parties in parliament, a few independents usually gets elected as well. Then usually these smaller parties which has just one or two representatives in parliament each cooperates by formng their own faction; independents might as well join a faction with a party, without actually joining the party itself. Such processes I imagine would be even more widespread in RTC where there are no major parties and thus cooperation is needed. Under my view, some parties would probably announce in what coalition they would be, of course it probably wouldn't be so that a party would always live up to its promises and as well it might be so that some coalition won't be formed or some two coalitions would unite (e.g. in the provinces where the number of Lithuanains is low, Lithuanian nationalist parties usually takes part in Modern Lithuania instead of creating their own faction; but should a larger number of them be elected, they would probably estabilish Lithuanian National Guards there too). In theory, factions are established anew after each elections and thus new agreements are reached on how the faction will operate and it depends on the decition of others on what parties will be accepted as well; in general however, thee is usually lack of opposition for accepting a minor party, except in some isolated cases, as such minor parties has few powers inside faction anyways; factions are more or less like a ruling block or a coordinated opposition, just that due to disagreeing views there might be several oppositions in this case, e.g. as in Samogitian case one nationalist one and one leftist/anti-reform. Respublikonai and DS can be switched by numbers of seats they received as you suggest. Number 159 was chosen quite randomly; I would suggest that maybe it would be a system where there would be one seat in provincial seimas per each 10,000 inhabittants (by the time the provinces were estabilished - that is, when RTC was recreated - therefore now as the population increased each member would represent more people). As I understand it, members of provincial seimai would have more duties than just voting, they would also each have their own field (or work in groups in various fields) of control, such as e.g. protection of environment or labour rights, and population would be able to contact them in matters concerning those fields; they could as well notify RTC parliament on various matters if they would see it fit; hence provincial parliaments might have more seats than RTC parliaments actually. The numbers of seats in provincial parliaments might be lowered however. Abdul-aziz 06:26, 21 December 2005 (PST)

Ah, I didn't even know that the Lithuanian parliament works more or less the same way as that of the RTC. Sure, the RTC likes to make things as complicated as they can, and therefore there are no less than five chambers (see Sejm): 243 members are elected according to the majoritary system (I'm not sure of the correct term either): 1 member from 1 district. Another 243 members are elected by proportional representation in Veneda (no threshold), and another 81 by proportional representation in Lithuania. That, at least, was my original idea, and even in the light of recent discoveries in Lithuania, I think we can assume that that is still the case.

So, any ideas about the Lithuanian parliament? Like I mentioned elsewhere (I think), my original idea was to have these 243 Venedic members also acting as Veneda's parliament, and the 81 Lithuanian members as Lithuania's parliament. But now, I'm leaning towards a different solution, namely that Veneda and Lithuania have their own separate parliaments. That also makes several things easier: what would for example happen if the Venedic government falls and parliament is unable to form a new government? Normally, that would mean new elections, but in this cases, these elections would also change the power structure in the Sejm of the entire RTC. At least, we won't have that problem. So, that leaves us with two new parliaments, one on Veneda and one in Lithuania. They'll have their own elections, their own government that's responding to them, etc. I'll leave it to you to work on a Lithuanian parliament, and I'll take care of the Venedic one. Any thoughts? How many members would Lithuania's seimas have, you think? And would the same factions also operate there, or would there be more, since that seimas would probably be bigger than the provincial seimai and include more parties.

This brings us to another issue: the Sejm of the RTC. As you know, there were elections on Sept. 25, but I haven't published the results yet. In fact, before publishing anything, I'd like to finetune the results with you. Here's one question: how would that whole faction idea work in the Sejm of the RTC? My idea has always been that most Lithuanian parties have their Venedic counterpart, with which they form a faction (a construction similar to the CDU/CSU in Germany: separate parties, but not competing each other and fully complementary). Or would the Lithuanians also form factions with each other? Or, perhaps more interesting, both? Now thát would make things nicely complicated, wouldn't it?

Anyway, I'll have the following assignment for you: to fill in the results as far as Lithuania is concerned. Practically, that means 81 members based on proportional representation, and 56 members based on majoritary representation (Samogitia 11, Wilnia 17, Polesia 8, Suślewia 8, Volhynia 12). Keep thereby in mind the following facts:

  • There's a lot of trouble going on between Volhynia and the rest of Lithuania. In Volhynia, the Ukrainian RVU has an absolute majority. It seeks unification with Galicia (not necessarily in the form of leaving Lithuania, though). I've been working a lot with Volhynia in my news stories, so alternatively, I can also take care of Volhynia myself, if that's what you prefer.
  • Lithuania's current government is rightist, and not very modern. Say, VS and Tautininkai. And if possible, I'd like to keep it that way for a little while.
  • The Respublikonai are currently the biggest Lithuanian party. They are probably going to lose a bit, but not dramatically. The great losers are especially the centrist and centre-left parties.
  • The general picture of these elections is a switch to the right. The biggest party in Veneda is now the Catholic/Conservative/Nationalist ŻŻŻ, a coalition of several smaller right-wing parties.

As for the idea of having 1 member in a provincial seimas for each 10,000 inhabitants: I can basically live with that, but it also means that we would end up with some véry huge provincial diets (four hundred something in Mazovia, and probably something close to 300 in Wilnia). Not that I object against that. In fact, it's quite neat! But I might consider diminishing the number a bit in Veneda. Also, it brings about a little QSS problem: in one of my news articles I wrote that the Galician High Council consists of 75 members (which seemed quite a lot at the time already!), and the Volhynian diet of 31 members. Changing such facts is not impossible, especially since nobody else's territory is involved, but there should be a good reason.

As I imagine, similarly named factions would operate in Lithuanian seimas as well, however probably all factions would be represented there (that is, in some provinces not ever of the main factions exists, while in national parliament each one would exist probably). As for numbers, I am not sure, I will leave it for you to decide. The numbers of provincial council members could be made smaller as well, it can be like 60 or 70 for Samogitia and 110 for Vilnija for example. Numbers in Venedic provinces and Lithuanian provinces could of course differ. I guess probably non-nationalist parties should be in power in Lithuania now as many nationalists would probably want complete independence and in general since GW2 nationalist ideas are probably seen as kinda radical by mainstream population; although it might be so that e.g. now the nationalist parties are kinda on rise; it might be so that they would be in power for the first time since GW2 as well. Abdul-aziz 10:43, 22 December 2005 (PST)
All factions operate in the Lithuanian seimas, right? Okay, I had the same idea. Any idea how many members the Lithuanian parliament will have? Will you build one?
Yes, I think I like the smaller figures you mention. They also have the advantage that they make it easier to explain how factions are formed. After all, a group of 18 parliamentarians in a council of 159 members could IMO very well act on its own, without having to seek admittance to another group. So, how about this: the number of members is indeed based on the population shorly after GW2. Let's say that a province got 30 council members for the first million inhabitants, and subsequently 1 additional member for each 20,000 inhabitants. That way, you get some something between 60-70 membres in the Samogitian seimas and about 110 in the Vilnian one (and some 200 in the Mazovian one).
As for Lithuania's government: the way I see it, the people have by now forgiven the nationalists their mistakes in the Interwar Period. And many people indeed have a selective memory: they take pride in Lithuania's period of independence and overlook all the mismanagement on the part of the nationalists. I also suppose the nationalists have mostly overcome their problem with the RTC: they are no longer fighting for complete independence, merely for the position of Lithuania within it. But it's important that Lithuania current has a very right-wing government, preferably dominated by the nationalist faction(s). —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 03:30, 23 December 2005 (PST)
I see. Ok, then parliaments will be somewhat smaller. However, I don't think the system you proposed is good, because it would give 30 seats per first million inhabittants and then 50 seats per each next million; which means that in smaller provinces there would be more inhabittants per each concil member than in larger provinces; while in reality vice versa is usually true for parliaments, the larger is the area of state, province or other unit, the more inhabittants there are per each parliament member, despite of the fact that parliaments are larger in areas with larger population. Abdul-aziz 06:25, 27 December 2005 (PST)
Fair enough. Well, my idea was primarily based on your idea of 60-70 for Samogitia and 110 for Vilnia. But I noticed that that would mean that both provinces have approximately the same number of representative per capita. In other words, we could go for a simple solution: 1 representative per 22,500 inhabitants in 1950. That would give us about 85 members in Volhynia and about 205 in Mazovia, which looks reasonable to me.
20,000 or 25,000 could work to, but would give a lower resp. higher number of representatives. And in fact, the number of 22,500 looks like one of those compromises that are quite characteristic for the RTC! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 07:10, 27 December 2005 (PST)
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