1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

Political Parties of Wizarding Britain

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by arkkitehti, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    390
    I was reading a story lately that included Sirius taking up his family seat in Wizengamot and formally joining "the Neutral Party", as opposed to the "Dark Party" that everyone was expecting the Blacks to join. That kind of division to "Light", "Dark", and "Neutral" or worse, "Grey" parties is very popular in fanfiction, but doesn't really make any sense, as that's not really a natural political division, and no one would name their political party as "the Neutrals".

    That got me thinking what kind of political parties are there in Wizarding Britain, what is their history, who are their voters and what is their platform? For the purposes of this thread let's assume that the Wizengamot is a somewhat democratic representative legislative body, with proportional representation instead of single representative districts. Whether or not it includes non-elected seats for some old families or other lifetime members is up to you. Also let's focus on the time frame of Harry's fourth and fifth year, as that's where these types of stories mostly focus on.

    I'll start with a few of my own:


    The Grand Coalition Party

    The Grand Coalition Party was formed in the thirties when it became apparent that Grindelwald was a real threat to the entire Wizarding world. It was formed by mostly conservative members of other parties to form a unified front against Grindelwald and to force the Ministry to take action. After the war it became somewhat of a cult of personality for Dumbledore, and to this day Dumbledore has been a leading figure of the party. They are mostly conservatives who want to maintain the status quo.


    The Crafts-wizards' Guild of England, Wales and Scotland

    Historically beginning as an actual guild and not a political party, "The Guild" as the party is more commonly known represents mostly the business interests of different craftspeople in the country. They actively try to stop new businesses from opening outside the established hubs the likes of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley mostly citing concerns of upholding the secrecy, but really they are more worried about the value of property their supporters own and the businesses they run. They also spearheaded outlawing flying carpets and regulating cauldron bottom thickness to protect British companies from foreign competition.

    Fudge was nominated for the minister by The Guild.


    The Irish League

    The Irish League resents the fact that London rules over Ireland and try to push for more independent local rule. Thus far they have been unsuccessful.


    The Socialist People's Party

    The Socialist Peoples Party was formed by a group of muggleborn wizards in the aftermath of the First World War. They advocate for abolishing the Statute of Secrecy to remove the world hunger with help of magic, and also taking over the vast estates held by old pureblood families. They also support wider rights for all sentient beings, except for Goblins whom they see as warmongering fascist capitalists who should be removed in the coming revolution. The SPP never gained much support, but they have a couple of seats in Wizengamot, mostly with muggleborn votes.


    The Democratic Socialist Party

    The founder of the SPP formed the Democratic Socialist Party soon after the SPP got their first seats, after the other representatives disagreed with him on minor details of policy no one else remembers. He has been the only representative of this party ever since the thirties, but he has strong enough personal support to keep him in. His politics are mostly the same as the SPP's.
     
  2. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,198
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    In Victoria Potter there is a semi-democratic Wizengamot. There are not political parties per se but there are groupings of Warlocks who are generally understood to vote together in factions of common interests.

    The factions are as follows:
    • the Liberal faction, led by Emmeline Vance, the head Obliviator. This group champions the protection of Muggles, Muggleborns and minority species, as well as pushing for the reform of the Ministry to reduce nepotism and disperse the concentration of political power. Widely understood to have Dumbledore’s support. Most wizards pay lip service to these ideals but genuine support varies.

    • the Mercantile faction, led by Devlin Whitehorn, the owner of Nimbus Racing Broom Company. This group is made up of business owners and highly paid individuals like Curse Breakers. They often have the swing vote as they will generally vote based on self-interest rather than principle.

    • the Bureaucratic faction, led by the Swann family (which played a leading role in the founding of the Ministry) and strongly supported by Crouch Sr. This faction has a strong belief in the rule of law and their families are strongly associated with the Ministry. They will generally back measures which increase the Ministry’s powers, and will oppose measures designed to make the Ministry more meritocratic/transparent.

    • the Conservative Secrecy zealots, led by Amos Diggory. This group takes a hard line on the Statute of Secrecy. They believe that wizard-Muggle marriage should be forbidden, like it used to be in North America. They tend to view Muggleborns as a liability but generally keep quiet about that issue because it’s politically toxic. This group also is the most internationalist, often considering their first loyalty to the ICW before the British Ministry.
    • the Moderates, led by the Abbott family, with strong support from the Longbottoms and Slughorns. This group is pretty happy with the way things are and opposes any significant change, but happily spends much time earnestly debating ultimately minor tweaks to the way things are done, often dwelling on very technical matters. They represent the largest single group, and they have strong connections to the mercantile faction, often voting together.

    • the “Old Guard”, led by Cantankerus Nott. Made up of rich pure-blood families with inherited wealth and land. They ostensibly seek to protect the the rights of pure-bloods, but there’s a strong class element as well. Often their position equally favours rich half-bloods and they largely ignore the vast majority of pure-bloods (who are mostly middle class). This group often finds common cause with the conservative secrecy zealots and the mercantile faction.

    • the Radical Blood Supremacists. A secretive off-shoot from the Old Guard, this group is radical where the Old Guard are conservative. They seek to reform wizarding society as a magical meritocracy, and advocate the complete separation of wizarding and Muggle worlds (including the closing of the wizarding world to Muggleborns). On most issues their position is the same as the Old Guard and they mostly exist as a sub-faction within the Old Guard.

    • the Grindelwaldians, a relatively small group who continue to support Grindelwald’s ideals of repeal of the Statute of Secrecy and the integration of Muggle and wizarding worlds. They are a discredited group viewed as dangerous by the other political factions, much like far-right parties are in the Muggle world.

    • the Goblin Liberation Front. Essentially wizarding anarchists who oppose the Ministry on principle and think that wizards should not be governed by any laws (secrecy would stay in place by voluntary consensus, not law). Also a fringe group, not taken very seriously, though unlike the Grindelwaldians many wizards have a secret fondness for them.
    In terms of media:
    • The Hogsmeade Herald takes a mercantile editorial line, so generally appears relatively neutral as they swing across the political spectrum on an issue-by-issue basis.

    • The Daily Prophet takes an Old Guard editorial line, but is more opportunistic, and if they see blood in the water they will snap up a juicy headline even if it embarasses a member of the Old Guard.

    • Both pay lip service to Muggle protection; both support the post-Grindelwald consensus.
     
  3. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    I think you're missing representation for a massive chunk of the electorate here - pro-muggle born rights and pro-muggle rights, but without going as far as abolishing the statute of secrecy and confiscating pureblood property. I'd also say my perception of Dumbledore from canon is that he'd belong to this faction, rather than to a "status quo at all costs" faction.

    This would be a faction that is forever increasing in influence because they have the support of, probably, most of the muggleborns along with the support of most the recent descendants of muggleborns. And the number of muggleborns joining the wizarding world will continually be increasing because as the muggle population grows so to does the number of muggleborns it produces.

    I'd suggest, perhaps, that the SPP that you outline might be a radical splinter group that broke off from this faction. Post-WW1 is a sensible time for that to happen, the more radical socialist ideas were permeating muggle society at the time. All it would take is for a new muggleborn who is the child of a vocal member of the Labour Party to bring some of their parents literature into the Hogwarts junior political party meeting.

    Shall we call this faction the "Equality for All Party"?
     
  4. Garden

    Garden Chief Warlock

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,584
    Location:
    Florida
    @Mordecai I think cursed books would end up in the Hogwarts Library, only available to upper class student with a pass, and socialist books would end up there too. So hopefully nobody in the Wizarding World would end up cursed by Marx's words
     
  5. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

    Joined:
    May 29, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Away with the fairies
    I've always imagined that the magical world is full of excentrics who are self-absorbed and not necessarily great at coming together behind ideologies, which would mean that they rarely are very political in our sense of the word. I imagine almost everyone is on board with keeping magic hidden from muggles, and they need laws focusing on that, but as for anything else I can mainly just see them becoming passionate about really fringe movements. So for instance the fresh air society Archie Aymslowe started about the importance of not wearing trousers even when dressing muggle, or Hermione's house elf liberation front, or Xenophilius and co's quest for the deathly hallows, or maybe someone campaigning for the goblin idea of ownership or campaigning for werewolves being catalogued as beasts rather than humans. Occasionally, people representing these and other idées fixes end up in a position able to make/rewrite laws, and then maybe counter-laws have to be written against them because they're a bit mad. I think a new law might make a small number of people upset enough to try and change it with bribes or by getting into 'politics' themselves, so when flying carpets was banned that greatly infuriated a couple of sellers, but few laws or events would be enough to move the masses into taking an interest.

    The Death Eaters, the Order of the Phoenix, Grindelwald's followers and the movement that led to the Statute of Secrecy would be unusually big movements and rare in the world I'm imagining, which is one where the quidditch score and gossip printed in the Prophet are the main things that interest wizards and witches, outside of their own immediate bubble.
     
  6. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    Thats a good point to consider Lucy, that the Wizengamot only has approximately 50 members. Political parties for such a small number of politicians doesn't really make sense. Broad divisions by ideology makes sense, people will always cluster with folk who have similar ideas. But formalised parties probably aren't necessary in such small numbers.

    So from that perspective - Light, Dark, and Neutral are likely more realistic, though I'd personally alter the terminology. "Pro-muggleborn rights", "Anti-muggleborn rights", "Can we not all just be nice to each other" would be the 3 rough descriptors.
     
  7. aAlouda

    aAlouda Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2019
    Messages:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    I am not sure if any Party would publically present themselves against Muggleborns. In Goblet of Fire Harry even notes that Lucius Malfoy wouldn't dare to voice any such opinion near the Minister for Magic. Despite us learning in the same book that Fudge himself is a blood purist.
     
  8. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

    Joined:
    May 29, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Away with the fairies
    Yeah this is how I see it, nicely put! And I agree that that they would keep the anti-muggleborn stuff quiet, more like an open secret for anyone who does follow politics, but the general public might not realize this is part of their agenda before it's too late.

    As an aside, I wonder if wizards and witches put the same sort of distinction we do into regional differences, as well as the urban/small town/country side divide. Presumably there might be regional problems with magical creatures eating or rampaging through gardens in certain parts of the country, or issues with goblins owning property and charging extortionate rent in Diagon Alley, or something like that which could stir up things that could become politicized.
     
  9. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    True, they probably go by something like Radicals (Pro muggleborn rights), Traditionalists (Anti muggleborn rights), Modernists (Can we all not just be nice to each other). The factions will have more to them than just blood rights, with the traditionalists focusing on retaining as much wealth and power into the hands of traditional wizarding families as possible etc.

    I don't know that there's be as much of a distinction, because distance and travel are non issues for wizards. Whilst different folk will have different concerns, I don't think there'd be the same divisions as we see in muggles. If anything, it may be more to do with the job you do than where you live. People who work in Diagon Alley will have different concerns from people who work for the Ministry. They'll share some concerns with folk who work in Hogsmeade, but it won't be entirely identical. And they'll all have different concerns than a commercial potions brewer who works out of his garden shed in Lancashire.
     
  10. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    390
    Number of representatives doesn't really matter in politics. For example Luxembourg has a parliament of 60 representatives, and they have seven parties represented there, with two more outside the parliament. What matters more is the number of issues on the table. Traditionally the political division has been pretty clear between the economic left and economic right with sometimes a liberal party thrown in the middle, while lately you have the environmental issues and new nationalism rising with new parties.

    Magic makes for different divisions, imo. For example there doesn't seem to really be a working class in the wizarding world, and while immigration in terms of muggleborn is a major dividing issue, I really can't see that being the defining feature of a legislative body.
     
  11. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    I believe we commonly work on the assumption that the British wizarding population is about 20-30k people, compared to Luxembourg's 600k+.

    I think the size of the population is relevant to the existence of political parties, and tied to that is the size of the legislative chamber. Its 1 Member of the Wizemgamot per 600 people (if the population is 30k). You can literally go and speak to 600 people in the space of a couple of days. A week if you want a long convo with each. That negates a huge part of the need for Parties, which is to provide a recognisable political identity for candidates who you may not have met, or may only have met very briefly.
     
  12. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

    Joined:
    May 29, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Away with the fairies
    Maybe this depends on whether you think of the Wizengamot seats as hereditary or not? Like I've never done that, but I realize that it's quite a common interpretation, and in that case maybe proper political parties make sense.

    I've always imagined the Wizengamot as a part-time job, convened for serious criminal trials to act as a jury and then possibly for other things, like sharing information. But you'd get chosen for the seat, perhaps for life, perhaps not. You'd select a respected (preferably old and semi-retired) representative from, for instance, potioneers, the quidditch league, writers of magical books, shop keepers, magical historians, headmaster of Hogwarts etc for some of the seats and then you fill the rest with heads of Ministry departments plus the Minister with his or her closest staff. So with this sort of thing, it'd more be like everyone gets representation, but skewed towards the most knowledgable in society, rather than a magical version of the House of Lords.
     
  13. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    Certainly thats an equally valid way of writing it. We simply don't know how it works. I was working on the assumption of the OP which is that its democratic.
     
  14. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

    Joined:
    May 29, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Away with the fairies
    Oh yes, I've seemingly lost track of that, I'm sorry for derailing!
     
  15. Download

    Download Seventh Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    High Score:
    1918
    I firmly reject the names "light", "dark" and "grey". It would be like the Conservatives/Republicans naming themselves the "fuck the poor" party. No block would call themselves the "dark" party.

    It will be something like progressives, moderates and conservatives if you want to stick to three blocks. Though I agree with Taure that there should be more. I would expect a more radical liberal faction though headed by muggleborns, one that is influenced by radical muggle views like those favoured by many young people in university.
     
  16. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    I don't think that there'd be too many factions or parties. In a small population, with a small representative body...if political parties form at all there's not going to be huge numbers of them (because then they'd have next to no membership).

    Consider that you're applying your own perception of what "dark" means there...in a society where dark magic is considered part of the natural spectrum of magic, not something that is wrong or illegal, being associated with it wouldn't be a problem. However, I agree that they wouldn't identify political groups based on the type of magic used or preferred by the members of that group.

    Muggle related/blood related policies are the key and defining issue we see. We know there are other issues, but none of them seem to be so divisive or passion inspiring. Beyond the obvious example of the issues being at the heart of a civil war, we know that there were pure blood riots and squib marches in the 60s and 70s, and we know that Fudge's electoral slogan was "A Fair Deal for Wizards Who Deal Fair with Muggles". This all points at it being the dominant political issue within Wizarding Britain for decades prior the books. Presumably dating back even further, given that the root of Grindelwald's ideology was tied to muggle relations and his ideology formed during his friendship with Dumbledore in the...late 1800s?

    So with that being the dominant political issue, it certainly makes sense that, if there are formal political parties (though I think it more likely there'd just be informal factions) they'd be focused on that issue principally. They'd have other policies, but largely they'd be identified by their stance on muggle/blood issues.

    As I mentioned in a previous post light, dark, and grey aren't necessary (and are really damn boring as names go). Radicals or Reformers, Traditionalists, and Modernists. Faction names may be chosen by those who associate with that faction, but may equally come from what their opposition or the media call them. Pro-muggle rights people might not choose to call themselves Radicals, but I could easily see them getting denounced as such, the media picking it up, and the name sticking.
     
  17. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    390
    I could see the Death Eater sympathizers calling themselves "The Liberals" ("Classifying some spells as "unforgivable" is an example of government oversight gone too far. What will they come up with next? No, as free wizards we should be free to use our magic as we see fit!"), and having arguments with the other side when they call them "dark".
     
  18. aAlouda

    aAlouda Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2019
    Messages:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    I could actually see a ministry party in general trying to limit the ministry's power as much as possible. The ministry of magic was originally founded to enforce the statute of secrecy, clearly they have been expanding their power ever since. I doubt there aren't quite a few people who think the ministry has no right to limit things like apparition, becoming an animagus or the creation of portkeys and yes dark magic as well.
     
  19. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Englandshire
    High Score:
    3,485
    I like that, its a nice nod to how there's conservatives in the real world who proclaim themselves Classic Liberals, and argue they're about the freedom of the individual. I can just imagine the consternation that muggleborns feel when they get a bit older and find out that the anti muggleborn, right wing proto-fascist party are the Liberals.

    I would have thought they'd probably come under broad wing of the pro-wizard rights/anti-muggle rights faction. Much like libertarians often come under the broader aegis of other right wing parties in the real world. Beyond that parallel though, I could see how a "your job is to hide us from muggles, you should stay out of everything else" would lead to a more general wizard first ideology.
     
Loading...