Fictional Political Party
"Remember Terra Firma on Election Day because Terra Firma remembers you!"
Made-up political parties appearing in fiction.
Political parties are a common occurrence to be found in just about any democracy. Individuals sharing similar ideologies and opinions band together to try and win elections and promote a political agenda that best serves the interests of people pertaining to that ideology and, if you're lucky, other people as well. Likewise, democracies in fictional works with prominent political themes will typically be comprised of such parties which reflect the issues and opinions which characterize the political climate of a story's setting.
Most often these are parties promoting only a single issue
, but the Fictional Political Party
can be used in a variety of ways to enrich the political environment of a fictional world.
On one hand, this trope can be played seriously as it can be a reflection of people's attitudes towards the events or backstory that shape the setting; such examples may be viewed as a "realistic" political ideology that may exist had the extraordinary events in the story's world been something that occurred in the real one (and may not be all that different from Real Life
party platforms ideologies, after all).
Then on the flip side of the coin, the political parties in a work may be used to show that the democratic system in this society is incredibly flawed or a huge joke
. Similarly, a fake party may be a stand-in
to critique a Real Life
political agenda or party, at which point such a group is likely to be used as a Strawman Political
for an Author Tract
. In other cases, the party itself may be based on ideas or concepts that are impossible (or pointless) to politicize in the democratic process, such as disorganized chaos or voter apathy, for the sake of comedy
Occasionally, a story taking place in a Future
setting may suggest that two or more Real Life
political parties from the present day will have combined into a single party, for example, "The Republocrats." For added humor, combine two modern day parties with conflicting ideologies, like the "Traditional Progressive Party." Likewise, an Alternate History
story may rewrite political history, suggesting that a party developed a similar yet different platform, compared to their actual counterpart, or even suggesting that major parties fizzled out while minor ones became big players long after they had disbanded in the real world.
See Also: No Party Given
, Strawman Political
, and A Nazi by Any Other Name
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Anime And Manga
- The Anti-Earth Union Group from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam started out as a pro-space rights political party. It was only after the Titans gassed a colony that they decided that political lobbying wasn't going to cut it, armed themselves, and became La Résistance. They still continue their lobbying at Earth Federation summits, though.
- In Judge Dredd, the only democratic freedom allowed to the citizens of Mega-City One is the election of the city's Mayor, a very minor role that serves as a liaison between citizens and Justice Department. When the election campaign for Dave the Orangutan was covered in the story arc, "Portrait of a Politician," every social clique was shown to have formed its own political party and running its own candidate, many of which would kill each other in mob riots leading up to the election. Named parties include the Apathetic Fringe (who don't care about any issues), the Young Norms (presumably an anti-mutant lobby), the Lib-Lab Flab Party (presumably a Liberal-Labor party amongst the Big Meg's morbidly obese population), the Uglies (just ugly people), and the All-Out-War Party (a group of Bomb-Throwing Anarchists). When the All-Out-War Party starts stirring up trouble, Dredd gives them exactly what they want. The "Day of Chaos" storyline features a few new ones, including the Reactionary Progressives, Simping Party, Democracy Now!, Liberal Conservatives, and Illiberal Progressives. The leaders of the latter two later decide to marry in order to pool their support, forming the Illiberal Liberal platform.
- In the short spin-off Robo-Hunter, the robots on the planet one story takes place on have built a government full of political parties. Since the robots are actually controlled by a genius dictator robot, the government robots are utterly insane and spend most of their time arguing and trying to push pointless agendas.
- A one-shot short that Alan Moore wrote for 2000 AD called "Chronocops" (imagine "Time Travel meets Dragnet") saw the main characters travel to a not-too-distant future Great Britain where one man handing out fliers encourages people to vote for "the Lab-Con Alliance" as the only way to defeat the Social Democrats, suggesting that the center-left Labour Party and the center-right Conservative Party with highly conflicting party platforms have somehow become a single party.
- A common criticism of 'New Labour' by some was how on certain issues they had become more right wing than the Tories, which also hindered Tory attempts to regroup as their traditional ground had been usurped, which might explain where Moore got the idea.
- Howard the Duck ran for President in 1976 for the All Night Party with the slogan, "Get Down, America!"
- In Superman comics, President Luthor represented the Tomorrow Party...well, to be precise, he founded the Tomorrow Party at a press conference where announced that he was running for President, but "not as a Democrat or a Republican, because both their ideas are too old." While the books didn't elaborate too much on the party's politics, what we saw during Lex's initial declaration of candidacy and in the months after he was elected indicated that the party's politics were probably centrist, with conservative viewpoints on fiscal issues and liberal views on social issues. Lex's platform also apparently contained a pledge to move towards renewable energy and to put technological innovation at the forefront of his platform. In the first few months of his presidency, Lex also "passed the most sweeping education reform in American history," but it was left deliberately vague as to what exactly those reforms were (which is probably for the best, seeing as how any type of education reform tends to be extremely contentious in Real Life).
- The Tomorrow Party seems to have dissolved after Lex's fall from power. Word of God says that in the months after Lex's fall when Vice President Pete Ross was left to run things, Pete had to deal with massive political fallout from Lex's fall. As of the DC: Decisions storyline, featuring Republican and Democratic Party candidates in danger, there was no more mention of the Tomorrow Party.
- Captain America featured a Presidential Candidate who started the Third Wing Party. It was all part of Red Skull's latest evil scheme.
- Norsefire from V for Vendetta. In the film, the party came to power after a democratic election. In the graphic novel, they come to power in the chaos following an apocalyptic nuclear war, but Alan Moore models them as a Fictional Counterpart to the British National Front.
- Transmetropolitan has "the reigning party" and "the opposing party", which depends on who the President is.
- Bloom County gave us the Meadow Party, which the main characters formed each election year and seemed to rely more on political double-speak and good publicity than actually, you know, taking a stand for anything. It ran presidential candidates in 1984 and 1988 and lost both times.
- In the Swedish comic James Hund, the eponymous protagonist was accidentally registered as the main representative (and only member) of the "Blank" Party (It started out as a badly written complaint regarding a missing lumber shipment). This results in every blank vote going to his platform instead of being disregarded. A few weeks later James was very surprised to find he was supposed to attend parliament, or that he held a massive majority.
- In Death Race 2000, Frankenstein runs over "The Deacon of the Bipartisan Party" for 50 points. Apart from both running and sponsoring the eponymous death race and having religious figures in positions of power in the party, not much is known about this party's platform or political views.
- In The Purge, the annual "Purge Night" holiday was established after the rise of a political party calling itself "The New Founding Fathers".
- In The Red by Mark Tavener features the Reform Party, which was an actual 19th century UK party. In the book it still exists in the 1990s and is similar to the Lib-Dems at the time, claiming to exert a "moderating influence" on the main parties (when in fact it exerts no influence at all). Their slogan is "You Know Reform Government Works," but the Lemony Narrator says that no one does unless they remember 1903. By the end of the book they've become a major player, after their leader not only helps catch a murderer, but gives the most impressive speech of his career (his speechwriter accidentally left the Dictaphone on while having sex; this was dutifully typed up and handed to him).
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe details a very diverse political climate with a very large number of different political organizations and movements all across the galaxy. Some are parties that involve themselves in the local affairs of a single planet; others try to make an impact in the Galactic Republic or New Republic. Among them...
- During and around the time of the Prequel Trilogy, the two main factions in the Galactic Republic are the Separatists, led by Count Dooku, who wanted to leave the the Republic and see that it was disbanded, and the Loyalists, led by Senator Palpatine, who wanted to remain with it; as we all should know, this eventually led to the rise of the Galactic Empire.
- Also, before the Clone Wars, the Republic had two factions in the Senate. The Core Faction was liberal, supportive of trade tariffs, and made mostly of humans. The Rim Faction was conservative, anti-tariff, and made up of non-humans. During the election alluded to in The Phantom Menace, Bail Antilles represented the Core Faction, Ainlee Teem represented the Rim Faction, Palpatine was independent, and Valorum was just fighting for his career; every faction had abandoned him.
- The Rights of Sentience Party is a party in the New Republic that grew out of a lobbyist group with a similar aim, to protect the rights of sentient species.
- The True Victory Party was a political party comprised of radical Bothans who wished to continue ar'kai (i.e. "genocidal warfare") against the Yuuzhan Vong.
- The POWER Party (that's Preserve Our Wild Endangered Resources Party) of the planet Telos IV was an organization created in opposition to the Telosian government granting a Mega Corp. control over the planet's national parks and sacred lands for the mining of resources, which the POWER Party believed should be illegal. Except it had only one member, two if you count the supporting thief.
- In the Star Trek Novel Verse, the Parliament Andoria is split between the Visionists (who are conservative and somewhat isolationist), and the strongly pro-Federation Modern Progessive party (liberal). On planet Mestiko, meanwhile, there's the Payavist Inward Party, which objected to alien interference in the world's rebuilding following the "pulse" disaster. It eventually overthrew the Zamestaad government in a coup (see Star Trek: Mere Anarchy). Finally, on Kropasar, the two major parties are named "Agreement" and "Consensus".
- Some of the non-canon earlier novels also mention the Revanche Party on Cardassia, who are militarists who want to restore the glory days of Cardassian power. After the Dominion War there is Alon Ghemor's Reunion Party, which seeks to restore the original foundations of the Cardassian Union.
- The Industrial Radical Party in the Steam Punk story The Difference Engine, who believe in scientific endeavor, industrial progress, and meritocracy, appointing peerages to "savants". Lord Byron is Prime Minister. So yeah.
- The "Clean US Party" (CUSP), led by crooner Johnny Gentle in David Foster Wallace's Door Stopper Infinite Jest (set Twenty Minutes into the Future relative to the early 1990s, or in other words, about now). The party is deeply, deeply concerned with keeping the United States "clean and tight" (as President Gentle puts it), to the point of dumping ridiculous amounts of toxic waste in a part of New England so that they can give it to Canada (and thus not be in the US anymore). Yes, it's that kind of novel.
- 1984 brings us 'The Party'. Simply 'The Party' since they've long since gotten rid of the competition, forming a totalitarian regime. Judging from what little history we can discern, they were originally a very left/communist party which formed in Britain or Europe, eventually succeeding in revolution. Their communist beliefs about social equality were all just a sham, or have long since become one- the only thing The Party wants is power.
- There are two similar parties controlling the rest of the world, Eurasia apparently following Neo-Bolshevism; whilst Eastasia follows a philosophy "called by a Chinese name usually translated as Death-worship, but perhaps better rendered as 'Obliteration of the Self'".
- Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 series has the Freedom Party, a counterpart to the Nazis set in Confederate America. "Freedom from blacks", that is; after a black communist uprising, they decided that slavery wasn't going far enough. Prior to the rise of the Freedom Party, the two main political parties in the Confederacy were the Whigs and the Radical Liberals.
- In the same series, the United States' two main parties are the right-wing Democrats and the left-wing Socialists, with the centrist Republicans as a minor third party that draws most of its support from the agrarian Flyover Country states. Party colours are also different (as they are Newer Than They Think in real history) with the Socialists using red, the Republicans using yellow, and the Democrats using red, white and blue together due to Patriotic Fervour.
- In Stephen King's The Dead Zone, Greg Stillson forms the America Now party after he gets into the Congress as an independent. He's obviously based on John Birch Society-style right-wingers, though.
- Honor Harrington:
- Manticore alone has the Centrists (Chiefly pragmatists), the Crown Loyalists (who believe that an empowered monarch is a good thing to counter the aristocracy and currently allied with the Centrists as the Queen supports them), the Liberals (socialists), the Progressives (vaguely liberal, but chiefly opportunists), the Conservative Association (Conservative and seeks to maintain the power of the aristocracy), and the New Men (Opportunists, even more so than the Progressives).
- The newly reformed Republic of Haven is also rapidly developing several, such as the Constitutional Progressives (Eloise Pritchart's Party), New Democrats, New Conservatives, and Corporate Conservatives, though the politics aren't as elaborated on.
- The Talbott Constitutional Convention develops two political parties - the Constitutional Union Party and the Constitution Liberal Party. The only difference is that the latter (who are actually more akin to the Manticoran Conservatives) seeks to preserve the Cluster's autonomy. They claim to be preserving local customs and liberties, but what they really want is to preserve their own local power bases, without worrying about things like the Manticoran Constitution's stronger protections for civil liberties.
- The German young adult book Machtspiel by Andreas Schlüter features a politician of the 'Freie Soziale Demokratische Union' (Free Social Democratic Union), a combination of the names of the 3 most important parties in Germany.
- In Norman Spinrad’s Bug Jack Barron, Jack becomes the Presidential Candidate of both the left-wing Social Justice Coalition and the Republican Party, and stands against “Teddy and his ghosts” of the Democratic Party.
- In Perdido Street Station, New Crobuzon's Parliament is controlled by the Fat Sun party, and also includes MPs from the anti-xenian Three Quills, pro-xenian Diverse Tendency and idealistic/eccentric Finally We Can See parties.
- The city of Haven, from Simon R. Green's Hawk & Fisher novels, is feuded over by Conservative and Reform blocs, with minority factions representing merchants' Free Trade, the militant/religious Brotherhood of Steel, and Lord Sinclair's personal No Tax On Liquor agenda (a.k.a. the Who's For A Party? party).
- In the Alliance/Union verse, Union has several. The big two parties are the Centrists (named because they want to concentrate on centralized investment in the already developed systems of Union) and the Expansionists (who want to grow and expand into new systems). There are also smaller, extremist & single issue parties. Those mentioned include parties limited to a single space station, the Abolitionists (who advocate banning human cloning), and the Hawks (pro-military party who want to reclaim Alliance space).
- Several Poul Anderson stories feature a "Libertarian Party", dating from long before the actual party of that name.
- An interesting example is Robert Silverberg's Tower Of Glass, where a sort of counterpart of Libertarians is called the "Witherers", because they supposedly stand for the withering away of the state. Of course, that does not keep them from fighting elections.
- In E.E.Smith's First Lensman, the party system in North America is the Cosmocrats and the Nationalists.
- In Mack Reynolds' Trample An Empire Down, bored dolees set out to undermine the establishment by openly mounting the Subversive Party, whose slogan is "What's In It For Me?" It succeeds beyond anyone's wildest dreams (or nightmares).
- The planet Astrobe in R. A. Lafferty's Past Master has a bewildering array of parties, encouraged by its intricate voting system. These include the Hatrack Party, the First, Second and Third Compromise Parties, the Unreconstructeds (humans only, no robots), the Esthetics, the Anesthetics, and a splinter calling themselves "Local Anesthetics". At one point, Thomas More finds himself being interviewed by The Crank, a one-man "party" who managed to slip between the cracks.
- In the Star Carrier series the Terran Confederation Parliament is officially non-partisan, but that doesn't stop unofficial party-like voting blocs from developing. One named early on is the Conciliationists, who hope to work out a negotiated peace with the Sh'daar who are slowly overrunning the Confederation. The fourth book focuses more on Earth politics and names several inside the United States of North America, such as the Freedomists who want the USNA to at least maintain as much autonomy from the Confederation as it can, if not secede altogether.
- For Want of a Nail, an Alternate History where the American Revolution was crushed and in place of the United States of America are two rival continental powers, the United States of Mexico and the Confederacy of North America. There's a smattering of fictional parties between the two of them: for the CNA, there's the (Unified) Liberals, the (National) Conservatives, and the People's Coalition. Meanwhile the USM has the Continentalist, Liberty, United Mexican and Progressive parties.
Live Action TV
- A Saturday Night Live sketch during the campaign season for the 1996 US Presidential Election was modeled as a Larry King Live broadcast giving Third Party candidates the opportunity to voice themselves in the media. Along with Ross Perot and the Libertarian nominee, opinions were also heard from the Totalitarian Dictatorship Party and the Female Circumcision Party.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus has an "Election Night Special" sketch, covering the 1970 UK General Election. All elections are mainly contested by two parties, the Sensible Party and the Silly Party; the Slightly Silly Party and Very Silly Party both vouch candidates in a few districts as well.
- There was also a "Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Wood Party", in which the Minister giving the broadcast fell through the Earth's crust.
- They also had a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Norwegian Party. Reasons given to vote for them include Norway's high per-capita income, a 14% industrial re-investment rate, and girls with massive knockers.
- During The Daily Show's coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election, host Jon Stewart once claimed that the Green Party was the result of a joint rally for the Yellow and Blue Parties held during a rainstorm.
- The episode "Dish And Dishonesty" from Blackadder the Third uses these in a parody of British election conventions. After the constituent of rotten borough Dunny-on-the-Wold (consisting of nothing more than a tiny plot of land, many farm animals, and only one voter) suddenly died, Prince Regent and Blackadder decide to run Baldrick as their own candidate and tip Parliament in their favor. Baldrick runs on behalf of the "Adder Party," a name that becomes much more appropriate when it turns out that Blackadder was both the borough's Returning Officer and lone voter after both died in freak "accidents." Other fictitious parties on the ballot included "Keep Royalty White, Rat Catching And Safe Sewage Residents' Party" and the "Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party" (whose party line stands for "the compulsory serving of asparagus at breakfast, free corsets for the 'under-fives,' and the abolition of slavery").
- The Finnish TV comedy series Ihmisten puolue is about the eponymous fictional party ("Humans' Party"). The party in question has little detectable ideology, being composed of a small group of individuals that bicker about everything.
- When Mr Gribble from Round the Twist runs for the Senate in the second series, he belongs to the fictional (in Australia) "Progressive Conservative Party," who have the same party colour (blue) as the real-life Liberal Party.
- One episode of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge saw Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Third Party; the majority of the "third parties" named are made-up, including the Brown Party, the S&M Party, the Wiccan Party, and GILF.
- Yes, Minister primarily uses No Party Given—but when the results for Jim Hacker's constituency are announced in the first episode, Hacker is wearing a white rosette, a color affiliated with no actual British party (white is normally used for Independents). Wild Mass Guessing on the part of fans variously put Hacker with a revived Liberal Party or a new Centre Party of the type proposed by several people in the late seventies. Notably in the series Hacker sometimes talks about the Conservatives and Labour as though they are both rivals to his own party.
- Spooks featured the British Way Party, who were a Fictional Counterpart to the real-life British National Party.
- GWAR's album War Party centers around a political party (named "The War Party") that supports policies dedicated especially to the eradication of the human race through global war and hatred. The party's symbol is said to be the "Krosstika," a combination of the Christian cross and the Nazi swastika, representing "two great hates that hate great together." According to GWAR lore, the political party has since disbanded.
- Eddie Cochran's 'Summertime Blues' refers to "campaign shouting like a Southern Diplomat", presumably to avoid mentioning the Democratic Party.
- The BBC Radio 4 sitcom Party is all about a small, nameless, unsuccessful party run ineptly by a handful of bickering students.
- In Shadowrun, the U.S. still has Republicans and Democrats, but they share the political stage with the Technocrat, Archconservative and New Century parties. Cross-party alliances, and campaign tickets, are common.
- In Underground by Mayfair Games (published in 1993), the U.S. in 2021 is dominated by two political parties, the Plutocrats, founded by H. Ross Perot (the movement that would become the Reform Party in the real world), which had the position that whatever is good for the rich is best for the entire country, and the Republicrats (a centrist union of the Democrats and Republicans which generally exists to oppose whatever the Plutocrats want). European politics are dominated by the ARC Party run by the Church of Happyology, which runs the European Union as a single-party dictatorship.
- Tales of the Questor has the Open Traders (OP's) and Expansionists (XP's) , for context the Seven Villages hid themselves from the rest of the world behind a swamp and a Mistwall a century ago. Now they're running out of natural resources and there's disagreement as to what they're going to do about it. In this case, the Open Traders want to encourage open trade with humans to get the resources they need. On the other hand, the Expansionists, citing the common fears based on the unpleasant history of Racconan/Human relations and want to gradually expand the fog barrier surrounding their land and take the human lands for their own.
- The United States of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a land where the Democrats and Republicans still win the greater majority of elections, but the country cannot be said to still be a two-party nation. The Green Party isn't the joke it is in the real world, and has split the liberal vote with the World Voice Party (whose major policies center around equal rights for all sentient creatures). On the conservative side, the Tea Party has split from the Republicans, and the New Horizon Party (an even-more-ultraconservative party who publicly says their policies are "humans first," but they define "human" as "WASP").
- In Decades of Darkness, the major parties of the United States are the Democrats and the Patriots, who are later replaced by the Unionists, and the major parties of the Republic of New England are the Federalists, Radicals, and Republicans.
- Something Awful's 2012 election results for the fictional American city of Shaggy Butte is filled to the brim with these. A truncated list of some of the more absurd (funny) ones:
- Atheist String Theorist Party
- Coot Reform
- Crime Island Syndicate
- Christian Prayer Warriors for Israel
- Mommy Bloggers United
- Titanic Survivors
- God's Freedom Riders
- Eye of Ra Party
- Proud Bedwetters
- Futurama's one world government on Earth is run by a slew of these, most of which are puns based on the names of real parties and lobbyist groups in American politics. These include (but are not limited to) The Antisocialists, the National Raygun Association, Voter Apathy Party, the Rainbow Whigs, the Brain Slug Party, and the Green Party (whose members are green). Republican and Democratic parties are known as the Fingerlicans and the Tastycrats. Richard Nixon and his 20th century staff remain Republicans, however.
- Later on, Chris Travers runs against Nixon on the Thundercratic ticket.
- Pinky ran on the Pink Party's ticket. The party predated Pinky himself, although its only resource was a bus and its only staff member was the hapless engineer of every major political gaffe in the past 40 years.