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1852 Presidential Elections (A Federation of Equals)

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1848 DanubianFederationEqualsFlag 1856
The Danubian Election of 1852
1852
Turnout 78%
GeorgesdeBellio Michal Miloslav Hodža
Nominee Ion Horsa Codrinaru Petr Šik
Party Pan-Danubian Party Radical Union of the Federation
Alliance ADCP


Home state Transylvania Bohemia
Electoral vote 168 61
States carried 8 2
Popular vote 4,958,523 2,458,390
Percentage 66.85% 34.15%
DanubianElection1852
The results of the presidential election, 1852
President before election
Vlado Nikolić
Pan-Danubian Party
President-elect
Ion Horsa Codrinaru
Pan-Danubian Party
The primary season before the 1852 election was really a non-event. Though all the major parties held nominating conventions, most either opted to stand under another party in a coalition or not field a candidate at all. In the end, only 3 candidates appeared on the ballot in all 9 states.

By far the biggest reason for the blandness of the primaries was that the eyes of the political nation were almost all looking south as riots in Lombardia spilled over into an armed coup. A row that had developed within the Italian Independent Party (of which almost 90% of the citizens of Venezia and Lombardia were members in 1851) over leadership caused a split in the party, with the Venetian wing leaving the party in favour of the Conservatives. All over Lombardia, the traditional contempt of their water-loving neighbour fermented such that within just 3 days, the every population centre in the state had devolved into near anarchy. Out of the chaos emerged a reactionary and extremely ambitious militia commander by the name of Luigi Albinoni. He, through his powerful oratory, turned the Lombards’ anger against the Federation as a whole and used it to set up a military dictatorship within the state, with himself as its ‘acting’ Chairman.

ASJohnston

The only surviving picture of Albinoni, which was taken on his commission in the Lombard Militia

The Federal reaction was swift and effective. The Skala Italian Army was formed and discharged to recapture the state, fittingly, to be led by Skala’s son Johan.  Within a month, and after victories outside both Bergamo and Milan, Albinoni was captured by Federal forces with most of his government having committed suicide in the final days of the regime. Secession was unilaterally declared to be illegal under the constitution by the Supreme Court the day after Albinoni’s removal from office.

He was escorted to Vienna by armed guard to face trial. Though it was largely a formality for him, the accusations of Treason were levelled against all of Lombardia’s remaining representatives both at a Federal and State level. In total, 32 men sat in the dock alongside Albinoni as the proceedings got underway. The trial lasted just 4 days, with all those in Vienna at the time being cleared (ie the Federal Councillors and Deputies) while all those who remained in Lombardia were sentenced to death. Albinoni’s final words were reported to have been, “We must take care our words don’t condemn us to the fires, for the lies put against me surely merit hell alone. In death, my country and I shall be vindicated.” 

Prophetically, Albinoni’s demonic warning turned out to come true in a more temporal setting. The court case that had condemned him to death quickly gave birth to a number of side-cases, as terms like slander and libel were tossed around as if everyone had been transported one and a half centuries into the future and plonked in a room in London where a judge would listen to them all talk for several months before publishing a lengthy report that everyone would proceed to make a fuss about and then largely ignore. Indeed, the number of court cases filed during November and December 1852 would not be surpassed in Vienna (for the same time period) until 1987. That said, most of them ended in abject failure to come to any meaningful conclusion. What the court cases did do, however, was agitate the people of Vienna sufficiently that with just two weeks to go until the election, the President was forced to enforce a curfew on the city (though electorally it was thought by all at the time that it would make no difference because the conservatives held a solid majority in the state regardless).

Old Bailey Microcosm edited

The courtroom where the Supreme Court sat to hear the case of the Federation vs Albinoni in the Justizpalast

Meanwhile, the consequences of the Krakovian war were still being ironed out. Krakow herself had been officially affected into the Federation the previous month, but by the election it still wasn’t clear whether the city would become a state in her own right or part of Galicia or if some other solution would be favoured. Equally, the situation in Ostprussen was rapidly deteriorating. The rejection of her bid for statehood left the territory in a state of limbo that created a power vacuum into which gang leaders and militia commanders ably stepped. Prussia, seeking the return of her ancestral lands, demanded a conference with the Federation where a compromise could be sought.compromise could be sought.

The Candidates

Manifesto of the Pan-Danubian Party (formerly the Slavic and Romanian Liberal Party)

Candiate for President: Vlado Nikolić

  • Economically: Economically, we shall continue industrialization as in the previous four years. Also, we shall continue to develop and create more railways and mines throughout the nation. We shall, continue to re-build Galicia after the war and the destruction left in the area. The factories being built will be funded by both industrialists/capitalists and the government. We will lower taxes, to small businesses and investors investing in Danubian industries. We will lower tariffs, when our industry re-bounds and become prosperous.
  • Socially: We will leave the more social issues now towards the provinces of the federation to solve. We will continue to support equality, multiculturalism and religious diversity. Education, will be another main focus for this term. We will promote higher education, refund our university programs and increase university programming. May our nation live in freedom and equality.
  • Diplomatically: We will try to build relations will France, and get an alliance and trade deal with them. Also, we shall continue to try to get Great Britain to become friendly with us, as now after the Russians look west for allies. The party will continue having mutual relations with the Prussians.
  • The Military: The Military, will be re-funded as well. Creating new arms and munitions industries, we will be using modern Danubian weapons for our army. Our army, will get proper training and drilling in modern tactics. Defensive barriers, forts and other military posts will be built along our Southern and Eastern borders. From Dubrovnik to Deva, than Deva to Krakow. Also, throughout the Carpathian Mountains and further east to Lviv and Ternopol. Also, we will have a major recruitment drive throughout the federation, to join in the armed forces.
  • The past four years were a up and down ride. From a revolution to a war. But, we managed to survive it. I am honored to be the second President of the Danubian Federation, and honored to have represented our people, and federation! Together we have survived a war, now we must build a nation. Together with the Pan-Danubian Party, our federation will achieve economic, social and international stability! Together for the future! Together for the people!

God Bless the federation!

Manifesto of the Radical Union of the Federation


Candidate for President: Petr Šik

  • Lower Tariffs and a Free Market: No more must our factories work at a loss to afford raw materials produced outside of the Federation. No more must industry suffer as foreign investment turns away from our shores. No more must the price of food continue to rise for the Working Poor. I will swear to lower the customs duties, to allow the Danubian Federation to have it's place in the Wider Economic world, instead of hiding behind excessive protectionism. We shall support Free Trade when it is possible, and low tariffs in all other cases.
  • Freedom for Investors, Equality for Workers: In my Presidency, both sides of our industry will be the subject of significant reform. Capitalists, Business owners and Investors will be given significant opportunities to invest in Government established projects and industry, as well as encourage growth of important industries for reconstructing our Nation after this War. Regional Economic barriers will be broken, to allow local investors to expand and bring new wealthy to our Federation. Furthermore, workers will be given expanded rights and shall be treated for what they are - important members of our society, without whom the system would collapse. I promise that welfare reforms shall be made, however for this term the reforms shall focus on Healthcare and Pensions for Soldiers and Vital Workmen.
  • No More Instability: The Radical Government will oppose secessionism, counter-revolutionism and attempts to dismantle our Federation with all it's power. We will ensure the mistakes of Lombardy and Dalmatia will never occur again, and no such uprisings will threaten our existance.
  • Commitment to the Danubian Military and Navy: We shall remain a Pro-Military nation, and significant improvements will be made to the physical defences of the Federation, especially along the Russian and Ottoman borders.
  • Respect for the Integrity of States in Legislature: It has become clear to me that significant Political and Social Reform most effectively rise through State-Level legislature. Instead of attempting to force such reforms through Federal Congress, incentives will be put in place to encourage Social reform within states. By doing this, I hope to grant equality for all within our union, without treating our States like unruly children.
  • Pan-Danubianism: A Radical Government will pursue a Foreign policy similar to the earlier theory of Austrioslavism, however instead modified to take our Hungarian and Romanian comrades into account. Simply put, the Danubian Federation has a duty to protect the minorities of the Balkans from the clutches of the Ottoman and Russian oppression, however it is not simply a matter of Slavs and Romanians under Austrian protection, but a united Federation of Many Equal Groups of Cultures, working together for Freedom and with United Resolve. Political Pressure shall be put on the Ottoman Empire to grant autonomy to our Balkan brothers, and if they threaten our Federation or our territorial integrity in the way the Russians did, we shall put the Old Man of Europe in his place.
  • Not for Slavs, Not for Romanians, Not for Austrians, Not for Hungarians, But for the Federation: We represent the need for freedom and equality for Every Single Danubian Citizen. No bias will be given to any man because of his place of birth, or his social position. We will not give favour to those who were born a Slav, nor to those who were born a Magyar. Instead we must unite under one flag, the Flag of Danubia!

Vote Radical! Vote Petr Sik!

Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood!

Manifesto of the All-Danubian Conservative Party


Candidate for President: Károly Vörös de Nyitra

Gentlemen and honourable members of Congress, we have survived the Liberal administration. It has only been a combination of my and my party colleagues' fierce resistance, and the bumbling of President Nikolic, that has saved the Federation from his radical reforms, which would have doomed the country to anarchy and strife. These five years have been a long, painful period for us Conservatives, but now we are presented with an opportunity to restore order, goodness, and responsible government to the Presidency. There shall no longer be a need to resist, but instead, if in power, we may instead push for the stabilisation and preservation of our Federation. Whereas the Liberals and Radicals seek to infringe and remove the rights of states, and create for themselves a tyrannical instrument of oppression in the Federal Government, we Conservatives shall stand for the protection of the liberty of states. Whereas the Radicals advocate for ridiculous 'Wars of Liberation' in the Balkans and elsewhere, we Conservatives shall institute a much more moderate policy, that shall see expansion only for the benefit of the Federation. And Whereas the Liberals and Radicals advocate needless socialist legislation that shall hamper the growth of industry and trade, we Conservatives shall protect the Free Market and the growth of our economy. The days of Liberal indecision are soon at an end - and we shall be presented with five years of radicalism and war, or stability and peace. We shall fight fervently, and govern effectively, as leaders of the Federation, and bring a Harmony of the Orders to our collective nations. Vote for Conservative Strength, not Liberal Weakness, or Radical Anarchism. Vote for Károly Vörös de Nyitra!

  • Economic Growth: As President, I shall advocate a generally Interventionist policy to industry and economy, to allow our economy to further blossom and emerge. It were the conservative economic polices of President Nikolic that allowed for economic growth during his term, and nothing else. The local states and Federal Government shall, if necessary and needed, assist failing and successful factories, to both keep our industry in place, and to allow it to prosper. We shall also advocate another round of state-built railway building, although the state governments should handle railways within their own state, while the Federal Government should focus solely on inter-state travel. Our party supported the Amended Industrial Rights act, and shall continue to do so, but there should be no further social legislation unless vital to the national interest. Is it not better for the workers that wages rise, prices decrease, and the economy improves, than for a meagre pittance of a minimum wage, and to receive some silly state handout? I stand for prosperity and growth, and let that be remembered.
  • Agrarian Development: As President, I shall advocate the intervention of the state in Agrarian matters to improve and reform the agriculture of our nations, to improve our agricultural output and feed the masses. To do this, I shall create a new ministry of Agriculture, or alternatively a Congressional Committee for Agriculture, and through an active and state-funded agricultural plan, we shall encourage the prosperity and wealth of the rural population. This is a issue that all of the parties seem to have neglected, but not the Conservative party. Of course though, this does not mean we shall neglect or discourage the growth of industries and railways.
  • Liberty of States: As President, I shall seek to see the liberty and rights of our constituent states constitutionally protected and enshrined. No more shall the Federal Government tyrannise over the states of this Federation, or intend to. Federal intervention and mediation in state affairs should be discouraged and only occur at the request of the state government in question. The Dalmatian Question, and it's resolution by a inter-state agreement, should be proof enough that the Federal Government is incompetent, and the state governments effective, in matters relating to minorities and ethnicities. The states must be left to deal with their minorities as they please, although of course, should Federal assistance be requested, then the course of action would be to suggest the protection of rights or possibly autonomy.
  • Political Stability: As President, I shall endeavour to ensure that political stability in the Federation is maintained. The present primacy of Austria and Hungary in the Federation is the benefit of the stability of the Federation and shall, except in extra-ordinary circumstances, be continued. However, should it be deemed necessary to the stability of the Federation, I would be willing to offer a concession to the other states of the Federation, namely that their federal representation is increased, but not to the full level of Austria and Hungary. Likewise, our focus in political affairs shall be to maintain stability, through both maintaining the status quo, or necessary pragmatic reforms, if they are warranted and unanimously demanded. Regarding religion, we shall adopt a Pluralistic stance, recognising, respecting and protecting all Christian denominations, and also, if necessary, the Jews. Regarding societal matters, a stance of Limited Citizenship shall be held - although this applies more to foreign nationals than to the constituent races of our Federation!

Sensible Foreign Policy - As President, I shall adopt a sensible and moderate foreign policy, that shall allow the Federation to prosper and grow through international trade, but still allow the avenue for offensive military expansion should it be in the national interest of the Federation. We must, of course, reconcile ourselves with Russia. There is no need to earn the permanent enmity of the Russian Bear, and endanger our Federation for the rest of time. We should encourage commercial and cultural links with Russia, which shall be to the benefit of the Slavic races of the Federation. However, we shall certainly not become bedfellows with the Tsar, and we shall definitely not form any bonds of alliance or military link. It goes without saying that we shall maintain the Dual Alliance, and encourage closer ties with Western Europe. And of course, we shall maintain and extend our network of states under the influence and direction of our Federation. It was the loyalty of our German and Italian allies that helped us win the Krakowian War, after all.

  • Effective Military: As President, I shall endeavour to strengthen our Federation's military, and make any necessary reforms needed to improve it's effectiveness and readiness for combat. President Nikolic's administration, in my view, completely botched the Krakowian War. His negligence of the army and his poor war planning meant that most of the army was stationed elsewhere when the Russians invaded Galicia, and that the entire Federation had to be called to war in the defence of Krakow. Under my presidency, we shall work to make sure this never happens again. The army shall be expanded and modernised. The navy too, in time with our support of the Adratic Act. If we are to have war, then let it be swift, and the only course of action that shall make war swift is a large, effective military!

Should any Congresssmen wish for clarification of these, my main policies, or wish to know of my views on other issues, and my more minor policies, then I shall be glad to answer them. I would encourage all men and Congressmen of the Federation to vote for me as President, and thus save our federation from another five years of Liberal incompetence, and Radical revolutionism. Instead, grant to the Federation five years of smart, responsible government, by voting me, Károly Vörös de Nyitra, for President. Thank you all, and God Bless the Federation.

The Result

The presidential election of 1852 unfolded in stark contrast to the preceding primaries; no more could Danubian politics be called bland and predictable. In fact, not one single electoral forecast, be it through the rudimentary from of polling available at the time, party membership charts or complex extrapolation from existing social data, was able to predict either the eventual winner or the manner in which he took victory. Indeed, the coalition that formed between a flagging liberal party and a conservative candidate who looked increasingly sure of sealing the top office with little trouble left both the political left and right in a state of near shock, especially given their chosen candidate was neither actually standing for President at the time nor a member of the larger party. In doing so, Vice-President Ion Horsa Codrinaru had pulled off the greatest political coup of his age. His only remaining opponent, the Radical Union’s candidate, Petr Šik, recognised the coalition for the work of political genius it was, effectively pulling out of the race by announcing he would resign as the Union’s leader after the results were officially announced. The race for President was thus over in all but name, with Codrinaru securing the backing of all states other than the two northern radical strongholds.

The one place that the election’s result did cause controversy was Hungary. Every Hungarian political party had either endorsed de Nyitra or was part of his coalition; it was the most solidly blue state there was. Many though, in particular the reactionary elements of the state, saw de Nyitra’s subordination as selling out to the Liberals. In Budapest, where tempers flared highest, the same signs that had precluded the Vienna riots began to emerge; random abductions, arson attacks and terrorist incidents slowing built through the winter following the election. 

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