Alternate History

1864 Presidential Elections (A Federation of Equals)

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1860 DanubianFederationEqualsFlag 1868
The Danubian Election of 1864
Turnout 72%
Soukup-ValentaPicture zps36bac3f3 Dunaren Than
Nominee Gabriel Soukup-Valenta Gavril Dunăren Imre Than
Party Radical Union of the Federation All-Danubian Conservative Party Federal Democratic Party
Home state Bohemia Romania Hungary
Running mate Francesco de Palma Antonio Castelli Silvestro Marconi
Electoral vote 253 155 44
States carried 6 6 1
Popular vote 3484981 2998705 1620922
Percentage 43% 37% 20%
The results of the presidential election, 1864
President before election
Gabriel Soukup-Valenta
Radical Union of the Federation
Gabriel Soukup-Valenta
Radical Union of the Federation

The Candidates

The Manifesto of the Federal Democratic Party
Candidate for President: Imre Than
Candidate for Vice President: Silvestro Marconi

Trade Policy: Free Trade
Economic Policy: Laissez Faire
Religious Policy: Secularised
Citizenship Policy: Full Citizenship
War Policy: Anti Military

  • Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth: The first priority of this government has to be restoring the finances of this nation. The Radicals may have done some good work, but they have abandoned the Treasury to its fate. I promise to work towards resolving this without jeopardising economic growth. To close the gap, I would institute a general tax increase of 10%, with an additional 5% on the lower tax bands to ensure the viability of the progressive taxation system. Spending on the military would be decreased by 30% and no further expansion of our armed forces would take place until the financial situation is secured – we face no immediate threat on the continent and the FDP is primarily a party of peace. Other government expenditure on capital projects and procurement would have its funding cut in half. Our economy comes in two parts – a heavy goods industry which is well established and needs as large a market as possible and a fledgling consumer industry which largely lacks the relevant raw materials – both of which need free trade to prosper. Increasing tariffs will only harm our economy, and a Liberal administration would not do so. The FDP would also reduce government subsidies at a time when they cannot be afforded and sap resources from more profitable businesses which would naturally flourish. We believe that entrepreneurs and businessmen are best placed to deal with such matters, and that the government should have nowhere near as much influence as they currently do.
  • Political Stability: The FDP is a party keen to ensure the stability of this nation through the doctrine of Federalism, but such constitutional change is for Congress to enact. A Liberal government would not abuse the constitution for political gain and we would not jeopardise this Federation by repeatedly bypassing Congress as has been done in the past. We are fundamentally a party in favour of political stability. As such, the only political reform a Than administration will actively pursue would be a ban upon members of the Federal Congress and Government serving in State Legislatures and Executives; a change which would benefit both Federal and State Governments.  Social reforms which have already been legislated for, such as the reduction in maximum working hours, will be allowed to go ahead, but further social programmes which endanger our economy and finances at this time of strain upon the treasury would be opposed by an FDP government.
  • A Candidate with Integrity: This Federation has just seen four years of increasingly autocratic rule; political abuses of the Presidential pardon and attempts to bypass both the law and the will of Congress. I fear for what will happen if we acquiesce to four more years under a President with these tyrannical tendencies and both the Radicals and the Conservatives are fielding such candidates. President Valenta has shown over the last four years that he is happy to use the apparatus of Government to his own personal gain. Dunaren, meanwhile, has promised yet stronger government. Neither can be allowed to take the Presidency, or else who knows what sort of mischief they will subject us to. Imre Than, on the other hand, accepts the primacy of Congress and takes active steps towards greater transparency, as in his sponsoring of the Regulation of Interests Act and the Independence of Representation Act. Unlike the other two parties, the FDP is fielding a candidate with integrity.

For stability, growth and integrity, vote Liberal, vote Than.

The Manifesto of the All-Danubian Conservative Party
Candidate for President: Gavril Dunăren
Candidate for Vice President: Antonio Castelli

Trade Policy: Protectionism
Economic Policy: Interventionism
Religious Policy: Pluralism
Citizenship Policy: Full Citizenship
War Policy: Jingoism

  • The Necessity of Strength: We have experienced numerous crises and challenges throughout the last four years, a ceaseless turbulence that has set brother against brother, Danubian against Danubian, with nothing to show for it but blood and strife. We have spent the last term waiting for the President to offer us the leadership our nation so desperately needa, the ability to steer the ship of state through our various storms. Instead of leadership, he has provided appeasement to those forces seeking to undermine us. Instead of security, he has allowed unrest to metastasize unchecked. When we are confronted with danger, when we most need a competent, decisive leader, we are instead forced to stand by and watch as Valenta stumbles from issue to issue, seemingly incapable of providing us with the thing we need most: strength. I will reverse this trend, will right this wrong, and in so doing I will restore the greatness that this Federation truly deserves, the greatness befitting a strong and vibrant people. I will set forth a legislative agenda that will shape the course of our national debate rather than stand idly by. I will set forth my positions on issues and demand Congressional action. I will restore the prestige and the respect of the executive branch, which have been severely reduced. There will be no vendettas, no inaction, only strength of purpose and the resolve to make our Federation a better nation for all its people.
  • Sound Fiscal Policy: The President's "progressive" taxation system, a centerpiece of his previous election platform, has been a complete and total failure, especially when compounded with his spendthrift social programs. We are now drowning in debt and barely scraping together the interest payments, leaving this Federation with a financial crisis that leaves us closer to bankruptcy with each passing day. The solution to this is twofold: raising revenue and scaling back social programs. Through a balanced combination of increased taxes and tariffs, we will be able to rapidly pay down our government's debt and reverse the unfortunate economic setbacks of the Valenta administration. Additionally, reducing social programs to a manageable size will spur economic growth at a time when it is desperately needed, while also providing our citizens with a basic level of assistance. With both of these solutions, we will see a return to the prosperity we once experienced, the prosperity we had before the reckless wars and internal strife of this administration.
  • Healing Our Wounds: The intertwined struggles of monarchism versus republicanism and confederalism versus federalism have raged since even before the Civil War and it is now undeniably clear that any further conflict will see nothing but devastation and bitterness as their result. Congress has proven completely unable to provide a clear, coherent message or assemble any kind of majority in favor of any particular solution and it is unlikely in the extreme that either of these possibilities will come to pass during the next legislative session. As President, I will set aside this poisonous battle and work toward bringing our nation together again, toward a common, peaceful consensus without the vitriol of previous arguments. This is no longer a harmless duel of egos, where one side might impose its will upon another. This is a tinderbox that when lit will create a terrible conflagration, one which we are ill-suited to handle. The fire must be doused. The status quo must be maintained.
  • National Defense and Strategic Industry: Once our national debt is retired, we must turn our attention to our military, which has been ill-treated under the current administration. We must improve our soldiers' pay and veterans' benefits, acknowledging their role as the defenders of our liberty, as heroes and patriots. We must encourage the expansion of strategic industries that provide our military with essential modern tools of warfare. We must establish our military as a respected and meritocratic force, one that is fully capable of meeting our national needs, and expand the percentage of our citizens who wear the Danubian uniform. As a final note, it is my considered belief that as long as our officers are banned from enjoying the political freedoms available to our average citizens, they will continue to see themselves as set apart from the rest of the Federation, alienated and isolated from rights that we all consider fundamental. In order to ensure that our officers are full participants in our democracy, we must enact a partial repeal of the Military Neutrality Act, so that their loyalty and sacrifice are repaid in full.
  • International Prestige and Stable Alliances: An unfortunate hallmark of this administration has been a series of diplomatic blunders and setbacks. President Valenta has left us in a situation where our strongest ally is the Kingdom of Belgium, a nation which is barely able to project its power within its own borders. In order to guarantee our national security, we need to establish strong and mutually-beneficial relationships with the United Kingdom and the United States, both vibrant democracies with strong economies. We must offer the United States our diplomatic support and establish ourselves as their friend and ally during their time of trouble, while the rest of Europe stands by and watches with glee. We must build up our land forces so that the United Kingdom perceives us as a necessary Continental counterbalance to the eternal rivalry of France and Prussia. We must establish ourselves on the world stage as strong, self-sufficient, and able to provide our allies with as much as they offer us. This is the only sustainable path forward, and it is one that President Valenta seems unable to pursue.

My name is Gavril Dunăren. Join with me, my fellow citizens, and together we will realize the greater Danubian destiny that Providence has ordained for us!

The Manifesto of the National Reform Union
Candidate for President: Gabriel Soukup-Valenta
Candidate for Vice President: Francesco de Palma

Trade Policy: Free Trade
Economic Policy: Interventionism
Religious Policy: Secularised
Citizenship Policy: Full Citizenship
War Policy: Pro Military

  • Economy: A nation must have a strong economy in order to have the strength to lead and to provide for its citizens. Without a strong economy we will be unable to do either. Under my administration I will work to continue to support all areas of our robust economy while focusing on having a balanced budget in order to obtain a surplus to continue to grow our economic prowess and equally as important, to lower our debt considerably if not completely. Capitalists, Business owners and investors will be given significant opportunities to invest in government established projects in addition to diplomatic support from the government in establishing and maintaining new trade routes, economic opportunities, and business ventures especially in Eastern Africa, Arabia, India and Asia now that we have the Suez Canal. It is also important to emphasize once more that in our economic efforts we will guarantee private holdings and that there will be no seizure of sectors.  We will show the world the Federation is the place to do business that we are the nation other nations should invest in and trade with for working with us means prosperity!
  • Religion: As always we will welcome all major religions under our umbrella of protection to safeguard our citizens from religious persecution. Every man should be able to choose the faith they wish to practice be it our glorious Christianity and its denominations or even none at all. A man is entitled to his values, opinions and personal integrity while being able to represent their people and constituents in office at any level. Those states that choose to lead in this endeavor will receive the full support of this government.
  • Foreign Policy: Unless a defensive treaty’s protocols are enacted we should not be partaking in the wars of others. The only exceptions to this are the southern German states of Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden. They will not be subject for Prussian ambitions to annex them. We will continue working to strengthen relations with our neighbors in both Europe and abroad. Diplomacy will continued to be used as a tool before war. We will vigorously support business ventures especially in Arabia and East Africa in the form of secured rights to their ports in addition to trade deals in places such as Ethiopia, Oman and Yemen, though ventures elsewhere such as India and the Far East will also be taken into consideration as we look to fully utilize the Suez Canal.
  • Taxes and Tariffs: Looking at the budget, the cause of the deficit is infrastructure spending as we can see the 1337 for stockpile spending which includes 576 of military spending with the rest being construction. Other than this the budget is generally balanced. Current projections have called for the raising of taxes otherwise the state runs the risk of financial collapse (Unfortunately there was human error involved). As such we will have the taxes for all three classes at the 40-45% range while lowering infrastructure spending enough until the budget has achieved a meaningful surplus. With that we will generate enough revenue for the government to be able to pay off its debt while leaving money in the pockets of the consumer maintaining enough of the purchasing power needed to inject more life into the economy. With that said, to help the local economy tariffs will be slightly raised 2-5% in addition to generating a bit more revenue for all the needs the government is to address.
  • Military: The Federal Armed Forces is our sword and spear. We will continue to have a Pro-Military stance as we strive to keep our military as up to date as possible in both equipment and training. The current levels of our military is sufficient, however, efforts of modernization should be ramped up in the form of replacing older ships with ironclads in addition to adding a new weapon to our arsenal called the Gatling Gun for our forces. Both innovations have proven their worth in the American Civil War and elsewhere. If there is an effective, plausible alternative to the Military Neutrality Act then we will be more likely to support it.
  • States’ Rights: We will continue to protect the integrity of the states. States will have a say in their own affairs. With that said one must recognize the enumerated and implied powers of the Federal government, however, I will make sure to address any acts of Federal encroachment on the states. So long as state law does not violate Federal law, the Federal government needn’t get involved. States have the right to set their budget and manage internal finances but do not have the right to set their needs above the needs of the Federation as a whole.
  • Education: Our literacy rate is steadily rising and we will continue our current pace. We will work towards further improving our education system for our children are the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Social Programs: We are not currently seeking more social reform given our recent progress.
  • Colonies and Territories: Strictly depending on the situation and location we would be open to mild colonialism but this would have to be considered during the best of times. Instead we should focus on the economy and the consolidation of our existing territory under our possession. We should focus on what we have right now such as Melilla and Tunisia and give as much support to the territories as possible within reason due to other competing needs that need to be addressed. Also I am of the opinion that we should treat the people of Tunisia and Melilla as equals and seek to show them democracy, nothing else. They can keep their cultures and social norms so long as they are in tune with democratic ideals. In doing so we improve administration efficiency while keeping good relations with the people, increasing stability. We should not be going after much of Africa when large swaths of it have no strategic or economic value, the current status quo should be maintained when it comes to the administration of our territories.

The Results

The election of 1864 was remarkable in many ways. To give just a few examples, the presence of a Liberal on every electoral ticket or the complete failure of the Liberal leadership to commit to a coalition even when it became clear that there simply was insufficient support for the outmanoeuvred FDP and there was the possibility of union with both of the other candidates. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect, though, was the outcome, which saw Gabriel Soukup-Valenta become the first President to gain re-election. Often attributed to the strength of the Radical Union on a local level and the loyal following in the industrial cities of the Carpathians, the President overcame fiscal woes and personal attacks to swear the Oath of Office for a second time at the High Altar of St Stephen’s Cathederal. His victory was by no means assured, however, with his lead both in terms of popular vote and Electoral College seats eroded by his opponents.

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