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Alternate Wikibox Thread

Comrade TruthTeller

So much for hope in politics.
Location
Pinner, London
Pronouns
He/him
#44
George Harrison decides to embark on a political career in the 1970s, while continuing his music career in a somewhat smaller capacity. His decision to start a career in politics causes him to also settle down a little bit, saving his marriage with Pattie who he is still married to after 54 years. They have a son, John, born in 1981, who was named after John Lennon, who was shot and killed the year before. He was a minister of state for the home office for four years in the seventies before the rise of Margaret Thatcher, after which he decided not to take a part in the Labour shadow cabinet so he could make more music. After the death of the Labour leader John Smith in 1994, he contemplated making a bid for the leadership. Although he eventually decided against making a bid, and endorsed Margaret Beckett, had he made a bid in the end, polls suggested he was the favourite to win. The contest was eventually won by Tony Blair, who went on to win the 1997 election. The year before the election, Harrison, Starr and McCartney came together to make a brand new Beatles album, Times Past, using material recorded by Lennon before his murder in 1980. After Blair came to power, he offered Harrison the position of Culture Secretary, an offer he appreciated, but later declined. Harrison survived cancer in the late 90s and early 00s and made a full recovery. After the retirement of Kenneth Clarke in 2019, George Harrison became the longest serving member of the house, and presided over the re-election of Speaker Hoyle on the resumption of parliament.
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Nofix

One part seal, one part ion
#47

Bruce Wayne was a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. He was richest man in his native New Jersey for most of his life, and estimated to be the 12th richest man in America at one point. He served as the Police Commissioner of Gotham from 1962 to 1969, succeeding longtime Commissioner and friend, Jim Gordon. In 1940, he adopted the orphaned acrobat Richard Grayson. His 1955 marriage to convicted felon Selena Kyle was considered scandalous during his day, but they remained happily married for 31 years and had one daughter, lawyer Helena Wayne.

For many decades, it was thought that Bruce Wayne had a connection to, or was, the notorious vigilante and crime-fighter, Batman of Gotham City. In his lifetime, Wayne denied such accusations and insisted on being merely a supporter of the “Dark Knight” like so many citizens of Gotham were. 34 years after his death, it was discovered that, and later officially corroborated by the Wayne estate, that Bruce Wayne was the original Batman of Gotham City, an inaugural member of the Justice Society of America, as well as one of the first superheroes in modern America.
 

EvilSpaceAlien

Build a railway to Luleå and make STHLM pay for it
Location
An uppity swamp
Pronouns
he/him
#49
FPP.png

The Finnish People's Party (FPP) (Finnish: Suomalainen kansanpuolue (SKP), Swedish: Finska folkpartiet (FFP)) is a Finnish nationalist political party which was founded in 1962 as the Finnish People's Front. The party was formed by members of radical wing of the Democratic Coalition Party, who had left their party due to disagreements over the official party line, which was to push for greater Finnish autonomy rather than full independence. The FPP has been the largest political party in the Finnish parliament since 2012 and in government since 2015, first in a coalition with the Democratic Coalition Party and since the 2019 election it has been governing as a minority government, supported by the Republican Socialist Party.

During the 60s, 70s and 80s the party was considered a fringe force in Finnish politics, often accused of ties to militant Finnish separatists. The party's first leader, Tapani Hämäläinen, made a name for himself through a number of controversial actions, such as appearing in support of the defendants at the trial following the 1972 Tammerfors Riots, or often using his speeches to urge people to show their displeasure towards the Stockholm government by vandalizing Swedish-language street signs. Faced with a party accused of at best tolerating or at worst instigating harassment of the quarter of the Finnish population which had Swedish as their first language, the rest of the parties in the Finnish parliament erected a strong cordon sanitaire around the FPP during these decades. The party began a journey towards moderation in 1987 with the election of Sauli Rajamäki as party leader, who distanced himself from previous leaders' association with extreme groups and emphasized that the only legitimate way to fight for Finnish independence was through peaceful democratic elections.

Strengthened by the party's best results ever in the 1991 election, Rajamäki moved to broaden the party's appeal further during the early 90s with changes in the party constitution which saw all references to the party aiming to be the defender of the Finnish-speaking population of Finland struck, replaced with text that instead defined the party's aims as being to represent all Finns, regardless of whether they spoke Finnish or Swedish. This was a major shift in direction for a party which in its early days had elected MPs which portrayed Swedish-speaking Finns as colonizers who would be deported to Sweden upon Finnish independence.

"We need to become a party that any Finn in the country could consider voting for. As I've often said that means that the worker in the paper mill needs to be able to tell his Swedish-speaking neighbour that he voted for the People's Party without feeling any shame. But it also means that his neighbour should be able to look him in the eyes with pride and say: 'So did I'."
-Speech by Sauli Rajamäki at the 1994 FPP party conference in Vasa

The other Finnish political parties were initially sceptical of these changes, viewing them as a little more than superficial, so the cordon sanitaire remained for most of the 90s in the Finnish Parliament. However things were different on the municipal level which was where the FPP was finally let in from the cold and allowed to take part in coalitions with other political parties, often as a junior partner to the Democratic Coalition Party. That party would also be the first to break the taboo against working with the FPP in government, by inviting them to join a coalition after the 2000 election. From 2000 to 2008 the FPP was truly in power for the first time, with Sauli Rajamäki serving in the government as Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance alongside five other FPP ministers. The coalition broke apart shortly before the 2008 due to disagreements over farming subsidies, and afterwards the Democratic Coalition opted to join the Labour Party in a grand coalition instead, making the FPP the leading opposition party. Rajamäki remained as leader while in opposition, leading the party to a tremendous success in the 2012 election where it became the largest party in parliament, albeit by a slim one seat margin. The grand coalition continued in spite of this setback, but Sauli Rajamäki was looking more and more like a Premier-in-waiting. However tragedy struck in October 2014 when Rajamäki was found dead in his bed by his wife, an autopsy later revealing that he had suffered an aneurysm in his sleep, killing him two weeks shy of his 68th birthday.

The leadership was quickly thrust upon Jonna Stenberg Mäkinen, a 30 year old rising star in the party who had only been elected Deputy Leader the year before. She would only be in the job for a couple of months before being faced with her first electoral test, as the Labour-DCP grand coalition collapsed at the start of February, setting the stage for an early general election. The election saw the FPP underperform slightly compared to the opinion polls, but it was still a significant improvement on the 2012 result. With another Labour-DCP coalition impossible given the results, Jonna Stenberg Mäkninen entered the official Premier's residence Villa Aura in Åbo as the first FPP Premier.

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Jonna Stenberg Mäkinen is an unusual figure within the Finnish People's Party not only because she was born and grew up in Sweden, but because she did not grow up in a Finnish-speaking household. She was born as Jonna Viktoria Stenberg in Härnösand, Sweden to Oskar and Johanna Stenberg, both professors at the University of Härnösand. At the age of 11 she showed a great deal of interest in learning more about the Finnish heritage that she had on her mothers side of the family, and in particular with learning the Finnish language, something which was greatly encouraged by her mother as her parents had not passed down the language to her due to dying while she was still young. The studies of the Finnish language and history eventually led her to enroll in a Finnish-speaking secondary school in Vasa at age 13 when her parents had moved to the city to take up lecturing positions at the Bothnian University. This was when she first came in contact with the Young Finns, the youth league of the Finnish People's Party, an organisation which appeared to share her passion for all things Finnish. While she hadn't shown a great deal of interest in politics prior to joining the youth league, the discussions at the weekly meetings awakened a keen interest, and soon she was handing out leaflets and participating in school debates as if she had been a member for six years, not six months.

When her parents moved on to new positions at Torneå University she brought her new interest with her to her new city, becoming President of the local chapter of the Young Finns. There she made a name for herself in the local press as a prominent leader for the Yes campaign in the 2001 Torne Valley referendum, in which Torneå and a number of majority Finnish-speaking municipalities in the Swedish county of Norrbotten held a referendum on whether they should join Uleåborg County and become a part of Finland. While the referendum was ultimately lost by a narrow 53-47 margin, it helped Stenberg to make a name for herself within the youth league, helping her to get elected to its national board at the 2002 conference. The same year she was elected as the first and only FPP representative on the Torneå City Council at age 18, further cementing her status as a rising star within the party. Upon moving to Åbo in 2006 to pursue her Master's degree in Economic history she stepped down from the Torneå City Council and appeared to be stepping back from frontline politics for a while. Though she didn't stay away for long as the FPP selected her as their candidate in the Åbo St. Karins constituency for the 2007 Nordic general election. While the constituency was majority Finnish-speaking by a margin of 70 to 30, the relatively affluent urban middle class that lived there had never been particularly friendly towards the FPP. The best an FPP could usually hope for in Åbo St. Karins was to break 15%, but this was not usual circumstances.

The incumbent Liberal MP Viktor Segerström was first elected in 1986 and had served as Minister of Transport since 2001, in that role being a crucial driving force behind the planned rail tunnel and bridge combo which would connect Åbo and Stockholm through Åland. Unfortunately for him that project had angered a large number of environmental campaigners and local NIMBYs in the constituency who was fearful of the impact the railway would have on the environment and the local community, given that it would pass through the constituency. The Labour candidate taking him on looked set for victory in what was usually a Labour-Liberal marginal, but his campaign was derailed early on when a number of homophobic and sexist remarks came to light. Then you had Stenberg. As a young woman from a family of middle class academics who grew up speaking Swedish at home, she was the antithesis of the stereotypical People's Party representative: a slightly overweight middle aged working class man from the countryside who could barely speak a full sentence in Swedish. This was not the reason people voted for her, but it was reason people started listening to what she was saying. The two big parties were caught completely off guard by the unexpectedly strong FPP campaign and scrambled to catch up, but it was too little too late. In an incredibly close three-way race Jonna Stenberg became the new MP for Åbo St. Karins by a margin of 976 votes.

Overnight she had become a major national sensation, branded as the future of FPP and invited to just about every interview you could think of. But in parliament Stenberg opted to take an entirely different approach, careful not to make too much noise and focusing entirely on constituency service and crafting policy proposals which actually had a chance of getting through the Riksdag. This didn't get her more attention in the media, but it did give her a reputation within the party as someone who had substance and was something more than the post-election headlines. Having proved a relatively popular MP in her first term it was then no surprise when she was reelected with a substantially increased majority four years later, by then having married and changed her name to Stenberg Mäkinen. Realizing what an asset she was the FPP wasted little time in offering her a spot on the regional list for Finland Proper in the upcoming Finnish parliamentary election, an offer she easily accepted. This was the first time she was faced with major criticism from the press and the voters, who accused her of ditching her constituents and running away to a another job only six months after being reelected. Clarifying that she would still remain as the MP for Åbo St. Karins didn't really help things either, with constituents complaining in the papers that the were under the impression that they were voting for a full time MP, not a part time one.

While that controversy was a bit of a bump in the road, it certainly did nothing to stop Stenberg Mäkinens meteoric rise through the ranks of the party. For all the rules and democratic traditions in the local chapters of the party, once you were at the top there was only one person that mattered. If Sauli Rajamäki didn't take a liking to you then you definitely had no future in the parliamentary party, but if he did you could expect great things to come your way, and he certainly took a liking to Stenberg Mäkinen. When his longtime deputy Merja Sakala announced her retirement he was the one who urged Stenberg Mäkinen to run for the position, seeing her as the perfect person to go into the next election campaign with. He was an old farmer from Hirvensalmi nearing his 70th birthday, she was a young academic from Åbo who hadn't even turned 30 yet. They could provide the perfect balance between experience and change, with his precense appealing to the base and her potential to attract voters who otherwise wouldn't consider voting FPP. Alas it was not to be, Jonna Stenberg Mäkinen would be the one who led the FPP back into government, becoming the party's first Premier in the process. Her five years in office have had their ups and downs, with a generally strong economy being of great benefit to the government, helping the FPP sail through reelection in 2019 with a substantially increased seat share, enabling the party to govern alone with support from the small pro-independence Republican Socialist Party.
 
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#50
Better Late Than Never
The Kingfish was certainly past his prime, that much was certain. He was still sharp, of course and still vividly recalled that day in 1935 where a madman's bullet had nearly forced him from the mortal coil. But despite his survival, his ambitions were quickly put in check. The Share Our Wealth proxy campaign he sought to have cost Roosevelt the White House fizzled. His own 1940 challenge was easily crushed. And Roosevelt managed to capture national, universal popularity in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and the war that ensued. Long had done his part to support the country in that time, but after the war it seemed his career was in essence dead. The left wanted younger champions before McCarthy strangled it with demagoguery and the other southern Democrats cared more about Jim Crow than the welfare of the common man. Oh, Long was not nobody in the Senate-he fiercely denounced McCarthy, fought for Truman's healthcare plan and earned the respect of northern progressives by refusing to sign the Southern Manifesto while many southern Democrats (including Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson) did. It's likely for this reason that Long was approached by a young Massachusetts Senator to be his Vice President. Long's presidential aspirations were subdued by this point by the sting of defeat in 1940 and 1952 and Jack seemed a nice enough boy. So he joined the ticket and Kennedy brought him just a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Of course, things weren't so rosy once governing began. Kennedy was in many ways like Roosevelt to Huey-too timid to do what needed to be done. Too willing to listen to advisors who urged unwise conduct (for instance, by escalating involvement in Indochina or invading the Bay of Pigs). Still, Long remained Vice President even with the internal struggle between the two men nearly reaching the point of Kennedy attempting to swap him for someone more palatable. But before it reached that point a certain communist in Dallas blew the young president's brains out. And suddenly, the dream that had eluded the Kingfish finally came true-albeit in the worst possible way. Long mourned Kennedy despite their differences and his own eagerness for power-not that it has stopped the fringe theorists from claiming Long had him offed to gain power for himself.

And what he did with that power. Long discarded the original name for his program-'Share Our Wealth' was uncomfortably communistic in the middle of the Cold War. But he decided on Johnson's suggestion of a 'Great Society.' It was a truly bold program. Long signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to fight Jim Crow laws and establish voting rights for southern blacks, despite the grumbling of the Dixiecrat contingent. He established a federal Department of Education and made the first two years of college free for all Americans. Long's biggest triumph was the implementation of Medicare, a national healthcare system modeled after Britain's NHS that was controversial to begin with but by the present is one of the untouchable sacred cows of American politics. Long also implemented inheritance caps and a maximum wage though the latter died after his presidency.

On foreign policy, Long would face more difficulties. His pre-World War II isolationist instincts, while subdued by outside circumstances, did prove irksome to the US military. Long worked to keep American involvement in Indochina as limited as possible and sought to pursue normalized relations with Cuba and Mao's China. For these, he was denounced as a cowardly appease by conservatives and even more moderate Republicans. While he crushed Goldwater in 1964, in 1968 the race proved to be far closer. Long fought tooth and nail against former Vice President Richard Nixon (running alongside conservative southern Republican John Tower of Texas). Long actually managed to win the popular vote in that election, but the electoral college narrowly went in Nixon's favor, forcing the Kingfish to retire to Louisiana.

However, Nixon's administration soon began to struggle. His rapid and extreme escalation of American involvement in Indochina provoked a backlash among college students and his efforts to appease conservative Republicans by chipping away at Long's programs likewise provoked widespread anger. Long himself would become an icon to the opponents of Nixon and attended a few antiwar rallies as a speaker. In late 1971, Long shocked observers by announcing he would be pursuing a bid for a nonconsecutive term. Unfortunately for him and his supporters, however, Long would suffer a fatal stroke on January 16, 1972, dying before any ballots could be cast. Despite this, Long remained an icon to the young left and eventual nominee and winner Eugene McCarthy won vowing to continue his legacy. To date, Long ranks highly among many historians as a man who, against the odds, changed America.


(Please ignore Humphrey being listed as his VP it's meant to be Muskie)