Ok, so the election… the United Republic is now becoming a self governing nation with a government chosen by its citizens, rather than an internationally governed joint territory (I expect over the next several years the United Forces are going to need to be restructured… it exists currently as a joint peacekeeper force, hence a Prince of the Fire Nation at its head. Before long as the United Republic starts asserting its own interests, there won’t be a position for foreign commanders of its forces - and you see the beginning of that already between him and the President).
I’m glad for the shift representing that there WAS a government not responsive to the majority of the citizens, and instead reflecting a Bending-based cultural paradigm. Amon’s solution was evil, but as with the Bolsheviks, the Maoists, etc - his uprising was based on actual disenfranchisement and exploitation.
I was thinking about the parties that would be forming, and obviously the writers have said they don’t want to go into to much detail on this stuff, but it’s my forte so here I go! These are all very young parties, and as such represent coalitions of smaller existent factions, such as all four nationalist cliques (the Water Tribe cliques can work with larger political groups, but the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation extremist cliques both reject the United Republic’s EXISTENCE historically, so they’re kind of on the outs…)
In descending order of votes garnered in the first election…
Democratic Liberty Party: This is Raiko’s Party. It is a predominately non-bender led, property rights geared party, largely seen as the party of the non-bender bourgeoisie (commercial class). Raiko himself was a Property Rights Attorney before the uprising, who became an outspoke anti-Triad activist. He gained fame through survival of multiple Triad attempts on his life. When he spoke out against Amon for the same violence and violations of personal rights as the Triads, he gained respect from Benders as well. He had to spend the uprising in hiding. His party favors a strong central government as well as active protection of property rights and industrialization. It has close ties to major companies, including historically Future Industries, but Raiko had to refuse campaign donations from Asami because of what her father did. The party’s support is largely ethnically diverse, but draws disproportionately from those with Fire Nation ancestry, as they’re the historically economically privileged class in the United Republic.
Harmony and Justice Party: This is the party of the “Other Guy” that Varrik mentioned - the other mainstream party in this first election. Like Raiko’s party, this group is largely non-bender led, though in this case drawing disproportionately from those of Earth Kingdom and Southern Water Tribe descent (the Souther Water Tribe national clique is part of this party) the historically economically less privileged class in the city. It is seen largely as the party of the non-bender working class. It is much more geared to social safety nets and public works than the property rights oriented Democratic Liberty property. It also wants power more decentralized so local communities can have a stronger say over local police and projects. For better and worse in the last election it was seen as the party for disillusioned Equalists.
United Republican Party: Not a major player in this last election though with a strong enough financial base and numbers to be a contender going forward. This party favors stronger cultural representation, rather than numerical rule - basically they implicitly opposed the dissolution of the Council in favor the Presidential system. They are also the most spiritual of the parties, favoring traditionalist laws, and of the major parties are the most skeptical of industrialization, favoring active conservation as spirit appeasement. They are seen by many as a “Bender Party” - though they have many non-Bender members, particularly those following Air Acolyte teachings (though Tenzin and the Acolytes do not involve themselves in electoral politics), as well as the Northern Water Tribe nationalist clique. Their candidate for President was a Northern Water Tribe woman from the same political group as Tarrlok, but who had been seen as Tarrlok’s enemy and rival within said group.
People’s Ascension Party: Thinly veiled Equalists.
Burning Voice Party: Fire Nationalist clique, barely bothering to hide its ties to the Agni Kai Triad. While they no longer openly call for the return of URN territories to Fire Nation rule and praise Sozin, Azulon, and Ozai - that is the historic legacy they are drawing on. (Fun fact: the real world Triads were founded as rebel groups against Manchurian rule of China; I figure the first Triads in the world of Avatar started similarly, with the Agni Kais being Fire Nation rebels against the United Republic)
Emerald Palm Party: Earth Kingdom nationalist clique, barely bothering to hide its ties to the Jade Fist Triad. They DO still openly call for the return of URN territories to the Earth Kingdom and the exile of all non-Earth Kingdom peoples. (The Jade Fist in this headcanon are the other “first triad”, in their case rebels against the United Republic from the Earth Kingdom side. If anyone’s curious, the Red Monsoons were born as a group protecting the Water Tribe minority in the United Republic, but under Yakone went full organized crime syndicate; the Triple Threats are unique that they were born purely via three benders getting together and saying “who cares about this nationalist bullshit, lets just combine are skills and make a lot more money and take a lot more power that way!”)
So there’s your 6 parties in the United Republic. Only the first 3 are contenders for the Presidency (and the third not quite yet), and Lin is investigating the latter three as criminal fronts.
Also slipped some Triad history headcanon in there with the last two.