Talossa's left wing is increasingly crowded these days, with no fewer than six parties now fighting to carve up about half of Talossan voters, and it seems impossible to say whether or not this will help or harm their chances.  The success of the current leftist coalition would seem to be founded on slight changes to the electorate, which could imply that these groups will only hamper their common goals, but a Beric'ht analysis points to a little-noticed benefit to this crowded field: the advantages of individual enthusiasm.  Only time can tell if this advantage will outweigh the dangers of increased competition.
An examination of electoral history indicates that the emergence of six parties on the left does not represent an increase in voter interest.   In the January 2014/XXXV election, the left-wing parties received a combined 52% of the vote.  Looking at the recent past, this represents a 4% change from the last election held in comparable circumstances, in April of 2010/XXXI.  The intervening years are difficult to compare to today, given the remarkable institutional collapse of all of the left-wing parties after the 2010 election, the rise and close of the nonpartisan Independent party, and the events of Reunision, but a close analysis of the general trend seems to argue that generic political preference in Talossa has shifted only slightly (although even this slight change suffices to put the conservative RUMP in the minority).
Given that the basic makeup of the electorate hasn’t changed much, it would appear that the Progs, the MRPT, the ZRT, the RPT, the LC, and Tímoþi Asmourescu’s as-yet-unnamed party will be splitting up increasingly small slices of the liberal pie.  And with the RUMP in the minority, it might be difficult to convince a fractious left to unite against them.
Current party conventions showcase the problem.  In Fiôvâ, only four ZRT members remain to conduct their party's convention.  They're acting in the absence, however, of former leader and current Distain C. Carlüs Xheraltescù, who left the party to found the Liberal Congress (LC).  Minister of Culture Dame Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN, has struggled to sustain the proceedings as she works with convention organizer Gödafrïeu Válcadác’h and party members Evan Cuntainça and John Whelan to find some way to avoid what she has called a "log-jam" of the center-left.  The emergence of the Liberal Congress only adds to the pressure on the ZRT to distinguish itself on the left, since the party was already under pressure from the extremist republicanism of the RPT and moderate idealism of the MRPT.
Schivâ commented that she was sad to see Xheraltescù go, but added that she understood his reasoning and his vision for his new party.  As to the future, she was unsure.  "[They] will surely be a real force in the next Cosâ, but I don't think we can say with any certainty that it would tip the balance either towards the monarchist or the republican end of the spectrum."
In Cézembre, the Progressive Party convention is in a similar fix.  D. Çamberleir Forestál and Eðo Grischun appear to be the only remaining active members of the party, with party visionary Owen Edwards absent and party member Txosuè Rôibeardescù joining the Liberal Congress.  Just like the ZRT, which had been heavily influenced by the LC’s new leader Xheraltescù, the inactive Progs represent a prime recruiting ground for the LC.  But does that help their common causes, or will they fall prey to each other?
Individual enthusiasm, a little-noticed benefit of the liberal balkanization, might come to their rescue.  One of the most exciting things about Talossa is that the country’s small size allows almost anyone to have a major impact in whatever area they choose.  Organizing and defining a political party is fun, and it can be very appealing to break away and help create a new movement.  Further, it’s unlikely that any major political party will represent a politician’s particular constellation of opinions exactly, so forming a new party allows that politician to advocate a more pure version of their interests, as opposed to seeking compromise with an established group.  That was certainly the intention of the founder of the new Liberal Congress; when asked about his party’s focus, Xheraltescù said, ”I saw that there was something of a gap in the political market for a party to focus primarily on [civil and political liberties], whereas currently parties tend to be more concerned with the monarchy/republic debate. Frankly, I'm tired of that.”
These benefits help inspire enthusiasm and activity among the members of these small parties on the left.  You are more likely to speak on behalf of a party you helped found, and less likely to abandon one you helped to organize.
Still, it’s unclear whether or not this can compensate for such a crowded field, where each liberal party has to fight to distinguish itself from the others.  The Liberal Congress has drawn almost its entire roster from the left wing, and as the RUMP revives from its disaffected slump in the preceding term, it may find the opportunity to snap up moderate voters who are confused by the liberal gaggle of small parties.  In the end, it’s only the voters who can decide whether or not the crowded field is a good sign for Talossa’s left. B


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