1. Victoria's population in 1973 is about the same as that of Kenya IOW, but its demographics are very different. The population of IOW Kenya at that time was about 12.4 million, nearly all of it black. In the FAN timeline, however, I'm assuming that the black Victorians will undergo an earlier demographic shift. Compared to IOW Kenya, Victoria is more urbanized, has a larger middle class (even within the black population) and has a generally higher standard of living, all of which contribute to smaller family sizes. (Most Victorian blacks live at a third world standard, but one that isn't quite as bad as sub-Saharan Africa IOW.)
The whites have a lower birth rate, but they've managed to hang on to their 25 percent share of the population by encouraging immigration. The first wave, which came during the 1880s-1900s, is already known (via Sobel) to have consisted mainly of Dutch, English, French and Italians. Eastern Europeans, including Polish and Russian Jews, came later, and immigrants from the Gold Republics (more or less the IOW Boer republics and Zimbabwe) most recently. The last named have arrived since the late 1950s, mostly in reaction to the transition of their homelands to black rule.
Victoria in 1973 is undergoing a political sea change. On the one hand, an increasing number of blacks are becoming educated and entering the middle class; the number of blacks on the voting rolls in 1973 is almost twice what it was in 1960. On the other hand, the very emergence of a black middle class has caused many whites to take a harder line about preserving their privileges. For most of the twentieth century, the social contract in Victoria was similar to that of IOW South Africa -- i.e., that the government would provide sufficient jobs and services to guarantee a middle-class living standard to the white population. Lately, however, that contract has become more difficult to maintain. There isn't much land to give away -- and even though blacks are effectively kept out of white-collar jobs in government and private industry, they've made inroads in the professions and independent business. For the first time, many whites are wondering whether they'll be able to maintain a decent standard of living. Add to that the Gold Republic refugees' determination not to let it happen again, and you've got problems.
|All Citizens Party||2||3|
|United Victoria Party||46||58|
The term of the Victoria Parliament is four years; the next general election must be held by 21 May 1973.
The Victoria United Party is the least idealistic of Victoria's political parties; its main interest is in protecting its lower-middle-class white constituency. The rhetoric of the VUP is often populist and plays to its voters' distrust of rich whites and middle-class blacks; its program is racist, but not nearly as much so as the Conservative Party's. The Conservative Party has grown significantly in strength due to the votes of the Gold Republic immigrants, and supports drastic measures to keep the blacks in their place.
On the left of what passes for center in Victoria, the Democratic Party is the party of the old-line paternalists, while the Liberal Party stands at least in principle for equal rights. The All Citizens Party is the only real black party -- the Democrats and Liberals don't run black candidates -- but it doesn't do well because most blacks rich enough to vote live in white-majority ridings. Rather than waste their votes, the majority of black voters choose the Democratic or Liberal candidate. The independent is Lionel Mellor, who has represented Mombasa South for more than forty years, and spent at least half that time asleep at his bench.
(Return to Victoria's Secret (Part 2).)