Writing a Speculative Political Novel That Takes Place in the Next Decade

A thought exercise

Design Dares #1 and #2

Near Future Field Notes

Forecasting politics

Diving into this storyline

  1. An open primary means the top four vote-getters will advance to the general election. So instead of having a bunch of Democrats compete to be the single Democrat going against a single Republican, you could end up with four Republicans in the general election. Or four Democrats. And what’s more likely is something like three Republicans going up against a single Democrat. That could mean “splitting the vote,” where maybe the three Republicans get a total of 60% of the vote, but none of them get more than 30%. Meaning the single Democrat could easily beat them. Could this happen? Well yes, if Trump is trying to campaign against Lisa Murkowski with a Trump-sanctioned candidate. It’s almost a given that there will be a brawl, and it’ll be fascinating to watch.
  2. Ranked-choice voting is fascinating. (Vox explains it here) In today’s system, you might prefer a third party candidate but not want to feel like you’re wasting your vote. So you’ll hold your nose and vote for your favoured big party candidate. But ranked-choice means you vote for your first choice (a huge boon for third party candidates), but then list your second, third, and fourth as well. There are no more wasted votes in this system, which has big implications, notably for independents.

Let’s sketch out Trump + open primary + ranked-choice

  • Murkowski (Republican)
  • Trump Candidate (Republican … or third party?)
  • Five other Republicans
  • Six Democrats
  1. Murkowski
  2. Trump Candidate
  3. Democrat
  4. Independent

Some facts about independents

Alaska politics

Getting a bunch of people to move

Let’s pause there. Do we have a story?

The bones of the story

  • Person versus person
  • Person versus nature
  • Person versus themselves



Designer, writer, teacher. I love building things.

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