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OK, so for those of you not in the UK, the national elections were held last week and yielded some results that were not in line with pre-election expectations. Cue loads of grumbling (great article on why there will always be some of that here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627581.400-electoral-dysfunction-why-democracy-is-always-unfair.html#.VVBhRelFBMs ). But, as a natural extension, it also forms fertile fiction planning ground.

There are, unsurprisingly, a large number of books written about/ inspired by elections (here’s a list to get you started: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/may/09/election2001.politics ). In the UK, the system throws up a number of interesting inconsistencies, especially for those used to proportional representation (see, for example, http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/05/britain-s-election-2015-seats-votes-calculator?zid=309&ah=80dcf288b8561b012f603b9fd9577f0e ) that can be exploited in the ‘what if’ vein of plotting.

But it’s not just the elections themselves. There’s the aftermath. A large number of dystopian novels (yes, including The Hunger Games) play on what can happen if democracy goes wrong or governments stray outside the originally agreed confines of power.

Finally, there’s the lack of democracy to harvest. There are still countries in the world where people of certain gender, race, background don’t have the right to vote. And, we must remember, it wasn’t that long ago that the same was true in the UK, the US, and a large proportion of the world where the right to vote is now taken for granted.

So, go on, let your mind wander (and wonder) – what’s the worst that could happen?

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