Okay, I can't offer many details for the story but hopefully you guys can still help me out a bit. The main idea of the story is an underground organisation that is similar to the Brotherhood of 1984 (each member only knows a few others etc.), trying to overthrow a religious government which has laws that apply to everyone even though it should only apply to people of that religion. Don't worry about how exactly they are underground and haven't been detected, I've got all that covered, but the main thing I'm wondering is why wouldn't they just be able to go into parliament and then change laws from there? As in they've gone to all this trouble to do all this crap to take over unsuspectingly but I need a reason for why this underground group couldn't just try and go into parliament and then change laws. If you need any more information just ask but yeah, were they assassinated before they could run, did their application to become a political party get rejected? I don't know.
Any help is appreciated.
Maybe the rulers of this religious organization are actually a splinter group of the original underground group thus making it difficult to just change the laws through conventional means since they know all the same underhanded legal tricks too and probably would've already taken steps to villify those that would dare speak out openly against said religion.
Also if this religious group is run by former underground members, they would be considered hated enemies/traitors/upstarts, which makes sense that the underground would want to get rid of this religious group completely instead of just trying to take it over as there own.
Thanks for the response EndMaster, but it wouldn't work with what I've already planned out. As in the government isn't tyrannical, or seen as tyrannical by other countries viewpoints (irrelevant information, the country is sort of like an island, as in it has no land borders), but it is religious, and has laws in place which ban certain things which are only bad in the eyes of the religion (similar to how gay marriage is frowned upon by most Christians, but obviously something more important than gay marriage in that it starts a revolution of sorts). Most of the country follows the religion, but it's not like against the law or frowned upon to follow another religion or be atheist, it's just most of the laws are based off this particular religion. Basically these underground people are obviously so underground that three people claim to be or think they are the boss, meaning heaps of confusion. One of these bosses is more aggressive than others (illegally uses genetic engineering to create monsters etc.), another tends to go undercover etc. but the main thing is that the government start to catch onto it and because they tortured someone to find answers the more aggressive boss gets them to blow up a religious monument and then the country goes into hysteria, government puts out propaganda which makes them all seem like terrorists, other factions of this underground group are trying to figure out how to stop it etc. Anyway, the main thing is that other parts of this underground group have gone undercover in heaps of businesses and can pretty much plunge the country into an economic crisis if it doesn't bend to their will, and they do all this crap just to make sure everything goes to plan. But there's a problem - why couldn't they just run for parliament and go for it that way?
JJJ, that's kind of what I was thinking of doing, but it's hard to find a balance between the country being somewhat just and untyrannical (is that a word?) and this underground group being unable to just run for parliament peacefully and overturn things that way. The group began about twenty-five years previously and has over 1500 members (haven't put an exact number on it and probably won't throughout the whole story), which would have given them ample time to go into parliament in multiple seats or however the parliament works. But you've raised an interesting point though, I didn't even think of not having a parliament at all. Well, I did, but for some reason or other I changed my mind, but now it doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Maybe a sort-of monarchy thing. I don't like the idea of having an all powerful king - I want a leader that can lose his job and replaced (like a Prime Minister or President or whatever), but also a sort of government that only certain people can get into. And I'm ruling out having religious heads as leaders of government.
Or maybe even the second thing you suggested, you know about having a parliament that is almost impossible to get into? If I'm asking too much don't worry about answering, but how exactly should I go about doing this without making it too un-just?
Oh yeah, thanks for the welcome JJJ (though I've always been lurking so I never really left XD).
but the brotherhood of 1984 was kind of a tool for Ingsoc to round up dissidents and imprison them :/
Theoretically speaking, I mean. Of course this isn't a fake organisation, I'm just using the same/similar concept to what the Brotherhood was meant to be - the part about members not knowing other members (a sort of guerilla organisation), not the part about it being made up.
Lack of resources as a tool? Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlein. Created cells, trapped on the moon, couldn't directly petition to Earth to piss off due to distance/resources.
I must be intoxicated. No idea how previous comment makes any sense after re-reading your summary.
Why can the reason not be simple: the status quo is not allowed, oppression and persecution. No tolerance. The age old reason.
Probably doesn't matter to you guys, but I've figured something out. I thought, make the head of state the religious leader but in a Westminster parliamentary system. Like have the houses of parliament, and then the religious leader taking the position of the Crown/Governor General. That way this religious leader is not actually making any of the laws or making much of the government policy, but has the power to dismiss the Prime Minister (ie. if members of this organisation got the job and wanted to act unreligiously the religious leader would dismiss them). Anyway, I should probably get back to study. Last day of high school next week and then exams, so I should be doing that instead.
Watch V for Vendetta, it's relevant.
I have, it's an amazing movie. I see where you're coming from but the main focus of what I'm trying to do with this government is that they're humane and all and aren't seen as tyrannical by other countries or by our standards, just that many of their laws are based heavily on religious doctrines (a made-up religion, not Islam or Catholicism or something) and these laws restrict the freedoms of agnosticists and people of other religions. The excuse that "hey it's not safe, we're here to protect you" doesn't really work with religious laws that are meant to restrict people from doing something unreligious as opposed to something bad.
But that's the thing. In the eyes of fundies, 'unreligious' and 'bad' are one and the same. With this association, their definition of 'humane' is different, and their moral judgements will shift.
Thing is, I can't really see such a government enforce their laws without some kind of authoritarian opression going on; in a democratic nation those laws would be under attack 24/7. Even if it's entrenched in tradition, they will be challenged by secular and liberal social movements that they will need to use force to disband.
The most plausible scenario would be where most of the population is one religious denomination and instead of force, their bloc is maintained with propaganda mixed with strong public feeling and tradition.
Good move to keep the religion in question a made up one.