I hope you guys will find this a reasonable blend of real/factual Muggle information and what little we know of Canon. My hope and intent, as always, is to stay as true as possible to Canon as written by JKR for these 'boundaries' and world-situations, even as our characters grow and change beyond canon constraints.
Please understand that I am using Lucius and Arthur as examples, because a) it would make me very happy to see them pitted against one another in a political arena, and b) its an easy example to use when they're the right 'age' and are on opposing sides of so many issues.
This does not, in any way, obligate those Muns to follow this plotline - that is totally up to the players and also how much 'support' you get from your fellow Muns and characters! *grin*
So. Here goes.
The Minister for Magic is appointed by the Wizengamot rather than voted by the general populace, but the Wizengamot itself is an elected body. The wizarding world being relatively small compared to the Muggle one, and the Wizengamot being apparently rather large-ish from what we have seen in canon, I assume that each member of the Wizengamot is a representative for a fairly small segment of the wizarding populace, but still comparatively large percentage of the population in comparison to the Muggle system.
Constituents would then make their desires known to their representatives whenever there is an election process, where the Wizengamot is considering whom to appoint.
Now, in the Muggle/'real' world, my understanding is that the Minister, him/herself gets to choose when elections will occur, and that he/she generally chooses a time when he is relatively 'popular'.
In this case, for our world, I want to fudge this a bit. We know that Fudge was kicked out during the summer holidays between OotP and HBP, so I'd like to assume that in the Wizarding world, the Wizengamot has more 'say' in calling for elections if the Minister is unsatisfactory. At present, Shingelton was merely an emergency appointment upon the death of Scrimegeour, so calling for a special election would not be totally unexpected.
They probably were hoping for things to settle down and 'peace' to be restored before trying to select a new Minister.
Lucius, at present, cannot even be legally considered as a candidate because of his status on the Registry. If she wants him to be considered, that would be the first step for Lucius' Mun to work toward, as far as getting Lucius into political position. Also, Arthur Weasley has been relatively 'quiet' during his years in the Ministry. I could see a lot of potential plot-bunnies related to both men working themselves into positions of eligibility over the next several months.
In game, there are many people who have been gradually expressing their frustration over the situation, mostly privately, but this is getting more and more public. As this continues, the Wizengamot will hear of it, of course. Particularly as some characters have specifically recently called for elections.
I also want to mimic a part of the British system in that the second-closest in votes, after the winner of the Minister for Magic position will then be head of 'The Opposition' - or, in this case, I think it might be appropriate/comparable to put the non-winning person as Head of the Wizengamot, or some other very comparible high-power-ranking position. Something that would give much room for power-struggles and such, long after the actual politics and elections are over.
This whole politicking process will be a slow-build for the game, and much of it, honestly, will depend on how much fun you guys have with it from a player-standpoint, and how much 'mileage' we get out of it for the game as a whole. We have a lot of creative folks who will surely jump on the bandwagon of 'campaigning' for their favourite person and such.
So, this is sort of a player-perspective-plot. As long as their is minimal or sporadic unrest among the populace about Rudiger, the Wizengamot will be relatively complacent about him. He, of course, will do all he can to maintain his 'popularity'. However, when there is enough game interest and some solid candidates, we will 'call' for the election.
At that point, the 'campaigning' would start in-earnest, where the average citizen would start to clamour for his or her favourite 'replacement' candidate. Again, depending on the decisions of the Muns involved, we would love to see Arthur and Lucius be in the running, but there are also many NPC choices, as well as good-choice-canon characters who currently have no Mun, such as Kingsley Shaklebolt or Alastor Moody (if you like your Minister a bit paranoid...)
Also, if any other player characters wish to be 'in the running', there is no reason why you couldn't start 'campaigning' yourself. I do think there would be similar age-requirements as in the Muggle world, so most of our Trio-era characters would be too young to run, or at least there would be a very heavy prejudice against them, though it might be fun to try to be the 'youngest ever Minister for Magic...'. On the other hand, not to single anyone out, but I really, really wouldn't want Harry Potter to be Minister for Magic, because that is just too much for one character. heh. (Or Snape for that matter, as if anyone would 'vote' for him! ;))
Likewise, don't rule yourself out if you play a female! Molly Weasley might make just as good a Minister as Arthur! *wink*
Basically, the timing for the next 'election' is up in the air a good deal - but it is very much in our player's hands. There has been much good-starting lately over the 'tagging' issue, as well as some of the nonsense in the past. When it looks like people are getting bored with the political angle, we'll call for elections and move on. We like to have *some* level of conflict, always, because with no conflict at all, a game stagnates and dies and it is our desire to have this game be more a political and normal-life-driven conflict stuff, rather than a DE and war-driven stuff.
One final thing, to clarify for the folks frustrated about the Order of the Phoenix. The Order of the Phoenix, as per canon, was a wartime organization, almost a group of vigilantes. It is very, very clear, in canon, that it disbanded almost the instant the first war was over, and that it did not involve itself in politics, at all. Albus almost aggressively *avoided* any influence of the political system, even when asked for 'advice' on a regular basis or tried to be pushed into the Minister job, himself. Those of you wanting/waiting for Minerva to 'lead' the Order of the Phoenix in some sort of revolt against the Ministry will have to be disappointed, I'm sorry. Her hands are more tied than the average citizen because of the needs of Hogwarts. She cannot afford to alienate whatever government is in power.
The Order of the Phoenix does still exist, and will rouse again to such things as Death Eater attacks and Greyback activity - if/when more of the Order are not on the Registry, themselves, and can actually *do* something other than draw attention to themselves by meeting to discuss their present state of helplessness.
Does this make sense? Does it seem like a reasonable blend of canon and Muggle world considering we don't know how the heck the Wizarding World appoints these folks? Ideas/suggestions, Please!! :)
Thanks Alex and Charlotte for your explanations and help! :)