Alydian Democratic Union

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Alydian Democratic Union
Union des Démocrates Alydie
Founder Aurélien Arceneaux
Domènec Juventeny
Carla Peltier
Leader Lucatiel Lorett
Deputy Leader Christian Boissieu
Founded 2 August 1953 (2 August 1953)
Preceded by National Coalition
Headquarters Richelieu, Lotrič
Ideology Conservatism
Alydian democracy
Economic liberalism
Capetism
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation Democratic Forum
Aeian Parliament Democratic Bloc
Official colours      Blue
Public Assembly
182 / 600
Senate
28 / 100
Election symbol
UDA
Politics of Midrasia
Political parties
Elections

The Alydian Democratic Union (Midrasian: Union des Démocrates Alydie), abbreviated UDA; otherwise known as the Union of Alydian Democrats, is a conservative, alydian democratic political party in Midrasia. The party was formed in 1953 as a breakaway party from the National Coalition, representing members of the party who sought to advocate policies more aligned with Alydian democrat and neoliberal stances. Since the 1960s the party has been at the forefront of Midrasian politics as one of the two largest parties, alongside the Social Democratic Party, forming several successive governments between 1973-1994 and 1999-2013. Today, the party remains the leading advocate for conservative policies within Midrasia, albeit adopting more liberal social policies in recent years. Since 2013 the party has been in opposition and has suffered a considerable period of decline after many years in government. Despite this, the party increased its share of the vote in the 2017 election under the leadership of Lucatiel Lorett, however was unable to make significant gains in either house, raising questions over Lorett's leadership.

History

Feuillantism

Modern Midrasian conservatism mostly has its origins within the Feuillant movement of the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century. Whilst Conservative movements certainly predated this period, playing a major role throughout Midrasian early-modern political history, it is not until this period that the movement begins to gain significant traction and can be seen as a mainstream political ideology. Feuillants were generally members of the Estates General and later Public Assembly who advocated for a stronger Midrasian monarchy. Whilst a number of Feuillants advocated for the return of the Huguenot dynasty to the throne of Midrasia, the vast majority of Feuillants acquiesced to the outcome of the Midrasian Revolution.

In addition to supporting a strong monarchy, the Feuillants advocated for the organisation of society on the lines of a social contract. Feuillants also held the church in high regard, mandating that religious institutions be represented in Midrasian politics and that religious doctrine be utilised as a basis for a moral society. In general the Feuillants acted as more of an informal coalition of like minded nobles and elects within parliament and it would not be until 1843 that there would be a movement to establish an official political party to represent Midrasian conservative values.

Conservative Party

Henri de Riquarde was the last PM from the Conservative Party

The Conservative Party was, between 1843 and 1935, the main conservative political party within Midrasia, for the most of its history operating in direct opposition to the Liberal Party, although by the twentieth century the PSD had begun to overshadow the Liberals in terms of Parliamentary representation. Throughout its time in government, the Conservative party was able to form a number of majority governments, passing a significant amount of legislation during its time in government and greatly contributing to the evolution of nineteenth century Midrasian society.

Generally, the Conservative party tended to favour a protectionist attitude towards trade throughout the nineteenth century, emphasising Midrasian goods and services over free trade with foreign countries and empires. In terms of social attitudes, the party was deeply socially conservative placing great emphasis on the established alydian church, the monarchy and the aristocracy. Despite this, in an effort to increase the popularity of the party within the 1870s, the Conservatives can be seen to have championed the cause of the working classes through an advocacy of universal male suffrage and better conditions for factory workers. The Conservative party also saw itself as the bastion of imperialism advocating for the overseas expansion of the Midrasian kingdom, both to secure resources and trade income, but also to spread modernity and the ideas of the enlightenment to the so-called 'backward nations of aeia' through the civilising mission. The party was particularly fixated on Midrasian domination of the continents of Majula and Arabekh, especially after the conclusion of the Mydro-Veleazan war. In the aftermath of the war, the party was also notable in its pursuit of anti-socialist legislation, limiting the political involvement of socialist parties and organisations.

By the 1930s however, the Conservative Party was beginning to lose significant standings in the polls. A general national shift toward the left had led to a number of successive Social Democratic governments and a general division within the Conservatives as to the future direction of the party. With the party's representation falling to only 144 in 1935, and an increasing number of MPs defecting to either the National or Imperial Party the decision was made to form a 'general coalition of the right'. As such, the Conservative party officially became part of the National Coalition Party later the same year.

1953–1973

Whilst between 1935 and 1953 the Conservative Party was officially a part of the National Coalition Party, by the 1950s tensions within the party between the right-wing protectionist bloc and the emergent neoliberal wing has reached breaking point. In 1953 an alliance of twelve alydian democrat and neoliberal members of the National Coalition officially split with the party to form the Alydian Democratic Union. Although initially it was believed that the Coalition would remain intact, due to the size of its majority, leading the new party to be relegated to the status of third-party, internal divisions in the Coalition only improving the standing of the UDA. At the 1956 election, the UDA were able to attain 45 seats, whilst the National Coalition lost its majority, only attaining 163 seats. In the following years the divisions within the CN would only worsen, leading an increasing number to defect to the UDA.

At the 1961 election, the UDA officially overtook National Coalition to be confirmed as the second largest party in Midrasian politics, with 117 seats. This was still considerably short of the Social Democrats 268 seats. In spite of this over the following years the UDA was able to greatly increase its share of the vote, absorbing the vast majority of the former CN vote, allowing the party to represent the mainstream Midrasian right-wing. The party was also greatly aided by the wider financial crisis taking place across Asura. With an increasing number coming to denounce the existing keynesian economic status quo, more neoliberal approaches gained significant traction within the party throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. At the 1973 election, the UDA was able to secure a landslide majority with 272 seats to the PSDs 149, allowing the party to enter government for the first time in its existence.

1973–1994

François Bourgogne led the UDA to four consecutive election victories

Under François Bourgogne the UDA entered a period of unparalleled dominance of Midrasian politics, significantly aiding the party's program of economic liberalisation and reform. The Bourgogne government sought to improve the country's ailing economic situation by privatising unprofitable government assets and industries, clamping down on trade unions and orienting the country toward a more low-tax, free trade economy. Bourgogne's government succeeded in greatly bolstering the Midrasian economy and its competitiveness over his four terms in government. The UDA also reformed labour laws under Bourgogne's tenure as leader and greatly revised the Midrasian tax system. The Bourgogne government also intervened within the ASU Civil War playing a vital role in the downfall of the Aeian Socialist Union.

Bourgogne stepped down in 1988 after winning four consecutive elections with sizeable parliamentary majorities. Citing his failing health as the reason for his departure, Bourgogne nominated Jean Portucale as his successor, who was quickly confirmed as Prime Minister following a leadership election the same year. Whilst the economically the party retained its neoliberal principals, in terms of foreign policy, the government began to engage in a rapprochement with its neighbour Veleaz in the aftermath of the ASU Civil War. Hoping to build new ties and see the Veleazan state emerge as a fledgling democracy, the UDA began talks to hand over the island of Alzur which had been a Veleazan possession before the Great War. Violent clashes in the past between Midrasian settlers and Veleazan nationals on the island had contributed to a period of widespread political instability on the island for a number of years, and the UDA viewed the handover as a notable gesture toward a new relationship. Despite somewhat warming relations, the return of violence to the island and the Veleazan government's refusal to democratise led relations to be severed, greatly damaging the UDA's political reputation. The scandal led the UDA to lose its majority to the PSD in the subsequent election.

1994–2013

Julia le Bonn was the first elected female Prime Minister of Midrasia, serving between 1999 and 2007

Despite falling into opposition following the 1994 general election, the UDA remained in a powerful position. The slim majority of the Pegrant government allowed the UDA to wield considerable power within the Public Assembly. Following the election defeat, party leader Jean Portucale stepped down to be replaced by Julia le Bonn, the first female leader of the UDA. Whilst under le Bonn the party retained many elements of its neoliberal economic policy, the party softened its social attitudes somewhat. The emergence of a sex scandal involving Prime Minister Pegrant however allowed the UDA to return to government in 1999, with Julia le Bonn as the first officially elected female Prime Minister.

The landslide majority won by the party in 1999 gave the party considerable power over the legislative agenda, however the UDA government chose not to reverse the parliamentary reforms initiated under the PSD. Throughout le Bonn's three terms in office, the UDA were notable for pushing for the legalisation of civil partnerships between same-sex couples and expanding social care to cover a number of mental conditions. The le Bonn government also broke somewhat with the traditional Capetist ideology of the UDA, opting to bolster ties with Midrasia's neighbours, introducing a number of new customs agreements and paving the way for the creation of the Asuran single-market in 2016. In 2007 Julia le Bonn chose to step down as party leader, citing her three consecutive election victories and her belief that she had 'fulfilled all she set out to do'. le Bonn was replaced by Chancellor Mylos Ranieri in the subsequent leadership election, who became the first foreign born Prime Minister of Midrasia. Under Ranieri, the party dropped many of its more controversial economic arrangements in favour of a more balanced centrist approach and greater governmental intervention. Yet, despite the UDAs continued popularity throughout the early 2000s, the party was only able to secure 202 seats in the 2009 election, giving the party a very slim majority. This, in conjunction with increasing divisions between the party's moderate wing and traditional conservative backbenches is seen to have squandered the UDAs legislative agenda in the early 2010s. By 2012 the party had fallen considerably within the polls, and the UDA suffered its worst election defeat in history, winning only 123 seats in the 2013 election. Party leader Ranieri resigned almost immediately following the election results.

2013–present

Since the party's defeat in the 2013 election the UDA has entered a period of division and uncertainty. Division within both the party membership and its elected MPs has appeared over the future direction of the party, with many backbench MPs favouring a return to the traditional conservatism and radical free market philosophy which characterised the Bourgogne era. By contrast more moderate members of the party have favoured the party moving toward a more centrist direction, playing down ardent neoliberal policy in favour of fiscal responsibility and an openness toward social policy. Whilst between 2014 and 2015 the party was led by Fabian Erarde, he stood down following a number of poor media performances. Erarde was also rather unpopular with the more moderate members of the party for his controlling leadership tendencies and his historical record regarding social policy and LGBT rights.

In 2014 Lucatiel Lorett was elected to the leadership of the party, becoming the second woman in history to do so. Lorett has focused on a moderate future path for the party, balancing the needs of backbench MPs with the reformist wing of the party. Despite efforts at reform, many within the party have suggested that much more needs to be done to allow the UDA to be elected once more. The country's fatigue with successive UDA governance in conjunction with internal divisions within the party have led many to believe the party would be unable to win the upcoming election in 2017. Despite this, the party made minor gains in terms of their share of the vote, however lost overall in terms of seats in both houses under the new electoral system, with the party winning 182 seats in the Assembly and 28 in the Senate along with the speakership.

Ideology

The Alydian Democratic Union identifies as a conservative, alydian democratic political party, generally advocating for gradual political and social change with a respect for traditional institutions and values. Despite this, in recent years the party's tone in terms of social policy has softened somewhat, leading many within the party to advocate for the legalisation of same-sex marriage or for a reduction in the parties ties to the Alydian church. Furthermore, the party's main political platform is derived from its economic stances, which emphasise economic liberalism and a respect for individual autonomy. The party was most notable in the past for implementing a number of neoliberal economic reforms throughout the 1970s and 80s which have come to define the modern Midrasian economy. The party also has a direct commitment to upholding a Capetist approach to foreign policy within its manifesto, mandating a general level of independence and autonomy for Midrasia in foreign affairs.

The party's main platform as outlined in their 2017 manifesto is as follows:

  • Introduce a 'triple lock' guarantee on national pensions
  • Reduction in the headline rate of corporation tax to 25 cents
  • Reform of the national curriculum to allow for the creation of free schools
  • Abolition of local planning orders and reform of planning permission laws
  • A commitment to balancing the national budget by 2020
  • Introduce a 2-year residency requirement for migrants seeking to claim benefits
  • Bolster police and cyber-security forces in an effort to combat terrorism
  • Mandate that identification be required to vote in future general elections
  • Maintenance of Midrasia's independent Capetist foreign policy outlook

Electoral performance

Parliament

Election year Public Assembly Government
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1956 7,894,028 16.8 %
45 / 433
Increase 31 in opposition
1961 9,666,516 21.7 %
117 / 441
Increase 72 in opposition
1965 10,521,833 24.9 %
155 / 441
Increase 38 in opposition
1968 11,353,689 27.1 %
208 / 437
Increase 53 in opposition
1973 19,787,731 42.6 %
272 / 431
Increase 64 in government
1976 21,045,272 48.4 %
296 / 420
Increase 24 in government
1980 21,780,574 45.7 %
288 / 420
Decrease 8 in government
1985 22,295,153 45.9 %
278 / 423
Decrease 10 in government
1990 16,223,982 31.2 %
224 / 416
Decrease 54 in government
1994 15,200,192 34.6 %
174 / 416
Decrease 50 in opposition
1999 21,152,519 43.1 %
263 / 400
Increase 89 in government
2002 20,605,213 42.6 %
250 / 400
Decrease 13 in government
2005 16,591,785 39.4 %
236 / 400
Decrease 14 in government
2009 19,890,205 36.8 %
202 / 400
Decrease 34 in government
2013 13,653,930 23.0 %
123 / 400
Decrease 79 in opposition
2017 16,150,652 27.3 %
182 / 600
Increase 59 in opposition

Aeian Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2016 3,924,239 24.9 %
27 / 110