New Democratic Party (Namor)
|New Democratic Party of Namor|
|Headquarters||1004 Anyun Road,|
Namo, Capital District
|Political position||Center to center-right|
|International affiliation||Esquarian People's Alliance|
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|Politics of Namor|
The New Democratic Party (NDP or NewDems, Namorese: Щинминджудаанг) is a center-right political party in Namor.
The NDP was founded in NMR 2344 by politicians who had previously belonged to the Democratic Socialists, the main opposition party at the time, but were disenchanted by its left-leaning ideology, which they saw as being similar to the Liberationists. At first, the party had minimal influence and was considered a third force in Namorese politics, but after the NMR 2358 election it started to gain momentum. In the NMR 2368 election, the NDP won a majority in the Central Council and its presidential candidate, Fu Wen, won by a landslide, marking the first time the NDP became the governing party. In NMR 2378, the party suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Popular Front and became an opposition party once more.
The NDP is both socially and economically liberal.
- 1 History
- 2 Political positions
- 3 Voter base
Ahead of the election of NMR 2345, the right wing of the Democratic Socialists, disenchanted by what it saw as the Democratic Socialist Party's inadequacies in opposing the ruling Liberationists, left the party. The leader of this splinter group, Deng Mianbao, is widely dubbed "Namor's last political prisoner" as he is believed to be the last person imprisoned for his political beliefs who was released from prison by authorities in NMR 2329. Together with other like-minded dissidents, Deng's group formed the New Democratic Party in NMR 2344. In the NMR 2345 election, the NDP won 25 seats in the Central Council.
During the NMR 2348 presidential election, Deng ran as the candidate for the NDP but won only 436,678 votes (0.1% of the popular vote), disqualifying the party from the second round. In the second round, the NDP endorsed Democratic Socialist candidate Win Xe.
To avoid splitting the opposition vote, the New Democrats did not nominate a presidential candidate in the NMR 2353 election and instead nominated Alicia Wolf of the Democratic Socialists. In NMR 2358, Deng Mianbao ran against Wolf, but lost.
The New Democrats made more progress in NMR 2363 presidential election, when Deng ran for the second time and received the second most number of votes, surpassing the Liberationists' Txo Antelope. The NDP also surpassed the Liberationists in the Central Council, becoming the party with the second largest number of seats.
During Kaitlyn Khan's presidency, the NDP's popularity grew as it portrayed itself as an alternative to both the DemSocs and Liberationists, which it charged as incompetent. The party became even more prominent after it nominated philanthropist and businessperson Fu Wen as the presidential candidate for the NMR 2368 election. As a result, the NDP won a landslide victory, with the party winning a majority in the Central Council for the first time and Fu winning 63.2% of the popular vote, the best record of any New Democratic presidential candidate. That same year, Deng Mianbao retired as party chairman and was succeeded by Fu, who would hold on to that position until NMR 2378, when he handed the position to Vice President Derrick Lee.
Under the New Democratic Fu administration, Namor experienced stellar economic growth as a result of liberalized trade policies and reduced government role in the economy. Namor also saw major improvements in its traditionally strained relations with neighboring Luziyca. But in NMR 2377, Namor and many other major economies were hit by a recession. Consequently, growth stalled for the first time in a decade, prompting the government to abandon some aspects of its laissez-faire attitude as a means of getting the economy back on track, with limited success. As a result of growing dissatisfaction with the NDP, the NDP suffered a major defeat in both the NMR 2375 local elections and NMR 2378 general election, losing to the left-wing parties.
In economic issues, the NDP describes itself as a "valiant defender of markets and economic freedom." While acknowledging the government's role in the economy, it maintains that the government should interfere in the economy as little as possible. The party believes "the future of Namor lies in capitalism and free enterprise" as opposed to socialism, which it considers to be a system that was tried under the Liberationists but failed due to its inherent flaws.
The NDP does not have a unified stance on progressive taxation. Moderates such as Fu Wen, Deng Mianbao and Tuyet An have favored keeping the progressive tax while lowering tax rates, while libertarians such as Huan An have favored the replacement of the progressive tax by a flat tax. But the party as a whole opposes higher taxes, especially for higher-income people, viewing them as detrimental to economic development and fiscal security.
The NDP is opposed to instituting a national minimum wage as well as raising the minimum wage, as it believes these moves will harm businesses and consumers. In the party's view, employees receive greater benefits if businesses pay less taxes and are allowed to expand, thereby growing the economy and improving the standard of living.
Since the Common Medical Care System (CMCS) was implemented, the NDP has supported reducing the program, arguing that the CMCS will promote bureaucracy and corruption if it is expanded too much. The NDP opposes plans to develop a scheme similar to the CMCS in cities as it views an extension of the CMCS as unnecessary since most people can afford quality healthcare without having the government cover their costs.
The NDP is friendlier to private schools compared to left-wing parties and the PFC. It believes parents have a right to decide which type of school their children go to.
The NDP acknowledges the existence of climate change but believes the government cannot properly resolve environmental issues. The party insists that economic development takes precedence over efforts to protect the environment. Some New Democrats have accused left-wing parties of deliberately exacerbating environmental problems to gain the media's attention and win votes.
New Democrats support a "compassionate" policy towards corporations that emit high amounts of greenhouse gases, advocating for tax cuts as a means of providing businesses with an incentive to protect the environment.
The party supports eventual energy independence for Namor. During his presidency, Fu Wen authorized the building of the Nari Pipeline between Namor and Riro to reduce Namorese dependence on oil produced in Nautasia. While the pipeline was controversial as some pointed out that it would damage freshwater aquifers in the Southwest, the Fu administration considered the pipeline necessary for economic growth.
The NDP is supportive of free trade. New Democrats consider protectionist policies to be harmful, arguing that trade barriers cause more harm than good to Namorese businesses and workers, whereas free trade creates jobs and increases Namor's economic influence.
New Democratic legislators were among the first to propose a South Velkian Free Trade Agreement, although official support for such an agreement has yet to be incorporated into the party platform.
The NDP is critical of the Ethnic Minorities Benefits Act (EMBA), which guarantees social benefits to members of non-Kannei ethnic groups. Many New Democrats see the act as outdated and inconsistent with the value of equality. During the election of NMR 2368, Fu Wen promised to repeal the EMBA and saying "Everyone who was born in this country is a Namorese. There is no need to give benefits to certain Namorese and deny them to others. Either we all have it or we all don't." However, Fu shelved efforts to repeal the EMBA following the NMR 2370 Txotai unrest.
The NDP's position on the Esquarian Treaty Organization (ETO) has changed over the years. During the NMR 2350s and NMR 2360s, it was "not opposed" to the alliance and saw it as crucial to Namorese and Velkian security, starting the NMR 2370s some New Democrats, most notably Huan An, began to support a Namorese withdrawal from ETO, viewing the alliance as having no real purpose. Ahead of the NMR 2378 election, the NDP's platform changed from "the New Democrats are not opposed to Namorese membership in ETO" to "the New Democrats' stance on ETO shall reflect the opinion of the Namorese public." This change was seen as a victory for the party's anti-ETO faction.
Of all the major Namorese political parties, the NDP is viewed as the party that is most supportive of improving ties with Luziyca. The party considers Namo-Luziycan détente to be "the foundation of South Velkian stability." New Democrats support increased trade with Luziyca, with some supporting a free trade agreement that covers Luziyca as well as other countries that belonged to the former EU.
On the issue of Nantai, the NDP has called for "a peaceful solution that satisfies both Namorese and Luziycan interests as well as the Nantainese people." Until the question is resolved, it insists that both countries jointly develop the region. The party supports the October 7 Consensus (that Nantai is Namorese territory under Luziycan administration) as the basis for talks between Namo and Bethlehem on issues pertaining to Nantai, as well as talks between Namo and local Nantainese authorities in Kenyen.
The NDP has been labeled by both leftists and the media as a pro-Luziycan party.
Ethnic Antelopian voters are widely regarded as a fundamental component of the NDP's voter base. A majority of voters in the autonomous republic of Antelopia have voted for the New Democrats in three straight elections, specifically the elections of NMR 2368, NMR 2373 and NMR 2378.
Regionalism is believed to be a major factor behind the consistently high support the NDP enjoys from Antelopian voters; during the early years of the NDP, many of the New Democrats who were running for Central Council were ethnically Antelopian, prompting a large number of Antelopians to vote for them. Antelopia was also a beneficiary of economic reforms in the NMR 2320s. This has led residents to view laissez-faire policies as indispensable to prosperity - a belief that the NDP holds. As a result, Antelopians are among the most ardent non-Kannei supporters of the NDP; however, Antelopian support has been compromised by the NDP's opposition to programs that benefit ethnic minorities, such as EMBA.
Due to its pro-business and pro-trade stances, the NDP has traditionally had strong support from Namor's business community, especially businesspeople who do business overseas. The NDP is supported by the Namorese Federation of Businesses, generally regarded as the representative of Namorese big business interests.
The southern districts of Namor have been a strong support base for the NDP, whereas the northern districts lean towards the left. In political discourse, the districts of Minjian, Southern Namor, East Namor and Antelopia are considered part of the "Yellow Belt," a region where support for the NDP is generally high and right-wing governments at the local and regional level are rarely replaced. Support for the NDP within the Yellow Belt is higher among urban voters.
Most analysts agree that the NDP has more support in the south than in the north because of its support for policies that have contributed to the economic prosperity of the south. Studies have shown that compared with their northern counterparts, southern voters are more likely to support limited government, civic nationalism, free trade and universality, which are valued by the NDP.
Studies have shown that under normal circumstances, most younger voters would vote for New Democratic candidates. Some have attributed this to the youth's role in opposing the left-wing establishment in the NMR 2330s and NMR 2340s, which led to disagreement between younger voters and leftists on many issues ranging from national security to the role of government in the economy. However, others have argued that left-wing parties are just as effective as the NDP in winning the youth vote, citing instances in which a majority of younger voters voted for either the Liberationists or Democratic Socialists in the NMR 2375 and NMR 2378 elections.