Social Democratic Party (Midrasia)

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Social Democratic Party
Partit Social Démocrate
Founder David Vorez
Leader Michel Leroux
Deputy Leader Pierre Wire
Senate Leader Patricia Bedoun
Founded 1890 (1890)
Headquarters Halgarde Building, Usine Strade, Lotric
Ideology Social Democracy
Democratic Socialism
Political position Centre-left
International affiliation World Socialist Movement
Aeian Parliament Socialist Union
Official colours      Red
Public Assembly
51 / 600
Senate
6 / 100
Election symbol
PSD
Politics of Midrasia
Political parties
Elections

The Social Democratic Party (Midrasian: Partit Social Démocrate) is a social democratic political party in Midrasia. The party, led by Michel Leroux since 2017, is the third largest party within the Public Assembly and Senate, having formed the previous government in coalition with the Liberal League under the leadership of Charles Vauban.

The PSD has governed at the highest level within Midrasia since the early twentieth century, becoming one of two major contemporary political parties, alongside the Alydian Democratic Union. The party operates within all 20 regions of Midrasia. The Social Democratic Party is the oldest Midrasian political party in terms of continuous operation, having contested every election since 1893.

History

Origins

The Social Democratic Party has its origins with the Midrasian Workers movement of the mid 1800s. Following the extension of voter franchise within the 1860s, many prominent trade unionists began pushing for the establishment of political parties aimed at representing the Midrasian working classes. Following a series of Workers riots and protests within the 1870s however, laws were introduced prohibiting Socialist parties from participating within Midrasian elections. Despite the ban, Socialist activists and independent MPs continued to operate underground, garnering sufficient support to earn 2 parliamentary seats within the Public Assembly.

Under the Liberal government of 1886-1893 the anti-Socialist laws were repealed allowing for Socialist parties to once again participate within Midrasian elections. At the Argois Conference of 1890, prominent trade unionists such as Max Colbert and David Vorez elected to form a new party aimed at widespread electoral appeal for the Midrasian socialist movement named the Social Democratic Party.

1890–1937

The party struggled within its early electoral history, only gaining 5 seats within its first election in 1893. The outbreak of the Great War in 1895 also damaged the party's electoral prospects, with the party condemning the war on ethical and political grounds. PSD party members, including party leader David Vorez were major contributors to the non-aligned movement during the war, opposing military conscription. Several party members were eventually arrested for their part in dodging the military draft, however were released following the conclusion of the war. Following Veleazan advances into eastern Midrasia however, several more moderate members of the party broke off from the non-aligned movement to support the war effort. With the end of the war, elections were rescheduled for late 1900, where the PSD only managed to secure 7 seats, mostly due to the party's stance on the war. Despite this, as the national mood changed following the aftermath of the war, the party gained considerable support, earning 54 seats in the 1905 election, along with their first Senatorial seat. The party eventually went on to form the first PSD led coalition government with the Liberal Party in 1920 after acquiring 156 seats.

The first PSD government followed a moderate line, appeasing their Liberal coalition partners. Despite this, the party was able to secure the nationalisation of several rail network with support from the Conservative Party, and legislation creating a minimum wage and maximum work hours. By 1924 however, the coalition government collapsed, leading the Conservative Party to sweep the 1924 elections. Following this defeat, the PSD continued in opposition, gaining support from the declining Liberal Party to secure its position as the second largest party in Midrasian politics. By 1935, the party was able to form a majority government for the first time in its electoral history. Although the first PSD government was able to introduce some key legislation, such as the 1936 Healthcare reforms, its time in government was cut short by the outbreak of the Bloody Month in 1937.

The PSD began its life as an outlet for workers' parliamentary representation.

1937–1958

The outbreak of the Bloody Month in 1937 considerably decreased the popularity of the PSD. Many saw the government's inability to quickly suppress the uprising as a sign of the PSD's weakness; whilst others suggested members of the PSD had collaborated with Communist rebels, or at the very least held Communist sympathies. As such, the party lost over 100 seats within the 1937 election, losing out to the newly formed National Coalition Party. Under the new government, many members of the PSD were targeted as Communist sympathisers, with party leader Thierry Wyatt interrogated by the Committee for un-Midrasian activities. Several more radical members of the party, such as Jacques Viquere were arrested by the government for alleged communist sympathies. The public spotlight placed on the party by the committee and government alike saw the PSD reach an all time low level of support. At the same time, entryists from the banned Socialist Workers Party attempted to infiltrate the PSD to garner support for a coup against the government.

By 1953 however support for the National Coalition was in decline due to the ongoing recession and an easing of international tensions, allowing the PSD to regain many of its lost seats in the 1956 election, forming a coalition government with the Liberals and One Nation Party. The instability of this coalition led to its collapse only two years later; with talks for new coalitions also breaking down, the PSD attempted to form a minority government for much of the 1950s, with supply and demand support from other parties. By 1959 however, the monarch had called for a national government to be formed to stabilise the political situation. It wasn't until the election of 1961 that the PSD was able to form a stable majority government.

The Magull cabinet views plans for the expansion of Midrasian Universities and Polytechnics.

1961–1973

under the leadership of Patrice Magull, the PSD enacted a series of incredibly popular policies, including the expansion of Midrasian Universities and the creation of polytechnic colleges to facilitate further education. The government also implemented measures to oversee the expansion of Health Insurance, laying the groundwork for the system seen today within modern Midrasia. Under the PSD's plans, the Midrasian health care system would become entirely publicly funded, although such reforms were reversed to an extent under the successive UDA governments of the 1970s and early 80s. Despite the successes of the Magull government, the PSD was unable to avert the economic crash of 1967, exacerbated by Midrasian industry's reliance on government subsidies and tariffs. Despite maintaining a minority government between 1969 and 1973, the PSD ultimately lost out in the 1973 election to the Alydian Democrats.

1973–2010

The PSD spent a total of 21 years in opposition following the UDA's electoral victory in 1973, during which time the government implemented an ambitious plan of privatisation and economic liberalisation. Throughout its time in opposition, the PSD underwent considerable change. Initially following the 1973 defeat, the party elected Henri Wooles, a hard-left candidate to the position of party leader. Under Wooles, the party developed an ambitious manifesto centred on widespread nationalisation and unilateral nuclear disarmament. This manifesto regarded as "far-left" by the nations media is widely blamed for the party's disastrous defeat in the 1976 election, leaving the party with only 97 seats. In the following years, the party pursued a more moderate line. Such policies allowed the PSD to form a small majority government in 1994, however economic mismanagement resulting in recession, plunged the party back into opposition in the following election. In their second opposition stint, the PSD implemented a series of reforms aimed at improving the party's electoral performance, most notably requiring any leadership candidate to command the support of at least 25% of the Parliamentary party to be placed on the electoral ballot.

Under the Vauban administration the PSD has adopted a more centrist political outlook.

2010–present

Since 2010 the party has undergone considerable transformation, moving away from its traditional Socialist origins, to embrace more centrist, or third way policies. Although many of these reforms began under the leadership of Manuel Pegrant it wasn't until the election of Charles Vauban to the position of party leader that Parliamentary Party truly committed to restructuring. There was considerable debate within the party about its future direction following Pergrant's departure from leadership. Initially the party had elected Marc Llalondec to the position in 2006. Llalondec, considered a moderate within the party, sought to balance the interests of both reformers and traditional left-leaning party members. However, following the party's defeat in the 2009 election, Llalondec's position was considerably weakened, leading to his resignation in early 2011. Following Vauban's election to party leader, the PSD underwent considerable re-branding, adopting new election symbols and remodelling its internal structure and media presence.

Despite this restructuring being popular with a large section of the parliamentary party and electorate, numerous party members and specifically trade unionists believed the party to be alienating its traditional support base with its new direction. The shift led to an exodus of left-wing party members to the Socialist Party, formed only a year before by disgruntled members protesting Vauban's election. Despite this large drop in membership, the party continued to perform well in the polls, going on to become the largest Midrasian party in parliament following the 2013 election. The PSD would then go on to form a coalition government with the Liberal League later the same year.

Under the PSD-Liberal Coalition, the party has committed itself to investment into the Midrasian economy, specifically into disadvantaged areas such as Argois and Elsouf. Such investment has mainly focused on high-tech manufacturing and transportation links, such as an expansion of the Relier High Speed Railway. Under the Coalition, the Midrasian economy has continued to grow at a reasonable pace, aided by the creation of the Aeian Community and greater trade links with neighbouring countries. The government also enacted a series of policies aimed at electoral reform, replacing the existing system with Mixed-member proportional representation in hopes of dealing with record high levels of political apathy

The party's share of the collapsed in the 2017 election, mostly as a result of the various scandals which stained the Vauban administration. The party was only able to secure 51 seats in the Public Assembly and 6 in the Senate, relegating the party to the third larges in both houses.

Ideology

Originally formed by trade unionists as a means of gaining political representation, the PSD has always been considered left of centre. Although within the party's early years there was a far clearer commitment to Socialism, with manifesto commitments to "common ownership" and greater "equality of outcome". The party has always favoured governmental intervention within economics and a redistribution of wealth. Much of this was to be carried out through Keynesian economic practices and higher taxation for the wealthy within society. The party has also consistently favoured greater rights for workers including maximum working hours and minimum wage laws. The PSD has held a commitment to the establishment of a welfare state and National Healthcare system, implementing numerous reforms throughout their time in government to expand and improve such institutions.

Despite this Socialist commitment in previous years, since the mid 1990s, the PSD has drifted more toward the Centre, embracing policies regarded as third way, with an acceptance of neoliberal economics. Such a transformation has damaged the party's relationship with trade unions, many of which disaffiliated to instead support the newly formed Socialist Party.

Electoral Performance

Parliament

Election year Public Assembly Government
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1893 92,134 2.1 %
5 / 415
Increase 5 in opposition
1900 143,673 2.9 %
7 / 415
Increase 2 in opposition
1905 1,540,781 19.7 %
54 / 418
Increase 47 in opposition
1909 3,094,675 25.2 %
78 / 421
Increase 24 in opposition
1914 3,573,987 28.5 %
94 / 459
Increase 16 in opposition
1920 5,134,768 34.0 %
156 / 441
Increase 62 in coalition
1924 4,987,003 31.4 %
138 / 445
Decrease 18 in opposition
1927 6,057,112 36.8 %
172 / 431
Increase 34 in coalition
1930 8,342,067 38.7 %
202 / 431
Increase 30 in government
1935 19,785,321 49.6 %
232 / 411
Increase 30 in government
1937 4,303,595 22.8 %
58 / 405
Decrease 174 in opposition
1946 6,492,784 24.6 %
83 / 405
Increase 25 in opposition
1951 7,361,268 25.3 %
115 / 410
Increase 32 in opposition
1956 19,876,034 42.3 %
212 / 432
Increase 97 in coalition
1961 20,367,564 48.2 %
246 / 445
Increase 134 in government
1965 22,763,087 51.1 %
264 / 455
Increase 18 in government
1968 18,978,675 45.3 %
224 / 467
Decrease 40 in government
1973 14,678,223 31.6 %
149 / 457
Decrease 40 in opposition
1976 12,087,987 27.8 %
109 / 437
Decrease 40 in opposition
1980 14,345,630 30.1 %
119 / 444
Increase 10 in opposition
1985 15,154,875 31.2 %
130 / 430
Increase 11 in opposition
1990 16,223,982 31.2 %
175 / 421
Increase 45 in opposition
1994 20,076,554 45.7 %
223 / 416
Increase 48 in government
1999 14,576,098 29.7 %
205 / 400
Decrease 18 in government
2002 13,978,654 28.9 %
105 / 400
Decrease 100 in opposition
2005 12,675,450 30.1 %
112 / 400
Increase 7 in opposition
2009 15,998,643 29.6 %
117 / 400
Increase 5 in opposition
2013 18,996,773 31.9 %
173 / 400
Increase 56 in coalition
2017 9,051,464 15.3 %
51 / 600
Decrease 122 in opposition

Aeian Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2016 4,661,034 29.1 %
32 / 110