Social Democratic Union (Radiatia)

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Social Democratic Union
Zwietta Ŧemokrätich Nfn
ChairpersonJim Humphries (Miitlania)
President of the Radiatian FederationJaagen Autenberg
Senate LeaderCordula Mayes (Majority Leader) (Alayenia)
Assembly LeaderWesley Yamada (Speaker) (Chongluntz)
Gunter Dreschner (Majority Leader) (Detzertscha)
Chair of Premiers AssociationAnton Kaspar (Luntzbusch)
FoundedLET 43
Merger ofWorkers Party,
United Democrats
Headquarters860 Federal Street,
Xerconia, FCT
Student wingSDU On Campus
Youth wingYoung Social Democrats
IdeologySocial democracy
Internal Factions
 • Progressivism
 • Social liberalism
 • Centrism
 • Third Way
 • Democratic Socialism
Political positionCentre to left-wing
International affiliationNocturian Social Democratic Alliance
Official colorsRed
Senate
39 / 74
Federal Assembly
234 / 407
Premierships
17 / 37
Election symbol
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Politics of Radiatia
Political parties
Elections

Not to be confused with the Conpatraian political party of the same name.

The Social Democratic Union (Radiatian: Zwietta Ŧemokrätich Nfn, SDU) is a social democratic political party and one of two major political parties in the Radiatian Federation, along with the Liberal-Conservative Party. The party was created as the result of a merger between the Workers Party and the United Democrats.

The party is a catch-all party for the Radiatian left. While its platform is loosely described as "Social Democracy", the party caucus is comprised of a diverse range of factions, including Centrists, Progressives and Socialists.

The current President of the Radiatian Federation, Jaagen Autenberg is a Social Democrat. The party currently holds the majority of seats in the Senate and the Radiatian Federal Assembly. It holds the minority of Premierships.

History

Prior to the Constitutional Crisis of LET 43, the Workers Party and the United Democrats frequently collaborated together in coalition governments.

Although the two parties differed greatly on social policy, both were, for most part, in favour of governmental regulations in the economy and supported Social Democracy. The two parties governed together during the Premierships of Jeneri Nazumi and Lena Toriah.

Following the LET 42 Elections, the United Democrats, under the leadership of Rory Schmitz entered into a coalition government with the Conservative Party of Soden Larssen. This caused controversy among the United Democratic backbenchers, who felt that this would steer the party too far to the political right and was a betrayal of party values.

Under the Toriah Government most right-wing factions of the United Democrats had defected to the New Liberal Party, which meant that the party's left were a majority in the caucus. With the Workers Party having moved toward the political centre under Keldon Silviu, a large number of United Democrats backbenchers believed the party should enter a coalition with the Workers Party.

Furthermore, with the country having abandoned Mixed-member Proportional Representation, many United Democrats felt that the two parties should merge in a fashion similar to the merger of the Conservatives and the NLP when the Liberal-Conservative Party was created.

Schmitz was deposed during Bill Alyaha's failed confidence vote, which was a factor leading to the Radiatian Constitutional Crisis. Following the dissolution of parliament, the United Democrats agreed to merge with Keldon Silviu's Workers Party, creating the big tent Social Democratic Union.

Symbolism

The mascot of the SDU is the Yak which along with the Scorpion is one of the Radiatian Federation's two national animals.

Although the Yak was chosen partially as a response to the LCP's use of the Scorpion symbol, the Social Democratic Union also felt that the Yak represented the party's main value of efficiency, or more specifically of industriousness.

As Keldon Silviu said, "The Yak is an animal which bears heavy loads. It is hardworking, it is steadfast and it is a helpful animal. Those are the values of the SDU: Hard work, determination, helping others and bearing each other's loads."

Red is the colour of the party, due to the colour's connection with socialism and left-wing politics.

Structure and Composition

The Social Democratic National Committee (SDNC) is responsible for developing and promoting the Social Democratic manifesto in each election, including local and state as well as federal elections. The SDNC is also responsible for fundraising and co-ordinating the election strategy.

The Chairman is chosen by the party's state committees. The SDNC supervises and raises funds for the Social Democratic Union National Convention, working closely with the party's Presidential candidate, who will usually advise on creation of the party platform.

The SDNC will often adapt various stances in accordance with the wishes of a Presidential candidate, who is presumed to have the support of the party through their victory in the party primaries. For example, a candidate from the party's democratic socialist faction might ask the LCNC to provide a manifesto focussing on economic issues and interventionist polcies, while a candidate from the Social Liberal faction might ask the SDNC to provide a manifesto and campaign focussing on social issues.

The SDNC oversees other bodies such as the Social democratic Premiers Association, which oversees state legislative and Premierial races, the Social Democratic Senators Association which oversees Senate races and the Social Democratic Parliamentary Committee which oversees Federal Assembly races.

Ideology and political positions

The main doctrine of the Social Democratic Union is Social Democracy, however the party contains many large and diverse factions, ranging from Third Way Centrists through to Progressives and socialists.

For the most part the party advocates social responsibility, public healthcare and education systems, a mixed economy and a strong social safety net. The party opposes believes that Social Democracy, is a more preferable alternative to the "Liberal Democracy" advocated by the Liberal-Conservative Party.

Economic policies

The Social Democratic Union supports a mixed-market economy, and rejects laissez faire economics. The party advocates public services, such as education and healthcare and supports the existence of a strong social safety net, believing these factors to be essential in providing positive liberty.

The party supports Progressive Taxation, with the goal of providing more public services and reducing economic inequality. The party also tends to support federal government, as opposed to merely state government, expenditure and intervention in healthcare and education.

The party favours the existence of a minimum wage, and regular increases of the minimum wage. They believe that regular increases of the minimum wage in accordance with inflation levels serves to reduce poverty.

The party supports federal government grants, loans and scholarships for university education.

The party has traditionally supported trade union movements and workers rights, supporting better working conditions as well as stricter regulations on matters such as health and safety.

Social Policies

Social Democrats differ on social policy, however most support social justice to some extent.

Many Social Democrats support positive discrimination to promote racial and gender equality. Those on the left of the party tend to support the legalisation of marijuana while those on the right of the party remain firmly opposed.

The party is divided over the issue of immigration, while most of the party supports the abolition of capital punishment. Most Social Democrats support rehabilitation over deterrence in terms of law and order, and support civil liberties, being opposed to measures such as surveillance and wire-tapping.

The Social Democratic Union is firmly in favour of gun control.

Some factions in the SDU have also taken on environmentalist causes. While most of the party remains sceptical on the issue of climate change, most Social Democrats support sustainable resource management.

Foreign Policy and National Defence

On foreign policy the party is split between the pacifist elements, and those who oppose unilateralism.

Members of the SDU are in favour of closer co-operation with the Humanitarian League - even if the country is no longer a member nation. The SDU holds a more positive stance towards Crata and believes that Radiatia ought to foster closer ties between itself and nations such as Poldania and Aazeronia.

The SDU is opposed to Radiatia maintaining diplomatic ties with dictatorships, such as Tuthina and Ainotula.

While the SDU does not believe that defence should be the main priority of the federal government, most Social Democrats support the use of force if necessary to defend Radiatian values and security interests abroad. However the party is opposed to "first strike" interventionism, taking a middle ground between interventionism and unilateralism.

While many Social Democrats are opposed to immigration on economic grounds, they do support multiculturalism and less discrimination against existing immigrants.

Factions

Progressives

The Progressive faction of the SDU is one the party's largest factions.

The Progressives support free education, free healthcare and full employment, with the eventual abolishment of the unemployment benefit once this goal has been reached.

The Progressives favour a flat tax, but at a higher rate and in conjunction with a universal basic income for all, including the unemployed. It is believed that this theory will reduce economic inequality while at the same time avoid impacting on economic growth rates.

Progressives also favour positive discrimination, and more rights for women and immigrants. Many Progressives also advocate the inclusion of elements of Direct democracy in Radiatia's political system, such as creating a Crataan-style "Citizen's Council".

Social Liberals

While Social Liberals in the SDU differ on economic policies, most support equal rights for women, immigrants and religious people and positive discrimination in order to rectify past injustices.

Social liberals are strongly opposed to police surveillance and capital punishment, and believe in reduced prison sentences. They also believe strongly in freedom of information and support transparency at all levels.

Social liberals support the legalisation of marijuana and oppose conscription. Many social liberals are also Pacifists and support reducing the defence budget and non-interventionism in foreign policy.

The Social Liberal faction supports nuclear disarmament and the banning of guns - including in the hands of police forces.

Centrists

The Centrist faction of the SDU tends to advocate more state control in both social and economic measures.

The Centrist faction tends to take more socially conservative stances, advocating practices such as capital punishment, police surveillance and harsh sentencing.

The centrists hold some positions resembling One Nation Conservatism, favouring a more Paternalistic state. The faction also endorses economic interventionism.

SDU Centrists sometimes refer to themselves as being "Economically socialist but socially Conservative".

Third Way

The Third Way faction of the SDU tends to favour free-market economics and a balanced budget but also concentrates on social justice.

The Third Way faction advocates public education, and often uses the motto "Equity over Equality", favouring "Equality of Opportunity" rather than the straight "income equality" advocated by more socialist factions, and points to the Premiership of Lena Toriah as an example of a successful Third Way Radiatian leader.

Keldon Silviu is a member of the party's Third Way faction.

Democratic Socialists

The Democratic Socialist faction supports the Nationalisation of "key" strategic assets, such as arms manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, public transport and power companies.

The faction also supports income redistribution and is opposed to the existence of private schools and private hospitals, believing that the state should provide these essential serves.

Some members of the Democratic Socialist faction support the creation of a living wage, and many believe that the workers should control the means of production in most cases.

Voter Base

Recent polls indicate that 31% of Radiatians identify as Social Democrats, 30% as Liberal-Conservatives and 39% as independent or supporting a third party.

Trade Unions

Organised labour has long been a critical part of the SDU voter base, with Trade Unions supplying the bulk of party campaign donations. Social Democrats are more likely to be members of trade unions than not, and although the strength of trade unions has decreased significantly in the Radiatian Federation, they remain a stronghold of the Social Democratic Union.

Location

The Social Democratic Union's main geographic "base" is the southern and eastern states, with the party tending to do well in urban areas. States likely to vote for the SDU are called "Red States".

The SDU is widely supported in lower class urban areas, or industrial cities with a high working class populations such as Midgard City. The SDU does well in states with more ethnic diversity and higher immigrant populations.

Rural voters in southern states tend to vote SDU, who usually favour subsidies to farmers and protectionist measures which benefit farmers in the less fertile southern states. This contrasts with rural voters in the west, who almost always favour the LCP.

The SDU tends to gain the votes of the more socially liberal southern states, as well as the votes of states less concerned with "states rights" and federal government regulation.

Working Class

The Working Classes are arguably the most important part of the SDU voter base, with the Working Class people who previously supported the Communist Party now favouring the Social Democratic Union.

The Working Classes tend to be attracted to the promise of better working conditions, more job security and a stronger social safety net, which comprise key parts of the Social Democratic policy platform.

The SDU usually attempts to play down more socially liberal policies when campaigning to working class voters, who tend to me socially conservative on certain issues, especially crime and immigration, with working classes and trade unions both expressly supporting protectionism.

Education

Academics, intellectuals and highly educated people form another critical part of the SDU voting base.

54% of SDU voters are likely to hold a university degree, compared to only 40% of the LCP.

Students have also traditionally formed a large part of the base, with the SDU On Campus movement considerably larger and more influential than the rival Campus Conservatives movement of the LCP. Student activism has been a key part of grass-roots campaigns for the Social Democratic Union.

72% of teachers and university professors have indicated that they support the SDU, as do most doctors, skilled professionals and public sector workers.

Ethnicity

The SDU appeals to racial minorities, with Yellow Radiatians and Red Radiatians 70% and 80% more likely to vote SDU respectively. First-generation Radiatians from immigrant families also tend to vote SDU.

The SDU also appeals to women voters, with women 53% more likely to vote SDU than LCP.

Income

The SDU does well amongst the middle and lower classes, with educated, suburban, middle class voters more likely to vote SDU along with less educated, urban, working class voters.