Democratic Party of Erusia

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Democratic Party of Erusia
Leader Katrina Walters
Deputy Leader Hannah Thacher (Acting)
Founded November 28 2008 (PDF)
December 12 2009 (DPE)
Youth wing Democratic Future
Membership  (2010) 18
Ideology Centrism
Federalism
Liberal conservatism
Official colours Gold

The Democratic Party of Erusia (DPE), commonly referred to simply as the Democrats, is the current ruling and second largest political party in the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia. Descended from the People's Democratic Front, the Democratic Party has held power in Erusia since July 2010, when it ended nearly two years of Communist government by securing a landslide victory over the National Unity Party, having served in opposition - both officially and as an underground resistance movement during the period of single-party rule from July to December 2009 - for almost the entire period of Communist rule. Today, the DPE commands an overall majority of six seats in the National People's Assembly, controlling thirteen of twenty seats in all and having control over four of five local government authorities. The current Prime Minister of Erusia, Katrina Walters, has led the Democrats since June 2010.

In its original form as the PDF, the Democratic Party was founded by Maria Carlisle and Hannah Thacher as a social liberal alternative to the Erusian National Communist Party, when Erusia was still a multi-party democracy in the aftermath of the November Revolution. When the Communist Party began the process of creating a single-party Communist State, the Party's platform instead switched to one of democratic reform and civil rights issues. Though the Party has remained true to its liberal roots, it has been seen to gradually move towards the right-wing under the leadership of Itakur Kiwal and Katrina Walters, and it is today regarded as being a liberal conservative party. Nonetheless, the Democrats reject in full the concept of ideological determinism, and regard themselves as a centrist "catch-all" political movement to which every Erusian citizen can relate and support.

Organisation and leadership

Unlike the extremely well organised Communist Party and its successor, the Democratic Party has always been a loosely organised body, with no official local cells and a single central membership body. All of its members are considered to be fundamentally equal within the workings of the Party, and all have the right to be consulted on matters of Party policy, in keeping with its democratic principles. The DPE's affairs are managed and kept in order by its National Executive Council, comprised of five members (one per each region of Erusia). The Party itself is lead by a single Leader and Deputy Leader, elected by the whole of the Party membership for an indefinite term that expires on resignation, death or the loss of a leadership contest. The current leader of the Party is Prime Minister Katrina Walters.

Ideology and principles

Although originally created as a centre-left alternative to the hard left politics of the Communist Party, the Democratic Party has progressively moved towards the right-wing of the political spectrum, and has come to be widely regarded as a liberal conservative party. Despite this shift to the right, the Democrats today see themselves as being a centrist party that includes the "best of both worlds", adopting both traditional left and right wing policies to suit their core platform's objectives. It is generally agreed that whilst the party is economically conservative, it is very much socially liberal. Though its specific policies have changed over time, the Democrats have a series of core political principles that have barely changed since the creation of the PDF.

Democracy

At the core of the political agenda of the Democratic Party, and the inspiration for its name, is the matter of democratic reform. The Democrats have staunchly opposed the single-party Communist government and the fundamentally Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic since January 2009. According to the Democrats, Erusia must become a fully democratic republic in which there is free multi-party democracy and no one political ideology is granted special favour by State institutions. Contrary to popular belief, the Party is not anti-Communist per se, but instead opposes the manner in which the Communist Party governed Erusia. Until recently, the DPE also favoured the introduction of the d'hondt method for electing the National People's Assembly - this commitment was abandoned shortly before the July 2010 Erusian General Election.

Civil and Human rights

For much of its time in opposition, the Democratic Party stood in staunch opposition to what it perceived to be systematic Human rights abuses by the Communist government. The Party favours the repealing of all legislation that allows the State to take extreme action against "counter-revolutionary movements", and seeks to improve Human rights legislation to prevent future abuses, relative though they may be to the micronational world. The Democrats are also staunchly in favour of reforming and improving civil rights in the DPRE - they advocate cementing political rights as inviolable ones, and seek to protect social equality legislation passed by the first Communist government. The Party is a strong supporter of the rights of religious groups in Erusia, and seeks to repeal restrictive legislation passed by the atheist Communist Party on religion. Furthermore, the DPE has - along with the National Unity Party and its predecessors - expressed its full support for gay and women's rights.

Federalism

Not unlike the former Labour Party which was dissolved into the NUP in June 2010, the Democrats have traditionally been advocates of local issues and devolution, in contrast to the extremely nationally-oriented Communist governments of Erusia. In mid 2010 the Party, which had always called for the devolution of greater power to local authorities in the Democratic People's Republic, officially adopted Federalism as one of its core ideological planks. The DPE believes that if Erusia's constitution were to be reformed to become a Federation, the nation could better take advantage of its unusually high number of active citizens and huge parts of the cumbersome administrative system could be easily eliminated with little to no difficulty.

Economy

It is generally agreed that the Party adheres to a conservative economic policy. Though it accepts in full the principles of the Roosevelt-Schneider consensus which some have criticised as being Socialist for its State interventionist nature, the Democrats themselves favour the fiscally conservative interpretation of the consensus followed by the National Party of St.Charlie. Under Katrina Walters' leadership, the Democratic Party has come to support a radical program of austerity, massively slashing State spending to fuel economic growth whilst rejecting proposed Communist increases in voluntary tax rates. Under Walters, the Party has also pledged to investigate abolishing the system of Voluntary Income Tax that exists in Erusia, and instead raise revenue solely through National Contributory Tax instead.

The Party is also vehemently opposed to the theoretical Socialist economic principles that the Communist Party engrained in law and the National Constitution during its term. The Democrats favour a mixed economic system, and so call for radical free market reforms to the law to allow for the possibility of private enterprise one day emerging in Erusia. They favour breaking up the various State Owned Enterprises by either privatising them or downgrading them to Public Corporation Status, in which case they would be owned by the State but privately operated.