National Democratic Party (Northumbria)

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National Democratic Party (Northumbria)
ChairmanRilgar Ompastre
Founded24/11/20
HeadquartersDurham
NewspaperMilitary Tribune (de facto)
Ideology • Centrism
 • Big tent
 • Nationalism
 • Authoritarianism
 • Durham Irredentism
Internal Factions
 • State interventionism
 • Economic liberalism
Political positionCentre
Colours     Blue
Seats in the Parliament
14 / 41
Seats in the Witan
7 / 25
Seats in county councils
44 / 107

The National Democratic Party is a political party in the Kingdom of Northumbria. It was founded on the same day Northumbria was created, and previously ruled the country as a one party state. As the sole legal party, the NDP won the November 2020 general election, taking 91% of the vote and thirty-seven of the fourty-one seats in Parliament. The NDP was modelled on Hosni Mubarak's Egyptian party of the same name. Other inspirations include Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) and Yeni Azərbaycan Partiyası (New Azerbaijan Party).

History

One-party rule (November 2020 - January 2021)

The NDP was created on the same day as Northumbria's foundation. As a result, from the outset the two were closely interrelated, and most founders of Northumbria were also members of the NDP. Initially, the NDP were the only permitted party, and though a process of elections was established, limitations on free speech, association and media allowed the NDP to completely dominate the process. In the November 2020 general election the party won 91% of the vote and thirty-seven of the fourty-one seats; the remainder went to independents loyal to the NDP.

By January of 2021 however, demands outside the party began to grow in favour of democratisation; these proponents cited the fact that Northumbria's predecessor - Sorrenia - had a long history of partisan contestation, and suggested that Northumbria would be more likely to succeed if disagreements could be voiced and debated.

The party's chairman - Rilgar Ompastre - announced a wide number of reforms in January. Most notably, this legislation allowed for the formation of new political parties, guaranteed rights to free speech and association, and granted certain rights to establish free media, though critics argue that media in Northumbria remains too restricted. The party also placed certain controls in place however, intended to restrict the power of other parties. Most notably, the Witan was created as an upper chamber in Northumbria's legislature, whose membership would be comprised of appointees sent by the various heads of state of Northumbria's counties - many of these are either aristocrats or members of the clergy, granting these estates the ability to veto bills which would alter Northumbria's constitution. The NDP in turn maintains a close relationship with figures like the Prince Bishop of Durham and the Earl of Northumberland, who as a result disproportionately favour NDP candidates for the Witan. Critics of the NDP also suggest that the party retains too close a relationship with the Royal Army, leaving open the possibility of a coup should the NDP lose an election.

Democratisation (January 2021 - present)

The first free election in Northumbria was held in March of 2021. The NDP won 39% of the vote and sixteen of the seats, placing them comfortably as the largest party. Critics argue however that certain underhand tactics were used by the NDP to secure votes. Most notably, the party has been accused of clientelism (wherein goods are exchanged for votes), pork barrel politics (wherein promises of state spending are used to secure votes) and voter intimidation. Nevertheless, the party failed to secured a majority, and so created a coalition government with the Christian Democrats.

Like their first term in government, the NDP's second term has been dominated by 'constitution-building' projects, including further clarification as to the powers of the Witan and the Parliament, the holding of elections for Northumbria's various county councils, the establishment of an armed forces and the creation of foreign relations with Akebar and Acre.

Ideology

The NDP's ideological commitments are purposefully vague and prone to adaptation. The party constitution describes itself as a "broad church nationalist party". During its one-party rule, the NDP possessed strongly authoritarian characteristics, privileging economic interventionism and restrictions on democratic voting. The party continues to center authority in its leadership, and its chairman - Rilgar Ompastre - has preserved many of the party's authoritarian tendencies, despite implementing democratic reforms in January of 2021.

After new parties were officially permitted, a sizeable minority of the NDP's 'left' faction defected and helped form the Socialist Party of Northumbria. As a result, the NDP lurched towards the right economically. It remains officially a centrist party however, and continues to support of a form of state capitalism, but has abandoned socialist terminology, and now possesses a sizeable faction who generally support economic liberalisation.

The most consistent aspect of NDP policy is perhaps its Durham irredentism - the party supports a maximalist interpretation of County Durham's borders to encompass all the land once held by the Bishop of Durham, including Bedlingtonshire, Islandshire and large parts of Teesdale. As many NDP Members of Parliament are from Durham, and given the party maintains close relations with the Prince-Bishop of Durham, this has become an integral aspect of NDP policy. Even members of the NDP from Northumberland (which lost land to Durham, including important sites such as Lindisfarne) are required to endorse Durham irredentism, in return for Northumberland continuing to include much of the Tyneside area. The potential however for a 'Northumberland irredentism' to emerge within the party is seen as a credible threat to the NDP's success, and so much effort is exerted to keep the Northumberland wing of the party supportive of Durham irredentism.

Electoral Performance

The NDP manages to appeal to a broad base of support throughout the country, in keeping with its 'catch-all' nature. This support is most concentrated in the rural constituencies of Northumberland, the metropolitan areas of Newcastle, the ex-pit towns of Durham, and suburban areas such as Washington. One area however where the NDP struggles is in Teesside, likely due to their strong support for Durham irredentism. Conversely however, this policy secures them mass appeal in Durham, the largest of Northumbria's counties.

Election year Leader % +/- seats won +/- Government
November 2020 Rilgar Ompastre 91 N/A
37 / 41
N/A in government
March 2021 Rilgar Ompastre 39 52%
16 / 41
21 in coalition government
July 2021 Rilgar Ompastre
21 / 41
5 in government
November 2021 Rilgar Ompastre
14 / 41
7 in opposition

Factions

Factions in the NDP are only very loose groupings of politicians based on their perceived economic leanings, as NDP members and officials are not allowed to organise based on particular ideological leanings. As a result, the two wings of the party - the 'state interventionists' and the 'economic liberalisers' - have unclear borders, and those researching the NDP often struggle to categorise officials. The party does however allow for a great degree of variation in belief among its membership, allowing the NDP to capture support from economically and socially disparate parts of Northumbria. Those from Newcastle are often more socially liberal, while MPs elected in Northumberland often conjoin social conservatism with an agrarian focus on landowners' rights. MPs elected in Durham comprise the lion's share of the 'left' of the NDP, introducing appeals to economic nationalism into the NDP's platform.

State interventionists

Many in the party support a state-centric model of the economy, wherein state officials and organisations regularly participate in the planning and coordination of economic production. Drawing on the legacy of the developmental state, state interventionists often support higher rates of tax, import substitution industrialisation, state investment in secondary industry and the presence of state-run (and even military-run) businesses in key sectors of the economy. Though they may be perceived as the more left-wing faction of the party, the state interventionists rarely utilise socialist terminology, and are best understood as promoting a form of state capitalism. They are also the more populist of the two factions.

Members include:
 • Rilgar Ompastre
 • Mark Rawlton
 • Adam Scargill (defected to the Socialist Party)

Economic liberals

The liberals are considered the 'right-wing' of the party, and tend to support lower taxes and a reduced state presence in the market. Nevertheless, they accept the party's general consensus that the state should involve itself in the distribution of basic public goods, such as healthcare and policing, and would be considered centre-right by most standards.

Members include:
 • Michael Disraeli
 • Phillip Pompeia