|The Right Honourable|
Sir Stephen Cameron
ONU PC MP
20 October 2022
|Governor General||Geoffrey Marsden|
|Prime Minister||Ethan McAllister|
|Predecessor||Himself as Premier|
2 August 2021 – 16 November 2021
26 September 2021 – 20 October 2022
|Governor General||Geoffrey Marsden|
16 November 2021 – 26 September 2022
|Successor||Himself as Prime Minister|
19 August 2021
30 August 2021
1 August 2021 – 18 August 2021
|Born||December 26, 1992|
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
|Religion||Christianity (United Church of Canada)|
Sir Stephen Alexander James Cameron ONU PC MP (born 26 December 1992) is a Canadian micronationalist who served as the 2nd Premier and 1st Prime Minister of New Ulster.
A co-founder of New Ulster, Cameron turned down a job in the country's first Cabinet under then Premier Ethan McAllister in order to serve as the country's first Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly. Despite a gentlemen's agreement by the founders to keep the country non-partisan, Cameron co-founded the New Ulster Democratic Party with Eloise Penner a day after McAllister called the 2021 general election. The NUDP won 2 seats at the election and Cameron remained as Leader of the Opposition.
Cameron became Premier on 16 November 2021 following the month-long "Floor Crossing controversy" whereby the incumbent Liberal Conservative Party minority government of Premier Ethan McAllister was forced to go into opposition after two independent MPs (one of whom, Autumn Hunter, was serving as Speaker of the House) crossed the floor to join Cameron's party; thus giving Cameron's NUDP a majority in the House. Unwilling to fight a second election within just four months, McAllister "gave way" to Cameron, who was appointed Premier by Governor of New Ulster Geoffrey Marsden the same day.
On 26 September 2022, four weeks after the 2022 New Ulster status referendum, Cameron became New Ulster's first Prime Minister when the country changed from a British Overseas Territory to a Commonwealth Realm (sometimes called a Dominion). He resigned less than a month later after his New Ulster Democratic Party lost its majority in the House of Assembly at the 2022 Kennebecasis—Quispamsis by-election and he left office on 20 October 2022.
Cameron was born on 26 December 1992 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada to Adrian Cameron (born 11 July 1961) and Claudia Bethany Cameron (née Colby; born 4 July 1958). He has a younger sister, Bethany, who is less than a year younger than him, being born on 16 December 1993. Cameron's paternal grandfather was Scottish and his paternal grandmother was Irish. They emigrated to Canada after World War Two. Through his mother he is of English, German, and First Nations decent.
He studied at the University of New Brunswick, graduating in 2015. He has since gone on to earn a PhD with a thesis on river ecosystems.
Founding New Ulster
Cameron is a co-founder of New Ulster. Dissatisfied with the direction of Canada under the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau, he mused with childhood friend and fellow co-founder Ethan McAllister over how they would run their own country. The idea then snowballed into founding a new country. The two shared a passion for history and politics and decided to make the country an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, a country they both have immediate ancestral links with. Cameron initially suggested the name Miskot derived from a Mi'kmaq word meaning "plentiful". However, after several days using the name the two found it had "no gravity" and McAllister suggested "New Ulster" derived from his father's birthplace of Northern Ireland.
Leader of the Opposition
After the passage of the Constitution Act and the appointment McAllister as premier of the caretaker government by Governor Marsden, Cameron was offered the position of Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs by McAllister. However, he chose instead to go into opposition saying, "In a democracy, a functioning opposition is just as important as a functioning government".
Despite leading the opposition, Cameron routinely worked with the government to pass important legislation such as the Citizenship Act and the Diplomatic Relations Act.
New Ulster Democratic Party
Following the formal appointment of Geoffrey Marsden as Governor, Premier McAllister called the 2021 general election for 30 August. Despite a gentlemen's agreement by McAllister and Cameron to keep New Ulster non-partisan, Cameron, together with Eloise Penner, formed the New Ulster Democratic Party two days after the election call; the country's first political party. It was described as "centrist and sensible" but Cameron and Penner were criticized for lacking a detailed platform.
At the general election, the NUDP finished second in vote share and joint-second by number of seats, winning 2 of the 7 in the House of Assembly. Cameron conceded his party "wasn't clear enough" in what it stood for during the election. As a result, he continued on as Leader of the Opposition in the new House.
Floor crossing controversy
Cameron was instrumental in the defeat of McAllister's flagstone Micronational Recognition Bill on October 5. He had convinced one of the independent MPs in the House to side with his party, thus tying the vote 3 for, 3 against. The Speaker—also an independent MP—was required to break the tie. Citing Speaker Denison's rule, Speaker Autumn Hunter voted down the government bill. Government ministers criticized Cameron and the NUDP for "lobbying" for the Speaker's vote; something Cameron strenuously denied.
Further controversy ensued, however, when, on 17 October, Speaker Hunter announced—while remaining Speaker—she was crossing the floor to join Cameron's Democratic Party. The move drew immediate condemnation from the government benches, with Premier McAllister calling for Speaker Hunter to resign. Cameron defended the move noting that, had McAllister's Liberal Conservative Party won a majority in the 2021 general election, a LibCon MP would be serving as Speaker. Unofficial polling taken at the time indicated the controversy damaged the credibility of the Speaker, Cameron, and the NUDP.
McAllister's minority government finally collapsed on 16 November 2021 when a the remaining independent MP, Clara Hennigan, announced she was joining the NUDP. This would give the party 4 of the 7 seats in the House and, therefore, a majority. Neither side was keen to fight a second election in just 4 months and so McAllister announced he would "give way" and allow Cameron to form a government. Cameron was appointed Premier by the Governor the same evening and named the Cabinet the following day.
On November 21, 2021, Cameron announced that electoral reform will be the first major initiative of his government. The Democratic Party favours the single transferable vote (STV) method of election while New Ulster currently uses the plurality at large method. As the initiative will change the Constitution Act, a referendum was required. On January 27, 2022, Cameron named April 4 of that year as the date for the referendum on electoral reform. The 2022 New Ulster electoral reform referendum was, however, comfortably defeated.
Cameron and his deputy Eloise Penner—then the only Francophone MP in the House of Assembly—introduced the controversial Official Languages Act which sought to name English as New Ulster's official language while recognizing "historic, minority, and cultural" languages. His government faced considerable criticism and was officially censured by the Speaker for constantly withdrawing the bill just prior to its debate in the House. It finally was debated and passed in June 2022, albeit much watered down.
The next major initiative of Cameron's premiership was to resolve the so called "status question". New Ulster was founded as a British Overseas Territory. This nominally placed defence and foreign policy in the hands of the British Government. However, as New Ulster is a micronation and, therefore, unrecognized internationally let alone by the United Kingdom, this de facto placed control of those areas with the Government of New Ulster. This led many, Cameron included, to consider New Ulster more akin to a Commonwealth Realm than a British Overseas Territory. The House unanimously passed the Dominion Act on June 30 and, on July 13, 2022, Cameron announced the required referendum on New Ulster's status would take place on September 5.
On September 8, 2022, Cameron made the official announcement to New Ulster of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and declared a 10-day mourning period. While Governor Sir Geoffrey Marsden led the nation through this official mourning period, much of the events were organized by Cameron. As Premier, he led tributes to Her Late Majesty in the House and was the second MP (after the Speaker) and the third citizen (after the Governor) to take the pledge of allegiance to the new King, Charles III.
Cameron's majority (and, therefore, government) were put in peril when, on September 14, Kennebecasis—Quispamsis MP Clara Hennigan—who had given birth to twins just 5 days earlier—confirmed her pre-birth intention to resign from the House of Assembly. This triggered a by-election which, if Cameron's NUDP lost, would mean his government would lose its majority in the House and would be required to resign. The NUDP president, Deb Serjeant, named October 17 as the date of the by-election.
After the official mourning period for Queen Elizabeth II ended, campaigning resumed for the status referendum. It was overwhelmingly approved by voters and the country transitioned from Overseas Territory to Commonwealth Realm (or Dominion) on September 26; the 115th anniversary of Newfoundland and New Zealand becoming dominions in their own right.
On September 26, 2022, as the nation officially became a Commonwealth Realm, as per the Dominion Act, the title of "Premier" ceased to exist and Cameron automatically became New Ulster's first "Prime Minister". Despite his automatically becoming prime minister, Cameron met with now Governor General (previously Governor) Sir Geoffrey Marsden to be (unofficially) appointed to the position. Although unnecessary, Cameron said he felt "it was the right thing to do" and said "it adds legitimacy".
On October 17, Cameron's New Ulster Democratic Party lost the Kennebecasis—Quispamsis by-election and, with it, lost its majority in the House. As a result, Cameron announced on October 18 that he would resign. While no date had been confirmed for him leaving office he joked he would be "gone by the weekend". Two days later, he attended Governor General Sir Geoffrey Marsden's residence where he formally resigned. He confirmed he would remain as leader of the NUDP and said he had "the full support of my party"; statements his deputy, Eloise Penner, and other MPs backed up later that day.
Cameron was inducted as a Knight of the Order of New Ulster by Governor Marsden as part of the 2022 New Year's Honours. This grants him the use within New Ulster of the title "Sir" and the postnominals "ONU".
In mid-2022, Cameron rejected a private honour from another micronation as it came with expectation that a reciprocal award would be given. Cameron would not name the micronation but expressed disappointment that "people expect something for nothing" and added "that's not what New Ulster is about or how [the honour system] works here".
Cameron currently lives in Saint John and has worked for Parks Canada since 2016. In April 2013, he proposed to his girlfriend, Kirsten Tune. After seven-and-a-half years engaged, the couple announced their separation in September 2020. Cameron considers himself a Christian but doesn't regularly attend church and says it has "no bearing" on his political beliefs or how he interacts with people.