The Rt. Hon Eric Maurice Edge (b. May 20, 1932) is a former Prime Minister of Georgeland, who served only eight months in office from February to October 1995.
|Position||21st Prime Minister of Georgeland|
|Term in office||February 17, 1995-October 20, 1995|
|Preceded by||Noel Quarton|
|Succeeded by||Campbell Rhodes|
|Political party||Conservative Party of Georgeland|
|Total time in office||8 months 3 days (24th)|
|Born||February 9, 1932|
|Spouse||Helen Edge (married 1958)|
Edge was born in New Kikipolis on May 20, 1932, the son of Jack Edge, a Minister in the Capitalia state government. Edge was educated at Grammar School and spent much time away from home at boarding schools throughout Capitalia, including the now infamous St. Matthew's School, Shepparton. Edge finished school in 1949 and entered the University of Mainland (as it then was), graduating in 1954 with a degree in economics. Edge worked for some time as a teacher before setting up a consultancy firm which operated throughout the 1960s.
Edge joined the Conservative Party of Georgeland when he was still at school, and at the age of 23 was the Chairman of his local branch. He remained active in Tory affairs throughout his career. In 1966 he stood for the state legislature in Capitalia but was defeated - he ran again for the Senate in 1970 but was again defeated, though only narrowly.
In 1975, Edge was selected for the blue-ribbon seat of Bath (electoral division) after the retirement of John Calloway, a senior Minister in the Tory governments of the 1960s.
Edge became Shadow Minister for Finance in 1976. When the Tories under Robert Fisch won the 1979 election, Edge became Foreign Minister, despite only having been in Parliament for a term.
Edge served as Foreign Minister until 1983 when the government was defeated by Labour under Noel Quarton. Edge was elected party leader and Leader of the Opposition, defeating John Staples. Edge led the party to the 1987 election. Despite gains against Labour, Edge was unable to win government, and Labour formed a coalition government with the Democrats. Edge lost the party leadership to David O'Reilley in a leadership challenge. Edge remained Shadow Treasurer, but resigned that position nine months later in early 1988.
Edge remained on the backbench until after the 1991 election, which O'Reilley lost. O'Reilley resigned and Edge initially declined to stand for leader. When the leading candidate, John Rockwell, withdrew due to claims of adultery, Edge was 'drafted' to replace him and defeated Shawn Hedges for the leadership.
In February 1995, Edge and the Conservatives defeated the coalition government and Edge became Prime Minister. The Coalition remained in control of the Senate with the assistance of the Georgeland Party, which had opposed many policies Edge had campaigned on.
The "Eight Month Experiment"
Edge's government was one of the shortest-lived in Georgeland's history. The government started poorly; one week after he was sworn in, Attorney General Don Smalls resigned after it was revealed he'd failed to declare his business interests. The Edge government set up a "Business Advisory Council" consisting of 12 business leaders from across the country - ostensibly this was to foster understanding between business and government, but it was percieved in the media and by the general public as giving big business, which many members of the government had ties to, a direct voice in government.
The Edge government lost two more ministers - John Rockwell and Albert Campbell, in financial scandals before August. On August 16, the by-election for Rockwell's seat of Zigit was won by Roy Ellis of the Democrats, costing the Government a seat in the House and reducing its slender majority. In late August, the government once again attempted to reform legislation making it easier for small businesses to sack employees. This had been tried in May, but the Senate had rejected the bill. The opposition-controlled Senate blocked the legislation again on August 30, leading Edge to seek a double dissolution. Under the Constitution of Georgeland elections cannot be less than eight months apart - Edge called the election exactly for eight months after the previous one.
The opposition, now led by Campbell Rhodes, was relentless in its attacks on Edge and allegations of incompetence and corruption. At the election, Edge was defeated, though he retained his House of Commons seat.
Edge remained in Parliament until the 1997 election, when he retired. He has subsequently been active in Tory politics and has provided advice to a number of Tory leaders. Edge has also written extensively on his experiences, notably in "An Eight Month Experiment", published in 1998. Edge is the last Conservative to be Prime Minister in his own right - Michael Fisch held the job on a caretaker basis for three weeks in 1999, however.
Edge attended Samuel Richardson's funeral in April 2006, and endorsed Luke Macaulay for the leadership position. Recently, Edge seems to have lost some of his arch-conservative views that characterised his political career. He is currently a member of the Tory Reform Commission, investigating methods of rejuvenating party support and policy.
|Prime Minister of Georgeland|
February 12, 1995-October 20, 1995