The Georgeland Alliance is a Georgeland political party of the radical centre. Its current leader is Michael Elderton, a former Prime Minister.
The party is described as a 'minor party', even by the party itself; nevertheless, it has had a degree of electoral success at the federal and state level. In 2004 the Alliance elected Lois Daniels as Mayor of Santa Christina and in 2006, they were elected as part of a coalition state government in East Mainland. In 2008, Daniels was elected President of Georgeland, suggesting the party may be about to undergo an expansion of its support base. The party's official colour is orange, and is represented by orange on electoral maps and in electoral graphics.
|Headquarters|| Level 2, Roderick House, |
215 Constitution Drive,
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The Alliance is a federal party, with the seven state branches (plus the F.D. branch) all members of the federal party. The party membership elects a national President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer. The leadership also elects a party leader at the beginning of every annual party conference. At the latest party conference in 2005, incumbent leader Michael Elderton was elected leader and former Scoitan Independent MP Katherine Doody was elected as the party's Vice President and Deputy Leader. Doody was later elected to the Senate.
In June 2001, Michael Elderton was deposed as leader of the United Islands Liberal Party. At the election held in October 2002, Elderton contested his seat as an Independent. He won re-election by a large margin. Elderton immediately began seeking support to form a new party devoted to the "third way", to capitalise on voter dissatisfaction with the coalition's shift back to the left.
The formation of the Alliance was announced on November 6, 2003. Elderton became the party's interim leader, while former independent MP acted as deputy leader. The new party was registered with the Electoral Office by virtue of having a sitting MP, but was not permitted under Georgeland law to contest any elections until it had signed the required 500 members. This was achieved early in January 2004.
In September 2004, the party's constitution was formally finalised and Elderton was elected by the membership as the party's permanent leader, with Doody to act as his deputy despite being out of parliament.
2004 Santa Christina election
The Santa Christina Mayoral election, 2004 provided the Alliance with a tremendous confidence boost and surge of support when candidate Lois Daniels was narrowly elected as mayor. Daniels' election was assured by a slightly higher primary vote; at the time, the first-past-the-post system was still used for local elections. The Alliance also won 5 seats on the city council. Daniels became, and remains, a spokesman and standard bearer for the Alliance, at times recieving more coverage and attention than Elderton, the party's official leader.
At the Georgeland legislative election, 2005, the party's first federal election, the party polled more than 10% of the vote nation-wide. However, due to the newly-implemented single-runoff voting system, Alliance candidates failed to win seats in the House of Commons, with the exception of Elderton himself, who was re-elected by a large majority in his seat of Smithfield.
After the election, the Elections Office published electoral data suggesting that had the first-past-the-post system been used at the election, the Alliance would have won an extra 7 seats in the House of Commons.
In the Senate, the party was more successful, and managed to win six Senate seats, in addition to the one Senator, Janet Riddington, they already had (Riddington defected from the LDP). With seven Senators, the Alliance won the balance of power in the chamber, and began to have a greater influence over government legislation. Several high-profile people were elected on the Alliance ticket, including former MP and activist Katherine Doody, and former INTERFNorm soldier and Georgeland commander in Norman John Bedford.
2006 East Mainland election
At the East Mainland legislative election, 2006, the Alliance gained perhaps their biggest victory to date, by winning a place in government. The party polled nearly 9%, but through a preference swap with Tory candidates managed to secure a total of eight seats in the East Mainland legislature. This gave the balance of power in the legislature to the Alliance. In a first for Georgeland, Tory leader Lucien Hagerty negotiated a coalition deal, under which Alliance leader Georgia Cobar would be Deputy Chief Minister and the Alliance would get three Cabinet positions.
Since the election, the Alliance has attracted criticism, including from within, that the concept of "Tory lite" has been validated by their alliance with the Conservatives. However, Cobar and others, including the party's federal leader, Michael Elderton, have stated that the Alliance is having a positive impact on the state, and helping to temper the more right-wing policies of the Conservatives.
2007 federal election
Despite hopes they would pick up extra House of Commons seats, the Alliance won only two seats at the 2007 federal election. Elderton was re-elected. The other MP elected was Christine Hinkle, who had defected from the Liberal Democrats some months earlier. The party won eight seats in the Georgeland Senate; one Senator, Janet Riddington, was defeated.
Since the election, the Alliance has controlled the balance of power in the Senate, along with the Greens and a number of independents.
2008 presidential election
In late 2007, Lois Daniels, the popular Mayor of Santa Christina, nominated to be the Alliance's presidential candidate at the upcoming presidential election. Daniels' candidacy appears to have almost unanimous support inside the Alliance. Some opinion polls have even suggested Daniels would defeat several major-party candidates on preferences, including Campbell Rhodes and Leyton Douglas. On January 6, 2008, commentator and journalist Barry Tighe gave Daniels a "fifty-fifty" chance of capturing the Presidency, while Globe and Standard columnist Michael Kennedy went so far as to predict a substantial victory for Daniels.
On May 2, Daniels won the presidential election, largely as a result of Conservative preferences but polled almost 25% of the vote in her own right. Daniels declared the "two-party" system 'in its dying days' and pledged to work hard to make the Alliance a 'viable third force' in Georgeland politics.
Elderton has stated he would be prepared to cede the party leadership to Daniels if she so desires. Daniels has yet to comment on the issue.
2010 federal election
In May 2010, Elderton announced he would not contest the upcoming election and that he would resign his party leadership. The election, scheduled for August, was a month before the party's conference at which a new leader would be confirmed. Elderton nevertheless led the campaign for the party, which won 11% of the primary vote and both its seats in the House of Commons, with Elderton's seat of Smithfield being retained by Jasmine Furner. At the party conference in September, Christine Hinkle was chosen as the party's new leader, with John Bedford as the party's Senate leader and Deputy Leader.
The Alliance is a centrist party that broadly supports responsible economic management and slow social progress, 'slow' defined as gradual and without urgency. Alliance doctrine says Georgeland must develop socially but at its own pace, without 'egging on' by governments.
To some extent the Alliance is a 'third way' party, though Elderton is known as being more distinctly right-wing than many third-way adherents.
The Alliance believes in the empowerment of the individual, leading some to place them as populists. Alliance policy declares that each individual should be the highest authority in their own lives, and that government has no place intruding into the lives of citizens. This viewpoint is associated with the Conservative Party of Georgeland as well (see 'criticism'. below).
As a minor party, the Alliance supports electoral reforms to institute proportional representation. They also support an elected President with more powers, and some party members, including Elderton, have advocated a shift towards a U.S.-style executive Presidency.
Some critics have claimed the Alliance is nothing more than an attempt by Elderton to remain in the political spotlight after a failed premiership. Others label the Alliance and Elderton as "Tory Lite" because of their centre-right stances on several issues, including deregulation, privatisation, private school funding, welfare cuts and immigration, as well as security and a pro-US foreign policy. These accusations gained a degree of verisimilitude after the Alliance in East Mainland agreed to form a coalition government with the Tories. Alliance supporters claim these criticisms are unfair and that the Alliance 'transcends' traditional political boundaries.
Since gaining increased Senate representation in 2006, the Alliance has named each of its parliamentarians as a spokesman on a number of portfolios.
- Party Leader, Treasury, Business, Tourism and the Civil Service:: Hon. Dr Christine Hinkle MP
- Deputy Leader, Senate Leader, Defence, Homeland Security, Immigration: Senator John Bedford
- Deputy Senate Leader, Education, Employment, Industrial Relations, Youth Affairs, Communications, Arts, Social Security and Veterans' Affairs: Senator Katherine Doody.
- Finance, Economic Development, Home Affairs, Administration and Consumer Affairs: Senator Florence Roberts
- Health, Aged Care, Childcare, Family Services, Welfare and Social Security: Jasmine Furner] MP
- Environment, Heritage, Multicultural Affairs, Human Rights, Justice, Attorney General and Sport: Senator Douglas Jankowski.
- Foreign Affairs, External Territories, Housing, Transport, Regional Development: Senator Eva Brown
- Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Trade, Commerce and Industry: Senator Andrew Taylor.
- Party Whip: Senator Greg Roman.