|Founded||12th October 1914|
Social Democratic Party|
Rainian Labour Committee
|Student wing||Labour Students|
|Youth wing||Young Labour|
|Political position||Centre left|
Social Democrats of America
|Official colours||Red and white|
|Anthem||The Red Flag|
|House of Councillors|
|House of Senators|
The Labour Party (Welsh: Plaid Llafur) is a centre-left political party in Rainier. Founded in 1921, it is currently the main opposition party in the House of Councillors whilst the President of Rainier, Nigel Elystan, is from the Labour party.
Formed as the Social-Labour Party in 1914, the Labour Party originally was the political arm of the trade union movement in Rainier. Labour under Nicholas Lennox formed its first government in 1941 where it saw Rainier through World War Two and created the Rainian welfare state before losing power in 1949. The party returned to power in 1969 under the charismatic Emyr Phillips who pushed through many social reforms. In 1976 the Labour party was thrown into opposition before coming back to power under Matthew Griffiths between 1981-93 who oversaw a shift to the right, embracing neoliberal economic policies with Rainier's corporatist economy being replaced with a free-market orientated one. By 1993 the Griffiths government had collapsed, leading to the Labour party to enter another stint in opposition that ended in 2005 when the first female Labour leader Diane Hall led Labour to victory in a coalition with the Green-Left Movement, serving until 2009 when the Labour party returned to the opposition benches after the government collapsed. Their current leader is former Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Llewellwyn.
The Labour Party currently supports social democracy, progressivism and trade unionism, having been perceived to have moved away from their democratic, Christian socialist roots. They are currently the second largest party in Rainier and the largest left-of-centre party.
The Farmer-Labour Party was formed on the 12th October 1914 as a merger between the Social Democratic Party and the Rainian Labour Committee (RLC). The RLC was a body set up by the two largest trade unions in Rainier, the National Union of Shipbuilders (NUS) and the Miners Guild and Union (MGU) three years earlier to push for political representation for trade union workers'. The Social Democratic Party meanwhile had been created in 1897, and was a left-wing party based around the writings of German social democrat Eduard Bernstein.
The leader of the RLC, Harold Farnham, discussed with the then-newly appointed SDP leader David Meadowson the possibility of merging the RLC and the SDP into one body. At the time the SDP was a small organisation with only a few seats in parliament, whilst the RLC had maintained a policy of calling for its members to vote for the Union Party over the rival National Party. The merging of the RLC and SDP was hoped to lead to a major leftist force in Rainian politics that would represent the growing urban proletariat, rather than the Nationals who courted support from rural landlords and farmers and the Union party who were rooted in the liberal bourgeoisie.
The first election contested by Labour in 1917 saw them retain the seats the SDP and RLC had held. The 1917 election was held against the backdrop of World War One with Labour under leader Harold Farnham opposing conscription. Following the war as trade union membership slowly rose Labour soon had representation in most provincial legislatures, being strong in the coastal provinces of Cascadia and Oregon as well as the province of Saskatchewan.
Post war era
IdeologyThe official party ideology of the Labour Party according to their website is "to promote socialism in a democratic manner whilst protecting the interest of Rainier.". Commonly they are referred to incorporating social democratic policies with a strong support of trade unions and public services. They describe themselves as being centre-left, but in more modern times has been compared to New Labour in the UK, the SPD in Germany and Scandinavian social democratic parties in their embrace of the third way.
Whilst the Labour Party has been prominent in its consistent support of women's and workers rights, during the 1950's up until the 1980's the Labour Party endorsed several social conservative policies such as opposition to recognising homosexuality and improving race relations in order to win working class voters, who were often opposed to the social liberalism of the Radical Liberal Party and the pragmatism of the National Union Party. Under the premiership of Emyr Phillips between 1969-73 the party shifted away from social conservatism embracing socially liberal policies as it became more popular with the middle class. During the 1980's under Matthew Griffiths the party took a right-wing turn, embracing new right neoliberal economic policies which turned Rainier from one of the most state-controlled economies in the America's to the most deregulated and free market - this embrace of liberal economic and social policies has been described as one of the earliest examples of the "third way" being implemented. In the 1990's Labour moved to a more centrist position economically whilst retaining its socially liberal policies.
The Labour Party has been described by international sources as social-democratic, socially progressive and dovish.
|Labour Party factions in the House of Councillors|
|Third Way Coalition|
The Labour Party is a big tent party has four major factions within it - the hard left democratic socialists, the soft left social democrats, the third way centrists and the Christian socialist Blue Labour. Factions are often based around factional leaders, who act as patrons for faction members, providing them with financial support and connections with extra-parliamentary organisations - however, unlike the National Union Party (who also have patronage networks) these networks and connections are based on ideological factions rather than regional organisations. The current four factions are formalised within the House of Councillors, although there can be overlap within the party.
The Democratic Socialists (sometime referred to as the DemSocs) consists of the hard left of the Labour party who favour strongly socialist policies, greater links with the trade unions and a form of social liberalism that emphasises social justice. In recent years the DemSocs have also favoured green policies and are strongly anti-nuclear as well as non-interventionist in foreign affairs, with some members being pacifists. They are often critical of the Conference of American States.
The DemSocs trace their roots to the old left of the party who during the 1960's became influenced by an influx of young activists who identified with the new left, with many of its members being former Trotskyites. Many DemSocs were active in the 1970's, and saw many of their members elected in the 1969 election - despite this the DemSocs have never held much sway over the party, although they did sponsor some key socially progressive policies under Hannah Kwong such as the cannabis legalisation referendum. A large amount of DemSocs split from the party in 1992 to form the Social Democratic Party of Rainier, which merged into the Green-Left Movement. It currently has eight members in the House of Councillors with its leader being John Richmound, who has twice run for the Labour party leadership.
Social DemocratsThe Social Democrats are identified with the soft left, calling for a form of social democracy and social liberalism that sits to the left of the Third Way Coalition but the right of the DemSocs. The Social Democrats often favour progressive social policies, Keynesian economics and strong support of the welfare state with moderate ties to the trade unions. They favour American unionism.
Formed from the anti-Stalinist left in the 1920's, the Social Democrats have consistently been the dominant faction within the Labour Party with three Labour prime ministers (Nicholas Lennox, Emyr Phillips and Diane Hall) being from the faction. During the 1960's and 1970's they began to become more socially liberal and during the 1990's moved to the right economically. The Social Democrats currently possess the most seats of any faction within the House of Councillors at 21.
Third Way Coalition
The newest faction within the Labour party, the Third Way Coalition are seen as the right of the Labour party being heavily influenced by the Democratic-Republican Party of Sierra and New Labour in the UK. Advocating for Third Way politics, the TWC place more of their focus on social justice then equality and are embracing of neoliberal economics as well as a hawkish foreign policy. They are the most supportive of all the factions of American unionism.
The TWC traces their roots to the Labour "modernisers" of the 1970's, a loose grouping of Labour MP's who promoted free market capitalism. They were formally created as a faction in 1983 as the the Democratic Labour Coalition (DLC), with their leader Matthew Griffiths leading the government from 1984-94, where the DLC oversaw many free-market reforms. Changing their name to the TWC in 2001, they became somewhat influential during the Hannah Kwong presidency especially on foreign policy issues. Currently the TWC have 15 members in the House of Councillors with former Treasury Minister Wesley Myers being their leader.
Blue Labour represent the old right wing of the Labour party, being rooted in trade unionism and Christian socialism. Blue Labour are more socially conservative and less willing to pursue radical policies like the Social Democrats and the DemSocs, advocating for a form of guild socialism whilst placing great emphasis on the role of the family and opposition to immigration. They are highly critical of the CAS and advocate for withdrawal from the organisation.
Blue Labour were formally the mainstream right wing of the Labour party, although they have never produced a Labour president. Despite this they were influential during the premiership of Dominic Lennox, although their influence had begun to decline by the mid-1960's. The rise of the Third Way Coalition during the 1980's marginalised Blue Labour, who have never become influential in the party since. They currently have 6 seats within the House of Councillors.
The Labour Party is made up of three membership bodies - Constituency Labour Parties (CLP's), affiliated trade unions and socialist societies. The main decision making body is the National Executive Council (NEC) which is elected by Labour members every five years. All members who are elected to parliamentary posts (either President, a MP in the House of Councillors or a MAP in the American Parliament) form the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) which alongside the NEC and the National Policy Plenum (NPP) directs and drafts party policy, although CLP's can sponsor proposals to the NPP. The NEC and bodies below it are responsible for handling party finances, creating electoral lists, administrative work and organisation.
The Labour party National Conference, held annually, still serves as a forum for debate and policy making, with CLP proposals often being brought up during the conference. However, the National Conference has declined in relevance in recent years with policy debates being less frequent as most policy is debated within the NEC, the NPP and the PLP.
The Labour Party was a founding member of Socialist International, previously having been a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923–1940. In 2013 it joined the Progressive Alliance, but has stated it has no wish to cancel its ties with SI. The Labour Party sits with the Social Democrats of America group within the American Parliament.
Party Emblem and Flag
The official party emblem of the Labour Party is a red rose, a globally recognised symbol of social democracy. Their flag also shows the symbol of rose, with their first flag being a simple red field. The red is intended to represent the defiance and blood of the workers of Rainier. The Red Flag is the official anthem of the party, with the first stanza sung at the end of every official party meeting.
Party positions overview
Below is a summary of the Labour Party's policies during the 2014 election.
- Oppose significant transfers of sovereignty from Rainier to the CAS.
- Oppose any attempt to launch an in/out referendum on Rainian CAS membership.
- Coordinate with the CAS to take an active role in the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
- Solidify links so that the CAS can ensure simple and effective cross-border action on crime and terrorism.
- Maintain Rainier's non-nuclear status.
- Continue the multi-national effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
- Decrease oversea's military spending.
- Allow transgender person's the right to serve in the armed forces.
- Reduce national debt to from 98 to 75 per cent of GDP by 2020 through tax increases and public spending cuts.
- Expand workers' and trade union autonomy in the private sector.
- Increase minimum wage from $6.99 per hour to $10.99 per hour.
- No additional borrowing for the next five years.
- Ban zero hour contracts and expand apprenticeships.
- Help SMEs create 300,000 jobs by 2017.
- Reduce university tuition fees from $8,000 a year to $5,000.
- Extend the school meals programme.
- Reduce the average class size from 30 to 23.
- Standardise testing between private and state schools.
- Oppose any privatisation of national parks.
- Prioritise support for organic farms.
- Launch a new 10 cent plastic bag tax.
- Oppose further fracking until its longterm effects are fully understood.
- Expand the use of alternative energy sources and end dependence on fossil fuels.
- Support a two-state solution in regards to State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
- Establish a no-fly zone over Syrian Arab Republic and support the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.
- Support normalisation of relations with the Republic of Cuba and Islamic Republic of Iran.
- Continue to impose economic sanctions on rogue states such as the Russian Federation.
- Support the Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership with the European Union.
- Invest an extra £3 billion a year for the RHAP by 2020, used to fund 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 GPs and 3,000 midwives.
- Oppose further privatisation of the RHAp and cap private investment in the RHAP to 8%.
- Exempt the inclusion of the RHAP in the CAS-EU free trade agreement, TTIP
- Merge health and social care budgets.
Housing and homelessness
- Get 100,000 new homes built a year by 2020.
- Establish save-to-buy scheme for aspiring home owners.
- Prioritise capital investment in housing to build more affordable homes.
- Expand the Safe Shelter programme for the homeless.
- Build enough affordable homes to accommodate the 55,000 Syrian refugees currently living in Rainier.
- Support Rainier's inclusion in the St Louis Area and freedom of movement for Americans.
- Oppose moves to impose immigration caps.
- Meet the target to resettle 85,000 Syrian refugees into Rainier by 2020.
- Recognise the contribution of immigrants in Rainier.
Law and order
- End the political appointment of judges.
- Introduce elected policing commissars.
- No cuts to frontline policing, and invest more funds into the Anti-Terrorism Unit.
- Criminalise the practice of revenge porn, and increase the length of rape sentences.
- Allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in all elections.
- Allow citizens living abroad the opportunity to vote in presidential, parliamentary and American elections.
- Make the senate into a fully elected body.
- Every town/rural area should have its own directly elected mayor and local council.
- Move to secularise government institutions.
- Oppose moves to re-criminalise cannabis.
- Set target of 45 per cent of all State board appointees to be women.
- Expand a women's right to choose.
- Implement more expansive anti-discrimination laws.
- Support existing positive discrimination policies.
- Maintain strict gun control including hand gun bans.
- Establish a new body to investigate tax evasion.
- Raise the top rate of income tax ($300,000) from 47% to 54%.
- Implement a VAT freeze for two years, before putting it under review annually.
- Raise the capital gains tax.
- Freeze rail fares next year and cap rises after that.
- Give 16-21 year olds half price off all bus and train travel.
- Oppose privatisation of Rainian Rail.
- Promote investment in cycling and walking paths.
- Oppose a welfare cap on social welfare spending.
- Tax credits to be pegged with inflation.
- Eliminate child poverty by 2020.