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Michael Elderton

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Elderton
Michael Elderton
Position 24th Prime Minister of Georgeland
Term in office July 1, 2000 - August 11, 2001
Preceded by Campbell Rhodes
Succeeded by Campbell Rhodes
Political party Liberal
Total time in office 1 year, 1 month, 10 days (21st)
Born 16th October 1948
Constituency Smithfield
Spouse Rachel Elderton (married 1973)

The Hon. Michael James Elderton, MP (b. October 16, 1948) is a Georgeland politician. A former Prime Minister of Georgeland (2000-2001), he is presently the leader of the Georgeland Alliance.

Elderton was born in Emilypolis, Scoita, in 1948 to a Protestant family, a minority in Scoita. Elderton attended a Catholic school for some time but later transferred to an Anglican school. In 1971 he graduated from the University of Scoita with a degree in Economics. From 1971 to 1973 he attended Cambridge University where he gained a Masters Degree.

In 1979 he was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative. With the fall of the Tory government in 1983, as the Tories began to shift further and further to the right, Elderton grew dismayed at Tory policy. In the 1987 election, Elderton lost his seat. He returned to Parliament for another seat, Smithfield, in 1988, contesting the by-election, this time as a Labour candidate. Elderton became Minister for Sport in 1993.

In 1995, when the brief Tory government of Eric Edge came to power, Elderton was the opposition Transport spokesman. At the time of the election, he had been promoted to Education. When Campbell Rhodes led Labour to victory in October 1995, Elderton became Minister for Education, a post he held for five years.

Elderton was criticised as a minister for being 'too stingy' (the words of Teachers Union President John Garran) with money for public schools. In 1997, the Rhodes government put a stop to funding private schools altogether, and Elderton was forced to alter the department's policy.

Elderton was one of the 60 Labour members who walked out on the party room in 1999 and formed the Liberals.

In 2000, after Rhodes resigned in the wake of the Corbana Incident, Elderton was elected Liberal leader over Christine Hinkle, who remained deputy. As Prime Minister, Elderton shifted the coalition government firmly rightwards, angering many in the Liberal party and creating conflict with the Democrats, the coalition's junior partner. Elderton won the 2001 election but failed to secure a majority in the House of Commons and led the first minority government in Georgeland since before World War I.

In August 2001, after a blazing row, Rhodes resigned as Elderton's Foreign Minister and challenged for the leadership. He won, and Elderton returned to the backbench bitter. He contested the 2002 election as an Independent. In 2003, he announced the formation of the Georgeland Alliance, a centrist political party devoted to "sensible economic management and acting as a check on the power of the major parties'. Despite criticism form some circles that the Alliance was merely a forum to stay in the limelight after a totally unsuccessful premiership, Elderton and his party won eight Senate seats in the 2005 election, and Elderton was one of only two members of the new House not to come from either of the major parties. From January 1, 2006, when the new Senate term began, Elderton has held significant influence, as the Alliance now controls the balance of power in the Senate.

2007 election

At the 2007 election, Elderton was successful in his bid for re-election to the House and won an increased vote share at the expense of the major party candidates. With Christine Hinkle he remained as one of the party's two MPs, though its Senate representation was increased despite the loss of one Senator. Elderton confirmed his desire to be re-elected as party leader at the annual party conference in September - he will be unopposed at that election.

Having been elected in 1979, Elderton is the longest-serving member of parliament. However, since he was absent from the house from July 1987 until May 1988, Elderton is not eligible to serve as Father of the House. After the 2007 election, that position went to Alan Holmberg-Weidler.

Retirement

On May 18, 2010, Elderton announced he would not be contesting his House of Commons seat at the upcoming election. Elderton said his role as the party's leader would be best filled by "someone younger" and pledged he would continue campaigning for the party. Elderton will continue to lead the party until a new leader is elected at the party's annual conference in September.

Ministries

Preceded by
Campbell Rhodes
Prime Minister of the United Islands of Georgeland
July 1, 2000-August 11, 2001
Succeeded by
Campbell Rhodes
Preceded by
Campbell Rhodes
Leader of the United Islands Liberal Party
July 1, 2000 - August 11, 2001
Succeeded by
Campbell Rhodes

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