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Reform Party
Plaid Diwygio
Leader Nicole Faulkner
Founded 13th April 1976
Split from National Union Party
Ideology National liberalism
Social Conservatism
Right-wing populism
Anti-immigration
Economic Liberalism (minority)
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation American Conservative Coalition
Official colours      Yellow
House of Councillors
27 / 133
House of Senators
3 / 77
American Parliament
3 / 14

The Reform Party (Welsh: Plaid Diwygio) is a populist national liberal political party in Rainier. It currently holds 27 seats in the House of Councillors, making it the second largest party.

The Reform Party was formed in 1976 splitting from the National Union Party, which is perceived as being too accepting of Labour party policy and in particular practicing "Tory socialism", championing economic liberalism. When formed Reform presented itself as the national liberal party, supporting privatisation, low taxes, small-state government and strong defence of national sovereignty. During the 1980's as the Labour government implemented many of the free-market reforms championed by the Reform Party the party began to shift its focus to the culture war, supporting socially conservative policies. In the latter half of the 1980's the Reform Party became increasingly populist and cemented strong opposition to immigration (especially Asian immigration) as their central policy, which resulted in the Reform party rising in terms of votes.

In recent years the Reform party has become known for its increasingly nationalist policies, which has resulted in a split in the party between the older national liberal wing of the party which concentrates on economic liberalism and the newer nationalist wing of the party which is more populist in character.

In the 2017 House of Councillors election the Reform Party became the third largest party with 27 seats and 18.85% of the vote, the best result in the party's history. The creation of the Progressive Conservative Association in October 2017 led to the Reform party to become the second largest party and thus form the official opposition.

History

Political background

Early years (1976–1984)

Ideological splits (1984-1999)

Populist nationalism (1999-present)

Peter Faulkner

Current Reform Party leader Nicole Faulkner has downplayed the party's free market rhetoric and championed its more anti-immigration policies.

Ideology

The Reform Party describes itself as a "liberal party with a commitment to free-markets, national sovereignty and control of our borders", drawing upon national liberal traditions. It has rejected the left-right spectrum as being outdated, and said in the modern world the division is between those who support internationalism and nationalism, defining itself as being in the latter camp. Political scientists call the Reform Party platform as being socially conservative, economically liberal and right-wing populist in character.

The Reform Party has confirmed several times it wishes to restore the British monarchy as Rainier's head of state.

Immigration

Reform party poster

A Reform Party poster for the 2012 election criticising the government's immigration policy.

Since the 1999 party congress which saw the party commit to "control of our borders" the Reform Party has become most known for its strong opposition to immigration, especially from East Asia and the Middle East. The Reform Party rejects the current multiculturalism policy of Rainier implemented in the 1970's, saying that Rainier's heritage and culture is Anglo-Saxon and attempts at widening that have "failed". When founded the Reform Party was especially critical of immigration from East Asian nations, particularly from Vietnam and Indonesia, saying East Asian people "could not effectively integrate into mainstream Rainian culture" and called for a ban on all East Asian immigration. Since the 2000's, the party's focus as shifted from opposition to East Asian immigration to other parts of the world, predominately Muslim countries in the Middle East and South Asia. The party has generally favoured cultural assimilation for immigrants that do settle in Rainier but does not differentiate between refugees and immigrants.

The Reform Party has said it wishes to end immigration from Asian countries by enforcing a total ban on selected countries (identified amongst others as Indonesia, Tanjung, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan) and heavily restricted immigration policies on others through the use of enforced quotas. It also says all immigrants to Rainier must speak English and after five years Welsh, only receive 20% of social welfare benefits after a period of 2 years without any welfare, and must pay to allow spouses into the country.

Economy

When the Reform Party was launched it was a strongly neoliberal party, advocating for privatisation of public assets (including education and healthcare), implementation of a flat income tax, creation of a value-added tax, scrapping of welfare programs, deregulation of the economy and anti-trade union legalisation. During its early years Reform was known for its strongly right-wing economic stances, criticising the Labour party for implementing "Soviet socialism" and the National Union party "Tory socialism". Its strong anti-tax proposals gained the party popularity as a protest vote.

After the Labour government of Matthew Griffiths implemented far-reaching free-market reforms, the Reform Party began to shift to the left on economic issues, disavowing proposals to privatise education and healthcare and signing a commitment to "preserve the welfare state". Instead, the Reform Party has proposed moves to marketise the welfare state, suggesting school vouchers and private finance initiatives as models for a more competition based welfare state. The party continues to advocate however anti-trade union policies and a flat tax of 22%.

During the 2017 election the Reform party publicly disavowed "the failed economics of laissez-faire" and criticised the Clarkson governments austerity policies, calling for more tax cuts.

Law and order

The Reform Party has traditionally been heavily supportive of a zero-tolerance approach to law and order. Amongst its policies it has championed an end to parole, increased prison sentencing and a reintroduction of the death penalty.

Reform has had contradictory stances regarding internet surveillance. The liberal wing of the party has opposed moves by the National Union government to increase internet data collection, whereas the populist wing has either supported or ignored the policy.

Foreign policy

The Reform Party was founded as an anti-communist party, taking a tough line against the Soviet Union with party founder Roger Holt calling for all-out nuclear war against the USSR. The party also was heavily in favour of arming the Mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War. However, following the Cold War the Reform party has taken a strongly isolationist stance.

The Reform Party believes that the Conference of American States is undermining Rainian sovereignty and imposing a cumbersome bureaucracy over the country, and as a result wants an immediate referendum on CAS membership.

The Reform Party currently favours ending the security treaty with Japan and closing Rainian military bases on Okinawa, saying that Japan must pay for its own defence, floating the possibility of arming Japan with nuclear weapons. The Reform Party however has criticised Japan for manipulating trading rules. The Reform party up until 1998 called on Rainier to recognise Taiwan over the People's Republic of China, and continues to take a strongly anti-China line in terms of trade calling on China to be named a currency manipulator.

The Reform party wants to improve relations with the Russian Federation praising Vladimir Putin for his nationalist policies. The Reform party has spoken against moves to remove Bashar al-Assad form power and has defended non-interventionism in international affairs.

International relations

The Reform Party has traditionally been connected to similar right-wing movements in North America and Europe, including the Sierran Royalist Party and the Republican Party in the Confederate States. The Reform Party also more controversially has connections with the Austrian FPÖ and French National Front, both of which have often been called far-right parties. At the 2016 Reform Party conference, United Commonwealth former legislator Joe Walsh was invited to speak, generating considerable controversy due to his strongly Islamaphobic stances.

Election results

General elections Percentage of votes (%) Votes cast Seating graph Seat change Presiding chair of the party Parliamentary position
1981 3.7% TBA
1 / 133
1 Roger Holt Opposition
1984 3.2% TBA
1 / 133
Straight Line Steady Roger Holt Opposition
1988 3.8% TBA
2 / 133
1 Roger Holt Opposition
1993 3.4% TBA
2 / 133
Straight Line Steady Roger Holt Opposition
1998 3.2% TBA
2 / 133
Straight Line Steady Roger Holt Opposition
2004 4.7% TBA
3 / 133
1 Peter Cedric Opposition
2008 4.8% TBA
4 / 133
1 Peter Cedric Opposition
2012 6.2% TBA
8 / 133
4 Peter Cedric Opposition

Party leaders

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