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The Hon. Robin John Sales, MP (b. March 3, 1952) is a Georgeland politician who has served as Chief Minister of East Mainland and as Leader of the Georgeland Opposition.

Sales
Robin Sales
Position 30th Leader of the Georgeland Opposition
Term in office August 10, 2007 - October 2, 2009
Preceded by Lawrence Porter (acting)
Succeeded by Lawrence Porter
Political party Liberal Democrat
Total time in office 2y 1m 22d
Born 8 November 1952
Constituency Peterson
Spouse Claire Sales (married 1975)

Early life

Sales was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1952, the son of an Irish father and an American mother. Both parents were in Wales on a study visa. In 1955, when Sales was less than a year old, his mother, who suffered from depression, attempted to drown him but was prevented from doing so by Sales' father, who in the attempt killed his mother. Sales' father was tried for her death and acquitted, though he was found guilty of manslaughter. He recieved seven years for the crime, and was released in 1964. He died in 1973.
Sales was put up with foster parents in London, and took their last name. He has never spoken to his father. Sales was raised as a son of the Sales family, and was sent to school in London with his foster siblings.
In 1961, when Sales was nine, the family emigrated to Georgeland as part of a scheme to bring more British migrants to the country. Sales spent his adolescence in Doubledance, showing an interest in government and political science. In 1969 he was accepted to the University of Mainland and studied political science. He also earned a law degree later in his life. Graduating in 1972, Sales began working for the United Islands Labour Party, becoming an adviser to the then-state opposition leader, John McCully. In 1978, when McCully became Chief Minister, the first Labour Chief Minister for nearly two decades, the 26-year old Sales was made a senior policy adviser.

State politics

In 1982 McCully lost office, and Sales decided to embark on his own political career. He contested, and won, McCully's old state seat and entered the Mainland state legislature. In 1990, with Labour in power once more, Sales became Minister for State Development, being promoted to Minister for Education in 1993. When Labour again lost office in 1994, Sales was a candidate for the party leadership but lost the position to Duncan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick won the 1998 election and swept into power, with Sales his deputy and the state Treasurer.
In March 1999, Fitzpatrick resigned after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Sales was the front-runner to replace him. However, the party's left rallied their numbers and elected Tom Southwell as the new Chief Minister, Sales remaining where he was.
In 1999, the Labour Party split when followers of Campbell Rhodes formed a new party, the United Islands Liberal Party. Sales, along with Southwell and most of the Mainland government, joined Rhodes' new party and, in coalition with the Democratic Party of the United Islands, were able to continue governing.
Sales was a strong supporter of the state's subvision and campaigned heavily in its favour for the Mainland subvision referendum in 2000. The 'yes' camp having won, Southwell resigned from the legislature in order to contest the election for the new state of East Mainland. He was unanimously elected as the Liberal Party's East Mainland leader in April 2000, and when the coalition won the election, became Chief Minister in July.
Prior to the subdivision of the state of Mainland in 2000, Sales was the Deputy Chief Minister of Mainland and Treasurer in the government of Tom Southwell.

Chief Minister 2000-2006

During his six years in power, Sales has identified himself strongly with the right-wing of his party. In 2002-2003, Sales enacted legislation to privatise the state's power generation facilities, but the legislation was challenged in the state Supreme Court. The court upheld the legislation, but the federal government, itself run by the same party as Sales, appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgeland in late 2003. The Supreme Court, in 2004, ruled that the legislation was consistent with state powers. Sales agreed to withhold any legislation until after the next election.
At the election of March 2006, Sales was defeated by a coalition of the Conservatives and the Georgeland Alliance. On March 23, Sales announced his immediate retirement from state politics, handing over the party leadership temporarily to his deputy, David Brennan.

Senator

Following the resignation of Senator Simon Kimber in the 2006 Civic Bank Investment Scandal, reports began circulating almost immediately that Sales would seek the nomination of his party to fill the Senate spot. On March 29, Sales announced he would contest an internal party ballot and on April 4 he was chosen unopposed to fill the Senate vacancy, and on April 6 became a member of the Senate.

Parliamentary Secretary

On August 20, 2006, Prime Minister Parker named Sales as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. The position is a junior one, ranked below even a non-Cabinet minister, but gave Sales considerable influence and direct contact with the Prime Minister's staff and department. Sales created controversy in December 2006 when he was reported to have been directly in conflict with several Residence staff and accused of 'bullying' behaviour by the Opposition.
Sales was re-elected to the Senate in the 2007 general election, though the government was defeated.

Leader of the Opposition

In July 2007, Sales nominated for leadership of the Liberal Democrats. On July 10th he was elected as leader, despite being a Senator. A month later he was elected to the House of Commons. In the interim, Lawrence Porter, elected Deputy Leader, held the title of Acting Leader of the Opposition.
Sales' leadership has been under continuing pressure and media scrutiny since he assumed the role. His leadership style has been criticised as 'arrogant' and 'a one-man band', with continuing reports Sales has ignored Shadow Ministers or passed them over in favour of advice from his personal staff. In September 2008, Sales trailed incumbent Prime Minister Luke Macaulay by thirty points in one prominent poll, leading to increased leadership speculation. Another poll, released in March 2009, showed Sales was seen by a majority of the population as 'arrogant', 'egotistical' and 'dull' and that 30% of those who voted Conservative in 2007 would be more likely to vote Liberal Democratic in 2010 if Sales was replaced as leader by either Lawrence Porter or Andrea Perkins, even though Perkins had left the LDP.
To put an end to speculation over his leadership, Sales called a leadership contest on September 30, 2009. He declared he would contest the leadership but, after the entrance of Erica Lucas and Adam St. John into the race, Sales withdrew from the contest due to lack of support amongst LDP parliamentarians. He released his supporters to vote how they wished, and wished for his name to be recorded in the minutes as an abstainer in the vote. Lawrence Porter was chosen over St. John to take over the party leadership.

Preceded by
Lawrence Porter
(acting)
Leader of the Georgeland Opposition
August 10, 2007-October 2, 2009
Succeeded by
Lawrence Porter
Preceded by
Zoe Parker
Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Islands
July 10, 2007-October 2, 2009
Succeeded by
Lawrence Porter
Preceded by
None
Chief Minister of East Mainland
July 1, 2000 - March 23, 2006
Succeeded by
Lucien Hagerty



See Also

Georgeland Shadow Ministry

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