Centre Liberal Party (Sondstead)

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Centre Liberalparty
Centre-Liberälpärtiy
Leader Elfred Wirt
Senate Leader Kärinä Lumière
Founded 1 December 1963
Merger of Liberal Party
Agrarian League
Headquarters 100 Mirringjrwer Nort, Asteriopol
Youth wing Jöngjr CentreLiberälen
Membership 70,291 (2010)
Ideology Green liberalism
Agrarianism
Localism
Political position Centre
International affiliation Maredoratic Liberals & Democrats Alliance
Colors Gold, green
Senate
7 / 48
People's Assembly
44 / 351
Minister-Presidencies
1 / 9
State Diets
79 / 696
ML General Assembly
0 / 6

The Centre Liberal Party (Sondsteadish: CentreLiberälen, "Centre Liberals", formally the Centre-Liberälpärtiy) is an agrarian and liberal political party in Sondstead. It was formed by a 1963 merger between the Agrarian League and the oldest Sondsteadish political party, the Liberals, and is presently the country's third largest party by both total membership and number of legislative seats (both in the Federal Diet and state legislatures). It also holds the Minister-Presidency of one state, Mideldal, and is a junior coalition partner to the Conservatives in the Lindkwist cabinet.

The party's platform is liberal on social issues, moderate on economic issues, and staunchly neutralist on foreign policy. Besides twice holding the premiership, between 1963 and 1968 and again between 1973 and 1977, it has supported coalitions led by both the Conservatives and Socialist Labour, notably participating in every governing coalition between 1985 and 2005.

History

Ideology

The party's constitution officially establishes its guiding ideology as liberalism. It strongly supports civil liberties, having opposed increasing the maximum allowable length of pre-trial detention and stricter national security exemptions in the freedom of information statute. It favors market environmentalism, for instance having proposed a "green tax shift", political decentralization, and pro-small business policies. However it has also at times criticized aspects of economic liberalization, particularly on tariffs; although it officially supports free trade it has also been supportive of fair trade policies and favors high tariffs on meat and cheese imports. A number of figures in the party, such as former leadership candidate Jüliä Gran, have spoken in favor of a basic income or negative income tax.

The party is broadly pro-immigration, in that it favors increasing the number of slots available to high-skilled economic migrants and supports the asylum program, but in recent years has stressed stricter Sondsteadish language proficiency requirements and programs to aid integration. Some in the party have also discussed screening migrants for "liberal democratic values", prompting allegations of populism and cynicism in attempting to attract voters inclined to otherwise support the People's Party.

In foreign policy, the party favors armed neutrality; it opposes the repeal or amendment of the Foreign Alliances Law and abolition of national service and supports high military investment. Historically it opposed Sondsteadish membership in the Congress of Democratic States and supported the development of nuclear weapons.

Support base

The most loyal bloc of support for the Centre Liberals has traditionally been rural and small-town voters, in particular farmers and small business owners, who represented the main constituency of the pre-merger Agrarian League. The party's base of support also includes liberal metropolitan voters, particularly educated professionals. Its supporters are less likely than average to be foreign born or of immigrant background, more likely to be irreligous or Protestant, more likely to be self-employed, and more likely to be over the age of 65.

Traditionally the pre-merger Liberals had very strong support among Protestants, as the party opposed the privileged position of the state church; the CLP continues to draw strong support from Mideldal and parts of Windstrand, which historically had large rural Protestant populations.

Election results

Election year Votes Vote share Seats +/– Government
2005 1,884,848 11.51
41 / 351
in opposition
2009 2,563,760 15.19
51 / 351
Increase 10 in government
2013 2,147,964 13.20
44 / 351
Decrease 7 in government

Party leaders