Liberal Union (Pollona)

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Liberal Unionist Party
Liberální Unie
Abbreviation LU
Chairman Eva Hahn
President Josef Laszlo
Prime Minister Micael Hrubý
Federal Council Leader X
Founded January 11, 1964 (1964-01-11)
Merger of Liberal Party
Agrarian League
Radical Party
Headquarters Vlašská 591, Liberec
Youth wing Mládež Liberálové
Membership  (2015) 554,392
Ideology Social Liberalism
Radical centrism
Green liberalism
Political position Center to Center-left
International affiliation Maredoratic Liberals & Democrats Alliance
Colors Yellow, White
Federal Council
41 / 100
National Assembly
255 / 600
State Premierships
11 / 20
State Assembly Seats
658 / 1,731
ML General Assembly
6 / 17

The Liberal Unionist Party (Czech: Liberální Unie Strana), commonly known as the Liberal Union, is a radical liberal party in Pollona. The Liberal Union is one of the two major political parties in Pollona, alongside the Civic-Democrats. It was founded in 1964 from a merger of three political parties: the Liberals, the Agrarian League, and the Radicals. The Liberal Unionist Party the second largest party in terms of membership, and controls the largest number of State Assembly seats of any national party.

The Liberal Union has governed at the national level in a grand coalition since the 2015 general election, with Micael Hrubý as Prime Minister. The party's de facto leader, Josef Laszlo is also the current President of Pollona, after being elected in 2013. As of 2017, the Liberals control a majority of State Premierships.

The LU is the dominates party of the Pollonan left. Its party platform is a mixture of classical liberal and radical centre politics, center-right on economics and leftwing social policies. It strongly supports free enterprise, social justice, internationalism, and green politics.

History

Positions

The main aim of the Liberals, as stated in their constitution, is to ensure 'freedom and fairness in society.' On the economy the Liberal Unionists are strong supporters of the market economy and a reduction of 'direct involvement' of the state in economic activity whenever possible. It is broadly in favor of cutting regulatory restrictions, price controls, and barriers to entry. It wants to encourage more startup businesses in the economy (especially those of women or minorities) through an eased regulator framework, further access to capital, and raising the VAT threshold. On balance it supports free collective bargaining. The party favors 'indirect' measures to ensure 'economic justice'. These include excise taxes on business behavior, legal fines to curb improper practices, increased stockholder powers, anti-monopoly legislation, and progressive taxation on higher earners. The party supports transitioning the income tax into a consumption tax and favors long term fiscal targets.

The Liberal Unionists favor more resources devoted to education, as much as a 2% increase in GDP. This includes the the introduction of subsidized childcare and vouchers for kindergarden education. It wants more autonomy for local schools, including the right to create 'specialized academies'. It favors the introduction of a national pupil/teacher evaluation standard and 'Digital Education Initiative' administered by the states. The party opposes charging tuition fees in public universities. In Health the Liberal Unionists proposes reduced prescription charges on those with preexisting conditions. The party platform also favors more heavily subsidized social care and maternity services.

On civil matters the party strongly supports gay marriage, the legalization of soft drugs such as cannabis, a relaxation of abortion restrictions, and opposes the death penalty. The Liberal Unionists want to tighten affirmative action laws in the country, particularly as it pertains to women. It also supports initatives to get more women into the workforce, universities, and into the top industries. In government the party supports measures to increase police accountability to the public. It wants to eliminate internet surveillance by intelligence agencies and pass a Digital Rights Act. The party supports more money in the prison system devoted to rehabilitation. The Liberal Unionists want to increase the number of visas available for "high skill" migrants while promoting language and citizenship courses to encourage 'integration'.

The Liberal Unionists also have a platform of political reform. This includes: introducing publicly available data on all government deals or contracts, banning lobbying by for-profit organizations, prohibiting former politicians from joining the civil service or lobbyist positions for a term of 5 years, referenda on unpopular national laws, introducing fixed term parliaments, and the direct election of Federal Councilors.

The party is committed to internationalism and multilateral efforts, and favors arms reduction treaties.

The party has a strong tradition of environmentalism. It supports a national emissions trading scheme for all greenhouse gasses, using the revenues to issue dividend checks to every citizen. It is in favor of increasing royalty rates on oil exploration to pay for R&D spending on renewable energy source technologies.

Structure

Demographics

The LU base historically consisted of Catholics, licensed professionals, tenant farmers, and the urban middle class. National support was mostly uniform except in border counties. States like Sazavou were known for their strong "liberal tradition" since the early 20th century. After the economic liberalization of the 1980s, the party's core support shifted dramatically to the suburbs and coastal towns. Liberal Union held the premierships of 4 coastal states, plus Brno, during the 1990s; yet the same period, the LU lost control of 6 state governments in the Pollonan Interior. Nationally, urban areas have become more reliably Liberal while rural areas have drifted towards other parties. The LU is still geographically concentrated in the south and Pollona's city states.

According to PollBox, holding a professional service license (in fields like accounting, law, medicine, etc.) is the single largest identifier of a Liberal Unionist vote. Members of service industries are far more likely to vote for the party than similar workers in the agriculture or manufacturing sectors. Liberal Unionist support is strongest among the young, or those <35 yrs old. Liberal support is strongest among the unmarried, and in particular unmarried women. The LU still attracts large support from Catholics, non-Episcopal Protestants (NEPS), and other religious minorities. In the immigrant community, Borgosesian and Rochehautese descendants are more likely to support the Liberal Unionists than the general population.

Geographically, LUs main base of support is in cities, coastal towns, and the southern states of Pollona. Local branches of the Liberal Unionists are strongest in the commuter belts of major metropolitan areas. The party's strongest electoral performances are generally in cities with populations >75,000.

Electoral History

National Assembly

Election year Votes Vote share Seats +/– Government
2008 - 30.75
182 / 600
Decrease 33 in opposition
2011 - 31.12
175 / 600
Decrease 7 in opposition
2011 - 42.03
255 / 600
Increase 80 in government

President

Election Candidates Votes Vote % Outcome of election
2013 Josef Laszlo 16,022,820 44.14 Liberal Unionist Victory