Labour Party

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Labour Party
Final leader Alex Fendalton
Founded 6 July 1896
Dissolved 30 June 1985 (36 years ago)
Merged into      Social Democratic Labour Party
Ideology Social democractic
Political position Centre-left
Colours      Red
Politics of New Ingerland
Political parties
Elections

The Labour Party was a political party in New Ingerland for much of the 20th century.

History

Origins

The Labour Party was established on 6 July 1896 in Kingsbury, through the amalgamation of socialists in the trade union movement and radical liberals who had stayed out of the formation of the Liberal Party in 1890. At the time of it's formation, the radical side of New Ingerland politics was not represented by any political party. The more moderate leftists were generally supporters of the Liberals, which had attempted to bring the progressive and radical factions of New Ingerland liberalism in to one political party. Despite the success of the Liberals under Thomas Reade, the depression of the 1890s left many in the working class dissatisfied with the Liberals and their approach in dealing with the economic crisis.

The depression led to a number of strikes throughout the decade, although many were broken by bosses who simply sacked the strikers and employed a new and willing workforce. The government also assisted by using the Army to brutally suppress strikes by miners and waterfront workers in 1894 and 1895. The formation of the Labour Party established the basic dividing line in New Ingerland's left-wing politics that endues to the present day. On the one had were the socialists who tended to be revolutionary and militant, whilst on the other stood the moderates who were focused instead on progressive and incremental reform within the framework of a capitalist and class-oriented society.

Rise in popularity

In government

Decline

Demise

By the 1980s, the party struggled to craft an effective narrative with voters. With little support outside the academic community and union movement, the party had little base support to build upon, and many criticised the party as being no different to the Social Democrats or Democratic Party. Party policies on the economy and taxation were often seen as confusing, ambiguous, and contradictory. For example, the party drew heavy criticism when it campaigned in 1984 on a platform of greater government expenditure, whilst at the same time calling for the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax.

Policy

Throughout it's existence, the Labour Party believed that government is generally a positive force in the community. The party held that it is the responsibility of governments to intervene in the operation of the economy and society to improve outcomes. The party sought to ensure that all members of New Ingerland's fledgling society received a basic income in order to have an opportunity to contribute to the building of a new nation. The party was initially committed to the nationalisation of production and of exchange, but as time went by this position was weakened. By the time it formed government in 1946, the party was moderately in support of the free market.

After the Second World War, the party supported multiculturalism and generally higher immigration levels than the Democrats or Nationals. It also supported issues that affected Ngati Mōri, such as recompense for land confiscations in the 19th century. In the 1970s, influenced by the student radicalism of the past decade, Labour supported additional equal rights legislation for minorities, and was instrumental in the wording of a proposed Charter of Rights, which was later rejected in a referendum. As expected, the party also took a pro-choice position on abortion and euthanasia in later years, although this was a radical departure on it's early stance on these issues.

Labour was also a supporter of integration with Asia, and opposed attempts by the Democrats or Nationals to ensconce New Ingerland into the traditional Atlantic alliances. This position was unpopular with voters, who felt threatened by the continuing advance of communism in South-East Asia, and the reluctance of the party to condemn the actions of communist leaders such as Stalin and Mao for the brutality inflicted on their own people.

Electoral performance

Party leaders

# Name In office Duration
1 Edward Taylor 1896 - 1905
2 Alfred Wilson 1905 - 1919
3 Leonard Rollins 1919 - 1929
4 Gordon Roper 1929 - 1939
5 Peter Sims 1939 - 1952
6 Bill Reeve 1952 - 1955
7 Edward Ball 1955 - 1964
8 Leon Green 1964 - 1976
9 Tom Anderson 1976 - 1982
10 Alex Fendalton
()
11 March 1982 - 30 June 1985 3 years, 3 months, 19 days

References and notes

Other links