The Balance Party is a centrist socially-progressive party. Philosophically, the party is based around "harmonious society", and the fight to eliminate inequality, social divisions, prejudice, and intolerance. It believes that extreme and radical policies are damaging to the stability of society and government, and that it is necessary for the government to act with moderation and restraint, rather than favouring one viewpoint or faction over another. In practice, this philosophy makes the Balance Party the largest centrist party in Lendosa.
The Balance Party is currently the largest party in the Senate, holding twenty-nine seats. The current Consul is from the Balance Party, as are eight of the twenty-five Administrators. The Balance Party is led by Miranda da Sava, who serves as the current Consul of Lendosa. Its deputy leader is Luis Coelo, now serving as Administrator of Diplomacy. Other prominent party members include Viran Achent (Administrator of Security), Lara Dirao (Administrator of Defence), and Julia Sentira. The party Secretary is currently Marco Delanio, a former High Guildmaster.
Colour and Emblem
The official colour of the party is yellow, a traditional colour in Lendosan politics for moderates and centrists. Its official emblem is a set of balanced scales, representing the equality it seeks.
The party's name in Lendian is "lo Partido Balanciano". This can be abbrieviated to "los Balancianos".
"Extremes almost always lead to conflict. Pursuit of radical philosophies, regardless of the intentions behind that philosophy, will usually end in failure. The only logical course of action is to follow a path of moderation and tolerance, finding a balance between different ideals and goals. It is the state's responsibility to guide the nation towards this path."
The Balance Party sees equality of opportunity and of treatment as being cruicial to a fair and just society. This would mean that the government should strive to produce a "level playing field" for all members of society, insuring that everyone is equally able to succeed, and that nobody is disadvantaged.
- Work to promote diversity throughout Lendosa, protecting minorities from being overwhelmed by the majority. This includes cultural, religious, ethnic, and political differences, among others.
- Give assistance to those who are economically disadvantaged through no fault of their own, as some people are clearly better positioned in life to do well than others (do not, however, assist those who had equal opportunity to succeed but who failed due to their own actions).
- Assist those with disabilities, helping them to reach a position where they may compete with others on an equal footing.
- Reduce the inequalities of the tax system, bringing it closer to an even rate for all citizens.
According to the Balance Party, liberty should be defined as "the freedom to make one's own choices about one's life, the freedom to express one's views in a peaceful manner, and the freedom to advance one's own interests in a fair and honest way".
- Maintain the diversity of opinions within the Lendosan government, ensuring that all viewpoints which do not actually attack this diversity are allowed to be heard.
- Maintain the right of Lendosan citizens to express their opinions (whether political, ethical, spiritual, or cultural), provided they do not harm the freedom of others by doing so.
- Promote acceptance by society of freedom of choice regarding things such as religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, and marriage.
- Abolish censorship, except for materials which encourage illegal acts or which break laws not relating to freedom of speech.
The Balance Party describes itself as economically centrist. It supports an economic system which is basically capitalist, but believes in government regulation (and sometimes government monopolization) of certain industries that are considered important to the country.
- Encourage business through favourable tax rates (ensuring, however, that this does not harm equality).
- Maintain a strong regulatory framework around business so as to ensure fairness and honesty.
- Make regulations as simple and uncomplicated as possible, so as not to unfairly burden large companies with high compliance costs.
- Promote economic growth in less developed regions of the country.
- Require Lendosan companies working in foreign countries to adhere to Lendosan rules about wages and working conditions, thereby preventing unfair exploitation of cheaper labour in the developing world.
The Balance Party believes that Lendosa should maintain diplomatic relations with as many states as possible, and should always be open to the views of other nations. It also says that Lendosa should promote what it believes to be right, regardless our own national interests.
- Establish diplomatic links with all states that are willing to accept them.
- Retain the policy of de facto recognition of foreign states, treating recognition as an acknowledgement of actual control rather than as an affirmation of a government's legitimacy.
- Use Lendosa's diplomatic relations to promote liberty and equality around Vexillium (while taking care not to impose Lendosan values on a country against the wishes of its people).
According to the Balance Party, it is necessary to find an equilibrium between protection of the natural environment and the use of natural resources. It says that it is possible to have both, if we are careful in how we go about it.
- Encourage or require companies to adopt the most environmentally friendly policy possible without damaging their business, and adopt measures to reward companies for doing so.
- Encourage environmentalism in the business world through tax incentives.
- Invest in renewable energy sources for the state power grid, and encourage private enterprise to do the same.
- Promote plantation logging rather than the logging of natural forests.
Issues Facing the Party
The Balance Party is, at present, relatively stable. Its policies of centrism and tolerance mean that it is fairly well equiped for dealing with internal differences, and there are no major factions within the party. The most significant dispute would be over emphasis, rather than doctrine, with certain members of the party believing that not enough focus is placed on egalitarianism and the fight against intolerance, which, while a founding principle for the party, soon became to be seen as just part of the whole (along with economic centrism, environmental equilibrium, and other "balanced" policies). Julia Sentira is the most vocal avocate of an emphasis on social balance.
The Balance Party does not have any subparties.
History of the Party
The Balance Party was founded in 296 by Aranezo Galazo, a Riochan nobleman turned intelligence officer turned politician. Galazo, a member of one of Rioch's noble families, joined the Panopticate (the Imperial intelligence agency and secret police force) in 268 AP, and quickly rose within its ranks. Galazo became part of the reformist faction within the Panopticate, which supported the gradual democratization of the country and the dismantling of Imperial power. Shortly after Galazo had been appointed to the position of Sububiquitor (deputy director of the Panopticate), anti-Imperial protests broke out in the main centres, and Prospero da Sava's Democracy Party gained control of the Imperial Council. The Ubiquitor at the time, Adaro Lacademo, was in favour of action against the "traitors", and directed the Panopticate to crush the reform movement, but a group of senior Panopticate officers, led by Galazo and his ally Lucius Drathe, staged an internal coup, and managed to remove Lacademo from the position of Ubiquitor. When Drathe assumed the post, the Panopticate changed allegiances, and supported the reformists. It subsequently played a large part in preventing a military coup in favour of continued Imperial rule.
Galazo, in agreement with Drathe, began to consult with Prospero da Sava (leader of the Democracy Party and the new First Councillor) and Garamono Ducato (leader of the Communist Party and initiator of the public protests). He was responsible for most of the planning regarding the transition of power, and was instrumental (along with Lucius Drathe) in convincing the Emperor to accept the Imperial Council's proposals.
After Prospero da Sava was assassinated, however, Galazo saw that the Democracy Party would crumble without strong leadership. Leaving the Panopticate, Galazo attempted to rally the core of the old Democracy Party, forming it into a new group. This group would become the Balance Party, and Galazo became its leader. While never as popular as da Sava had been, Galazo was highly respected, both for his intelligence and for his work during the transition. The Balance Party became the largest group within the Council of Confederate Citizens (the body that had replaced the old Imperial Council), although Galazo did not become Spokesperson.
Initially, Galazo believed that the reforms would be enough to save the country, and thought that the Free Confederacy of Lendian Republics, what the old Empire had been turned into, would be a viable state. After observing the FCLR in action, however, he soon determined that it would not work, and began to advocate the dissolution of the country into its component parts. The dissolutionist faction soon gained the upper hand in the Council, and a public referendum was held in which the people gave their approval for it. The FCLR was dissolved. The Balance Party continued on in the new state of Lendosa.
Galazo, however, was appointed to the new position of Praetor before the Lendosan Senate came into being, and so did not ever lead his new party there. This duty was taken up by his deputy, Anya Atmasova, who lead the party to victory and became the first Consul. Since that point, the Balance Party has remained the largest group in the Senate.
List of Past Leaders
- Aranezo Galazo (296 - 297)
- Anya Atmasova (297 - )