The Cruisian Party was dedicated to the promotion of traditional Cruisian values in government. It believed that "the will of God" was the only legitimate basis for any government, and that secular institutions were "morally bankrupt" without it. The party was a fairly broad alliance of Cruisian groups, incorporating a large number of different views, but generally leaned towards a more fundamentalist policy platform.
The Cruisian Party contested only one election before the introduction of a ban on religious parties participating in politics. This ban has remained in place ever since. Eventually, the Cruisian Party decided to deregister itself, becoming merely the Cruisian Political Association. One faction, however, rejected this choice, and instead took a different path, founding the Moralist Party as a "secularised" (but otherwise unchanged) version of the Cruisian Party. The Moralist Party immediately joined with another party to form the modern Values Party.
Colour and Emblem
The official colour of the Cruisian Party was grey. Its emblem was a standard Cruisian cross.
The party's official name in Lendian was "lo Partido Cruisiano", although "lo partido do Eova" ("the party of God") was a very common alternative among the party's members.
"Only in God may we find the wisdom to make the right choices. Without His guidance, we cannot rise above our own imperfections, and will find ourselves lost and drifting."
History of the Party
The Cruisian Party was founded in 269 AP, a rather troubled time in political history. The party's creator was Justinio Luredo, a Papaist monk. Luredo was strongly concerned about what he saw as "the increasing hostility of the government to religious values", and believed that by turning to religion, many of the problems he saw around him could be resolved. Luredo was also highly concerned about the policies of his own Papaist Church, which he saw as "collaborating" with the increasingly autocratic Emperor Carigo. Luredo believed that the Cruisian Party's success would prompt "a realization" in the Papaist Church as a whole, and encourage it to oppose Carigo's gradual supression of democratic governance.
In the 270 AP elections, the Cruisian Party won three seats. This was not enough to gain any significant power, but was better than many people had anticipated. In 271 AP, Luredo and his followers were pleased to see the Papaist Church begin to distance itself from Emperor Carigo, and criticise some of his more extreme comments. Luredo partially attributed this gradual shift to the Cruisian Party's appearance. As the rift between the Emperor and the Church became wider, however, Luredo began to fear that the Emperor would take retribution against the Church. On the 17th of August, amid rumours that the Church was planning to excommunicate Carigo, the situation exploded into violence, with troops loyal to Carigo shelling the Papal palace. The Church was forced to sign a declaration that it would not comment on political matters, and strict laws were enacted "to protect the secular nature of the state".
The Cruisian Party, along with any other religiously-grounded political parties, was prohibited from contesting elections, and it lost its three seats in the Imperial Council. Justinio Luredo himself was arrested on charges of sedition, leaving the Cruisian Party leaderless. Eventually, Enrico Baco was selected to head the party. Luredo was convicted, and sentenced to ten years in prison.
The next few years were highly problematic for the Cruisian Party. The police and security forces, many members of which had given their support to Carigo rather than to the elected Imperial Council, continued to harass any groups that opposed Carigo's rise to power. Enrico Baco was arrested and put on trial for sedition, but was eventually released. Gradually, however, Carigo's bid for power began to collapse - in 273 AP, the Imperial Council (led by First Councillor Tero Saramano) openly challenged the Emperor, rallying many opponents of Carigo to its cause. The Panopticate, the Empire's intelligence agency and secret police force, also experienced internal changes that realigned it with the Council, and the military followed shortly afterwards. Moreover, many ordinary citizens who had once supported Carigo's "strong, decisive leadership" now abandoned him, blaming him for the chaotic situation. In 275 AP, Emperor Carigo was forced to publically acknowledge the Council's supremacy, and to accept strict limits on his powers.
With the elected Council once more in control of the political system, many of the restrictions imposed by Carigo were lifted. Justinio Luredo was released from prison, and once again assumed the leadership of the Cruisian Party. One restriction that was not lifted, however, was the ban on religious parties taking part in politics. While the Council had opposed Carigo's attack on the Church, it did believe that a strict division between politics and religion was in the interests of all parties. The primary goal of the Council at this point was stability, and it was felt that allowing religious parties back into the Council would only cause conflict to flare up once again. While the harassment of the Cruisian Party had ceased, it was still unable to win seats in the Council.
In 281 AP, Justinio Luredo suffered a heart attack, and decided to retire from the leadership. The three primary contenders to replace him were Enrico Baco (a moderate), Claudio Sitori (an advocate of a strict, fundamentalist interpretation of Cruisianity), and Luis Martiano (a "Cruisian socialist" who emphasised "tolerance and understanding"). Luredo himself was believed to favour Baco, but did not take an active part in the leadership contest, instead leaving the choice up to the party's members. Initially, Baco appeared to have a considerable lead, but only a few days before the final vote, he unexpectedly withdrew, offering no explanation for doing so. Baco has never explained this choice, but it is alleged by some his supporters that he was blackmailed into doing so by one of the other candidates. In the vote itself, Claudio Sitori was narrowly elected as the party's new leader.
Among Sitori's first acts as leader was to reform of party's organizational structure, abolishing its "steering committee" and replacing it with advisors appointed by himself. These advisors were drawn exclusively from his own supporters. Later, Sitori revised the party's membership rules, amending them to favour supporters of his own faction. Both these moves were challenged by Luis Martiano and his followers, who alleged that the party leader did not have the authority to implement them, and that they were contrary to the spirit of the party. In response, Sitori launched a concerted attack on Martiano's wing of the party, accusing them of being "weak in faith". Eventually, Martiano and his core supporters left the party, establishing the Cruisian Socialist Association to advocate their views. The possibility of a "Cruisian Socialist Party" was discussed, but in light of the restrictions on religious parties, was rejected.
Under Sitori, the Cruisian Party became much more fundamentalist in its outlook. Luredo, who was watching from the sidelines, was deeply unhappy with this, believing that it was a mistake both in terms of religion and in terms of political strategy. He did not, however, speak out against Sitori, believing that the democratically elected leader of the party should not be undermined. Luredo died in 284 AP.
Sitori remained leader of the Cruisian Party until 294 AP, when he retired from politics. His successor was Luco Ubramo, generally regarded as a more moderate leader. Under Ubramo, a number of the party's more extreme policies were dropped, and the party's membership increased for the first time since the late '70s. The ban on religious parties contesting elections remained in place, however. Gradually, a movement arose within the party that favoured "secularisation" - the removal of any explicit references to religion in the party's rules, but the retention of the same basic policies. According to this faction, it was perfectly possible to advance Cruisian teachings without necessarily describing them in those terms - just as long as the basic policies remained intact, they claimed, it was "just a matter of labeling". The basic message was that "[w]e don't need to have a religious party in order to promote our religion's values."
This view met with considerable opposition from other members of the party. This included Luco Ubramo, who said that retaining an explicit religious basis for the party was "a matter of principle", and asked "why [should the party] have to pretend that out motivations are not based in religion?". Ubramo's deputy leader, Dominico Maleo, said that "if Ubramo really care[d] about the ideals he promotes, he should be willing to do so in whatever way is possible." Maleo further stated that "it is less important how we phrase our policies than that we are able to implement them - just so long as we're promoting what is morally right, we shouldn't care about whether we mention our religion directly or not. As it is, we're not accomplishing anything at all."
This disagreement between leader and deputy leader sparked a wider dispute within the party. In February 303 AP, Maleo challenged Ubramo for the leadership, campaigning on a platform of secularisation, but was unsuccessful. Maleo later quit the Cruisian Party, taking many of his supporters with him. He quickly established the Moralist Party, based on his proposals, but almost immediately led this new party into a merger with another group, forming the Values Party.
The Cruisian Party itself continued on, still led by Ubramo. In 304 AP, however, it decided that unless the ban on religious participation in elections was lifted, there was little point in remaining registered as a political party. As such, the group deregistered and became the Cruisian Political Association. The Association has made provision for reregistration should a law change occur.
List of Leaders
- Justinio Luredo (269 - 271)
- Enrico Baco (271 - 275)
- Justinio Luredo (275 - 258)
- Claudio Sitori (281 - 294)
- Luco Ubramo (294 - 304)