The Reform Party is the largest right-leaning party in Lendosa, and the one generally regarded as the main "pro-business" party. Its policies are mostly classified as centre-right, and the party believes that economic success should be the primary focus of the state's resources. It believes that other parties pay too little attention to economic matters, saying that only by creating a prosperous economy can the Lendosan people truely achieve happiness. The Reform Party claims that the state is "strangling" businesses with excessive taxes and regulation, and the party advocates relatively low state involvement in the markets. It does not, however, advocate a completely deregulated economic structure, and accepts the need for the state to retain control over certain key sectors of industry. The Reform Party persues a moderate social agenda, with the emphasis on social freedoms. According to the Reform Party, attempting to control society is both futile and unhelpful, and society should be allowed to progress at a slow, "natural" pace - the state, the party claims, should "neither push society forward nor hold it back".
At present, the Reform Party has twenty-two seats in the Senate, making it one of the four major parties there. It is led by Paulo Dias, who also serves as Administrator of Commerce. The party's deputy leader is Arlindo da Silva, currently the Administrator of Trade. Other key senators are Ura Galbora, Galono Durantro, Taramo Cielebro, Dauido Cipano, and Carlo Vedibo. The party's Secretary is Meria Tamea.
Colour and Emblem
The Reform Party uses blue as its official colour. Its official symbol is a five-pointed star (either white or blue).
The Lendian language name of the party is "lo Partido Reformo", although "lo Partido Reformisto" ("Reformist" rather than merely "Reform") is sometimes used unofficially.
"The Lendosan Confederation needs a government which encourages strong economic growth, and which takes active measures to improve the living standards of all citizens. It does Lendosa no good if the government is distracted away from these basic needs by futile attempts at social engineering."
The Reform Party believes that economic prosperity should be the focus of the government's attention, and that by lifting the economy, other problems will be reduced or eliminated. It believes in a relatively free market, with regulation kept to a minimum unless doing otherwise will cause problems.
- Reduce the amount of regulation put on non-critical industries, allowing market forces to have more influence.
- Simplify any regulations which that are not removed, and minimise the costs of compliance for affected companies.
- Privatize state companies that operate in a partially deregulated market, such as airlines and electricity companies.
- Lower corporate and personal tax rates, so as to encourage a higher level of economic growth.
- Minimize or eliminate tariffs on international trade.
The Reform Party believes that the state has an obligation to provide certain basic services, but claims that while state funding may be useful, heavy state control is always unhelpful, causing inefficiency and unresponsiveness.
- Radically reduce the size of the civil service, and cut back as much of the bureaucracy as possible.
- Decrease central control over schools and universities, giving each individual institution more say over their own operations.
- Give parents more choice about what their children will study.
- Reform the welfare system so as to encourage people to find work, rather than to expect handouts.
- Decentralise the health service, giving more control to doctors and less to government bureaucrats.
- Increase the number of partnerships between the public and private sectors - state involvement makes a project more responsible, while private involvement makes a project more efficient.
Issues Facing the Party
The Reform Party is relatively new, compared with most Lendosan parties, and as a consequence of this, is still somewhat unsteady. The party does not have a strongly established voter base, and most of its supporters are not firmly attached to it. This is changing with time, but may still require an effort. There is also a problem of inexperience among many Reform Party politicians. Some of them were once Capitalist Party members who followed Paulo Dias after the split (see the history section of this page), but others are new to the field of politics. Like the problem of the soft voter base, this issue will be resolved with time.
Another potential problem within the party is its exact position on the political spectrum. The Reform Party was created to be a moderate centre-right party, but not all its present members agree with that positioning. In particular, some of those who followed Paulo Dias from the Capitalist Party did so because they supported Dias himself, not because they wished to "tone down" the policies that the Capitalist Party had adopted. They form a faction of the Reform Party which would advocate much more right-wing policies than Dias is willing to.
The Reform Party does not have any official subparties, although factions exist in practice.
History of the Party
The Reform Party was established in late 301 AP. Its founder, Paulo Dias, had been leader of the Capitalist Party shortly before that, but had been ousted by Miguel Santana. Dias had been criticised for being "too moderate", and when hardliners removed him from the leadership, he departed, taking a substantial number of others with him. The Capitalist Party suffered a virtual collapse as a result of Dias' departure. In addition to the many Capitalist Party members who followed Dias, the Capitalist Party lost the considerable majority of its vote (in the subsequent elections, it gained only a single seat).
After his departure from the Capitalist Party, Dias and his supporters began to plan a new party based around their beliefs. The party would be considerably more moderate than the post-Dias Capitalist Party wished to become, and would not demand such major changes to the system. It would, however, advocate gradual and reasonable changes, attempting to decrease the state's bureaucracy and inefficiency, and trying to overhaul the regulatory and taxation systems that were "slowly killing private enterprise in Lendosa". The basic goal of the new party was to reform both the government and the economy, making them more efficient and more productive. Thus, the Reform Party was born. When announcing its creation, Dias said "This name would have a double meaning. Firstly, it reflects my desire to reform the statist economic model put in place by the left-wing parties that have dominated this Senate since its creation. Secondly, and perhaps just as importantly, it reflects my desire to reform the capitalist side of Lendosan politics, and abandon the rigid conservatism that I was unable to overcome in the Capitalist Party. It represents my desire to give the people of Lendosa a right-wing party which is actually interested in their well-being."
Paulo Dias naturally became the leader of this new party. Another former Capitalist Party senator, Arlindo da Silva, became deputy leader. Five other senators from the Capitalist Party joined them (leaving the Capitalists with just two). Opinion polls showed the Reform Party doing well compared to the Capitalists, with most voters preferring the more moderate policies of Dias. In the approach to the 302 elections, polls showed Reform as one of the top parties, having successfully captured nearly all the old Capitalist Party vote and more besides. In the election itself, Reform gained twenty seats. It has since remained stable at about that level.
List of Past Leaders
- Paulo Dias (301 - )