Labour Party (Rainier)

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Labour Party
Founder J. W. M. Withers
Leader Alexander Llewellyn
Founded 12th October 1910
Headquarters Victoria
Student wing Labour Students
Youth wing Young Labour
Membership 2,100,000 (2017)
Ideology Social democracy
Social liberalism
Progressivism
Political position Centre left
International affiliation Socialist International
Progressive Alliance
Official colours Red and white
Anthem The Red Flag
House of Councillors
147 / 266
House of Senators
40 / 90
Provincial seats
226 / 543
Party flag
Labour flag.png

The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in Rainier. Founded in 1910, it is currently the main party of government with a majority in the House of Councillors with the Prime Minister Alexander Llewellyn being from the party.

Formed as the Farmer-Labour Party in 1910, the Labour Party originally was the political arm of the trade union movement in Rainier. It was a marginal force until the Great Depression when it alternated between the official opposition or the largest third party; during World War Two the party formed part of a national unity government. Following the 1958 election Labour became the main opposition party and in 1970 under the charismatic Lester Murray it oversaw numerous progressive social and economic reforms. In 1973 the Labour party was thrown into opposition before coming back to power under Nicholas Lennox and Hannah Whittaker between 1979-1982 and 1984-1990 who oversaw a shift to the right, embracing neoliberal economic policies. They returned to power under Ken Huang in 1996 where it won four successive general elections but lost power again in 2008 following the Great Recession. Their current leader is former Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Llewellyn who became prime minister at the head of a Labour government following the 2017 election.

The Labour Party currently supports social democracy, progressivism and trade unionism, having been perceived to have moved away from their democratic, Christian socialist roots. They are currently the largest party in Rainier and the largest left-of-centre party. The Labour Party is currently the governing party in Rainier holding a majority of seats in both chambers of parliament. Labour currently holds 138 seats in the House of Councilors, 40 seats in the House of Senators, and 226 total seats in provincial legislatures.

History[edit | edit source]

Formation[edit | edit source]

The Farmer-Labour Party was formed on the 12th October 1914 as a merger between the Progressive Party and the Rainian Labour Committee (RLC). The RLC was a body set up by the two largest trade unions in Rainier, the National Union of Shipbuilders (NUS) and the Miners Guild and Union (MGU) three years earlier to push for political representation for trade union workers'. The Progressive Party meanwhile had been created in 1897, and was a left-wing party based on rural populism and progressivism.

The leader of the RLC, Henry Clyde, discussed with the Progressive leader and Reverend MP J. W. M. Withers the possibility of merging the RLC and the Progressives into one body. At the time the SDP was a small organisation with a mere three seats in parliament, whilst the RLC had maintained a policy of calling for its members to vote for the Liberal Party over the rival Conservative Party. The merging of the RLC and Progressives was hoped to lead to a major leftist force in Rainian politics that would represent the growing urban proletariat, rather than the Conservatives who courted support from rural landlords and farmers and the Liberals who were rooted in the liberal bourgeoisie.

The first election contested by Labour in 1916 saw them get six seats, double the amount the Progressives had gather in 1909. The 1915 election was held against the backdrop of World War One with Labour under leader J. W. M. Withers opposing conscription, getting almost double their seat share as the Union party dithered on the issue. Following the war as trade union membership slowly rose Labour soon had representation in most provincial legislatures, being strong in the coastal provinces of Cascadia and Oregon as well as the province of Saskatchewan.

Post war era[edit | edit source]

First governments[edit | edit source]

Huang-Ruben era[edit | edit source]

Modern era[edit | edit source]

Ideology[edit | edit source]

The official party ideology of the Labour Party according to their website is "to promote socialism in a democratic manner whilst protecting the interest of Rainier.". Commonly they are referred to incorporating social democratic policies with a strong support of trade unions and public services. They describe themselves as being centre-left, but in more modern times has been compared to New Labour in the UK, the SPD in Germany and Scandinavian social democratic parties in their embrace of the third way.

Whilst the Labour Party has been prominent in its consistent support of women's and workers rights, during the 1940's up until the 1960's the Labour Party endorsed several social conservative policies such as opposition to recognising homosexuality and improving race relations in order to win working class voters, who were often opposed to the social liberalism of the Liberal Party and the pragmatism of the National Union Party. Under the leadership of Jack Maddocks the party shifted away from social conservatism embracing socially liberal policies as it became more popular with the middle class. During the 1990's under Ken Huang the party took a right-wing turn, embracing new right neoliberal economic policies - this embrace of liberal economic and social policies has been described as an examples of the "third way" being implemented. In the 2000's Labour moved to a more centrist position economically whilst retaining its socially liberal policies.

The Labour Party has been described by international sources as social-democratic, socially progressive and dovish.

Factions[edit | edit source]

The Labour Party is a big tent party has four major factions within it - the hard left democratic socialists, the soft left social democrats, the third way centrists and the Christian socialist Blue Labour. Factions are often based around factional leaders, who act as patrons for faction members, providing them with financial support and connections with extra-parliamentary organisations - however, unlike the National Union Party (who also have patronage networks) these networks and connections are based on ideological factions rather than regional organisations. The current four factions are formalised within the House of Councillors, although there can be overlap within the party.

Democratic Socialists[edit | edit source]

The Democratic Socialists (sometime referred to as the DemSocs) consists of the hard left of the Labour party who favour strongly socialist policies, greater links with the trade unions and a form of social liberalism that emphasises social justice. In recent years the DemSocs have also favoured green policies and are strongly anti-nuclear as well as non-interventionist in foreign affairs, with some members being pacifists. They are often critical of the Conference of American States. The DemSocs trace their roots to the old left of the party who during the 1960's became influenced by an influx of young activists who identified with the new left, with many of its members being former Trotskyites. Many DemSocs were active in the 1970's, and saw many of their members elected in the 1970 election - despite this the DemSocs have never held much sway over the party, although they did sponsor some key socially progressive policies under Lester Murray.

Social Democrats[edit | edit source]

The Social Democrats are identified with the soft left, calling for a form of social democracy and social liberalism that sits to the left of the Third Way Coalition but the right of the DemSocs. The Social Democrats often favour progressive social policies, Keynesian economics and strong support of the welfare state with moderate ties to the trade unions. They favour American unionism. Formed from the anti-Stalinist left in the 1920's, the Social Democrats have consistently been the dominant faction within the Labour Party. During the 1960's and 1970's they began to become more socially liberal and during the 1990's moved to the right economically. The Social Democrats currently possess the most seats of any faction within the House of Councillors.

Democratic Labour Coalition[edit | edit source]

The newest faction within the Labour party, the Third Way Coalition are seen as the right of the Labour party being heavily influenced by the Democratic Party in the USA and New Labour in the UK. Advocating for Third Way politics, the DLC place more of their focus on social justice then equality and are embracing of neoliberal economics as well as a hawkish foreign policy. The TWC traces their roots to the Labour "modernisers" of the 1970's, a loose grouping of Labour MP's who promoted free market capitalism. They were formally created as a faction in 1986 as the the New Democratic Coalition (NDC). Changing their name to the DLC in 1996, they have retained influence as the main right-wing faction of the party.

Blue Labour[edit | edit source]

Blue Labour represent the old right wing of the Labour party, being rooted in trade unionism and Christian socialism. Blue Labour are more socially conservative and less willing to pursue radical policies like the Social Democrats and the DemSocs, advocating for a form of guild socialism whilst placing great emphasis on the role of the family and opposition to immigration. Blue Labour were formally the mainstream right wing of the Labour party, although they have never produced a Labour prime minister. Their influence had begun to decline by the mid-1960's as Labour moved away from its Christian Socialist roots. The rise of the Democratic Labour Coalition during the 1980's marginalised Blue Labour, who have never become influential in the party since.

Organisation[edit | edit source]

Labour Party seats in Provincial Assemblies
Alaska
17 / 40
Alberta
55 / 87
British Columbia
41 / 87
Cascadia
46 / 98
Idaho
14 / 50
Oregon
33 / 60
Saskatchewan
11 / 61
Yukon
13 / 19
The Labour Party is made up of three membership bodies - Constituency Labour Parties (CLP's), affiliated trade unions and socialist societies. The main decision making body is the National Executive Council (NEC) which is elected by Labour members every five years. All members who are elected to parliamentary posts (either President, a MP in the House of Councillors, members of provincial assemblies or senators in the House of Senators) form the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) which alongside the NEC and the National Policy Plenum (NPP) directs and drafts party policy, although CLP's can sponsor proposals to the NPP. The NEC and bodies below it are responsible for handling party finances, creating electoral lists, administrative work and organisation.

The Labour party National Conference, held annually, still serves as a forum for debate and policy making, with CLP proposals often being brought up during the conference. However, the National Conference has declined in relevance in recent years with policy debates being less frequent as most policy is debated within the NEC, the NPP and the PLP.

The Labour Party was a founding member of Socialist International, previously having been a member of the Labour and Socialist International between 1923–1940. In 2013 it joined the Progressive Alliance, but has stated it has no wish to cancel its ties with SI.

The Labour party has provincial branches in all 12 provinces all of which formally affiliate with the party. Whilst all run candidates in national elections, in provincial elections the Montana branch officially endorses candidates of the left-wing Farmers' Party whilst in Northern Territories hold non-partisan elections. Labour officially forms majority governments in Alberta (under Rachel Notley), Oregon (under Kate Brown) and Yukon (under Elizabeth Hanson) alongside red-green coalitions in British Columbia (under John Horgan) and Cascadia (under Jay Inslee). Labour parties also serve as the official opposition in Alberta, Idaho and Saskatchewan.

Party Emblem and Flag[edit | edit source]

The first official symbol of the Labour Party was the red flag symbolizing socialism first used in 1912. The word Labour was eventually inscribed on the flag in 1920 and has remained the party's flag since then. In 1921, the Labour Party adopted a logo featuring two masculine arms holding a hammer used to represent the poor and working class that the party was founded to represent and form policies to advocate on behalf of. The symbol remained the official party logo until 1968 when it was changed over to a red rose with green leaves to resemble the ideology of social democracy, the main ideology of the party, and has been the party's symbol since 1968 and retains its status well into the contemporary era.

Leaders[edit | edit source]

No. Name
(Born–Died)
Portrait Term in Office Election(s)
1 John Walter Milhous Withers
(1867-1938)
Ac.woodsworth.jpg 12th October 1907 16th October 1920 1913
1916
1919
2 Henry Clyde
(1862-1930)
Robert Forke.jpg 16th October 1920 20th November 1925 1922
1925
(1) John Walter Milhous Withers
(1867-1938)
Ac.woodsworth.jpg 20th November 1925 4th June 1932 1928
1931
3 Thomas O'Reilly
(1895-1962)
Major James Coldwell.jpg 4th June 1932 17th December 1944 1934
1937
1940
1943
4 Harry Stone
(1899-1972)
Glentaylor.jpg 17th December 1944 4th August 1952 1946
1949
1951
5 Jack Maddocks
(1900-1977)
Wayne Morse.jpg 4th August 1952 14th May 1962 1954
1957
1958
1961
6 Robin Matthews
(1914-2007)
Garfield todd.jpg 14th May 1962 17th October 1966 1964
7 Lester Murray
(1918-1975)
FrankChurch.jpg 17th October 1966 12th January 1975 1967
1970
1973
8 Martin Whittaker
(1936-)
Mike Gravel 1973 a (cropped).jpg 12th January 1975 6th May 1978 1987
1990
9 Nicholas Lennox
(1932-)
WalterMondale.png 6th May 1978 13th December 1990 1979
1982
1984
1987
1990
10 James Cannon
(1947-)
Lorne Nystrom (2012).jpg 13th December 1990 17th December 1995 1993
11 Ken Huang
(1950-)
Gary Locke official portrait.jpg 17th December 1995 22nd June 2004 1996
1999
2002
12 Gerald Ruben
(1950-)
Ted Kulongoski headshot Color 2007.JPG 22nd June 2004 16th January 2009 2005
2008
13 Samuel Paul
(1951-)
Brad Owen.jpg 16th January 2009 7th March 2012 2011
14 Jane Patterson
(1956-)
Maria Cantwell, official portrait, 110th Congress 2 (cropped).jpg 7th March 2012 30th November 2016 2014
15 Alexander Llewellyn
(1963-)
Borut Pahor 2010.jpg 30th November 2016 Incumbent 2017

Election results[edit | edit source]

Legislative elections[edit | edit source]

General election Percentage of votes (%) Votes cast Seating graph Seat change Presiding chair of the party Parliamentary position
1913 TBA% TBA
6 / 222
6 J. W. M. Withers Opposition
1916 TBA% TBA
17 / 238
11 J. W. M. Withers Opposition
1919 TBA% TBA
14 / 238
3 J. W. M. Withers Opposition
1922 TBA% TBA
12 / 238
2 Henry Clyde Opposition
1925 TBA% TBA
12 / 238
N/A Henry Clyde Opposition
1928 TBA% TBA
25 / 254
13 J. W. M. Withers Opposition
1931 TBA% TBA
38 / 254
13 J. W. M. Withers Opposition
1934 TBA% TBA
66 / 254
28 Thomas O'Reilly Opposition
1937 TBA% TBA
49 / 259
27 Thomas O'Reilly Opposition
1940 TBA% TBA
44 / 259
5 Thomas O'Reilly National Unity Government
1943 TBA% TBA
28 / 259
16 Thomas O'Reilly National Unity Government (1943-1945)
Opposition (1945-1946)
1946 TBA% TBA
37 / 265
9 Harry Stone Opposition
1949 TBA% TBA
41 / 265
4 Harry Stone Opposition
1951 TBA% TBA
21 / 265
20 Harry Stone Opposition
1954 TBA% TBA
26 / 265
5 Jack Maddocks Opposition
1957 TBA% TBA
61 / 272
35 Jack Maddocks Confidence and supply
1958 TBA% TBA
59 / 272
2 Jack Maddocks Opposition
1961 TBA% TBA
55 / 272
4 Jack Maddocks Opposition
1964 TBA% TBA
66 / 272
11 Robin Matthews Opposition
1967 TBA% TBA
90 / 279
24 Lester Murray Opposition
1970 TBA% TBA
141 / 279
55 Lester Murray Majority government
1973 TBA% TBA
81 / 279
60 Lester Murray Opposition
1976 TBA% TBA
122 / 286
41 Nicholas Lennox Opposition
1979 TBA% TBA
149 / 286
27 Nicholas Lennox Majority government
1982 TBA% TBA
129 / 286
20 Nicholas Lennox Opposition
1984 TBA% TBA
168 / 286
39 Nicholas Lennox Majority government
1987 TBA% TBA
160 / 300
8 Hannah Whittaker Majority government
1990 TBA% TBA
107 / 300
53 Hannah Whittaker Opposition
1993 TBA% TBA
124 / 300
17 James Cannon Opposition
1996 TBA% TBA
195 / 300
71 Ken Huang Majority government
1999 TBA% TBA
147 / 247
48 Ken Huang Majority government
2002 TBA% TBA
148 / 247
1 Ken Huang Majority government
2005 TBA% TBA
112 / 247
36 Gerald Ruben Coalition government
2008 TBA% TBA
89 / 254
23 Gerald Ruben Opposition
2011 TBA% TBA
104 / 254
15 Samuel Paul Opposition
2014 TBA% TBA
100 / 254
4 Jane Patterson Opposition
2017 TBA% TBA
138 / 266
38 Alexander Llewellyn Majority government