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Leader of the Opposition (Sierra)

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Leader of Her Royal Majesty's Loyal Opposition
Susan Kwon 2020.jpg
Susan Kwon

since December 2, 2022
Parliament of the Kingdom of Sierra
Style The Right Honorable
Member of House of Commons, Shadow Cabinet, Privy Council
Appointer Elected by the caucus of the main opposition party
Term length While leader of the largest political party is not in government
Formation October 16, 1860; 162 years ago (1860-10-16)
First holder Ulysses Perry
Salary $58,000 per year
Website The Opposition
Kingdom of Sierra

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of the
Kingdom of Sierra

The Leader of Her (of His, as applicable) Royal Majesty's Loyal Opposition, more commonly known as the Leader of the Opposition and Opposition Leader, is a politician who leads the official opposition in the Kingdom of Sierra. The Leader of the Opposition is the the legislative leader of the largest party not in government: where one party wins the majority of seats and the other the second largest number of seats in the K.S. House of Commons in accordance with convention. Susan Kwon is the current Leader of the Opposition, having taken the position after the 2022 Sierran federal election and succeeded Kenneth O'Conner, who was sworn in on December 4, 2020 after winning the 2020 Royalist Party leadership election and served from 2020 to 2022. Kwon is the first Social Democrat to hold the office.

The Opposition Leader is an alternative or shadow/opposition prime minister and is usually appointed by the Privy Council. They serve as the leader of the shadow cabinet where they scrutinize the policies of the current cabinet, propose and offer alternative policies, and hold the current government accountable for its actions and policies.

The Opposition Leader is seated within the House of Commons, but there also exists a position in the Senate officially called the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, more commonly known as the Senate Opposition Leader, a title held by Malcolm Siegel who's also the Senate Majority Leader. Throughout much of its history, the Leader of the Opposition was usually seated in either the House of Commons or the Senate, but was officially assigned to the House of Commons in 1912 following the passage of the Parliamentary Reorganization Act of 1912 by Prime Minister Robert Landon. Since then the Opposition Leader sits in the House of Commons and a separate Opposition representative exists within the Senate. The Opposition Leader is a Member of Parliament and is entitled to the same benefits assigned to other MPs.

Throughout most of its history, the position as Opposition Leader has mostly been held by either the Democratic-Republicans or the Royalists, though the Reformed Republicans did hold the position in the 1920s and 30s. Since 2022, the Social Democrats have held the position, the first in the party's history, following their defeat in the 2022 federal election and the formation of a grand coalition between the DRPS and the Royalists as part of the incumbent Chan ministry.


Early developments (1858–67)

During the initial transition of the California Republic into the Kingdom of Sierra, the previous legislative body of the former nation, the California Republic Congress, was reorganized into the Parliament of Sierra modeled directly after the Westminster-style parliamentary system fused in with various elements of Anglo-American federalism inspired by the United States. Elements of American federalism were added in as a compromise to the Federalists who opposed the ascension of Charles I as King of Sierra. No formal opposition had yet been established, but in 1859 the Democratic-Republican Party had published a pamphlet called 'The New Opposition: The Path to a Democratic Sierran Republic in which the party referred to itself as the Opposition Party and its leader, Ulysses Perry, was the Opposition Leader. The title would be codified into Sierran law in 1860 and was made an official position and was first held by Perry as the first Leader of the Opposition. This was party of Perry's plan to organize and centralize the leadership of the Democratic-Republican Party in order to allow them to better oppose the Royalist Party within the parliament. By 1870, the Perry was elected Prime Minister and the Democratic-Republicans had emerged as the majority party for the first time and the Royalists ejected into the Opposition. During the Sierran Civil War, the Royalists remained in the Opposition while the Democratic-Republicans maintained their legislative majority despite many members of their party breaking away to join the self-proclaimed Second California Republic and other groups aligned with the Republicans.

After the war had ended, the Royalists had regained their legislative majority and Democratic-Republican Party leader Nicolas Calhoun had token over as Leader of the Opposition. Calhoun had used his position as Opposition Leader to filibuster policies cracking down on Republican veterans from the civil war, maintain the autonomy of the Styxie provinces, and try to keep the military occupation of the former republican-controlled provinces and territories as manageable and open as possible. Calhoun was eventually defeated 1882 general election and the Democratic-Republicans would remain in the Opposition for the remainder of the 19th century, though they had managed to influence the position to allow them to maintain influence within parliament.

Opposition Leaders (1867–1912)

In 1898, the parliamentary election would shock Sierran headlines after Robert Landon, the son of the revolutionary and civil war leader Isaiah Landon, had announced that he was running for the House of Commons to represent his constituency in Ridgecrest, Central Valley. Robert won the election and was eventually nominated Leader of the Opposition in a landslide. Due to his family ties, Landon had won the support of the Democratic-Republican Party and used it to form a strong opposition within parliament against the Royalist government lead by Joseph Starling. Landon would ultimately win in 1901 and would serve for fifteen years as Prime Minister. In 1912, Landon had passed the Parliamentary Reorganization Act of 1912 moving the position of Opposition Leader to the House of Commons and creating the Senate Opposition Leader to serve as its own separate office subordinate to the Opposition Leader and a representative of the Official Opposition in the Senate.

Modern Opposition (1912–Present)

Following the passage of the 1912 Reform Act, the modern structure of the Official Opposition and modern post of the Leader of the Opposition had been formally established. The position of Leader of the Senate Opposition had been established as well and the officeholder would be appointed by the caucus of the largest party within the official opposition. The first officeholder would be Richard A. Nelson of the Inland Empire.

Leader of the Senate Opposition

While the Leader of the Opposition is seated in the House of Commons, there does exist an Opposition Leader in the Sierran Senate officially known as the Leader of the Opposition of the Senate. Commonly as the Senate Opposition Leader and Leader of the Senate Opposition, the officeholder is subordinate to the Leader of the Official Opposition and serves as the representative of both the Opposition Leader and Official Opposition within the Senate. Similar to their superior, the Senate Opposition Leader is typically elected by an in-party election within the largest party in the Opposition to serve as their leader in the Senate and representative of the Opposition as well. The current Senate Opposition Leader is Marcus Gutierrez having succeeded Malcolm Siegel since May 4, 2020 after the 2020 Sierran Senate elections.

List of Opposition Leaders

Original Opposition (1858–1912)

No Name
Portrait Party Term in Office Prime Minister
1 Ulysses Perry
Ulysses Perry.png Democratic-Republican October 16, 1860 June 5, 1867 Richard Trist
2 Richard Trist
William M. Stewart - Brady-Handy.jpg Royalist June 5, 1867 June 5, 1872 Ulysses Perry
(1) Ulysses Perry
Ulysses Perry.png Democratic-Republican June 5, 1872 January 13, 1874 Richard Trist

Modern Opposition (1912–Present)

See also