Royalist Party of Sierra
In the Sierran national bipartisan dichotomy, the Royalist Party has traditionally competed with its main rival, the Democratic-Republican. As one of the oldest extant political parties in the world, the Royalist Party has evolved considerably through the course of its history. The party was founded by members and supporters of the Monarchist faction from the 1857 Californian Constitutional Convention who had succeeded in converting the California Republic into the Kingdom of Sierra through the 1858 Constitution. The party's political ideology traces back its origins to the political traditions of the British Tories, as well as the American Whigs. Since the early 20th century, the party has been an ardent defender of monarchism, preserving the traditional values and culture of Sierra (more specifically, the New Culture), promoting social conservatism, and advocating economic liberalism.
Historically, the party dominated Sierran politics for years under multiple Royalist governments but was first seriously challenged in the wake of the 1900s Progressive Era by the Democratic-Republicans, when the latter party sustained control over several governments. Initially, the party resisted extending support to racial minorities but by 1920s, the "new nationalism" (Sierran humanism) which incorporated cultural ideas from both Western and Eastern societies became the focal point of the party's socio-cultural platform, overtaking the Democratic-Republicans in embracing a pan-racial party, though mainly of an alliance between white Protestants and their East Asian peers.
There have been a total of 17 Royalist prime ministers, the first being Frederick Bachelor, Sr., who served from 1859 to 1865, and the most recent being incumbent Nemesis Heartwell, who was elected in the 2017 Royalist leadership election. Heartwell's predecessor, Leslie Steele, only held office for 15 days, and resigned out of protest of Steele's predecessor and former superior Daniel McComb. McComb was at the center of controversy over sexual abuse allegations made against him.
The party promotes a platform built on modern Sierran conservatism which includes the support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, limited government, a strong national defense, a proactive role in international relations, social conservative policies, and traditional values. The Royalist Party also continues to retain its traditional position on preserving the monarchy. This platform is in contrast to the Democratic-Republican Party's progressive liberalism and the Libertarian Party's right-libertarianism. The Royalist Party and the Libertarian Party both constitute a part of the governing Conservative coalition.
From 2016 until 2020, the Royalist Party was the main governing party having won 110 seats in the 2016 Sierran federal election and 55 in the 2016 Sierran Senate elections. The lead a coalition government with the Libertarians, but the government collapsed following its defeat in the 2020 Sierran federal election which saw the Royalists become the leading party within the Official Opposition. As of 2022, the Royalists hold 91 seats in the House of Commons out of 326, 33 out of 155 seats in the Senate, and 25 in Sierra's delegation to the American Parliament. Since the 2022 election, the Royalists have been part of a grand coalition with the Democratic-Republicans and both parties' respective allies. In the Conference of American States, the Royalists are affiliated with the American Conservative Coalition, a coalition of center-right conservative and Soft Ameroskeptic political parties, and serves as the leading member party of the coalition.
Founding and 19th century
The party was founded on the inaugural day of the Kingdom of Sierra and its constitution on November 27, 1858. The Royalist Party is the Sierran continuation of the Whig Party that existed during the California Republic. The term "Royalist" was selected to promote its support for Sierran monarchism and identification with the victorious Monarchist wing of the 1857 California Constitutional Convention. The party vowed to defend the new constitution and the new system of government. Former Whig Party members were joined by the Jacobites, who were largely responsible in mobilizing the monarchist component to the Royalist Party. Comprised of pro-Smith supporters, the business elite, merchants, and ex-Federalists from the California Republic, the Royalist Party quickly gained traction along coastal communities where the party's appeal to stability and economic prosperity attracted voters.
The early party focused on its vision on strengthening Sierra through modernization, manufacturing, and a strong centralized government. The Royalists dominated the urban vote along Sierra's coastal cities. The organization received the backing of Sierra's emerging industrialists and traders, and its voter base consisted of many literate intellectuals, who were aware of their voting rights, and easily secured the majority of seats in the first Parliamentary session. Bachelor, Sr. had served as the King's Minister of Finance during the King's temporal assumption as Acting Prime Minister, and enacted sweeping reforms on monetary policy, created the Royal Monetary Authority of Sierra, passed tariffs, and created chartered companies to support industry and business. It also backed the gold standard and resisted calls to adopt bimetallism. He promoted the party's vision of strengthening the nation through trade and manufacturing, and resisted consolidating farmers who opposed the party's policies. His successor, Richard Trist, continued Bachelor Sr.'s policies, although the party's friendly relations with the nation's gentry alienated rural voters.
The party and nation faced its first interstate conflict in 1866 when the War of Contingency broke out in Eastern Anglo-America. The conflict was a rare, enigmatic moment in early Sierran history when the Royalists and Democratic-Republicans shared mutual interests together. Both parties feared the United Commonwealth's aggressive campaign to retake its breakaway states would result in a disruption to continental trade and threaten Sierra's own territorial integrity. The United Commonwealth's centralist government promoted American unionism and manifest destiny, which Sierran politicians feared would include Sierra as well in the hypothetical Greater American Union. The Royalists were also seeking to establish their credibility as a strong party, and so the Royalist-controlled House declared war on the United Commonwealth on August 1866. Sierra's initial involvement proved costly and early confrontations with United Commonwealth troops quickly soured public support for the war.
The Royalists lost control over the House in 1867 when the Democratic-Republicans won a majority following a successful coalition-building campaign of disaffected farmers, urban workers, trade unionists, and Catholic immigrants. The Democratic-Republicans felt that the war was a distraction from Sierra's own national issues and threatened to dismantle the monarchy. They were led by the radical but charismatic republican Ulysses Perry. The Royalists focused on maintaining tight party control over its base in the cities, while it challenged Democratic-Republican legislation through litigation in the judicial system. Although the Democratic-Republicans continued the war effort in the East and won in 1868, their support lapsed and swayed back in favor to the Royalists. The Royalists were able to regain control over the House in 1872 for two years, but had to enter into a coalition government with the Federalists to maintain control. The coalition-building set a precedent in Sierran parliamentary politics, and would later be utilized in future governments.
The bitter rivalry between the Royalists and the Democratic-Republicans reached a turning point on February 14, 1874 when Perry was assassinated by unknown assailants shortly after Perry had secured his second government in the January 1874 elections. Democratic-Republicans quickly blamed Perry's death to the Royalists and the King, which led to a rapid deterioration in political stability for the nation. Civil war broke out within months of Perry's death when Senator Isaiah Landon called for an open armed rebellion against the Sierran government.
During the war, the national government remained under control of the Democratic-Republicans, though it was headed by its moderate leadership (which opposed Landon's rebellion). The Royalists entered into an informal wartime alliance with the Democratic-Republicans, seeking to address issues the party had ignored in its antebellum governments. The party allowed the Democratic-Republicans to pass modest labor reforms but dithered with their temporary allies' measures to limit the role of the Royal Family and peerage system.
After the war ended, the economy in northern Sierra had been devastated and commerce in the region's principal trading center, San Francisco City, had been brought to a practical standstill. Eager to pay off war debt, the Royalists under the leadership of wartime general John C. Frémont promised to switch from the gold standard to fiat money. It also pushed for more aggressive industrial development around Porciúncula. Economic recovery came quicker than expected and soon, tens of thousands of workers found jobs in Sierra's great railroad projects, which connected the Styxie and Southland, and Sierra with the rest of Anglo-America.
The party suffered from factionalism, which manifested itself along regional divide between the North and the South. Northern Royalists accused the dominant Southern Royalists of favoring industrial development in the South, while neglecting reconstruction efforts in the Northern cities. Among Northern Royalists, they were also divided between the dry-and-white faction (white pietist Protestants) and the wet-and-mixed faction (Catholics of all races and Asians) where racial and sectarian differences were especially poignant in the postwar communities.
While the South enjoyed economic boom, the lagging development in the North angered the Royalists and Democratic-Republicans there, allowing the Democratic-Republicans to win the 1881 general elections under Nicholas Calhoun. Democratic-Republican control over the House was short-lived however, as the nation experienced an acute depression which slowed down economic growth and infrastructural development. Frémont and the Royalists regained power in the 1882 election, following a successful merger with the Federalist Party. The Royalists became officially known as the Royalist and Federalist Party, which has continued into the current era.
During the Gilded Age, the Royalists maintained uninterrupted control over the House and the Senate between 1882 and 1901. The Royalists were able to point towards unprecedented economic recovery and political stability during the Gilded Age years. Urban areas continued to expand and new innovations in technology and business strengthened the Royalists' voter base. They also blamed the Democratic-Republicans for being responsible for the civil war and economic lull the nation endured as a result of the conflict. Immigration also increased substantially, particularly from Anglo-America and East Asia, where they came in search of bountiful job opportunities. Despite opulent wealth and growth, the Gilded Age was marred with poor social and working conditions for poor Sierrans, especially those in the cities. The Royalists opposed calls for anti-trust policies to break up industrial monopolies and improving labor rights.
Foreign policy-wise, the Royalists spent millions in investment to support its growing military and navy, as well as imperialist ventures across the Pacific. Acquisition of Hawaii and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands boosted national pride and introduced exotic luxuries to the Sierran marketplace. The Royalist governments were instrumental in solidifying Sierra's control over the Great Han Empire, which became known as the Sierran East Indies under eventual colonial rule.
Religious activism flourished during the Gilded Age and dominated the Royalists' social conservative factions. Pious Protestants rigorously campaigned for improving social conditions for workers, setting up public schools and orphanages, expanding pensions for the elderly, and opening charities for the needy. They also pushed for temperance and prohibitions against "moral vices" including gambling and prostitution, which had become a problem in Sierra's boom towns and inner cities. Large Protestant networks and organizations were able to mobilize members to go to the polls and support statesmen who reflected their beliefs. They were a major force behind keeping the Royalists in power, even when the Kingdom faced economic downturn during the Panic of 1893.
Towards the end of the 19th century, on the eve of the Sierran Cultural Revolution, the Royalists and Democratic-Republicans found themselves undergoing a political realignment. Conservative farmers looked increasingly towards the Royalists who promised sound money and opposition to the threat of "modernist values" that attracted the left to the Democratic-Republicans. The debate over monarchy between the parties also ended, when the Democratic-Republicans officially removed any negative references towards the monarchy on its 1901 electoral platform. Although political and cultural republicans continued siding with the Democratic-Republicans, this loss in anti-monarchist identity revealed the two parties aligning closer towards each other than either party were willing to admit. Benjamin D. Greene, a prominent Royalist politician of the time remarked, "No matter how the parties choose to align, there is one constant truth: the Jacobites will always be Royalists."
The Royalists entered the new century as the party for big business, and later came to also represent the interests of small businesses. They relied on the middle class, industries, finance, and railroads for support. The party continued to dominate the coastal urban cities, promising laissez-faire capitalism, high tariffs, moderate wages, and export-heavy trade. The party also supported open borders and unrestrained immigration, particularly from East Asia, as immigrants provided cheap labor that were willing to take on the various jobs businesses were offering in the cities. These policies angered Styxie farmers and workers, who were negatively affected by the trade barriers on imports and Asian competition. The Democratic-Republicans gained power in 1901 under the leadership of Robert Landon, the grandson of Isaiah Landon, who promised a turnaround on the various policies that had angered the yeoman class.
The Royalists faced internal crisis as an opposition party. White northerner Royalists began defecting towards the Democratic-Republicans, furthering the regional divide between the North and South, whilst the party wrangled between big business and the middle class in the South over issues emerging in the cities. Immigration from Anglo-America and Europe brought in more liturgical Catholics, who felt alienated by the Royalists' moralistic policies. The Irish, Germans, and later, the Italians, overwhelmingly backed the Democratic-Republicans and dominated organized labor in Sierra during the early 20th century.
In order to broaden support, the Royalists extended amicable support for the Asian Sierran community, which had typically aligned themselves with the Royalists. Second-generation Asians tended to become Protestants and were educated citizens who engaged mainly in small businesses and other ventures. Asian laborers also tended to vote Royalists, in part due to hostility faced by white Democratic-Republicans and nativists who discouraged Asian membership. Royalists also favored the progressives, a new class of Sierrans across partisan lines, who advocated for social reforms on improving living conditions (mostly in the cities) for Sierrans. Many progressives tended to fuse religious beliefs with faith, and thus progressive politics became co-opted with Royalist policies.
Landon himself was a progressive reformist. He and his faction within the Democratic-Republicans joined the Royalists in pursuing social and economic reforms they mutually desired. Landon hoped he would be able to bridge the divide between the working-class and urban middle-class. Landon also sought to outclass the Royalist establishment in their appeal to the emerging Asian vote by maintaining an open borders policy and striking down miscegenation laws. He emphasized his support for expanded civil liberties to ethnic minorities, and desired to form a pan-racial coalition united against Big Business. This competition and challenge over the progressives annoyed the Royalists, which accused the Democratic-Republicans as political opportunists and unfaithful to their ideologies.
The Royalists under Henry Gage took advantage of a split between progressive Democratic-Republicans and traditionalists in 1909. Henry Gage continued much of his predecessor's policies, earning ridicule by his peers for failing to make himself distinguishable from his opponent in office. When Gage attempted to pass a new tariff, emboldened Democratic-Republicans struck back and Landon regained control in 1912. The Royalists experienced another factional breakdown, with some Northern Royalists joining the Conservatives, and other middle-class Royalists joining the Democratic-Republicans. The party found itself increasingly losing influence over the cities to Democratic-Republicans. During World War I, the Royalists promoted neutrality, whilst the Democratic-Republicans wanted to intervene militarily.
Even when the Democratic-Republicans suffered its own split, this time with Hiram Johnson's Reformed Republican Party and their National Union/Know Nothing allies, the Royalists failed to acquire enough seats to regain control. Johnson had the support of nativists laborers, Styxie farmers, Northerner small business, and Catholic immigrants who were angered by the pro-immigration and Asian policies pushed by both the Royalists and Democratic-Republicans. They opposed the Sierran Cultural Revolution, which was already in full operational progress, and worked towards curbing Asian immigration and reversing the desegregationist policies of the progressives.
The Royalists and Democratic-Republicans worked together in ousting Johnson from the House, fearing his policies would disrupt national order and economy. They accused him of reactionary radicalism, and successfully applied enough pressure to allow the Democratic-Republicans to regain control in 1921. The rare coalition between the Democratic-Republicans and Royalists was dubbed the first "National Government" of its kind. Led by Democratic-Republican Phillip Judd, the coalition lasted for three years, during which the coalition was able to reverse Johnson's policies.
After the Reformed Republicans regained power a second time with its own coalition, the Democratic-Republican establishment tried to compromise, which caused the National coalition to collapse. The Democratic-Republican establishment's renewed skepticism of the Revolution alienated progressives, allowing the Royalists to win the 1924 elections with Earle Coburn. Coburn's government experienced a time of economic prosperity, but continued to face conflict with the Democratic-Republicans, who maintained control over the Senate. Despite presiding over favorable national conditions, Coburn and the Royalists were ousted in 1927 by Mexican-Sierran Poncio Salinas, who led a reconciled coalition fostered between the Democratic-Republicans and Reformed Republicans. As a Hispanic, Salinas was ambivalent towards the Revolution, and directed his attention towards economic policies. Salinas maintained support when the Great Depression hit in 1929, and introduced numerous government relief programs, long-term structural reforms, and tighter economic regulations. The event signaled in a shift towards the modern welfare state, which undermined the Royalists' traditional ideology.
Royalists became known as "conservatives" whereas Democratic-Republicans became known as "liberals". Conservative Democratic-Republicans were outraged in the apparent shift towards the economic left, especially over the issue of higher taxation, with many defecting to the Royalists, allowing the Royalists to make a comeback in power in 1934 under Christopher Roux. Roux and the Royalists attempted to overturn Salinas' various policies, while they introduced the National Identification Card and Sierran Hanzi system to strengthen Revolution ideas.
Nostalgia for Salinas' policies and a reinvigorated working class led to a restoration of the Democratic-Republicans over House and Senate control in 1939. Salinas' "National Project" policies accelerated the development of the Sierran welfare state, which passed with ease in the Democratic-Republican-controlled Parliament. Although the Royalists were able to secure majorities in select provinces, they were unable to attain a national majority in the Parliament. They remained in the opposition well into the 1940s, as Salinas entered World War II as a wartime prime minister.
Royalists were initially divided on the issue of World War II. Internationalists wanted to support Britain and France, while isolationists insisted that Sierra's best interests were to avoid any conflict, while maintaining neutral trade with trading partners on both sides. The conservative Royalists and Democratic-Republicans continued to chide Salinas and his liberal faction for causing a spending deficit and overtaxing the middle class. Liberal Royalists on the other hand, supported Salinas' policies, much to derision of the Royalist establishment.
The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor put to rest the debate between intervention and isolation. Sierrans across partisan lines were outraged by the attack and demanded war. Royalists followed Democratic-Republicans in jointly declaring war against the Axis Powers alongside the rest of Anglo-America. Salinas assembled a special war government that formed a coalition of every party in the House, committed entirely to the war effort. Industry and commerce was reoriented to war production and conscription was introduced for all able-bodied males between the ages of 17 and 35.
World War II played a drastic change in Sierra economically, politically, and culturally. The nation emerged from the war victorious and prosperous, as it won the war without any attacks against its homeland whilst its war economy generated a period of revitalization that lifted Sierrans out of economic depression. The Royalists had aligned itself further to the right economically as it shed its progressive legacy, all the while firmly cementing itself as the party of the Revolution and Sierran humanism. The new establishment opposed the economic policies of the Democratic-Republicans and other liberals, which they perceived as severe intrusions on civil liberties and free markets.
The Royalists gained control over the House in 1947 after 8 years of Democratic-Republican control under Sierra's first Asian prime minister, Franklin Tan. Tan's election represented the maturity and conclusion of the Sierran Cultural Revolution, and the new society Sierra had become after decades in the making. Tan drew support from the Asian and Hapa communities, industry, small businesses, Christian ministers, war veterans, moderates, and social conservatives. The Royalists were energized by his effective leadership, and followed him as he scaled back the policies of his Democratic-Republican predecessors.
The start of the Cold War reflected a shift in Royalist foreign policy. Hoping to maintain territorial integrity, Tan and House Royalists spearheaded the development of the 1950 Charter, which elevated the territories of Hawaii and the Deseret to constituent countries, on equal standing with Sierra. The Royalists started a long-lasting relationship with The Church of Latter-day Saints, the Deseret's de facto government body, with the latter officially endorsing the Royalists as the official party for its Sierran believers. In Europe, Tan continued funding the Marshall Plan and supported Sierra's entry into the League of Nations.
Fear over the nuclear war and Soviet invasion pervaded Sierran society. In the Second Red Scare, Royalist Senators Barry Auliff and Jack Case started a demagogic anti-communist campaign against "communist threats" both real and perceived, and led an open war against all levels of governments. People deemed to express radical political thought were tried for sedition and treason, and led to the imprisonment or deportation of thousands of Sierrans. Hollywood, which was on the rise as a cultural and economic force, became the area of much attention for Red Scare participants.
Towards the later years of Tan's government, the Interprovincial Highway System started development and Social Security was expanded to support pensioners. Tan also increased military spending, and led Sierra to victory in the Korean War. Despite these achievements, Tan abruptly resigned in 1955, following accusations made against his government for covering up the Great Basin controversy, a hot-button issue that stirred up Sierran opinion on the state in general. Mistrust in the Royalists over government transparency and accountability allowed the Democratic-Republicans to gain briefly regain control once more in 1955.
The stalemated government under Democratic-Republican Faulkner and a Royalist-controlled Senate allowed the Royalists to acquire control in the House in 1959 through a coalition government with the National Union and Constitution Parties. Alfred von Schliefen became the prime minister and distinguished himself as an eloquent and rational statesman. With a background in education, Von Schliefen directed funds towards science and higher education. He oversaw the creation of the Royal Aeronautics and Aerospace Administration (R3A) and started a space war with the Soviet Union and Brazoria. He was a continentalist, favoring closer relations with Sierra's Anglo-American neighbors, especially the United Commonwealth. As a moderate Royalist, he embraced some of Salinas' legacy programs and increased funding towards them, angering the Royalists' conservative wing.
Conservatives grew increasingly worried that the Royalists' economic policies were shifting leftwards due to the rising power of the moderate Royalists. The party fractured in 1965 between the moderate establishment and the conservatives, thus allowing the liberal Democratic-Republican Earl Warren and his party to sweep over a majority of seats in the House. The political loss forced the establishment to renege on its trajectory towards the left, which updated its party platform in 1967 to reaffirm its commitment to conservative principles, and attracted several right-wing populists at the provincial level. Conservatives rallied behind Kovrov Stoyanovich, whose hardline approach towards communism, seasoned experience in foreign and military power during the Von Schliefen and Warren governments, and promises on limited government allowed him and the Royalists to obtain power in 1969.
Stoyanovich's tenure was short-lived after he found himself embroiled in an embezzlement scandal. The Royalists elected party favorite Walter Zhou as his successor, who worked to repair public trust in the government. He continued the war effort in South Vietnam and hardened government response to The Disturbances in the Styxie. He and his loyalists opposed measures to legalize abortions and recreational marijuana, and passed a series of religious freedom laws designed to satisfy the Royalists' evangelical vote. Although Zhou promised tax cuts under his government, he made modest tax hikes as he increased spending in defense while decreasing spending in education and welfare. These austerity measures, along with the economic recession that followed the 1973 oil crisis made Zhou and the Royalists highly unpopular. The party lost control over the House to the Democratic-Republicans' Kirk Siskind in 1975, which marked the beginning of a 11-year leadership drought for the Royalists as the party of the opposition.
Siskind and his party proved to be highly popular, with the Royalists unsuccessfully trying to gain control over the Senate on two separate elections (1974 and 1976). The Democratic-Republicans' legislation passed seamlessly into law as the welfare state grew substantially. Royalists still held power in several provinces, namely the Inland Empire and Orange, where they were able to weather the rapid changes the federal government was undertaking. Unionization increased under Siskind's economic plan and Democratic-Republican populism took away Royalist voters from key bases. Inflation and unemployment fell, and the Democratic-Republicans produced a budget surplus for the first time in decades, which further prevented Royalist revival in the House.
Gradually, support for the Democratic-Republicans waned and conservative Royalists were able to regain relevance towards the end of Democratic-Republican Mitchell Ford's tenure. The Democratic-Republicans' spending had quadrupled the national debt and a market crash in 1981 had forced Ford to take austerity measures and tightened monetary policies, which exasperated rising unemployment rates. Royalist leader Ted Brundy gained power in 1986, promising to balance the national budget whilst providing relief for the working and middle class. Brundy worked on reducing inflation and poured millions of dollars in a stimulus to protect the automobile and agriculture industries. He also rolled back on austerity measures, by introducing a series of moderate tax cuts, and abolishing the federal sales tax. Brundy also lifted regulations for numerous industries, particularly in banking and finance, encouraging higher investment returns and gains.
The Royalists lost sway over the House in 1992 as the Democratic-Republicans began moving rightwards in economic policy. Melinda Peters became the first female Sierran prime minister and labeled herself and her party as the "New Liberals". Embracing both social liberalism and fiscal conservatism, Peters was able to amass a broad coalition of voters from both sides of the spectrum, displacing the Royalists' grip in Parliament. The Royalists continued to hold a majority of seats in the Senate however, and thus shifted its strategy towards moderating Peters' policies and enacting welfare reform. Both parties entered into an agreement to respect the neoliberal policies set in place by Brundy, and were committed towards a bipartisan approach towards balanced spending and taxation. While the parties continued to dispute social changes, the Royalists were able to coax Peters and her party to compromise on various economic plans, namely on limiting the extent of social welfare. During the Peters government, spending on defense went down substantially, in light of the post-Cold War environment, while Sierra moved towards further integration with the Conference of American States, a move many Royalists opposed.
Peters and her Democratic-Republican peers' desire to join the Conference and expand social liberties led to a breakdown to the bipartisan cooperation between the House dominant parties. The Democratic-Republicans entered a new coalition (the Progressive coalition) with the Social Democrats and Greens, and shifted leftwards accordingly, reneging on previous economic reforms made with the Royalists. This political switch-up prompted Royalists to enter a coalition with the Libertarians and other right-wing parties. The newly formed Conservative coalition as a counter to the Progressives marked the start of a new political era of coalition-building that continues into the current years.
The Royalist-led Conservative coalition were finally able to take control of the House in 2000, with the election of Matthew Braggs. Braggs was a moderate neoconservative who vowed to uphold the economic policies set by Brundy and Peters in her earlier years. Although he did not support further integration into the Conference of American States, he supported free trade and limited agreement to some of the Conference's agreements. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, Braggs' popularity rose as he called a nearly unanimous Parliament to declare war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. His hawkish war policy, desire to introduce mass surveillance to combat terrorism, and support for wartime torture alienated moderate Royalists and Libertarian allies, who threatened to withdraw support. Braggs resigned in 2004, heeding way to his more moderate successor, Diana Jeong.
Jeong sought to soften the party's image as a hardline conservative party and more as a big tent party to attract socially liberal voters. She faced opposition from her neoconservative peers who wanted her to maintain a firm, assertive foreign policy, though she continued to apply military pressure in the Middle East where Sierra was engaged. She expressed soft Ameroskeptic beliefs, preferring reform from within the Conference rather than outright withdrawal from the organization as harder Ameroskeptics within the party desired. Economically, she rolled out modest tax cuts for the wealthy and middle class, and pushed for tax reform. She overhauled what she criticized as "bloated bureaucracy" in the Sierran government, and her party withheld funds from "non-essential programs", most notably from the National Surveyors' Corps. Jeong also oversaw the 2006 Health and Human Service Act, which made significant structural changes to the federal healthcare insurance system, transferring and delegating a more substantial portion of funding responsibility to the provinces.
In 2008, Jeong wanted more seats in the House to ensure legislation could pass with ease, and was hopeful the upcoming Senate elections would produce a friendlier conservative Senate. Early polls indicated that party approval hovered roughly around 55%, and conservatives were receptive towards her policies. She officially called for elections on February 2008 three months ahead, but in January, support for the Royalists had dipped among working-class voters in the Styxie. The Royalists overestimated their popularity among such key voters and lost enough seats to give the Democratic-Republicans control of the House to Steven Hong.
The Royalists strongly opposed Steven Hong's early economic stimulus proposals and tax hikes. When the market crashed in late 2008, the Democratic-Republicans laid the blame on Royalist policies for encouraging risky investment and reckless speculation in the housing market. Despite the party's unified opposition to Hong, who feared he and the Democratic-Republicans would revive Siskind-era social democratic policies, the party suffered a factional crisis between the party establishment and an emergent populist movement. Hardline populists benefited from independent grassroots organizations that competed against party establishment favorites at the local and provincial levels. There was also controversy over social issues, particularly on the matter of same-sex marriage, drug policy, and the role of religion in politics. Younger Royalists were more socially liberal than their older counterparts, which reflected a generational dissonance within the party that had been committed to preserving Sierra's traditional values system.
Following the assassination of Steven Hong which occurred a month before scheduled elections in October 2016, the Royalists clinched a majority of seats in both houses for the first time in nearly a decade with Daniel McComb. McComb, a Styxie Royalist, campaigned with a promise to strengthen Sierra's internal security and to crackdown on illegal immigration. McComb and the Royalists proposed temporary tax hikes for the wealthy and increased spending following the disastrous 2017 Pawnee earthquake, which affected much of Southern Sierra, including the capital city of Porciúncula. He sponsored a bipartisan nationwide public housing project to help displaced families and provided minor tax credits to the middle class and working class. He requested over $125 billion in emergency funds to support reconstruction efforts and proposed a new plan to lower the cost of earthquake insurance for the millions of uninsured families. McComb backed a controversial measure to increase public tuition in the University of Sierra and Sierra National University systems, which triggered nationwide student protests against McComb and the universities.
In October 2017, numerous former associates of McComb came out accusing the prime minister of sexual abuse and rape, which was a public relations bombshell for the Royalists. The party quickly disavowed McComb when additional allegations were made, and prompted him to resign, which he did on October 3. His deputy, Leslie Steele, became prime minister but stated that she would be stepping down in part to embarrassment related to the scandal and her connection to McComb as his former peer. The Royalists then called for a special leadership election to select a new prime minister based on the 2016 popular mandate on October 18. Nemesis Heartwell, MP from South Greater Bernheim a rising figure in the party, was elected and was promptly given a seat in House to assume her role.
Name and symbol
The party's founding members selected the name "Royalists" to distinguish themselves from the Democratic-Republicans as the defenders of the new Kingdom and the monarchy. The Royalists identified themselves as the party of the Monarchist delegates who successfully steered the 1857 Californian Constitutional Convention towards a constitutional monarchy. Monarchism became a popular alternative to Anglo-American republicanism during the 1850s. Monarchies were viewed as stabilizing institutions which could bring forth order and stability. California, which operated under a republican form of government at the time, faced corruption, crime, and government inefficiency. Elected officials seldom attended important meetings and the president often neglected his administrative duties. Monarchists proposed adopting a Westminster-style of government which would derive its legitimacy from a moral, impartial monarchy which could intervene when democracy devolved into much-feared "mobocracy".
Charles Miller, who served as the president of the Constitutional Convention, was a direct descendant of James II of Scotland, who was the last Stuart king recognized by the Jacobites as the legitimate ruling monarch of the British Isles. Miller's popularity among both the American Jacobites and non-Jacobites, alongside his known royal heritage made him the prime candidate to becoming Sierra's monarch. Some members initially favored the name "Monarchist", which would accurately describe the party's fundamental ideology. However, others felt the name was too clinical whereupon "Royalist" was regarded as more "elegant" and reflective of Californian monarchists wanting, "not just a monarch who could be of any stock, but a true royal with heritage to be proud of" as the Royalist orator Wilbur Shanks described it. The name "Royalist" thus reflected the Jacobites' view at the time that Miller (later known as Charles I as king), by virtue of being a Stuart descendant, was an actual person of royal blood and was the rightful king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Supporters for the Sierran monarchy thus indirectly backed the Jacobite belief and cause that Charles I was also the monarch of such British realms.
Since 1882, the official name of the party has been the "Royalist and Federalist Party", following the merger between the party and the Federalists. The Federalists were another pro-business party that favored federalism and centralization. The Federalists were generally ambivalent towards the issue of monarchism versus republicanism, and were more concerned about the scope of government, rather than its form. The two parties had a history of voting together in the years leading up to their merger. They formally entered into the merging process in 1881 where they discussed key issues where they agreed and disagreed. Although the official name has never been dropped, the Royalist and Federalist Party continued to be informally known as simply the "Royalists" or "Royals". Rarely, the party has been called the "Roy Feds".
The traditional symbol of the party is the White Rose of York, a heraldic rose associated with the English House of York and the Jacobites (supporters of the House of Stuart, the last royal house of Britain). The link between the Royalists and the white rose stems from the fact that because the members of the Sierran House of Columbia itself are the direct descendants of the House of Stuart, the Royalists' support for Charles I mirrored that of the Jacobites who supported Bonnie Prince Charles. This connection first made prior to Smith's ascension led to the adoption of the rose by monarchist supporters, eventually becoming incorporated into the party itself by 1860.
Since at least 1996, the color purple became readily associated with the Royalist Party. Having long been a symbol of royalty in general, the color was used by all major broadcast networks on the 1996 election night to indicate Royalist wins (likewise, light blue was used for the Democratic-Republicans and yellow for the Libertarians).
Ideology and political positions
The party has traditionally been closely linked with Sierran conservatism and monarchism. It traces its origins back to British Toryism and Anglo-American Whiggism. At its inception, the party was particularly attractive to peoples of the professional and business classes, and held sweeping majorities across Sierra's coastal cities and towns. Largely aristocratic in nature, the Royalists was perceived as the party of the middle-class and the landed gentry, who directly benefited from the Sierran structure of government, of which the nation's constitution enshrined, and its institutions favored. For this reason, the Royalists defended the political status quo of the country. The Royalists championed the institution of monarchy because the House of Columbia had fostered extensive ties with businesses, and even provided political favors to some of the wealthiest entrepreneurs with noble titles and lands. The Royalists also supported the monarchy because of the mild-mannered tolerance of King Charles I, who was already well-known and liked prior to his ascension while he was still a civilian. While Sierra was divided by sectarianism, the Royalists, though openly and vehemently supporting a Catholic monarchy, relied on a strong following of pietist Protestants.
Today, the party includes social conservatives, economic liberals, fiscal conservatives, paleoconservatives, neoconservatives, moderates, libertarians, and the religious right. The mainstream ideological current dominating the Royalist establishment today is a synthesis of economic liberalism and social conservatism.
Royalists are generally in consensus that economic prosperity is best achieved through free markets and individual achievement, preferably in the context of a fiscal conservatism. For this reason, most Royalists support deregulating economic policies, reducing taxes and reforming the tax code, and limiting or reducing government welfare in favor of the private sector handling the economically disadvantaged. Support for supply side economics stems from belief that lowered income tax leads to increases in GDP growth, and thus tax revenue for the government in subsequent years.
Royalists generally oppose the idea of a federalized single-payer health care system, preferring instead the current system of partially public funded healthcare at the provincial level (with services handled by the private sector). They also support a reduction in funding towards many existing welfare programs such as Social Security and food stamps. Party members also tend to oppose raising the minimum wage, believing such increases hurt both businesses and workers alike as a result of higher costs and reduced opportunities. Royalists have traditionally opposed labor unions, especially those in the public sector, and have historically limited the powers of unions.
Throughout the years, the Royalists' trade policy has shifted between protectionism and free trade. During the formative years of Sierra, the Royalists supported tariffs to shield Sierran industry from foreign markets. This policy of protectionism persisted into the early 20th century, until the party began embracing trade liberalization and subsequent globalization efforts. It openly backed free trade agreements with key allies during the Cold War while the party embraced full-fledged neoliberalism. In 2017, polls have indicated a majority of Royalist voters now support some degree of protectionism, a view espoused by recent Royalist populist figures.
Most Royalists oppose gun control, including bans on assault weapons and background checks. The party is generally split on the issue of the death penalty and drug policy although Establishment Royalists support retaining the death penalty and oppose legalizing marijuana and other drugs.
Royalists tend to be strict constitutionalists, and support a government with a limited scope of power and responsibility. In general, Royalists support the preservation of the monarchy, or are indifferent to its existence. A small republican minority within the Royalist Party advocates the abolition of the monarchy.
Social issues and civil rights
Traditionally, Royalists oppose same-sex marriages, although in recent years, the party base has gradually shifted towards in favor of it. The 2012 Royalist platform continued to oppose same-sex marriages, but supported civil unions as a viable alternative. The majority of Royalists oppose abortion (pro-life), although there is more variation on views towards other forms of birth control and contraceptives.
Royalists generally oppose affirmative action, and support voter ID laws. During the Sierran Cultural Revolution, the Royalist Party was largely silent on expanding civil rights for ethnic minorities but grew to embrace it following the 1930s. Although the Royalist Party supports multiculturalism, most Royalists believe in curtailing the influx of immigration.
Foreign policy issues
On foreign policy, the party has generally favored views of a proactive role in the international community and a strong defense akin to neoconservatives. Royalists support maintaining strong relations with the United Commonwealth, Brazoria, Rainier, and other members of the Conference of American States. It is also supportive of amicable relations with the member-states of the Trans-Pacific Allied Community, and are generally skeptical of the League of Nations. Historically, Royalists were divided between American continentalism and Pacificism, the former being closer ties with Anglo-America, while the latter a more broadly international-based foreign policy (namely in Asia).
Royalists are mainly Ameroskeptic towards the Conference of American States, and are divided into two camps: "soft" Ameroskepticism and "hard" Ameroskepticism. Soft Ameroskeptics oppose further integration into the Conference, but accept Sierra's current membership within the Conference and St. Louis Area. They assert that reform can be achieved through the Conference itself and through cooperation on issues where Sierra and the Conference differ. Hard Ameroskeptics reject the Conference in its entirety and support Sierra's complete withdrawal from the Conference and all of its agreements.
Many Royalists strongly support pro-Israel policies, and do not or would not recognize Palestine as an independent state. In general, Royalists support a comprehensive policy in the Middle East focused on combating terrorism and "exporting democracy" in countries such as Iraq. In addition, the establishment Royalist Party supports a more assertive role of Sierra in the Asia-Pacific region in conjunction with the United States, which entails a hardline approach against China and Russia. Foreign aid is another field Royalists are divided on. Neoconservatives generally believe that economic development and humanitarian aid will be mutually beneficial for Sierra and the receiving state. Paleoconservatives, libertarians, and right-wing populists have expressed skepticism on foreign aid.
The Royalist National Convention is responsible for organizing and fundraising all of its candidates' electoral campaigns and coordinating other party-wide activities and events. The chair of the National Convention is chosen by the Prime Minister when the Royalists are in government and by the Party's provincial committees when the Royalists are in the opposition. The chair is responsible for managing the party's daily operations and promoting the party's ideology, values, and politicians. The Royalists convene together twice a year, once in April and the other in October, to review the party's platform, goals, and strategies.
Citizens from the general public can join the party through listing the Royalists as their party affiliation on voter registries. Party members must pay annual fees and dues in order to participate in certain party functions and activities such as electing local chairmen or endorsing certain candidates. The party is divided into affiliated parties at the provincial level, which are further divided into local chapters which usually correspond to the counties. In the Deseret, the Royalists are known as the Popular Action Party. In Hawaii, the Royalists have their own affiliates in each of Hawaii's seven states and are all organized as the Royalist Conference of Hawaii.
- Reduce the size of the welfare state
- Opposition to single-payer health care and universal healthcare
- Decrease taxes among the wealthy and middle class
- Support for supply side economics
- Reform social security and pension system
- Support for right to work and opposition to public labor unions
- Repeal unnecessary environmental regulations
- Increase spending in military funding
- Oppose same-sex marriages; favors civil unions as an alternative
- Preservation of traditional Sierran values
- Opposition to the legalization of marijuana and other drugs
- Support for gun rights and oppose background checks
- Promoting greater government transparency
- Increase foreign aid to Sierran interests
- Maintenance of strong relations with the United Commonwealth
- Refuse to recognize relations with repressive regimes
- Support for Israel
- Prevent Iran from developing nuclear technology via enforcement of embargo
- Punish and apprehend terrorists with exemption from normal Sierran judicial law
- Support for the use of enhanced interrogation techniques
The contemporary Royalist Party voter base consists primarily of groups such as middle-class white and Asian Sierrans, suburban and rural residents, Protestants, military veterans, business professionals, the elderly, the wealthy, and citizens living in the inland provinces.
Historically, the Royalist Party drew its support from whites in the middle class and the wealthy living in urban communities along the coast. Attracting members of Sierra's business owners and merchants, the Royalists continued to receive support in urban communities and almost none in rural areas until the 1930s. Following its reformed policies and opposition to an expanding government, the party's base shifted from its traditional urban base to rural communities (which had traditionally been Democratic-Republican). In addition, the party began receiving support from non-white citizens, mostly Asian Sierrans. Up until the September 11 attacks, support for the party from Arab and Muslim Sierrans was strong. Since the party's aggressive stance on Iraq and Afghanistan, and stronger emphasis on its support for Israel, support from this base has sharply declined. Some Royalist politicians and candidates have also alienated this base due to their anti-Muslim slant and rhetoric.
The social conservative wing in the Royalist Party is among the party's most influential and largest. In general, social conservatives are against abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, government-funded birth control, and gun control. Social conservatives also tend to oppose the legalization of marijuana and other drugs. Some social conservatives have taken even more extreme views, advocating the criminalization of alcohol and pornography. The faction also advocates for school-led prayer and increased involvement and influence of religion in welfare and education. In addition, many social conservatives support a stronger defense and law enforcement, and fiercely supportive of the Sierra-Israel alliance.
Prominent organizations tied to Royalist social conservatism include the Sierran Alliance of Conservative Advocates (SACA), National Institute for Prosperity & Peace (NIPP), and the Pro-Family Organization of Sierrans (PFOS).
Paleoconservatives share similar views on social issues with social conservatives but differ in supporting a noninterventionist foreign policy and protectionist economic policy. In addition, paleoconservatives are skeptical of Sierra's multiculutralism, and oppose both affirmative action and illegal immigration, along with calling for tighter restrictions on legal immigration and border security.
Neoconservatives have been very influential in shaping the contemporary foreign policy of the Royalist Party. As opposed to paleoconservatives, neoconservatives advocate an interventionist foreign policy that includes "nation-building", a stronger alliance with Anglo-American countries and the Trans-Pacific Allied Community and an active presence in the Middle East and other regions. Compared to other Royalists, neoconservatives' stance on economic policy is much more moderate.
Prominent neoconservative organizations include the Perris Institute, the Worldwide Freedom Organization (WFO), the Society of Freedom and Progress (SFP), and the Council of Pacific-Atlantic Affairs (CPAA).
The libertarian wing of the Royalist Party has declined in recent years, hugely in part due to the rise of the Libertarian Party which first gained substantive clout in the 1990s. Libertarian-leaning members continue to have some influence in the Party, and some have been elected into office. Libertarians oppose government overspending, taxes, regulations, and gun control, but support a more extreme free market and more critical of military spending than other Royalists.
In addition, Libertarian Royalists differ from most Royalists on social issues due to their support for same-sex marriage, the abolition of the death penalty, and the decriminalization of marijuana and other drugs. Libertarian Royalists tend to be divided on the issue of abortion with some believing it to be a personal freedom issue (pro-choice), and others as a violation of the non-aggression principle (pro-life).
Libertarian Royalists are also noninterventionist with regard to foreign policy, and support shrinking the size of Sierra's military and defense. Libertarian Royalists are also strong advocate for privacy, including their opposition to laws designed to combat terrorism allowing the government to search through citizens' private records and data without their consent.
Moderate Royalists are diversified, with some being fiscally conservative and others, moderate with regards to economic policy. Likewise, moderates may hold socially moderate or even socially liberal views compared to mainstream Royalists. Although moderates may share similar views on lowering taxes, deregulating industries, and reforming welfare, moderates may differ on the issues of same-sex marriage, drug policy, gun control, and the environment. Most moderates tend to be less hawkish than neoconservatives, although are usually not isolationists or noninterventionists. Generally, moderates support Sierra's alliance with the Conference of American States and TPAC although desires to place greater emphasis on economic relations, rather than military relations. Some moderates may support deficit spending while others are against it.
The Christian right has become an increasingly influential and consistent base for the Royalist Party. Although closely linked with social conservatives and traditionalists, the Christian right typically encompasses conservative Christians (mostly evangelical Protestants) who prioritize incorporating their understanding of Christianity into Sierran politics and policies. Few even advocate a form of dominionism. The modern Christian right movement appeared during the 1970s and have remained a potent force in the party ever since then.
Republican Royalists consist mainly of former Democratic-Republican voters from the Styxie who came to accept the Royalist Party after perceiving the Democratic-Republican as now too socially liberal. Republicans are primarily white Styxers who have conformed with the party's ideological stances, yet continue to oppose the monarchy, a deeply entrenched view held by many in the region due to tradition and history. A minority of Republicans are those who oppose the monarchy on ideological grounds, irrespective if they have Styxer heritage, yet support most if not all of the rest of the Royalists' positions. Republicans are generally the most socially conservative of Royalists, but tend to be more moderate on economic policies.
The New Right Caucus is a faction of the Royalist Party that claims to be in between mainstream conservatism and the extremism of the Alt-Right. Also known as the Alt-Light, the New Right Royalists support free market economic policies and seek as little economic regulation as much as possible. They also support easing restrictions on the monarch's powers and support the monarchy playing a bigger role in politics beyond being a figurehead and a symbol. The New Right seeks to limit the size and role of the Sierran government and resist progressive policies in the country claiming that they've done extensive "moral and economic damage" towards Sierran society. The New Right first emerged in 2017 following the election Nemesis Heartwell, though began earlier in 2016 as a result of Daniel McComb's election as prime minister.
The Alt-Right caucus consists of Royalist Party officials who are part of the Alt-right and often branded as the extremist wing of the party. Alt-right Royalists call for intensive crackdown on immigration, forced deportations of undocumented immigrants, and restrictions on legal immigration based upon region and even race in some cases. Alt-Right Royalists are opposed to globalization and seek to establish a more self-sufficient society where Sierra itself is able to govern without outside help and seeks to exit from the CAS. The caucus itself is small and the most recent faction of the Royalist Party, but has been growing in slowly since 2017 following Heartwell's election to power. Alt-Right Royalists are also known for supporting radical monarchists in the Styxie and cracking down on republicanism in the country.