New Ulster Democratic Party
|Deputy Leader||Eloise Penner|
|Founded||19 August 2021|
|Newspaper||The NU Democrat|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|House of Assembly|
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The New Ulster Democratic Party (NUDP) is a centrist, liberal political party in New Ulster. It is New Ulster's first and oldest political party, founded on 19 August 2021 during the campaign period of the 2021 general election. After winning 2 of 7 seats in the House of Assembly at that election, the party initially formed the Official Opposition. However, after two independent MPs crossed the floor—dubbed the "floor crossing controversy"—the party obtained a majority in the House and replaced the Liberal Conservative Party as the government and NUDP leader Stephen Cameron replacing Ethan McAllister as Premier on 16 November 2021.
Following its loss at the 2022 Kennebecasis—Quispamsis by-election, the NUDP was reduced to 3 of the 7 seats in the House and, as such, lost its majority. Cameron announced his resignation as Prime Minister on October 18 and was replaced by Ethan McAllister on October 20.
The New Ulster Democratic Party was founded by Stephen Cameron and Eloise Penner on August 19, 2021, two days after the calling of the 2021 general election. Cameron took on the position of party leader with Penner serving as deputy leader. The founding of the party was criticized in some quarters because of a pre-existing gentlemen’s agreement between New Ulster founders—Cameron and McAllister—to keep politics in New Ulster non-partisan. However, Cameron maintains that such an agreement was only have been intended to be in place until the first election was called; a position refuted by McAllister. In response, then Premier McAllister founded the Liberal Conservative Party; generally considered nowadays to the main rival of the NUDP.
The party was generally considered to have fallen short of expectations at the election, winning 2 of the 7 seats in the House. Cameron, therefore, remained in situ as Leader of the Opposition with the Liberal Conservative Party forming a minority government. Despite this, on occasion the NUDP worked with the LCP minority to pass legislation such as the Diplomatic Relations Act.
Floor crossing controversy
On 17 October, independent MP Autumn Hunter—then serving as Speaker of the House of Assembly—announced, to much outcry, that she was crossing the floor to join the NUDP. There were calls from the LibCon minority government for the Speaker to resign, citing the politicization of an otherwise politically neutral office. Cameron as NUDP leader stated that Hunter had his full support as Speaker and he would not pressure her to resign. This was followed four weeks later on 15 November, by the sole remaining independent MP, Clara Hennigan, also crossing the floor to join Cameron’s Democratic Party. Cameron continuously denies he or his deputy Penner ever trying to pressure or persuade Hunter or Hennigan to join his party.
Hennigan’s defection to the NUDP gave it 4 of the 7 seats in the House and, thus, a majority. As a result, the minority government of Ethan McAllister collapsed and on November 16, he formally resigned as Premier. Although it was within his discretion to call a second election, all sides of the House expressed a reluctance to fight a second election in just 4 months. Therefore, McAllister "gave way" to Cameron who was appointed Premier by Governor Sir Geoffrey Marsden the same day. This makes Cameron the first premier to lead a majority government in New Ulster.
The NUDP describes itself as "centrist and sensible". It is considered more socially liberal than the Liberal Conservative Party and economically further to the left.
The NUDP generally favours less barriers to citizenship. While it supports a basic level of activity and contribution, it nevertheless supports the idea of non-residents being able to become citizens of New Ulster and supports what it terms "overseas citizenship" to allow other micronationalists to join New Ulster society and politics.
A key policy of the party is electoral reform. Indeed, it was the first policy the party committed itself to. The party supports New Ulster replacing the current plurality at large method of election with the single transferable vote method. Premier Cameron announced there will be a referendum on the voting system "sometime in spring 2022".
The party is also particularly focussed on fostering and developing a local culture which the NUDP believes is "one of the strongest routes to genuine nationhood".
Deputy leader Eloise Penner describes the NUDP’s foreign policy as "open-minded" and rejects the so called McAllister—De Koning Doctrine which applies a more selective foreign policy.
The party generally does not support "monetizing" New Ulster and "sees no need" to create and grow an economy. Nevertheless, upon becoming premier, Stephen Cameron said his government would "consider carrying forward" his predecessor’s plan to establish the New Ulster pound as the country’s currency.
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Leadership and organization
The Executive Committee is the party's governing body, setting the policies and overall direction of the party. It consists of the Party Leader, the Deputy Party Leader, and the Party President. The members are individually elected by the ranked choice voting method. The leader and deputy leader are elected whenever a vacancy arises while the party president, who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the party and its members, is elected for a 6-month term that is renewable once at each biannual party convention. The party conventions are held on the third full weekend of February and August. If there is only a single candidate for a given office, that candidate is deemed automatically elected and no vote is held. This was the case for party leader and deputy party leader at the party's founding in 2021. The position of party president was contested, however.
Members of the Executive Committee can be removed from office at any time via what is effectively a recall election or constructive vote of no confidence. The system was the idea of party co-founder Penner who took into account the likely small size of the party. Under the system, a given officeholder can only be removed from office if there is an alternative candidate to replace them. For example, to remove the incumbent party leader, a motion of no confidence must offer an alternative party leader. Such a motion must be supported by 40% of the party. Once the party president validates the motion has attained the required support, it is put to the party members. If an absolute majority of all the members (i.e. 50% +1 vote) support the motion removing the incumbent Executive Committee officeholder and replacing them with the proposed alternative, then the Executive Committee member is formally removed and the alternative candidate takes office.
List of Executive Committee members
|Leader||Deputy Leader||Party President|
|No.||Image||Name||Term of office||No.||Image||Name||Term of office||No.||Image||Name||Term of office|
|1||The Right Honourable
|August 19, 2021
|1||The Right Honourable
|August 19, 2021
|1||Deb Serjeant||August 19, 2021|