Adam I, Editor
EDGBASTON – Members of Adammia’s Liberal and Moderate parties shall be voting today on whether or not they shall merge into the proposed new Liberal-Moderate Party. A special Liberal Conference has been convened via Facebook which is currently debating the merger. The Emperor, as President of the Liberal Party, is expected to make an address in favour of the proposal at around 2pm; there will no doubt be speculation as to whether Sir Callum Gurr, who resigned from the Cabinet last week in protest at the proposal, will speak against it today. The party is expected to move to a vote at around 4:30pm. Besides the Emperor and Gurr, the voting intentions of key Liberal figures is still unknown, including the party leader Lord General Panconi, who has been quiet on the issue.
Meanwhile, ballots have been sent out to Moderate Party members across the Empire in the past few minutes. The first few votes have already been returned, and early indications are that it is likely the Moderates will back the proposal. Former Moderate leader, and Adammia’s first ever Prime Minister, Emperor Mother Jayne, has endorsed the merger.
More news will follow throughout the day.
SERKATIA – The Emperor, in his capacity as President of the Liberal Party, has just delivered this address to the special conference:
The reasons why this merger should go ahead are simple. The Liberal and Moderate parties now occupy almost identical ideological ground. Under Lord Helliker, the Moderates have become more liberal, and I believe we have now reached a point where it is counter-productive for us to stand against each other at elections.
I want to address the criticism of this merger which has come from both inside and outside the party. We will not be sacrificing our liberal principles by going ahead with this merger. The Moderates are not simply beige centrists – during the past government they have shown themselves to be willing to embrace bold policies. We should be careful not to blanket classify ourselves as radicals and them as non-radicals. I believe that it makes sense to be radical in some areas, and moderate in others, and that by joining forces with the Moderates, we can achieve this synthesis.
It is worth remembering that there are more Liberals than Moderates, which means that we would have a majority in the new party’s conference. Rest assured that the manifestos of the new party would continue to be bold, where it is right to be bold. Rather than silencing our liberal voices, this merger will in fact amplify them. The Moderate Party’s leader is a very liberal man. By joining forces with him, we can achieve greater electoral success and ensure that our principles remain at the heart of government. I commend the motion.”
Meanwhile, as votes continue to come in from Moderate Party members, the gap appears to have narrowed between the two options. Lord Helliker has not yet voted, and he may be waiting in case there is a tie in order to cast a deciding vote as President.
SERKATIA – The Liberal Party Conference has now begun voting on the merger. Currently, the proposing side has a narrow lead. As expected, Sir Callum Gurr became the first Liberal to vote against the motion, though it seems he has chosen not to make a statement in the debate earlier today.
SERKATIA – The Liberal Party has found itself in a state of complete deadlock after party leader Lord General Panconi, the Deputy Prime Minister, unexpectedly voted against the merger. The vote of active members is currently tied 2-2 and the party is now understood to be trying to contact inactive members, such as former leader Prince Jake, in order to resolve the deadlock.
Panconi’s decision to vote against the merger does make sense on some level, as the merger would effectively be a coup against his leadership. Since becoming party leader, Panconi has not attended a single Ruling Council meeting and has been content to leave most decision-making to his party president, Emperor Adam I. It is understood that Panconi was not consulted by the Emperor in the merger negotiations, on the assumption that the inactive leader would be content to quietly withdraw from Adammic politics; now, however, the party now finds itself in the uncomfortable situation of the party leader and the party president voting against each other.
At this point in time, the Liberals are going to be in an uncomfortable position whether the merger goes ahead or not. If the merger does happen, the unexpectedly high level of resistance on both the Liberal and Moderate sides could mean further resignations and defections from the fledgling Liberal-Moderates, just weeks before the crucial National Election. At this point in time, the odds of Lady Peace or Lord Maude being the next Prime Minister have shortened dramatically. On the other hand, if the merger fails, the Liberals face an awkwardly divided party executive, and little clear direction for the future.
It is understood that former Liberal leader and former PM Prince Jake has voted in favour, meaning that the merger proposal has narrowly passed the Liberal Conference by 3 votes to 2. The Moderate vote is expected to conclude soon, with a similarly narrow result in favour expected. It appears as though the merger will go ahead – but with much less support from the members than the party leaderships will have been hoping for.