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The Independent National Community of St. Ives has had it's politics dominated by a number orf organized parties.
St. Ives Citizens Party
Founded in 1900 mainly to promote independence for St. Ives from Great Britain, the Citizens Party at first developed a fairly left-of-center creed regarding purely domestic matters. It was in coalition with the Social Democratic Labor Party during World War I, and both parties promoted social reforms and non-binding resolutions for national independence from Britain. Later, during it's ruling coalition with the Unionist Party in the 1920s decade and during Social Democratic Labor rule the following decade, the Citizens Party became more conservative on domestic issues while retaining it's pro-independence stance. The growth of St. Ives' indigineous Communist Party with it's dogmatic Marxist program gave the Citizens Party the incentive to promote anti-communism. The return to power of this party in 1960 was as a result of the growth of the Hispanic, Roman Catholic population in St. Ives, which was largely conservative. The Citizens' Party passed laws reducing the mandatory elected workers delegates in businesses with five or more employees to a purely advisory role, in order to reduce the power of labor unions and privatize the mining industry. It tried to privatize the health-care and social-security systems at this time, but was opposed by it's coalition partner the Unionists and by the Social Democratic Laborites. In 1965, the Citizens Party and the Social Democratic Labor opposition joined forces to promote the use of U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos as valid currency alongside the British pound sterling, which had always served as St. Ives' traditional money, though this was opposed by some Unionists. The Citizens Party won an absolute Assembly majority in 1978 mainly to the severe decline of the Unionist Party. The ruling party then passed legislation placing the health-care, social-security, and public-education systems under control of a joint public-private enterprise, the Social and Economic Welfare Corporation of St. Ives, which was under 50 percent government ownership and the remaining 50 percent granted to private business interests, mainly American. Though this partial privatization was opposed by the Social Democratic Laborites, both parties joined forces in helping to turn St. Ives into a "independent national community". After losing power in 1984, the Citizens Party struggled to find a message that would resonate with voters. After a series of political scandals affecting the government of Prime Minister Amy Anderson in 2001 and 2002, the Citizens Party gained at the expense of the Social Democratic Laborites. Due to tensions within the ruling Social Democratic Labor Party, the Citizens Party were able to coax Prime Minister Jose Ramirez and four other Social Democratic Laborites to defect and join their party, which caused the Citizens Party to return to power in 2006. The new government promised to end corruption and reduce taxes to promote economic growth.
Social Democratic Labor Party
This is St. Ives' semi-socialist party, founded by local labor unions and intellectuals in 1905. Like the Citizens' Party, it was pro-independence. Throughout it's history, the Social Democratic Laborites had maintained a strong welfare-statist, even at times outright socialistic, stance, and ties to the labor unions. In the decade of the 1960s, the party started to promote environmentalism and civil-rights laws as progressive causes along with the Unionists and even some Citizens Party members. When the Social Democratic Laborites returned to power in 1984, it was due to the more liberal-to-left leanings of St. Ives' Hispanic, Roman Catholic segment of it's population, traditionally conservative voters. Once in power the Social Democratic Laborites decided to retain the total privatization of the mining industry and partial privatization of the health-care, social-security, and public education systems instituted by the Citizens Party. Nevertheless, they raised the minimum wage in 1985, the first time it happed in St. Ives in 26 years, and restored real power to the mandatory elected worker delegates in many St. Ives businesses in 1986. During the decade of the 1990s, the ruling party attempted to diversify the St. Ives economy, dependent on mining and the growing of grapes, by promoting a manufacturing plant for radios, televisions, and personal computers (successful) and attracting a professional sports team from Major League Baseball or the National Football League (a real flop). In 1993, the Social Democratic Laborites led a successful effort to change the Charter of the Independent National Community of St. Ives to allow the nation to participate in the United Nations and greater leeway to pursue membership in other international organizations. In 2002, after the Citizens Party gained in Assembly elections, it was decided by the Social Democratic Laborites to elect Jose Ramirez the country's first Hispanic Prime Minister, but tensions in the party over Daniel Vincent retaining the party leadership and election as acting President of the National Community in 2004, caused the defection of Ramirez and four other Assembly members to return the Citizens Party to power.
The Unionist Party was formed in 1901 to counter the pro-independence leaning of the St. Ives Citizens Party. Until the decade of the 1940s, the Unionists were strictly conservative (not just regarding retaining ties to Britain), but under it's new leader Wendall Sampson, elected party leader in 1946, the Unionists took a more left-of-center stance while retaining it's pro-British, anti-independence viewpoint. The Unionists were in power in coalition with the Citizens' Party from 1960 to 1978, and it was able to pressure the ruling government to succesfully pass civil rights laws granting racial, ethnic, and sexual equality by 1970 and stricter environmental laws a few years later. The decline of the Unionists in the 1978 Assembly elections were blamed on the fact that St. Ives citizens increasingly wanted independence from Great Britain, and the increasing influence of Hispanic voters, who saw the Unionists as ignorant of their concerns. The Unionists further declined in the 1980s decade as they finally lost their representation in the Assembly in the 1984 election, and Unionists in the St. Ives Senate defected to the Citizens Party or the Social Democratic Laborites. The Unionists fielded candidates in the 1990 and 1996 Assembly elections, but due to disappointing results the party officially disbanded in January 1997. A new Unionist Party was organized in June 2000 to promote candidates who would emphasize the nation's British heritage.
St. Ives' Communist Party was organized in 1921 in response to the Communist revolution in Russia. However, the appeal of dogmatic Marxism did not emerge in St. Ives until the Great Depression, and the Communists retained a handful of Assembly seats for 30 years after 1930. The St. Ives Communists arosed hostility at home from the Citizens Party, and from anti-communists in the nearby United States (who fanned fears of a "Red St. Ives" for decades). The Communists even feuded with the Social Democratic Laborites over which party should control the labor unions (the Communists being the losers). After losing all their remaining Assembly seats in 1960, the Communists remained a vocal, but increasingly fringe political faction, though it still nominated a few candidates in Assembly elections every six years. In the early years of the 1990s decade, the Communists relabeled themselves the New Socialist Party and proclaimed their acceptance of a mixed economy combining socialism with some private enterprise.
Founded in 1947, the Yankee Party promoted that St. Ives join the nearby United States, either as part of California or as a separate state. Every six years, the Yankee Party nominates a few Assembly candidates who receive only a few votes, though they are unusually vocal.
Constitutional Reform Alliance
The Constitutional Reform Alliance, a party founded in 1992, advocates amending St. Ives' governing charter to provide for direct election of the President of the National Community and the Senate. It also favors the creation of four or five local elected councils that would over time be granted greater powers of government, particularly in the areas of education and law enforcement.
Percentage of votes in 2002 election to St. Ives Assembly
total votes 45,260
Social Democratic Labor Party-47.2 percent St. Ives Citizens Party-47.0 percent Unionist Party-2.8 percent independent candidates (no party)-1.9 percent New Socialist (ex-Communist) Party-0.4 percent Constitutional Reform Alliance-0.4 percent Yankee Party-0.3 percent