On November 17th, Wizlandians will go to the polls in an election that will determine the course the nation takes heading into the new millennium. The leaders of the three largest parties, Ms. Lavelle of the Liberals, Ms. Bailey of the Social Democrats, and Mr. Ward of the Nationals all entered the election with reasons to be hopeful.
Lets begin with Ms. Lavelle. Strong economic growth over the last four years, especially in the information technology sector, will strengthen Ms. Lavelle's claims that "a vote Liberal is a vote for growth". It appears voters are convinced. When polled, 46% of voters believe Ms. Lavelle would be the best at handling of the economy, whereas only 21% said the same for Ms. Bailey and 19% for Mr. Ward. This has been in line with polling over the last twenty years, where the Liberal Party has consistently polled above the Nationals and Social Democrats as the party Wizlandians most see as conducive to a good economy. History is also on Ms. Lavelle's side. Since the new constitution in 1960, the Liberals have been in every government bar one, and political commentators believe a National-Social Democratic coalition continues to be unlikely due to ideological differences. This gives Lavelle a strong position to negotiate policy concessions in any future coalition government.
Despite all this, there are concerning signs for Ms. Lavelle. As homicide and burglary rates have almost doubled, the issue of rising crime has come into the national spotlight, opening up Ms. Lavelle to Mr. Wards repeated critique that she is soft on crime. When polled, 35% of voters listed crime as the most important issue, as opposed to 28% for the economy, and 15% for healthcare. Further polling shows only 17% of voters thought Ms. Lavelle would be the best candidate to tackle crime, as opposed to 23% for Ms. Bailey and a whopping 47% for Mr. Ward.
For Ms. Bailey, the passage of universal catastrophic coverage earlier this year has been touted as a major achievement of the coalition. The Act had 67% approval amongst voters, with only 23% disapproval, and polling suggests that a majority of voters view Ms. Bailey as instrumental in getting the act through. Voters who prioritise healthcare as a major issue also strongly lean towards Ms. Bailey and the Social Democrats. However, in spite of the major policy victory, Ms. Bailey's moderate persona, combined with acceptance of deregulation and various other centre-right policies as part of the coalition, has seen her haemorrhage support from the left. In June, Representative Jeremy Reid challenged Bailey for the Social Democratic leadership, which she only narrowly won, and many self-identified progressives and leftists are leaving the party for the Justice Party. Further, political experts believe Ms. Bailey is unlikely to get any boost from the strong economic growth, as polling suggests that voters attribute the economic growth more to Ms. Lavelle.
Finally, Mr. Ward is benefitting from the increased salience of crime in the public consciousness, and his message of increased funding for law enforcement and being tougher in sentencing has been well received by most Wizlandians. He is also viewed amongst Wizlandians as "strong" and "good for national security", an issue that has come up in the forefront given Wizlandia's recent entry into the International Defense League. Mr. Ward's primary liability is that he is seen as someone with outdated social views, and is very unpopular amongst the younger and more progressive generation. Current polling suggests Mr. Ward will likely make large gains this election, and political experts predict the Nationals will end up with 185 to 225 seats in the House, a gain of between 5 to 45 seats.
The General Election Debate will be held later this month, in which Ms. Lavelle, Ms. Bailey, Mr. Ward and other party leaders will have the opportunity to improve their standing amongst the voters.
Williamson | Moderator: Welcome to the Wizlandian 2000 General Election Debates. I am you moderator David Williamson, and joining us are eight major party leaders all seeking your vote to form the next government. This debate will be conducted in two-parts. In the first part, we will have Chief Executive Ashley Lavelle of the Liberal Party, Lieutenant Executive Louise Bailey of the Social Democratic Party, and Representative James Ward of the National Party face off, and in the second we will have Representative George Carlson of the Christian Social Union, Representative Juan Ross of the Civic Alliance, Representative Craig Brooks of the People's Front, Representative Kathleen Davis of the Justice Party, and Representative Ted Leung of the Libertarian Party. The candidates will each have ninety seconds to answer the questions, and have been instructed to not interrupt when others are speaking. Please refrain from cheering or booing so that we can hear the candidates views and expedite this debate.
Williamson | Moderator: Chief Executive Lavelle, the Liberal Party has been in government for twenty years, yet polls show people are dissatisfied with the government and want change. Why should voters vote Liberal?
Lavelle | Liberal Party: May I begin by thanking Akro University for hosting this debate. Over the last twenty years, Wizlandia has seen some of the highest economic growth in the Southeast Asian region, and we've done this in balance with ensuring inclusive economic growth, maintaining Wizlandian security, and expanding civil rights and liberties for all Wizlandians. There is still much to do, but a vote Liberal will ensure a continued upwards trajectory in the standard of living for all Wizlandians.
Williamson | Moderator: Lieutenant Executive Bailey, part of the reason why the Liberal Party has been in government for so long is that whenever the Social Democrats or the National government gain seats, it just defaults into a Liberal-led coalition. Why should voters change their vote from Liberal or National to Social Democrat if it will just result in another Liberal led government.
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Voters know that in a semi-proportional system, coalition governments are inevitable. But that doesn't mean your vote doesn't matter. While Ms. Lavelle is correct that Wizlandia has seen large economic growth, the gains have not been equally distributed, and Wizlandia is rank very high in income inequality amongst developed nations. A vote for the Social Democrats would expand our parties bargaining position and allow us to pass the legislation required to expand healthcare access, to improve our schools, to invest in our crumbling infrastructure, and to insure inclusive growth for all Wizlandians and not just the very rich.
Williamson | Moderator: Representative Ward, a growing number of Wizlandians find the National Party's views on abortion, LGBT rights, and sexual freedom outdated, and that includes a large number of your own backbenchers. Why should young voters, especially the LGBT community, vote National.
Ward | National Party: I'd first like to extend my thanks to you and Akro University for hosting this debate. The high economic growth, which occurred in large part because of the pro-business policies passed under the last Liberal-National coalition, is all well and good, but increased income is of less importance when Wizlandians can't even feel secure in their own homes. Over the last four years, the homicide and burglary rates in major cities has more than doubled thanks to the government hamstringing prosecutors with new procedural regulations that have allowed murderers and other felons to get off scot free. Drug-related crime remains the highest in the developed world. A National government would be tough on criminals, increase funding for law enforcement, and step up enforcement against cocaine and heroin.
Williamson | Moderator: With all due respect Mr. Ward, you have ignored my question. I'll reiterate, why should young voters and the LGBT community vote National when your social views, in particular views on gay marriage, are becoming increasingly seen as outdated.
Ward | National Party: The National Party has always stood for representing the interests of all voters, including the LGBT community. On issues of marriage, we allow our members to vote their own conscience. Personally, like the majority of Wizlandians, I believe that marriage is the sacred building block of our society, and while I support civil unions and full legal rights that comes with that for the gay community, I cannot support gay marriage.
Williamson | Moderator: Would you enact law to redefine marriage between a man and a woman.
Ward | National Party: Yes, I would.
Williamson | Moderator: Chief Executive Lavelle, would you?
Lavelle | Liberal Party: No. Under a Liberal government we will continue to ensure every person of legal age has the freedom to marry who they love, regardless of gender.
Williamson | Moderator: Our next question is on the issue of crime. As Mr. Ward has alluded to, the instances of violent crime have been increasing over the last four years, and is amongst the highest in the developed world. Ms. Bailey, what would a Social Democrat do to tackle crime, and why should voters trust you given that you have been in government the last four years.
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Thank you for the question. Tackling crime must take a multifaceted approach. I agree with Mr. Ward that we must increase federal funding for law enforcement to solve crimes and to tackle the drug epidemic. However, he conveniently ignores many of the socioeconomic factors contributing to crime. It is of no coincidence that Wizlandia has got both high income inequality and high crime levels, the two go hand in hand, and a Social Democratic government will reduce crime by increasing investment in our schools, expanding the Child Tax Credit and the Basic Deduction.
Ward | National Party: Voters know that they cannot trust a Liberal-Social Democrat government. Ms. Bailey here has just said that she would increase law enforcement funding, yet members of her own party...
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Who?
Ward | National Party: ...want to defund the police!
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Don't be silly.
Ward | National Party: Sofia Lopez, head of the Social Democrat Progressive Caucus, tweeted yesterday and I quote: "Wizlandian people of colour are tired of being a victimised by cops. And it isn't just individual cops, the police are a systemically racist institution, and it's time we defunded it." Meanwhile, the Liberal Party are so focused on the rights of criminals that they forget the rights of the victims and law-abiding Wizlandians.
Williamson | Moderator: Ms. Chief Executive, I'm going to let you respond in a moment, but I'm going to pose this question to you. Studies have shown that homelessness is linked to high-levels of crime. Ms. Bailey has repeatedly argued for increased funding towards homeless shelters, but members of your party have rejected such policy proposals. What would you do about the homelessness problem in Wizlandia, and more broadly the increasingly unaffordable rent and housing prices.
Lavelle | Liberal Party: Thank you for the question. First, we in the Liberal Party are committed increasing funding for law enforcement to better tackle violent crime. With respect to Mr. Ward, we have taken a balanced approach that respects the civil liberties our Constitution guarantees to the accused in addition to expanding tools that law enforcement and prosecutors have to address crime. With regards to the issue of homelessness, I respect Ms. Bailey's desire to increase funding for shelters, but it ignores the fundamental problem, which is local municipalities enact restrictive zoning laws that prevent new housing from being built. If in government, the Liberal Party will pass federal law that limits municipalities ability to oppose densification and new housing development. The subsequent increase in housing supply will decrease rent and housing prices, make it easier for young people to buy or rent, and will be far more cost-effective than simply throwing money at the problem.
Williamson | Moderator: Mr. Ward, you may respond.
Ward | National Party: With all due respect Chief Executive, zoning is an issue that is best left to the municipalities and local governments, as its at the local level that Wizlandians are best able to determine how building issues affect their community, not bureaucrats in Lorenvia! With regards to homelessness, it is an immutable fact of economics that housing prices in big cities will be high, and the solution is not to continue throwing money at big cities, but rather to encourage people to move into smaller towns and rural communities. A National government would invest in necessary rural infrastructure and incentivise people to move from big cities to smaller towns, where housing prices and cost of living are more affordable.
Williamson | Moderator: That brings us to our next issue, infrastructure. Voters may recall that recently, the government has tried to pass an infrastructure bill, but was defeated on the floor of the House. Ms. Bailey, you've been vocal that you want a massive infrastructure bill to address to crumbling roads in Wizlandia. How would you get such a bill through both the House and the Senate, given that the more modest bill did not even pass the House.
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: The simple answer is that voters must vote Social Democrat. With regard to the recent infrastructure bill, it died on the House floor because extremists in the Free Liberal and Walrus Caucus's voted against the bill because they opposed even a mild tax increase on the rich, and Ms. Lavelle is to beholden to them. With a larger Social Democrat presence in Parliament, we will have the votes to pass legislation that invests in Wizlandia's roads, airports, bridges, and broadband.
Lavelle | Liberal Party: The label extremist is rich coming from Ms. Bailey, who routinely fails to condemn the hardline fanatics in her own party that want to raise income taxes to forty percent, and who come up with slogans like "defund the police", "all cops are bastards", and defend the actions of the Thuoyean regime. But the fact of the matter is that the infrastructure bill was defeated because Ms. Bailey and Mr. Douglas rejected any new increases on user fees. Only in the Social Democratic Party is the idea that people who use roads should contribute to their upkeep seen as extremist.
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Wizlandia has the lowest top marginal tax rate in the entire LDU, and one of the lowest in the world. It is not extremist to ask the millionaires to pay a little more to fund our roads and bridges.
Williamson | Moderator: Mr. Ward?
Ward | National Party: If anyone needs a reason to vote for National, this is it right here. People in Wizlandia are tired of Lorenvia's incompetence and it's endless bickering, where the Liberals and Social Democrats won't budge or compromise on small issues to get an infrastructure bill through, preferring to instead cower and give voice to the hardline members of their party. If you vote National, you will get a new government for a new millennium, one that will be tough on crime, that will continue to enact pro-growth policies, and will make sure your interests, whether you live in a small town or a big city, are being heard in Wizlandia.
Williamson | Moderator: We will take a break now, and after the break we will ask the candidates their opinions on Education, Healthcare, and Foreign Policy.
Williamson | Moderator: Our next topic is on education. Chief Executive Lavelle, the Wizlandian educational system is ranked as both one of the best and most cost-effective in the world. What, if anything, should the next government do to improve the education in Wizlandia.
Lavelle | Liberal Party: Thank you Mr. Williamson. Over the last twenty years, Liberal-led governments have made education the number one domestic priority, and the effects have been remarkable. Virtually every person is literate and graduates high school, eighty percent go on to college, most of them getting four year degrees. But there is still work to be done. The Liberal Party is committed to improving STEM education by expanding access to STEM degrees and programs, in combination with raising the rigour of standardised tests, in order to prepare Wizlandians to enter the 21st century workforce and become a powerhouse in scientific research.
Williamson | Moderator: Ms. Bailey?
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Like Ms. Lavelle, I would like to praise the previous administrations commitment to education, I think our world class education system is something all Wizlandians, regardless of party affiliation, can be proud of. That being said, it is no time to be complacent. Teacher pay is lagging behind other developed nations, and the emphasis on increasing the rigour of standardised testing is ill-placed. Students are not simply a number defined by their test score, yet Executive Zhang continues to push for more emphasis on standardised tests, which give an unfair advantage to wealthy students who can better afford test prep. A Social Democrat administration would remove the prohibition on teacher unionisation, allowing teachers to collectively negotiate for better pay, and would encourage universities with the use of federal grants to transition from the current standardised testing system to a more holistic admissions system.
Ward | National Party: There she goes again. Despite all the rhetoric about the greatness of Wizlandian education, Ms. Bailey would rather us become the United States, granting admission not based on merit but on race and other so-called intangible factors. Voters will not be fooled. Holistic admissions is a code-word for race-based affirmative action, unconstitutional under the equal protection clause, and her pro-union advocacy would see Wizlandian teachers protect their own and oppose educational reforms, resulting in a costly and underperforming education system like America. If in government, the National Party would maintain the current standardised testing regime, the ban on public unionisation, and also would further devolve education to the States, allowing our twelve states to better tailor public education to their students.
Williamson | Moderator: I would like to shift the topic onto Healthcare. Ms. Bailey, in 2000 you and Lavelle passed the Universal Catastrophic Healthcare Act, aimed to make healthcare more affordable for Wizlandians, yet you have repeatedly said that the Act did not go far enough. What more would you do?
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: Thank you Mr. Williamson. Wizlandia is a rich country, and yet except for the United States we have arguably the worst healthcare system in the world. Despite the rhetoric you will hear from Liberals, I am not in favour of free healthcare for all. But I do believe that we need to increase the Federal Poverty Level, and decrease the level of co-pays and deductible under the 2000 Act, which would increase healthcare affordability for poorer individuals. Further, we must reduce the time it takes medical patents to expire from 16 years to 8 years, so as to make medical drugs more affordable.
Ward | National Party: I agree with Ms. Bailey that healthcare needs to become more of a federal priority. One of the major problems in the current healthcare system is that it treats expenses by the elderly and the young the same, a flawed approach that has exacerbated poverty amongst senior citizens. Under a National government, we would create a tiered system which reduces the co-pay and deductibles for anyone over 65, as it is this group that needs the most support with medical expenses.
Williamson | Moderator: Ms. Lavelle?
Lavelle | Liberal Party: I am proud of the work my government did to pass the Universal Catastrophic Healthcare Act. Healthcare does need to become more of a priority, and the Liberal government will increase funds towards cancer research. With regards to the Universal Catastrophic Healthcare Act, since the act has only recently passed, the Liberal government would keep the Act in its current form and let the situation develop before making any additional changes.
Ward | National Party: The Liberal government? Bit bold of you to assume you've already won.
Lavelle | Liberal Party: I have faith in the Wizlandian people to make the right choice.
Williamson | Moderator: Our final question is on foreign policy. Mr. Ward, in a time of increased aggression by dictatorial regimes such as Thuoye, Argentina, Usoniy, civil war in Uganda, and piracy off the Borneo coast, how should Wizlandia respond to ensure its own security?
Ward | National Party: Thank you Mr. Williamson. Our first priority must be to maintain naval superiority in the South Asian region. Without naval superiority, we become susceptible to the whims of nations like Thuoye, China, Borneo, and even allies like Tuthar. We must have a navy large enough to secure the tens of trillions in international trade that flows through the Malacca Strait, in addition to project power overseas. Under a National government, we will expand our naval capabilities by purchasing two additional Aircraft Carriers, fifteen new frigates, and seventy new naval support planes.
Williamson | Moderator: Ms Lavelle?
Lavelle | Liberal Party: The Liberal government is dedicated to maintaining naval superiority, and under a Liberal government we will complete the construction of ten new frigates in additional to forty new fighters to secure shipping lanes in the region, in addition to maintaining our ability to project power around the world. We continue to monitor the anti-democratic threats in Argentina and the civil war in Uganda, and will work with our partners in the IDL should Argentina invade IASU members. With regards to Thuoye, we are in advanced discussions to return Thuoye Island back to Thuoye, in exchange for guarantees that Thuoye Island will maintain its liberal democratic institutions under the One Country Two Systems framework.
Bailey | Social Democratic Party: I agree with much of what Ms. Lavelle says. However, while it is important to monitor the growing threats in South America and civil war in Uganda, the Social Democratic Party will oppose any military intervention in the region. We will not spend Wizlandians lives overseas in an unpopular war. Moreover, unlike both the Liberals and the Nationals, a Social Democrat government recognises that nuclear weapons are an existential threat, and we will be push for gradual denuclearisation of Wizlandia.
Williamson | Moderator: I thank the three Leaders from participating in these debates. We will take a break, and in twenty minutes we will hear from the remaining party leaders on what they would do if in government.
Williamson | Moderator: Up on the stage with me are Representative George Carlson of the Christian Social Union, Representative Juan Ross of the Civic Alliance, Representative Craig Brooks of the People's Front, Representative Kathleen Davis of the Justice Party, and Representative Ted Leung of the Libertarian Party.
Williamson | Moderator: We begin with Representative George Carlson. Given that the majority of Wizlandia is not Christian, and that the Constitution guarantees separation of Church and State, why should voters vote for the Christian Social Union.
Carlson | Christian Social Union: Thank you Mr. Williamson. The Christian Social Union stands for all people of faith, including Muslims and Jews, that wish to secure protections for religious values and create a compassionate society. Religion and the traditional values of Wizlandia are under attack by both the secular left and the secular right, and if in government we will work to advance traditional values such as repealing same-sex marriage and civil unions, protecting the lives of the unborn, and cracking down on addiction, including both drugs and pornography, that is ruining the lives of millions.
Davis | Justice Party: The CSU stands for right-wing bigots. Mr. Carlson wants to control women's bodies and discriminate against gays. Wizlandia needs to stand for diversity and inclusion, not discrimination.
Carlson | Christian Social Union: Murdering the unborn and restricting worship is not diversity and inclusion, despite what the far-left would have you think.
Williamson | Moderator: I'm interrupting here. Please keep the tone civil, or I will have to cut off your mics. Mr. Ross, despite its small size, the Civic Alliance has regularly been in coalition to supply the government with needed support to advance its priorities. I think voters want to know what your priorities are, and what would the voters get should the Civic Alliance enter into coalition.
Ross | Civic Alliance: Thank you Mr. Williamson. Liberal Democracy abroad is under threat, and with that includes the security of Wizlandia and its allies. If in power, we will demand that Wizlandia increases its armed forces to deal with the increasing military aggression of Argentina and Thuoye, to oppose Usoniy's expansion into Africa, and support swift military action should they attack us or our allies. Further, we will work with foreign governments in order to secure free trade deals with the LDU and other nations of the world, thus allowing Wizlandian exporters better access to foreign markets, and increasing domestic jobs.
Leung | Libertarian Party: There is no need for such a large navy, no nation actually wants to attack us. The Thuoyean military is much smaller than ours, and despite their authoritarian politics they are not interested in military aggression. Mr. Ross and his supporters in the military-industrial complex are simply looking for war.
Ross | Civic Alliance: This is an incredibly naive view of the world. What happens around the world directly affects the security, both from invasion and from terrorism, of Wizlandia. To resort to isolationism would be risking the security of Wizlandia and its allies.
Williamson | Moderator: Alright. I'd now like to hear from Mr. Brooks. Mr. Brooks, your party has been accused by many as promoting xenophobia and intolerance. For instance, your party's Representative Florence Bennet has called Islam "a religion of violence", have referred to Tuthar immigrants as "invaders", and called gays "a creature of the Devil". Will you condemn these remarks, and what can you do to assure Wizlandians that a vote for the People's Front is not a vote for racism and other bigotry.
Brooks | People's Front: This is typical of the leftist media. Criticising religion, mass immigration and wanting to restore the sanctity of marriage is not racism or bigotry.
Williamson | Moderator: But you do see why these comments are inflammatory? Are you willing to condemn them.
Brooks | People's Front: What about the far-left calling Wizlandians an inferior people, calling Wizlandians irredeemably racist, or trying to force their gay agenda on good god-fearing citizens. What about when Davis wants to discriminate against Whites and Asians in education and employment.
Davis | Justice Party: The Justice Party does not stand for discrimination.
Brooks | People's Front: But you want to discriminate against Whites and Asians in education and employment.
Davis | Justice Party: We support taking race into consideration in order to correct for past sins and institutional white supremacy. We at the Justice Party will always support racial justice.
Brooks | People's Front: And the People's Front stands against and the racism of the radical left, and the globalists who want mass immigration to replace the Wizlandian population and to sell out Wizlandian sovereignty to the LDU.
Williamson | Moderator: Once again, while we encourage some back and forth, please keep the tone civil. Mr. Leung, early this year the Liberal Party passed an act that would greatly expand healthcare access, which you oppose. How would the Libertarian Party combat the rising costs of healthcare and insure access to all Wizlandians.
Leung | Libertarian Party: Thank you Mr. Williamson. First it should be noted that nothing is free, Wizlandians will pay for the Universal Catastrophic Healthcare Act through much higher taxes, costing jobs. In order to tackle the cost of healthcare, Wizlandia must instead engage in full-scale deregulation of the industry, allowing private enterprise to compete with each other and lower healthcare prices. A free-market for healthcare will result in higher-quality healthcare for all Wizlandians.
Williamson | Moderator: Ms. Davis.
Davis | Justice Party: Healthcare is a right, and it's time to join the developed world and fund free healthcare for all. That is why should the Justice Party be in government, we will pass the Single Payer Act, which would provide complete coverage, including dental and vision, to all Wizlandians free of charge.
Leung | Libertarian Party: And how will you pay for this?
Davis | Justice Party: We will make the rich and corporations pay their fair share in taxes. When so many Wizlandians are struggling to get by, it's obscene that a few Wizlandians can hold nearly all the nations wealth. If in government, the Justice Party will enact an eight percent wealth tax on millionaires and billionaires, instead of being beholden to the one percent like the corporate-loving Liberals and Social Democrats.
Carlson | Christian Social Union: I agree with Representative Davis that income inequality in this country is far too high, and that Universal Catastrophic Coverage does not go far enough. We must create a nation of solidarity, one in which the rich pay their fair share, and in which no child goes hungry. However, a wealth tax is impractical, nations that have tried it have found that very little revenue is raised, it incentivises people to be profligate to avoid the tax, and much of the tax base just flees the country. Instead, we will raise income taxes on the very wealthy and establish a 35% corporate tax rate.
Leung | Libertarian Party: If you are a Wizlandian voter and your eyes have just glazed over, this is what Lorenvia is like. Statist bureaucrats trying to steal your hard-earned money to waste on their donors and corporate interests. If you are tired of tax-and-spend, sick of all the corporate subsidies, and don't want to see your constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties weakened, vote Libertarian.
Williamson | Moderator: We're going to move onto the issue of immigration. Mr. Brooks, what would your immigration policy be if the People's Front get into government?
Brooks | People's Front: Wizlandians are tired of being told they are racist for simply opposing mass immigration and wanting some border enforcement. We are the only country in the world that has no restrictions on immigration. Our cities are overcrowded, our welfare state is overstrained, we are spending hundreds of billions educating and providing healthcare to immigrants who don't contribute, and crime has continued to increase. I'm sure some immigrants are good people, but they are a burden on Wizlandia and their cultural values are incompatible with that of our society's. If in government, we will withdraw from the South Asian Union, enact a moratorium on immigration, deport those who entered in the last five years, deport the criminals, and finally get a hold on public finances and crime.
Williamson | Moderator: Mr. Leung?
Leung | Libertarian Party: There's an easy solution to the public finance issues caused by immigration. Cut welfare. If in government, the Libertarian Party will continue to uphold the Wizlandian values of a free and open society, and allow those who want to become a part of this great nation the freedom to do so. However, we cannot allow immigrants to abuse our welfare programs, so a Libertarian government would cut the welfare state.
Davis | Justice Party: Quite frankly, Wizlandia is tired of the anti-immigrant bigotry espoused by the People's Front, and the anti-poor rhetoric of the Libertarian Party. Wizlandia needs to keep its borders open to the world, so those poor and oppressed may have the opportunity to seek a better life here in Wizlandia. But we must do much more if Wizlandia is to become a truly just society. We must make healthcare and college free, including for immigrants. By investing in its people, Wizlandia will become a more prosperous society for all.
Williamson | Moderator: Mr. Carlson. You've criticised Mr. Brooks position, but have also suggested that Wizlandia should decrease immigration. What would your policy be if the Christian Social Union entered into government.
Carlson | Christian Social Union: Mr. Brooks is correct when he says immigration restrictions are not inherently xenophobic, though his proposals to ban all immigration and deport recent immigrants is both extreme, and does not square with the Wizlandian tradition of trying to provide a better life from the poor and oppressed. A CSU government would focus on decreasing economic migration to Wizlandia, while still keeping the door open to those seeking asylum from political persecution and domestic violence. This way, Wizlandia can both stand in solidarity with the oppressed and limit the harmful effects that large-scale immigration causes.
Williamson | Moderator: Final question to our candidates, and we will go in polling order. As you are aware, if in government your party will likely be a junior member. Which of the major parties would you seek to enter into coalition with?
Carlson | Christian Social Union: If given the opportunity, the Christian Social Union is willing to enter into coalition with the National Party, and we look forward to securing further protection of traditional values, religious worship, and creating a society of solidarity in Wizlandia.
Brooks | People's Front: The People's Front will work with any party that is willing to secure the border against mass immigration to Wizlandia. We stand for Wizlandians first.
Ross | Civic Alliance: The Civic Alliance is open to a coalition with any of the three major parties, and will continue to stand for an open and dynamic economy, and working with our allies to protect Wizlandia and its interests.
Davis | Justice Party: The Justice Party will not work with the bigots in the National Party or the corporate bootlickers in the Liberal Party. We are willing join the Social Democrats in coalition if they are willing to abandon their neoliberalism and return to being the party of social justice.
Leung | Libertarian Party: The Libertarian Party are willing to join the Liberal Party in coalition, but we refuse to vote for any new taxes, wars, or legislation that would weaken Wizlandians constitutional liberties.
The Politicist Article
Wizlandian Election: Big gains for Ward but Liberals maintain plurality
On November 17th, Wizlandians went to the polls to determine who will become the next Chief Executive. To a degree, the outcome was a foregone conclusion - ideological differences between the centre-right conservative National Party and the centre-left Social Democratic Party make the Liberal Party the inevitable kingmakers in Wizlandia, and pre-election polling had Liberals maintaining their status as the largest party in both the Commons and the Senate.
The National Party was the biggest winner of this election, gaining 24 seats in the Commons and 3 seats in the Senate, re-taking their place as the second largest party in the Commons. "The result of this election is that Wizlandians have delivered a strong rebuke of the Liberal-SDP coalition and the last four years of rising crime. All Wizlandians deserve to be secure in their homes and in the streets, and now with this victory we must ensure that we deliver on this promise." National Leader James Ward said as exit polls were released.
Meanwhile, Lavelle's Liberal Party lost 8 seats in the Commons and 1 seat in the Senate, but still managed to hold onto their status as the largest party in the Commons and the Senate. "While we are disappointing in losing seats, this election reaffirms Wizlandians commitment to our shared values of liberty, tolerance, and openness to the world. I look forward to negotiations with Mr. Ward on a coalition agreement." Ms. Lavelle remarked.
In contrast, the mood in the Social Democratic camp was a lot more negative, according to campaign insiders. The SDP lost 18 seats in the Commons and a further 2 in the Senate, many of them to unhappy progressive voters defecting to the Justice Party. Jeremy Reid, one of the SDP most left-leaning members, remarked that "Bailey's moderate persona and willingness to acquiesce to the Liberal Party alienated many progressives from the party." But other pundits point out that the left and centre-left parties losing seats as a whole likely indicates a large, if not majority, of the drop in SDP support was due to rising crime and other issues of the coalition, as opposed to Bailey's positioning towards the centre. On the condition of anonymity, a campaign official from the SDP remarked that he thought Reid's criticism were "off-base," and that significant progressive reform in healthcare during the last administration demonstrated that the Social Democrats did not just "bend over to satisfy Ms. Lavelle, but instead secured needed legislation for the Wizlandian working and middle class."
Meanwhile, the socially conservative Christian Social Union and the hard-right People's Front have both lost seats in the Commons, while the the Pirate Party, the left-wing Justice Party, and the centrist Civic Alliance both saw gains. Experts attribute this shift to the increasingly socially progressive demography of Wizlandia and the decline in support for the Social Democrats, with polling data showing young voters largely driving this change. The Libertarian Party also made gains, which experts primarily attribute to some small-government Free Liberals unhappiness with healthcare reforms of the Lavelle-Bailey administration.
A Liberal-National government will likely have significant effect on nations outside of Wizlandia. The SDP has long been the most dovish of the three major parties, strongly opposing military interventions abroad. With the SDP out of power, the Wizlandian government will likely be more inclined to intervene militarily should Argentina invade the IASU.