Liberal Party (Themiclesia)
The Liberal Party (自由黨, sbjih-ljiw-dang′) is the primary right-of-centre party in Themiclesia. It has governed since 2016 and survived the recent 2019 general election. The party is led by [name] and currently supports the maintenance of the welfare state but also co-operation between the public and private sectors to stimulate growth. While it represents the political right in Themiclesia, internationally it is considered a centrist party, or even slightly left of centre.
The deepest roots of the Liberal Party, though academically controversial, may be traced to the imperial lobby at the Themiclesian court in the 15th century. As a coherent body of opinion, it did not rise to prominence until mid-century, consisting of domestic and foreign merchants and interest groups in Themiclesia's possessions abroad. All these forces decried the peace treaty that prohibited Themiclesia from seeking maritime domination in the Meridian Ocean, when the Yi cavalry crossed the Dzhungestani desert in 1385. In response, the court began to concentrate resources in Columbia, organizing a standing army to fend off encroachment by Casaterrans there, now that Meridia was beyond reach. Since then, commercial and other interests in Columbia have been active at court to ensure that sufficient resources are devoted to maintenance of military dominance in Columbia.
While the imperial lobby at court always enjoyed some degree of influence up to the end of the 18th century, the need to fund a standing army in Columbia and Norfeld and a large navy led to excessive taxation domestically, which foremost injured the financial position of the civil service aristocracy. Upon serious defeats in 1791 and 1796 and years of overtaxation and aristocratic resentment, the Lord of Gar-lang (河陽侯) assembled a wide coalition of civil servants and aristocrats to rout the lobby's supporters. When a peace treaty was proposed, barring tariffs on Hallian imports and exports, and initially rejected by the throne, the stability of Gar-lang's support base forced the the emperor to accept the treaty. This treaty meant a great influx of Hallian goods into Themiclesian markets, which the merchant class decried, though the land-based aristocracy saw no major issue with it. Gar-lang's confederacy became the Conservative Party, which dominated Themiclesian politics for the next 40 years, imposing minimal taxation (especially on land) as its primary directive. While the imperial lobby was weakened at court, the domestic economic recovery and integration caused the values of the imperial lobby to become popular with classes that formerly had nothing to do with it. Despite Conservative political dominance, it gradually rose to prominence again over the 1820s and 30s. Economically, it represented domestic merchants and industrial magnates that wished to see regulations adverse to their interests lifted, and politically it was influenced by the Enlightenment, desiring to see political reforms to a more accountable and less aristocratic system of government.