Democratic Alternative (Werania)

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Democratic Alternative

Demokratische Alternative
LeaderKäthe Schickdanze
FounderEgon Geisel
Elisabeth von Neudeck
FoundedSeptember 10, 1985 (1985-09-10)
Split fromNational Consolidation Party
Youth wingYoung Democrats
Membership (2018)115,000
IdeologyNational conservatism
Economic liberalism
Right-wing populism
Political positionRight-wing
Euclean Parliament groupAlliance of Reformists and Conservatives
Colors     Teal
31 / 545
9 / 349
73 / 1,151
Euclean Parliament
14 / 122

The Democratic Alternative (Weranic: Demokratische Alternative) is a political party in Werania. It currently is the fifth largest party in the country and is a member of the federal government as the junior coalition partner to the National Consolidation Party.

The DA was founded in 1985 by Egon Geisel and Elisabeth von Neudeck as a breakaway from the NKP. Geisel and von Neudeck came from the "new right" of the NKP which strongly defended a mixture of economic liberalism and social conservatism in comparison to dominance of Sotirian democrats within the NKP. After Geisel failed to become party leader in 1985 he and von Neudeck led the hardline new right faction out of the party to form the DA.

The DA soon gathered support from right-wing advocacy groups and big businesses. At the 1987 election they gained 78 seats which remains their all-time best. The party was also marked by a split between its nationalist wing led by Geisel who emphasised issues such as immigration and its conservative wing led by von Neudeck who focused on economic issues. The successful modernising of the NKP under Edmund Blaurock saw DA support dissipate in the 1991 elections when it fell in seats. At the 1995 elections the DA agreed to in the event of the NKP forming government that the DA would support Blaurock as Chancellor. Despite the DA coming third in the election the centre-left parties agreed to form a three way coalition of the social democrats, liberals and socialists keeping the DA in opposition.

At the 1999 elections the DA came third again with 63 seats largely seen as a result of Geisel's charismatic leadership. The DA entered a coalition with the NKP under Rasa Šimonytė with Geisel becoming Minister of Finance. However the party came into conflict with the pro-Euclean direction of Šimonytė and in 2002 Geisel unexpectedly announced the DA would withdraw from the coalition. This decision was opposed by much of the party with its more moderate wing - led by Theodore Goetzberger - splitting to form the Conservative Reform Party that continued in government with the NKP. At the 2003 election the DA was routed being reduced to 10 seats with the RKP having well over three times that amount. The DA gained seats at the 2007 election, but its support largely stagnated following Geisel's death from kidney failure in 2010.

Since the 2010's the DA has balanced its focus on both social and economic issues, positioning itself as a more economically liberal alternative to the NKP. In 2014 Käthe Schickdanze became leader and has mainly focused on Euclescepticism proposing a referendum of Weranian membership of the bloc. In 2019 the DA entered into coalition with the NKP as its junior partner.

The DA is generally seen to be a right-wing party, supporting neoliberal economics and conservative social views, mainly focused around immigration and assimilation. It is considered to be the most Euclesceptic of the mainstream Weranian parties.