The Gylian consensus is a public policy model that forms the mainstream of Gylian politics since independence. It is the basis of economic and social policy in Gylias and commands broad support among the public and political parties, thus creating a largely cooperative political scene.
The consensus has played a role in pushing the centre of political gravity heavily leftwards. Key features include strongly-regulated markets, generous social security, low inequality, a large public sector, and cybernetics-based decentralised planning and distribution.
The consensus emerged during the Liberation War, based on the experience of Alscia and the Free Territories. The prosperity and modernisation Alscia experienced as part of the Cacertian Empire was connected to the strongly activist policies of the Donatella Rossetti government, which included vigorous economic inteventionism and progressive social reforms. These produced a marked contrast to the neglect and marginalisation Gylias experienced under Xevden, while Donatella's dominance of Alscian politics attracted broad support for interventionist policies, with laissez-faire policies being correspondingly marginalised.
Having spread among a receptive public during the Gylian ascendancy and Alscian period, radical ideologies such as anarchism, communism, socialism, and feminism played a leading role in the Liberation War. Anarchism became the foundation of the Free Territories, which engaged in widespread experimentation under a framework of autonomous self-governance throughout the war. The framework of the Free Territories was sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of theories and ideologies. During the second phase of the war, the Free Territories united the opposition behind them in a straight fight against Xevden, and anarchists formed a popular front to fight authoritarian socialists and reactionaries.
By the end of the war, the Free Territories had thus consolidated a popular consensus behind anarchist principles and a certain model of economic organisation that provided a high level of well-being while guaranteeing the space for continued experimentation. Broad acceptance of these tenets was created among liberals, centrists, and conservatives, thus producing the Gylian consensus.
Politically, the consensus includes:
- Direct democracy as the foundation of governance, with communal assemblies as their main instrument.
- A subsidiarity-based model of federalism, with local and federal levels of government exercising only responsibilities delegated to them, and shared capacities among all levels.
- Support of a powerful civil society and political involvement by ordinary people.
Economically, the consensus includes:
- Use of Lange model market socialism, including prices set by the National Prices Board.
- Decentralised planning as the basis of economic management.
- Workers' self-management, social ownership of the means of production, and cooperatives as the basis of the economy.
- An anarchist conception of markets.
- Combatting inequality and poverty as the main priority of economic policy.
- Strong regulation of markets, particularly through competition law, to prevent creation of monopolies or concentration of wealth.
- A powerful labour movement, consumer movement, and similar movements in order to safeguard economic democracy.
- A large public sector, including public ownership of key sectors through public organisations and a comprehensive social safety net, including public education, universal healthcare, social security and social services.
- A high level of taxation to fund public services, celebration of taxation as a contribution to society, and complete transparency of tax returns.
- Use of various local, regional, and complementary currencies in parallel with the Gylian þaler.
Socially, the consensus includes:
- Radically progressive and liberal social norms, particularly on gender, sexuality, and nudity.
- A community-based conception of human rights, accepting that rights can be limited in certain situations to protect the greater good.
- Multiculturalism, including support of Gylian ethnocultural diversity (l'belle mosaïque) and guaranteeing the rights of minorities.
- Secularism in the public sphere, coupled with support of religions that integrate into Gylian society.
- Broadly demopolitan approaches to urban planning and quality of life issues.
The broad agreement on these policies did not complete its consolidation in federal politics until the 1970s. Before then, Gylian conservatism was weakened by the struggle between "constructive" conservatives and Xevdenite reactionaries of the CC. The dissolution of the CC in 1969 allowed the consolidation of progressive and moderate conservatives into the NB, which accepted the consensus and even boasted they could do a better job of running it.
Having been marginalised and ridiculed, the CC's dissolution also removed social policy from the political agenda, ensuring broad agreement on social liberalism. No Gylian political formation since has attempted to support social conservatism.
The consensus came under pressure during the wretched decade, during which the crises and malaise caused a rise in support for forces challenging it, particularly the authoritarian socialist RR and far-right FROS, which had itself adjusted to the consensus by basing its identity on religious sectarianism and palingenetic ultranationalism under an anarchist veneer. The beginnings of economic recovery under the Filomena Pinheiro government and a stronger legal crackdown on anti-constitutional activities succeeded in removing them from politics by the 1990 federal election.
Various right-wing populist parties, known as "molehill parties", emerged over several decades as single-issue parties attacking certain aspects of the consensus. These included the PFT, PFF, AFP, CRFP, and PCF. These parties ultimately went too far to the right and ended up being shut down for anti-constitutional activities.
During the late 1980s, a struggle between left-wing market anarchists and Megelan-inspired anarcho-capitalists culminated in the UFP breaking off from the NB. The UFP's right-wing economics have severely limited its appeal to the Gylian public, and in federal elections since they have been the smallest electoral bloc represented in the Chamber of Deputies.
The Gylian consensus can be compared to the Megelan model. Both the Gylian consensus and the Megelan model share certain traits, including a strong emphasis on direct democracy, localism, and social ownership.
There are key differences:
- Megelan has a more rural culture, reflected in the focus on a simple life, while Gylias' is notably urbanised.
- The foundations of the Civitas date back to the Middle Ages while the Gylian consensus is distinctively modern in conception, even when drawing on the Liúşai League's democratic heritage.
- The Megelanese economy is based on distributism and voluntaryism to a greater extent, while the "miserable compromise" between anarchists and liberals on independence fostered a broad Gylian acceptance of the public sector.
- Megelan's smaller and more homogenous population produces different political currents compared to Gylias' larger and more multi-ethnic one.
The Gylian consensus represents a more extreme manifestation of the broad multi-partisan agreements that exist in Common Sphere states over economic and public policy, such as the Yurikaran consensus in Akashi or the Economic Rights Amendment in Delkora.
A similar, though less sweeping, degree of political convergence exists in Ossoria, as the paternalistic conservatism of the Crown Nationalist Party translates into a willingness to accept and co-opt policies and ideas of the Social Progressive Party that prove popular. Certain Gylian groups look to Ossoria's fostering of noblesse oblige among its aristocracy as a model, which has influenced the Social Partnership Program and Decleyre Summit.