Niamh Nic Uilliam

Niamh Nic Uilliam
Niamh Nic Uilliam 1.jpg
Nic Uilliam in 2001
Taoiseach of Caldia
In office
15 June 1992 – 17 March 2002
MonarchEllen II
Elton II
DeputyConán Mac Donnchadh
Séamus Ó Faoláin
Preceded byPatricia Flowers
Succeeded bySéamus Ó Faoláin
Leader of His Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
In office
21 June 1987 – 15 June 1992
MonarchEllen II
Preceded byMaura Cullen
Succeeded byMolly McCord
Shadow Minister of Finance and Petroleum
In office
14 April 1985 – 21 June 1987
LeaderMaura Cullen
Leader of the Social Democrats
In office
21 June 1987 – 4 August 2001
Preceded byMaura Cullen
Succeeded bySéamus Ó Faoláin
Teachta Comhthionól
for Tóinderry-Adhmaburgh
Assumed office
12 June 1977 - 1 January 2004
Personal details
Born
Niamh Nic Uilliam

(1949-02-27) 27 February 1949 (age 71)
Adhmaburgh, County Tóinderry, Caldia
Political partySocial Democrats
Spouse(s)Eilís Nic Cheallach (1973 - present)
Children3 children

Niamh Nic Uilliam (born 27 February 1949) is a Glytteronian politician who served as the Taoiseach of Caldia from 1992 to 2002 and as Leader of the Social Democrats from 1987 to 2001. Sreviously served as Leader of His Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition before becoming Taoiseach and remains the leader of her party to have won a general election. From 1977 to 2004, she served as a Teachta Comhthionól for Tóinderry-Adhmaburgh.

Under Nic Uilliam's leadership, the party adopted Third Way policies and shifted towards the centre ground of Glytteronian politics. Its principle rival, the Liberty Party, shifted further to the right under the leadership of Patricia Flowers, creating an opening for the Social Democrats to move to the centre. Nic Uilliam and her allies, including her party chair Seán Ó Domhnaill and party pollster Sorcha Nic Dhiarmaid, hoped to expand the Social Democrats' electoral base to include moderate voters in addition to their traditional left and centre-left base, consisting mainly of socialists and organized labor. She declined to re-nationalize many of the corporations privatized by Flowers, a decision criticized by many of her opponents who favored the party's traditional socialist economic policies. For her economic policy, Nic Uilliam was perceived as abandoned 'genuine' socialism. She favored free trade and opposed protectionism, which angered the trade unions. The unions had suffered under Flowers and Nic Uilliam's failure back intervention on their behalf as Glytter's economny made the transition to post-industrialization created discontent among organized labor.

In the 1997 election, the Social Democrats defeated Flowers securing their biggest electoral victory since 1962. At 43 years old, she was the country's youngest Taoiseach since someone else, having herself been unseated by Jimmy O'Reilly. Nic Uilliam worked carefully with parry operatives to craft her image, hoping to portray herself as the moderate and pragmatic alternative to the right-wing Flowers. During her first term, she sought to reform Glytter's education system. Changes to the calendar year and curriculum were pursued. Local control over schools was abolished and replaced by a centralized apparatus under the control of the Ministry of Education, which received significant amounts in new funding. The age for attending school was lowered to include three year-olds and teaching standards were raised significantly. Tuition fees were virtually abolished by the government, which began to heavily subsidize the cost of university and trade school education. As the Euclean Community sought to create a single-currency, Ni Uilliam backed the creation of the Euclo and supported Glytter's accession to the Euclean Community#Euclozone. After the dismantling of the welfare system by Flowers, Ni Uilliam sought to create a new safety net. State assistance for the cost of rent or mortgage payments was created while food stamps were reintroduced. Policies that provided a basic income to those on welfare and offered financial assistance for raising children were also introduced. As part of her reforms, the state covered the cost of the Roghapoiblí, Glytter's public healthcare option, for those receiving public assistance. This came after Flowers funded the Roghapoiblí, in part, through a 5% income tax on those enrolled.

The Social Democrats emerged as the largest party in the 1997 elections, but lost their majority. In the lead up to the general election, a number of left-wing TCs splintered to form their own party, the Industrial Labour Party, in opposition to Ni Uilliam's support of free trade and lack of intervention in the economy to prop up Glytter's ailing industrial sectors. The defection of the TCs so close to the election created a messy campaign and the Social Democrats suffered as a result. The party's traditional coalition partner, the Equalist Party, declined to enter into government with Ni Uilliam as Taoiseach due to her support for neoliberal economic policies. She secured a coalition agreement with the Greens and a supply agreement with the Centre Party in order to pass a budget. During her second term, her popularity began to wane and the party began to perform poorly in opinion forms. Her minority government was unable to pass many of her desired reforms and discontent among the left-wing and trade unions began to grow. The merger of the Industrial Labour and Equalist parties into the Labour Party also posed a significant political threat to Ni Uilliam, who was disliked by the unions.

As opinion polls continued to show the party perform poorly, the began to plot a leadership coup. At the party's convention in August 2001, the leaders of the Central Committee called a leadership vote. The motion was backed by a considerable number of the committee's members. Séamus Ó Faoláin, the Tánaiste and Minister of the Interior, was put forth as a compromise candidate by the trade unions and TCs who remained unsatisdied with the Ni Uillian's leadership. The move, which was unexpected took Ni Uillian by surprise, was met with hostility by the Taoiseach. However, following a tense leadership contest she was defeated, However, she refused to resign as Taoiseach despite being replaced as party leader. This triggered a political crisis that would last until she was eventually removed by the office. Both the Taoiseach and the party sought mediation from Glytter's long-serving monarch, Ellen II. However, her death in February 2002 further complicated the crisis as her successor and son, Elton II had little political experience. Hoping to take advantage of this, party officials lobbied the King to dismiss Ni Uillian as Taoiseach and appoint Ó Faoláin. The King was eventually convinced by their arguments and dismissed Ni Uillian on 17 March 2002. The move triggered an uproar from Ni Uillian and her allies and the press, particularly right-wing elements in the press. It quickly became an issue for the 2002 general election. The Social Democrats were defeated by the Liberty Party and Enda Kelley succeeded Ó Faoláin as Taoiseach. The incident created a lasting bitterness towards Ni Uillian and has caused divisions within the Social Democrats since.

After her resignation as TC for Tóinderry-Adhmaburgh in 2004, Ni Uillian returned to teaching until pursing a doctorate of education. She now lectures at the University of Invertwinc and maintains no active role in Glytteronian politics, apart from sitting on the Council of State.

Life and early career

Taoiseach

First term (1992 to 1997)

Education reform

Ascension to the Euclozone

Implementation of a new welfare system

Second term (1997-2002)

Party infighting

Legacy

High Court Appointments