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Edwina Merinda Haggard (b. August 16, 1965) is a Georgeland politician currently serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Georgeland in the government of Tom Elderton. Once an Independent, she joined the new Reform party in 2018 and became its leader in the House of Commons. She is concurrently servin


Edwina Haggard MP

Minister for Infrastructure, Regions and Transport. A nurse before entering politics, Haggard has been Member of Parliament for Schumann since 2005. 

Early life[]

Haggard was born in Romphumburg in 1965, the daughter of two lawyers. Haggard initially wanted to be a lawyer as well, but instead studied nursing and became a registered nurse. She practiced in the public system from 1989 to 1998. From 1993 to 1998 she was stationed at a rural hospital in the town of Eden , 150 kilometers from Romphumburg. Eden's hospital was closed in 1997 by the Mainland state government, forcing patients in the region to divert either to the smaller hospital 60km away at Forster or to Romphumburg itself. Haggard led a protest against the closure, one of many around the state, throughout 1997 and early 1998. 

Political career[]

State politics[]

At the 1998 Mainland state election, Haggard stood for the state legislature on a platform of opposing and reversing hospital funding. She expanded her campaign platform to include more funding for rural health in general, and an increase in rural infrastructure spending. This became one of her signature policies throughout her career. At the election she was elected to the seat of Shetland.  Haggard was one of three independents in the Mainland house. The 1998 election had been fought in the aftermath of the 1997 referendum, in which voters had agreed to subdivide the state into two. Haggard, who had advocated for the division, argued that rural interests were not served by a single state government, especially those in the east. In 1999, her vote against a no-confidence motion in the Liberal government of Tom Southwell saved the government from defeat less than a year from the planned division. When the state formally split, Haggard stood for the new West Mainland state legislature seat of Forster at the state's inaugural election and was elected with 43% of the vote, 12% higher than in 1998. She was re-elected at the 2004 election with 50% of the primary vote. 

Independent MP[]

In late 2004, Haggard announced she would stand for the House of Commons at the next federal election, which was expected in 2006. It was eventually called by Prime Minister Charlton Robards a year early in order to solidify his majority, forcing Haggard to resign from the state legislature to concentrate on her campaign. She was elected over Liberal Democrat incumbent Candice Abner with 32% of the vote; she finished second on the first count but was elected on Conservative preferences. 

She was the only Independent in the house between 2005 and 2007. She voted against the Nuclear Prohibition Act and the establishment of the National Education Service, but voted in favour of the legalisation of cannabis, legislation ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court, and for the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

She frequently allied herself with Michael Elderton as the only two MPs not part of a major party. When Christine Hinkle declared herself to be an Independent in April 2007, Haggard issued a statement welcoming Hinkle to the crossbenches and saying she looked forward to working with the former minister.

Haggard was re-elected at the federal election of 2007. Under the single-term government of Luke Macaulay and the Conservatives, Haggard voted in favour of Supreme Court reform, tax cuts and the abolition of the NES, but against the regional health cuts, which she labelled a 'betrayal of rural communities', and against the privatisation of Georgeland Telecom, which was ultimately blocked by the Senate.

Re-elected once more in 2010, Haggard lobbied the new Porter government of Liberal Democrats to reverse the health cuts, which they ultimately did. She opposed the government's repeated efforts to sell off both Telecom and GTV, but supported increased NHS funding. In 2013, Haggard was re-elected a third time in Schumann, but finished only 3% ahead of her Liberal Democrat challenger. 

Most of Haggard's noteworthy speeches and votes during the LDP government were on rural issues, NHS funding, and regional telecommunications. In 2016 she won a fourth term.Haggard voted against the appointment of Charlton Robards as President of Georgeland in 2017, and again after the federal election which confirmed Robards' wife, Deborah Robards, in office as Prime Minister. Haggard denounced the appointment as 'cronyism and corruption in no uncertain terms' and said she would not back the government on any confidence or supply issue unless the appointment was withdrawn or the Prime Minister resigned.

Reform and government[]

During the aftermath of the appointment, Senator Ryan Stone formed Reform , with anti-corruption, greater accountability, and regional devolution as major tenants of the party's platform. Haggard confirmed in January 2018 that she was in discussions with Stone about joining the new party, but stressed her status as an Independent was not to be taken lightly and that she would consult widely before making her decision.

Haggard announced she was joining Reform on 18 January 2018, at a press conference with Stone. Stone confirmed that due to Haggard's parliamentary experience and career of advocacy, he would recommend she become the party's leader in the House of Commons. At a Reform meeting on January 30, Haggard was confirmed as Deputy Leader of Reform, and its leader in the lower house. 

When the New Coalition , between Reform and the larger Georgeland Alliance was formed in June 2018, the interim arrangements confirmed Haggard as the coalition's second-in-charge in the Commons, while Stone remained leader of Reform and the overall deputy to Alliance leader Tom Elderton. Haggard opposed the proposed merger of the two parties, saying she believed Reform would have a stronger regional voice than a united party, and commented that she had agreed to join Reform, not the Alliance.

After the 2019 election, Haggard was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. Normally, this position in a coalition government would go to the leader of the junior party, but since Stone was a senator, Stone and Elderton agreed to appoint Haggard to the position.

As Minister for Infrastructure, Regions and Transport, Haggard announced the Saffin Review into Georgeland's 21st century transportation needs in September 2019. 

Personal life[]

Haggard lived with her long-term partner, David Boole, from 1990 to 2014, when the couple separated. Haggard has never been married and has no children, but said in a 2018 interview that she considered her sister's children to be "hers by proxy".  Haggard is a prolific Twitter and Instagram user, but announced in 2016 that she was closing her Facebook account. 

Preceded by
Robbie Jones
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Islands of Georgeland
July 1, 2019 -
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Office created
Deputy Leader of Reform
January 30, 2018 -
Succeeded by