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Kyle David Jonas (b. March 25, 1948) is a Georgeland politician who served as Chief Minister of Bradmarch from 1993 to 2004. His tenure in office of ten and a half years makes him the state's second-longest-serving Chief Minister, behind Edward Donnelly, who served for twenty-six years (1891-1917). Jonas is a member of the Conservative Party of Georgeland and, as of 2007, is a candidate for the party's nomination for the 2008 Presidential election.

KyleJonas
Kyle Jonas
Position 19th Chief Minister of Bradmarch
Term in office August 16, 1993 - Feburary 12, 2004
Preceded by Geoff Davis
Succeeded by Owen Canderwell
Political party Conservative
Total time in office 10 y, 6m
Born March 25, 1948
Spouse Nancy Clarke (married 1973, divorced 1978)
Melissa Jonas (married 1979)

Early life and education[]

Jonas was born in Dannyburg, the son of Jeremy and Anne Jonas. Jonas's father was a schoolteacher who had served in the Second World War; his mother was later a successful businesswoman. Jonas was educated initially in the state system but was admitted to St. Thomas's Grammar School in Sergiocitta when his father became Headmaster of that school in 1960. He excelled at mathematics and Latin, and was a member of the school cricket and debating team. In 1966 he was admitted to the University of Mainland on a scholarship, where he studied law. He was President of the Hawker Club (the social club for UM law students) from 1968 until 1970 and President of the University Council 1969-70. He graduated with first class honours in 1971.

Legal career[]

Jonas was admitted to the Bar in 1972 and practiced as a solicitor before being appointed as a public prosecutor in 1977. In private practice he had become a specialist in family law, and found that prosecution disagreed with him, and in 1979 he returned to private practice as a partner in the prestigious Harper and Kane firm, which became Harper, Kane and Jonas in 1984. He was President of the Bradmarch Law Society from 1983 until 1988.

Early political career[]

In 1985, Jonas was selected as a Conservative candidate for the Sergiocitta City Council. His association with the Conservatives had begun at university. Jonas was elected to the council by a 15% margin for the city's Fourth Ward. He served on the council part-time while continuing to practice law. Jonas lobbied actively against welfare and in favour of "family-friendly" policies, and gained a reputation as a Conservative traditionalist. In 1987 he was re-elected to the council.
Jonas stood down from the Council in 1989 in order to run for the state legislature. He was unopposed in the Conservative preselection ballot. At the general election held in August, Jonas was elected to the legislature with 57% of the vote in his seat of Charlotte. With his career on the council and as a families advocate, Jonas was immediately made Shadow Minister for Families and Children by Opposition Leader Barry Foley. Jonas gained media attention for his weekly news conferences, at which he made a point always to make a policy announcement. As his media profile increased, however, so too did speculation he would attempt to take over the party leadership. In March 1990, Foley demoted Jonas to the backbench. Jonas immediately challenged Foley for the leadership, but was defeated. He continued as a backbencher to make regular announcements. In September, Jonas challenged Foley again and won. He became the new Leader of the Opposition.

Opposition leader[]

Jonas, at 45, was the youngest state Tory leader in decades and his accession to the leadership marked a turnaround in the party's fortunes and standing in the polls. The party jumped eight points in a fortnight, drawing level with the governing Labour Party by October. This later settled down, with Jonas spending most of his Opposition career trailing the government by a narrow margin.
Jonas continued his weekly briefings and made a policy announcement each time. His theme was families, as it had always been, and he proposed a series of measures to strengthen families and opposed legalisation of abortion and further domestic rights for same-sex couples.
In May 1991, Chief Minister Michael Henshaw announced his retirement from politics and was replaced by Dr. Geoff Davis. Davis, from the Labour Party's left faction, was widely seen as incompetent, especially after a series of gaffes and a scandal over ministerial pay. In October of 1992, ten months from the election, Jonas overtook Davis in the polls for the first time.
The election of August 1993 was an electoral disaster for Labour. Jonas led the Conservatives to a landslide victory. The Tories won 26 seats out of 32. Jonas was sworn in as Chief Minister of Bradmarch on August 16. He was the first Conservative Chief Minister since 1976.

Chief Minister[]

First Term 1993-1996[]

While the decimated Labor Party regrouped, Jonas passed significant amounts of legislation in the first 100 days of his term, among them laws restricting the sale of pornography and other sexual material. He also recriminalised prostitution, which had been decriminalised (if not legalised) in 1988.
The defining issue of Jonas's first term was abortion. In 1996, the newly-elected federal Labor/Democratic government led by Charlton Robards attempted to use the federal births, deaths and marriages power to legislate for national abortion rights. Along with Leyton Douglas of Mainland and Bill Evans of Scoita (who was Labor by affiliation), Jonas led the battle against the federal move. Jonas personally argued aspects of the case in front of the full bench of the Supreme Court. His steadfast opposition to abortion was a divisive issue in the state, and increasingly good polls for Labor leader and Robards ally James Villiers did not help Jonas's position. After the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the federal government, Jonas called a snap election, which he won. However, Labor and the Democrats increased their representation from eight to twelve, while the Conservatives won nineteen and the Georgeland Alliance one seat.

Second Term 1996-2000[]

Jonas commenced his second term by enacting legislation to fix the parliamentary term. He had been highly criticised for calling the election for when he did and taking advantage of Labor's division over abortion rights and the Supreme Court decision. From the 2000 election, all future Bradmarch elections would be held on the first Friday in August, with the Governor to be elected at the same time.
Jonas suffered a significant loss on September 17, 1998, when his Deputy Chief Minister, Norman Graves, died in a light plane accident. The following day, Education Minister Don Tallow also died, of a heart attack. The loss of two high-profile ministers deeply affected Jonas, who cried visibly on television just after Tallow's death. This did little to harm him politically, as it softened his somewhat stern and aloof image.

Third Term 2000-2004[]

The Conservatives lost their legislative majority at the August 2000 election, winning only 15 out of 32 seats, while the Liberals and the Democrats won 14 (seven each), with the other three seats falling to the Greens and independents. Jonas pledged to continue as Chief Minister and significantly reshuffled the cabinet. He accepted certain conditions from independent James Calloway in exchange for support - one of these conditions was a relaxation of drug laws, which Jonas was said to personally oppose but had no choice to implement. However, for most of his third term, Jonas continued to govern from a hard-right position, though several bills were defeated in the unicameral legislature.

Defeat in Parliament[]

In January 2004, Jonas attempted to pass a contraversial bill which would limit the right of unions to declare industrial action. The Liberal Democrats fiercely opposed the bill, and after it was defeated, declared a motion of no-confidence in Jonas's government. The motion passed, with 17 votes to 15. Jonas handed in his resignation to Governor Francine McKinnon. He did not have the option of calling an election, as an election was due within six months. He immediately resigned from the legislature, declaring he would retire. Owen Canderwell was sworn in as head of a Liberal Democrat government.

Retirement and after[]

After his retirement from politics, Jonas spent time writing and guest lecturing at several universities. His memoirs, The Ten Year Itch, were released in May 2005. Jonas commented from time to time on state and national issues, and campaigned for the Conservatives at the 2005 and 2007 elections. He supported Mary Byrne's leadership of the party in the 2006 leadership ballot. He has remained silent on the issue of party modernisation and Luke Macaulay's reposition of the party towards the centre.

Presidential bid[]

On October 12, 2007, Jonas announced he would seek the Tory nomination to succeed Charlotte Lang as President of Georgeland. His candidacy represents the party's right wing. Some analysts have suggested Jonas could be a "dark horse", as many Conservatives have been reluctant to embrace the increasing centrism of the party.

Political views[]

Jonas is very much considered part of the party's right-wing. He is often identified with the Catholic Right of the party, though this is not strictly correct as he is Anglican. Nevertheless, he holds very conservative views on many issues. He opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage, though he has conceded both are unlikely to be repealed. He also opposes trade unions and has suggested strict controls be placed on union power, including the abolition of the right to strike. He supported the American invasion of Iraq and supports military action against Iran. He also supports an end to the ban on nuclear power in Georgeland and substantial tax cuts.

Personal[]

Jonas married Nancy Clarke in 1973. The couple had four children - twins Martin and Patrick (b. 1974), Jessica (b. 1976) and Edmund (b. 1977). In 1978 Clarke and Jonas divorced. The following year, Jonas married Melissa Hart, and the two have been married ever since. Jonas has one son, David (b. 1980) by his second wife.

Trivia[]

  • Jonas had a Jewish grandfather, but his father converted to Anglicanism in 1943. He therefore is not considered to have been the country's first Jewish head of government.
  • Jonas is a (very distant) relative of the Plantagenet family.
  • While his sons Martin and David are active in the Conservative Party, his daughter Jessica is a Liberal Democrat who worked for the party at the 2007 election.
Preceded by
Geoff Davis
Chief Minister of Bradmarch
August 16, 1993 - Feburary 12, 2004
Succeeded by
Owen Canderwell
Preceded by
Barry Foley
Leader of the Bradmarch Opposition
September 9, 1990 - August 16, 1993
Succeeded by
James Villiers
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