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The Hon. Frederick Leyton Coburn Douglas, known almost universally as Leyton Douglas (b. January 2, 1940) is a former Chief Minister of Mainland, holding office three times - from April to August 1978, again from 1987 to 1990, and a third time from 1994 to 1998. A lifelong moderate Conservative, Douglas represented the state seat of Wilmot in the Mainland state legislature from 1963 until 2000, and the same seat in the legislature of East Mainland from 2000 until 2004, when he retired from state politics. Having been effectively the member for the same seat for forty-one years, Douglas is the second longest-serving member of a state legislature, behind John Watts, who served forty-eight years (1927-1976). Douglas has been described as a 'professional politician' and as "Mister Mainland", a nickname he has encouraged. Douglas is also remembered as having been Chief Minister three times but only ever winning one state election, and that only narrowly. Unpredictable and eccentric, Douglas is a national icon throughout much of Georgeland on both sides of the political divide.
Douglas was the the Conservative candidate for President of Georgeland at the Georgeland presidential election, 2008 at which he was defeated by Lois Daniels.

Hon
Leyton Douglas
Position 16th Chief Minister of Capitalia
Term in office April 2, 1978 - August 16, 1978
March 15, 1987 - October 1, 1990
January 30, 1994 - February 11, 1998
Preceded by John Hanson (1st time)
Dahlia Haslam (2nd time)
Mitchell Clarke (3rd time)
Succeeded by John McCully (1st time)
Mitchell Clarke (2nd time)
Duncan Fitzpatrick (3rd time)
Political party Conservative
Total time in office 7y 11m 11d
Born 2 January 1940
Spouse Emile Douglas (married 1968, died 2004)

Early life and education[]

Douglas was born to British parents in Huzzah in 1940. He recieved a public education until the age of 12 when he was enrolled in a private school. Douglas's father, Norman, was an air force officer who was shot down and captured by the Japanese during World War II, held as a POW from 1943-45. After the war, Norman Douglas went into politics and was state member for the seat of Wilmot from 1953-1963. The younger Douglas finished school in 1957 and was enrolled in the University of Mainland, finishing in 1961 with a law degree. He then travelled for a year, including some time spent in Japan, before returning home.

Entering state politics[]

Having become active in student politics at university, when Douglas's father died in 1963, Douglas opted to stand for Conservative preselection to contest his seat at the by-election. Douglas was subsequently elected to the seat, and continued to represent it for more than forty years. At 23, Douglas was the youngest member of the state legislature from 1963 until 1972 and remains the youngest person ever elected to a Mainland state legislature.
When John Hanson took over as Chief Minister from Alan McGuire in 1972, the Conservatives had been in power for thirteen years and were beginning to feel the strain and dip in the polls. Hanson instigated a significant ministerial reshuffle, and appointed Douglas, only 32 years old, as Minister for Racing, Gaming and Tourism. The following year, Douglas added responsibility for Arts and Broadcasting.
Hanson and the Conservatives were re-elected in 1974, but the opposition Labour Party, now led by John McCully, made significant gains. Internal criticism of Hanson's leadership led to a series of bloodletting dismissals from Cabinet, notably of Finance minister Neil Bloom in 1975. Douglas was appointed to Bloom's position and began to be seen as a potential successor to Hanson. Hanson's approval ratings continued to drop, until finally in October 1977, the state Education minister, Marcus Strange, challenged Hanson for party leadership. Hanson won the ballot, but early in 1978, Strange prepared to mount another challenge. Concerned over the damage this could do to the party, and with an election due in less than a year, senior party officials persuaded Strange to backdown on condition Hanson resign and a new leadership election held, at which neither Hanson nor Strange would stand. Hanson resigned on April 2 and the "compromise" candidate chosen was Douglas, who admitted later that he'd been surprised his name had been considered. Douglas was duly elected, unopposed, as leader of the Mainland Conservatives and became the state's 16th Chief Minister. At 37 years old, he was and remains the youngest person ever to hold the title of Chief Minister in any state.

First term as Chief Minister[]

Douglas's period in office was brief. He made few ministerial changes, and attempted a "business as usual" strategy, appointing his predecessor, Hanson, to his old position as Minister for Finance. The McCully opposition remained in front, though Douglas's ascention had gained back some ground for the government, and Douglas made a series of verbal gaffes which highlighted his youth and inexperience. Douglas called the state election for August 4, and went into the campaign as the underdog. Despite a significant surge in Conservative support during the campaign, the Labour Party won the election, winning 67 seats to 56 for the Conservatives, and John McCully was sworn in as Chief Minister.

Opposition and Treasurer[]

Douglas initially remained as leader of the Conservative Party in opposition, but increasing pressure for him to step down resulted in his resignation on September 31. In the ballot to replace him, Hanson and Strange both stood, but it was a third candidate, "dark horse" Dahlia Haslam, who won the leadership election. No woman had led a major state political party before, and Haslam's election immediately captured the public imagination and turned attention away from the McCully government. Haslam appointed Douglas as Shadow Treasurer, and he became Deputy Leader after Strange retired in 1981. The McCully government, hampered by little government experience and a flagging state economy, struggled after 1980 to maintain its lead over the Conservatives, and in 1982 Haslam and the Tories won the state election after just a single term in opposition. Haslam became the first woman to become a state Chief Minister, while Douglas became Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer. Douglas presided over a series of harsh economic measures designed to rejuvenate the state economy, and came into conflict with other state treasurers in doing so. He famously was captured on television in 1984 referring to then-Prime Minister Noel Quarton as "the dickhead" and walked out of a meeting with Treasurer Jim King and other state treasurers in 1986 after refusing to deal on an increase in sales tax.

Second term as Chief Minister[]

On March 10, 1987, Haslam resigned as Chief Minister following her husband's indictment and (subsequent) imprisonment on embezzlement and tax evasion charges. Douglas, as Acting Chief Minister, was elected unopposed to replace her as the head of Mainland's state government.
Douglas resolved to "do things differently" from Haslam and embarked on an ambitious reform platform, liberalising the party's social platform. This included limited access to abortion, though full abortion rights were not granted until 1996 by federal intervention. Douglas, during this time, began to be known as unpredictable and somewhat manic as Chief Minister. His pattern of behaviour became increasingly bizarre - one journalist noted that, in the middle of an interview, Douglas began singing loudly. One highly-publicised incident occurred on the floor of the state legislature. While the legislature was in session, Douglas interrupted a speech by opposition leader Mitchell Clarke to call attention to the public galleries, and then proceeded to walk around the chamber. Many speculated this was actually an attempt to take the focus off Clarke's speech, which worked.
His various media stunts and unusual style endeared him to the public somewhat, and his liberal stances on abortion, gay rights and welfare made him a pioneer in Conservative circles. However, in 1990 Douglas's government was defeated by Clark's Labour Party. It was Douglas's second loss as Chief Minister, and he announced he would step down as Tory leader immediately.

Return to opposition[]

After his resignation, a contest was held to replace Douglas as Conservative leader. On October 5, however, Douglas surprised everybody with an about-face, declaring he had changed his mind and that he would seek to stay on as leader. When frontrunner Michael Graves declined to run, and Paul Fuller withdrew after failing to summon enough support, Douglas was re-elected as party leader and became Leader of the Opposition.
The Clarke government was initially popular, but Douglas was able to "reinvent" himself as the "Tory for the Nineties". His moderate platform won supporters after a series of Leftist reforms by the Clarke government, and his parliamentary theatrics continued to dominate headlines. During one debate in 1992, Douglas picked up and brandished the mace on the chamber floor, earning him a three-day suspension from the chamber and forcing him to apologise. However, this and other incidents, while endearing him to some, also cost him support in the wider community.
The 1994 state election was called for January 16, considered a tactical error by Clarke as it forced the parties to campaign over Christmas. The campaign was marred by Trade minister Patrick Bullock being caught on tape describing Clarke as "fucking hopeless" and declaring that Labour "deserved to lose." Douglas won points by not even referring to the scandal and allowing the media to cover the story continuously throughout the campaign.
The Conservatives won the election with a three-seat majority over Labour, and Douglas was sworn in for a third term as Chief Minister on January 30, 1994. The 1994 election victory was his only one.

Third term as Chief Minister[]

After his 1994 election victory, Douglas declared he would seek a "consensus" on major state issues and adopted legislation sponsored by both Labour and the Georgeland Party. The most significant action by the third Douglas Government was the conflict with the new Labour federal government over abortion rights. Though Mainland had greater abortion access than Bradmarch or Scoita, Douglas opposed Charlton Robards and the federal government's attempts to legalise abortion across the entire nation. Douglas's position was that, while he was personally in favour of (some) abortion rights, the federal government was not empowered to legislate on abortion. Douglas, along with Chief Minister Kyle Jonas of Bradmarch, also a Conservative, and Bill Evans of Scoita (who was a Labour Chief Minister) led the opposition to the plan by taking the case to the Supreme Court, which ruled on March 21, 1996 that the federal government had the authority, under the "births, deaths and marriages" power, to legislate for abortion rights. The decision was viewed as a major victory for abortion advocates, and as a personal defeat for Douglas, Jonas and Evans, labelled as the "Three Amigos" by the press. Evans was heavily defeated at the Scoitan state election that year. Jonas and Douglas mmanaged to continue in office.
Also during this period, Douglas reformed the state's financial regulations and opened the state to greater international trade.
In 1997, Douglas opposed a move to subdivide the state into two, a movement with growing momentum since the 1960s. Douglas argued that to do so would "break the spirit" of the state and that a single Mainland would better be able to achieve economic prosperity. At the 1998 state election, the Labour opposition under Duncan Fitzpatrick campaigned strongly in favour of the division. Douglas and the Tories lost the election. It was Douglas's third and final defeat as Chief Minister at an election.

Opposition and retirement[]

After his 1998 election loss, Douglas, once again, stepped down from the Conservative leadership, and did not contest the ballot to elect a successor. he was not offered a position on the front bench of new Tory leader Neil Shaffer and instead retired to the back bench. He continued to oppose the state's subdivision, and campaigned against it in the 2000 referendum, which the "yes" camp won. Douglas stood for and won his seat of Wilmot in the new East Mainland legislature in 2000. In 2003, Douglas contested Wilmot again and was re-elected, but seven months later, he resigned from the legislature stating he'd "had enough". He continued to criticise the state government, and campaigned for Lucien Hagerty at the 2006 election, which Hagerty and the Conservatives won (with the support of the Georgeland Alliance.
Douglas authored three books after his retirement. He also occasionally guest lectures at universities and appears as a conservative commentator on television current affairs, most notably during the 2005 and 2007 elections.

Presidential campaign[]

On September 10, 2007, Douglas announced he would seek to become Georgeland's next President. His candidacy in the 2008 presidential election was supported by the incumbent East Mainland Chief Minister Lucien Hagerty, and by former party leader Benedict Ingram. Prime Minister Luke Macaulay was reported by the Globe and Standard newspaper on September 12 to have encouraged Douglas to run, but this report is unconfirmed. Douglas was considered by many as the front-runner among the Conservative candidates.
In a vote of 169,000 party members on February 4, 2008, Douglas was chosen as the party's presidential candidate with 53% of the vote. Douglas will face against four other high profile candidates - Charlton Robards, Lois Daniels, Martin Harrod and Ryan Stone in his bid to become Georgeland's first elected President for fifty years.
Douglas fared poorly in polls, based in part on the performance of Lois Daniels, the Georgeland Alliance candidate. Towards the end of the campaign, Douglas's polling suggested that he would struggle to place second or even third in the first round of voting. Commentators and polls suggested Douglas was not attracting support due to a perception that he would be a 'puppet' of the existing government and, alternatively, that the government did not support his candidacy. This latter perception gained some credance due to the fact that Prime Minister Luke Macaulay refused to campaign for Douglas and did not allow Tory MPs to actively campaign, with the explanation that he wanted the government to remain neutral in the election. Douglas also suffered from occasional gaffes and poor debate performance.
Douglas earned 14.78% of first-preference votes, finishing fourth overall. His percentage result was the lowest for a single Conservative candidate recorded since 1926. Douglas nonetheless remained in the count for several rounds. For most of the count he lagged behind Green candidate Martin Harrod, though he eventually overtook him on preferences from the National Front. Douglas's preferences helped to elect Lois Daniels as President.
After his defeat, Douglas declared his political career at an end and announced his permanent retirement.

Personal[]

Douglas married Emile Hobbes in 1968 and remained with her until her death in 2004, which prompted Douglas's retirement from state politics. Douglas has six children - Mark, a journalist and broadcaster (b. 1969), Emma (b. 1973), Jack (b. 1975), Carter (b. 1978), William (b 1980) and Antonia (b. 1985). Emma, Jack and Antonia Douglas are all active in Conservative branch politics.

Preceded by
John Hanson
Chief Minister of Mainland
April 2, 1978 - August 16, 1978
Succeeded by
John McCully
Preceded by
Dahlia Haslam
Chief Minister of Mainland
March 15, 1987 - October 1, 1990
Succeeded by
Mitchell Clarke
Preceded by
Mitchell Clarke
Chief Minister of Mainland
January 30, 1994 - February 11, 1998
Succeeded by
Duncan Fitzpatrick
Preceded by
Ed Jones
Leader of the Mainland Opposition
October 5, 1990 - January 30, 1994
Succeeded by
Neil Shaffer
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