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UNITY (the name is not an acronym) is a minor Georgeland political party, founded by former Deputy Prime Minister Andrea Perkins in June 2009. UNITY describes itself as a broad centre-left party with an emphasis on social justice. The party, as of 2009, has one Member of the House of Commons (Perkins herself), one state legislator in Long Island and East Mainland, three state legislators in West Mainland and fourteen local councillors. All of UNITY's elected officials are former members of the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Islands, with the sole exception of Topstad city councillor Erica Burns, who was elected as an Independent.

History[]

Perkins had been Deputy Prime Minister from 1997 to 2002, and leader of the Democratic Party of the United Islands. Perkins left politics in 2002 to take up an ambassadorial position in Astoria but at the 2005 election returned to the House of Commons as a Liberal Democrat. Perkins expressed dissatisfaction with LDP policy and culture during her career in the party and was not offered a ministerial position under Charlton Robards. Upon Robards' retirement she ran to succeed him but lost to Zoe Parker. Perkins subsequently accused party insiders of 'sabotaging' her candidacy. In 2008, Perkins was a leading contender for the LDP's presidential nomination but lost to Robards in the final round of balloting.A few months later, Perkins resigned from the LDP claiming her presidential campaign had also been sabotaged and accused the LDP of 'widespread corruption'. She subsequently became an Independent MP.
On June 12, 2009, Perkins announced the formation of UNITY as an alternative to the Liberal Democrats. Perkins urged all Liberal Democrats dissatisfied with the party's turn towards the centre and increasing culture of corruption to 'defect' to UNITY instead. No MPs or Senators have yet done so, though there have been a few defections at the state and local level.
The party's first annual conference is scheduled for November where the party's formal constitution and leadership structure will be finalised.

Party Structure[]

At present, the party does not have a formal constitution or leadership structure. Andrea Perkins is the party's federal leader, though she herself has said she is only acting as leader until a formal election can be held. Perkins has said the party's structure will be 'similar' to that of existing parties but with more rank-and-file involvement. The party has approximately 1,000 members as of July 2009.

Policy[]

Broadly centre-left and social democratic, Perkins has made the following announcements on UNITY's policy positions.

Climate change[]

UNITY broadly supports the government's emissions trading scheme but has said it would like to see greater emissions cuts by 2020 than the government's 20% target. UNITY has said it will work with all parties to obtain a viable climate change solution.

Economy[]

UNITY has called for restraint and lower charges from leading banks and financial corporations. It has also suggested extending the eligibility requirements for social security recipients while unemployment continues to rise.

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