The current governing party, the Royalists, was born from a disagreement within the Blades over the extension of the voting franchise and the failure of the Common Education Bill. This schism led to a number of more liberal Blades councillors, led by the Earl of Sunburry, defecting to form a new party. The charismatic earl then managed to convince a number of independent and Progressive Moderate councillors to join his new party, almost instantly transforming the Royalists into a party capable of forming government. Since then The Royalists have held office for seven of the last eleven years.
Politically the Royalists are cautiously liberal in their domestic policies. They have campaigned with mixed success to end child labour, improve workers’ rights and extend the voting franchise to all adult men. They have greatly expanded the Realm’s public education system and have worked to improve sanitary conditions in the larger cities. Domestically they are generally at odds with both the Progressive Moderates, who see their changes as being too slow and too shallow, and the Blades, who see them as dangerously radical
In foreign affairs the Royalist have proven aggressive defenders of Realmish freedoms. Indeed, much of the Earl of Sunburry’s efforts as Lord Centurion have been dedicated to the limiting of Caladian and Auerswaldian power on the continent. They are also fierce protectors of the Realm’s overseas trading interests and have demonstrated a willingness to employ the Navy where these interests are threatened.
Lord High Centurion Arthur Richard Rutland-Davies, 18th Earl of Sunburry
On the other parties
The Progressive Moderates. Ernest fellows, full of wise ideas, lofty ambitions and awful policies. Pray they remain in opposition. If they won government they’d ruin the nation in their rush to improve her.
The Blades. A deservedly august and proud party. Unfortunately they have become increasingly obsessed with defending their own fortunes – even when to do so is to the country’s detriment.
The Blades – so named for the family swords so many of their councillors wear – are the oldest of the Realm’s political parties. Tracing their lineage back almost two centuries to the end of the Tumult, the Blades were originally firm supporters of both the council itself and the limitation of the great families’ powers.
Over time the Blades have become an increasingly reactionary party who now fiercely defend the aristocracy’s privileges and resist almost all social change.
Like the Royalists, the Blades’ foreign policy has traditionally focused on maintaining the balance of power on the continent.
Supported by the many of the Realm’s grandees, the Blades have governed for the majority of the last century. Their recent split with the Royalists has weakened their position however and seen them relegated to opposition for much of the last decade.
Augustus Alexander John de Minae, 49th Duke of Mandor
On the other parties
The Progressive Moderates. Agitators, demagogues and wreckers. They are so jealous and petty, they’d gladly trample on even the most sacred of traditions in their efforts to pull down their betters. By rights they should all be languishing in prison, not sitting in the Century Council!
The Royalists. Men who should know better. Their foreign policy is wise enough, but domestically they have been blinded by a wide and deep cut of naive romanticism. Even a fool should be able to see the working man is not ready for the power the Royalists want to gift him.
The Progressive Moderates
The Progressive Moderates are the party of change. Often described as the political arm of the Ranters, the officially stated objectives of the Progressives are the improvement of workers’ rights and the extension of the voting franchise to all adult Realsmen and women.
Saying this, the Progressives are a broad church. While their more moderate members advocate policies only a little more aggressive than the government’s current agenda, their radical faction desires almost a complete revolution. Led by the fiery orator John Sinclair, these radicals preach redistribution of wealth, abolition of aristocratic titles, the creation of a republic and the return to (a probably mythological) egalitarian rural economy. Although Sinclair denies any links to the Eveners, he is often accused of being their mouthpiece and has spent three spells in prison.
These deep factional divides with the Progressives moderates have done much to reduce the party’s effectiveness and almost guarantee the party will be unable to form government in its current form.
On the other parties
The Blades. Idiots, bullies and moneyed scoundrels. No act is too base for these men when they are fighting to defend their privileges. The kindest that can be said about them is that they were lucky enough to be born to rich fathers.
The Royalists. Their hearts are in the right place, but their ears strain to hear the hunting horn and their eyes look up to the great houses.