United Christian Front

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United Christian Front
Established 1948
Economic ideology Christian Democracy
Social ideology Catholic Integralism
Parliamentary Leader Sir Thierry del Moray
President Vacant (Acting President: Princess Irene)

The United Christian Front is the dominant party of the conservative wing of Pantocratorian politics, and has been for the past fifty years. It is committed to the defence of the Imperial perogative, the enfranchisement of the Catholic Church as not only the state religion, but a key part of the state's infrastructure, and the establishment of Pantocratoria as a military power.

The Founding of the UCF

The United Christian Front was founded in 1948 by Sir Spiro Phocas, a Knight of the Order of the Pantocrator, after the death of his father Lord Phocas of the Bosphorus. In the 1951 elections it won 102 of the 540 seats of the Pantocratorian Imperial Parliament, making it the strongest opposition party opposing the Pantocratorian National Democratic Party Government.

Opposition (1951 to 1970)

First Term (1951 to 1959)

Sir Spiro lead the United Christian Front throughout the 1950s, his primary policy focus being the Imperial Government's funding cuts to the military. When Emperor Constantine XXIII died, the United Christian Front's poll numbers jumped to over 50% - the death of the Soldat Sebasto seemed to reinvigorate Pantocratoria's enthusiasm for the military. The enthusiasm gradually subsided over the coming years, however, and when Emperor Isaac V dissolved the Pantocratorian Imperial Parliament in 1959, the UCF fell short of forming government by 50 seats. It did consolidate its position as the premier opposition party, however, absorbing the seats of the four minor opposition parties to finish with 221 seats.

Second Term (1959 to 1962)

Sir Spiro persisted with pushing the rebuilding of Pantocratoria's military as the United Christian Front's primary policy issue for the whole of the second term. Heavy criticism within the party of his leadership developed throughout the period - it was felt he was neglecting the party's other key interests and other policy areas of more interest to the voting public. The United Christian Front lost ground in the 1962 elections, being reduced to 189 seats, and Sir Spiro resigned the leadership.

Third Term (1962 to 1970)

Cardinal Neville, the Archbishop of New Rome, was elected as the new leader of the United Christian Front in a party room ballot in 1962. He shifted the party's primary policy drive to religious matters. He was an effective advocate for the established role of the Catholic Church in the electoral process against the efforts of the Pantocratorian National Democratic Party.

Cardinal Neville died unexpectedly in 1965, and Sir Pierre Phocas, the son of Sir Spiro, narrowly won a leadership ballot against Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople. The leadership battle continued over the rest of 1965, however, and Sir Pierre was defeated in an impromptu leadership ballot later that year by Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople. Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople was an enormously charismatic leader, and was swept into office in the United Christian Front's victory in 1970.

Government (1970 to 1974)

The United Christian Front won government in a landslide in 1970, winning 387 seats in the Imperial Parliament. D'Adrienople's charisma, which had swept them into office, would not keep them there. The new Imperial Chancellor had a series of public disputes with Emperor Isaac V, which turned public opinion against him very quickly. The majority of his cabinet quickly distanced itself from the embattled chancellor, but failed to overthrow him in a leadership ballot. The Government was given a brief reprieve when Emperor Andreus came to the throne, but failed to make up very much of its lost ground. When the 1974 election was called, the Pantocratorian National Democratic Party regained government. Emperor Andreus however seemed skeptical about the parliament process, and selected the Imperial Cabinet from both the new Government and from the opposition (notably he kept Sir Pierre as Foreign Minister).

Opposition (1974 to 1992)

The Emperor Rules Alone (1974 to 1980)

Emperor Andreus exercised more of his perogative than any emperor had since the 19th Century when he picked his ministers with little regard to which party held a majority in the Imperial Parliament. The political process became fairly irrelevant for the rest of the 1970s, but since this advantaged several United Christian Front ministers who had retained their portfolios despite losing government, the UCF didn't complain. The Imperial perogative became another key policy area incorporated into the United Christian Platform. Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople retained enough of his popularity with the UCF rank and file to hold onto the leadership until 1979, at which point the pressure became too great, and he resigned. Monsignor Hugh de la Morée won the leadership uncontested. In 1980 the Emperor dissolved the Parliament and called new elections.

Rebuilding (1980 to 1992)

The Pantocratorian National Democratic Party increased its majority to 402 seats, demolishing the United Christian Front in the 1980 elections. The Emperor declined to recall the Parliament after the elections, choosing to keep his current ministers. He didn't recall the house until his brother, Prince Basil, decided to take one of the seats reserved for the Imperial Family in the Parliament in 1981. The Pantocratorian National Democratic Party passed several acts, but the Emperor withheld his Imperial assent from all of them, preventing them from becoming law. The "Government", although it was only that in name, was incensed, and brought the dispute into the press, where it conducted a mounting campaign against the Imperial perogative over the rest of the 1980s.

During this time, the United Christian Front focussed on defining itself as a party the Emperor could work with. Monsignor de la Morée decried the Pantocratorian National Democratic Party as extremists, who would rip apart Pantocratoria's time honoured institutions in their thirst for power. Although at first most members of the public agreed with this stand, the office of Emperor holding more sway than that of Imperial Chancellor, over the 1980s the PNDP's case became increasingly convincing. Radical action was needed to preserve the Imperial perogative, defeat the Pantocratorian National Democratic Party, and to do so in a manner which would end the conflict between the Parliament and the Crown. Hugh de la Morée was not equipped, and stood down in 1989, replaced by the leadership team of Prince Basil and his sister and deputy Princess Irene.

Princess Irene's links with the Pantocratorian Congregation for the Protection of the Creed, Pantocratoria's electoral body, and Prince Basil's charisma and persuasive public speaking style are generally held to be the keys to the United Christian Front's crushing 540 seat victory in the 1992 election, in that order. Despite the obviously fixed election result, the fact that there was now a properly constituted Imperial Parliament friendly to the Crown ended the debate about the Imperial perogative.

Government (1992 to 2004)

The United Christian Front, under the leadership of the Emperor's brother and sister, set about implementing the Emperor's policy. It was during this period that Princess Irene created the Ministry of Cultural Development and used it to force conformity on Pantocratorian society. A slow build-up of Pantocratoria's military began, rapidly accelerating towards the end of the term. By the mid-1990s, the United Christian Front Government was so thoroughly established, and the press so thoroughly controlled through the Ministry of Cultural Development, that public opposition to the Government began to collapse, disappearing totally by 2000.

Forces of change within the party slowly began to bring about an inevitable end to the United Christian Front Government. Prince Basil and Princess Irene pursued different goals, and Irene's extremism made her brother increasingly uncomfortable throughout the late 1990s. In 2001 Prince Basil invited his nephew, Prince Constantine into the United Christian Front and the Parliament. The young prince was clearly being built into a potential rival for the deputy leadership - within just one year, Prince Basil brought him into the cabinet as Minister for Housing. In 2003 the princeling was made Minister for Public Safety, a senior portfolio. His more progressive ideas brought him into ideological conflict with his aunt, Princess Irene.

Outside of the party itself, the Emperor was slowly beginning to be swayed on the topic of Parliaments (most notably by his favourite child, Princess Anna). As he matured he began to feel that it would be possible to rule with a Parliament, rather than either ruling alone or ruling through a puppet Parliament. It was finally at the urging of Prince Constantine that the Emperor called fresh elections in 2004. This was enough for Princess Irene. Moving in the party room, she rallied her supporters around her, until she convinced a majority of the members of the Parliament to form a new political party with her, the Pantocratoria First Party. The break-away group formed Government in the lead up to the election, and in doing so capitalised on the UCF's popular policies whilst distancing itself from its unpopular ones. The remaining United Christian Front members reformed the party as the Loyal Christian Front.

Reformation (2005)

In late 2005 the leaders of the Loyal Christian Front and the Pantocratoria First Party met and negotiated the terms under which the United Christian Front would be reformed as one party. Each party room agreed, and the United Christian Front was reformed. Prince Basil was elected as leader, and Pantocratoria First Party leader Isaac Comnenus was elected as his deputy. There is still much enmity within the United Christian Front between the two groups, and factional divisions have become fairly visible. The loyalist conservatives form a distinct faction around Prince Basil, the hard right consists primarily of former Pantocratoria First Party members, and there is a slowly growing liberal Catholic faction which sees a future for the United Christian Front but resists a lot of the policies to roll back Socialist democratising and liberalising reforms. The loyalist and liberal (Loyal Christian Front) factions united to call a new ballot for the position of deputy leader in a party room meeting in November, which resulted in the election of Prince Constantine as Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Prince Constantine lost the Deputy Leadership in a ballot shortly after his engagement to the Unitarian Grand Duchess Morgan ni Cunedda of the Resurgent Dream was announced, when Prince Basil shifted his support to Isaac Comnenus as a demonstration of his dissatisfaction with the match.

Leaders of the United Christian Front

  • Sir Spiro Phocas (1948 to 1962)
  • Michel Cardinal Neville, Archbishop of New Rome (1962 to 1965)
  • Sir Pierre Phocas (1965)
  • Jean-Pierre d'Adrienople (1965 to 1979)
  • Monsignor Hugh de la Morée (1979 to 1989)
  • Prince Basil (1989 to 2004)
  • Prince Basil (2004 to 2005) (Leader of the Loyal Christian Front) / Princess Irene (2004) and Isaac Comnenus (2004 to 2005) (Leader of the Pantocratoria First Party)
  • Prince Basil (2005 to 2007)
  • Sir Thierry del Moray (2007 to Present)

Front Benchers

  • Sir Thierry del Moray (Leader of the Opposition)
  • Isaac Comnenus (Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Treasurer)
  • Prince Constantine (Shadow Minister for Public Safety)
  • Frederic d'Alpuget (Shadow Minister for Finance)
  • Father Luc Campagio (Shadow Minister for Cultural Development)
  • Sir Cyrus Fastonville (Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs)
  • Jean Gallipolitano (Shadow Minister for Defence)