Good Evening Lawattsia, and to other nations around the SLU who are now able to view our broadcast. I'm Howard McMahon....
Today, Emperor Lawrence II announced that he agreed with Prime Minister Alfred Vandrake to dissolve Parliament after it became clear that the governing Centrist Reform Party no longer had enough support to carry on governing in the Chambers of Parliament. Previously, the Centrist Reformers had been relying on support from the right wing People's Alliance, but when the Cabinet announced plans to introduce a new round of taxation, which would raise base rates to 60%, the Alliance pulled out and the government found that they could no longer sustain a majority. LNN will keep you updated as frequently as possible in regards to the election. The primary challengers will undoubtedly be the Social Democratic Party, mostly likely joined in an election pact with the Social Liberals. The SDP-SLP are the primary bloc opposing the Centrists. The People's Alliance is also looking to tap into voter dissatisfaction to raise themselves up to as many as 25 seats in the next Parliament.
Good evening, this is Howard McMahon with more coverage of the 2015 Lawattsian General Election.
This morning, campaign stops were made by all of the party leaders. Our coverage team joined Prime Minister Alfred Vandrake in the constituency of Brunought as he campaigned with incumbent MP Lewis Morgan and many Centrist Reform activists.
The CRP is currently polling second, however, internally there is a great deal of hope that the party can again form a governing coalition, maybe even with the Social Liberals, led by Richard Traxler. Traxler, himself, has not commented on such a possibility and spent the day in his constituency, Davenport South. The SLP is currently polling 4th, ahead of the minor Labor Party, a revolutionary Marxist-DeLeonist group who usually capture one or two seats thanks to proportional voting. The SLP told us that they were confident that they could pull ahead of the right wing People's Alliance and most members want a continuation of the SDP-SLP pact which was formed in 2002.
The high riding SDP leader Roger Owen and his deputy, Harry Eckhardt, both gave speeches at a rally in Frederick, the capital city, today. The SDP is promising a full employment platform and a change in how the government treats labor unions. There has been minor issues with security, Owen told his audience, what with recent news of several hijacked airplanes, and the SDP plans to clamp down hard on transport security, something their SLP partners might be wary of.
For now, that's all the news on the election front. Don't forget to tune in for our all night election coverage on the big day when we'll speak to prominent MP's as well as have results from most constituencies around the whole of the country.
Good evening, this is Howard McMahon with all of the news concerning Lawattsia and the next general election faced by the country. The Prime Minister today announced plans that would change the tax code if re-elected to even out the burden. Mr. Vandrake stated that since the gap between the wealthiest and poorest citizens in this country was was minuscule, that the tax burden on businesses should be eased. The SDP leadership called this plan ridiculous. Speaking to reporters today reacting to the plan, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Owen, commented that such a plan would widen the gap considerably and place the burden entirely on the lowest income earners.
Ed Anderson, leader of the People's Alliance, the major right wing party in the country, also spoke out on the deal, however, unlike Roger Owen, Dr. Anderson is generally supportive of the Prime Minister's plan. Anderson, a medical doctor before being elected to parliament, has long been critical of the SDP and the SLP for their support of the nationalized health care system. Polls show currently that the SDP is leading in the polls over the CRP with 34% to the Centrists 27%. In third place is the People's Alliance with 18% and the Social Liberals are in fourth place with 14%. The rest is divided among the minor Labor Party and undecideds. SLP Party President, Sarah Braxton, was asked if the SLP's position in the election was viable as a fourth party, and she had the following to say:
"The SLP may be fourth in the polling, but we still consider ourselves a viable national party, because of the proportional way we elect our parliamentarians. Even though we agree with the Social Democrats on most issues, there are some differences. For instance, they're a bit more apt to use government control than we are to solve problems and they're much stronger in the trade union movement than the SLP. That doesn't mean we wouldn't work with them. That's what we believe in. Consensus government and socially active government."
For all the news from the campaign trail, stay tuned to LNN.
Good Evening and welcome to LNN. This is Howard McMahon with more coverage of the upcoming general election. Tomorrow marks the opening of the polls and Prime Minister Vandrake was met with protesters today who are complaining that the laws requiring extensive ID confirmation before voting are suppressing the democratic will of the majority of citizens. In response, the Prime Minister promised to visit the issue after the election.
Roger Owen, campaigned with SDP Party President Colin Elliott today in Monn Valley. Having been hit hard by issues with Lawattsia's auto industry, the area is solidly SDP. We asked Colin Elliott why the party chose to campaign today in a safe constituency rather than in an area with swing seats, and he had the following to say:
"We wanted to project the fact that the SDP stands for everyone and doesn't take any votes for granted in this election. We wanted to present the fact that the coalition of the right and center-right forces has been a shambles. Just look at the fact that piracy goes on rampant and the collapsing auto industry. Look at the protests being made on voting rights. The Prime Minister is out of touch and we intend to improve the lot of the average person in government."
Mr. Owen gave a speech and the crowd atmosphere was quite electric. It was the largest turn out to an SDP rally of the entire campaign, even surpassing the one in Frederick where he appeared with his Deputy, Mr. Harry Eckhardt on the platform and both addressed a cheering crowd of almost 35,000 people. The SDP noted that they've been very happy with their rally turnouts through the election.
Mr. Owen on the platform there with Mr. Eckhardt on the far end of course.
The Centrist Reform Party's Deputy Leader also made waves today by attacking the SLP in Dall last night at a CRP rally. Neil Douglas made his case that the SLP was a party designed to siphon votes from the Center Party and could be rightfully blamed for forcing the CRP into a coalition with the right wing People's Alliance. Let's take you now to a clip from Dall...
"We can look at the greedy SLP leadership like Richard Traxler. A man who refused to negotiate with our party. We know that CRP and SLP voters have much in common, with the exception that their arrogant leadership were the ones who forced us to govern from the right with the People's Alliance! They have themselves to blame for much of the problems currently facing the country. We can not allow them to siphon our votes as they make themselves poodles to the hard left SDP!"
It remains to be seen if the Prime Minister will repudiate Mr. Douglas' comments or not. It should be said that CRP activists cheered greatly during Mr. Douglas' address as you could hear. I should note that on tomorrow's newscast we will have many of the results as well as full breakdowns of the parties on the issues and interviews with leaders in all of the main parties competing for the vote, so I encourage everyone watching in the entire SLU to tune in tomorrow for all the results.
Welcome to Lawattsia News Network broadcasting tonight from Frederick, this is Howard McMahon. Today, a plan from the government has come under attack from their own backbenchers. The new plan involves the Lawattsian health service and the plan presented in parliament today by the Health and Welfare Minister, Robert Fox, was loudly jeered by backbenchers in the government and Fox faced withering questioning, particularly by SLP members of the coalition who are furious at the idea that health care will no longer be free for those who refuse to be vaccinated. The Prime Minister, Sir Roger Owen, later spoke at a press conference denying that the coalition formed at last year's election is in any trouble.
I don't think the plan from the Health and Welfare Minister is endangering the government. We came to this plan that we feel is moderate and sensible. We don't want health costs skyrocketing and there's not going to be any termination of those who get their vaccines. This is a precautionary measure designed for both the viability of the free health service while also taking into account someone's personal preference.
Sir Roger didn't specify much beyond that point, but his government's plan met with an unusual supporter today in the form of the Leader of the Opposition and former PM, Sir Alfred Vandrake of the Centrist Reform Party.
I can say that having been a Prime Minister who had to attempt to keep health costs low, I can appreciate the difficulty that the government is having over this and I think their plan was rather fair, though we feel that there are some glaring errors in the legislation in terms of enforcement. Mr. Fox's plan, and by extension, Sir Roger's plan doesn't actually contain any sort of wording on how they would actually keep track of those that didn't receive vaccinations and we think that's a major problem.
I have here with me now my election night co-host, Lawattsian political expert Prof. Bob Kelsey, to discuss the situation. Good evening, Bob.
Good evening, Howard.
So Bob, what can you tell us about the legislation that was brought before the Parliament Chambers tonight?
It's actually pretty straight forward in terms of what's already been discussed. Lawattsia has had a free national health service for all of living memory, but costs have been rising steadily over the years and the coalition, particularly the SDP, are bothered by the notion that they simply raise taxes as a solution to everything, so they're introducing a creative way to raise funds for the government coffers.
The Social Liberals oppose the plan, though, as we could tell by the proceedings on television today. Could this legislation bring down the government and force another election?
It's doubtful that a no-confidence motion, if it was introduced, would pass, because the SDP might well decide to enter into a government with the Centrist Reformers and leave the SLP out in the cold. Richard Waxler, who has worked hard to rebuild the SLP, would be very much opposed to such an action and would likely put his own leadership on the line if his backbenchers forced the issue.
Bob, would the SDP leadership actually enter a coalition with the CRP?
I imagine that Harry Eckhardt, the Chancellor of Finance, would be keen on a CRP partnership. He has a lot of trouble with the backbenchers in both parties in terms of getting enthusiasm for more responsible spending that he's been advocating recently.
Could Robert Fox be dismissed as Health and Welfare Minister if this plan doesn't go through?
Well, hypothetically that could happen as Sir Roger will need to reassert his popularity with the backbenchers. It's doubtful that it does and I'm told that there probably won't even be a reshuffle until next year sometime. Most governments like a reshuffle after about 2 years.
If there was a dismissal, who would replace Mr. Fox?
Well, the most likely replacement would be the Local Government Minister Erin Robinson.
Thank you, Bob. We'll check back again with you shortly. Now, today's weather...
Good evening, this is Howard McMahon and welcome to LNN Evening News. To start us off tonight, we have word that Cheese Exports are down overall in comparison to this time last year. In Parliament Chambers at the Oak Palace today, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Raymond Egberton, faced hostile questioning over this matter from the opposition CRP and PAP. With us, we have both cheese and dairy industry expert, Alan Greave, as well as our chief political correspondent, Kay Stevenson. Let me start with you, Alan, can you explain to our audience a little bit about why this industry is so important to Lawattsia and why it may be in downturn?
Well, Howard, Lawattsia is the largest dairy producer in the entire SLU, and one of the largest in the entire world. Because the industry itself brings in over 15 billion wats, it's by far the primary economic mover. The biggest problem though is that the dairy industry, which just a few months ago, was down to just 8 billion wats of revenue, has been slammed by heavy government regulations over the health and safety of the products as well as a difficult foreign situation with Rossia.
So then what would you say is the biggest stumbling block with regards to dairy reaching over 20 billion wats again like it had in the past, Mr. Greave?
Well, if I were speaking to the Chancellor of Finance, I would say to Mr. Eckhardt that government regulations are frankly less necessary in this field than in most other industries. Consider, this nation has been producing the highest quality dairy for hundreds of years, and these regulations are costing the economy as well as small dairy farmers who simply cannot afford to keep up with the newly rigorous regulations.
Thank you, Mr. Grieve. Let me turn now to our chief political correspondent, Kay Stevenson. Kay, can you tell us a little bit about what went on in the Oak Palace early this morning?
Well, this morning, as you mentioned Howard, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Raymond Egberton was taken to task by the opposition parties when the dairy export figures were published. The Centrist Reform Party's opposition spokesperson, Ava Korey, made a blistering attack on Egberton, and the coalition government in general over the numbers and blamed the government for being distracted by the foreign situation. She was later joined in her attack by Popular Alliance Party members, wholly on the political right wing, who object to the regulations that were recently introduced.
Who led the attack from the PAP?
Well, former party leader Ed Anderson made a speech attacking both the SDP and the SLP and later the Prime Minister personally over the Rossian situation. He tied all this in to the dairy export numbers towards the end and was joined by their spokesman on finance, Norm Weiss. Mr. Weiss' speech was cut short when the government introduced a motion of support for both Mr. Egberton as well as the dairy export industry.
Was the Prime Minister in the Chambers for the debate, Kay?
Only towards the very end of the debate, Howard. The Leader of the House/Deputy Prime Minister Richard Waxler of the Social Liberals was the one handling the frontbench most of the morning. Later on both Sir Roger as well as Mr. Eckhardt arrived to support Mr. Egberton, who is a member of the Social Democrats.
Did Sir Roger speak at all to Parliament?
Not on this matter, Howard, no. The Prime Minister did later answer questions from MPs after the latest foreign affairs statement from Dr. Colin Elliott, who is the Foreign Affairs Minister.
Thank you, Kay. Thank you, Mr. Alan Greave. We will hear the latest on the Rossian situation when LNN returns after the latest weather update...
Good evening, this is Howard McMahon. We have breaking news tonight on LNN, that is the news that the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Alfred Vandrake has announced his resignation as leader of the Centrist Reform Party. This news comes straight on the heels of his former deputy, and longtime internal party foe, Neil Douglas winning the Isle Royale by-election. Now, from what I understand right now, Sir Alfred is giving his valedictory speech at the Oak Palace as we speak, so let's head over to our correspondent on scene, Michael Leonard. Michael, are you there?
Yes, I can just hear you, Howard. As you can see, there is Sir Alfred now giving his valedictory speech, and without further comment, I think it best we hear what he has to say as he seems to be winding up. Here is Sir Alfred....
"....It has been a wonderful 31 years in politics for me, Mr. Speaker, including 7 years as Prime Minister, I can say that I have very few regrets now looking back on my career. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for your generosity over these many years of your service, and I want to extend my thanks to the current Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Member for Oliver, and the Leader of the House, the Hon. Member for Davenport South, for granting me this time to make my valedictory speech. I want to extend my thanks to all the rest of my parliamentary colleagues, especially those of you on this side of Chambers who are sitting with me. You've all done much to make this a better, more moderate, more fair nation. Finally, I want to extend my gratitude for the people of Kent City, who 30 years ago, selected me as the Centrist Reform candidate to represent them in Parliament. I have always made Kent City my home, and will continue to do so tomorrow, and for the rest of my life. It's one of the most beautiful cities on all of Lawattsia's southern coast, so I plan to sit back, kick up my feet, and maybe once in awhile write a note to one of my local MP's to let them know how they're mucking up the country! It is with that sentiment, Mr. Speaker, that I say goodbye."
There now you can see and hear the laughter and applause from all sides of the Chamber as Sir Alfred resumes his seat with a little nod and wave. The Prime Minister coming over to shake his hand... Other congratulations there from his own party MPs. Obviously this is quite an outpouring for Sir Alfred who has been in Parliament for over 30 years and is now retiring...
Good evening and welcome to LNN Nightly News, this is Mark Richardson in for Howard McMahon tonight, who is ill. We bring you breaking news tonight on the Centrist Reform Party leadership election, to replace the now retired former Leader of the Opposition, Sir Alfred Vandrake. The CRP have a new leader, and surprisingly, it isn't Neil Douglas. In fact, according to reports, CRP MP's have elected instead, a former Vandrake protege, David Duncan. Duncan is 44 years old and unlike several of the previous CRP leaders, he is an exclusively List MP. He does not have a constituency. Let's go over to Kay Stevenson who is covering things from Coburn Road in Frederick, where the CRP have their headquarters. Kay?
I'm here, Mark, though I can barely make anything out through the heavy crush of people here at CRP HQ. As you can see, there is David Duncan, the new Leader of the Opposition, speaking with some party workers. He apparently bested Neil Douglas in a surprise vote among caucus members tonight. We don't have numbers yet, but we're told it was a close run thing.
So Kay, is there any word tonight from the Douglas camp, and what does the future of the CRP look like with David Duncan in charge?
Well, from what I understand, the Douglas camp have been very tight-lipped and are refusing to speak with anyone, either print or television journalists. A Duncan-led CRP is bound to continue on with Vandrake policy proposals, which are socially and economically moderate. Douglas wanted to take the party in a more right-ward direction, while Duncan has advocated a continued platform emphasizing the center way. Duncan is a very charismatic performer in Parliament Chambers and will be a real match for Sir Roger Owen's famed ability as a debater.
Thank you, Kay. Obviously, things are looking very different now, so first, let's speak to the Prime Minister about how he is feeling of this change of opponent. We're very pleased to have you with us, Sir Roger.
Hello, Mark. Good to be here.
Prime Minister, I'm sure you've got some feelings to convey about your new opponent at the Oak Palace?
Well, there's not much to say in that regard. CRP internal matters are a matter for them alone, really. Just as SDP matters are for us. I will say that they probably made a sensible choice in choosing David Duncan, because he is a tough debater, as I'm aware, but he represents the same failed policies that lost the CRP the last election. It's surely the reason why Sir Alfred is now retired to Kent City in the first place.
Well, further to that, with all the feeling that Mr. Duncan is such a good parliamentary performer, do you sort of hearken back to when you replaced Sir Tom Silverwell as SDP Leader? A young, charismatic leader who is more a "people's candidate" rather than a traditional grey-haired party leader?
Well, I don't really hearken back, really. Richard Waxler is also a younger, charismatic party leader for the Social Liberals. We're a newer breed, I suppose. The difference between David Duncan and myself is that while he is basically the same old, failed policies dressed up in a shiny new package, I, and to an extent, Mr. Waxler, both represented real policy breaks from our former leadership. For example, when I became Leader of the SDP, we were a party that stuck to the same rigid philosophy we had, 35 years ago. This country has changed and with it, so should our policies. That's not David Duncan.
Will you be discussing the Rossian situation in the coming days? I know the Emperor has taken it upon himself to speak on the matter.
Our Foreign Minister, Dr. Colin Elliott, is handling negotiations that are ongoing between our SLU allies on this matter. Unfortunately, I can't reveal too much of the ongoing details, but we feel very strongly that we will come out of this with a hopefully positive outcome for Lawattsia and for the SLU as a whole.
Will you undertake a trip abroad yourself for these negotiations?
No, I'll be leaving that to Colin.
Thank you for taking the time to join us tonight, Prime Minister..... And now we will move over to Andrew Goodrich with coverage of the LHL scores, including a game that broke Lawattsian hockey scoring records, the Monn Valley Maulers against the Lonsport Lords. Andrew, what can you tell us?
Good evening, this is Howard McMahon for LNN Evening News. We have a major breaking story from the Oak Palace and that is that a vote was taken in Parliament today that officially abolishes the monarchy. We understand a nationwide referendum will be called to officially decide the fate of the Emperor. We have with us author and historian, Professor Bob Kelsey of the University of Frederick. Bob, can you tell us a bit more about what this vote means for Lawattsia?
Well Howard, the vote today was really a long time coming in this Parliament. Both coalition parties, the SDP and SLP, advocated ending the monarchy, but didn't necessarily agree on how that should be done. The Social Democrats, as you may well remember from the campaign, wanted an elected Head of State in the manner of a President, which really doesn't change a great deal about our system, but it does mean that a head of state could more likely exercise a veto power over legislation they disagree with, if it's a political office. The Social Liberals wanted no head of state and simply wanted the Prime Minister to assume the role of both head of state and head of government. The legislation voted on today affirms that Parliament wants the dissolution of the office of Emperor, and are asking the public to vote in a referendum on maintaining or ending the Empire.
So Bob, we'll be seeing a referendum soon? How did the vote come down?
That's right, Howard. Well, the voting really wasn't a shock. The government parties voted for the legislation and the majority of the CRP and all PAP members voted against.
So there were some defectors from the Centrist Reformers?
Yes, a few of the CRP members are anti-monarchy. The CRP in its manifesto affirms support for the monarchy, but there have always been a few radicals.
Thank you, Bob. We'll try and get some reactions from MPs as the night continues.
Good evening, Lawattsia. This is Howard McMahon. We're opening tonight with news of the upcoming referendum on the Emperor. We've actually had the opportunity to speak with Lawrence II on this. His opinions on the result may surprise you. Let's go now to that interview with LNN's senior reporter, Mark Richardson.
Mark Richardson here with Emperor Lawrence II, but in another life, you were known as Lawrence Watt, MP for Hazelkirk & Ginger Hill, correct?
That's right, Mark. It really wasn't so long ago. I've only been Emperor for six years.
In that time since you left your political career, how have you enjoyed wearing the ceremonial robes and taking part in the pomp and circumstance as opposed to glad-handing voters in a constituency?
Well, the differences are more apparent. For starters, my day is much more regimented than when I was in Parliament. There's formal obligations and meetings with other heads of state and everyone is always very deferential to the position, but I find I miss the world of politics. The recent difficulties with Rossia really forced me to act. I never want to stand in the way of the Prime Minister setting the agenda, especially not Sir Roger Owen, whom I've known and respected for many years, but I couldn't just be some idle figurehead. It was important to stand up for what's right.
So, with that said, you must have some opinion about the recent bill that passed in Parliament's Chambers at the Oak Palace? Do you feel like the referendum will pass with voters to abolish your position?
I do have an opinion, and I believe that it's likely that it will. We're a liberal and egalitarian society and the position of Emperor is a callback to days where this country didn't quite have the same democratic ideals that we do now. The Emperor was more than just Head of State who signed off on the PM's agenda. They set the laws and the policy because they believed that people needed to be governed by a strong, benevolent ruler. Now, we believe our people are smart enough to vote for their representatives. I think maybe we can continue the tradition of a Head of State, but rather than an inherited position, the people could elect a President or something along those lines.
An elected President of Lawattsia instead of an Emperor. Would that be a position you'd seek yourself?
Possibly. Or I might want to be an MP again. I liked serving my local constituents.
Would you consider abdication?
No, because the position might just go to some other member of my family. If the Lawattsian people choose to abolish the position, I will be very happy to return to life away from the pomp.
Certainly an enlightening interview. Thank you, Your Grace.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. You're watching LNN, I'm Howard McMahon. Our top story today and to be quite frank, probably our top story ever, is that Lawrence II, formerly and in future to be known as Lawrence Watt, Emperor of Lawattsia, is prepared to abdicate the throne today. As we're coming on the air, he has begun his remarks and we're going to be joining him as he does so and prepares to remove his ceremonial robes. Let's take you there now live where the Emperor is making his final remarks.
It has been my joy and honor to serve this country as Emperor for six years of my life. I know it is a small blip in time when compared to over one thousand years of national history and tradition. I confess that I do feel a sense of sadness to be removing the robes that my father and grandfather wore and I do feel a sense of sadness to be officially putting an end to this tradition. But, the Lawattsian people, you, have spoken very clearly and I wholeheartedly endorse the decision that you made. I do look forward to returning to private citizenship, but I also look forward to serving the country in new and exciting ways. Last week, this country proved that democratic ideals are alive and well in the world, and as I finish speaking for the final time as your Emperor, I thank you all for the respect and esteem that was afforded me by you, and I look to the future with hope that this island nation will be still standing unconquered in spirit for another thousand years. Thank you.
And there we have it. The Emperor removes his ceremonial robes and hands them to an attendant. They will be going back to the Oak Palace, which will convert the Emperor's quarters into a museum, I believe. We will continue coverage of the Emperor's official abdication all evening long...
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. We are interrupting regularly scheduled programming on LNN to bring you a breaking situation taking place in Parliament Chambers at the Oak Palace. It appears that there is a no-confidence motion taking place against the government. Let's get there now where Opposition Leader David Duncan is just wrapping up his speech...
...Yet after this massive upheaval in our society, the Prime Minister and his lackeys have no plan for the future. One minute he says he wants an elected head of state. Then another, he says he wants none at all. One minute they call for a free market economy. The next, they're implementing more controls! Nothing but mixed messages! So, Mr. Speaker, my colleagues on this side of the Chamber are expressing that we have no confidence in this government to carry on and we believe that our view is the view of both the majority of this Parliament as well as the majority of the people of Lawattsia!
MR. SPEAKER CALLS THE PRIME MINISTER!
There he goes again, Mr. Speaker! Talk about having no policy, two and a half years ago, if I could remind the Honorable Gentleman from West Valentine that when he was in government as Foreign Affairs Minister, his own leader was being led around by his snout by the Deputy PM! That's why they lost the last election, and they think in just two years that the public have all of a sudden a restored sense of trust in the CRP? What planet is he on? Let me remind the Chamber just some of the accomplishments of this government! We held the referendum on the monarchy like we promised! We expanded voting rights to 16 year olds! Our dairy exports have grown to over 18 billion Wats, our top industry has improved by 108% since the Hon. Member was in government! We've successfully dealt with a foreign crisis, more investment in education and welfare, and an expanded role in the SLU! We have delivered on many of our promised aims. How can this chamber have no confidence in this government when we stand head and shoulders above the opposition?!
MR. SPEAKER CALLS FOR A DIVISION ON WHETHER OR NOT THE CHAMBER HAS CONFIDENCE IN THE GOVERNMENT! THE RT. HON. SPEAKER WILBERT HUMPHREY SHALL READ THE RESULTS.
The AYES vote 259 The NAYS vote 255 ABSTENTIONS 61 NOT PRESENT 25
I, Wilbert Humphrey, Speaker of the Chamber, hereby certify that these results are valid and the motion of no confidence in the government has passed. I call the Prime Minister!
In light of this result, Mr. Speaker, I am duty bound to announce that I will be going to the country a little earlier than we expected obviously, but we will date a general election to be held no later than two month's time from today's date. We will go to the country, Mr. Speaker, and I am confidant that the Lawattsian public will see fit to return this government!
MR. SPEAKER hereby declares this Parliament ADJOURNED!
Good evening, viewers across Lawattsia tonight, and to viewers around the SLU, I'm Howard McMahon. We have some breaking news tonight coming out of the Oak Palace. The Internal Affairs Minister has resigned. Lionel Hogan, a big proponent of the increase of the welfare state has resigned from the government. We haven't got a confirmation in as to why, but our sources tell us that this is not just down to a disagreement over government policy. Mark Richardson is outside of Parliament Chambers now with a report on this situation. Mark, are you there?
Yes Howard, I'm here at the Oak Palace, where we indeed have word that Lionel Hogan's resignation is confirmed, and while debate is still going on the the chamber behind me, I've spoken to front and backbench government MPs as they've either been entering or exiting the chamber, who tell me a similar story, and that is that Mr. Hogan is resigning in protest over the Chancellor of Finance's upcoming budget. I'm also hearing rumors that Mr. Hogan intends to challenge Richard Waxler for the leadership of the Social Liberal Party, the junior coalition party in the government.
Mark, would that mean then that if such a leadership challenge were successful that it would put the coalition in danger of breaking up?
It doesn't necessarily mean that, Howard. It would mean a much less cordial relationship between the two leaders, though. Our sources say that the Prime Minister implicitly trusts Mr. Waxler, and that the relationship between Sir Roger and Mr. Waxler was one of the keys to keeping the coalition together and united after the election last year. Mr. Hogan and Mr. Waxler have never had cordial relations, and we've heard that while Mr. Hogan has been Internal Affairs Minister for all but a few months early on when Sarah Braxton had the job in 2015, that he has been deeply frustrated with government policy.
You've said that the disagreements over the upcoming budget have precipitated the resignation. Any news on what's upcoming in it?
Not as of yet, Howard. The Chancellor Harry Eckhardt, and his number two, the Secretary to the Treasury Bernie Galvin, have not spoken publicly about what's to come in this budget, but we understand that last month's economic news was not good and that Mr. Eckhardt and Mr. Galvin are going to propose some very serious restructuring, although I should stress we don't know what that might be, though Mr. Hogan's resignation gives us an idea of where the government might be heading.
Mark, is there any news on who will replace Mr. Hogan on the sixth floor?
None yet, Howard. It could be Mrs. Braxton again, and I've also heard from sources that the Prime Minister might consider moving Dr. Colin Elliott from the Foreign Office on the third floor of the Oak Palace to the sixth floor where the Internal Office is. That would require a new Foreign Affairs Minister, which could be Jean Sellman, the Secretary of Defense.
Thank you, Mark. We'll be monitoring this situation closely in the coming days.