Refugee Protection Act debacle hits SDU on campaign trail
With just eleven days left on the campaign trail, the rhetoric has heated up in the races for state legislative majorities in the four states due for a vote on April 14. The Chancellor’s SDU finds itself increasingly on the defensive in the wake of several setbacks and defeats, both at home and abroad. In addition to traditionally important issues such as the economy and security, the Refugee Protection Act has taken center stage in campaigns across the nation, with strong language being exchanged over the text from both the left and the right. The Chancellor’s decision to have Austrur’s European Councillor vote against the Act has been met with sharp criticism from the left-wing of his own party and the NFP, and the subsequent failure to block the Act has been met with criticism from the main opposition – the BDA.
In the largest state headed to the polls on April 14, Matthiasburg, the three-term SDU majority government has seen the Refugee Protection Act debacle lead to a further deterioration in its polling position – already weakened by nine years of government. Juliana Müller, the state Premier, has asked for increased help from the national SDU which is expected to increase the number of party workers and activists knocking on doors and participating in the party’s field operation. Keen to avoid the missteps of her national colleagues, Müller has committed the state party to upholding the new obligations set forth by the Refugee Protection Act and has confirmed that the state cabinet was “unified in its support”. Opposition leader Karl Baumann (BDA) said that the move “stinks of political opportunism as [the Premier] desperately tries to forge unity in a government that has little, in the face of a failing national government”. Baumann, who would be the first BDA Premier since 2009, has positioned himself in opposition to the Refugee Protection Act and hopes to capitalize on the weakness of the national government and the splintering of the left-wing vote. The BDA is certain to gain seats from their poor result three years ago in Matthiasburg, but whether they can achieve majority status in their own right remains uncertain in this reflexive left-of-center state. What is all but certain, however, is that the SDU will not be able to form a majority government come April 15th, with a coalition between the SDU and the NFP still mathematically possible in polling.