Stephanie DeVey: Welcome to this special reaction programme about Eilidh Whiteford's cabinet reshuffle. Eilidh Whiteford has been in power for 2 years and her cabinet has remained mostly the same. Other than some minor ministerial changes, Whiteford has kept the big three positions the same. These are: the Treasury Minister, the Interior Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister.
However, Whiteford has decided to switch these out due to a cabinet disagreement about several Whitefordist policies. These include, but are not limited to: reducing the national budget, which Whiteford believes should be reduced slowly. On this the Chancellor Alexander Phillips profoundly disagrees with her, and feels the need to ramp up spending cuts.
In addition, Whiteford and the Interior Minister Georges Martin disagrees with Whiteford on the ratio of new nuclear power station construction versus renewables. Whiteford would rather wait out on new nuclear power stations, preferring to see if there are renewable alternatives to come in the near future. She also disagrees with the Interior Minister on spending cuts. Martin sees health spending as out of control, with free prescriptions for all and free dental until the age of 25 and also free dental for pensioners.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Kate Germain believes defense spending should be raised. She is arguably the most right wing member of the former Whiteford inner circle. Though Whiteford raised defense spending in the first years she was in office, she has since declined to raise it further. Germain, angered by this is rumoured to be threatening to hold a by-election in her Nonet seat in the Dominion of Saint Romain.
Whiteford has managed to lead the country by appealing to a broad range of views. Her party consists of people from many parties, but the party is stuck in the middle of the former two parties of the two party system, the Liberal Democratic Socialists (LDS) and the National Awakening Party (NAP). This graphic indicates where the new Whiteford core stands. It is unclear as to which of the old Cabinet left, and which were fired.
Whiteford has chosen three new people to succeed them, and these are represented in the graphic below.
Here to offer comment are Paloma Faith, Minister for Eurovoice (Party of June), Karen Walters (National Awakening) and James Renault (Liberal Democratic Socialists). Welcome. Firstly, to Ms. Faith, how can you witness this insanity and still claim the Party of June is still one party?
Paloma Faith: Well Stephanie, it certainly isn't ideal circumstances, but as Nonet representative for Saint Regina, I recognise that we're a party with a broad set of ideals that don't always line up, and that's okay. What is not being reported is that these members of the cabinet have been very contrary and trying to block Whitefordist policy.
Stephanie DeVey: Would you say your party is split between Whitefordists and non-Whitefordists?
Paloma Faith: Absolutely not, Whiteford is just such a huge character within the party, and may I say Europe that she has the political gravity to create a movement around herself.
Stephanie DeVey: Right, moving onto Karen Walters, how do you think that this will affect the NAP's chances of forming a government at the next General Election?
Karen Walters: Well the next General Election won't be for another three years and I don't really want to speculate on that. However, I think the NAP has a unique selling point which is: the right. Though Icholasen is quite a centre-left country generally, there's no reason why the right can't make a comeback.
Stephanie DeVey: And finally James Renault, what are your thoughts on this?
James Renault: Well Stephanie I've been advocating a merger with the Party of June in my own party in order to strengthen our hand in future elections and with the way the Party of June is going I'm very keen to continue negotiations. If there is a by-election like Madam Germain is threatening, then I would implore my party to withdraw from them in order to ensure that the Party of June takes the Nonet seat that Madam Germain vacates.
Stephanie DeVey: We're just hearing news that Kate Germain is holding a press conference in Saint Romain city, and we'll be zooming over when she takes to the podium. Until then, Ms. Faith what are your thoughts on the Nonet arithmetic now that Madam Germain has virtually left the party?
Paloma Faith: Well, the Nonet is a purely advisory body that can only amend legislation in the way that we as NMs feel is best for the regions that we represent. The Nonet is inessential for the running of Icholasen, and to the Senators that are thinking of leaving, we have a majority of 10, which though not that much is enough, I believe to stave off this pathetic rebellion.
Stephanie DeVey: Let's take a look at how the Senate and the Nonet looked after the 2017 election then.
Paloma Faith: I think the showing in 2017 was amazing for us, and I think that the Senators and Nonet Members who are leaving are leaving a ship that is afloat and steaming ahead, and it's a shame that they have chosen to board a smaller and less significant boat.
Stephanie DeVey: We now turn to Kate Germain at her press conference.
Kate Germain: Ladies and Gentlemen. I am here on a rather sad day in my political career. I have left the Party of June and resigned from the Cabinet. This is unfortunate, but I feel it had to be done. I have since joined the National Awakening Party, and as this is such a large reversal, I feel it is only right that the people of the Dominion of Saint Romain have an opportunity to vote again. I know that election law stipulates that the Senators elected from this region also have to be recalled to be voted on again, and this is not a decision I have taken lightly as the representative of this Dominion in Saint Regina. However, it must be done for the sake of our country. A NAP government is the only way we can stop our sleepwalking government from going any further. Thank you for listening, but I'd like to have some time to discuss my decision with my staff and my family so I will not be taking any questions at this time, however, there is a campaign to launch and I will take as many questions as possible at the official launch of the Saint Romain by-election.
Stephanie DeVey: Well that will certainly be the political event everyone is watching out for, the by-election will take place on the 20th of June, and campaigning will continue up until that date. Here is the results of the 2017 election in Saint Romain, where we can see the seats and the makeup of the popular vote.
Stephanie DeVey: Though it does seem like an uphill battle for the NAP, it certainly will be much closer than it has been before as opinion polling in Saint Romain indicates that the Dominion has become more conservative in the two years since the 2017 election. But, that concludes our special show for the cabinet reshuffle and by-election announcement. Tune into NBC for the best Nicoleizian political coverage.