|Ideology||National unity, pragmatism|
|Predecessor||Radical Party, National Party|
|Government||leading party from 1921-1981|
|Leaders|| Thomas Ederling (1921-1961)|
Robert Guttman (1961-1981)
Yuri Regalio (1981-1982)
The Unity Party (UP) is a former Navonian political party that stressed the unity of the country. It was formed after the elections of 1921 when the two winning parties, the Radical Party and the National Party, decided to merge. The Unity Party had originally a rightist political program but gradually made the shift towards a more leftist approach. This transformation was completed when it merged with the Progressive Party in 1982 to form PULP. The Unity Party was either the ruling party or dominant partner within the government coalition from 1921 until 1981. The best known politicians delivered by the Unity Party are Thomas Ederling and Robert Guttman.
In the 1921 elections two parties where able to form a majority: the unionist Radical Party and the nationalist National Party. They decided to merge in order to stand strong in the future and formed the Unity Party (UP). The UP wanted to approve a new constitution that would found the Republic of Navonia. The conservatives opposed so the governing party has to gain the support of the liberal Reform Party. The liberals only agreed if the regions would get their own parliaments. This almost caused a split of the only recently founded UP; especially the hardline members of the former National Party opposed to regional powers. A compromise was formed by which the regions would be subordinate to the national parliament. UP members also were given the right to abstain when the new constitution would be voted. After the constitution was enacted, the country was lead by High Representative Thomas Ederling. He focussed on more unity and freedom but did impose strict control on education and political activity. With the global recession of 1929 and growing international tension, the government turned the country inwards and tightened its control of the economy. In spite of his dictatorial style of governing Ederling managed to maintain his party's popularity, realizing marginal gains in the elections of 1926 and 1931. It where the conservatives who suffered most from this success.
Some members where unhappy with the lack of stress on an exclusive Navonian identity and they split of in 1934. The thus formed Union of the Right booked remarkable results in the 1936 elections, together with the Conservatives. The UP formed a front with Reform Party against the growing forces of conservatives and extreme-rightists. The Reform Party again demanded concessions in exchange for its support. This time they asked that more economic freedom would be given. The UP formally agreed but no actual measures were taken. After the Second World War had broken out, the 1941 elections were cancelled. To 'maintain the necessary stability' the UP forced the Conservative Party enter a government of national unity. This also oppressed the liberal economic aspirations of the Reform Party. The UP managed to smother the liberal and far-right opposition and bound the Conservative Party to its policy by keeping them in the coalition even when this wasn't required. A pragmatic policy was enacted and the governing parties stayed in power due to harassment practices. Within the UP a leftist tendency was rising and managed to exercise some pressure, mainly on the economic policy.
When in the late 50's the Conservative Party split up and the liberal opposition was strengthening, polls predicted a major victory for the Reform & Liberty Party (RLP). Ederling however managed to pass a new voting law that made representatives appointed nationwide instead of by province. Due to this new regulation, only 14 RLP-members got elected in 1961. The liberal region of Upper-Selessia was upset and threats of secession where made. The government, still the UP/CP coalition, raised pressure on the rebellious region and forced the RLP to distance itself from Selessian nationalism. The harsh measures and culture of oppression now started to cause some friction within the Unity Party itself. The party leadership decided to modernize and appointed Robert Guttman as new High Representative. He proved however to be a weak figure and couldn't stop the good image of the UP from fading. The government was incapable of coping with the economic crisis of the 70's. After the election of 1981, the UP was kept out of the government coalition for the first time since its founding in 1921. The party itself was divided on what course to follow. In a harsh campaign over party leadership, the outspoken leftist Yuri Regalio managed to beat his two conservative opponents Robert Guttman and Steven Higgins. He took the party down a new read and in 1982 reformed it into PULP after a merger with the Progressive Party.
The Unity Party started of as a mixture of conservative and progressive tendencies. On one hand they defended a strong centralized state but at the same time the party leadership wanted to introduce more freedoms and form a modern republic. Because of government participation and some concessions to the liberal Reform Party, their policy got more moderate. The unitary state structure was replaced by a centralized hierarchical model in which the concept of the regions was accepted. The UP managed to remain hegemonic for a long time but had to resort to program changes quite often to keep appealing to the people. The party leadership's main strategy was to destroy the alternative image of the other parties. From the 50's onwards however the UP looses its grip on the liberal opposition. In the mean time radical rightist elements in the own ranks were exposed and removed in various waves.
The growing forces of liberals and the destruction of the own nationalist base lead to a strengthening of a leftist tendency within the UP. Lead by Yuri Regalio they managed to influence the economic policy of the party. As the party base was getting more and more unsatisfied with the oppressing measures, Regalio expanded his own influence. During the crisis following the 1981 elections the leftists profited from the divides amongst the more conservative leadership. As Regalio became the new number one, the entire program was reformed at once. In the last year before the merger with the Progressive Party, the UP was officially a leftist party.