Workers' Party (Yonderre)
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Parti Travailleuer (Burgoignesc)
Partei der Arbeiter (Gothic)
|Founded||14 August 1918|
|Newspaper||Le Travailleuer (The Worker)|
|National affiliation||Red Bloc|
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The Workers' Party, known as Parti Travailleuer in Burgoignesc and Partei der Arbeiter in Gothic is a communist political party in Yonderre. The party was founded in 1918 by members from the Social Democrats, breaking away to pursue a more hardline form of socialism. Formed chiefly by workers in Toubourg, the party grew steadily in popularity, being first represented in Yonderian Parliament in 1928. The party grew in strength throughout the Second Great War years until peaking in the 1960s. Unpopular leadership and radical changes to party line led to a steady decline in popularity through the 1970s and 80s until a faction broke off and formed the Red-Greens in 1985, taking with them more than a third of the WP's members.
The Workers' Party bases their politics around Stahlism, from the Gothic Stahl meaning "steel". It runs for the Yonderian Parliament on promises of equality, wide-scale nationalisation of businesses and services and the building of communist society with the state as the only tool. Initially preaching violent revolution and the abolishment of the Grand Duke and the Catholic Church all together, the party has gradually sought a softer line as this position became mostly untenable in Yonderian politics. Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the WP retains an influence in Yonderian politics, especially at the local level.
Inception and Great War years
The Workers' Party was founded in 1918 by members of the Social Democratic Party by steel workers in Toubourg. The founding members of the party broke away from the Social Democrats to pursue a more hardline form of socialism that they named Stahlism after their trade, from the Gothic Stahl meaning "steel". The initial party programme guaranteed equality of men and women, a wide-scale nationalisation of businesses and services down to foodstands and the building of a communist workers' paradise with the state as the only tool. They quickly gained local support from the Toubourg Millers' Union and postal workers but feuded with the workers of the Toubourg Brewery who held much more conservative views.
The Workers' Party expanded rapidly during the Second Great War years, preaching interchangably pacifism and isolationism. The-then General Secretary of the party Wilhelm Goldmann held the view that Yonderian volunteers to Burgundie were class traitors and even traitors to the nation of Yonderre itself, urging his followers and party members not to associate with them. This had the opposite effect of causing harassment and even assaults on returning Volonderres and those on home leave, which ultimately saw more than a thousand party members jailed over the Great War. Goldmann was charged with agitation and incitement of violence but acquitted at High Court after a lengthy case. By 1948 the Workers' Party had more than 125,000 paying members and received 4.5 million votes in the 1948 Yonderian general election, just over 13.6% of the Grand Vote.
Popularity peak, cult of personality and downfall
The popularity of the Workers' Party grew over the 1950s and 60s until it peaked in the 1962 Yonderian general election with over 6 million votes or 19.4% of the Grand Vote. The rise of the new charismatic General Secretary Thierry de Nour in 1960 came with reformations to the party line that promised "more of the old, but better". The Workers' Party was offered to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats, Industry Party and Farmers' Party but refused, dubbing them class traitors. The remaining three parties instead went on to form a minority government that lost a vote of no confindence in 1964.
General Secretary Thierry de Nour purged the Workers' Party old guard in the late 1960s and early 1970s, removing several founding and key members of the party from their posts. With members devoted to him personally in key positions of the party instrument, de Nour made major changes to the party line, going back on previous concessions made to stay within the Overton window to pursue an even more radical form of Stahlism that he named for himself, de Nourism. Criticism of the new party line was reason for exclusion from the party; the result of this was thousands of members leaving the party and hundreds of thousands of voters lost to other parties, ultimately concluding in a breakaway faction that would become the Red-Greens.
After disappointing elections in the 1980s Thierry de Nour was forced out of the Workers' Party in 1990 in a coup by upper party echelons. His replacement as General Secretary was Ingrid Lichter, who sought to steer the party back towards similar positions it had held immediately after the Second Great War, appealing to the Red-Greens to return to the party. Members and votes were still being lost to the Red-Greens however, who had refused Lichter's pleas and followed a much softer, more liberal form of communism than the Stahlists could ever agree to.
Since its first printing on November 1st, 1918, the Workers' Party publishes Le Travailleuer (The Worker), initially twice per month and at its height in the 1960s three times a week.