The Commonwealth of America: A Collaborative Worldbuilding Project.


BREAKING: Nancy D'Alessandro announces retirement.

PHILADELPHIA: The office of Nancy D'Alessandro, a three decade long Liberal MP and current leader of the government in the House of Commons, has announced she will stand down at the end of this parliament and will not seek reelection in the impending federal election.

D'Alessandro confirmed the news shortly after noon in a written statement, in which she described her work in parliament as her "greatest pride and privilege." The announcement ended months of speculation about her political future that began in late October when David Depape of the province of Columbia broke into her Baltimore residence and attacked her husband with a hammer, leaving him severely injured. D'Alessandro, who before the incident had hinted that she would likely stand for reelection in 2023, reportedly began to reconsider her political career in the aftermath of the attack.

A source close to the Prime Minister confirmed that D'Alessandro will remain in her post as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons until the election, and that a successor will be named "at the appropriate time." The Liberal Party affiliate in her riding is due to schedule a hustings later in the month to nominate a candidate to succeed her in Parliament, with Jamie Raskin, a long time Liberal Party activist and lawyer, announcing his intention to seek the party's nomination being the first to make his intentions clear.

D'Alessandro's announcement today that she is standing down from parliament after nearly 40 years of service sparks a whirlwind of reaction in Philadelphia, where her colleagues from all parties were quick to pay tribute. Her Tory counterpart, MP Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, told reporters that D'Alessandro has been "a constant fighter" for her values, and praised her nearly 40 year long career in Philadelphia as "trailblazing." Democratic Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Elizabeth Warren called D'Alessandro "an anchor" who "strived to keep the coalition working on behalf of the people who elected us." But it was amongst the Liberal Party's parliamentary caucus in which the most effusive praise originated; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted moments after D'Alessandro's retirement announcement that D'Alessandro was "the glue that kept us all together" while the Chief Whip, MP Debbie Wasserman Schultz, praised the leader of the government in the House as a "rock of strength and resolve" who "stood up to the Tories efforts to take us backwords for decades and never once flinched."
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Flora MacDonald was an American academic, activist, politician, and stateswoman who twice served as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of America, the first female ever to lead a party and subsequently the first woman to ever occupy Octagon House as Prime Minister. Serving on two separate occasions nearly a decade apart, MacDonald's two tenures in office were marked by fierce internal infighting within the Progressive Conservative Party which proceeded it's eventual collapse following the 1993 federal election.

Born in Nova Scotia to the son of a Scottish immigrant, MacDonald's early years were marred by the poverty of the Great Depression, which hit the blighted Maritime province particularly hard. Yet MacDonald was not bound by these circumstances, even if they had a profound impact on her political ideology. Working a variety of odd jobs throughout her college years, MacDonald paid her way through school at Empire Business College before traveling to Europe, where she allegedly was involved in a hairbrained scheme by young Scottish nationalists to steal the Stone of Scold from Westminster Abbey before returning to the Commonwealth of America. Her passion for politics was growing, and MacDonald soon found herself heavily involved in the Progressive Conservative Party's provincial affiliate. Serving as an aide to Robert Stanfield in 1957, MacDonald's efforts and organizational talent landed her a top job on his provincial election campaign, which he ultimately won. MacDonald's efforts earned her the attention of top Tories, and from 1957 through 1962, she served as a secretary and staffer in the office of Prime Minister Harold Stassen. In 1963, she managed Stanfield's unsuccessful campaign for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, which he ultimately lost to John Diefenbaker. That year, she took a teaching position at Queens University in Kingston before moving on to a administrative role, where she found herself frequently caught between the New Left students and older educators at a time of great tension in the Commonwealth.

In 1968, Nelson Rockefeller led the Tories to an upset victory over Prime Minister Hubert Humphrey, leading to MacDonald being offered the position of Octagon House's Deputy Chief of Staff, the first time a woman was ever invited to take on a senior role within the office of the Prime Minister. A policy wonk with a populist touch, MacDonald was offered the chance to run for office in several by-elections over the course of the Rockefeller years, but declined these early opportunities. In 1973, MacDonald finally agreed to stand for parliament, and was elected over a Liberal incumbent in that year's federal election. With Rockefeller remaining on as party leader until his comeback dreams were dashed in the 1976 federal election, MacDonald enjoyed a meteoric rise within the House of Commons in part due to his patronage. She served as the Shadow Minister of Education and Youth, and was an effective ally of Rockefeller at the dispatch box when debating her counterparts in the Liberal government. When Rockefeller stood down after his defeat in the 1976 election, MacDonald emerged as a leading contender for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership election as the champion of the Red Tories.

Defeating a scattered opposition after several ballots, MacDonald made history as the first woman to lead a major American political party. As leader of the opposition, the feisty red haired Nova Scotia native reinvented herself, emerging as a bread and butter populist who held a detailed knowledge of the challenges facing middle class Americans in the midst of the 1970s recession. In 1979, under growing pressure from a dissatisfied electorate, the Liberal - Democratic coalition government led by Pierre Trudeau crumbled, and another federal election was called. Despite speculation that many voters were uncomfortable with a female Prime Minister, the Tories managed to win back dozens of seats and position themselves as the biggest party in parliament with a plurality. Within days of the election, MacDonald was called to Franklin Hall by the Governor-General and asked to form a government.

Propped up by the Social Credit caucus, the new Progressive Conservative administration was plagued from the onset by infighting. The internal civil war between the Red and Blue Tories escalated as MacDonald, a strident supporter of abortion rights and feminism, moved the party towards the center at a time when the base was moving to the right.
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