Yale Political Union - Parties

Parties

The Union is an umbrella organization that currently contains seven Parties: the Liberal Party (Lib), the Party of the Left (PoL), the Independent Party (IP), the Federalist Party (Fed), the Conservative Party (CP), the Tory Party (Tory), and the Party of the Right (PoR). These parties are actually independent debating societies that host their own debates and activities apart from Union activities, though members will come together for weekly Union debates. The Parties are traditionally listed in the order above.

In the past, the Political Union has had other Parties, including a Bull Moose Party, a Constitutional Union Party, a Labor Party, and a Progressive Party, but not concurrently. The minimum number of parties has been two, the maximum seven, while four is typical. All parties contribute in their unique way to the Union's character.

Though party size and membership varies greatly over the decades, the Independent Party has consistently been the largest party in the Union for a decade, maintaining a voting membership usually between one-third and one-half of the Union total. In recent semesters, the Party of the Left, the Party of the Right, and the Tory Party have each had their turn as the second largest party, usually between half and two-thirds the size of the IP. The other parties have been comparatively smaller but always met the minimum voting requirement (25 voting members).

The Liberal Party is one of the three founding constituent parties of the Yale Political Union. The Libs don’t use parliamentary procedure or dress up for their weekly discussions.

The Party of the Left was formed in the spring of 2006 by a group of left-leaning students who were looking for more formal philosophical debate on the Left of the Union, emphasizing a synthesis of first principles and policy. PoL debates are more formal than Liberal Party discussions, as they are conducted following parliamentary procedure.

The Independent Party covers nearly the entire political spectrum, in accordance with its motto, "Hear All Sides." It has been the largest Party in the Union since 2002. The Party debates policy as well as philosophy and generally adheres to parliamentary procedure.

The Federalist Party is the youngest Party in the Union, founded in 2010. It is a group of conservatives that seeks, according to its charter, "to resist the errors of the age and to promote ... the tempering of taste, the ennoblement of custom, the correction of judgment, the cultivation of virtue, and the perfection of friendship." The Party's members tend to be religious social conservatives.

The Conservative Party, founded in 1996, is committed to the production of principled and profound leaders. The Party's debates focus on the principles, themes, and underpinnings of Western Civilization, and are often mostly philosophical. The Conservative Party is one of two Parties in the Union with a private debate hall.

The Tory Party is the foremost society of conservatives and the party of "reasoned conservatism" at Yale. The Party was founded in 1969 and is known for its thriving alumni network, a strong tendency towards a British aesthetic, and a fondness for speeches delivered with wit and levity. The Tory Party is also one of the two Parties of the Union with a private debate space, aptly named "The English Market".

The Party of the Right was founded in 1953 by members dissatisfied with the lack of true conservatism in the Union. Its members now tend to be politically libertarian, while devoting themselves more to philosophy and intellectual history than to current governmental issues and debates.

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