Radical Party (New Zealand)

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The Radical Party was a proposed new political party in New Zealand. It was part of an abortive attempt by members of the Liberal Party to establish a breakaway group. No actual party was ever formed, but the name was frequently applied to the group of dissident MPs by the press.

A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

The New Zealand Liberal Party was the first organised political party in New Zealand. It governed from 1891 until 1912. The Liberal strategy was to create a large class of small land-owning farmers who supported Liberal ideals, by buying large tracts of Māori land and selling it to small farmers on credit. The Liberal Government also established the basis of the later welfare state, with old age pensions, developed a system for settling industrial disputes, which was accepted by both employers and trade unions. In 1893 it extended voting rights to women, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact universal female suffrage.

The leaders of the Radical Party proposal were George Russell [1] and Frederick Pirani, both Liberal Party MPs. Russell and Pirani, along with other MPs such as William Collins and George Smith, were dissatisfied with the Liberal Party under Richard Seddon, believing that it had lost its commitment to its founding ideals. Both were considered to belong to the Liberal Party's left wing. In 1896, Russell spoke openly about formalising "the advanced section of the Liberal Party," either as an organised faction in the Liberal caucus or as a separate party.

George Warren Russell New Zealand politician

George Warren Russell was a New Zealand politician from Christchurch. He served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Public Health in the wartime National government, and was responsible for the New Zealand government's response to the 1918 influenza epidemic.

Frederick Pirani New Zealand politician

Frederick Pirani was a New Zealand politician. He was Member of the House of Representatives for Palmerston from 1893 to 1902, first as a Liberal, then as an Independent. He was part of the Liberal Party's "left" (radical) wing.

William Whitehouse Collins New Zealand politician

William Whitehouse Collins was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Christchurch in the South Island.

However, the new group failed to emerge. Tensions appeared to rise between its various members, with rumours circulating that neither Russell nor Pirani would concede the leadership to the other. The MPs whose names had been mentioned in connection with the Radical Party distanced themselves from it, stating that they had never made any commitments. Pirani and Smith both left the Liberal Party the same year, becoming independents.

In 1905 a similar group, the New Liberal Party was formed, but this group was defunct by 1908.

The New Liberal Party of New Zealand was a splinter group of the original Liberal Party. It was formed at a meeting in the Christchurch suburb of Papanui in June 1905 by two Liberal-aligned independents who sought a more "progressive" policy than that followed by the Liberal leader, Richard Seddon, and was similar to the Radical Party in 1896.

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