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Member of Ulbrach Assembly
| In office|
September 3472 – September 3488
Belo Mounasterio Sud
| In office|
September 3488 – September 3500
Deputy Chairman of the RFR
| In office|
February 3493 – February 3508
| In office|
September 3500 – February 3508
January 30, 3443
Belo Mounasterio, Ulbrach
August 10, 3539 (aged 96)
Gillian (b. 3442)
Ethan (b. 3473), Tara (b. 3481)
Presidential Palace, Iglesia Mayor
School of Law and Government (Iglesia Mayor)
Branstead-Smith was born in Belo Mounasterio (Ulbrach), his parents having both been affluent lawyers. His family was one of the most influential dynasties in the region, since one of his ancestors, Richard Branstead-Smith, had been President in the early 3400s.
After graduating from high school, he proceeded to pursue a legal career like his parents and most of his family, studying at the Iglesia Mayor School of Law and Government from 3461 to 3466, graduating with a Juris Doctor (J. D.).
During his studies, he had joined the Grand National Party, but opposed its then-minarchist leadership in favor of the more traditionalist wing. He later admitted to having voted for the Dranish Conservative Party over the GNP's successor party, the Rally for the Republic, several times between 3470 and 3491, because he considered the latter too extreme. He nevertheless had his GNP affiliation translated into an RFR membership when the party was renamed in 3470.
Between 3472 and 3488, he was an RFR member of the Ulbrach assembly, which was consistently weak and only sent a small handful of members to the provincial legislature. He also sometimes defied his party's stance on defence and foreign affairs issues, siding with interventionist forces more often than with the isolationist mainstream of his party. He also spoke out against the frequent calls for defence spending cuts coming from members of his party, including chairpersons Graham Breckinridge and Troy Overton.
After having been elected to Parliament in 3488, he became Minister of Defence in January 3493, in a coalition led by President Lucas Manon (Retsforbundet), which he remained until October 3495, amid militant uprisings in the Dranish Autonomous Zone.
Afterwards, he continued to speak for his party on defence issues as RFR critic in that field, until he was chosen as presidential nominee ahead of the 3500 elections, which the communists, driven by their then-relatively strong political performance, already dubbed the beginning of the "communist century".
As an ardent anti-communist, Branstead-Smith rebuked the communist rhetoric and defended capitalism and the free market:
"I'm afraid she [DCL leader Leticia Saldanas] will devote her life to subjecting the people to the devilish cause of communism in vain, because for nearly 300 years GNP, RFR and their allies defended capitalism and fended off all attempts of left-wing takeover - and she can be sure that we will not simply step aside this time so that she can butcher our nation's private sector. Communism is as dead at it has ever been, intellectually as well as politically. Liberty will prevail!"
He won the election easily as the anti-communist, centrist and right-wing forces (including ED, KDF and PP had all rallied behind him. He gathered 58% of the vote, nearly doubling his nearest opponents score.
In his victory speech, he recognized the importance of the broad alliance behind him, saying that
"(...) my victory is not only that of the RFR and the liberty movement, but also that of those centrists who, while not embracing the free market and small government as enthusiastically as we do, nevertheless oppose the communist threat and recognize its inherent immorality, its ignorance of human nature and its merciless vigor to force people into collectivism. I will not deny that my mandate is not that of pushing for a purist libertarian agenda, but acknowledging the broad centre and centre-right base that helped me to get elected."
His party then formed an RFR-ED-KDF-PP coalition and proceeded to propose a couple of reforms including the legalization of private gun ownership, privatization of forests and smoking liberalizations. The bills were, however, opposed by his partners.
The new President also proposed stronger ties between Dranland and the DAZ:
"We defined some formal structures at the time when the DAZ was purchased from Indrala, however they've been largely abandoned. Nevertheless, I do believe that revitalizing these schemes is exactly what the Zone needs - therefore, I will soon proceed to appointing a High Councillor to oversee DAZ affairs from a Dranish point of view, while also giving the Zoners the right to elect observing MPs to the Dranish assembly to speak out for their interests - that, of course, is entirely different from any annexation attempts as it was contemplated during the Duvalle era."
Branstead's administration achieved the realization of right-wing causes, such as privatizing the energy sector, liberalizing smoking, denying voting rights to imprisoned felons and cutting the sales tax. Food safety regulations were brought back to the responsibility of the federal government, and legal restrictions on cross-dressing, flag desecration and public nudity were abolished. Other RFR initiatives, such as gun ownership rights and less severe environmental regulations, failed.
Branstead didn't speak out on every issue publicly, but did intervene in the debate over the legitimacy of private inheritance, which he defended vigorously against communist attempts to abolish it and replace it by a 100% tax. He said:
"What could there be more honorable than a father saving up his bucks until the end of his days to enable his children a better life?", the President asked. "Families assisting themselves over generations is the most effective social security system there has ever been, having helped more ordinary people than every socialist welfare scheme has ever done."
Under Branstead-Smith's administration, DAZ-related issues were paid more attention, and he appointed the First High Councillor to oversee DAZ affairs after Hideo Enomoto, former Transport Minister Kang Min-hyuk.
At a commemoration rally of his party's 300-year-old history in 3503, the President revealed his intention of seeking re-election, saying:
"There's no doubt about the merits of those people who steered our party and our country throughout the last 300 years, but what have I and my cabinet done throughout the last four years. I'll tell you: the same as always, advancing liberty. We privatized energy production, abolished non-crimes and thus freed police resources to battle real criminality, took suffrage from those who only abused it while ignoring the law, reduced the sales tax on high quality goods, secured food standards, curbed the irrational war against smoking in privately-owned businesses, and kicked off the economic and social advancement of the Dranish Autonomous Zone. Give me four more years, and much more will be done to reward work, ease the cost of living and unleash the benefits of capitalism."
Shortly ahead of the election, a heated controversy over the legitimacy of Ryeo Haseong's proclamation of a cultural Kyo monarchy without political powers in Gongmangdo-Comares ensued. Left-wing parties accused the government of undermining the Republic by accepting the venture, but the President kept out of the issue, warding off all calls directed at him to rebuke supporters of the monarchy and representatives of Indrala scolding the Dranish left for their fiery rhetoric against the self-proclaimed monarch.
In the end, he won re-election with 50.08% in the first round, beating his nearest rival by 15%. In his victory speech, he stated:
"Four years of moderate, yet consistent reform policies have been rewarded by the people (...) the reform course will be retained and enhanced, and we will continue to work for growth, progress and prosperity at home and in the DAZ."
Due to the RFR-ED-PP majority in Parliament, liberlizations were passed more easily, and the coalition pushed through bills implementing the re-introduction of WDMs (as a means of self-defense, as the President noted), the privatization of forests, further deregulation of infrastructure, reform of farm subsidies and the abolition of pollution standards, which was aimed at promoting productive output and thus increasing wages.
One year ahead of the 3408 elections, Branstead-Smith ended speculation over seeking a third term and declared that he did not intend to seek re-election after eight years in office. He said: "The Dranish economy now enjoys a close-to-ideal business environment, which was one of my primary objectives as President. My job is done (...) Dranland is more prosperous, more business-friendly, less costly and safer than it was eight years ago."
In the elections, the coalition he headed for eight years was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote, and he left office with high approval ratings. His successor was former Defence Minister General Park Jae-yung (KDF). Branstead-Smith, upon leaving office, congratulated the incoming President and said that "President Park is a man of experience, determination and conviction, as he has repeatedly proven. The Dranish people have made a wise choice by electing him."
After his time as President, he left politics and generally refrained from commenting on political issues, yet he was vocally critical of the isolationist approach his party adopted under President John Holbrooke. In 3528, he also supported newcomer Éléonore Gascoyne, describing her as "(...) just what the party needs - a young, fresh face without too many ideological inhibitions."
Branstead-Smith dies in 3539 due to natural causes at his home in Iglesia Mayor. Despite his reputation as a highly-respected ex-President, his family declined to accept a state funeral.
|Democratic People's Republic of Kyoseon|
|Geography • History • Culture • Economy • Government|
|History||3572 Dranish coup d'état • Baekgu Dynasty • Beonyeongsalm Palace • Dranian Seung Revolution • Dranland • Egelian Drania • Flag of Dankuk • Great Kyo Revolution of 3608 • Great Sekowian War • Kyobando Manifesto of 3597 • Northern Dovani • 4590 Revolution • 4613 Imperial Restoration • 4642 Revolution|
|Subdivisions||Provinces: Elbian • Loren • Magadonia • Valdor • Ulbrach|
Federal Cities: Gongmangdo • Iglesia Mayor • Port Rhynach • Seongtaek
Capital City: Pyongro
|Politics||President • Chairman of the National Affairs Committee • Supreme Soviet of People's Power|
Political Parties: Kyo Worker's Party • Progressive Unity • Party of Communists • Red Flag
|Demographics||Religion: Cheonist Hosianism • Daenism • Seodongyo • Sindo • Zenshō|