Talk:Party of the Right (Yale)

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This is just the beginning of the article; it will be developed further, including notbale members

"[S]econd oldest party" in the Union?[edit]

(1) Since when is "second oldest" not hyphenated?

(I've taken care of that.)


(2) Since when is the Party of the Right the second-oldest in the Union? Has either the Liberal Party or the Independent Party ceased to exist? A quick look at the YPU's Wikipedia page suggests that both are still alive and kicking.

Granted, the Independent Party has changed its name -- twice -- but it still is the same party that, under the name "Conservative Party," was one of the original founding parties of the Union, is it not? Indeed, I just confirmed that it is, with current undergraduates who know these things.

There has been at least one instance of a party in the Union ceasing to exist, and then another party coming into existence subsequently using the same name: There have been two parties named the "Progressive Party," entirely unrelated to each other. However, the current "Independent Party" is indeed the same "Conservative Party" that was one of the original founding parties of the Union. It changed its name from "Conservative" to "Independent Reform" in December of 1977, and from "Independent Reform" to "Independent" in January 1978.

(Realizing that few or none of them were conservative, the party's members had long been uncomforatable with the old name, and wanted to change it. However, some wanted to call it the "Reform Party," while others wanted to call it the "Independent Party" -- which of course would, and ultimately did, require the Union to come up with a new designation for all those Union members who had not chosen to affiliate with any party.

Being unable to make up their minds -- how characteristic! -- they decided to call themselves the "Independent Reform Party." However, over Christmas break, they realized what a hideous mistake they had made!)

So at best, the POR is only the third-oldest in the Union. Moreover, . . .


(3) Whether they wish to make it or not, a case might be made -- or makeable -- that the Tories are the third-oldest party.

Although the Tory Party has undergone several name changes and gone by several different names ("Tory," Tory Independent," and -- for a while, after the Conservative Party had reliquished the name -- "Conservative"), its first name was "Tory Independent Party."

  • The name "Tory" was chosen in reference to the early-1950s "Tory Party" that had merged with the Party of the Right. (For one year, the merged party went by the name "Tory Party," but then chose to change its name to "Party of the Right.")
  • And the word "Independent" was chosen as well, in order to refer explicitly to the fact that this new Tory Party had split off from the Party of the Right.

As far as those who chose to remain in the Party of the Right were concerned, this split-off party was a new party. However, the mythology expressly adopted at the time by those who split off was that their "new" party was in fact merely the old, original Tory Party re-separating itself from the Party of the Right. That was the whole point of the complete name.

I find the distinction between these two theories or accounts purely metaphysical, and the choice between them impossible to make. However, if one subscribes to the mythology that the Tories expressly adopted at the time, then they date back to 1953, not 1971 (or whenever the split occurred).

(For what it's worth, I also learned just a few hours ago that the Tory Party recognizes as members anyone who was a member of the combined party back in the 1953-54 (or '54-'55, or whatever it was) period.)

And if that is deemed to truly and fairly be the case, then it becomes important to determine with certainty and precision the respective founding dates of the original Tory Party and the Party of the Right. (The POR was founded sometime in the Spring term of 1953 -- possibly even as early as January of that year -- but I am not certain of the month, let alone the exact day.) I believe the Party of the Right still is in fact the older of the two, but by a small enough number of days, weeks or months to make the question worth double-checking.

At least if one wants to call the POR "third-oldest" with confidence.


Tediously and long-windedly,

William Laffer (Chairman of the Party of the Right, Fall term of 1980) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.32.119.159 (talk) 21:37, 7 February 2011 (UTC)