The Twenty-third Grand Council of the Confederation of North America was elected to a five-year term on 14 February 1953. The partisan makeup of the Twenty-third Grand Council was eighty-two Liberal Party, and sixty-eight People's Coalition. The Twenty-third Grand Council's Liberal majority elected party leader Richard Mason of the Southern Confederation to the office of Governor-General on the first ballot. It is not known who was chosen as Council President or Majority Leader, though it is possible that Perry Jay was chosen by the P.C. as Minority Leader.
The Twenty-third Grand Council was the first in fifteen years to have a Liberal majority, and the party had a number of major policies they wished to see enacted. First and foremost was doubling the amount of Mason Doctrine aid being offered to war-ravaged nations around the world to assist in recovering from the damage suffered during the Global War, and the establishment of New Day aid organizations around the world staffed by North American volunteers.
During the war, when the Liberals had joined in a unity government with the P.C., the two parties had quietly swapped domestic agendas. The Liberals now supported centralization of authority, and the Liberal caucus in the Grand Council passed legislation to reverse the decentralization the party had pursued during the Diffusion Era. In particular, the decentralization of the National Financial Administration was reversed.
Mason had little interest in the day-to-day running of his administration, leaving such matters to his Minister for Home Affairs, Grover Speigal. Speigal spearheaded the recentralization of the C.N.A.'s government, recovering funding and powers which Henderson Dewey and Douglas Watson had allowed to devolve to the confederations. This won him the ire of confederation rights groups which had grown up during the Diffusion Era, and who resented his centralizing policies. Since these groups also tended to oppose the Mason Doctrine and New Day programs, the political divisions in the country widened.
Jay was Mason's most persistent critic in the Grand Council, while New York Herald editor Jeffrey Martin won the support of the P.C.'s base voters. At the Coalition's national convention in Norfolk, Virginia in January 1958, Martin was able to sway the delegates behind him, winning the party leadership contest on the seventh ballot. On election day Mason's managed to maintain his party's majority in the Grand Council by seventy-seven seats to seventy-three.
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