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|The Right Honourable|
Chancellor Brandt in 2014
|Chancellor Brandt in 2014|
|39th Chancellor of Cygnia|
|Assumed office |
6 February 2015
|Monarch|| Theodore V|
|Preceded by||Julia Gillard|
| Leader of the|
Democratic Labour Party
|Assumed office |
23 January 2015
|Preceded by||Julia Gillard|
|13th Cygnian Minister for Education|
6 February 2011 – 6 February 2015
|Preceded by||Julie Bishop|
|Succeeded by||Tanya Plibersek|
| Member of the Cygnian House of Representatives|
for Gascoyne's 25th District
|Assumed office |
15 June 2008
|Preceded by||Gary d'Amore|
| Member of the Gascoyne Legislative Assembly|
from the 6th District
5 April 2005 – 5 April 2007
|Preceded by||Jason Addison|
|Succeeded by||Jason Addison|
|Born|| 3 January 1976 (age 43)|
|Political party||Democratic Labour|
|Spouse(s)||Juliana Kobayashi (m. 2008)|
|Children|| Charles (b. 2006)|
Yumi (b. 2009)
|Residence|| The Chancellery, Swanstone|
|Alma mater|| University of Gascoyne|
University of Swanstone
|Website|| Chancellery website|
Dorian Jakob Brandt (born 3 January 1976) is a German-born Cygnian statesman and lawyer. Brandt has been Chancellor of Cygnia since 2015, and is a member of the Democratic Labour Party. He previously served as Minister for Education under the Gillard Government. He also currently serves as the Member of the Cygnian House of Representatives for Gascoyne's 25th District since 2008. Brandt is the first foreign-born and the youngest Chancellor in Cygnian history, having been inaugurated at the age of 39.
Born in the German city of Hanover, Brandt and his family migrated to Cygnia when he was three years old. He is a graduate of the University of Gascoyne and the Swanstone Law School at the University of Swanstone. After earning his law degree in 2000, he became a civil rights attorney for 4 years before leaving the bar to enter politics. He successfully stood for election to the Gascoyne Legislative Assembly, representing the 6th State District. He thereafter moved to the national level, securing a seat in the House of Representatives as the member for Gascoyne's 25th District. Brandt went on to become the Minister for Education. As the Minister for Education, Brandt was responsible for revamping the education system in 2011 and he successfully petitioned then-Chancellor Julia Gillard to divert significantly more funding into Cygnia's schools. By the time Brandt announced his candidacy for the Democratic Labour nomination for Chancellor in late 2013, he had left the education sector in a much better state than when he first became Minister.
Brandt began his leadership campaign in 2013 and, after a close primary campaign against Chancellor Julia Gillard in 2014, he won sufficient votes in the DLP primaries to receive the Democratic Labour leadership. He then defeated National Unity leader Malcolm Turnbull by a landslide in the federal election, and was inaugurated as Chancellor on 6 February 2015. He entered office with approval ratings of 72%, more than any Chancellor since Chris Watson in 1905.
Early life and career
Brandt was born on 3 January 1976 in Hanover North City Hospital (KRH Klinikum Hannover Nordstadt) in the city of Hanover, Germany; he is the first foreign-born Chancellor. His mother, Emilia Goldstein is of partially English ancestry. Brandt's parents met in 1973 in an English language class at the University of Hanover, where both were studying. The couple married in 1974. Their first child, Wilhelm "Will" Brandt, was born in 1975; Brandt was born the next year.
When Brandt was three years old, he and his family migrated to Cygnia and settled in Marytown, Gascoyne. His father became a doctor, and his mother entered a postgraduate education course at the University of Gascoyne and became a secondary schoolteacher of German in 1982. Brandt's younger sister, Elena, was born in late 1979. She was the only one of the Brandt children to have been born in Cygnia.
The Brandt family initially lived in a largely German migrant neighbourhood in the suburb of Denver in Marytown, then from 1983 in the northern Kingsville suburb with a more mixed population. From ages seven to twelve, Brandt attended Kingsville Primary School. He received his secondary education at Currambine Senior High School. In his youth, Brandt went by the nickname "Dory."
Of his early childhood, Brandt recalled, "That I struggled to reconcile the extreme differences between the outside world and my home: at home, we all spoke German, ate German food, observed German customs. Outside, at school, in public, I spoke English and acted like a completely different person from the quiet little boy I was at home." Reflecting on his years as a schoolboy, he described that in the presence of his parents he was polite and studious, but frequently partook in mischievous activities when only with friends. He wrote: "I valued both my family and my friends dearly, but all my other values shifted depending on who I was with." Brandt has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind." Brandt also frequented a group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.
After high school, Brandt moved to the Gascoynian capital of Carnarvon in 1994 to attend the University of Gascoyne. In February 1996, Brandt made his first public speech, calling for the university to participate in the disinvestment from South Africa in response to that nation's policy of apartheid. At the University of Gascoyne, he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations and in English literature and lived on-campus. He graduated with a BA degree in 1998 before entering the Swanstone Law School in Swanstone in the spring of 1998, living in nearby Fremantle. He was selected as an editor of the Swanstone Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and research assistant to the constitutional scholar Lauren Faye while at Imperial for two years. During his summers, he returned to Carnarvon, where he worked as an associate at the law firms of Reich Elwood in 1999 and Sutler & Susan in 2000. After graduating with a JD degree magna cum laude from Imperial in 2001, he returned to Carnarvon. Brandt's election as the first migrant president of the Swanstone Law Review gained national media attention and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about his experience as a migrant, which evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-2005 as Dorian & Dory.
Civil rights attorney
In 2001, Brandt joined Davidson & Garland, a 13-attorney law firm specialising in civil rights litigation and neighbourhood economic development, where he was an associate for two years from 2001 to 2002, then of counsel from 2002 to 2004. In 2003, he was listed as one of the lawyers in Lindemann v CommBank, 94 C 4094 (N.D. III.). This class action lawsuit was filed in 2002 with Regina Lindemann as lead plaintiff and alleged that CommBank Federal Savings Bank had engaged in practices forbidden under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act. The case was settled out of court. Final Judgment was issued on 13 May 2004, with CommBank agreeing to pay attorney fees. Brandt's law licence became inactive in 2014.
Brandt was elected to the Gascoyne Legislative Assembly representing the 6th State District, succeeding DLP MLA Faith Moresby. Once elected, Brandt gained bipartisan support for legislation that reformed ethics and healthcare laws. He sponsored a law that increased tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare. In 2006, as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Brandt supported Unitarian Prime Minister Rainer's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures.
2008 House of Representatives campaign
In May 2008, a vacancy opened in Gascoyne's 25th Electoral District following incumbent Gary d'Amore's resignation, and a by-election was scheduled for June 2008. Brandt won the DLP pre-selection for the nomination for the District.
Brandt's expected opponent in the by-election, Unitarian Jackson Robson, withdrew from the race in March 2008. A week later, Alan Kensington was nominated to replace him. In the June 2008 by-election, Brandt won with 70% of the vote in his Electoral District, and became the Member for Gascoyne's 25th District.
Member of the House of Representatives for Gascoyne's 25th District (2008–present)
Brandt was sworn in as a Representative on 15 June 2008. CQ Weekly characterised him as a "loyal Roo and fervent liberal" based on analysis of all House votes from 2008 to 2013.
Brandt's career as a Representative was notable for the large number of successful private member's bills that he introduced and sponsored. Early in his first term, he co-sponsored the Secure Cygnia and Orderly Immigration Act. He also introduced a private member's bill which led to the passage of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2009, which authorised the establishment of CYGspending.gov.cy, a web search engine on federal spending. On 3 June 2010, Representatives Brandt, Gabe Cockburn and Regan Goldsworthy, introduced follow-up legislation: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2010.
Brandt sponsored legislation that would have required nuclear plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks, but the bill failed to pass in the full House after being heavily modified in committee. Regarding tort reform, Brandt voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2009.
In December 2009, Emperor Theodore V assented to the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Brandt as its primary sponsor. In January 2010, Brandt and Representative Feingold introduced a corporate jet provision to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2010. Brandt also introduced the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act to criminalise deceptive practices in federal elections, which passed the House, but failed to gain support in the Senate.
Minister for Education (2011–2014)
Brandt was re-elected for a second term in the 2010 elections. When Julia Gillard became Chancellor in 2011, she chose Brandt to become Minister for Education. He was an effective reformer for the education system (a reputation he continued to uphold in the chancellorship), and helped to raise Cygnia's educational standards substantially, resulting in Cygnia reclaiming its former educational reputation. Brandt announced on 18 November 2014 that he would resign as Minister for Education on 21 November to focus on his transition period for the chancellorship.
As Minister for Education, Brandt redirected his legislative energies, and worked closely with Secretary Lisa Paul. All legislation that he introduced and sponsored from 2011 to 2014 focused specifically on the education sector. He often visited schools and interviewed teachers and educational officials as part of his legislative research; he gained a general rapport with teachers nationwide and approval from teachers' unions as a side effect.
During his four year tenure in the Ministry, Brandt introduced the National Assessment Program Act of 2011, which established a nationwide annual testing program for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 to assess national standards. He also penned legislation raising the national minimum wage for teachers from §40,000 per annum to §65,000 per annum, making Cygnian teachers some of the best paid in the world.
2014 leadership campaign
On 30 April 2013, Brandt announced his candidacy for Leader of the Democratic Labour Party in front of Government House in Carnarvon, Gascoyne. Brandt emphasised issues of improving working conditions in the mining sector, increasing energy independence, reforming the healthcare system, and continuing reforms to the education system. His was a campaign that projected themes of hope and change.
Numerous candidates entered the Democratic Labour leadership elections, and it became a challenging contest. The field gradually narrowed to a duel between Brandt and incumbent Chancellor Julia Gillard, with the race remaining surprisingly close throughout the primary process but with Brandt gaining a steady lead in the polls due to better long-range planning and superior fundraising. On 7 June 2014, Gillard ended her campaign and endorsed Brandt. It was an unprecedented scenario, as previously a sitting chancellor seeking re-election had never withdrawn from the race before.
On 23 August, Brandt announced his selection of fellow Representative and former leadership rival Charlie Chen of Campbell as his deputy. It is speculated that Brandt selected Chen because both had worked closely together while Brandt was Minister for Education. At the Democratic Labour National Convention in Augusta, The Capes, Julia Gillard called for her supporters to endorse Brandt, and gave a convention speech in his support. Brandt's acceptance speech was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide.
During both the leadership and general elections, Brandt's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On 19 June 2008, Brandt became the first major-party leadership candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1978.
Malcolm Turnbull was nominated as the Unitarian leader, and the two engaged in three leaders' debates in September and October 2014. On 6 November, the Democratic Labour Party won the election with a stunning 68% majority. The large majority has been attributed to the appeal generated by Brandt's confidence and charisma in comparison to Turnbull's relatively fumbling, "waffly" speaking style which made a bad impression on many voters. The combination of these factors resulted in the biggest legitimate landslide in Cygnian history; Brandt became the first migrant and the youngest individual to be elected chancellor. Brandt delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Theodora's Central Park.
Chancellorship (since 2015)
- Main article: Brandt Government
Culture and political image
Brandt is frequently referred to as an exceptional orator. During his pre-inauguration transition period and continuing into his chancellorship, Brandt has delivered a series of weekly Internet video addresses. According to the Fairfax Foundation, Brandt began his chancellorship with a 72% approval rating – the highest since Chris Watson's – and remained somewhat consistent throughout the year, though it did drop to around 65% by the end of 2015. He experienced a small poll bounce shortly after the implementation of his popular Immigration Act on 2 May 2016. This bounce lasted until around June 2016, when his approval numbers dropped back to where they were previously. Polls show strong support for Brandt in other countries, and before being elected Chancellor he met with prominent foreign figures including French President Francois Moullerand, German Chancellor Gerhard Schmidt, and Chinese Premier Ma Yingjiu.
In a February 2015 poll conducted in Asia and Cygnia by Forde Interactive for Chinese Central Television and the International Herald Tribune, Brandt was rated as the region's most respected world leader, as well as the most powerful.
Brandt won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of Dorian & Dory in February 2013.
Family and personal life
- Main article: Family of Dorian Brandt
Brandt's extended family is located in numerous countries, including France, Germany, Mexico and Cygnia.
Brandt speaks German as his native language, although he is completely fluent and articulate in English. He is also a moderately advanced speaker of Japanese, which he attributes to his wife, Juliana Kobayashi. He plays football, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school team; he is left-handed.
Brandt is a supporter of the Carnarvon Eagles, and he threw out the first pitch at the 2005 CBC when he was still an MC. In 2015, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star Game while wearing an Eagles jacket. He is also primarily a Carnarvon United football fan in the Premier League, but in his childhood and adolescence was a fan of Esperance FC, and rooted for them ahead of their victory in the Premier League 12 days after he took office as Chancellor.
In July 2000, Brandt met Juliana Kobayashi when he was employed as a summer associate at Gascoyne law firm Sutler & Susan. Assigned for three months as Brandt's adviser at the firm, Kobayashi joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, and after two years became engaged in 2002. The couple's first child, Charles "Charlie" Akio Kobayashi-Brandt (Japanese: 小林 昭雄) was born on 5 April 2006. Kobayashi remained Brandt's partner until 2008, when they were married on 3 October; their second child, Yumi Annabelle Kobayashi-Brandt (小林 由美) was born on 2 October 2009. Charles attended the private University of Gascoyne Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Swanstone in February 2015, he started at the private All Saints' College. Yumi joined him the following year.
In December 2013, Money estimated the Brandt family's net worth at §1.3 million. Their 2015 tax return showed a household income of §5.5 million – up from about §4.2 million in 2013 and §1.6 million in 2005 – mostly from sales of his books. Of his 2015 income of §1.7 million, he gave 14% to non-profit organisations, including §131,000 to Fisher House Foundation, a charity assisting wounded veterans' families, allowing them to reside near where the veteran is receiving medical treatment. As per his 2016 financial disclosure, Brandt may be worth as much as §10 million.