Douglas Passerini was the 3rd Supreme Director of the Coalition (2510-2559). He is the first internationalist Supreme Director, replacing the hypertraditionalist James Hahn, who had resigned in shame. Although markedly different from his predecessor, Passerini’s administration was in many ways more reviled than that of Hahn.
Schisms in the Party began to appear due to Director Hahn’s disastrous administration. Two factions arose: the internationalists and the traditionalists. The internationalist of the National Conservative Party supported the end to Coalition isolationism and militarism, and instead wanted more focus on diplomacy and even political concessions to neighboring states. In contrast, the traditionalists wanted to maintain the policy of ‘Coalition for Coalitionists’ that had dominated Coalition politics since the Endless War. Because both factions were still part of the same political party, neither could fully trump one another. This rivalry resulted in political deadlock, which could only be broken by the Supreme Director.
When Passerini took the office of Supreme Director, he knew that he had a lot of work to do. Director Hahn had led Coalition into five bitter skirmishes against the Soviets and later the Conseil; it seemed as though Hahn believed his life’s purpose was to destroy communism. Hahn was also responsible for the botched rescue efforts on Solanum after the Great Plague, and had alienated the international community through constant threats of war. The Hahn administration also saw one of the most brutal periods of isolationism and saber rattling in Coalition history; the Springfield Pact threatened break down and by the time Passerini entered office very few states even wished to associate with Coalition.
Once in office, Passerini immediately opened diplomatic channels with non-Pactist states, and sought to repair expand the Steel Pact. Several neutral states, such as the besieged Neu Stuttgart states and the Cathay Federation, approached the Coalition with requests for alliance. Because of the new policies put into place, the Coalition happily accepted.
Trade agreements were reached with neighboring neutral states; prior to the Passerini administration, only Pactist states and Coalition puppets could trade with Coalition. Immigration was opened up to non-communist countries and the Coalition began to accept refugees. The series of dramatic changes, known collectively as Passerini’s Thaw, dramatically changed Coalition life. Increased trade resulted in more consumer goods reaching Coalition hands, and an influx of immigrants brought new ideas to Coalition. The traditionalists feared that the changes could result in civil disorder and tried to stop Passerini and the internationalists at all costs. Many attempts were made at convincing the Board of Directors to depose Passerini; all of them failed. Attacks were made on Passerini’s character, such as accusing him of being soft on communism and xenos. Some historians argue that these accusations made Passerini wish to prove his detractors wrong by entering the Cerafi War.
Because of constant rivalry, the Passerini era was rife with political deadlock. Although Passerini had the ultimate say in policy-making, the Board and the planetary governments were split. Being a transition era, many felt uneasy about the changes around them. Even Passerini himself had doubts about how to go about internationalizing the Coalition, although he was convinced it must be done.
Ultimately, Passerini’s attempts at reform backfired. The Coalition, while victorious on Neu Stuttgart, had managed to alienate the Conseil even more. The Conseil Systems’ increased militarization used as “proof” by the traditionalists as a sign of the weakness of internationalism. Increased immigration led to conflicts between the considerably more conservative Coalitionists and refugees, many of which found life in the Coalition very similar to the oppressive nations they left behind. Calls for Passerini’s head spread throughout the Coalition and eventually pro-Passerini members of the Board were forced to reconsider their position. Passerini himself began to break down under the sharp criticism and considered resigning like his predecessor. Eventually, the Board held a vote to see whether or not Passerini should be impeached. The vote was 4-3 in favor of impeachment. Passerini was forced to step down, the only ousted Director in Coalition history, and the tired, disillusioned politician retired from politics to his private estate.