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Trankvilaj Altecoj? (CLOSED, MT, ATTN Zaras)

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Montogranda
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Trankvilaj Altecoj? (CLOSED, MT, ATTN Zaras)

Postby Montogranda » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:42 pm

Image

July 15, 2012
South California Beach, Northern Region, Zaras


In the past 44 years, Montograndese immigrants have grown. Most Montograndese move to Zaras to work and send remittances home. The region, known to Montograndans as "Tranquil Heights" or in Esperanto, "Trankvilaj Altecoj" borders the rump of South California Beach to the north and east, to the south bordering Hasan Qadar, and from the quadripoint, bordering Upmarket.

Now, in 2012, there are 118,691 Montograndans living in Zaras, nearly twice the amount living in nearby Montogranda. From 1972 to 1980, locals escaping the war moved to Zaras, and had families. Many settled at California Beach, but after 1984, they moved southwards to what they now call "Trankvilaj Altecoj." Unlike the rest of South California Beach, it has a large financial sector, with Montograndese banks having their Zaran headquarters here.

Out of the 118,691 Montograndese-Zarans, 29,673 live outside the area, the remainder living mostly in the proposed area. The Montograndese Embassy has a consulate in Zaras, in the area. It has its own community association, the Trankvilaj Altecoj Komunumo Asocio (TAKA, Tranquil Heighs Community Association).

This time, the TAKA finally proposed to the Government of Zaras a request, a request for a referendum to become a constituent neighborhood of Zaras. In which region it wanted to join, it, needless to say, was fairly divided. Some want to remain in the North, some want to join the Central, and a fringe movement wants it to become its own district. Only some want it to become part of the Southern District. But, the Esperanto majority in the proposed Trankvilaj Altecoj neighborhood wanted it to be a neighborhood. As long as they become a neighborhood, they'll be glad. Who knows if... the request will be granted? They have distinct features, and claim that South California Beach "does not represent the interests of the people of Zaras with roots from Montogranda, as well as Esperantist-Zarans," the latter being those that spoke Esperanto, that did not migrate to Montogranda, but to Zaras. It will work out. Somewhat.
Last edited by Montogranda on Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:31 pm

15 July 2012
District government headquarters, South California Beach


Zaras had occasionally inherited some screwy procedures from its transition to parliamentary democracy, but the procedure for local government was pretty straightforward. If enough support is expressed at a municipal referendum, the government can then call a referendum to approve whether to reassign certain municipalities or create new districts. It wasn't exactly a rare procedure, after all, since a lot of Zaras' administrative procedures seemed to be made up as the city went along. Though a long time had passed since an actual redistricting referendum - the last one had been in 1991, to be precise. The others since were mostly about reassigning municipalities than making up new districts.

The district commission was having its regular meeting in a small building that had been badly chosen enough to offer a view of the coastline, the sort of view that would instantly take anyone's minds off work and reduce their patience for the monotony of the day-to-day bureaucracy required to keep the city moving. Its commissioners were entirely elected from the three parties of the ruling DSP-LMP-Green coalition, and Chief Commissioner Abe Kurtzman was presiding over the meeting. He had just finished reading a document and now placed it on the table.

"Friends, it's a fait accompli.", he said. "There have been enough valid signatures gathered to require holding a referendum."

"Which kind?", asked one of the LMP commissioners. His question was understandable, since he had only been recently elected, and this procedure had mostly been used in Central and South Zaras in the past decade.

"Preserve South California Beach vs split off to form new district.", Kurtzman replied, illustrating it by doing "balance" gestures with his hands. "Whichever municipalities vote to form their own neighbourhood, those get to split off."

There was a silence. This wasn't exactly something that could be debated.

Kurtzman sighed. "We all know the procedure. I'll kick this upstairs to the government after the meeting. Now, let's move on to... the financial issue... as usual..."



Government House, Central District

Planning Commissioner Sarah Bernev knocked on the door to the Mayor's office, clutching a dossier to her chest.

"Come in!", Mayor Muhammad replied.

Bernev entered the office, only to find it just as messy and cramped as it had been when she was trying to play with Legos while her mother was busy governing the city. Muhammad was sitting at her desk, going over some tables on her computer. "Ah, Sarah! If they sent you, it must be important!", she said when she saw Bernev enter. "Would you like a seat?", she asked, pointing to the chair in front of her desk.

"Thanks, Mayor, but this time it's something that doesn't take hours to explain.", Bernev chuckled.

"Talk about a pleasant surprise. Sorry if I seem busy, it's just that I'm looking over these figures, you understand."

"Of course I do, I'm also in the cabinet, you know. Anyway, we've just had a successful redistricting petition."

"Really? Where from?", Muhammad asked, still looking over her figures.

"South California Beach. The Montograndese feel they're not represented well enough in the district, so they want to form their own."

"Given how big those districts still are, it's no wonder... I'll call a cabinet meeting in an hour, so we can draft the press release and start the procedure."

"Sure thing, Mayor. I better get back to work too. See you at the meeting!"

"Bye, Sarah! Have a nice day!"

"You too!", Bernev said as she left the office.
Last edited by Zaras on Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:00 pm

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July 16th, 2012
Salono de la Guberniestro, South California Beach, Zaras


It is in the old town, named Trankvilaj Altecoj. Built in 1959, by a rich Esperantist man, who had relatives in Montogranda, Erik Haakon, in 1966, it declared itself part of Zaras, and saw an entire neighborhood built around it. It was on a prominent hill, overlooking Zamenhof Beach (Esperanto: Zamenhof Strando), really known as California Beach, it was preserved.

In 1986, Erik died, and willed the house to the Trankvilaj Altecoj Komunumo Asocio, or the TAKA, of which he founded, and was given an honorary position of Governor, from its founding in 1975. It still can provide good views, of the Mountains that form Montogranda, but since 1986, his son, Vilhelmo Haakon is the Governor of the TAKA.

In any case, a meeting was held.

"Ni havas grandan novaĵon!" Governor Vilhelmo Haakon exclaimed to the Council of 10 (Esperanto: Konsilio de Dek) that formed the de-facto governing body of the region. Until now, it was just a cultural body.

"Kio estas tio?" asked a Councilperson, Jozef Henrik, who migrated with his family in 1977 to Zaras, from Antaŭen Province.

"Ni nun havas referendumo, referendumo por decidi ĉu ni restu kun Sud Kalifornio Strando, aŭ iĝi nia propra konsistigaj kvartalo en la Libera Urbo de Zaras."

The entire Council of Ten cheered, but Governor Vilhemo tapped the microphone and the room fell silent.

"Ĝi estas nun ĝis la civitano, por helpi atingi nian venkon, aŭ por malbeni ĝin, por tiel neniam mamnutris denove. Ni povas nur diri ilin fari X, Y, kaj Z tiel, sed en la fino, estas ĝis la civitanoj."

They then applauded. The applause died down after a minute.

"Dankon al ĉiuj, por ĉeesti tiun specialan kunvenon en tia mallonga avizo. Vi povas nun komenci la kampanjoj."

With the gesture of the hand, he dismissed them. Soon, all over the Esperanto-majority neighborhoods in the area, signs were put up, reading, "Jes al Urba Stato!" The English minority would post signs, reading, "No for the sake of OUR economy!" Many Esperantists were bilingual, speaking English and Esperanto. Hell, even the Stop (Esperanto: Ĉesu) signs were in both languages in the neighborhoods with an Esperanto-speaking majority.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:50 pm

The press release had been sent out, and all the main parties in the government subsequently declared at the press conference that they would not involve themselves in the referendum, since it was a municipal matter and not a national one, but they would support the referendum and its outcome as a sign of Zaran democracy's robust health. Green Party leader Helen Westwood was the only one to even slightly deviate from the script, emphasising that no matter the outcome, the citizens would have to remain ever vigilant and work to ensure that the California Beach coastline would be preserved, clean and free of pollution for all to enjoy.

Despite the urgings of some party members to exploit the referendum and accuse the coalition of somehow endangering Zaras' unity, Conservative Party leader Laura Jalki also supported the referendum and declared that the party would not interfere with local matters in her own press statement. Aisha Holtzman of the Communist Party merely repeated the same stance. With the national leaders having essentially washed their hands of the situation, the responsibility for campaigning and debating the referendum's options was now passed over to the local, South California Beach branches of the city's parties.

Some confusion was inevitable at first, since the Montograndans didn't have their own party - the dominant politics of South California Beach had pushed them to join either the DSP or Greens, or rely on the Civic Tolerance Movement for representation (a less favourable option since, no matter how much Zarans may like the CTM's emphasis on minority representation and fighting racism, the sheer amount of minorities it tries to represent at once tends to make it less effective). Roughly two camps formed at the time, the people who advocated the formation of a new district, and the people who wanted to preserve South California Beach as is, and these camps attracted support from various figures irrespective of party lines. In fact, in many ways party politics was unofficially "suspended" during the referendum, with the local councillors and party leaders taking a surprisingly defeatist attitude and focusing on hashing out the details of the transition in the event of the referendum's success.

But, after all, the referendum's success was treated like something of an inevitability for good reason: Zaran law specified that whenever a referendum for redistricting would be called, it would only be necessary for it to win certain municipalities, and regardless of whether the rest of the district overwhelmingly voted against redistricting, those municipalities that had voted for would then form their own district. The party leaders tended to focus more on the worry over whether the result would resemble Harbour's peaceful split from Jiranh in 1991, the acrimony that had prompted Upper Tyanik to break off from Haifa Gardens in 1987, or the bitterness that had accompanied East Simi splitting off from Yehat in 1985.

The opposition to the redistricters didn't exactly have a lot to combat the motivation that Esperantists/Montograndans weren't properly represented in the commission. Instead, they retorted by trying to convince voters that splitting off the more financially-focused south of the district would cause the district problems in relation to its economy, which was already quite limited to an unhealthy reliance on tourism and services since it lost the North's pockets of high-tech industry after being split in 1984, and demanding that the splitters promise to uphold a bilingual policy and not try to impose any Québec-style linguistic policies on the non-Esperanto-speaking population of the southern municipalities. The latter was more of a stretch, since South California Beach had already had bilingual policies in place to accomodate the Esperantists. The AF also weighed in by asking whether the new district would support their proposed abolition of the Architectural Act and implement policies to address the city's perennial housing problem.

The government had to designate the date of the referendum within three weeks of the petition's acceptance, in accordance with the Zaran custom of having all official electoral periods last three weeks unless specific circumstances dictated otherwise. Mayor Muhammad chose to set the official voting day to 6 August, and left the local politicians to decide amongst themselves how many debates should be held, where, and who would participate in them.

No polls could be published yet due to insufficient information.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:21 pm

On July 19th, the TAKA reorganized itself into a political party, named the Log Cabin Green Party (LCGP, Esperanto: Ensalutu Kajuto Verda Partio, EKVP). 8 of the Council of Ten, and the Governor registered the party. 1 joined the DSP, and one person formed the party, named the Esperantist Party (EP, Esperanto: Esperantisto Partio, EP).

The EKVP's aims is to adopt Esperanto, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese alongside English as official languages. Economically, it would follow Titoist policies, but in terms of the Environment, the EKVP would adopt Bhutanese-style environmentalism, "since it is more effective in protecting the environment." It also advocates union with Montogranda, with two leaders, the Prince of Zaras (who serves as Mayor of Zaras), and the Prince of Montogranda (obvious), with Parliament representing both countries, and having their own Parliaments. It also supports the repealing of the Architectural Act, claiming "it damages the environment in the long run." It registered as a national party.

The EP's aims, is to adopt Quebec-style policies regarding Esperanto, with Esperanto text displayed predominately and English being reduced. It believes in withdrawing ALL regulation from the economy, privatize healthcare, education, and the police, AND abolishing building laws and permits. Environmentally, it wants to withdraw ALL regulation from the environment. It registered itself as a national party, of course.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:11 pm

23 July 2012

With the establishment of the LCGP/EKVP and the EP as official parties, the campaign for the redistricting entered its more organised phase. This phase would seem familliar to the average Zaran, since it entailed all the usual trappings of political campaigns: posters, personal campaigning, soapbox speeches, overheated rhetoric sometimes substituting for actual policy proposals... the only thing missing was the excessive mudslinging and corrupt fundraising.

The lines were still not very clearly drawn, since only the LCGP/EKVP and EP officially took positions in favour of the redistricting. The other parties on a local level still continued their tactic of completely washing their hands of the matter by citing "democracy in action" or some such as an excuse for their fence-sitting. The AF had given their tacit approval to the LCGP/EKVP while refraining from making any official endorsements, the EP predictably received a blasting from the Greens (for its program of abolishing environmental regulation) and Democratic Socialists (for the hard-on they showed for privatisation, something that conversely brought them the Conservatives' sympathy), and of course everybody banded together to tell the National Unionists to go fuck themselves.

Negotiations between the parties had managed to wrangle an agreement for two official debates: on 26 July and 2 August, and the South California Beach residents and interested Zarans eagerly waited to see how the debates would go and what their effect would be. Nobody was per se opposed to the Montograndans' and Esperantists' right to separate if they felt they were poorly represented, of course. The fact that the main arguments ended up being wrestling over bureaucratic matters like language policy, economic effects or housing showed as much. It was quite easy to predict that the referendum would ultimately succeed.

The first polls, published a week into the campaign through the Mail, Independent and Unity, reflected this sense of inevitability. Their variation in polling numbers produced some difference in results, but a few facts could be discerned: even if the greater majority of South California Beach residents at this point was in favour of preserving the district, the southern municipalities that housed the 89,018 Esperanto speakers showed just enough support to succeed in their aim, though at this point it was merely pluralities as opposed to majorities. The LCGP/EKVP's popularity was also increasing steadily, and right now they seemed to become real challengers to the coalition's parties, while the EP was predictably flatlined in the polls at the moment, hovering somewhere above the True Communist Front and under the Communist Party. The respondents usually cited their radical policies, open favouritism towards Esperantans (which was felt contrary to Zaras' multiculturalism) and fears that their privatisation would ruin Zaras' fairness and make it a playground for all-powerful corporations as reasons they wouldn't vote for the EP.

Meanwhile, at the Conservative Party headquarters, Laura Jalki was still adhering to her promise to not interfere in the matter. But this didn't stop her from starting to make draft notes for a speech that would use the referendum to criticise the coalition...
Last edited by Zaras on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:28 pm

July 26th, 2012

As the debates began, the EKVP's leader, Erik Haakon supported the redistricting, claiming that with a large district, their distinct identity, and the fact that tourism is overly emphasized, while the real gift of the proposed redistricting is its chance to be the financial center of Zaras, and to promote its distinct identity.

The leader of the EP, supported the redistricting, but felt to "preserve the Esperantist culture, we have to adopt Quebec-style policies to protect our language, identity and culture." It also proposed an alliance with the PAP (People's Action Party) of Montogranda, and also placed his support behind the NUF.

Campaign ads were everywhere to be seen, but there was a bias. The Yes ads are largely in Esperanto, whilst the No ads were largely in English. The municipalities with the Esperanto majority are in support, but those with an English-speaking majority opposed them. Esperantist flags were flown over apartments that support the formation of the "Trankvilaj Altecoj" District, while flags of Zaras were used to fly over apartments who opposed the formation of the new district.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:25 pm

27 July 2012

The EP essentially signed its political death warrant by mentioning the words "National Union Front" without bothering to put in any curse words or insults or insinuations that its members' deaths would be a good thing for Zaras, but instead expressing... support. The polls in the aftermath of the debate predictably reflected this: the EP's support had plunged even further, and it was now tied with the NUF for least popular party in Zaras. The local broadsheet La Montograndese Kroniko not only published an editorial denouncing the EP's existence and support for the NUF and PAP as a danger and an absolute embarassment for Zaras, but its letters page was also filled with Montograndese citizens unloading as much invective as they could. One PAP was enough, but to have a bunch of fanboys start a chapter in Zaras was intolerable. The LGCP/EKVP silently hoped that the EP wouldn't somehow cast doubt on their proposal for a Zaras-Montogranda union by association.

With the cordon sanitaire against far-rightism having been upheld, the campaign otherwise returned to its normal, less inflamed atmosphere and debates over the administrative details of how the redistricting would take place. The polls for the southern municipalities showed some steady improvement, by around 3-5% each, which so far guaranteed the "Yes" camp a still comfortable plurality victory instead of a majority. Haakon, however, was concerned about the municipality of Hillsdale, which was right at the northern border of the new district boundaries the LGCP/EKVP was aiming for. Hillsdale was not far from the Salono de la Gubiernestro, and in its last census it had shown a more or less even split between Esperanto and English speakers, with the former being slightly more by a matter of 0.1%. The mandatory voting removed the potential turnout as a problem, but what Haakon was currently worried about is that 10% of Hillsdale's residents were Francophone immigrants, and some polling done by the party itself revealed that the Francophones felt that the matter of the redistricting did not affect them, and most had not decided which side to vote for.

Fresh polling also showed that the LGCP/EKVP's position was improving, and it had now overtaken the Liberal Moderates in the southern municipalities by one percentage point. Though, considering how fiercely socialistic and environmentalist the California Beach voters were, the sense of achievement was quite muted.



Abe Kurtzman had been at home watching coverage of the referendum, but the sight of the Esperantist and Zaran flags being contrasted had been enough to drive him into a stony, tense silence. Sighing harshly, he muted the TV, picked up his phone and dialled a number.

"Yes? Hello?", answered Devan Ryan-Lesh, South California Beach Commissioner and president of the local branch of the DSP.

"Devan, it's Abe.", Kurtzman replied with absolute, grim seriousness. "Call an emergency meeting for tomorrow."

"What's the emergency?"

"Damned nationalists in the election campaign. Nationalists, Devan. Have you seen those Zaran flags flying over apartments that are against redistricting?"

"Yes, I've seen a few on my drive home. I don't rea-"

"Listen, Devan, those idiots are trying to hijack our flag. The Zaran flag was chosen SPECIFICALLY so that it would favour no ethnicity and could be used by anyone as a universal symbol of multiculturalism. Unity in diversity, if you will. My point is, no matter what your ethnicity, race, language or background, the Zaran flag is something that is specifically so lacking in specifics that you can easily accept that as an appropriate way to symbolise ALL Zarans. It makes me puke, Devan, it does, seeing these dicks flying the Zaran flag as some kind of jingoistic statement, a way to somehow beat down the people who are just trying to get their own district."

"What would you have me do, Abe?"

"Everybody, office, tomorrow. We immediately draft a public statement condemning this sort of use of the flag. Get the Mayor, the whole cabinet to sign and support it to the press. Especially Iris, though that's a given. Get every other party on board, even the goddamn True Communist Front if at all possible. We have to tell these people to cut this shit out quickly, before anyone gets any... ideas. Reach out to Haakon too. We need to strangle this in the crib. Can't allow this kind of persecution complex and pandering to voters' irrational fears that they're 'threatened' by a redistricting to pass unnoticed."

"Should we also try to report it to the Supreme Court?"

"Hmm... I'm afraid that showing it as a violation of the Anti-Discrimination Act sounds flimsy, but I'll pass it on to the Mayor and see what she can do. Thanks, Devan, I wouldn't have thought of this."

"You're welcome, Abe. See you tomorrow!"

"Early morning sharp, don't forget."

Kurtzman hung up.



The next day, the public statement against the use of the flag as a potentially divisive, nationalistic symbol was issued, signed and supported by a veritable who's who of Zaran politicians, intellectuals and public figures. Kurtzman hoped that the symbolism of him and Haakon jointly condemning this display and shaking hands over the final statement would be effective. Zarans, after all, love a good story of a community banding together to fight narrowmindedness...
Last edited by Zaras on Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:05 am, edited 3 times in total.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:41 pm

Erik Haakon also was present and signed it. As was expected, he shook his hands with Kurtzman AND condemned the display, saying, "these far-right nationalists from the NUF have one thing in mind: to have us for dinner."

Needless to say, some of the opposition against the referendum refused taking the flag down, comparing the condemnation to ending "tradition," and claiming that "preserving the district is better for the greater good of the economy and freedom." At least most of the opposition took the flags down, and many supporters took the Esperantist flags down.

In any case, to placate the francophones, he also proposed trilingualism for the municipality, in which members from Hillsdale can use English, Esperanto or French, and will have trilingual signage in Hillsdale, meaning that they still have the right to learn French.
Last edited by Montogranda on Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:17 am

2 August 2012

As the main parties involved in the redistricting issue prepared for the last debate before voting day, polls showed that the inhabitants of South California Beach were increasingly beginning to properly close ranks, with the projected victory in the southern municipalities having increased its lead by a few more percentage points, while the rest of the districts' voters continued to report that they would overwhelmingly vote against the redistricting.

Haakon and Kurtzman's display had worked: bar some holdouts, the two sides of the dispute did indeed take down the offending flag displays and had noticeably toned down the rhetoric, while the central government was going over the procedures to have snap elections in the new district as quickly as possible after the referendum. In this regard, the Zaran Independent showed that the LCGP/EKVP had widened its lead over the LMP and was now threatening to catch up to the Greens, while the EP and NUF were still busily splitting their voters between themselves, maximising the chances that none would gain anything. The Zaran Mail, on the other hand, published a long analysis article showing that the LCGP/EKVP's odds of winning the election were affected by their endorsement of economically "Titoist" policies and resulting confusion among voters over whether this would once again negatively impact the economy. Voters did indicate more sympathy for the LCGP/EKVP's stated goal of uniting Zaras and Montogranda, though they predictably disagreed over the details of how to achieve it.
Last edited by Zaras on Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
Factbook
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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:41 am

Zaras wrote:2 August 2012

As the main parties involved in the redistricting issue prepared for the last debate before voting day, polls showed that the inhabitants of South California Beach were increasingly beginning to properly close ranks, with the projected victory in the southern municipalities having increased its lead by a few more percentage points, while the rest of the districts' voters continued to report that they would overwhelmingly vote against the redistricting.

Haakon and Kurtzman's display had worked: bar some holdouts, the two sides of the dispute did indeed take down the offending flag displays and had noticeably toned down the rhetoric, while the central government was going over the procedures to have snap elections in the new district as quickly as possible after the referendum. In this regard, the Zaran Independent showed that the LCGP/EKVP had widened its lead over the LMP and was now threatening to catch up to the Greens, while the EP and NUF were still busily splitting their voters between themselves, maximising the chances that none would gain anything. The Zaran Mail, on the other hand, published a long analysis article showing that the LCGP/EKVP's odds of winning the election were affected by their endorsement of economically "Titoist" policies and resulting confusion among voters over whether this would once again negatively impact the economy. Voters did indicate more sympathy for the LCGP/EKVP's stated goal of uniting Zaras and Montogranda, though they predictably disagreed over the details of how to achieve it.


August 2nd

Finally, the EP desperately dissolved itself, mere hours BEFORE the debate. In any case, the EKVP kept the same views, as their previous debate. However, for Titoism, they clarified that they would adopt the principle of worker's self management, as declared by Joesph Tito, and to follow the Titoist conditions, that the path to achieving a better Zaras DEPENDS on the conditions of Zaras. When it ended, school gymnasiums and community centers began to set up the booths for the coming election... If the referendum succeeds, there is a high chance the EKVP will win the election.

However, the opposition began to resort to... other tatics, claiming that if they succeed, the Esperantist majority (in Trankvilaj Altecoj) would oppress them, similar to the style of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even though the EKVP assured that there will be no favoritism whatsoever.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:15 am

Speaking to the press, Mayor Muhammad tried in vain to control her outrage. "As the Mayor of the Free City of Zaras, I absolutely and vehemently condemn the recent insinuations by some extreme public figures that a simple referendum on redistricting would result in a conflict comparable to the situation between Israelis and Palestinians. Anybody who makes such a suggestion is, plain and simply, an uneducated, irresponsible, idiotic imbecile with no place in our society. I am glad to see the unanimous condemnation that has greeted such damaging rhetoric on behalf of all of our party leaders and public figures... such a display of responsibility is heartening. I cannot begin to tell you how personally offending I found the remarks. I strongly believe that one of the proudest achievements of our city has been our successful policy of tolerance and multiculturalism, allowing every person to bring their own contribution to Zaras instead of imposing some kind of identity on them, and I have not been the only public servant in Zaras to have specifically praised the friendly relations between our Jewish and Muslim communities, especially in light of the unfortunate tragedies that have marred such relations in other parts of the world. Any attempts to create artificial divisions between our citizens through shockingly irresponsible invocations of tragic, yet unsolved conflicts abroad must be resisted to the fullest by all Zarans. I hope that the parties involve will not commit any further transgressions and respect the moderation agreement that has been signed only last week. Thank you. I will now take questions."



The polls revealed that the more extremist figures' rhetoric had had the opposite effect: Zarans polled reported near-unanimous disgust with the Israel-Palestine comparison, and support for the separatists had shot up considerably, moving its victory margin from a plurality to an assured majority.
Last edited by Zaras on Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
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Risottia, on lolbertarianism.

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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:34 am

August 6, 2012

It was Election Day. All over Trankvilaj Altecoj, they queued to vote. Esperantists and Anglophones, as well as Francophones and Allophones were eagerly voting. Despite protests outside the Salono de la Guberniestro (Governor's House), waving Zaran flags and demanding that the redistricting end, it was inevitable that the EKVP-led movement would win. Because they knew the separation was inevitable, they ALREADY began setting up institutions needed for the constituent municipality.

The La Montograndese Kroniko produced articles, saying that if it succeeds (which IT WILL), to urge anyone to vote for any party to represent Trankvilaj Altecoj but the NUF, comparing them to "the Nazis of PAP back in Montogranda." Another stance the EKVP clarified was that the reason why they should repeal the Architectural Act was because it reduces urban sprawl, which therefore maximizes the environment.

Rumors already abound that next nation-wide election, the EKVP would win a sizeable majority, which means the vote seems about to be split.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:54 am

The next day, the results were in.

As predicted, most of South California Beach voted by large margins to reject redistricting (the largest margin came from the municipalities next to the border with North California Beach, which rejected redistricting by margins of 80-90%), but this didn't matter since the southern, Esperanto-speaking municipalities voted to constitute their own district, by an overall majority of 62,45%. Despite triumphalist predictions of an overwhelming victory, the final result of 62,45% in favour came from some absenteeism among Esperantist voters that were certain of victory, as well as narrower than expected finals in some neighbourhoods where non-Esperantist-speaking voters had not been fully convinced of the LGCP/EKVP's promises. Hillsdale provided the narrowest victory margin, with its Francophone immigrants splitting roughly equally in favour and against, and the "yes" vote only triumphing by 50,2%.

Regardless, the vote was greeted by celebrations among the Esperanto-speaking neighbourhoods of Zaras. In a show of solidarity against the nationalist attempts to hijack the debate, numerous Zarans carrying the Zaran flag joined their fellow citizens on the streets to hail the successful "yes" vote. The government praised the peaceful conduct of the campaign and the way the populace had resisted appeals to xenophobia, and immediately enabled the procedures to set up the new Trankvilaj Altecoj district and transfer the appropriate authority and administrative responsibilities from the larger South California Beach district to Trankvilaj Altecoj.

The new district residents couldn't exactly take a vacation and reflect afterwards though, since another three-week campaign was to take place to elect the district commission, with the election being on 28 August. The LGCP/EKVP was now more or less tied with the Greens, and predicted to catch up to the Democratic Socialists eventually.

In Parliament, Laura Jalki made a speech on the occasion of the successful referendum, citing it as a sign that Zaran voters feel increasingly discontent and disenchanted with the government, and correlating it with the exceptionally long period that the DSP-LMP-Green coalition had been in power, positioning her Conservative Party as a credible alternative and challenging the government to address the issue of voters' frustration with being improperly represented. Mayor Muhammad replied that her coalition had in fact introduced multiple bills to try and reform the government and electoral system to make them more representative but these had either been killed by the Conservatives or tied up and left to die in bureaucratic limbo. She then challenged the Conservatives to support an initiative for a referendum on electoral reform that had repeatedly failed to pass.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
Factbook
RP 1, RP 2, RP 3, RP 4, RP 5
ADS, UDL, GFN member
Political compass (old), Political compass (new)
Bottle, telling it like it is.
Risottia, on lolbertarianism.

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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:19 am

Erik Haakon promptly announced to run as District Commissioner of Trankvilaj Altecoj on behalf of the EKVP. Eight of the ten Council members of the Council of Ten that existed under the Trankvilaj Altecoj Komununo Asocio (TAKA) would run under the EKVP banner, while one ran as a DSP candidate for the District Commissioner, Vilhemo Aleksandro, and the former leader of the EP, Johano McCarthy ran as the NUF Candidate.

As the institutions were formed, the Esperantists would do some changing. The District Commissioner was to be known as Governor, the Governor of Trankvilaj Altecoj (Guberniestro de la Trankvila Altecoj), officially known as "Governor," or "Guberniestro," but when referred by official standards, to use "District Commissioner." They even designated the Hall of the Governor to be the official residence of the Guberniestro. To their word, the EKVP implemented trilingualism in Hillsdale, with French, Esperanto and English. Elsewhere, it was bilingual, with Esperanto and English. The small community of 150 Muslim Esperantists living in Hasan Qadar (the difference is that they write Esperanto in the Arabic script), which call themselves "Guards" (Esperanto: Gvardio, Gvardio Esperanto: لرشقيهخ, Gvardio) supported the decision, and the Guards of the Language (Esperanto: Gvardio de la Lingvo, Gvardio Esperanto: لرشقيهخ يث مش مهىلرخ, Gvardio de la Lingvo) endorsed it.

The Esperanto-speaking district would have two official languages, which would be English and Esperanto. In Hillsdale, they would have three: English, Esperanto and French. Thus, they plan on creating a new Council, the Council of Thirty (Esperanto: Konsilio de Tridek), with 10 MTs (Members of Tridek) reserved for English speakers, 10 for Esperanto speakers, and 10 for French speakers, meaning Hillsdale gets 10 seats, while the rest is allocated to their population.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:58 pm

The national government received the Trankvilaj Altecoj proposal to create the Council of Thirty, but it found itself forced to veto the proposal because the result had too many councillors compared to the usual norm, and would represent an unequal distribution for such a small district.

Mayor Muhammad was not eager to have this issue become a public nuisance and restart the perennial debate over the structural flaws of Zaran electoral distribution, so she decided to seize the issue head-on. After announcing that the government rejected the Council of Thirty plan for containing too many councillors, she then continued by stating that this only reveals the long-term structural deficiencies of Zaran democracy (citing the unequal distribution of MPs and City Councillors, let alone district commissioners), and as such she would lead her government to establish a committee and then organise a referendum for all Zarans to approve electoral reform. Not wanting to be seen as a hypocrite, Jalki also endorsed the referendum plan, privately hoping that whatever system was adopted would help them finally win their first election.

Polls at this point showed that Haakon held a slight lead over Aleksandro in the District Commissioner polls, with voters approving of his seizing the initiative in implementing the promised trilingual policy despite the fact that the election hadn't been held yet, and his efforts at emphasising that the LCGP/EKVP would respect minority rights and Zaran law, not implement nationalistic policies. The commission polls were less clear since the districts had yet to be drawn.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
Factbook
RP 1, RP 2, RP 3, RP 4, RP 5
ADS, UDL, GFN member
Political compass (old), Political compass (new)
Bottle, telling it like it is.
Risottia, on lolbertarianism.

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Montogranda
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Founded: Jun 09, 2012
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Postby Montogranda » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:12 pm

Zaras wrote:The national government received the Trankvilaj Altecoj proposal to create the Council of Thirty, but it found itself forced to veto the proposal because the result had too many councillors compared to the usual norm, and would represent an unequal distribution for such a small district.

Mayor Muhammad was not eager to have this issue become a public nuisance and restart the perennial debate over the structural flaws of Zaran electoral distribution, so she decided to seize the issue head-on. After announcing that the government rejected the Council of Thirty plan for containing too many councillors, she then continued by stating that this only reveals the long-term structural deficiencies of Zaran democracy (citing the unequal distribution of MPs and City Councillors, let alone district commissioners), and as such she would lead her government to establish a committee and then organise a referendum for all Zarans to approve electoral reform. Not wanting to be seen as a hypocrite, Jalki also endorsed the referendum plan, privately hoping that whatever system was adopted would help them finally win their first election.

Polls at this point showed that Haakon held a slight lead over Aleksandro in the District Commissioner polls, with voters approving of his seizing the initiative in implementing the promised trilingual policy despite the fact that the election hadn't been held yet, and his efforts at emphasising that the LCGP/EKVP would respect minority rights and Zaran law, not implement nationalistic policies. The commission polls were less clear since the districts had yet to be drawn.


As such, it was reduced to 15, 5 from Hillsdale, and the rest apportioned to the remainder by population. However, Haakon announced to appeal to the Esperantists, to rename their section of California Beach to Zamenhof Beach, claiming that it (Trankvilaj Altecoj and Hasan Qadar's) is geologically distinct from the rest of California Beach. As such, a golden statue of Zamenhof was designed, overlooking Zamenhof Beach, with a formation of a plaza, Zamenhof Square to begin, surrounding the statue and projecting 500 meters into the Gulf.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:05 am

15 commissioners was more palatable to the government, so the proposal was quickly accepted and the municipalities were drawn up on a map in preparation for the election. The government also responded favourably to the idea of the golden statue, though it did make a counteroffer to the LCGP/EKVP to compromise and change the name to "California-Zamenhof Beach", and to coordinate all developments with the Hasan Qádar District Commission.

After a longer and uneventful campaign, Haakon won the election for District Commissioner on 28 August, taking 56% of the vote to Aleksandro's 44%. Of the resulting 15-member District Commission, 7 seats went to the LCGP/EKVP, 5 to the DSP and the three remaining districts that bordered the coastline predictably voted for the Greens. Haakon's victory speech emphasised that the new Commission would govern based on consensus, not seek to impose decisions unilaterally. The new Commission immediately began to draw up plans for the large-scale public works necessary to create the Zamenhof Plaza and building additional housing so that the construction of the plaza wouldn't leave residents homeless.

A few days later on 5 September, the government committee on electoral reform presented its proposals, and the Mayor immediately announced that a referendum would be organised in advance of the next election, due in 2014. The options for Zarans were as follows:
* Preserve the first past the post system with single member constituencies but increase the number of MPs and City Councillors to guarantee a more equitable representation.
* Abandon first-past-the-post for Parliament and instead adopt the proportional representation system that is used at a local level, with an accompanying increase in Parliamentary size to remedy unequal representation.
* Switch to Single Transferable Voting and convert single-member electoral constituencies to multiple-member constituencies, and increase Parliament's size to be more equal.

Due to the importance of securing a proper mandate for such a reform, Mayor Muhammad also announced that this referendum would use a weighted voting system, unlike in the past, expressing her belief that an electoral reform would not be credible if thanks to vote-splitting the winning option was approved by less than 50% of the electorate.

Not to be outdone, the LCGP/EKVP also announced that it would gather signatures across Zaras for its own referendum on uniting Zaras and Montogranda into one state, and stated its expectation that fellow Montograndans would also conduct their own referendum on the matter.
Bythyrona wrote:
Zaras wrote:Democratic People's Republic of Glorious Misty Mountain Hop.
The bat in the middle commemmorates their crushing victory in the bloody Battle of Evermore, where the Communists were saved at the last minute by General "Black Dog" Bonham of the Rock 'n Roll Brigade detonating a levee armed with only four sticks and flooding the enemy encampment. He later retired with honours and went to live in California for the rest of his life before ascending to heaven.

Best post I've seen on NS since I've been here. :clap:
Factbook
RP 1, RP 2, RP 3, RP 4, RP 5
ADS, UDL, GFN member
Political compass (old), Political compass (new)
Bottle, telling it like it is.
Risottia, on lolbertarianism.


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