NATION

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Union? (CLOSED, ATTN Montogranda)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Zaras
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Union? (CLOSED, ATTN Montogranda)

Postby Zaras » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:43 pm

Zaran politics was usually quite predictable, and boring. In fact, Zarans had at one point jokingly adapted a definition of football to their situation. It went something like, "Politics is a profession where five parties debate each other for three weeks, and the coalition wins." (Sure, it needed some work on being snappier, but what can you expect from the city that ignores the fact that green isn't a primary colour for the sake of a not that funny description of their flag?) The coalition would win national elections every four years, and any other political matters in between were usually local affairs, the sort which never really attracted everybody's attention.

Clearly, to have such a mushrooming of activity in the short span of a year meant that something was happening, and people who were paying attention were now trying to figure out what it was. The first successful referendum to create a new district since 1991, the subsequent success of the newly formed LCGP/EKVP in the snap district commission election, the victorious LCGP/EKVP's announced plan to push for a referendum to unite Zaras and Montogranda, and finally the government organising a referendum on electoral reform... all these things don't just happen. Some analysts went a bit beyond caution to suggest that this chain of events would in the future be seen as redefining the Zaran model of politics that had more or less dominated since independence, and had last changed in 1994 with the Greens' surprise success earning them a place in the national coalition government. The electoral reform in particular was a surprise, since Zaras' unequally distributed Parliamentary seats had long been an acknowledged failure, but plans and measures to address the issue had previously only reached the proposal phase before being killed in a committee or left to rot by parties worried that the existing balance of power/status quo could be changed in a way that would affect them disproportionately.

Predictably, it was the electoral reform issue that had so far monopolised the public and media's attention. The LCGP/EKVP was still out dutifully collecting signatures to force the issue of union on a referendum, but they'd had their work cut out for them. The party leader, Vilhelmo Haakon, hoped that he could still push through the issue by coordinating with the Montograndan parties and political actors that had long advocated a union between the two countries.
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 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:00 pm

The EKVP was one of the major opponents of the reform, but indeed, it supported the unification. The National Democratic Party, the Working People's Party and the Rosa Party were firm supporters, and actually were willing to listen, and to put their formal support. As "unio" loomed, so did the future of Montogranda and Zaras. Would they unite? Or will they fall?

Nobody knows. Yet. But, Montograndese politicians applauded the success, but criticized electoral reform.
Last edited by Montogranda on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:53 am

The endorsement of the important Montograndan parties emboldened the LCGP/EKVP, and they began to formulate a plan to keep their push for a union referendum at least "above water" in terms of media exposure and public awareness while these were mostly taken by the electoral reform until the voting day on 26 September. They also expanded their operation and recruited numerous more volunteers to gather signatures across Zaras, hoping that they could not only meet the required target but exceed it substantially to impress upon the public the importance of the union question as well.

They needn't have worried: repeated polls over the years since the Montogranda-Dainarén War had shown that Zarans were in favour of a union with Montogranda, and the subsequent years of shared prosperity, close ties and immigration had diminished the initially larger cultural and social differences between the two countries. Indeed, it seemed that while Zarans were in favour of union, the only thing they tended to trip over were the specific details of such. The LCGP/EKVP had cleverly decided to exploit this by proposing a referendum with the question "Do you believe that The Free City of Zaras and the Most Serene Principality of Montogranda should unite?". After all, it was a general question that had repeatedly received support in the past, and no specific details to derail. What could go wrong?

Still, the LCGP/EKVP was fighting somewhat uphill against the predominance of the electoral reform question. The ZPBS and ZPR were mandated by charter to remain neutral, so they instead featured debates over which of the four possible options in the referendum (FPTP, PR or STV with larger Parliament, plus an option for "other"), but most of the newspapers had already either taken sides (The Zaras Mail and Unity were pro-STV, The Zaran Independent pro-PR) or commissioned long, detail-heavy analyses of the given options. The political parties themselves were more divided - the ruling DSP-LMP-Green coalition were divided (the DSP and Greens were pro-STV, the LMP pro-PR), the opposition Conservatives favoured PR, and the Communists delayed any official stances, deciding to instead have an internal vote on which option they would favour.

So far, one of the ZPBS' official polls went like this:

FPTP: 10%
PR: 25%
STV: 24%
Other: 4%
Undecided: 37%
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 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:45 am

Zaras wrote:The endorsement of the important Montograndan parties emboldened the LCGP/EKVP, and they began to formulate a plan to keep their push for a union referendum at least "above water" in terms of media exposure and public awareness while these were mostly taken by the electoral reform until the voting day on 26 September. They also expanded their operation and recruited numerous more volunteers to gather signatures across Zaras, hoping that they could not only meet the required target but exceed it substantially to impress upon the public the importance of the union question as well.

They needn't have worried: repeated polls over the years since the Montogranda-Dainarén War had shown that Zarans were in favour of a union with Montogranda, and the subsequent years of shared prosperity, close ties and immigration had diminished the initially larger cultural and social differences between the two countries. Indeed, it seemed that while Zarans were in favour of union, the only thing they tended to trip over were the specific details of such. The LCGP/EKVP had cleverly decided to exploit this by proposing a referendum with the question "Do you believe that The Free City of Zaras and the Most Serene Principality of Montogranda should unite?". After all, it was a general question that had repeatedly received support in the past, and no specific details to derail. What could go wrong?

Still, the LCGP/EKVP was fighting somewhat uphill against the predominance of the electoral reform question. The ZPBS and ZPR were mandated by charter to remain neutral, so they instead featured debates over which of the four possible options in the referendum (FPTP, PR or STV with larger Parliament, plus an option for "other"), but most of the newspapers had already either taken sides (The Zaras Mail and Unity were pro-STV, The Zaran Independent pro-PR) or commissioned long, detail-heavy analyses of the given options. The political parties themselves were more divided - the ruling DSP-LMP-Green coalition were divided (the DSP and Greens were pro-STV, the LMP pro-PR), the opposition Conservatives favoured PR, and the Communists delayed any official stances, deciding to instead have an internal vote on which option they would favour.

So far, one of the ZPBS' official polls went like this:

FPTP: 10%
PR: 25%
STV: 24%
Other: 4%
Undecided: 37%


The Montograndese Chronicle obviously endorsed FPTP, and indeed, locals in Trankvilaj Altecoj held protests, claiming that FPTP is simple, and makes more sense for everyone to get.

The EKVP indeed had the entirety of Trankvilaj Altecoj sign (well, every adult), as well as the Esperantists, meaning that yes, the Esperantists placed their firm support behind the referendum on the question of union. The question was, whether Esperanto would survive, or if it will go the way of the Walloon language. As both referenda was coming, it seemed like the union was the pinnacle, one that ends in unification. If it comes up, the PAP and the NUF will seem to oppose it (the referendum).

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:39 pm

Two weeks had passed, and the Esperantists had no reason to worry: the huge amount of signatures they'd gathered from Trankvilaj Altecoj had helped attract more attention to their referendum drive, and signatures had begun to pour in from the rest of Zaras as well. The issue had no hope of stealing the electoral reform's thunder, but it had gained sufficient traction to merit polling (which presented support for the union at 72% so far), and had led the important political parties to all make official statements supporting the proposed union referendum.

The Trankvilaj Altecoj protests about the simplicity of FPTP, however, crashed right against the fact that Zarans identified it with badly drawn, unequal electoral apportionment, and the Greens and Communists quite convincingly protested that FPTP disadvantages smaller parties and leads to "plurality" victories with less than 50% of the vote due to vote-splitting, which affects representation. The Communists' leader, Aisha Holtzman, specifically pointed to Haifa Gardens, citing how in a few elections, severe vote-splitting between the Greens and DSP had caused Conservative candidates to win the election with as little as 35% of the vote, causing controversy and re-voting procedures; Green leader Helen Westwood strongly argued that any new electoral system would have to include runoff elections to avoid the issue of candidates being elected to Parliament despite the majority of their electorate technically voting against them.

The recent ZPBS poll revealed the following results:

FPTP: 11%
PR: 30%
STV: 39%
Other: 10%
Undecided: 11%


The poll also showed that some voters still felt confused by the weighted voting system that the government had introduced for the referendum, prompting the government to announce that it would step up its educational campaign in anticipation of voting.

The LGCP/EKVP leader, Vilhelmo Haakon, checked the day's results for the signatures with satisfaction - there would be no question that the campaign would collect enough signatures before the deadline. Earlier, he had acted on his worry that the Montograndese politicians' comments on the electoral reform referendum could bring to light the divisions over details that had hampered past attempts at union, and had sent messages to the leading parties of Montogranda and Prince Joseph II, urging them to emphasise their support for the union referendum at the moment (promising that they could negotiate the details afterwards), and asking that the Montograndan government announce that it would hold its own referendum on union. Haakon hoped that the Montograndan referendum would boost the cause and encourage the Zarans to also vote in favour.
Last edited by Zaras on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:41 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 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:47 pm

Kunet, Montogranda
Parliament Building


As the Montograndese politicians placed their support and encouraged it, a private members bill from the Rosa Party, proposed by Pixie Feryev proposed a union. With very little backlog, it got to vote, and every party in the House of Commons voted for the referendum on forming a union with Zaras at the same time as their referendum. It then got to the Senate, and again, they voted unanimously.

Prince Jozef II personally placed his support behind the referendum, and made a speech, declaring, "After 40-some years of close ties, unification is now inevitable. Regardless of how we wish, someday, we HAVE TO UNITE with Zaras," and received applause from everyone. Save for the Amhari Family, but who took them seriously?

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:54 pm

The Mayor and leading political figures expressed their support for Montogranda's decision to hold a simultaneous referendum since it would make the resulting decision look fairer and less one-sided, and thanked the Prince for his public favour. Though normally his office was supposed to be above politicking, Governor James D. Lin also decided to enter the debate, expressing gratitude for the Montograndan backing, and declaring that "It would be a shame for our two states, whose destiny has been inexonerably tied together since our common resistance against the foe to the north, to miss such a historic opportunity due to petty bickering over matters of administration. I urge my fellow Zarans to keep the hand of history in mind, and hope that future generations will not find themselves cursing us for having squandered such an opportunity needlessly."

Due to the matter being increasingly visible and the number of signatures turned in greatly exceeding the required minimum, Mayor Muhammad announced that the government would grant a special dispensation to the union referendum: instead of the normal three weeks' campaign period, it would be held only a week after the last referendum, on 3 October. This, combined with the support of Montogranda, only emboldened the LGCP/EKVP further. Haakon, perhaps realising that trying to campaign in favour of the FPTP would only muddle the debate further at a crucial point, opted to focus his party's efforts and resources on campaigning for a "yes" on the question of union.

27 September

Voting had ended yesterday, and all the ballots were counted. The government's campaign efforts seemed successful, as a negligible minority of voters reported any problems or difficulties understanding the voting system.

Results
Option First preferenceSecond preference
First Past the Post 17,8%
Proportional Representation 35,5% 50,6%
SIngle Transferable Vote 40.9%49,4%
Other 5,8%

Final result
STV56,95%
PR43,05%


As expected, Trankvilaj Altecoj was the only district that voted primarily to keep First Past the Post, though its strong campaigning and appeal to Esperantist and Montograndan voters did at least guarantee a good showing, according it third place in terms of first preference votes. Since no option had received at least 50% of the vote, the FPTP and Other option were eliminated, and their votes were accordingly transferred to either PR or STV in accordance with voters' stated wishes. While PR received a slight lead in second preference votes, this was not enough to negate the five point advantage STV had gained in first preferences, largely thanks to crushingly one-sided majorities among the student population of the Choking Circle and several other plurality victories in districts like Aubedoré and Kuangan. Thus, the referendum's final result would be that Zaras would now switch its electoral system to STV.

With the matter settled, the government then shifted its priority and entered "campaign blitz mode" for the upcoming union referendum, for which polls were forecasting an easy victory. Since the question was not as complex, it would be conducted traditionally, without any weighted voting.
Last edited by Zaras on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:55 pm, edited 2 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 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:06 pm

Zaras wrote:The Mayor and leading political figures expressed their support for Montogranda's decision to hold a simultaneous referendum since it would make the resulting decision look fairer and less one-sided, and thanked the Prince for his public favour. Though normally his office was supposed to be above politicking, Governor James D. Lin also decided to enter the debate, expressing gratitude for the Montograndan backing, and declaring that "It would be a shame for our two states, whose destiny has been inexonerably tied together since our common resistance against the foe to the north, to miss such a historic opportunity due to petty bickering over matters of administration. I urge my fellow Zarans to keep the hand of history in mind, and hope that future generations will not find themselves cursing us for having squandered such an opportunity needlessly."

Due to the matter being increasingly visible and the number of signatures turned in greatly exceeding the required minimum, Mayor Muhammad announced that the government would grant a special dispensation to the union referendum: instead of the normal three weeks' campaign period, it would be held only a week after the last referendum, on 3 October. This, combined with the support of Montogranda, only emboldened the LGCP/EKVP further. Haakon, perhaps realising that trying to campaign in favour of the FPTP would only muddle the debate further at a crucial point, opted to focus his party's efforts and resources on campaigning for a "yes" on the question of union.

27 September

Voting had ended yesterday, and all the ballots were counted. The government's campaign efforts seemed successful, as a negligible minority of voters reported any problems or difficulties understanding the voting system.

Results
Option First preferenceSecond preference
First Past the Post 17,8%
Proportional Representation 35,5% 50,6%
SIngle Transferable Vote 40.9%49,4%
Other 5,8%

Final result
STV56,95%
PR43,05%


As expected, Trankvilaj Altecoj was the only district that voted primarily to keep First Past the Post, though its strong campaigning and appeal to Esperantist and Montograndan voters did at least guarantee a good showing, according it third place in terms of first preference votes. Since no option had received at least 50% of the vote, the FPTP and Other option were eliminated, and their votes were accordingly transferred to either PR or STV in accordance with voters' stated wishes. While PR received a slight lead in second preference votes, this was not enough to negate the five point advantage STV had gained in first preferences, largely thanks to crushingly one-sided majorities among the student population of the Choking Circle and several other plurality victories in districts like Aubedoré and Kuangan. Thus, the referendum's final result would be that Zaras would now switch its electoral system to STV.

With the matter settled, the government then shifted its priority and entered "campaign blitz mode" for the upcoming union referendum, for which polls were forecasting an easy victory. Since the question was not as complex, it would be conducted traditionally, without any weighted voting.


October 3rd

Over Montogranda, many headed to schools and gymnasiums, community centers and such, to vote for the referendum. The parties did not NEED to campaign, since nearly everyone seemed to support unification with Zaras. All day, those 18 years or older headed to vote, knowing of the peaceful treaty. At 8:00 pm, Montograndese time, the polls closed, and the Montograndese anxiously awaited for their results.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:32 am

4 October

The votes had been counted. The results were in.

"Do you believe that The Free City of Zaras and the Most Serene Principality of Montogranda should unite?"

Yes: 93%
No: 7%


Nobody was really surprised at the victory, but the "no" percentage came as a bit of a surprise. Seemed more NUF members had turned out to the vote than expected.

Amid the cheering and celebration, Zarans now waited for Montogranda to release its own results.
Last edited by Zaras on Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:44 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 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:40 am

October 4

"Do you believe that The Free City of Zaras and the Most Serene Principality of Montogranda should unite?"

Yes: 97%
No: 3%


At 12:00 pm, the Government released the results, and the Montograndese cheered. While there wasn't a housing shortage, if the influx of Zarans moved in... oy vey. The Housing Industry promptly began to build more areas in Riveroro and Peltodonu. Construction would receive a boom, if more people wanted to live in Kunet.

Now, began the boring negotiations that nobody will know about.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:10 pm

In the aftermath of the twin results, Muhammad had the following official declaration sent to the government of Montogranda:

Image

An Official Communiqué of The Free City of Zaras


From: Shaheen Muhammad
To: William Henson

Prime Minister Henson and esteemed members of the Government of The Most Serene Principality of Montogranda,

Our government wishes to officially thank you and your compatriots for the support you've provided to our now successful twin referendums to unite our two countries. I can only hope that we will manage to fulfill our promises to our citizens and not let them down on this historic occasion.

Our government wishes to start negotiations over the details of the union as quickly as possible. Would you prefer these to be held in Zaras, or Montogranda? Or perhaps a third option? (Iris suggested Kaura Island for the symbolic value.)

Shaheen Muhammad
Mayor of The Free City of Zaras
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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Bottle, telling it like it is.
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Montogranda
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Postby Montogranda » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:16 pm

Zaras wrote:In the aftermath of the twin results, Muhammad had the following official declaration sent to the government of Montogranda:


An Official Communiqué of The Free City of Zaras


From: Shaheen Muhammad
To: William Henson

Prime Minister Henson and esteemed members of the Government of The Most Serene Principality of Montogranda,

Our government wishes to officially thank you and your compatriots for the support you've provided to our now successful twin referendums to unite our two countries. I can only hope that we will manage to fulfill our promises to our citizens and not let them down on this historic occasion.

Our government wishes to start negotiations over the details of the union as quickly as possible. Would you prefer these to be held in Zaras, or Montogranda? Or perhaps a third option? (Iris suggested Kaura Island for the symbolic value.)

Shaheen Muhammad
Mayor of The Free City of Zaras


Image
Oficiala komunikita de la Plej Serenísima Princlando de Montogranda
Official Communique of the Most Serene Principality of Montogranda


To: Shaheen Muhammad
From: William Henson

Mayor Shaheen Muhammad and esteemed members of the Government of The Free City of Zaras,

We are welcome to hear and indeed, are delighted. As for the suggestion of the meeting place, we suggest holding it on the island of Kauras, to symbolize unification with our brothers, our brothers that speak the English tongue. I do hope that regardless of the situation, we shall unite, and to one day, defeat our northern foe. We are tied together, and so with that, formalizes the unification.

William Henson
Prime Minister of the Most Serene Principality of Montogranda
Last edited by Montogranda on Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:25 pm

Image

An Official Communiqué of The Free City of Zaras


From: Shaheen Muhammad
To: William Henson

Prime Minister Henson and esteemed members of the Government of The Most Serene Principality of Montogranda,

So it is settled then, the negotiations will take place on Kauras.

My cabinet and I will take the initiative and catch the first boat to the island. We will meet you there as soon as possible.

Shaheen Muhammad
Mayor of The Free City of Zaras




October 5
8:00 AM


Mayor Muhammad's plan seemed foolproof, but a nervousness to stay on schedule and avoid attention had driven her to issue the order that the entire cabinet would wake up at an ungodly early hour and then proceed to have their sleep-deprived bodies shoved into a car headed for Marina, and afterwards a rather small boat that was headed for Kauras Island. It probably was a good idea to prevent people from knowing that the cabinet was leaving for negotiations behind closed doors with the Montograndans about the boring, less inspiring details that have so often represented headaches for unions. Then again, it also meant cramming eleven people into a rather small chartered boat, and the comparatively uninspiring spectacle of seeing ministers sprawling over seats or standing up but holding on to anything that could support them mercilessly, trying in vain to stay awake. It meant noticing Deputy Mayor Françoise Gerald being concerned about Health Minister Matthew Stewart's seasickly appearance and tendency to lean over the side of the boat, only for Stewart to remove all doubt by suddenly beginning to puke into the ocean, while Culture Minister Rishika Hadani sat down nearby holding her head and attempting to assuage the most splitting headache she had ever had to wake up with. It meant a tableau of disorientation, seasickness and tiredness where practically the only people who looked awake and in control were the Bernevs.

"Well, this certainly is a rousing start...", mused Education Minister Shirley Williams Taylor. "You want me to tell the captain to hurry, in case we might be late?"

"Sure, why not, you've always wanted to see Mark puke his internal organs out, haven't you?", Muhammad replied.

"Hey, what's the worry, Shaheen?", Defense Minister Ali Batin Weiss asked, while wobbling on his seat. "Nobody's gonna recognise us when we get there anyway. We look like tourists, haha!"

"Ali, are you drunk?", Finance Minister Mark Seevertsen asked with a disapproving look on his face.

"Naah, just sleep-deprived...", Weiss slurred.

"Let's hope the Montograndans aren't expecting, like, a 21-gun salute or whatever when they get there...", Muhammad mumbled.
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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Postby Montogranda » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:30 pm

As for the Montograndese, the Prime Minister and the Prince travelled by road to Amikeco, upon which they boarded a boat to Kauras. The Montograndese, were of course not expecting. As well was the Ministers, many of Montograndese origin, that are coming on the ferry from Amikeco to Montogranda (they have Zaran border preclearance facilities in Amikeco and at their airports near Kunet and Amikeco), the famed civilian ferry, Eris.

Upon arrival, just 2 minutes behind Zaras, they disembarked and the Prince greeted them.

"Good morning," Prince Jozef II said to Muhammad Shaheen. "How are you this fine day?"

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Zaras
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Postby Zaras » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:45 am

The Mayor shook hands with the Prince. "Well, Your Highness, I'd say it could be better, but as it stands we're good..."

As if by some sort of unusually twisted cue, Stewart hunched over slightly and grabbed onto his stomach, looking noticeably discomforted. Taylor turned towards him and asked, "Are you alright, Matthew?"

"Yeah, yeah...", Stewart wheezed. "I think I ran out of things to expunge."

Nobody felt in a sufficient grammar nazi mood to point out that Stewart had used the wrong word to denote the process of vomiting.

Muhammad waved her hand. "Yeah, what can I say, sir, I doubt there's ever been a point in history where we were famous for our seafaring prowess."

All the while, she thought, "Please. Don't make Ali think this is the best moment to lose balance and collapse."

"Regardless, it's not really something to worry about. How about you, gentlemen? Are you feeling alright?"
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.

User avatar
Montogranda
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 135
Founded: Jun 09, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Montogranda » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:53 am

Zaras wrote:The Mayor shook hands with the Prince. "Well, Your Highness, I'd say it could be better, but as it stands we're good..."

As if by some sort of unusually twisted cue, Stewart hunched over slightly and grabbed onto his stomach, looking noticeably discomforted. Taylor turned towards him and asked, "Are you alright, Matthew?"

"Yeah, yeah...", Stewart wheezed. "I think I ran out of things to expunge."

Nobody felt in a sufficient grammar nazi mood to point out that Stewart had used the wrong word to denote the process of vomiting.

Muhammad waved her hand. "Yeah, what can I say, sir, I doubt there's ever been a point in history where we were famous for our seafaring prowess."

All the while, she thought, "Please. Don't make Ali think this is the best moment to lose balance and collapse."

"Regardless, it's not really something to worry about. How about you, gentlemen? Are you feeling alright?"


"We are doing really well," Prince Jozef II replied. "And I think the correct term, Matthew, is 'vomi," as in 'Mi kredas ke mi kuris el aĵoj vomi.' Anyways, pardon me that I am speaking a little Esperanto right now, still waking up. At least I had some Coca-Cola."

User avatar
Zaras
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Posts: 7415
Founded: Nov 06, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Zaras » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:41 am

"Thank you, sir, but luckily it seems I've done enough of that for one day...", Matthew said, trying to laugh.

"I can sympathise. It's not like we're early morning birds ourselves", Muhammad replied. "Regardless, gentlemen, what do you say that we find a place to sit down and start negotiations?"

"We could totally go to that fast food joint a block from here", Weiss said. "That way we also get to eat..."

Muhammad stared at Weiss. "Ali, you can't be serious."
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.

User avatar
Montogranda
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 135
Founded: Jun 09, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Montogranda » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:12 am

Zaras wrote:"Thank you, sir, but luckily it seems I've done enough of that for one day...", Matthew said, trying to laugh.

"I can sympathise. It's not like we're early morning birds ourselves", Muhammad replied. "Regardless, gentlemen, what do you say that we find a place to sit down and start negotiations?"

"We could totally go to that fast food joint a block from here", Weiss said. "That way we also get to eat..."

Muhammad stared at Weiss. "Ali, you can't be serious."

When Weiss said that, the entire delegation stared at him.

Finally, Prince Jozef II said, "How about we can hold it in a conference room?"

User avatar
Zaras
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Posts: 7415
Founded: Nov 06, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Zaras » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:27 am

Weiss chuckled, trying to save face. "Come on, guys, did you really think I was serious? Am I that bad at making jokes?"

"Wait... you make jokes?", Taylor said.

"Yeah!"

"I never noticed."

Weiss scratched his head. "... must be my off day or something."

Muhammad sighed. "Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnyways, yes, sir, a conference room would probably work best. The nearest one is pretty close, if you'd like to follow us..."

The Mayor began walking towards the conference room.
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.

User avatar
Montogranda
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 135
Founded: Jun 09, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Montogranda » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:39 am

Zaras wrote:Weiss chuckled, trying to save face. "Come on, guys, did you really think I was serious? Am I that bad at making jokes?"

"Wait... you make jokes?", Taylor said.

"Yeah!"

"I never noticed."

Weiss scratched his head. "... must be my off day or something."

Muhammad sighed. "Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnyways, yes, sir, a conference room would probably work best. The nearest one is pretty close, if you'd like to follow us..."

The Mayor began walking towards the conference room.

And indeed, the Montograndese delegation followed her to the conference room, with a smile at her. Upon arrival, they would take their seats on the spots, and then took out the briefcases and contents.

User avatar
Zaras
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7415
Founded: Nov 06, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Zaras » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:08 pm

Muhammad grabbed a file and looked at its contents. She couldn't help but sigh in anticipation. This was going to be a long negotiation, and as far as she was concerned, she didn't want it to look like the cabinet was bending over backwards to accomodate the Montograndans, but it was still quite clear that the cabinet didn't really have the stomach to risk starting arguments with one of their closest allies. Nevertheless, it was necessary.

She finally broke the silence, doing her best to mask her hesitancy and sound authoritative. "Everybody... Prince Jozef... Prime Minister Henson...", she said, looking at each of the persons addressed in turn. "I think it would be best if we started by tackling the elephant in the room."

Muhammad hoped that brief pause before the next sentence would be dramatic enough to emphasise to everybody how serious this was going to be.

"We need to pick the form of government we'll use from now on."

Deputy Mayor Françoise Gerald took the initiative. "The facts are quite obvious - our similarities more or less begin and end with democratic governance and two-chamber legislatures. Sirs, your principality is a constitutional monarchy which elects its legislatives using first past the post, and our city is a republic with an elected head of state and a popularly mandated switch to single transferable vote. I don't think it's unrealistic to say this is probably the hardest part of the actual agreement, and if we can successfully tackle it, that would ensure a successful union."

"If I may add.", said Environment Minister Helen Westwood. "I'm part Canadian. Whatever decisions we take today, it's vital that we subject them to a popular referendum afterwards for legitimacy's sake. I don't think anybody here wants to shit the bed and end up with a Meech Lake that gives voters the impression that their countries' future were decided by fifteen people behind closed doors."

(Westwood didn't point out the implication that a Charlottetown outcome was somehow better.)

"Hey, I'd advocate deciding the entire thing through public consultation, but I guess that's not really as feasible right now...", Culture Minister Rishika Hadani added, more as a sidenote than anything.

"I think we can start with the assumption that the Montograndese won't swallow any attempt to touch the monarchy.", Muhammad said.
Last edited by Zaras on Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:09 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:
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.

User avatar
Montogranda
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 135
Founded: Jun 09, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Montogranda » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:20 pm

Zaras wrote:Muhammad grabbed a file and looked at its contents. She couldn't help but sigh in anticipation. This was going to be a long negotiation, and as far as she was concerned, she didn't want it to look like the cabinet was bending over backwards to accomodate the Montograndans, but it was still quite clear that the cabinet didn't really have the stomach to risk starting arguments with one of their closest allies. Nevertheless, it was necessary.

She finally broke the silence, doing her best to mask her hesitancy and sound authoritative. "Everybody... Prince Jozef... Prime Minister Henson...", she said, looking at each of the persons addressed in turn. "I think it would be best if we started by tackling the elephant in the room."

Muhammad hoped that brief pause before the next sentence would be dramatic enough to emphasise to everybody how serious this was going to be.

"We need to pick the form of government we'll use from now on."

Deputy Mayor Françoise Gerald took the initiative. "The facts are quite obvious - our similarities more or less begin and end with democratic governance and two-chamber legislatures. Sirs, your principality is a constitutional monarchy which elects its legislatives using first past the post, and our city is a republic with an elected head of state and a popularly mandated switch to single transferable vote. I don't think it's unrealistic to say this is probably the hardest part of the actual agreement, and if we can successfully tackle it, that would ensure a successful union."

"If I may add.", said Environment Minister Helen Westwood. "I'm part Canadian. Whatever decisions we take today, it's vital that we subject them to a popular referendum afterwards for legitimacy's sake. I don't think anybody here wants to shit the bed and end up with a Meech Lake that gives voters the impression that their countries' future were decided by fifteen people behind closed doors."

(Westwood didn't point out the implication that a Charlottetown outcome was somehow better.)

"Hey, I'd advocate deciding the entire thing through public consultation, but I guess that's not really as feasible right now...", Culture Minister Rishika Hadani added, more as a sidenote than anything.

"I think we can start with the assumption that the Montograndese won't swallow any attempt to touch the monarchy.", Muhammad said.


"Yes. However, I suggest a system, similar to that of Andorra. The head of state of the federation, well, there will be two, the Prince of Montogranda, which will be hereditary, and the Governor of Zaras, which will keep your system. The head of government will be a single Prime Minister, with a two-chambered Parliament, the Senate with 2 people representing our administrative divisions, and the House of Commons being proportional. I suggest for the House of Commons to have a 50-50 split, 50% Zaran and 50% Montograndan."

"Next," Prince Jozef II suggested, "will be two separate governments. The Mayor of Zaras will have a Metropolitan Council, which will be in charge of Zaras, using STV, while Montogranda will have a Legislative Assembly with a Premier. It means that Kunet will be the sumer capital, and Zaras the winter capital (Kunet is of an alpine climate), but embassies can be housed in either of the two capital cities. The Embassies will between us could be upgraded to High Commissions, with Ambassadors becoming High Commissioners to represent each other in the City Council and Legislative Assemblies. We will restore our old Provincial system for the Senate and to be used as electoral districts."

"I honestly hope that it will be a stable compromise, really. Any ideas?"

User avatar
Zaras
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7415
Founded: Nov 06, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Zaras » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:42 pm

Muhammad nodded. "That's a great place to start - avoids having to either piss off Montogranda by imposing a republic, or weirding out Zarans by imposing a monarchy they feel no connection to. And it means we can both keep our local Parliaments. I like that idea. Any objections?"

Justice Minister Jenaly Dobáes raised his hand. "We're gonna run into a bit of a problem though..."

Everybody looked at Dobáes.

"We've been trying for years to increase our Parliament's size to make it more representative. Assuming we'll manage to do this within a federal union, that still leaves one problem: how do we design a true 50-50, equal Parliament? We have to govern 4.5 million people, and Montogranda only has, like, uh, 90.000 or something. If we end up with a 50-50 House of Commons to allow Zaras and Montogranda equal amounts of seats, won't we end up with a House of Commons that's either too small to represent Zaras accurately, or too big by Montogranda standards?"

Iris Bernev spoke next. "Hate to bring up America as a model since there's a lot of leftists in here and all, but maybe we can nick a bit from their organisation? Set the House of Commons to something like, 500 seats? Draw all the constituencies based on population, say, have one representative for every 10.000 people, or so, and have a Senate with equal amounts of senators from Zaras and Montogranda."

"Single or multiple-member constituencies, mum?", Sarah Bernev asked.

She smiled. "Well, I guess we'll have to ask our esteemed Montograndese guests first. Proportional representation's doable, but: first past the post or preferential voting?"

"I prefer preferential, to be honest.", Ali Batin Weiss said.

"We could, have, like... maybe, a double ballot where the voter votes for a candidate in the House of Commons and a party-line list in the Senate?", Hadani said.

"Nah, doesn't sound like a good idea. Forces you to put too much trust in a party that they have a really good list of candidates...", Shirley Williams Taylor said.
Last edited by Zaras on Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:44 pm, edited 2 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:
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.

User avatar
Montogranda
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 135
Founded: Jun 09, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Montogranda » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Zaras wrote:Muhammad nodded. "That's a great place to start - avoids having to either piss off Montogranda by imposing a republic, or weirding out Zarans by imposing a monarchy they feel no connection to. And it means we can both keep our local Parliaments. I like that idea. Any objections?"

Justice Minister Jenaly Dobáes raised his hand. "We're gonna run into a bit of a problem though..."

Everybody looked at Dobáes.

"We've been trying for years to increase our Parliament's size to make it more representative. Assuming we'll manage to do this within a federal union, that still leaves one problem: how do we design a true 50-50, equal Parliament? We have to govern 4.5 million people, and Montogranda only has, like, uh, 90.000 or something. If we end up with a 50-50 House of Commons to allow Zaras and Montogranda equal amounts of seats, won't we end up with a House of Commons that's either too small to represent Zaras accurately, or too big by Montogranda standards?"

Iris Bernev spoke next. "Hate to bring up America as a model since there's a lot of leftists in here and all, but maybe we can nick a bit from their organisation? Set the House of Commons to something like, 500 seats? Draw all the constituencies based on population, say, have one representative for every 10.000 people, or so, and have a Senate with equal amounts of senators from Zaras and Montogranda."

"Single or multiple-member constituencies, mum?", Sarah Bernev asked.

She smiled. "Well, I guess we'll have to ask our esteemed Montograndese guests first. Proportional representation's doable, but: first past the post or preferential voting?"

"I prefer preferential, to be honest.", Ali Batin Weiss said.


Prince Jozef then said, "Okay then. 500 it'll be and single member constituencies. Maybe 1 representative per 5,000 people is a lot doable? And the Montograndans prefer first past the post. However, for elections, perhaps Zaras uses STV, while Montogranda uses first past the post? They will go to Elections Zaras and Elections Montogranda, counting them, then forwarding both results to, perhaps Iris Bernev so she can be in government again and announce the results."

User avatar
Zaras
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7415
Founded: Nov 06, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Zaras » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:04 pm

Iris laughed. "You're so generous, your highness!", she said, masking sarcasm with innocence. "I'll have to decline though, seeing as how I'm already in government again."

Queralt, never the biggest fan of the Democratic Socialists, suppressed her urge to blurt out Does minister without portfolio really count as being "in government"?. Hannes took up the slack instead by saying, "Sir, I don't know who'd accept a demotion from cabinet member to Jhernan Erzed1, and I'm pretty sure we'd get roasted if it sounds like we're trying to throw Iris under a bus."

"Mum's more or less like a third rail of Zaras politics.", Sarah deadpanned. Iris chuckled in response, but on a level she did enjoy the ego-stroking.

"Regardless, we're debating a united legislature here, not Iris' political status.", Muhammad said, rushing to move the conversation along. "Say we have 500 constituencies. That means we'll need 250 of those seats to use a much smaller math, say, one representative for every 1.000 people or less, to account for Montogranda's population, whereas with us it'd be more like 1 representative per 5.000, or higher. I couldn't help but think though, maybe it'd be fairer if we let Montogranda have single member, first past the post constituencies, and we'll use the STV multiple-member ones, to get around the population issue?"

1. Zaran equivalent of Walter Cronkite.
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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