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The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
02-03-2018, 04:59 PM (This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 04:19 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #21
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
Federal parliament, December 9th 7579
(OOG note: edited for reasons of continuity)

The plenary session of the assembly was not scheduled as such. When prime minister Ödebo entered the assembly room with four of his colleague chancellors, the attending MP's knew something big was about to happen.

"My honorable representatives of the people of Vittmark. This morning I have asked her majesty to relieve me and my fellow cabinet members of all of our duties in the executive. It has been over five years ago that the cabinet received a mandate from this assembly to govern the federation. The cabinet is convinced that we have fullfilled that mandate to our best abilities and that the vast majority of the tasks we have been assigned by you have been completed. It is the right time for parliament to formulate new goals and plans, as well as appoint a fresh team of executive cabinet members to implement them. Later today, the cabinet will issue a larger statement. We would like to include the conclusions from this debate in it as well. Thank you."

The statement was so short that the chairman wasn't even prepared for the follow-up.
"If the assembly excuses me," he started hesitatively, "this is a new experience for the federal parliament. I do not have the proper procedure for this... First of all, thank you herr chancellor..." He got a note from one of his clerks. "Apparently, the representatives have the right to reply to the statement. I propose we start with the coalition parties in size order. Can the assembly agree with this?"

A loud "Ah" sounded through the room.
"Any members in disagreement with the proposed method of reply."
A few "Ah"s were heard.
"In that case, the word is with herr Alnarp of the Loyalist faction."

"Thank you, chairman, on behalf of the Combined Loyalist Faction," Alnarp corrected him.
"We would like to see the current cabinet to continue their duties until a replacement has been appointed. Herr Ödebo and his colleagues Av Lårsten, Av Hagen, Rågersson, Liljeroth and Storliden must be thanked deeply for the services provided to this country. We agree with the chancellor that this is a fitting moment to reformulate federal policies. Our faction is ready to open negotiations with our existing parters and willing to invite other factions. To us, there is no reason to wait for the by-elections of March and April in order to start up this process."

Next up was the Haga Framtid faction.
"I would like to see the transcript of my honorable colleagues contribution, but at first hearing, our faction can support the entire statement. On top of that, Haga Framtid would like to propose fru Av Lårsten to lead the negotiations. She has the experience of the executive and she is not affiliated to any political party. To us, she is a more likely candidate for this function than her majesty or herr Ruvertsson."

"Second," Alnarp yelled from his seat. But he wasn't the only one. The faction leader of Lundens Alliance did the exact same thing.

The leader of Iunsala Union held a long speech about the results of the development plan, including the east-west railway that would open service in June. It was their chancellor who had executed the policies and the faction was trying to harvest political points here. In the end, he agreed with the Loyalist suggestion to let the cabinet remain in function until a new one would be appointed and supported the suggestion for Av Lårsten as negotiation leader.

With that there was a clear majority for the way to proceed. The contributions of the other factions were elaborate, filled with much more disagreement and even poisonous remarks, some factions even suggesting general elections, but all in all it was the loud chatter of the politicians who were too far away from leading positions to be influential on the federal level.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
02-05-2018, 10:06 AM (This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 04:26 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #22
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
Östervallen, Dec 5th 7570

Frania av Lårsten entered a large meeting room at the Department of Security. There she was met by Gumpert av Hagen, chancellor of security, and Hasse Kronobäck, secretary for military investment.

"I did not expect to see you here, Hasse," Frania greeted jovially. In a previous cabinet, Kronobäck had been foreign minister and as such a direct colleague of Av Lårsten.
"That was my decision," Gumpert av Hagen intervened. "This is actually a very wise move, evaluating the last couple of years while the political factions are formulating their wish lists. In my case, I had to invite you here. If you are going to be the next prime minister, then there is something you should know."

"That does not explain Hasse's presence," Frania countered. Hasse himself provided the reply.
"I do not have the ambition to be a part of the next cabinet, not as chancellor, nor secretary. I have helped building this nation, laid the foundation for our foreign policies and lately I've been making an operational plan for replacement investments in our military, partially based on foreign policy. There are plenty of capable politicians around with more energy..."

"You're... retiring?"
"Something like that. I'm available for more supportive duties, but not in the frontline of the executive anymore."
"You're a valuable asset, I'm not happy to see you go, but I understand your reasoning. But we could have done this in a separate meeting."

Av Hagen put a large black book on the table. It had no title, was about the size of an atlas and rougly 4 cm thick.
"This is for your eyes only," he addressed Av Lårsten, "so I would have to ask your clerks and assistants to go."

A couple of minutes later, Av Hagen proceeded with his explanation.
"This book is the output of the last 5 years of work at our department. It is based on a foreign policy that has been anchored with Ödebo. In order to decide how to prioritize replacement investments in our military, we needed a basic doctrine as a foundation. We have identified the most important threats towards our security. The entire policy is based on one assumption: the biggest threat towards our autonomy... is Aedeland."

Av Hagen opened the book. It had a title page. Av Lårsten felt her stomach contract when she read it.

'Strategy towards a succesfull invasion of Aedeland and the permanent elimination of its governmental and imperial structures'

"Is this... foreign policy?"
"No, it isn't. It is a contingency plan. We can easily defend our borders, by treaties and by force. For a while. Especially our western border could be a problem. We have the capacity to mop up intruders for a while, but at some point we have to take the decision to drain the lake."
"You have to be kidding... Their homeland is three times as populous as ours. The imperial military capacity might be ten times larger. They can call in over 2 million reservists."

"That's all true. It's an impossible mission. But containing Aldsay imperialism is crucial to the survival of Vittmark as a sovereign state. We started to envision, what would it take to take out the Aldsay for once and all? If we have the opportunity to replace our naval vessels, our hand arms, our rolling stock, what would it require to make the impossible possible?"

Kronobäck continued. "We developed some strategies, scenario's, looked how they would play out, added some new equipment, tested again, branched off some alternative scenario's for a couple of 'what-if' events. Two steps forward, one step back..."
"Come on... you can't seriously think we can outmanoeuver Aedeland in a military conflict?"

"Not on our own, no. But we're not alone. The scenario's are built on geopolitical events. We're not going to invade Aedeland for the sake of making a point. Such an operation would be the result of huge political turmoil. Gaining military support among our allies is part of the scenario."

"Even then," Av Hagen continued, "the chances of reaching all our operational goals would be around 3 to 1."
"Which is not bad, knowing that we started at a zillion to one," Kronobäck added.

"So...," Av Lårsten tried to summarize, "Ödebo is in on this. Who else?"
"There is no classified status high enough to cover this document," Av Hagen explained. "And as I said, it's not a policy, it is a contingency plan."
"But the presence of such a plan could turn it into a policy. Until now I thought the idea was unthinkable. Now you're telling me it is an option."
"And that is why you need to know. In our assessment, this document is eyes only for the Security Chancellor, Foreign Chancellor, Prime Minister, the queen and both overlord commanders."

"I'm not Prime Minister yet, so I'll settle with the title page for this moment. How many people have been involved in this?"
"We have been rotating two dozens or so military strategists. They have been with us for a part of the development. The investment team on the civilian side only has gotten re-written instructions. All the involved military know that they only have been involved in parts, and that the document has not been finished yet. So each strategist knows that his or her knowledge is outdated after a few months. Not interesting for foreign espionage."

"But the team involved in the last concepts..." Av Lårsten thought she had found a flaw.
"That was 12 months ago. This book has been finished for a year and a half now. But our strategists think we're still working on it. We even hold sessions with side scenario's we're no longer working with, just to uphold the idea that it's unfinished."

"There are two copies of the book," Kronobäck explained. "One is here at the department, never to leave the building and even within the building it's confined to a certain amount of rooms. The other copy is at an undisclosed location, it has been assembled there a couple of pages at the time, never using the same courier twice, sending over random pages in sealed envelopes."

"I'm just hoping we never have to use it," Av Lårsten concluded.
"So do I," Kronobäck replied, "but Gumpert sees it as an inevitable event."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
02-06-2018, 11:32 PM (This post was last modified: 05-30-2018 04:22 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #23
RE: The democratic experiment a la Vittmark
Östervallen, December 14th.

Frania av Lårsten entered the queen's working office.
"Is it about current affairs, or future affairs," Gumpert av Hagen asked. He was sitting there to discuss a topic he wanted to conclude before the First Cabinet would be replaced.

"The future..." Frania replied shortly.
"Then we'll be out. Give us a couple of minutes."
Frania went for a cup of tea and ended up in a side conversation with Teres Ståhlvik, Anna's lady-in-waiting, and more.
"So, the queen is a woman, and soon the prime minister as well. It won't be long until we go fully Amberian..."
Frania laughed. "Nothing like that. I tend to think that I earned my position as a person. You yourself have proven that you are a capable leader in Kletudde, you have been re-appointed several times now. Not because you're a woman, but because you know how to handle national government."
"I'm pretty sure that the fact that I spend most of my time in the company of Anna plays an important role as well. That's also why people tolerate Palne, because he's close to the top."

Gumpert av Hagen and company had left. Frania sat on the same couch as Anna.
"I've discovered a problem," she came right to the point. "I picked my next cabinet members, half noblemen, half commoners, half men, half women, pretty neatly distributed geographically, all seems pretty much balanced..."
"None of them is from the Loyalist Party."
"How did you manage to do that?"
"Well, I wanted to have Gumpert staying at security, and I wanted to bring in Astfrid on the justice department.

Anna got it now. Astfrid av Vinborg had been secretary for association law, a tricky dossier. It was a natural evolution to have her take over the entire department.

"You're replacing Av Storliden, but managed to find another Lidenite then?"
Anna skipped a few steps. Bertil av Storliden was the current chancellor for juridical affairs and since Frania wanted to appoint a replacement, it meant that he had to move.

"Marey Kassandersdotter Bilanda," Frania explained.
"Marey is from Skara, but she has been rebuilding the departments in Mivö when the people loyal to Magnus av Liden left. She has been Lundéns biggest assett in the region, without her Mivö would have grinded to a halt."
"And how is it possible I never heard her name before?"
"Because these are Lidenites, and because the new leadership wants to take credit for all the achievements. It's easy to push an influential woman like Marey to the background. She's an all-rounder, picks up everything that is thrown at her, a genuine problem solver."

"I want to meet her, as soon as possible. Young, old, married, children, education, stim, title... I need to know."
"Young... 32 or 33, couple of young children. Apart from you unlike anyone associated with the cabinet."
"And where would you put her?"
"Treasury. Rågersson would take over Foreign Affairs."

"I see..."
"I could add a chancellor, but then Ådalen wants a second one as well, just like Hagen, and then we're up to eight..."
"I see..." Anna replied once again. She started to write down in her notebook.
"According to me," Anna added verbally, "you are loyal enough to be considered a Loyalist. Even if you're not a party member. Who are these Loyalists loyal to?" Anna pointed at herself. "Me. So if I say it's OK, it's OK."
Now she was finished, she ripped out the page and handed it to Frania.
"Appoint three secretaries. Here are my suggestions. All of them Loyalists. Give them a job and I will see to it that party affiliation won't be a problem with your new cabinet."'

"I don't know any of them..."
"Get out and meet them. Sarhild Lindström, she's very, very creative. She's not brilliant in any one particular thing, but good in many. Sam Biörnsson is a southerner currently working in Kopparbruk, throw a ball at him and he will swing his bat at it. And Andar Fornsson... it took me a while to get to know him, but he has a hang for business and innovation. They're the first names that pop up when you started to talk about Marey Bilanda. Young, flexible, driven... exactly the people you want to have on board."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"

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