by Max Barry

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The Commonwealth of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

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Canon NS Policies (trivia included!)

The policies below are applicable to the year 1970 CE.
Gotta thank The Cosmic Mainframe for assistance on American matters, which I tried to use as a model.


Government power is substantially delegated to local authorities.

The Commonwealth is divided into 67 states, 14 territories and a federal district. State governors are not appointed, but rather elected by the people of the corresponding state. Most important taxes like income tax and VAT go to the state (territorial) budget first, so states can actually do something without any interference from the federal government.

Public Protest
The right to public protest is considered to be essential.

Given that this nation was founded as a result of a series of protests, it makes no sense to ban any dissent. In fact, the First Amendment prevents any governmental regulation of the right to peacefully assemble.

Proportional Representation
Votes translate linearly to elected representation, with no seats or electoral college.

The proportional representation was introduced in 1935 as the recently-elected People's Progressive Party blamed the previous system for being deceptive and not straightforward enough. The new amendment had suggested to abolish the AEC and to mandate the use of the STV system on federal elections. As a result, a three party system had diversified to encompass 13 parties. (And probably still counting.)

Term Limits
Elected representatives must leave office after a legally mandated amount of time.

Term of office of the PotC is limited to 10 years with no re-election allowed. The reasoning behind the long term is to favor {long-term planners and the strategic approach.}
Terms of office for members of the House of Representatives are limited to 5 years. Senate members have a term limit of 15 years, but every 5 years one of the three classes is renewed.

Society (WIP)

Marriage Equality
Citizens of the same sex may marry.

Though the debate on whether homosexuality is a choice or not is still ongoing, it's evident that people cannot be denied their civil rights provided with marriage on grounds of their sexual orientation. Likewise, same-sex adoption of children in foster care is legal. Given that foster care institutions tend to fail to prepare children to the adult life, even a same-sex family, despite the lingering prejudices, is considered to be the better alternative to foster care.

Sex Education
School-age children receive mandatory sex education.

Since there's no way to ban recreational sex, the federal government had installed a medically accurate sex ed program into public schools' curriculum. The main aim of the program is to proliferate the use of contraception methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies, the spread of STDs, and to inform on the abortion methods and their risks.

Law & Order (WIP)


Private industry is permitted within a market-based economy.

Despite the strict regulation of the large enterprises, the Arcadian economy is still considered capitalist, but with a significant socialist inclination.

Universal Health Care
The state provides health care to all citizens.

Arcadian healthcare system and its state branches totally cover around 65% of services' costs, with 85% at least partially covered. Services not covered by the government may be covered by an employer. While healthcare is mostly decentralized, systems don't differ much from state to state, so there is little mobility issues. Long story short, it has some private sectors, but the state government and the Feds do chip in, leaving little amount of services (usually non-essential) to be paid out-of-pocket.

Nuclear Power
The nation is nuclear powered.

The first commercial nuclear power station in Arcadia (and in the world as well) has been connected to the grid on April 17th, 1945 CE. As of 1970, nuclear power accounts for almost 25% of total Arcadian power generation. While safety concerns do impede the spread of the nuclear energy, it's considered cleaner and more efficient in comparison to fossil fuel-based counterparts. Proper maintenance by educated personnel, however, is required to avoid nasty incidents the world has never seen (yet!)

Space Program
The nation runs a space program.

The first human being and the first Arcadian citizen in space, Andrew G. Piercer, has achieved a stable LEO on March 30, 1952 CE. On July 21, 1959, another Arcadian astronaut, Neville R. Goldwyn, had successfully made the first footprint on the surface of the Moon at the Sea of Tranquility, with assistance of his crew-mates David B. Ecker and Samantha M. Brooks, who helped to plant Arcadian, UN flags and to stage a photo shoot of the crew.
As of 1970, Arcadia provides 40% of the ISS budget, dispatches unmanned missions on Mars, maintains the GPS satellite constellation, attempts to cover the Earth with low-latency satellite Internet access through OrbLink project (a TIA initiative), and considers to build and maintain a permanent settlement on the Moon in around 5 years.

The state mandates the use of the metric system.

As the metric system was being designed by France in late-18th century, N. Greenwich had expressed an interest in the new system, seeing its scientific potential. As a part of this system, Arcadians had adopted the Celsius scale, dismissing the Fahrenheit scale as a symbol of colonial past. Speed and distance on road signs are written in kilometers (per hour on speed limit signs), but certain signs that tell the distance between two cities are still called ‘milestones.’

So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train,
[A] Hundred clicks in latitude, five hundred to the main...

Sailors and air navigators, however, still use a nautical mile and are not going to thinkmetric. And they have a good reason: if you go from the North Pole straight to the south until you reach the equator, that would be 90 degrees. Each of these degrees consists of 60 arc minutes. 1 nautical mile equals 1 arc minute (north to south) or 1.852 km, making it a convenient navigation unit.


Weapons of Mass Destruction
The nation claims the legal right to use WMDs.

While being an NPT signatory, the Commonwealth of Arcadia is still known to possess around 1200 nuclear warheads, of which around 400 are deployed, with submarines and ICBMs being the most preferred means of delivery.

Climate Treaty
The nation is a signatory to an international climate treaty.

As a TIA study had shown the scope of human impact on global temperatures expressed in man-made GHG emissions, the Arcadian government, alongside with The Planter Foundation, had suggested and signed the Toronto Protocol in 1966. The Commonwealth of Arcadia, being at the forefront of the technological progress, seeks new ways to keep its industry energy-efficient and less polluting without resorting to cheap offshoring tricks. All the emerging green technologies are available worldwide via TIA.