|Dominion of New Ingerland
|Motto: Prorsum! Pro Rege et Patria|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|•||Governor-General||Dame Cecilia Hewell|
|•||Prime Minister||Matthew Jones|
|•||Lower house||House of Assembly|
|Currency||New Ingerland taller (NIT)|
The Dominion of New Ingerland is a country located in the off the southern coast of the western hemisphere continent of Kartumia. First settled by the Ingerish in the XVII century, modern New Ingerland is a dominion within the Ingerish Commonwealth, having become a fully-independent sovereign nation on 1 October 1907. It is governed as parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with the Crown represented by a resident governor-general.
The New Ingerland archipelago is thought to have been first inhabited by the Oceanic peoples only as late as 1350. Within a century these peoples had established themselves as distinct cultural group as the Ngati Mōri. In June 1573, the isolation of these peoples was broken with the arrival of Ingerish explorers, who sailed past the islands on a voyage to ascertain the extent of lands in the Southern Ocean.
Dissatisfied with previous organised attempts at Ingerish colonisation elsewhere in the world, the settlement of the islands was placed in the hands of the New Ingerland Company in 1634. Settlement commenced in 1635, and the company formally took possession of the islands on 18 February 1636. Throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century, the islands were colonised by Ingerish settlers from all classes, whilst the native Ngati Mōri were largely marginalised. New Ingerland was granted her full independence by the Ingerish on 1 October 1907, an act which also saw a new constitution come in to force.
New Ingerland fought in numerous wars as an ally of the Ingerish, with whom it has maintained close defence links for over a century, but the dominion has not been active in a military conflict since the end of the Great War. The post-war period has also seen a stable 2½ party system has establish itself and endure through to the present day.
New Ingerland forms the northernmost part of the Moonshine Archipelago, which is located in the south-east of the Ardentic Ocean. The centre of the country sits at 41º 24.51' south of the equator and 164º 18.03' west of the prime meridian. The mainland of Kartumia is 250.67 miles (403.41 km) north-east from Diamond Head, whilst the nearest other landmass closest to the archipelago is Anglesbury Island in Aorangëa, which lies 253.8 miles (408.5 km) to the south-east of Cape Gladstone.
The climate of the islands varies between sub-tropical conditions on small parts of the northern coast, to temperate on the central plateau and the southern coast. This strong division in climate is caused by the Main Range which runs east to west across the Brunswich Island, partly sheltering the northern two-thirds of the archipelago from the cold polar currents coming from the south. At the same time, warm moist equatorial currents are brought south along the South Ardentic Gyre by way of the Coriolis effect, thereby warming the islands significantly.
Temperatures in all the major urban centres across the archipelago are therefore comparable to cities in Ingerland, giving the islands their name.
Government and politics
The governance of New Ingerland is heavily influenced by the Winburgh System of parliamentary democracy, which the dominion inherited from Ingerland upon gaining independence in 1907. This has given New Ingerland a framework of strong democratic traditions, which have developed their own unique flavour that is not seen anywhere else in the world. Since independence, the governance of New Ingerland has taken place within a constitutional framework of limited monarchy and parliamentary democracy.
The constitutional framework of New Ingerland consists of a mixture of various documents, both written documents and as political convention. However, the most important piece of the framework is the written Constitution of New Ingerland. The Constitution is the basis for the operation of government in New Ingerland, and all the principal organs are created and empowered by this document. The current Constitution consists of seven articles, each of which defines the powers of the government and other requirements to ensure that the administration of the dominion is conducted by the rule of law.
Neither the Monarch or Parliament have the power to change the Constitution, which can only be amended by referendum. Changes to the Constitution are carried out by a Constitutional Convention, a special body that is assembled by Parliament to make recommendations on a proposed change. Changes recommended by the Constitutional Convention require the approval of parliament before they can proceed to the people for a referendum. The conditions for approving changes are somewhat difficult, but act to protect the Constitution from partisan tinkering. Since 1907, there have been just five successful changes to the Constitution.
New Ingerland is a constitutional monarchy. The King of New Ingerland is Geoffery VII is sovereign and head of state, appointing a Governor-General to act as vice-regal representative in the nation. Since the King is not usually resident in New Ingerland, the functions of the monarchy are conducted by a representative, the Governor-General. The current Governor-General is Dame Cecilia Hewell. The Governor-General formally has the power to appoint and dismiss ministers and to dissolve Parliament; and the power to reject or sign bills into law by Royal Assent after passage by Parliament. The Governor-General chairs the Executive Council, which is a formal committee consisting of all ministers. Members of the Executive Council are required to be members of Parliament (MPs), and most are also in the Cabinet.
Despite being above politics, the power of the Governor-General is quite significant. Many important actions of the government are done 'on behalf of' the King and the Governor-General normally exercises his powers on the direction or advice of the Prime Minister. Many of the powers which remain within the Royal Prerogative are uncodified, and exist as only political conventions, albeit with a very powerful influence over the business of government. Only a handful of powers were codified in the Constitution when it was created in 1907.
New Ingerland's central government is divided into three principal branches, each of which must act with a degree of independence in accordance to the provisions set down by the Constitution. The principal branches of the government are the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Above these branches, and ensuring the smooth operation of government, sits the Crown. The notion of a separation of powers is blurred in New Ingerland, and does not have the same meaning as it might in the United States.
The executive is the most powerful arm of government, and is headed by the Prime Minister. Despite it's perceived power, the executive is dependent on the support of the Parliament. A Prime Minister who loses the support of the House of Assembly is obliged to resign his commission of government to the Sovereign. The Parliament of New Ingerland forms the legislative arm of government. Parliament makes all laws and scrutinises the actions of the executive through a rigorous committee system. The judiciary is charged with the administration of law and order, and is also responsible for the interpretation of all laws, including the Constitution.
New Ingerland is a multi-party democracy, with a open and competitive political environment. There are a number political parties vying for the right to be elected not only to parliament, but to go on and form a government. According to Elections New Ingerland, there are 20 parties registered to contest elections at both levels of government. Of these, only three parties (considered in general parlance to be the 'major parties') have won enough seats to be considered able to form a government. These parties are categorised in the parliament as the 'government', 'opposition' and the 'third party'.
There are a variety of issues that dominate the political scene on any given day of the week. A number of these issue are significant owing to the longevity, or their impact on the political landscape. Some of these topics are typical of all nations in the west, with society struggling with issues of social justice and dislocation. Other topics are unique to New Ingerland, with the relationship with her neighbours being a constant source of contention. As with any political system, New Ingerland has suffered from it's fair share of scandals as well, with the capacity to deal with these being the test of just how strong the institutions of government have become since 1907.
New Ingerland's armed forces — the New Ingerland Defence Force (NIDF) — comprise the Royal New Ingerland Navy (RNIN), the New Ingerland Army, the Royal New Ingerland Coast Guard (HMCG), and the Royal New Ingerland Air Force (RNIAF). The titular role of Commander-in-Chief is vested in the Governor-General, who appoints a Chief of the Defence Force from one of the armed services on the advice of the government. Since the 1970s, New Ingerland's national defence needs have been somewhat modest, since a direct attack is now considered highly unlikely. However, its military has had a global presence. The country fought in the Great War, with notable campaigns in Commonia, tbd.
In addition to the Great War, New Ingerland fought in the Mazan-Surian War. It has contributed forces to several regional missions, such as INGCOMFOR; and also participates in global Assembly of Nations peacekeeping missions, such as those in Agarderia and Commonia.
As a unitary state, New Ingerland has no autonomous sub-national entities such as states or provinces. Instead, the constitution provides for the creation of a democratically elected local government, whose existence and power is determined by the Parliament.
There are presently three tiers of local government in New Ingerland. At the top sit eight cadastral units known as counties, which are elected to administer matters such as civil defence, public transport, and water supply. Below the counties sit over 80 municipalities, who are responsible for the administration of matters such as building ordinances, garbage collection, and public libraries. Finally, there is also a third tier of local government known as a parish, which are elected to manage minor matters such as allotment gardens, disused cemeteries, neighbourhood watch programmes, and the management of the local village hall.
Most New Ingerlanders are descendants from the Ingerish colonial immigrants who came to New Ingerland in the years between 1836 and 1907. At the time of independence, the population of New Ingerland was about 825,000. Over the last century, that population has increased to 3.3 million. Post war immigration since 1945 has seen a number of people from outside Ingerland attracted by the social stability and tradition values seen here. The largest numbers of migrants have arrived from other Ulethan nations, but migrants from all continents can now be counted amongst the population. As part of its international obligations, a small number of needy migrants from the third world are accepted every year, with those chosen often being people persecuted for cultural or religious reasons.
Largest urban centres
New Ingerland is a largely urbanised country, with 57% of the population living in the ten largest urban centres. As of July 2012, the largest cities and towns in New Ingerland are:
Perhaps most surprisingly to many outsiders, the New Ingerish national identity seeks to encourage the idea that all people should have a strong faith system in their lives (it doesn't matter which one, as long as it is not extremist). To New Ingerlanders, the idea that people have a strong system of faith and beliefs is one of the most important aspects of their lives, and goes a long way to explaining why most religious groups have continued to grow throughout this century whereas in other countries, religion is in decline. Christianity remains the officially established religion of the land, and is accorded special rights and privileges by the government, with other religious groups given toleration and basic protection from discrimination. In the last census, 88% of the population identified as Christian, with 66% belonging to the Apostolic Church of New Ingerland.
New Ingerland is a stable and prosperous western society, with a sound basis on the rule of law and democracy, coupled with a sense of tradition and reverence for those institutions that have endured since time immemorial (church, monarchy, family). Since independence, the people of New Ingerland have developed a single national identity, with a set of institutions and political ideologies which reflect the nation's culture and history. These values are drawn from Christianity, the established religion of New Ingerland. New Ingerlanders are encouraged to love thy neighbour as thyself, to forgive men their trespasses, and to be charitable to those whose need is greater than them.
Whilst this is a society that prefers assimilation over multiculturalism, there has been a bleeding of outside cultures into New Ingerland over the years, which while causing some early tensions, has proven to be a positive influence and prevented society and culture here from becoming hard and unreceptive. Foreign cuisine, music, film, dress, language, and sport have all found their way into this country, and have had a dramatic influence on the arts and culture of the local population. The less desirable elements of any culture (and all have at least some) are actively discouraged and weeded out. These unsavoury elements include violence, discrimination, intolerance of others, and welfare dependency. Also discouraged is the cultural isolation that occurs with the formation of cultural ghettos by migrants. Assimilation has meant that newcomers are expected to speak Ingerish fluently and clearly, and must be employed in permanent full-time work before they are allowed to enter the country.
The top priority of the New Ingerland education system is ensuring that when all pupils complete school they are able to read, write and count sufficiently to be effective members of society. This is the core purpose of education in a modern society, and forms the basis of the National Curriculum of New Ingerland. There are of course other skills and disciplines that are important, and all pupils receive instruction in these foundation subject areas.
The education sector is divided into four tiers. Children start their schooling in the preparatory system at the age of four or five. At the age of six, all pupils start their primary education in first form, where they spend six years (or three forms) before moving on to secondary education at the age of twelve for another six years (again consisting of three forms). At the age of eighteen, and having completed sixth form, pupils receive the Advanced Certificate of Education (A-levels) and may matriculate into tertiary education once they have completed their compulsory national service. There are five tertiary institutions consisting of four polytechnics and one university.
New Ingerland's health system offers a fully comprehensive system of care to all New Ingerlanders through a mixed public and private health care system. All of New Ingerland's citizens and permanent residents are guaranteed treatment by the public health system through a series of insurance and compulsory contribution mechanisms that aim to ensure treatment is made available to all on the basis of need, and not an ability to pay. However, the New Ingerland health system does expect individuals to make a significant contribution towards their own healthcare costs, with those who can afford to pay for their own health care encouraged to do so.
The management of New Ingerland's public health policy resides with the Ministry of Health, with the day-to-day operations of hospitals and clinics managed by local health boards. These boards are funded by both the local community and central government.
The central government is responsible for the provision of all public safety services in New Ingerland. Whilst policing is organised along both county and national lines, and the national fire, ambulance, and civil defence services are agencies of the central government. These services ensure that New Ingerlanders are protected against danger, and can expect to be properly cared for when an emergency occurs.
The private sector also plays a key role, particularly in the provision of private security, fire prevention, and first-aid care with a number of organisations operating across the country. These organisations must be legally registered in order to operate, and are regulated by the government to ensure they are qualified and able to operate without endangering the lives of the people they are supposed to help.
The vast majority of New Ingerland people must work in order to make a living. For most people, this involves a career in one, or sometimes two or more, professions. For the average New Ingerlander, working life commences after they complete study and national service, and continues for forty-five to fifty years until they retire. Throughout this time, there are plenty of breaks and leave periods that an employee can look forward to over the years, with the average employee having five weeks annual leave, four weeks sick leave and various other types of leave for miscellaneous circumstances.
New Ingerlanders enjoy fair and equitable workplace conditions. The right for an employee to negotiate their own employment contract (with or without a trade union) is enshrined in law, and protection against unscrupulous employers is further protected by the judiciary. Likewise, employers are able to utilise powers backed by the courts to deal with a problem employees or overzealous union officials. Union membership stands at just 33% nation wide, with the civil service having the highest rate of membership (46%) of any industry sector.
New Ingerland's economy is built on a mixture of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services industries. The agricultural sector is built on wool, cereals, dairy, fishing, and hardwood timber exports. Manufacturing is small but growing sector, with electronics being a major export earner. Services remain the core of the New Ingerland economy, with retail, tourism and financial services playing a major role in propelling further growth.
Although the private sector is very strong in New Ingerland, the government continues to play a major role in some core industries still controlled by the state. All public utilities, including energy, transport, and water are run as publicly owned profit-making entities or "crown enterprises". The economy is not significantly regulated, with free enterprise being the cornerstone of the national economy.