by Max Barry

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The Republic of Dasko

“The Star of the South Sea”

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Location: the South Pacific



History of Dasko from 1975 to 1995

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The Weßel Era of Dasko spans from 1975 to 1995. This era featured the emergence of a new Wesseltonian independence terrorist organization that would plague both socialist and conservative governments throughout this period.

The Kinnon government (1975 September-1980 July)

The Kinnon Tax Code
After several years of 'stagflation' under the socialist Allers government, the Alliance of Democratic Action - Conservative Unionist Parties (ADA-CUP), led by William Kinnon, was swept into power in the 1975 federal elections, seizing the Senate for the first time in a decade. The Kinnon government embarked on a series of tax cuts, especially for the rich seeking to increase investment in the economy. Accompanying the tax reforms, a series of spending cuts were codified. Most notably, corporations saw cuts in their subsidization and tax cuts. Unemployment remained high throughout the implementation of the new Kinnon Tax Code though.

The Wesseltonian Independence Referendum, 1976
In early 1976, the Wesseltonian Volkspremier declared a referendum in May with the following question: Should the province of Wesselton unilaterally declare its independence from the Republic of Dasko after having adopting a common monetary and economic union? The Kinnon government cracked down on the referendum and its organizers, imprisoning many politicians and declaring emergency law in Wesselton. The Kinnon government's reaction sparked the creation of Und Weßeltüne Frei (UWF), an extremist organization.

The Independence Bombing Campaign
At the start of 1980, the UWF launched a series of bombing around Dasko to convince the authorities in the name of Wesseltonian independence. The most notable bombing was in Armeria, where seven bombs exploded in locations in the central business district, killing 20 while injuring 100. The Kinnon government, in response to the carnage, banned any Wesseltonian nationalist parties from running for any election and suspended the Wesseltonian Weßelmaeng.

The Wesseltonian Secession Crisis
In June 1980, the UWF forcibly declared the secession of Wesselton from Dasko, sparking a major political crisis. The Kinnon government declared martial law in Wesselton and sent the military to put down the rebellion. Ultimately, the military managed to defeat the rebellion and capture Deuson Willar, the leader of the UWF, thereby effectively dissolving the organization. The response from the Kinnon government was seen as tyrannical by many, leading to its downfall.

The Seraton government (1980 September-1982 February)

The Daskan Medicare Act
The Socialist Worker's Union (SWUn) managed to form a minority government after the 1980 elections, which saw the Senate change hands. The Seraton government immediately focused it's efforts to nationalize the healthcare system to combat rising healthcare prices. This all culminated in the passage of the Daskan Medicare Act, which established the government as the sole provider of healthcare and health insurance. Drugs, however, were not subsidized; their prices did not drop by much.

The Second Wesseltonian Secession Crisis
In December 1981, the Volksmaeng, controlled by nationalists, unilaterally declared the independence of Wesselton. This led to the immediate dissolution of the Volksmaeng and direct rule. There was also the imprisonment of several independence leaders. So, nationalist sentiment decreased as rapidly as the approval of the Seraton government. A temporary commission Comißar fur Fißarßon buten Daske-Weßel Volks (CFDW)—known as the Daskan-Wesseltonian Reconciliation Commission—was created. Its stated goal was to address grievances of the Wesseltonians.

The Masseract government (1982 March-1985 July)

The Wesseltonian Riots, 1983
The conservative Masseract government, upon its induction, immediately dismantled the CFDW. Wesseltonians, led by the Wesseltonian People's Party, began demonstrations that sought the reinstatement of the commission. However, on the first day of protests, ultranationalists and counterdemonstrators clashed on the streets, injuring five. The clashes grew increasingly severe, the following days of protests drew in thousands of demonstrators. On the fifth day of protests, the clashes killed three, and several closed businesses were looted. The protesters also clashed with police before the Wesseltonian National Guard was called in to disband the protests.

The Masseract Massacre
On 12 June 1985, ten gunmen entered the Parliament building and shot dead five members of Parliament, while injuring 40 more. The gunmen were not affiliated with any known extremist organization, but we're sympathetic to the Wesseltonian cause. This was the worst shooting in Daskan history. There was a week of mourning following the shooting. Parliament responded by adopting new, stricter gun laws.

The Contie government (1985 September-1995 July)

Following the political turmoil came a significant recession that saw unemployment rise to 15%. This anger led to the election of SWUn in the House of Representatives, led by Leo Contie. SWUn was unable to take control of Senate, however.

The Pharmacare Act
The Contie government moved right away on drafting healthcare legislation that would cement the Medicare Act and extend it to pharmaceuticals. Upon its adoption in 1987, it was derided as "Contiecare" by opponents. The government negotiated the nation's drug prices. Many considered it's rollout, especially on the nascent internet, inadequate, given that it crashed multiple times. There were significant protests against Pharmacare, but it remained fairly popular with the public, and protest movements failed to gain traction electorally.

The Third Wesseltonian Secession Crisis
In 1994, the remnants of the UWF seized the Volksmaeng and took hostage all of its members, except for Volkspremier Kurwatz, who set up an emergency council in nearby Abermarle. Within minutes of the legislature's capture, the gunmen took control of a government broadcast centre and declared the secession of Wesselton. The army engaged in shootout with the terrorists, ending the hostage situation in hours. When information leaked that showed that the government knew about a potential attack Prime Minister Contie immediately resigned. The leadership race that followed was won by Francis Narendo who led the party in the 1995 federal election.