|Category: Civil Rights Lovefest|
Regional Influence: Superpower
Location: Western Atlantic
Dutch Democratic Republic of Knootoss
Flag Motto: Libertate Unanimus Anthem: Anthem of the Dutch Democratic Republic Capital: Hartstad Official Languages: Dutch, Frisian Demonym: Knootian Government:Parliamentary Republic Independence: July 20 1581, from Lavenrunz CHDI: 0.964 (Very High) Currency: Atlantic Ducat (∂) Drives on the right Internet TLD: .kn
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Grand Pensionary: Jan Willem Daatman
Prime Minister: Maurits Viljoen
Motto: Libertate Unanimus
Anthem: Anthem of the Dutch Democratic Republic
Official Languages: Dutch, Frisian
Independence: July 20 1581, from Lavenrunz
CHDI: 0.964 (Very High)
Currency: Atlantic Ducat (∂)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD: .kn
The Dutch Democratic Republic of Knootoss is a post-modern developed democracy in the Western Atlantic region, inhabited by a highly educated population of over seventeen billion people. Foreign visitors, including many non-humans, take special notice of the nation's liberal social policies. Recreational drugs, prostitution and gambling are all legal. The nation sees itself as part of the Western world; its people are oriented towards free and open trade; and there is a wide consensus on the advantages of the free market. The nation is run by coalition governments, usually involving liberals.
- Main article: History of Knootoss
The history of Knootoss is loosely based on the history of the Real Life Netherlands, intertwined with the history of the Western Atlantic region. As farmers drained and cultivated the swampy west of the country, new lands were created. This tradition of taking lands from the sea continues to this day. As cities grew in wealth and power, they gradually came to demand more independence, eventually leading to a rebellion against the throne of Lavenrunz and the Knootian Declaration of Independence. The newly independent nation was a Protestant Republic, with the Dutch Reformed faith as the State Religion and a considerable role for Stadhouders of the House of Chamaven. The Catholic provinces in the south of the country were governed, more or less, like colonies.
Independence marked the start of a Golden Age. Knootian trade, science, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world during the 1600s. Knootians began trading spices from Tanah burung, wine from the Dominion (Dread lady nathicana), metals, diamonds, emeralds, and very fine jewellery from Tarasovka and well as grain from Der angst. They also started colonies in what are nowadays New york and jersey and Alcona and hubris, as well as a few other places.
Although the 1700s saw bitter controversies between strict Calvinists and more permissive Protestants, the United Provinces remained a largely tolerant nation, where social status was largely determined by income. Even so, the Second War of Insolence proved that Knootian naval power was declining, and internal struggles were beginning to tear the nation apart. By the dawn of the 19th century, a greatly weakened nation was bitterly divided between the aristocrats of the House of Chamaven, the merchants loyal to the Staten-Generaal and the Patriots, democratic revolutionaries who demanded liberty, equality and the brotherhood of all men.
The year 1810 saw the return of Marc-Alexander of Chamaven to Knootoss. He ruled like a liberal autocrat, centralising power and organising a strong national government. His successor, Steward Maurice of Chamaven, was devout and conservative, stopping all reforms until the unrest of 1848. A new, modern constitution limited the power of the Stewards and introduced elections for all levels of government. Catholics were given more rights, though events surrounding the restoration of the Papal hierarchy led to a reactionary backlash amongst devout Calvinists. When Maurices' daughter Amalia married a Catholic Prince of Iesus christi, popular anger led to the establishment of a Knootian Republic without a quasi-monarch at the top. This Republic modernised, introducing universal suffrage and replacing church-organised schooling with state schools.
Knootoss remained neutral during World War I in the Western Atlantic, though it had to see off an attempted socialist revolution in 1918. Unrest in the Knootian east indies led to an outright rebellion, eventually resulting in the independence of Tanah Burung. This national trauma stirred modernisation, leading to a great deal of secularisation in the Protestant churches, and a rebellious mood amongst Catholic laypeople.
The 1990s were a time of institutional and constitutional reform in Knootoss. The new era came to be defined by Roel Vogels, a atheist, liberal, gay Prime Minister who claimed credit for establishing or securing many socially libertarian policies. The country joined the World Business Organization and the South Atlantic Treaty Organization, getting caught up in their struggles against the Reich and the Coalition of Anti-Capitalist Economies. The nation also joined the fledgling United Nations. This largely peaceful era was brutally interrupted by the Shadow War.
After the war, Lousewies van der Zaan tried to introduce many left-wing reforms. Unfortunately, her foreign policy turned out to be disastrous, leading to a more conservative government. A brand of politics, associated with the Order of the Invisible Hand, took root. Small government rhetoric, privatisations, militarism and a tough-talking, no-nonsense foreign policy were popular with many ordinary Knootians. Knootoss pulled out of the United Nations and launched the Knootian International Stabilisation Treaty. A crisis with Excalbia and Pantocratoria over the influence of the Order in the Soveriegn States and an unpopular military intervention in Tanah Burung precipitated the downfall of the conservative government of Galadriël nos Círdan.
The five years that followed were, according to critics, an era of mind-numbing stability. Jan Willem Daatman presided over a Grand Coalition of liberals, conservatives and greens. His government ratified the Treaty of Courtland and the Treaty of Lyeithen, but shunned all other foreign entanglements. A number of scandals surrounding the Catholic church, and the suspicion that Daatman himself was secretly religious, led to the downfall of his government. A new coalition, led by Femke Vologdov, would have to try and bring the Knootian intervention in the Iesus Christi Civil War to an end. Disagreements with Xirnium and concerns over human rights in Aerion led to Knootian withdrawal from the Treaty of Lyeithen.
- Main article: Geography of Knootoss
The Geography of Knootoss is based on the Low Countries. The territory has been expanded with polders in the IJsselmeer, the Wadden Sea and the North Sea. The terrain consists mostly of coastal lowland and reclaimed land with some hills in southeast. Most land is below sea level, and the nation is protected by an elaborate system of water works. Urban density is extremely high, and the urban population in the coastal lowland lives in a decentralised web of historic cities. The cities in the west of the country have grown into a single agglomeration called Hartstad. Knootoss has a temperate marine climate with cool summers and mild winters. However, it is consistently rated as having the worst environment in the Western Atlantic region.
Provinces are the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities. They have the responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance. Nearly all Knootian provinces can trace their origin to a medieval state. The seven northern provinces would form the United Provinces of Knootoss in the 17th century. The mostly Catholic provinces of Brabant, Limburg and Flanders were considered to be "conquered lands" and were governed directly by the Staten-Generaal, the parliament, hence their name Generality Lands. Nowadays, such inequalities no longer exist.
The northern and central provinces are dominated by atheist and humanist pluralities, with the exception of two religious enclaves. The southern provinces have Roman Catholic pluralities. The religious differences between north and south also affect the culture of Knootoss. There is a debate about the best way to achieve the Unification of the Low Countries. Some favour unifying all Dutch-speaking peoples under one state, which would be dominated by Roman Catholics. The Knootian government prefers the existing situation, which ensures northern dominance.
- Social-Liberal Party (55)
Conservative Party: (43)
Freedom Party (29)
- Catholic Peoples' Party (22)
United Socialist Front (19)
Knootian Green Party (18)
Popular Party (6)
Democratic Christian Alliance (3)
Christian-Democratic Alliance (2)
Dutch Reformed Voting League (1)
Independent Lists (2)
- Main article: Politics of Knootoss.
The politics of Knootoss take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy. Knootian politics and governance are characterised by a common striving for broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole. The constitution establishes Knootoss as a democratic unitary state with a unicameral parliament. Major political institutions are the Grand Pensionary, the cabinet, the Staten-Generaal (parliament) and the judicial system. Other levels of government are the municipalities and the provinces. Although not mentioned in the constitution, political parties and the social partners organised in the Social Economic Council are important political institutions as well.
The Grand Pensionary is the Knootian Head of State. The government of the Knootoss constitutionally consists of the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers. The ministers together form the Council of Ministers ("Ministerraad"). This executive council initiates laws and policy. All laws proposed by the cabinet have to be sent to the Council of State for advice. The Staten-Generaal (States-General) is the parliament of Knootoss. It is a unicameral parliament with 200 members, elected by direct proportional representation. Major political parties are listed on the table to the right. Because of proportional representation, minor parties also find themselves represented in parliament.
Knootoss is a reluctant
member of the World
Assembly, and the
delegate of its region.
Knootoss is a regional delegate in the World Assembly, where it has a sovereigntist voting record. Resolutions promoting sentient rights, free trade and security cooperation are generally approved, but resolutions promoting moral decency, social justice, protectionist economic policies or the environment are usually voted down. The constitution states that it is the duty of government to promote the international rule of law, and Knootoss traditionally pursues its foreign policy within the framework of multilateral organisations, and has been an active participant in several organisations that share it's values. The nation is an active participant in Western Atlantic politics, and is a signatory to the Treaty of Lyeithen.
The Knootian Federation is a commonwealth-like organisation that includes Knootoss, the protectorate of Ale-Yarok, Knootian colombia and Nieuw Vuilendam. These areas are treated like dependencies, and Knootoss has been accused of having a neo-colonialist foreign policy by those who oppose its presence in Knootian Colombia.
The government pursues a policy of reciprocal free trade with all willing participants. In the absence of security threats, economic expansion is the primary goal of international relations. While Knootian diplomacy can be quite genial, Knootians may resort to manipulation, blackmail, bullying or overt aggression when faced with an adversary that is perceived as weak and uncooperative. Factors that contribute to a high popular opinion about foreign nations include a mixed economy, a democratic system of government, secularism and reasonably good civil rights. Knootoss is an economic aid donor, donating to various development aid programmes, both through the ministry of Economic Affairs and through private donations, in total amounting to about 0,6% of the GDP. Aid is generally handed out in exchange for trade concessions.
The Elementen-class submarine, a class of nuclear
submarine in the service of the Marine.
- Main article: Knootian Defence Force
The Knootian Defence Force has three branches: the Landmacht (Army), Marine (Navy) and Luchtmacht (Air Force). Marines are subordinate to the Marine. It is a relatively small, high-tech force that focusses on strategic mobility and fighting wars of manoeuvre. Knootoss is nuclear-armed, and will use nuclear weapons in the event of being successfully invaded.
The Landmacht is a relatively small, professional volunteer force. It favours mobility, superior tactics and force specialisation over superior numbers and heavy equipment. Officers have a mandate to make independent decisions, improvising and acting as the occasion demands. Taking initiative is encouraged, with a result-oriented style of leadership. It is noted for it's dependency on army aviation, and it's incorporation chemical weapons into combat doctrines. CAESAR is used for virtually all logistics.
The Marine is a relatively well-funded branch of the Knootian Defence Force, allowing the country to maintain a sizeable blue water navy. The nations' vast merchant fleet provides the recruitment agency of the marine with a large pool of able and experienced sailors. Large, modern and efficient shipyards are used for both civilian and military purposes. The Marine usually takes to sea in battle groups of around twenty or more ships, with capital ships protected by a large flotilla of screening vessels, allowing ships to specialise and yet be able to defend themselves against anything the enemy might throw against them. Stealth submarines may travel travel separately from the main battle groups, in ‘wolf packs’, with the purpose of reconnaissance and submarine warfare.
The Luchtmacht is traditionally the best-funded branch of the Knootian Defence Force. It has recently been forced to endure budget cutbacks after some high-profile scandals involving massive cost overruns for the development of new aircraft.
- GDP (PPP): $ 750,5 trillion
GDP (Nominal): € 368,3 trillion
GDP per capita: $ 47,879.81 (PPP)
€ 23,508.52 (nominal)
Unemployment rate: 2.79 percent (October 2010)
1.8 percent (Q3 FY2010-11)
2.1 percent (FY2009-10)
CPI inflation: 1.19 percent (FY2009-10)
Public debt: 23.3 percent of GDP (October 2010)
Poverty: 0.97 percent (2010)
Household net worth: $663 trillion NSD (October 2010)
- Main article: Economy of Knootoss
Knootoss has a capitalist, post industrial, mixed economy, organised along free market principles. The national economy is wealthy, open, and driven by the need for constant expansion. Macro-economic indicators are stable, with low unemployment, steady growth rates, low inflation, and relatively low levels of public debt. Economic activity is dominated by knowledge-based industries, such as Information Technology and financial services. The economic and industrial heart of the nation is in the city of Vuilendam.
Knootian taxation laws are designed to be both progressive and pro-business, with special allowances being made for expatriates. There is a progressive income tax, a 10% Value Added Tax (VAT), and a 19% flat corporate tax. These tax revenues are lavished upon the Ministry of Education Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. These two bureaucracies sink their teeth into many aspects of foreign and domestic policy. Knootoss a welfare state with a pro-active labour market policy, that can be described as flexicurity. Public healthcare and the police are somewhat neglected.
Services and knowledge-based industries are the driving force behind economic growth. ICT is the leading sector of the economy, and gaming benefits from a strong domestic market. The mass media, also known as the 'cultural industry', are another pillar of the Knootian economy. Financial industries are lightly regulated, and the retail market is dominated by an oligopoly of large supermarkets and department stores. Knootoss has an extremely dense highway network, with public roads ("autosnelwegen") and private toll roads existing side by side. Public transport is a popular alternative to the car.
The focus of the manufacturing sector is on light industries, such as electrical equipment and consumer electronics. The automobile industry is relatively small, as it's small electrical vehicles have proven to be unpopular outside of Knootoss. The defence industrial base is best described as one that supports major projects. Drone manufacturers develop a wide range of teleoperated and autonomous vehicles. Private military companies such as Zwartwater provide security and military services to private, corporate and governmental clients at home and abroad.
The high population density of Knootoss limits the amount of space that is available to agriculture, forcing Knootoss to import staple foods. An elaborate food processing industry adds value by transforming raw ingredients into more valuable consumer products. The production and distribution of cut flowers and potted plants is another booming industry. Commercial fishing methods have become very efficient, using large nets and factory ships. A large and sizeable resource extraction industry specialises in keeping the mainland supplied with energy and mineral resources.
The promotion of free trade is an important part of Knootian foreign policy, and Knootoss continues to attract foreign direct investment. Major trading partners include Western Atlantic nations, as well as historic allies such as Pacitalia. Knootoss runs a small trade deficit.
East Indian immigrants
Knootian Colombian immigrants
African, European and Asian ethnicities
Western Atlantic expatriates
Ros, Balto-Nordic, Anglo-Vasconian
Iesian exile community
Genetically enhanced human, Cyborg
Nekomimi, Neko-human hybrid
Gnome, Dwarf, Giant Ant,
The native inhabitants of Knootoss are humans of the Dutch and Frisian ethnicities. Knootoss has a sizeable minority of non-indigenous peoples, both human and non-human. This is the result of significant immigration, considerable native emigration, and sluggish native fertility rates. Nowadays, most immigrants hail from former Knootian colonies or the Knootian Federation, taking advantage of joint citizenship laws. Asylum-seekers from war-torn nations and oppressive regimes are also welcomed, in particular immigrants with whom Knootoss has cultural affinity. All others wishing to immigrate into Knootoss must meet strict criteria. Expatriate communities tend to be vibrant, dynamic and upwardly mobile.
- Main article: Religion in Knootoss
Knootoss is a secular nation, with a constitution that guarantees religious liberties. There is a strict separation between church and state, but it can be somewhat difficult for openly religious politicians to get elected. Atheism and secular humanism dominate the religious landscape, but there are significant Christian minorities. Historically, the Dutch Reformed faith used to be the state religion. Elvish citizens usually adhere to their own religious beliefs.
The Daatman Administration introduced a system of mandatory private health insurance. Premiums in this scheme may not be related to health status or age. Risk variances between private health insurance companies due to the different risks presented by individual policy holders are compensated through risk equalization and a common risk pool. All primary and curative care (i.e. the family doctor service and hospitals and clinics) is financed from private obligatory insurance. Long term care for the elderly, the dying, the long term mentally ill etc. is covered by social insurance funded from earmarked taxation.
The relatively poor quality of long term care and damage done by environmental degradation limits the lifespan of Knootians. Humans can expect to become 61 (male) or 64 (female). Assisted suicide is a relatively common cause of death.
- Main article: Education in Knootoss
Government spending is dominated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. As a result, most Knootian children enjoy relatively long, high-quality educations. The goal of Knootian education is to make students as self-sufficient as possible from an early age, using the concept of "self-learning". Emphasis is placed on developing practical and social skills such as computer skills and working in groups. Children are separated according to ability from middle school on, and there is compulsory functional specialisation later on. Schooling is provided for free, although students in tertiary education must meet stringent performance standards in order to qualify.
Media conglomerates such as KNN have a share in all domestic papers. The Knootoss News Network is therefore the dominant provider of news in Knootoss. Wombat News is also very popular. Despite uniformity in ownership, the existing newspapers cater to very different audiences. In order of size there are:
- A decidedly centrist newspaper with formerly Christian roots but secularised along with the rest of the Knootian media. Medium-brow, most of its readers are middle-class with white-collar jobs. Trouw is fact-oriented, and tends to state both sides of the story with a tendency to focus on moral judgements. Interestingly enough, it has no direct ties with political parties but has ‘supporters’ amongst the more pragmatic politicians within the liberal SLP, the green KGP and the conservative RCPK.
De Telegraaf (‘The Telegraph’)
- A low-brow paper that is unabashedly conservative and right-wing. A firm supporter of former Prime Minister Galadriël nos Cirdan, it favours ‘decisive policies’ and ‘leadership’. It lost its status as the largest paper in the DDR after supporting the extreme-right Dick Tator before the Shadow War, but it remains a strong voice in public opinion. Articles in this newspaper are opinionated, and the writers despise ‘communism’ (which, according to them, is anything to the left of the Conservatives)
De Volkskrant ('The People's Paper')
- As the name suggests, this is a progressive paper that attracts both socialist and leftist non-socialist readers. Generally supportive of the green KGP and more progressive SLP elements and welcoming towards the new Socialist Party. (De Telegraaf consistently claims that De Volkskrant is being run by communist agitators.) It mainly competes for readers with Trouw.
NVC Handelsblad ('New Vuilendam Courier / Trade Journal')
- A merger from the New Vuilendam Courier and the Omsterdam-based General Trade Journal, this paper has relatively small number of readers but it is praised for its high-quality. This high-brow paper is mainly read by the upper class, government officials, and the corporate elite. It is openly Liberal in its outlook (as its mission statement says). While its views politically ought to coincide with the government (liberal/conservative) it often takes its own views on matters and is appreciated for this by its influential readers. This is because it is not regarded as a propaganda outlet for the general population but more as a ‘grindstone for the brain’ that provides in-depth analysis. Financial data, stock quotes etc. also form a backbone of the paper as it provides daily figures for almost all NS nations with stock exchanges. (This makes it a very big paper in terms of pages.)
- Main article: Culture of Knootoss
Knootians are often thought of as tolerant, individualistic, sex-crazed, drug-using advocates of free abortion and euthanasia. While this stereotype is a bit extreme, there is a core of truth to it. Knootoss is a happy-go-lucky liberal nation, but there is a lively contrast between this pragmatic liberalism and the buttoned-up just-so primness of a culture originally founded on Calvinist principles. As a result of this, Knootians tend to feel a sort of moral superiority toward other peoples.
Knootians shy away from ceremony, ostentatiousness or excessive displays of patriotism and personal wealth. Fuss of any kind is regarded as undignified. Personal freedom, on the other hand, is very much written into Knootian law, and any transgression is likely to be resisted. The main cultural division of Knootoss runs between the formerly Protestant north and the Catholic south. Generally, it can be said that northerners are more pragmatic, favour a direct approach and display a less exuberant lifestyle compared to southerners.