by Max Barry

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Region: The Coalition of Democratic Nations

Telhárr Nasjonal | The National Telegraph
Hirraž Erdekelnínn'hazari | News in the National Interest

On the Campaign trail
Despite still being half a year away, the official campaign for Karthspire's 2025 Election is now underway. Early polling suggests that the National Front are, as the government, leading the polls with 47%. This lead however, and whether or not its sustainable, depends on the ability of the daughter of current PM, Kristina Larathael, Anastasia Saelinus to retain the confidence of the public in her party and lead the National Front back to their pre-eminent position in the Magistére'Révine. Although a majority Nationalist Government, as was what occurred in 2020, is unlikely to occur again due to the Karthspiri Electoral system it is, according to current polling, likely that the next Government will be a National-led coalition of the right unless, of course, Mrs Saelinus cannot retain the confidence of the public in the National Front.

Speaking at a rally with a heated rally in her mother's home state of Falinesti, Mrs Saelinus promised to continue the work which the National Front has been doing for its past 20 years in Government; specifically focusing on the achievements of her mother in her 10-year premiership - the longest continuous rule of any Karthspiri Prime Minister. In this way, one can see the strategy being played by Saelinus to retain the Northern voters which, all too often, carve the path for the National Front to claim the Imperial Mandate and form Her Majesty's Government. Such a tactic may prove to work in the long-run, but lacking the charisma and perceived tough, no-nonsense attitude of her mother Mrs Saelinus may find it difficult to maintain her strong lead in the polls; especially when the New Democrats, Labour and the AKFB are led by well-respected figures who can appeal easily to Hindu and Sikh voters - something Saelinus, like Larathael, will struggle with due to her Christian faith.

Energy from Ephyra?
Seeking to initiate concerns about the future energy security of the Empire, Foreign Minister Arana Direnni's Antonov An-148 Ministerial Jet touched down in the Capital city of the Ephyral freehold, also called Ephyra, as the head of a delegation seeking easier access to Ephyral energy reserves; a delegation formed through the state private-sector partnership which exists in the Karthspiri Energy sector. Although the Empire is rapidly developing its renewable energy capabilities, concerns remain about access to gas for the country's coldest, Northern regions as well as sources of oil and fuel; a controversial topic not often discussed since the instability of the prices of domestic suppliers began to fluctuate in the early 2000s - causing fuel riots in several major urban centres.

The way forward is several direct pipelines under the ocean connecting oil-rich regions of Ephyra directly to Karthspire as well as the negotiation of contracts for Karthspiri energy firms to have direct access to and drilling rights for Ephyral energy reserves; this, at least, according to the Foreign Ministry. Such deals, however, will not be easily negotiated. The interest of foreign companies in Ephyral energy deposits is likely to attract the Eyre of Ephyral citizens and companies already operating in the area so, naturally, the Foreign Ministry wishes to handle the matter of both the pipelines and drilling rights for Karthspiri firms in a sensitive and respectful manner.

Emigration fever; the new normal or just a trend?
Emigration, for almost two decades now, has been a part of life for many Karthspiri families. The freedom of movement granted to Karthspiri citizens over a decade ago in the Karthspiri-Mexican treaty has allowed a sizeable Karthspiri community to establish itself in Mexico and most OC nations have Karthspiri diasporas both big and small. However, levels of emigration from our nation have always remained at sustainable levels but new figures published by the Interior Ministry show that the rate of emigration out of the country is steadily increasing. Last year's report showed a net migration of -150,000, meaning that 150,000 more were leaving than were coming in, with the main destination being Mexico. This year's figures paint a different story. Net migration has, again, dropped to -300,000 with a much more varied selection of destinations for those leaving the nation. Mexico remains, as ever, the largest destination for those leaving the Empire for a new life. Notable new destinations are the Ephyral Freehold and the United Territories of Komminland.

The first is, naturally, not too surprising. Similar social attitudes shared by Selian and Karthspiri societies make integration into Selian society easier for Karthspiri immigrants and the warm relationship between the two nations, despite the mild bloodshed which acted as mere bumps in the road, allows Karthspiri emigrants to view the Freehold as a relatively stable and friendly place to settle.

The latter, however, is quite surprising when one considers the, often, strenuous relationship between the Empire and the ATCO. The increase in emigration to Komminland from a total of 0 in the previous year is being chalked up to three things. The first is the subsidised classes in Kommin history and language to assist in integrating newcomers; often Karthspiri are hesitant to emigrate due to the difficulties associated in integrating into a culture as alien to them as the culture of Komminland.

The second is the status of Komminland as a relatively stable democratic state; appealing to the desire of Karthspiri emigrants to retain their say in the Government of the land in which they reside but also appealing to more liberally-minded Karthspiri due to its society being more of a democratic republic as opposed to the Karthspiri conservative, constitutional monarchy.

Thirdly, higher-wages in Komminland are acting as one of the major pull-factors for Karthspiri migration. Karthspiri culture prises education meaning that the vast bulk of the Karthspiri workforce is well-trained and educated in their field but birthrates slightly higher than the replacement rate of 2.1 as well as the, relatively, large supply of unused labour, unemployment stands at around 7%, has surpressed wages and the lack of a minimum wage in the Empire has resulted in the indefinite plummeting of labour rates in some trades. Low wage costs in the Empire may have contributed to the competitiveness of its exports but for the most highly skilled workers it has acted as the carrot on the brain-drain stick.

The pattern of emigration out of the Empire is set to continue but another question remains, for how long?