Green Growth: Chand in Charge
By Christopher Samson
- I've been travelling for some time now when I arrive at the Free Society centre in Newhaven. I walk in on what is clearly a youth activity day and am waved at by a man across the room sitting in a chair. Surad Chand is welcoming and talks to me a bit about the purpose of the Free Society centres. After a talk about my trip we ease into the questioning.
- Samson: You just became the second leader of Lovia's Green Party, arguably the most successful green party in the Americas. What happened in your life that brought you to this moment?
- Chand: Well, firstly, my family decided to move to this country because we were living in poverty back in India, and we did not have many opportunities there, but we thought that things would be better in the New World. Obviously, for a lot of immigrants, that dream does not work out, but luckily for us my father was able to get a good job and we found a good school. I was able to attend university in the United States, a level of education I probably wouldn't have been able to achieve if we hadn't moved to Lovia. I briefly worked in the US, too, but with increasing racism and political instability there I decided I'd rather live in Lovia. I got a job at the BU Newhaven, where I was committed to improving the universities in Lovia itself to bring them up to the level of those in the US, and also to increase co-operation with US universities. But, eventually, political instability arrived here too - you had the Civil War, the Iron Guard Party, the Donia Clan - a whole mess, really. That's what initially drove me to get into politics: to help make Lovia a better place and protect the rights of immigrants. And I was also committed to improving the environment, so the Green Party was a natural fit.
- Samson: Seeming as you raised immigrant rights, I have a question around those issues. Being effectively an immigrant to Lovia as well as having lived briefly in the United States, how do you feel about Lovia's relationship with the USA considering Donald Trump is now president?
- Chand: That's a good question. Indeed, the election of Trump will mean Lovia's relationship with the US will have to change. I had already experienced racism in the US back when Bush was the president, and Trump has already deployed draconian anti-immigration policies. We have also seen the troubling appearance of the xenophobic right in Lovia with this Nationalist Alternative. Obviously, Lovia should not follow in the US's footsteps - protecting the rights of immigrants will be a priority issue here for the next few years, especially due to our proximity to the US. However, the political instability in the US could actually provide an opportunity for Lovia, in that, with humane, tolerant immigration policies, we could attract skilled immigrants rejected by the US.
- Samson: Right, with that lets move back to an age old issue in Lovia for a second. Lovia is often regarded as a athiestic Monarchy and you yourself are an atheist, do you think that the Monarchy is past its time or a celebration of Lovia's ability to progress?
- Chand: While the fact that we have an atheistic monarch is an improvement on the religious monarchies of other countries, I support the abolition of the monarchy, with the prime minister as head of state instead. Luckily, in Lovia the monarchy doesn't have dictatorial powers as it does in some other countries, but it is still a waste of taxpayers' money and an outdate institution.
- Samson: A succinct answer. Now, the Green Party historically has been one of the most important minor parties in Lovian politics. How successful do you think the Green Party will be in the coming Federal and State elections? How wide is the Green appeal?
- Chand: In this election cycle, I think the Green Party has a chance to become a major party outright, since several other leftist parties have become inactive. I also think there's a good chance we'll see Lovia's first Green governor, as Nicholas Sheraldin is running in Sylvania there. He's run in that state twice before, so the citizens there know him well, and now that he's stepped down from the leadership to focus on Sylvania's state politics I think his support will increase further, and he's got a good chance to win.
- Samson: On that point, who is Nicholas expecting to challenge him for the Governorship?
- Chand: I haven't yet heard about anyone else running in Sylvania, so it's possible there may be no other major party candidates in the state. But we'll probably find out more about that closer to the state elections.
- Samson: Finally, what do you want to see from this upcoming Lovian Congress? What three issues should they deal with first and how should they deal with them?
- Chand: Firstly, I, and the rest of the Green Party, think that Lovia's national parks should be expanded and there's several state parks and currently unprotected areas that should be national parks - the Svolnick Moor, as an example. Secondly, we should develop and improve our immigration policies to counter the xenophobic right politics spreading across the globe. Thirdly, we should develop anti-monopoly laws and laws about foreign investment in order to prevent multinationals and other large companies from taking over Lovia's economy and destroying local businesses.
- Samson: Thank you for your time, it's been a pleasure.
- Chand: Thank you too, for giving me the opportunity for this interview, it's a great way to start my leadership.
- And with that I leave Chand to his business, he has a lot of election planning meetings and hustings ahead. As I leave I feel that something about the Free Society centre encapsulates what the Green Party is about. It's a place for political meet-ups, community events, youth clubs and social work. It's a lot of things under one roof, not in a claustrophobic way but almost a cosy fashion. I look across the way and see the mountainous centre of Kings far on the horizon. The Green Party has it's own mountain to climb however Chand comes across as confident. Hes not a man facing an impossible task but relishing a challenge. Maybe he knows something we don't.
- Tuesday February 14 2017
Make Lovia Great Again? The Trump Affect Hits NC Bay
By Christopher Samson
- Over the past two years Lovia's caretaker government hasn't really had the energy to react to the dynamic rise of America's new President. It would seem on first glance that, while Lovian students and concerned citizens aren't protesting or rioting, they aren't exactly leaping for joy at Trump's new title. Go to the industrial and rural south of NC and you'll find workers concerned that "America First" means that Lovian exports will drop along with their wages. Go to the residential north-east and ask about the parks and most will express disgust and a gladness that Lovia never joined the US. Even the money minded individuals in the center of NC will say that a competitive US will weaken Lovia's low tax advantage over many US businesses.
- The semi-apathetic nature of Lovia could largely be down to the fact that Lovia has always been rather isolationist in terms of interacting with the outside world beyond business. However we are less than a month in and Lovians seem to already express dislike of the temporary ban on seven nations introduced by President Trump. Further the close relations with the western states of the U.S., particularly those on the other side of the bay (Oregon, Washington and California), means that as these states begin to agitate so does Lovia. Not to mention the trade Lovia does with Mexico causing friction over the President's rhetoric. All in all it's a bad start for the relations between Lovia and the U.S. which have been strained for some time since the rise of groups aimed at reducing the American cultural hegemony in Lovia over the past decade.
- But perhaps there is a silver lining for Lovia? perhaps Trump will bring about the boom that he promises and even more Lovian goods will be demanded by a growing American market? There are some that are optimistic for the Lovian future in the era of Trump. Investors in Lovia believe that Lovia could use some competition to ensure it remains a limited free market. Some hard done by workers in the port think that a prosperous America will help revive Lovia's prospects after recent years. As of yet no political party has come out for or against Trump officially unlike most other nations around the world. Perhaps this is to Lovia's advantage? As of yet, we've not attracted the attention of President Trump's twitter feed.
- Monday February 6 2017
Election: Early Voters Turn Out in huge numbers on the morning of the first day of voting, turnout already reaching above 20% for both the Federal and State elections making this one of the most engaged in recent times - Wednesday March 15 2017
Oceana: Governor Ilava has given orders to clean up the countryside of the state and free it from illegal settlements and rehouse illegal settlers in apartment blocks in the countryside sparking debate across the state - Tuesday February 14 2017
Convention: Citizen's Convention opens with mixed reactions, most citizens who have visited the Capitol to give their view and vote have expressed either optimism or reserved acceptance of the proposals - Monday February 6 2017