By Douglas E. Gogerty
Princess Angelina sat in a large conference room in the main government building of the State Capitol. The people there treated her very well. They attended to her every want. However, the thing she wanted the most; they were reluctant to provide. She simply wanted a non-aggression treaty with them. This was the one thing that the leadership did not wish to provide. She was waiting on the one person who could submit the request to the proper people. It seemed to be quite a complicated process.
"Miss, I am Governor Campbell."
"I am Angelina..." began the Princess. "Angelina Dakota -- sovereign of the newly formed kingdom of..."
"I know who you are," interrupted Governor Campbell. "We can dispense with all of this formality and get down to business."
"My request is quite simple. I wish to establish relations with the officials of the Pirate Penninsula."
"Excuse me. We prefer the Sunshine State."
"I beg your pardon. In establishing this non-aggression pact, both parties will benefit greatly."
"That is not how we see it, and past history will fall on my side."
"In the past, any excuse seemed to be a good excuse to break any treaty we established with a kingdom."
"I would never..."
"The people of our state have a great deal of freedom. They are responsible for their own actions. Hence, if a -- pirate for the lack of a better term -- were to attack your kingdom, they would be completely culpable for their actions."
"That is fair."
"If you caught the individual, we would want full responsibility for the punishment of the perpetrator. After all, they are our citizens. However, if you are not satisfied with the action against the individual, how would your respond? Further, would you hold the entire state responsible for that single action -- whatever it is?"
"I see what you mean."
"In your world, you are responsible for the actions of your citizens. If someone disobeys your commands, it is punishable by death or any severe punishment you can consider. I -- and the rest of the government officials here -- do not wield such power. We have a system that takes into account many variables. We punish based upon our principles. Death is mostly not an option. Further, we have rules against cruel punishments."
"This is how you get a reputation as a haven for pirates and raiders."
"We are working on that reputation. Our freedoms are hard won. When the rest of Morica was falling into warring kingdoms, we remained free. Every person has a voice in the policies of our state. We take these freedoms quite seriously."
"How do the ignorant masses know enough to make the difficult state decisions?"
"We educate everyone. We have the most comprehensive school system anywhere. Further, we distribute vast amounts of information to each citizen over the internet. It helps them be informed about the decisions we make. When everyone was warring around us, it was quite difficult to maintain our system. There were obstructions and obstructionists who would look out for their sole interests and not the interests of everyone. Most of those issues have been ironed out."
"I do not see how this system would work. Is there not a constant power struggle between various factions?"
"Our system is built upon compromise. We attempt to keep everyone's interest in mind. Sometimes a group of people will get the short end, but we try to minimize the impact in those instances. Further, we attempt to spread those instances around."
"But," replied the Princess. "Each decision seems to take a very long time. Is there not anyone who can make quick decisions? What happens in a time of emergency?"
"As the executive, I have certain powers to make certain decisions. For instance, I can begin the process to establish a treaty with you. However, there is a long process to make it official."
"I just do not see how you can get anything done."
"At one time, all of Morica was like us. It became the most powerful country in the world."
"Then it all fell into chaos, so whose system is better?"
"Kingdoms will only prosper with the proper sovereign in place. The kingdom you are starting has risen and fell many times. It will continue to do so well after you are gone."
"Things will be different with me..."
"The problem is not you, but your successor. How can you make an unbiased choice that is beneficial to your people? You cannot. Kings and queens have always chosen their relatives for succession. These relatives are not always the most fit to rule. That is how our system is better. We handle succession better."
"You have had some poorly chosen leaders -- in my lifetime."
"While that is true, their limited power lessens the damage that they can do."
"...and this reputation as the Pirate Peninsula came from nowhere?"
"We have begun a systematic crackdown on the problem element. In fact, one of those kings you are so fond of was caught in one of our 'sting' operations."
"I know of whom you speak, and I would not say that I am particularly fond of King Thorbjorn. After all, it was I that he wanted to force out of power."
"We will not put up with that kind of activity any longer. The piracy and raiding businesses are almost all gone. Thus, you need not worry about that."
"I would still feel a great deal better with a treaty in writing, but I understand your crazy system better now."
"Governments go in cycles. Your kingdoms will breakdown, and it will lead to this crazy system as you call it."
"Be that as it may, I appreciate you attempting to alleviate the raids. If that is all I can count on, I guess it will have to do. Thank you for your time."
The Princess left the Capitol building without her treaty, but she was hopeful that there would be no trouble coming from this place. She was confident that would be true as long as Governor Campbell was in charge. Someone else might not work out as well. She was going to have to watch this place closely.
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on August 15, 2010 8:55 PM.
"Texas Wildfire" - Chapter 19 was the previous entry in this blog.
"Texas Wildfire" - Chapter 20 is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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