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Rénovation, Révision, Restauration


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OOC: Not really combat actions, just RPing civilian stuff during wartime, because can't do much else while waiting.

IC:

Montréal, Québec, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, the situation was the same about everywhere. As centres of Laurentine industry and economy, these towns would be bombed almost continously by the Commonwealth Air Force, while the Armée de Québec still held off an enemy advance on the ground. Many had taken refuge in underground structures, hoping to be safe from the bombs, others had moved to the countryside. Arnault-Delareux had proclaimed that a giant effort was to be made to preserve the Laurentine Union as an independent state. But the Maréchal had been incapacitated and was now undergoing medical treatment, the country was being constantly bombed and misery was widespread. Most were living off some piece of bread a day, with vegetables being luxury, meat being not avalable for civilians. Transportation would be mostly by horse-trawn carts, as petrol had been requisitioned by the army.

The war was hardly an event that caused euphoria or which people saw as necessary. Indeed, the whole state propaganda blamed the american Commonwealth for starting an unnecessary war, accused the Commonwealth of purposefully undermining the negotiation efforts to start a war against the free people of the Laurentine Union. But while the onslaught continued, it seemed less and less to be in the hands of the Laurentine Union to put an end to it. The North American order had created a coalition to crush the Laurentine Union, to bomb it into "democracy". Even if some would find it moronic, nobody laughed, as this "democratisation" caused thousands of deaths. If the bombing led to anything, it was surely not an appreciation of democracy. To most, the bombing only led to a complete breakdown of confidence in structures that had value before the coup.

But even though the broad public faced a political crisis, there were those who could use or even abuse the dissolution of the old. And there were those, who did so with good intentions... and those who tried to carve out for themselves the greatest slice of the pie.

[hr]

Liselotte Wiltord, since the attack on Evangeline Arnault-Delareux once again Premier of the union, was to many an enigma. Her records were obscure, her term in office overshadowed by the head of state, her behaviour eccentric, her public appearances scarce. at best, there were two things that were generally assumed by the people: That Wiltord was fundamentally not a democrat and that she was more than ready to utilise whatever means she had to take care of what she saw as annoyances. However, even though Wiltord had been seen with distain before, the anti-democratic thought now was widespread and peple could care less about how policing happened. A first taste of what Wiltord saw as justice would come, when overnight, the Higher Police suddenly purged the upper command, taking into custody 80% of the general staff, half the intermediate command structure and putting under surveillance the junior officers and those who had not been purged. In some cases, this custody meant that the official in question was actually put into prison, in most cases, it meant they were severely restricted in their free movement, to keep the command structures of the Armée de Québec somewhat intact. Madame monochrome was after all not willing to hang the military during wartime. Policing civilians meanwhile got only harsher, as the consequences for petty crime, which soared, became increasingly draconic, in an effort to prevent the country from dissolving into complete anarchy and a breakdown of public order. It did not cause her to be a hero to the people, but to many, she at least was seen as two things. as the constitutionally legal head of government to put an end to the war and a pragmatic leader who was willing to do what was necessary to not let the country collapse in times of crisis.

Within the privacy of her mansion, her personal seat of government, behind the facade of a woman that called for people to hold out, for the soldiers to struggle on and for the Commonwealth to accept a peace, Wiltord herself struggled, as she tried to rein in the country that slipped out of control. With only two people regularly reporting to her, she governed the country literally from the shadows, curtains closed, lights out.

Lying on the cold hard floor, Liselotte stared at the ceiling. Her arms and legs sprawling over the floor, her long silver hair lying there uncoordinated. Her black wide dress, which even in the faint light that was able to pierce the curtains, contrasted sharply with her pale arms and face seemed to fuse partly with the shadows into a formless mass. It seemed not to bother her, how uncomfortable, unusual and unrefined she was at that moment, for at most, it was witnessed by the sole other person present, Minister of the Exterior Florence de Pétèvellier. And the impression she gave off to that one, Liselotte couldn't care less. The ceiling was white, undecorated, plain white, in the middle a single modest chandelier. "You know, if I lay here, it's pretty calming." Liselotte mumbled. "It feels cold and solid. Somehow, it feels rather secure..."

Florence looked at the Premier in front of her. The eccentric behaviour was no news to her. She knew it already from the past. Still, she knew not what to reply. But it seemed partly as if Liselotte did not expect one anyway. "How is the situation with the Commonwealth?" Glancing over to Florence for a moment, she could only see the Minister of the Exterior shaking her head. "Well, if this goes on much longer, it will get a great deal worse..." Her attention returned to the ceiling. "I hate this. This whole situation..." Slowly, her right arm rose from the floor, Liselotte's white hand reaching out towards the ceiling. "It won't work. Nothing will. It is outside my reach..." Florence looked at her master silently, not wanting to disturb her in what seemed to be mostly a monologue. "I cannot create, I cannot destroy... I could not even protect." Liselotte's expression changed suddenly, as if recalling a painful memory, before returning to her usual harsh and bitter atmosphere. Her hand suddenly grasped down on the empty air, her golden eyes flaring up, not as much with hot anger, than with ice-cold hatred. "But we have progressed. We have grown stronger. And one day..." Florence almost shuddered, as her master smirked in a way that she could only attribute to a certain sadism. "Florence. Let the blackcoats return. We will need them after this conflict more than ever." "B-but aren't they needed at the front?" Liselotte shook her head. "No. That war isn't going anywhere. But the other war... we won. And we better have the troops to secure this victory of ours." Florence nodded. "As you wish, my master." Slowly Florence left the building, a bit anxious about the situation, but not questioning her orders.

 

Liselotte meanwhile continued looking at the ceiling with a victorious glee. "Maybe it is really the time to leave the shadows... or even better... to pull us all into the darkness."

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Dorothée Vaillancourt was not special due to birthright, for her family background was a commoners. She also was not special due to her occupation, as clergywomen were maybe not too many in Laurentie, but also not among the really priviledged classes. One might argue that she was special in that she belonged to the half of the population that enjoyed more social prestige, but even that meant little, when one wasn't nobility or at least in some position within the state apparatus. Still, despite being seemingly a normal person, Dorothée Vaillancourt was special. Maybe not in the eyes of the state or of the nobility, but for sure among the people of her neighbourhood.

A young woman in her twenties, Vaillancourt had grown up during the Grande Republique and the Faraway Realm. Her upbringing had been influenced by one key value, which she'd miss even more in the current situation - Order. It meant peace, it meant stability, it meant security. And it was all that was lacking in the bombed country. The peace was gone, the stability too, security was neither present in regards to enemy force, nor to the basic needs of the population. Daily, the amount of homeless grew, the amount of employment declined, the food became ever more scarce.

 

Inmidst this misery, Dorothée Vaillancourt tried her best to assist the people during their harshest of times. Being a woman in the service of god, she, like so many of the lower clergy, tried her best to provide relief, help distribute fairly the food and restore some hope to a population in despair. But even with all the effort she could put in, and watching the efforts of those she cared for, it was most of all a lack of ressources that prevented any greater success, for, regardless of what was done, the food hardly sufficed. People had started to cook the animals from the street or to make food from grasses and herbs. While being a poor substitute for a proper meal, even Vaillancourt silently praised the nettle soup as something that at least prevented the worst.

 

What worried her however much more than the degrading supply or the possibility of foreign occupation was the post-war difficulties, which were sure to be encountered. The war had destroyed property, economy, it had brought an already struggling economy to a standstill. The rebuilding of the country would need quite a bit of effort, which would not be easy, given that the military was sure to stay at a large size even in peace time. It was a bit of a realisation noone wanted to voice, that with such a large force draining ressources, economic stability could be as far away in the future as a decade or even further. In the meantime, traditional structures would hardly work. They did not even work now, as factories saw a sharp drop in productivity, commerce plummeted, services were confronted with looming bancruptcy and the country itself had partially stopped paying people in Faraway Pound, rather paying them in goods, where they could. The GQG had established price ceilings and emergency services resumed work in the absence of much else to do and to avoid becoming scrutinised by the rest of the population, which depended upon them. However, it was clear, the system was now in a state that was past breaking point. What kept order was the guns of the army and police, though even those rather used bayonets or battons to save on ammunition.

 

Dorothée Vaillancourt was far from the militant Faraway "nationalist", but confronted with such a reality, even she could not stay apolitical. However, Vaillancourt, rather than advocating the restoration of great Faraway, which she did not care much about in the situation, looked out for establishing something else. A way for the people of the Union to help themselves. Physically, by gaining an economic basis they could live from, mentally, learning new things and providing the foundation for a solid economy and spiritually, to allow people to stay hopeful and to find security at least in faith.

 

Talking about these matters with others would start with casual conversations with unemployed, which ranged from jobless proles to discarded intelligentsia, but soon, it would also happen via written exchanges with other people and parties interested in what they saw as a way out of misery. Vaillancourt herself might not even have been aware of what she started, as the whole matter gained momentum in and off itself. Repairing the country in this trinity, preserving the special character and allowing for a better future. And as could be expected, with thousands of people deprived of any visions, with frustrated nationalism, fears of social breakdown and a good bit of desire for restoring lost grandheur, this discourse would be neither free of utopianism, nor of radicalism. It would be seen as chance by adherents of all kinds of politics, except maybe the liberals... a grouping which had been rooted out so thoroughly and which was still hated by most for being Commonwealth sycophants, collaboratours, appeasers, lackeys and traitors to the Laurentine peoples.

Edited by Evangeline Anovilis
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With the achievement of an armistice, many in Québec were hopeful that the war would finally come to an end. In the towns, groups of people would start clearing the streets from rubble, that was left from collapsed buildings. While a few people could be rescued alive, most found buried under the remains of these buildings were dead and would be brought to the nearest crematory, to avoid diseases to spring up. Most people working this reconstruction didn't really get paid anymore. In fact, the country was broke and could not afford paying them. Instead, these people would be coming mostly from two sources: Neighbourhoods and the Armée nationale du travail.

 

Neighbourhood communes would start to emerge mostly as self-help groups of urban citizens. Influenced by people like Vaillancourt, with a moral obligation to do something, as well as a material interest in keeping their neighbourhoods alive, these first communes would be engaged in clearing up streets and building sites, patrolling the streets at night against looters, helping each other by providing services for free and collectivising the rations to allow for a better distribution to get each other through the ordeal alive. It was most of all the reply to massive failures on the part of the state, as well as a strategy to deal with the threat posed to order and security. The system was hardly great, achieving at times very little, but it gave those participating at least some sense of safety again.

 

The ANT meanwhile would be something entirely different, as it represented mostly a larger organisation set up from volunteers. Recruiting itself from unemployed, the labour army was an organisation of volunteers, who mostly adhered to the ideas of national renovation. Having nothing else to do and accepting the idea of a new kind of nation as worth supporting, the members of the ANT would organise themselves into divisions, brigades and companies, following kind of a military organisation, while using their labour to help in fixing damages. They would not give people much of an income, however, it gave people some sort of purpose. The ANT, ideologically close to Dalianist thought would also partly be recognised by the remaining state authorities, who, despite the shortage in financial means, would cooperate with these workers by giving approval for the usage of state-owned ressources in their activities. The ANT to the state was at least some way of keeping the country afloat and to regulate the activities of self-help groups, the state to the ANT was the representation of their national will and a source of legal means to act. Most of all, the labour armies would work at fixing minor damages at buildings, fixing roads, electricity lines and engaging in the gathering of food from the lush forests, in cooperation with local foresters. Owing to the mostly unskilled nature of the participants, the results would not be ground-breaking, but it was at least something.

 

Despite the limited achievements of the two systems, they soon sparked the imagination of intelectuals and philosophers, giving credibility to the idea of national renovation. What this renovation, the establishment of a new state meant, was however open. Some, like Vaillancourt saw the abandonment of materialism and a new society based on the community and on christian faith in it, others like Dalian aimed further and proclaimed that it would finally lead to a true "Faraway", a true state that could transcend the old borders and be the true representation of the national body, instead of being some corrupted and ineffectual authoritarian regime. But also voices critical of the elite sprung up, arguing for more power to be allocated at the roots of the naton, with the people. This was not necessarily in a democratic fashion, however, but it argued for the strengthening of those institutons that represented the productive labour, trade and labour unions, farming communes, military companies. In common would be a disdain for liberal democracy and the free market. Both being seen as failures and systems associated with the enemy.

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  • 1 month later...

"Today, the fight is over.", it hallowed through the streets of Laurentie, announcing the armistice to the millions of civilians who were at home, yet had seen the front from their own homes. Broadcasted via radio throughout the nation, Prime Minister Wiltord would adress the people of the Union, who received these words with mixed feelings. "The American Commonwealth and the Laurentine Union have come to an understanding on a mutually acceptable set of peace terms, to end the mass slaughter in North America and to return to days of peace. The Laurentine Forces have fought bravely and with much valor in the defence of the Union and the families at home, both which we hold dear. It is through our all hard efforts, through the blood of hundreds of thousands, that the Union leaves this fight intact. In the coming years, there will be much to do, to rebuild our dear home, so it once more can be a shining beacon for all of Faraway."

 

Though short, the announcement would cause quite some euphoria in the streets, as people left to celebrate the end of the war. The Fleurdelise would be flown, to show off the pride of the nation that endured. After having held out under a hail of grenades and rockets, after living from bread and water for quite some time and having been working for practically no pay, the civilians along the Saint-Laurent were more than exhausted and would know how to celebrate the fruits of their suffering. Altough there was hardly anything left to celebrate with, the people would find ways to express their feelings.

 

However despite the good news, excesses were few, as while pretty much everyone was happy to see a conflict end, many households had lost wives, daughters and mothers to the war, if not even more, due to the bombardement. Especially the last offensive had caused massive losses, on a scale that it was still a shock to many. But while it seemed unreal that the losses were this staggering, they were a reality and the realisation of these facts slowly began to put a lid on happiness, as families mourned for their fallen.

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A steady flow of troops from Ontario back into Québec would occur, as the Laurentian forces withdrew. Again, bridges would be set up, the engineers more than happy that their efforts would not be harrassed this time. About two million soldiers were to cross the borders in one way or another, living, wounded, dead, Québecois, Kanadarian, American. Thousands of vehicles and tons of supplies would have to be brought back from the occupied territory in Kanadario. The Grand Quartier Général would draw up intricate plans to organise the colossal effort, in order to meet armistice terms.

 

Many of the soldiers looked forward to return the uniform and to rejoin civilian life. The relatively short duration at least allowed them to find back into their old lives with relative ease, if such still existed. Some would also return to burned down ruins of a house or apartment block, to a pile of rubble or, in less severe cases, to unemployment, due to their workplace having shut down. The cost of war was high and especially hit those of the lower classes, who could end up broke, homeless, unemployed and alone, without much of a chance to be aided by a state that was close to bancruptcy.

 

Already during the war, several political associations had sprung up, which would use the new time to create political parties. With a state and society in ruins, radical groupings flourished, moderates took a hit and liberals were practically dead, if not already actually. The economy was in shambles, the national prestige was limited, the food was scarce and overall, the trust in liberal values had been lost. It would need quite some effort to restore proper order within Laurentie again.

 

While the last remnants of the Armée de Québec was about to leave Ontario, Minister of the Exterior, Florence de Pétèvellier would contact the Commonwealth, in order to work out a post-war political order.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the days after the war was over, the Wiltord Administration would formally announce its intention to step back, in order to allow for a new government to be formed after a new election was held. The war was not just devastating due to the foreign action, but also the coup had left its marks on the nation. The Assemblée nationale had hardly the necessary attendence to pass laws, as the parties from pre-war times had eroded massively. The liberals were absent in entirety, the party having dissolved itself. The PQ had about a dozen representatives, many having left or having been victim to political purges. Even the ruling party, which had lost the least from the liquidations, had lost much cohesion and what was left was about to fall apart. Factions had emerged within the party and outside, creating new parties, which were not represented at all, yet held sway over large segments of the Laurentine population.

 

These parties, despite not being represented, were rather present and influential already prior to elections. Especially was this the case for a movement which had grown already during the war and which would become ever more prominent, the Social Solidarity Party (Parti de la Solidarité sociale). The PSS had been formed as a union of radical restorationists and leading members of the Armée nationale du travail. It enjoyed some support from the old guard, but most of all, it would become a mass party, recruiting itself from those who joined the ANT and similar movements. Impoverished, disappointed, patriotic and lacking faith in the old Laurentine parties, these people gathered under the banner of social solidarity, hoping to gain once again what they lost: Order, Stability, Meaning, Faith. Beaten and with a bleak future, they looked back at the old times, when such was more present, when they were a proper regional influence, not just a people struggling for their daily survival.

 

Influential in this would be also certain individuals. Not just traditional ideological foundations, such as Dalianist thought, but also new actors would shape the movement, such as Dorothée Vaillancourt and Mireille Hamelin. Vaillancourt, a clergywoman of humble origins was not part of the party, but she had been influential in the movement. Preaching during and after the war, Vaillancourt saw a need for people to assist each other not out of monetary profit, but because only by cooperating, the communes so created would survive the misery and be able to move on. This, she understood to combine with a deep-running piety, propagating it as not just a matter of self-interest, but also as a proper way of living, showing solidarity with the less well-off. While Vaillancourt herself seemed to show signs of truely thinking that it would please god to cooperate, a thought not too unreasonable, it was to her also clear that organising a system aside from traditional service economy would be needed, unless the impending breakdown of the economy cause a breakdown of society. Vaillancourt gathered quite a followership, rallying the more religious, as well as those moved by her own display of gallant conduct during the war, helping wounded and refugees along the Saint Laurent. Mireille Hamelin meanwhile was a wholly different kind of person. Altough she too stemmed from a commoner family, Hamelin had been active in politics ever since shortly after the fall of the Faraway Realm, working in the more leftist movements to strengthen trade unions and curbing the excesses of market economy. As one of the founders of the ANT, she held connections across the movement, as well as with politicians of several independent communes. With the war, Hamelin mostly argued for a national solidarity, in order to finish the war intact, arguing that overall, a future under Commonwealth ought to be "inconceivable". Mireille Hamelin was far less a member of Faraway elite, unlike de Grenville and even Wiltord, but she had her backing from within the working class, as well as the common soldiers returning home. She was a commoner, just like them, had served back in the day and done her work. Hamelin appeared to understand, just like Vaillancourt, to understand the worries of the common Québecer. To them, who felt forsaken by the failing state, Social Solidarity offered a vision of a stronger foundation to rely on. At the same time, it offered for the petite bourgeoisie a social stability, unlike open civil strife, and a promise of national reconstruction.

 

When the ballots closed and the elections were finished, it was thus little surprising, that the PSS dominated the new legislative. With 65.4% of the vote and 83 seats in the legislative, they replaced the restorationists, who splintered and dissolved. PQ would gain about 12.1% of the popular vote and 15 seats, the social democratic Québec solidaire 4.9% and 6 seats, the radical left meanwhile, organised as the Parti syndicaliste de Québec (PSQ) gained no less than 17.6% of the vote, thus earning 21 seats. Prime Minister would be Hamelin, the Presidential vote went in favour of Wiltord, who, while being seen as colourless (literally), at least seemed to have some professionalism, experience and had managed to bring the war to an end.

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"The last war knows no victors. The whole continent has lost. The efforts of so many have been destroyed for the gains of so few."

-Mireille Hamelin, Premier of the Laurentine Union

 

[hr]

 

While the Union had suffered a resounding shock in the war, dislodging the economy and society as a whole from its pre-war ways, they were not the sole ones to suffer. Indeed, the war had created a shockwave across Canada. While politically the states of Kanadario and Caledonia had supported the Commonwealth in its war, already at the start of the war, this had led to widespread protests in Caledonia and indeed, the war had been quite unpopular. Worse however it would become after the war, as it became apparent, that while much destruction had been left behind, the "threat" posed by the Laurentine Union was hardly a justification for anything. Indeed, critical voices would spring up in the areas, questioning the wisdom behind the involvement of their country in a war against a fellow Canadian country, voices that grew only louder when the supposed protector of theirs, the American commonwealth, launched a most brutal campaign against the Laurentiennes. Had they deserved such? Was it warranted to bomb a country that sued for peace into submission? Soon, such critical voices would be swelling, with more followers and more questions. Was it not just Canada which had suffered during this war? Why had it been necessary to attack the Laurentiennes?

 

The whole matter however escalated quickly, when Laurentie released the prisoners it had taken from Kanadario. They, who had been in the Union would report rather little of the government terror. What terror they had seen in Québec was the terrors of war and the misery it caused. To them, the Union seemed so ill-prepared for the war they had fought, it could hardly have been the campaign to conquer Ontario. The quite mild treatment of military prisoners had caused certain fraternisation between forces, something the military command did not act against, partly out of lack of care, partly, because they realised the importance of positive relations. Rather than being enraged over the Laurentine strike, they criticised the conduct of war, which they saw as motivated by high politics, not the people that actually were fighting. One million dead, for what?

 

It was about a week after the return, when a mass revolt in Toronto took place, as two hundred thousand protesters occupied the streets and called for the president to step back for what they saw as a grave diplomatic error. Similar protests would soon start also in Windsor, Sudbury and Winnipeg, as the movement gained traction. Solidarity, not War, would become the motto of the day, and as if to underscore the sentiment, Premier Hamelin would personally announce her support for the movement. The Assemblée nationale would discuss the matter at length and the press would print covers on the matter. Apart from verbal support however, little would Hamelin do in public about the protesters, nor would the Laurentine Union as a whole. That was not to say nothing would happen, as secretly, contacts would be established and cells in the protests were created by the Lys-noir.

 

The worst however would come when under unclear circumstances, one protester got shot, while clashing with the police. Following the fallout of this incident, the government of Kanadario stepped back, the one of Caledonia followed the next day. Cheering, protesters would start flying the Faraway flag, while only god knew what the future would hold.

 

Hamelin meanwhile mused that it was a tragedy that a man got shot, but the Laurentine Union was not unopposed to working closely together with the rest of former Faraway.

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With the collapse of the several Canadian governments it would fall on the Commonwealth to restore order, dispatching troops to the various regions and securing vital infrastructure and military installations and equipment stockpiles.  While there would be some disagreement with how the war was started and their participation in it, most of the population of the former Kanadario would remember that it was them who requested that the American Commonwealth dispatch troops to protect their country.  Neither would they forget that it was the Laurentines that had fired the first shots of the war and opened it with the virtual eradication of Ottawa.  Hundreds of thousands of counter-protestors would organize against the idea of joining the nation that had devastated their own.  Regardless of the unrest, Commonwealth troops would work with local authorities re-establish order.  Gatherings and protests were permitted but violent behavior would not.  In the meantime rebuilding of the areas devastated by Laurentian military actions would start with tens of billions of dollars being earmarked for reconstruction along with large amounts of manpower from the military as well as from many civilian volunteers from the Commonwealth itself.  In the meantime the troop presence along the border with the Laurentienne Union remain, with constant surveillance.  In response to the unrest travel across the border itself would be closed for the time being except for official government business.

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The pro-Canadian protesters would stay peaceful mostly, though still highly present. "We are not rebels, but we will exercise our democratic rights.", leader of the protests in Toronto, Linda Sherwood Doyle would proclaim. And indeed, the protesters would not lift a hand. But this was the case both in opposing as well as in supporting the Commonwealth troops. Only when it seemed utterly inevitable due to causing harm to a other Ontarians, the protesters would show a minimum of support for the Commonwealth authorities. Otherwise, civil disobedience was their policy and non-cooperation their tool, in order to make visible to the Commonwealth that they were unwilling to let others decide their fate.

 

Indeed, a petition would go in to the Commonwealth authorities, signed by 453,822 people, requesting the Commonwealth to allow for the territories to chose their own future and to let them enter negotiations with the Laurentine Union.

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With violence being limited and civil order being maintained, it was decided by the Commonwealth Canadian Protectorate Administration to allow a referendum to take place to see if Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut would join the Laurentienne Union.  Monitors would be in place to ensure the referendum was accurate while Commonwealth troops provided security at voting sites.  When all the votes were in they were tallied and the results displayed.

 

Referendum Results:

 

Ontario

51.6%  In favor

48.4     Against

Manitoba

74.1%  In favor

25.9%  Against

Nunavut

17.3%  In favor

82.7%  Against

 

In line with the referendum, the Canadian Protectorate Administration would begin the process of handing over local governance to the Laurentienne government and Commonwealth troops would begin to withdraw from the area.

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In the streets, the Faraway sympathisants would celebrate, as would people in the Laurentine Union. News of the results of the referenda would reach Premier Mireille Hamelin during the flight to Washington, causing her to give a short statement in front of cameras and microphones upon landing.

 

"As Premier ministre de l'Union laurentienne, I have been informed just a short while ago, that our brothers and sisters in Ontario and Manitoba have decided to reunite with our people. Personally, my heart is rejoicing to see not only this show of solidarity among a historically united people, but also, to see that this war has led to more unity, not less. By no means is this to say the war was good or necessary, but for once, there are good news in these dark times. As Premier, it is my duty to authorise that the necessary steps be taken to expand our Union to include the new regions and to harmonise the administration as soon as possible, to allow for a seemless and unproblematic transition. This duty, I shall fulfill with joy, as it is hard to express what happiness it brought to me, to see this happening. Naturally, I shall thank the Commonwealth representatives for listening to our new citizens once we meet shortly, and I shall personally visit the new provinces, once I return, to properly welcome them back into the Faraway Union."

 

The young woman seemed quite happy, as she stated this, even though further questions would be left unanswered, as she was in a hurry.

 

In Ontario, the last units of the Armée de Québec would stay behind, two divisions strong. While they were a token force, about ten more divisions would be earmarked for being deployed to the west for the time being. Much greater than the military deployment would however be the administrative deployment that followed in their tracks, ranging from archivars, to check available documents and take registers, to police units, providing order and security, and workers, to replace public signs and flags. Due to sentiments and it being more readily available, often the Faraway flag of old would be flown, instead of the Laurentine flag used by the Union. Both however would be acceptable representations of the state, according to the old constitution.

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Following the terms laid out in the Armistice agreement and reaffirmed by the peace agreement, the Laurentine Union, now restyled the Faraway Union would undergo a constitutional reform. This process, a cooperation of Commonwealth and Laurentine authorities would produce a new political framework for the country. Altough somewhat sluggish in the beginning, this would soon produce results, establishing the Second Faraway Realm.

 

The Realm would be set up as a unitary constitutional monarchy, ruled by a monarch, the embodiment of the nation, symbol of Faraway unity and supreme commander of the Royal Faraway Forces.

 

The legislative would exist as a bicameral parliament, composed of the Royal Assembly and the Royal Chamber. The former, consisting out of 297 members would be the dominant chamber, responsible for the main decision making. Elected every 4 years by all Faraway citizens of at least seventeen years of age, mentally capable, not charged with treason, subversion or other political crimes and who bothered to go cast their vote. The votes would be counted as a national total, followed by a proportional assignment of seats. The Royal Chamber meanwhile consisted of around one hundred odd members, though the number of members would be up to the monarch, who also was responsible for appointing its members. Naturally, the Royal Chamber would be far less influential in the legislative process.

 

Ordinary laws would have to pass the Royal assembly with a simple majority and would then be put before the Royal Chamber. If the Royal Chamber agreed (also with simple majority), the bill would go before the monarch, who would have to sign it into law. If the bill was defeated by the Royal Chamber, the draft would be returned to Royal Assembly and once again be up for debate and a vote, six months after the first attempt. If this time the Royal Assembly managed to pass the bill once again, the Chamber would have no further say on the matter and the monarch was to sign the bill into law. This mechanism knew only two exceptions. First, it was the sole responsibility of the Royal assembly to approve of appointments for cabinet and the budget. Second, the Royal Chamber would have an absolute veto and would never be excluded, if it was a constitutional change, whereupon both houses would have to agree on the change with 2/3 supermajority.

 

The cabinet would consist out of a royally appointed prime minister, who however had to be conirmed by the Royal Assembly, making such appointments dependent on a majority in the legislative. All cabinet ministers then were appointed by the prime minister and would require to be confirmed by the Royal Assembly as well.

 

In order to seperate powers, the judiciary was independent from the legislative and executive. The Supreme Court of Faraway would be appointed by the monarch, as non-partisan head of state, for a duration of twenty years, with appointments having to be approved by the Royal Chamber. The Supreme Court would be tasked also with reviewing bills, to ensure that these do not conflict with the constitution.

 

Lastly, the constitution would stipulate that the name of the country was the Faraway Union, with a short form Faraway, it would regulate the official flag, bilingualism and secularism.

 

Lastly, there would be an addendum, which was an agreement of the National Assembly, the former court chaplain of Faraway and the old Faraway nobility residing within Faraway, expressing a consensus that the state should be a monarchy and that in the absence of a proper royal dynasty, the crown would pass to Liselotte Wiltord, henceforth acknowledged as Liselotte Wiltord, Queen of Faraway, Archduchess of Haute-Laurentie and Cisalbany.

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As one of the first acts, the Faraway government would pass a reconstruction program to rebuild lost infrastructure, help those suffering worst from loss of home and livelihood and to allow a return of the Realm's economic strength. This major effort would be coordinated as the Faraway Reformed Economic Policy (FREP).

 

As a first step, the state would create a number of new state-run business entities, including the Northern Mining Consortium, the Faraway Royal Estates, the Faraway Royal Merchant Flotilla, the Royal Forestries, the Royal Faraway Fisheries and Whaling Industries, and a good number more. These would be wholly-owned by the Realm and tasked with developing their respective industries, in order to create employment, goods, services and revenue. Most of these entities would be settled in ressource production and would try to capitalise on the natural riches of the land.

 

Existing industrial boards, such as the Association d'Industrie chimique de Québec (AICQ) of the Laurentine Union would be expanded to the rest of the Realm and be renamed accordingly. The Faraway Chemical Works, Faraway Royal Steel Mills and Royal Faraway Electrics would be established, in order to consolidate the hold of the Realm on major heavy industries. Also, the Faraway Advanced Electronic Research Institute and Engineering (FAERIE) would be re-established, in order to facilitate research and development, as well as production of high-quality electronics and optronics.

 

This first step would be followed on by a second step, which would be a far greater intervention, tasked with saving Faraway industrial capacity. Bancrupt and near-bancrupt facilities would be bought up en masse for 1 Faraway Pound each, their assets being then amalgamated into the larger industrial boards. Creating economies of scale, as well as using assets of the state to upgrade the industries and improve their economic viability, it was hoped that a good number of smaller businesses could be saved. What would still turn a loss would be evaluated on its strategic value and treaded accordingly, either kept against all economic rationale or closed down and converted for a different purpose. Infrastructure projects including railways and roads would be put up to better connect the industry, especially as the plan also involved moving a good number of assets away from the border and more into the interior, in order to develop the hinterlands and providing employment options in these virgin lands. Railway connection thus was a must to provide these industries with ressources at a viable cost.

 

Railways would be prioritised over roads, as it was concluded that operating railroads would need electricity, provided by a fair number of nuclear and hydro-energy projects, in contrast with the need for petroleum in cars and lorries. A Faraway Energy Policy would be put into place, to discourage further investment into sectors "wasting fossil fuels" and encouraging the investment into "renewable, clean and domestic energy". For this, the Treasury planned the construction of no less than five new CANDU reactors, to supply the nation with energy.

 

As a third step, the independent communes would be brought under state control. Through legal harrassment, by restricting their access to tractors, fuel, energy, telephone, or by making such services overly costly, the independent communes would be forced to become nationalised communes. They would then be organised in the Faraway Communal Board, in order to network their activities, to harness their productivity for the state and to use them for the development of agriculture and services in rural areas. They would thus become a second National Labour Army of cheap labour to tap for the FREP and stop being unproductive work for the national economy.

 

Lastly, to finance this, the Union would take the 100 billion of free money, goods and services from the American Commonwealth. The added 400 billion in loans would not be used, due to pressure from the noble coalition, which threatened to block the policy, if such massive debt would be made to a country that was still not to be trusted. As however this was hardly enough money to allow for paying the vast expenses that were being incurred, the FREP would also rely on the cooperation of the Royal Bank of Faraway, which would start an expansive monetary policy via quantitative easing and the clandestine printing of money.

 

Naturally, the FREP, due to its various implications, despite its impact on the development of the nation, would be passed in a closed session of the Assembly and not be made public, just as the monetary policy would not be publicised. The Realm rather preserved the public confidence in the Faraway Pound for a bit longer, given that the value of the national currency already had dropped massively.

 

And before it was forgotten, the government also agreed to fund reconstruction of bridges across the Saint Lawrence.

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Rejection of the loans as part of the financial aid offered to the Laurentienne government was unexpected, although their paranoia should have been, considering they only came with one condition and it was doubtful that the $100 billion offered otherwise would be enough to considerably rebuild the Laurentienne economy.  Another offer would be extended including a guaranteed 10 year grace period on full repayment of the loans, again with the sole condition that they could not be used for defense related spending.  In the meantime an official request would be made as to the condition of Arnault-Delareux and the issue of when she would be turned over to the Commonwealth, as the last remaining member, and leader, of the coup that had lead to the war she was not forgotten about and her transfer was a matter of importance to the Commonwealth as it was one of the fundamental issues agreed upon by the peace treaty.

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"The Faraway Realm concludes that the circumstances at this time now allow for the transport of Maréchal Evangeline Arnault-Delareux to the American Commonwealth. As Madame Arnault-Delareux still is a citizen of our country, we would expect the Commonwealth to not unreasonably infringe on her rights, including but not limited the application of cruel and/or unusual punishment and capital punishment."

-Florence de Pétèvellier, Minister of the Exterior

 

Classified

 

Arnault-Delareux would be escorted from the hospital to an armoured transport vehicle outside. While she had been comatose for quite some while, she now was again awake and somewhat active, catching up with the news and also regaining some appetite. The stay in the hospital was more than depressing, however she knew that it would not get any better when the guards knocked at her door to transport her away. "I guess it is time."

 

The car to transport her had been reinforced and armoured, in order to prevent any radicals from seizing her. The windows were tinted and the whole car was insulated to be sound-proof. But while it served to obscure the transport, it also would hide something else... When the door opened, there was already someone awaiting the former leader of the Laurentine Union. A rose-coloured dressed, long blonde hair, vermillion eyes, Arnault-Delareux sighed as she suspected what was to come. As the door closed, however, the lady would hit a friendly tone. "Have no worries. If our master wanted you silent, the doctor would end it in your room. I'm only a messenger today." Arnault-Delareux raised her eyebrow, wondering. "So, and I thought we'd not leave anything unattented. Did someone learn to trust us?" For a moment the noble lady looked at Arnault-Delareux bewildered, before starting to giggle. The former Maréchal grew slightly irritated, as she had to watch the childish behaviour of the messenger. But the lady would soon regain her composure somewhat and the giggling would settle into a mere grin, displaying the prominent canine death. One of the few recognisable traits that had earned her the nickname of Wiltords wolf or the wolf in sheep's clothing. "Excuse, but that was too good a joke. Master never trusts in anything but her own skill and in our ability to correctly meet her expectations, due to... repercussions." For a moment Arnault-Delareux sighed. "So, it is a warning?" The lady shook her head. "It is, yet it isn't. I am here to tell you that your services have not been forgotten and that you still enjoy Master's protection. She has stated that losing such a gifted Knight would be very regrettable." Had the previous words been stated with a more or less straight face, suddenly a sadistic smile would creep up. "But rest assured, I am also here to tell you that in case of betrayal of the pact, my next visit might be in the very function you suspected at the beginning of our meeting." The car would suddenly halt and before Arnault-Delareux could say a thing, the Lady had exited. Seeing her waving good-bye as the car drove on, the Maréchal sighed. It seemed that despite having been out of it for a few weeks, everything was as usual. Pieces moved on a chessboard.

 

The car would bring Evangeline Arnault-Delareux later to Detroit, where she would be handed to the Commonwealth.

 

[hr]

 

Not public

 

The loans, despite the grace period would be blocked by the Royal Assembly, as an opposition around Lady Hannah H. Hazelwood would demand more noble rights in exchange for taking a loan from the Commonwealth. Maybe it was just guessing that such was utterly unacceptable to Premier Hamelin, but in the end, the motion would be blocked and no such loan was taken. Instead, the FREP would be pursued further. Despite the market economy of Faraway about to fall apart, the Realm would try to compensate by expanding state industries. For this, the Hamelin administration would not hesitate to use drastic measures to stabilise the situation, which soon took on the form of a command economy.

 

Using the National Labour Army for cheap labour, laying train tracks, building roads and factories, cultivating the land and helping in the forests, Hamelin tried to rebuild the economy with what little she had, creating jobs for as many as possible. Naturally, this would not allow for much, given the need to still pay for goods and services, however, behind closed doors, the Royal Bank of Faraway would help out, as would private industry.

 

Toronto Heavy Ordnance Industries, Windsor Arsenal, Juutilainen Aviatik, CNV, Amelie Planchard, Hannah H. Hazelwood, Dalian de Vicidalia, Helena de Grenville, Dorothy Alcott and a handful smaller affluent people would start up the Faraway Cooperation for Industrial Development Ltd. With a capital of 500,000 Faraway Pound, the company would however only exist on paper, without actual operations. Instead, the FCID would start paying for government expenses to these private industries. As however the FCID lacked the necessary money, payment would happen in promissory notes, with a runtime of 5 years. To prevent these notes from being completely worthless, the Royal Bank of Faraway would accept to rediscount the promissory notes at any time, though an interest of 3.5% would be put on the notes, so as to discourage this from happening (and thus the bank having to print money). What would instead be done, was to either have the notes run for the full length of five years, or to have the industry use them as a form of payment for ressources produced by the state-run enterprises. The Faraway Realm would not figure into the whole affair at all, apart from a simple guarantee that it would be liable, should the company go bancrupt, something that would however not be disclosed to the general public and would not figure too prominently.

 

In essence, the Faraway Realm would utilise the FCID to pay for its expenses, racking up a additional debt, which would however not show up as sovereign debt. The system would be projected to generate about 30 billion Faraway pound in debts. The industries would not get immediate payment, but they would get orders in the reconstruction effort. Cecile Merrywater, Director of the Royal Bank of Faraway would hardly be amused about the system, however, even she couldn't deny that it was one of the few means to ensure the continued liquidity of the Realm.

Edited by Evangeline Anovilis
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While the Realm was still in shambles, the cabinet under Hamelin would pass the first Four-Year Plan for the Faraway Economy. It was deemed necessary in order to make full use of the industrial assets of the Realm, which grew by the day, through nationalisation, amalgamation and expansion of facilities. The Four-Year Plan would call for the improvement of Faraway life, through the strengthening of industry, creation of a sustainable energy policy, the objective of creating enough consumer goods to stop rationing and the modernisation of the military, by replacing older models with new equipment. All these objectives, Hamelin stated before the National Labour Army and the Wildflower Party, were integral to strengthening the position of the Realm in the modern world and to address the issues the Realm was facing.

 

According to the plan, the steel production was to be increased by over 200% to an annual output of over 43,000 metric tons, with iron ore mining to be expanded to match this productivity. Aluminium and Titanium production similarly were to be expanded, though on a more modest scale of only about 75%, with much of the bauxite necessary having to be imported. To power this, the hydro-electric and nuclear power facilities were to be upgraded, as already five new reactors were under construction. The logging industry, which had plenty of woods to chop, would undergo calculations as to how far it was possible to increase production, without causing widespread deforestation.

 

In regards to energy policy, the national policy of FREP and FYP were nearly identical. Nuclear and hydro-power as clean energy were to be increased, reliance on oil and gas to be reduced, electrical railways were to be increased, usage of cars was to be reduced as far as possible, through municipal public transport and railway. The Realm would draw up a plan for the expansion of the Royal Faraway Railway, with the largest project being a railway connection from Sept-Îles all the way to Winnipeg, via Québec, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Sudbury and Charleston. This was to be used both for cargo, as well as passengers, thus at least two tracks had to be laid, to allow for the necessary capacity. The Great Lakes, the Seawa and the Faraway Canal network were also to be used more, in order to transport bulk cargo efficiently from the interior to the coast. To make cars less of a strain, both electrical cars and cars running on alternative fuels would be encouraged.

 

Consumer goods production was thought to be started via private industry. The idea was, that once the infrastructure, market and purchasing power were there, people surely would start setting up industries for consumer goods. As however consumer goods would hardly be made just from steel and timber, light industry and high-technology industry would be subsidied, to settle in Industrial Development Zones, which were set up near Québec, Saguenay, Gatineau, Toronto and Sudbury. To increase the attractivity of Québec for industries, these areas would get lower taxes, improved connection to the national railway infrastructure, as well as investment into education, so as to keep alive a highly-qualified labour pool, from which to draw from.

 

The military modernisation would be left up to the military, however it was expected to kind of create some jobs, just by stimulating the heavy industry.

 

Also, as part of the energy policy, but also as part of the industrialisation policy, the Realm would fund research and development in the conversion of biomass into biofuel and hydrocarbons for possible use in the industry. An offspring of the Faraway Chemical Works, the Royal Hydrocarbon Research Society (RHRS) would be created to research and industrialise synthetic hydrocarbons. Overall, Faraway Chemical Works would also be subsidised, as the Realm hoped to increase the chemical industry of the country, through innovation and increases in productivity.

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