Soboko

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Flag of Soboko

The Soboko Republic is a country on the southwest coast of the continent Tarephia. The capital is Brindlecat City, which has a population of 13 million.

History

The country was first settled in 1600 C.E. by a loose coalition of atheists, agnostics, pantheists, Wiccans, and others. They had heard legends about the Catham Sea - an inland body of water, protected by mountains, with salinity similar to the ocean. It was "calme, brade, and folle of riches, paupuleighted with all kaends of fishes" (according to an unknown poet of the time). They did not wish to settle on the ocean shore, where the seas were rough and they would be subject to invasions or piracy.

After a long trek inland, they found the legendary sea, and settled in what is now Catham.

The early Sobokians wished to create a society based on tolerance and science and went to some lengths to erase various vestiges of the past.

Sobokians adopted Metric Time (10 hours per day, 100 minutes per hour, 100 seconds per minute). There are 100,000 seconds in a Sobokian day. Most of the planet continues to use the traditional 24/60/60 split, which works out to 86,400 seconds per day.

Shortly after settling the country, Sobokians also adopted a new calendar (now known as "Soboko Era", or S.E.), with the Zero Year being set to the year in which the initial settlers reached the Catham Sea. 0 S.E. is equivalent to 1600 C.E.

People

According to the 410 (S.E.) Census, the population of the country is 124 million. Around 25 million live in or around Brindlecat City, Catham, or Meep City. These cities have grown into a large urban conglomeration on the western shore of the Catham Sea.

Government

The government consists of three separate and co-equal branches - the legislative, judicial, and executive branches.

Legislative

The legislative branch consists of two separate chambers, the Assembly and the Senate. Each chamber has 248 members. The number of members is adjusted after each census so that each member represents roughly 500,000 people.

Assembly

The Assembly is non-geographic in nature. Members are elected once every three years. The election process works as follows:

  • Any citizen can register as a candidate (two to three months in advance of an election, but not before).
  • On Election Day, citizens can rank up to ten candidates in order of preference.
  • The top 248 candidates are selected using a ranked-choice algorithm.

Senate

The Senate is geographic in nature, and members are elected once every seven years. The election process works as follows:

  • After every census, an algorithm is used to divide the country into districts of around 500,000 people each. When drawing district boundaries, priority is given to city, city-state, and state boundaries. The algorithm also tries to minimize the perimeter of any given district.
  • Any citizen residing in a given district can register as a candidate to represent that district (two to three months in advance of an election, but not before).
  • On Election Day, citizens can rank up to ten candidates *for their district* in order of preference.
  • The top candidate for each district is selected using a ranked-choice algorithm.

Judicial

The judicial branch of government consists of the court system. Similar to the legislative branch, there are geographic and non-geographic courts.

Regional Courts

Regional courts deal with cases that affect a specific geographic area. There are regional courts at the city, city-state, and state levels. Most petty criminal cases are handled by the regional courts.

National Courts

The National Courts handle cases that either 1) cross state lines, or 2) have potentially far-reaching implications for case law in other states.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court consists of 13 members ("justices"). The selection process works as follows:

  • Each Justice serves a term of 13 years. The terms are staggered so that one Justice is replaced every year.
  • In any given year, there can be six Justices from regional courts and seven from the national courts, or vice versa.
  • In a year when a Regional Court justice is being replaced, the President will choose a replacement candidate from the Regional Court system, and the Assembly will vote on that candidate.
  • In a year when a National Court justice is being replaced, the President will choose a replacement candidate from the National Court system, and the Senate will vote on that candidate.

Executive

The executive branch is responsible for enforcing laws. It includes the president, vice president, and ministries responsible for specialized government functions (such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Infrastructure).

Presidential elections are held once every five years. The election process works as follows:

  • Any citizen can register as a candidate (two to three months in advance of an election, but not before).
  • On Election Day, citizens can rank up to ten candidates in order of preference.
  • The top candidate is selected using a ranked-choice algorithm.

Geography

Several large mountain ranges run through Soboko, and some of the peaks are quite high - enough to keep year-round glaciers. There are deserts, rain forests, and grasslands.