Sanctaria

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Divine Republic of Sanctaria
Flag of Sanctaria
Flag
Official Arms of Sanctaria
Coat of Arms
Motto: Dura Lex Sed Lex
Anthem: Nearer My God To Thee
Sanctaria
Sanctaria (in dark purple) in the Eastern portion of the IDU
CapitalSanctus
Official languagesEnglish
Recognised national languagesFrench, Latin
Ethnic groups (2008)87% Sanctarian
13% unspecified and others
DemonymSanctarian
GovernmentUnitary Constitutional Parliamentary Republic
Marian Woodstrom
Charlene Hendry
Establishment
• Papal States of Sanctaria
c. 1215 AD
• Divine Republic of Sanctaria
19 November 1974 AD
Area
• Total
4,422,773 km2 (1,707,642 sq mi)
Population
• 2013 census
507,416,607
• Density
116.0/km2 (300.4/sq mi)
HDI (2016)0.92
very high
CurrencySanctarian Pound (SCN)
Time zoneSST
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Drives on theleft
Calling code+357
Internet TLD.sct

The Divine Republic of Sanctaria, commonly referred to as Sanctaria or the Divine Republic, is a sovereign state located in the east of the International Democratic Union. It shares land borders with Sciongrad to the south east, with the Schnauzer Homelands to the north, and a water border with Nimali to the south.

Sanctaria is a unitary state and constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy, with its seat of government in Sanctus, the capital city.

Sanctaria is a very highly developed country, with a very high Human Development Index rating, and ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP. It is a member of the World Assembly, among various other international and interregional organisations. The country is also ranked highly for press freedom, economic freedom and democracy and political freedom.

Etymology[edit]

History[edit]

Early Years[edit]

Before 1215, the land now known as Sanctaria was occupied by various tribes, each with their own portion of land and a chieftain to govern them. While they were all uniquely different, there was one common factor - they were all followers of Christianity, and more specifically, the Sanctarian Catholic Church, after an SCC Bishop by the name of Caraladus travelled the land in 985 and converted many of the tribal chieftains. However, the tribal rule of Sanctaria soon came to an end once Patriarch Mark II took over the Sanctarian Catholic Church in 1209. His greed and cunning enabled him to corrupt the chieftains and convince all of them to hand over their lands to the Church and, as a result him. By 1215 this had happened and Mark II declared the formation of the Papal States of Sanctaria, though in reality it was just a singular state.

The End of the Papal States[edit]

And so it was until 1972 when the ailing Patriarch Aequitas IV decided that upon his death, Sanctaria would become free of the Church rule and would return to the people. In his finals years he saw a new constitution was written and passed and that once he died, Sanctaria would become a Divine Republic, a parliamentary republic, governed by new laws. When he died in 1974, the first ever elections took place, not just electing a legislature, but a new Head of State, now represented by the President. The Sanctarian Catholic Church was also reorganised in Aequitas IV's final years, become the Church of Sanctaria and the new country's official religion.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

The climate of the Divine Republic is of a temperate, continental nature, with a maritime climate prevailing on the western coasts and a mediterranean climate in the south. The climate is strongly conditioned by an ocean current in the west, which warms the western region to levels unattainable at similar latitudes on other continents. Western Sanctaria is oceanic, while eastern Sanctaria is continental and dry. Four seasons occur in western Sanctaria, while southern Sanctaria experiences a wet season and a dry season.

Southern Sanctaria is hot and dry during the summer months. The heaviest precipitation occurs downwind of water bodies due to the prevailing westerlies, with higher amounts also seen in the Ridgeback mountain range. Tornadoes occur within Sanctaria, but tend to be weak.

Biodiversity[edit]

Life before human activity is said to have arrived by the “3 W’s”: wind (carried through the air), waves (brought by ocean currents), and wings (birds, insects, and whatever they brought with them). This wide range of environments (extreme altitude, tropical climate) produced a vast array of endemic flora and fauna.

Politics[edit]

Sanctaria is a constitutional parliamentary republic and is a member state of the World Assembly. The Houses of Parliament is a bicameral parliament composed of the President, the Senate as the upper house and the House of Deputies as the lower house. Eagleton Manor is the official residence of the President of Sanctaria, while both Houses of Parliament meet at Parliament House in Sanctus.

The President serves as head of state, and is elected for a ten to twelve-year term and may be re-elected twice. The President is primarily a figurehead, but is entrusted with certain constitutional powers. The President has absolute discretion in some areas, such as referring a bill to the Supreme Court for a judgement on its constitutionality. Once the House of Deputies elects the head of government, the President appoints that person as the Prime Minister. Most Prime Ministers have served as the leader of the political party that gains the most seats in national elections. The Prime Minister then appoints the Government.

The Senate is composed of one hundred members, with two members from each of the 50 boroughs of Sanctaria directly elected in a first-past-the-post system. The House of Deputies has had 550 members (MPs) elected to represent multi-seat constituencies under the system of proportional representation and by means of the single transferable vote.

There are various political parties represented in the Houses of Parliament but in the current parliament, the largest parties are the Government party, the Sanctarian Conservative Party and the Official Opposition party, the Democratic Left Party.

Law[edit]

Sanctaria has a common law legal system with a written constitution that provides for a parliamentary democracy. The court system consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeal, the High Court, the Circuit Court and the District Court, all of which apply the law of Sanctaria. Trials for serious offences must usually be held before a jury. The High Court and the Supreme Court have authority, by means of judicial review, to determine the compatibility of laws and activities of other institutions of the state with the constitution and the law. Except in exceptional circumstances, court hearings must occur in public.

The Sanctarian Police Force, more commonly referred to as the SPF, is the state's civilian police force. The force is responsible for all aspects of civil policing, both in terms of territory and infrastructure. It is headed by the Police Commissioner, who is appointed by the Government. Most uniformed members do not routinely carry firearms. Standard policing is traditionally carried out by uniformed officers equipped only with a baton.

Local Government[edit]

The Local Government Act 1898 is the founding document of the present system of local government. It was originally passed by the Pontifical Commission under Patriarch Pius IX so it would be easier to collect tariffs and dues from his citizens. The different boroughs created by Pius in 1898 were officially recognised in the constitution creating the Divine Republic. The Local Government Act 2001 established a three-tier structure, with the top tier consisting of the city councils. The second tier consisted of the county boroughs while the third tier consisted of various town and village councils.

Foreign Relations[edit]

Sanctaria is a member of the World Assembly, permanently represented in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, a member of the United Defenders League (UDL), the Ryberg Institute of Mutual Trade, the Vanguard, the IDU Council, and is a member state of the International Democratic Union (IDU). Sanctaria is also closely allied with the region Eastern Islands of Dharma; the overseas protectorate of Buckingham is located in this region. Other allies include other Vanguard members, and members of other defending organisations, such as the FRA. Sanctaria's global presence and influence is further amplified through its trading relations, foreign investments, official development assistance and armed forces.

Military[edit]

The Sanctarian Defence Forces involves the Army, Navy, Air Force and Reserve Defence Force. It is small but well equipped, with almost 100,000 full-time military personnel. This is mainly due to Sanctaria's policy of neutrality. The President is the formal Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces, but in practice it answers to the Government via the Secretary for Defence.

Economy[edit]

The Sanctarian economy has transformed since the 1980s from being predominantly agricultural to a modern knowledge economy focused on high technology industries and services. The country now has a social market economy with a highly skilled labour force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption, and a high level of innovation.

The top exports of Sanctaria include vehicles, electronic products, electrical equipments, pharmaceuticals, transport equipments, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics.

Transport[edit]

Sanctaria has scores of international airports scattered across the nation which serve many regional, interregional and worldwide routes with scheduled and chartered flights. Railway and Subway services operate across the country, with the latter concentrated in the cities and large towns. Motorways and national highways are maintained by the National Highway Authority, which smaller roads are maintained by the county borough they pass through. Public bus systems also operate across the country.

Trade and Energy[edit]

Although multinational corporations dominate Sanctaria’s export sector, exports contribute significantly to the national income. The country is one of the largest exporters of pharmaceutical and software-related goods and services in the region and, indeed, the world. Food exports include coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, and sugarcane. Natural gas and oil extraction occurs at the gas and oil fields in the southern and western oceans.

Demographics[edit]

Sanctaria has one of the fastest growing populations in the region. This can be attributed to low death rates, high birth rates and immigration. The population of Sanctaria currently stands at 4.65bn as of 2011. 89% of the population has a "White Ethnic" background.

Healthcare[edit]

The Secretary for Health has responsibility for setting overall health service policy. Every individual resident in Sanctaria is entitled to receive health care through the public health care system, which is managed by the Sanctarian Health Authority, though this is being phased out, and funded by general taxation. A person may be required to pay a subsidised fee for certain health care received; this depends on income, age, illness or disability. All maternity services are provided free of charge and children up to the age of 6 months. Emergency care is provided free of charge to any person admitted through the casualty department. Private health insurance is available to the population for those who want to avail of it.

The average life expectancy in Sanctaria is 103.6 years. It has a high birth rate and a very low infant mortality rate.

Education[edit]

Sanctaria has three levels of education: primary, secondary and higher education. The education systems are largely under the direction of the Government via the Secretary for Education and Science. Recognised primary and secondary schools must adhere to the curriculum established by the relevant authorities. Education is compulsory between the ages of six and fifteen years, and all children up to the age of eighteen must complete the first three years of secondary.

Third-level education awards are conferred by more than 205 Higher Education Institutions. These are the degree-awarding authorities approved by the Government and can grant awards at all academic levels.. Primary, secondary and higher level education are all free in Sanctaria.

Religion[edit]

Religious freedom is constitutionally provided for in Sanctaria. The Church of Sanctaria is the country's official religion, but it is not compulsory to be a member of the Church. Sanctaria's patron saint is St. George. Religious studies is an option module in secondary school.

Culture[edit]

Society[edit]

The receding influence of the Sanctarian Catholic Church and the effects of immigration have led to Sanctaria becoming an increasingly secularised society. Discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, religion, race or membership of an ethnic minority is illegal. Sanctaria became the first country in the region to introduce a public smoking ban in 2008.