What IS a Zeitgeist?
Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian
people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported
The Wisdom of Solomon
He will lead a fractured nation of forty million people soon enough, a country
desperate for determined leadership, in need of the Wisdom of Solomon to solve the problems
dividing the people. Yet does anyone know the man who will lead, the challenges he faces, and
the problems this country has?
Thirty two years ago, a young Democrat MP in the Horn of Olives provincial Parliament
stated laid the rules of what an "Utani leader" should be: "WE are the leaders of the
province, let us lead by example in this way!" He was killed some seventeen years later by
forces loyal to the Guwimithian regime in what is now Lasanne, but his legacy, the Peoples
Party continues. He was Abraham Okarvits.
This week, that legacy became the leading party in the parliament of a united Utania,
the first democratic Parliament in the peoples history, and that man's son is about to be
elected as the first President of Utania.
Great challenges await
And just as Abraham Okarvits was a paragon, a forthright leader who sowed the seeds of
Utanian independence more than any other, his son will need that quality as he is to face some
of the greatest challenges any leader could face. And the consequences if he is not a good
enough leader: the future stability of the country.
Utania may appear to be a normal "western" capitalist democracy, but years of nepotism,
corruption and mismanagement have rendered the economy heavily imbalanced. The Utanian
government has inherited every Tsarist possession, and any of those of his court, making it
the single largest element in the economy, making up almost two-thirds of it. And if that
isn't enough, "sweetheart" deals have put 70-90% of the non-government economy in the hands
of the few, people who had Tsarists as their co-owners.
Those who resisted the regime were refused participation in the economy. Only the past
thirty years of limited self-rule has done anything to prevent that. Now that they have their
freedom, they expect the country they built but were refused participation in will be turned
over to them. Alas, to do so fairly requires the wisdom of Solomon.
For example, the monolithic Belson Corporation, formerly co-owned by the Guwimith Tsar
himself, the company dominates agriculture in Utania. It effectively buys a third to a half
(no one knows the exact figure, because no one knows the size of the economy) of all
agricultural produce, paying the farmers poor amounts for their crops, then sells the produce
at greatly inflated prices.
Wages for manufacturing workers are amongst the lowest in the world. Good for businesses,
once owned by the Tsar and his cronies, who made enormous profits off the backs of the labour.
So, does President Okarvits have the wisdom of Solomon? Does he have the necessary
backing to do what the Utani people demand without resorting to totalitarian devices to
If the election were held two weeks ago...
Unfortunately, he may not have much of a chance to implement such reforms. Professor Kapur,
the nation's eminent political analyst has worked through the results of the election and
determined that "President Hope" is still a possibility in a year's time.
"Assuming that all Socialist, Yannist, Republican, Liberal, Utani-Saedaj and Peoples
Party voters would have voted for Okarvits, while the 'right-wing six' plus the nationalists
would have voted for Hope in a run-off election, in the election two weeks ago", explains
Professor Kapur, "then it seems almost certain that we would now have a President Hope, not
Utania's Presidential election system is first a vote for all presidential candidates,
followed by a run-off between the two most favoured candidates. And winning is not by popular
votes, but the number of seats they win, as in Parliamentary seats from each of the
electorates. Obviously, Hope would have won at least 24 seats in the first vote. Such an
election is due in September 301, and four years exactly thereafter, but most politicians are
keen to see Presidential elections had in January of 302, 306, 310, etc...
"Hope would have won the run-off vote 74 to 66, and by a popular vote of 13,134,328
votes to Okarvits' 10,375,400 votes", says Professor Kapur. "This should be a sobering thought
for President Okarvits - he has twelve months to win over some two million voters."
Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?
©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)