Zeitgeist Magazine's Utania This Week
July 9th, 301 AP


Election

Utanians went to the polls this week, on Saturday, in the country's second free parliamentary election, only nine months after the last one, and returned an even more uncertain result than last time. A 2% swing to the government has actually resulted in the government gaining only five of the determined thirteen new seats. A swing against the government in Lasanne and Nystonia states appears to have resulted in the government being an estimated single seat behind victory. Four seats are so close, they await postal votes.

Zeitgeist Magazine published an article asking who the anonymous faces of the Utani Saedaj Party (USP) were. The USP share government with the Peoples Party, but few know their policies, let alone their leaders, yet they still won over three million votes at the last election.

The election has, however, been disrupted by the failure of the Fenizibad government to support the Utanian election. Envelopes posted to the Utanian embassy that contain cast ballots are being denied passage through Feniz. So far the government says the impact should be negligible and is negotiating with the Fenizian government to allow passage of the ballots at least into the country from overseas. The few Utanians living in Feniz who postal voted cannot now vote at the embassy instead.

Aij Utani embarassment

Aij Utani, Utania's major airline, was severely embarassed on Sunday when it was forced to cancel flights to and from the South Bay capital, Lochboer, for apparently some days when it's only plane that flies through the city was grounded due to technical difficulties. The company says engineers will be flown in to provide repairs, but, due to a dispute with South Bay airlines, the passengers are essentially "stuck" in Lochboer for the time being. Opposition figures blame the government for failing to provide the company with additional planes it requires, but also accused management of a belligerent attitude toward passengers trapped in Lochboer.

A second Utanian has won in the IGT. Utanian golden-boy Amea Aretasuna won the Open of the Realm in Kalesthesia on Wednesday in a playoff against Somerish player Emerill Shonaugh. The thrilling showdown was neck and neck, and broadcast overnight on Utanian television, TV1. The fourth day resulted in a draw that forced the play-off, after Aretasuna missed a two-stroke 5 metre putt, with some commentators saying he simply couldn't handle the pressure. During the play-off, he kept his putting almost perfectly, and won 70-72 over Shonaugh. The win resulted in celebration throughout his home-region in eastern Savana state where Aretasuna is a local hero and one of the biggest philanthropists. A supporter of James Angorit's Progressive Party, many credit his win with the significant support for the party in Saturday's election.

Utanian poverty in numbers

Reserve Bank economists finally modelled Utanian incomes, and say that half the country earns less than Û12,000 a year, and that an income of only Û30,000 would put the earner in the top 20% of earners in the country. The economists also calculated the Lorenz ratio, the ratio of the income of the top and bottom 20% earners of the country, which is said to be a good indicator of "economic fairness", to be 18.9 for Utania, which is about twice the "recommended" maximum.

The Reserve also expects the government to raise Û82.5 billion in revenues this year, after finally calculating that income taxes should yield Û43.4 billion. The rest will be made up from dividends from companies owned by the government, and corporate taxes.

The President told a youth radio station in Luka that his administration would make Utania "significantly greener". He said that poverty and the environment were his two major platforms.


©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.

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©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)