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The Commonwealth of Kahveh is located on the Hercula Major continent of Little Upsilon and is the primary country of the Kahvehn Empire. It is a constitutional monarchy (reigning monarch: King Alexander IV) with an elected parliament. The current Rijkskanzler (Imperial Chancellor, head of government) is Skandar.
The economy is mixed with a variety of state, nationalised and private industries with zero corporation tax. Kahveh is a highly developed country that is currently seeking peaceful territorial expansion.
Its population enjoy extensive civil freedoms having returned a long series of socially liberal governments, as well as a high level of living standards, in large part due to the extensive welfare state. The people are fiercely proud of the secular heritage of their country and, although religions are tolerated, the government is constitutionally forbidden from favouring any particular belief system since the Church of Kahveh was disestablished some centuries ago.
Monarchy and Head of State
The head of state is High King Alexander IV (b.2747, reigned 2767-). The position of monarch is non-political and High King Alexander IV wields no significant powers. His full title is His Imperial Majesty, High King Alexander the Fourth, by the Will of the People, of Kahveh and Norrevald, Guardian of Democracy. The last part, Guardian of Democracy, replaced the previous title of Defender of the Faith when the Church of Kahveh was disestablished during the reign of High Queen Corrine I a few centuries ago. This is the only political power that remains with the reigning monarch and its introduction was intended to guard against the possibility of parties of the extreme left or right seizing power.
Parliament and Head of Government
The Parliament of the Kahvehn Empire is bicameral - the Rijkshaus (Royal House) is the upper house, and the Mensehaus (People's House) is the lower house. The elected Mensehaus is the seat of government where the current Kanzler is Skandar as the leader of the Sociaal Demokratische Partei (SDP, Social Democrats) who gained the most seats in the last election.
As majority goverments are rare under Kahvehn's system of proportional representation (PR), the SDP is in coalition with the Groene Partei (Green Party), Liberaal Sentre (the Liberal Centre) and the Verketspartei (Labour Party). The main opposition party is the centre-right Sentrepartei who have previously been in coalition with the Kristiaanvolkspartei (KVP, Christian People's Party) and the Liberaal Alliance.
The Rijkshaus, which originally was populated by the heads of the Nobel Houses of Kahveh, is now 66% elected (again under proportional representation) and 33% appointed. The decision to keep a minority of appointed places in the Upper House was controversial when it passed, but is intended to keep a certain minimum of political expertise in the House. Appointed places are reserved for former politicians, industrialists and scientists. The KVP have been very vocal in their opposition to the removal of Bishops from the Rijkshaus (a result of the disestablishment of the Church of Kahveh), but have been unsuccessful in their campaign for their reinstatement as a couple have been voted in under the PR system so their arguments that the appointment of Bishops is required to bring a moral element to political discourse has not washed with the electorate.
Election Results, 2800The Sociaal Demokratische Partei maintained its share of the vote and entered into coalition with the Groene Partei, Liberaal Sentre and Verketspartei. The results are shown in the chart, right.
A fimbriated tricolour, charged with the Coat of Arms of the House of Kahveh. The three colours represents the three aims of the Kahvehn Empire, peace, prosperity and equality. The Kahvehn Arms contain six crowns in the first quarter representing the Six Kings of Old who united and elected one of their number as High King. The second quarter contains the Imperial Eagle, the third contains a ship representing the former overseas colonies of the Old Kahvehn Empire and the final quarter contains two olive branches representing the Empire's quest for peace.
The Kahvehn Empire has a regulated market economy with the aim of shielding the population from the worst excesses of the capitalist system. Its diverse economic base focusses primarily on heavy industry and high technology products with a significant portion devoted to mining and government-related industries.
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The Rijkskahvehn Handelen Gruppen
The Rijkskahvehn Handelen Gruppen (RHG, Royal Kahvehn Trading Company) is the investment arm of the Kahvehn Empire. Originally set up to develop its former colonial adventures (several centuries ago), it now plays a less imperial role in the economy of the Empire and allied countries.
Public Provision of Infrastructure
Centuries ago, most infrastructure (road, rail and water) was built and run by private companies in Kahveh. This situation came to an end after a major local crash in the water maintenance market. Fierce competition between water companies in the main cities led to falling prices and duplicated networks that were never used to capacity. Outside of the main cities, water provision was limited due to lack of investment and few households could afford the higher rural prices.
As the water companies were barely profitable, and following a series of devasting epidemics in urban areas due to poor water quality, the government stepped in and nationalised them as the Rijksvasserverket (Royal Water Works). With a new social democratic coalition in power, similar proposals were put forward to help repair the crumbling road and rail infrastructure.
This ultimately led to the National Infrastructure Act of 2580 which obligated the government to provide sufficient maintenance for its road, rail and water infrastructure through nationalised industries, or through partnership with the RHG. For the past two centuries, Kahveh has boasted excellent infrastructure provision which has enabled considerable economic development that would not have been possible had the empire relied solely on private companies.
At the turn of the 29th Century, this policy proved its worth when a sudden shortage in water maintenance caused Water Treatment installations in large numbers of countries to shut down due to lack of maintenance. The Kahvehn Empire was entirely unaffected by this shortage saving itself a significant reconstruction cost.
Language and Religion
The native tongue of the Empire is Kavehn although this is now only spoken as a first language by a small minority of the population. Most of the country speaks either English, Swedish or Dutch as a first language. Many citizens have mastered three or even all four major languages in the country, as well as Esperanto. All official business is conducted in Kahvehn or Esperanto.
The Kahvehn Empire is a secular nation. All citizens have the freedom of and from religion. Only 22% consider themselves affiliated to an organised religion although 31% profess a belief in a god or gods.
The Church of Kahveh was disestablished centuries ago during the reign of High Queen Corrine I. This followed a series of damaging scandals involving cover-ups of child abuse by the Church hierarchy in order to maintain the reputation and wealth of the Church. Following exposure, a number of dioceses were bankrupted by the settlement payments, church attendance slumped and the process of dismantling the political power of the Church was begun.
Despite once claiming almost 90% attendance in the population, the Church of Kahveh is no longer even the largest church grouping in Kahveh.
The majority of the population are ethnically Kahvehn, although earlier large-scale immigration from former colonies has led to a significant number of different ethnic groups present in the country (upwards of 20%). Cultural diversity is encouraged, but immigrants are expected to adapt somewhat to the local culture. This open attitude to different cultures has meant minimal tension between ethnic groups in all constituent countries of the empire.
The country is highly urbanised with over a third of the population clustered around the Svartenälv (Black River). This is a legacy of previous colonial adventures (the river is navigable as far inland as the capital and used to be the site of a major shipbuilding industry) and industrial development.
Concerned by the authoritarian tendencies of a neighbouring state, the Democratic Union of Clossa, the Commonwealth of Kahveh decided to bring good government to the Clossan people and declared war on 3 May 2788. The war lasted 14 days and caused some embarrassment to the military leadership of Kahveh as it highlighted severe problems with the military's logistics and availability of ammunition. Far too many lives were lost on both sides and three units of the Rijksluftforz (Imperial Air Force) were decimated. Ultimately, it was the brave actions of one particular unit of the Rijksarmee that secured victory for Kahveh. The Long Range Division, LRD So Much for Subtlety was granted the highest military honours for the heroic undertakings towards the end of the war.
Reconstruction and incorporation into the Kahvehn Empire took a rather short 13 months at a cost of some trillions of SC dollars and Clossa became the latest Dominion to join the Empire as the Commonwealth of Norrevald. Since incorporation, the title Prince of Norrevald has traditionally been granted to the next in line to the throne.
During the latter part of the 28th Century, one of the board of directors of the Rijkskahvehn Handelen Gruppen made a unilateral decision to purchase a Nuclear Submarine factory for the Company. It had become available with no warning and the director feared that if he didn't act, it would be bought up by a competitor or non-friendly agent. This proved to be one of the most controversial actions in the history of the Kahvehn Empire, in part due to the fact that the decision was taken by a sole individual with no consultation with the board of directors, the CEO, nor the Kahvehn Government.
The acquisition was declared to the Kahvehn Government as required by law for all strategic products and materials. This led to a long and bitter debate in both Houses of the Landsraad as to whether the Empire should pursue a nuclear weapons programme. By a small majority, the Mensehaus (lower house) voted to pass the Pegasus Act licensing the RHG to provide nuclear submarines and missiles for the Empire's military. It took another 5 months for the Act to be ratified by the Rijkshaus (upper house) by which point the first nuclear submarines had already been delivered.
The Rijkshaus insisted on two ammendments to the Act. Firstly, that all nuclear materials produced by the RHG (including surplus plutonium and weapons grade uranium) had to be sold through the Empire to ensure that they went to a licensed end-user that was acceptable within the foreign policy aims of the Empire. Secondly, that nuclear weapons of the Empire must never be used in a first strike. This enshrined the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) in Kahvehn Law and was meant to reassure all countries within range of the weapons that they would not be under any additional threat from the Empire.
This may be the first case of an empire accidentally starting a nuclear weapons programme. In fact, completion of the programme took another 7 years as the RHG raced to complete its supply chain for nuclear missiles. The Kahvehn Military had a large number of submarines years before it ever gained the weapons systems needed to fire nuclear missiles.