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Michaelangelo

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(Are the Administration Act and Lead Ministry Act not incompatible with each other?)

((The Administration Act would override the Lead Ministry Act, since it removes the position being referenced to, so technically yes. If they both pass, we'll probably have to have a second vote to clarify things, such as the role of the Second Minister.))

* * * * *

((Private))

Emperor Alfons IX listened carefully to all that was being said in the Assembly. He often sat in on sessions of the Assembly and the Cortz, for he'd be a poor ruler if he did not take interest in the affairs of the Parliament he had created. Of course this time was different. He was not sitting in ornate wooden throne at the front of the Assembly, something he was glad of since the chair was quite uncomfortable. When the new Parliament building had been constructed, the designers had suggested a throne made of solid gold with red velvet cushions, but Alfons had found that to be too much. The refined elegance of the carefully carved designs of the wooden throne seemed more fitting than the overbearing showmanship of a golden throne. Instead, Alfons was sitting amongst the Assemblymen, sitting near the back amongst a group of Royalists. No one knew he was here, other than the kindly gentleman who had allowed him to borrow his seat for a session. He had taken some efforts to change his appearance so he wouldn't be recognized. He wanted to see what went on during the sessions he wasn't present. Of course he could just read over the records, and indeed he did quite often, but that was not the same as being present. He had the feeling that there was conflict going on within Parliament but he had not been able to see it fully while present as emperor. Now he sat back and listened.

It soon became clear what was going on. On one side were those serving the interests of the Crown, or at least what they perceived as its interests. They were his loyal supporters, who would favour absolutism over any form of parliamentary government any day. Alfons did appreciate their support for his reign, for trust had always been hard for him to come by after the events of his teenage years. Yet their attempts to keep all power and decisions in the hands of the Emperor or the Cabinet was keeping the Parliament, the institution that Alfons himself had created, from developing and growing into something better. Then there were the reformers, the ones who wanted to reform the Parliament into something better able to advise him, or perhaps even govern in some capacity. They wanted to changed the Parliament, something Alfons could support, for he well knew that the system was flawed as any such major institution so newly created was oft to be. Yet there was always this nagging fear buried deep with his subconscious since the Hispanian Civil War that made him wary of their intentions. He hoped they merely wanted to make the Parliament better able to advise him during his rule, but could he afford to allow any power to transfer from the Crown to Parliament? All it would take was one cunning and ruthless person to subvert that power and use it for their own ends. He did not want to be made powerless and forced from his home again, fearing for his own life and the fate of Hispania. Was it corrupt for him to cling to his own royal power if he only wanted it to ensure he could keep Hispania safe? Part of him still longed for a balance of powers in government, a way to ensure no one held too much power. He could still remember as a child wanting to be the monarch to put forth a constitution. Yet that dream had died when Montségur appeared. Alfons could never allow such a thing to happen now. He needed the power that came with his crown to be able to squash any tyrant that tried to arise like the bug they were. Perhaps it seemed hypocritical to maintain absolutism to ensure no one could become too powerful, but as long as he was in charge he'd make it work.

As for now, he had a serious dilemma to deal with. It seemed clear that the two sides in Parliament would continue to butt heads, and as a result nothing would get done and the system would degrade. The deadlock had to be broken. As a recess was called for the Assembly, Alfons slipped away and removed his disguise in private. It was time he addressed the Parliament as emperor. The time for action was not now, but it was drawing near. He would speak before them and hope to spur some change in the situation, but if things worsened he would be forced to step in. The outcome of the vote would determine the path he'd take.

* * * * *

((Public))

JpsioAG.png

I must admit I am a bit surprised by the response to these reforms. It seems almost everyone has taken an all or nothing approach. Perhaps it is time I voice my opinion on the acts being proposed.

The Assembly Ministry Act seems a decent means to ensure the people's representatives are better represented in government, although I understand how some may perceive this as infringing on the royal prerogative and the Crown's ability to choose ministers freely. I personally do not feel the restriction too limiting, although I do find it biased towards the Assembly since it does not mention the Cortz. Of course there may be the worry that it will limit the ability to appoint minister who are capable but outside the Assembly.

The Lead Ministry Act similarly seems well equipped to solve some problems inherent in the Cabinet, but as with the earlier act might be interpreted as infringing on the Crown's ability to choose the Prime Minister.

As for the Second Amendment to the Parliament Act, it has my full support. The argument that all appointed representatives should be moved to the Cortz, thus making the Assembly purely elective, has merit. It would thus make the Assembly better representative of the people and the Cortz more representative of the Crown and the nobility. Of course I would not push forth such changes without the Cortz's approval. I understand that the nobility may feel that such a change to their parliamentary body might infringe upon the new rights granted to them. If the nobles want to ensure the Cortz is purely representative of their own, then I will not force the issue.

The Third Amendment to the Parliament Act equally has my support as a means to ensure the Assembly is purely elected, but as with the Second Amendment I defer to the Cortz on the matter.

I still have concerns about the Religious Offices Act, for I am not certain that a committee will perform better than a minister, or that it is necessary to have two bodies similar in nature existing to deal with religious affairs.

As for the Administration Act, I am flattered that there are those who would prefer I directly manage the Cabinet and affairs of state. If the Parliament believes that will be best, I will accept such responsibility. However, I also believe that the position of prime minister was created for a reason. With Hispania as large as it is, it was decided that one man, even a monarch, cannot manage both affairs the of the Crown and the state. Having a prime minister to take care of the latter relieved that burden and ensured a more efficient government. Of course, there is nothing that says an emperor cannot serve as their own prime minister. If I recall correctly, my grandfather served as his own prime minister after the attempt on his life. Personally, it seems more logical to me to keep the position of prime minister around, but if necessary the monarch can step in and take over the responsibilities.

The Franco-Austrian War has been on my mind as of late. It is not an easy decision, yet I feel myself inclined to favour France. They have stood by us for centuries, and it would be a shame to toss away that alliance. It would have been better if they had not tried to draw us into this situation in the first place and turn us against our other ally. Perhaps if it was against someone other than Austria I would reconsider. While I have favoured reconciliation, their betrayal still stings and I cannot in good conscience choose Austria over France. It will be a stain on my honour to dishonour a call-to-arms against an aggressor, but it cannot be helped. Austria dug their own grave when they betrayed us and now they must deal with the consequences.

Now I must deal with some personal concerns. I wish to request that members of the Assembly stop referring to my mother as "Prime Despot". Perhaps you do not agree with her actions or decisions, but I take it as a personal insult to hear her referred to as such. We should be above such name-calling. Yet this body was created for the sole purpose of advising the Crown on how best to govern the realm to meet the people's needs, and at times I feel that the Cabinet is ignoring such advice. We must be open to all sides of the arguments presented here and listen carefully so that we can pursue the best option. I ask that the ministers listen more carefully to what is being said and accept that some of the advice is actually worthy of consideration rather than simply denouncing everything that proposes any form of change. If the Cabinet cannot better represent those it serves, then perhaps I will have to ensure its composition better represents Hispania.

- His Imperial Highness, Alfons IX de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks
 
Last edited:

hirahammad

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((I wish all our kings were less enlightened :D; insulting the King's mother, even slightly, would usually be cause for summary execution with less tolerant men.;) Unfortunately, it seems whenever we get an heir with negative qualities, he dies. :mad: ))

((Edit: It technically isn't a deadlock yet, the Royalists are sweeping the floor with their high-VP supporters. ;) ))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Edit: It technically isn't a deadlock yet, the Royalists are sweeping the floor with their high-VP supporters. ;) ))

((It's a deadlock when all reforms, even those the Emperor somewhat supports, are shot down. :D))

* * * * *

((While I remember, I'm considering making some changes to the voting system. I find the relationship between VP and Parliament has some issues and I'm going to try to devise a system that separates them more. This should allow me to actually show Parliament composition, since VP shouldn't be determining it every time someone's VP changes. I also find it backwards that VP comes from positions and thus changes the parliamentary composition, when it should be that positions are more likely to go to those who have more representation in Parliament. Anyway, while developing a new system, one thing I'll need is to know everyone's party or faction affiliation. If you are part of a party or faction, can you post it so I can keep track of it. If you are not part of a faction, which is completely fine, I will just consider you independent and you don't need to post.))
 

Mach Twelve

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((The Administration Act would override the Lead Ministry Act, since it removes the position being referenced to, so technically yes. If they both pass, we'll probably have to have a second vote to clarify things, such as the role of the Second Minister.))

* * * * *

((Private))

Emperor Alfons IX listened carefully to all that was being said in the Assembly. He often sat in on sessions of the Assembly and the Cortz, for he'd be a poor ruler if he did not take interest in the affairs of the Parliament he had created. Of course this time was different. He was not sitting in ornate wooden throne at the front of the Assembly, something he was glad of since the chair was quite uncomfortable. When the new Parliament building had been constructed, the designers had suggested a throne made of solid gold with red velvet cushions, but Alfons had found that to be too much. The refined elegance of the carefully carved designs of the wooden throne seemed more fitting than the overbearing showmanship of a golden throne. Instead, Alfons was sitting amongst the Assemblymen, sitting near the back amongst a group of Royalists. No one knew he was here, other than the kindly gentleman who had allowed him to borrow his seat for a session. He had taken some efforts to change his appearance so he wouldn't be recognized. He wanted to see what went on during the sessions he wasn't present. Of course he could just read over the records, and indeed he did quite often, but that was not the same as being present. He had the feeling that there was conflict going on within Parliament but he had not been able to see it fully while present as emperor. Now he sat back and listened.

It soon became clear what was going on. On one side were those serving the interests of the Crown, or at least what they perceived as its interests. They were his loyal supporters, who would favour absolutism over any form of parliamentary government any day. Alfons did appreciate their support for his reign, for trust had always been hard for him to come by after the events of his teenage years. Yet their attempts to keep all power and decisions in the hands of the Emperor or the Cabinet was keeping the Parliament, the institution that Alfons himself had created, from developing and growing into something better. Then there were the reformers, the ones who wanted to reform the Parliament into something better able to advise him, or perhaps even govern in some capacity. They wanted to changed the Parliament, something Alfons could support, for he well knew that the system was flawed as any such major institution so newly created was oft to be. Yet there was always this nagging fear buried deep with his subconscious since the Hispanian Civil War that made him wary of their intentions. He hoped they merely wanted to make the Parliament better able to advise him during his rule, but could he afford to allow any power to transfer from the Crown to Parliament? All it would take was one cunning and ruthless person to subvert that power and use it for their own ends. He did not want to be made powerless and forced from his home again, fearing for his own life and the fate of Hispania. Was it corrupt for him to cling to his own royal power if he only wanted it to ensure he could keep Hispania safe? Part of him still longed for a balance of powers in government, a way to ensure no one held too much power. He could still remember as a child wanting to be the monarch to put forth a constitution. Yet that dream had died when Montségur appeared. Alfons could never allow such a thing to happen now. He needed the power that came with his crown to be able to squash any tyrant that tried to arise like the bug they were. Perhaps it seemed hypocritical to maintain absolutism to ensure no one could become too powerful, but as long as he was in charge he'd make it work.

As for now, he had a serious dilemma to deal with. It seemed clear that the two sides in Parliament would continue to butt heads, and as a result nothing would get done and the system would degrade. The deadlock had to be broken. As a recess was called for the Assembly, Alfons slipped away and removed his disguise in private. It was time he addressed the Parliament as emperor. The time for action was not now, but it was drawing near. He would speak before them and hope to spur some change in the situation, but if things worsened he would be forced to step in. The outcome of the vote would determine the path he'd take.

* * * * *

((Public))

JpsioAG.png

I must admit I am a bit surprised by the response to these reforms. It seems almost everyone has taken an all or nothing approach. Perhaps it is time I voice my opinion on the acts being proposed.

The Assembly Ministry Act seems a decent means to ensure the people's representatives are better represented in government, although I understand how some may perceive this as infringing on the royal prerogative and the Crown's ability to choose ministers freely. I personally do not feel the restriction too limiting, although I do find it biased towards the Assembly since it does not mention the Cortz. Of course there may be the worry that it will limit the ability to appoint minister who are capable but outside the Assembly.

The Lead Ministry Act similarly seems well equipped to solve some problems inherent in the Cabinet, but as with the earlier act might be interpreted as infringing on the Crown's ability to choose the Prime Minister.

As for the Second Amendment to the Parliament Act, it has my full support. The argument that all appointed representatives should be moved to the Cortz, thus making the Assembly purely elective, has merit. It would thus make the Assembly better representative of the people and the Cortz more representative of the Crown and the nobility. Of course I would not push forth such changes without the Cortz's approval. I understand that the nobility may feel that such a change to their parliamentary body might infringe upon the new rights granted to them. If the nobles want to ensure the Cortz is purely representative of their own, then I will not force the issue.

The Third Amendment to the Parliament Act equally has my support as a means to ensure the Assembly is purely elected, but as with the Second Amendment I defer to the Cortz on the matter.

I still have concerns about the Religious Offices Act, for I am not certain that a committee will perform better than a minister, or that it is necessary to have two bodies similar in nature existing to deal with religious affairs.

As for the Administration Act, I am flattered that there are those who would prefer I directly manage the Cabinet and affairs of state. If the Parliament believes that will be best, I will accept such responsibility. However, I also believe that the position of prime minister was created for a reason. With Hispania as large as it is, it was decided that one man, even a monarch, cannot manage both affairs the of the Crown and the state. Having a prime minister to take care of the latter relieved that burden and ensured a more efficient government. Of course, there is nothing that says an emperor cannot serve as their own prime minister. If I recall correctly, my grandfather served as his own prime minister after the attempt on his life. Personally, it seems more logical to me to keep the position of prime minister around, but if necessary the monarch can step in and take over the responsibilities.

The Franco-Austrian War has been on my mind as of late. It is not an easy decision, yet I feel myself inclined to favour France. They have stood by us for centuries, and it would be a shame to toss away that alliance. It would have been better if they had not tried to draw us into this situation in the first place and turn us against our other ally. Perhaps if it was against someone other than Austria I would reconsider. While I have favoured reconciliation, their betrayal still stings and I cannot in good conscience choose Austria over France. It will be a stain on my honour to dishonour a call-to-arms against an aggressor, but it cannot be helped. Austria dug their own grave when they betrayed us and now they must deal with the consequences.

Now I must deal with some personal concerns. I wish to request that members of the Assembly stop referring to my mother as "Prime Despot". Perhaps you do not agree with her actions or decisions, but I take it as a personal insult to hear her referred to as such. We should be above such name-calling. Yet this body was created for the sole purpose of advising the Crown on how best to govern the realm to meet the people's needs, and at times I feel that the Cabinet is ignoring such advice. We must be open to all sides of the arguments presented here and listen carefully so that we can pursue the best option. I ask that the ministers listen more carefully to what is being said and accept that some of the advice is actually worthy of consideration rather than simply denouncing everything that proposes any form of change. If the Cabinet cannot better represent those it serves, then perhaps I will have to ensure its composition better represents Hispania.

- His Imperial Highness, Alfons IX de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks

My concerns with the Acts are simple. Royal Prerogative must be preserved. The Emperor's choice of Prime Minister must not be restricted under any circumstance, and as a proxy for royal authority, the Prime Minister must be allowed to appoint whoever they wish to the heads of Ministry. Perhaps the current system of granting Ministers seats on Assembly is a mistake, and one that gives the Assembly the feeling that they should be able to control who gets what post. Perhaps it is for the best to revise it to eliminate this confusion. Personally, I feel that the omission of the Cortz in the Assembly Ministry Act is particularly blatant about this error. But the Lead Ministry Act has faults as well.

As for the call to abolish the position of Prime Minister, I feel that it is a mistake of the highest order. As of now, the Emperor can either assume the responsibilities of the position himself or pass them on to his chosen candidate. With this Administration act, there will be only two choices: give the powers to the Emperor or the Chamberlain. What would happen if the Emperor were to be overburdened by his responsibilities of the Crown and yet disapprove of the current Chamberlain? Clearly the Administration Act is infringing on royal prerogative and might spell disaster should a undesirable Chamberlain ever be in place.

As for the Acts concerning the Cortz, we have already put into place many a reform that limits the noble's place in the local governments on the condition that they would have their voice in the Cortz. These Acts are in defiance to these promises, and we should not force them upon the Cortz. And as expected, the Cortz is voting heavily against them.

Also, I would care to remind the Emperor that merely rejecting these reforms doesn't not mean that they will not be passed after a period to reconsider and revision. Rome was not built in a day, after all. Time will be needed to consult with the experts and to see what would be effective, and what will not. We should not be too hasty to reform merely because the current system viewed as flawed. Caution must be exercised. Over the next few months and years, I will be devising a few reforms of my own to aid in this. But I would like the time to do so. Perhaps when Parliament next meets, I will be prepared.
 

alscon

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((I may just make myself the official enemy of the Imperialists then :p.))

Since entering the Assembly, Emiliano Faixòn distinuished himself as one of the loudest voices against the current system. It would be beneficial for them to organize themselves in a faction. After a long and violent debate under the members of this new faction, they accepted Faixòn's initial proposal of a name. The reason behind it? 'We will be dubbed like that anyway. So why not make it official?'

Facció del Fénix
current lead issues: democratic reforms, secularism​

The Facció del Fénix was founded by some more radical elements of the Assembly to achieve political power for their house. Its name, while distancing themselves from any connection to the civil war, should symbolize the struggle against the current government, that held the reins of the empire since the Phoenix War without surrendering any of their power through meaningless reforms. The faction aimed to combat the Prime Minster's elitist government from the times of the civil war through empowering the Assembly. And with the pope being one of the most prominent members of that government, the new Fénixists also wanted to remove religious figures from the government. With no current political power, the Fénixists devoted themselves to this stuggle without wasting any thoughts to other matters.


________________________________________________________________________________


You do realize that the Lead Ministry Act, 'having its faults', doesn't infringe the royal prerogative in any way, Dowager Empress? The Crown could still freely appoint their Prime Minister, only the other house would have a chance to prevent a ministerial appointment they think which is wrong. As with any other action within the government, the Crown can veto this decision if I am not wrong. Now tell this Parliament again: What are the concerns? The Crown is not weakened in any way - oh, right, a loss of power for you.

The Administration Act and Lead Ministry Act aren't able to be enacted both, and as I have said, I believe the second of these acts can only benefit our young Parliament. As for the Cortz, allow me to continue my simile to slavery: The Crown is the state, the Cortz the plantation owner, the Assembly the slave. The appointed in the Assembly? The employees of the plantation owner. With the purpose of keeping the slaves in check. The Assembly is not only a slave useless for the plantation owner, he has also promised the slave to free him. Yet for some reason, perhaps simply because it brings satisfaction to have full control over someone, the plantation owner doesn't keep his promise. The slave might be punished less often, but he remains as he is, no matter how often he reminds his master of the promise. His employees always have an eye on the slave, and stop him from doing anything that the owner doesn't want. I believe this represents our current situation fairly well. Do you believe this can go on forever?

'We can wait'. No. 'Merely because the current system is flawed'. What she doesn't say is 'as long as I guide Hispania, there is no need to change'. 'I will devise reforms of my own'. Either keeping you in power or after you or your time as Prime Minister are long dead and buried. The time is now. We are aware of our situation. There may come the day when the slave has a chance to escape. And take his revenge! There are few plantation owners, few employees, but many slaves. None of us want that, which is why the time is now, and not in a century! The state must act, and the state has begun to act. Listen to His Imperial Highness.
 

hirahammad

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((Public))
"Faixon, I ask that you rename your political party. This is not about the reforms, not about the party itself. This is about the Phoenix, and the Phoenix War. You may not have been here, and perhaps therefore do not know what it really was.

Therefore, let it be known what it was, through the lives of some of its close witnesses. Here I bring to you the story of Sofia Abrahan, mother of Juan and Carlos Abrahan. She was living in Capitanata, a widow with her two sons. After the Pheonix forces sacked Valencia, and His Majesty began operations out of Napoli, both of her sons joined the Imperial Army. Juan entered the garrison of Umbria, while Carlos protected Rome. Some months later, Pheonix forces attacked both locations, and, despite a valiant defense, both provinces fell. Both garrisons were slaughtered, and neither Juan nor Carlos ever returned from protecting Hispania from the Phoenix.

Now Sofia is alone, without anyone to help her. She grieves for her children, whose bodies were never recovered. She only survives now from charity efforts sponsored by the CJC and the government of Capitanata, but with the thousand, who, like her, are without hope, life is grim.

Let me tell you the story of Pablo. He was already in the Exercit Madrid when the Pheonixes attacked, an officer, distinguished for his bravery. After following de Leon in service to His Majesty, he came up against the forces led by the fleeing coward Usurper himself. At on point, when it seemed that a nearby regiment would be flanked, he personally led a charge. He succeeded in breaking the enemy lines, but was rewarded by a bullet to the hip. He hasn't walked since, nor ridden a horse.

My nephew, Gabriel, was a young boy around nine years old, living in Grenada, a province which suffered a long siege. He suffered in the city, death a daily occurrence. His mother, my sister, starved to death. His sister died of illness. He survived until one day, Pheonix forces assaulted the wall, my nephew was shot and killed.

Faixon, if you wish, keep the name. Simply know that it is a symbol. A symbol for death, destruction, pillage, treason, the Usurper, and for suffering."—MRA/Minister 2/Pope Xystus II

((Edit: I am moving across land, and I've hired these people to abduct my PC and drop it off there. Don't expect a lot of IC. :) ))
 
Last edited:

alscon

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"Yes, I wasn't there, but in my peaceful village in the Pyrenees. Two men of my village did, for both sides, and they returned - without wanting to kill each other. And I have learnt enough at the Duke's estate to know what you are really talking about.

War in general. As far as I have heard, in this civil war there was far less looting and pillaging as in a usual war. Why? Both sides wanted a fairly intact realm after their victory. These stories of yours, they are all individual tragedies, certainly, but there have been far less than there will be in Austria. You are speaking of a symbol, and I agree - the symbol you are talking of and I am talking of are different.

You speak of war. As head of the Catholic religion, I believe a part of your task is to condemn it. Christians shouldn't kill other Christians, shouldn't they? Now what are you doing... Right. Advocating to intervene on France's side. I call that politics, but for you? You should be above it. And well aware that this causes exactly the suffering you are describing. Shoudn't you as pope preach the contrary? This is one of the reasons why state and church need to be separated for good. Either you do one thing, or the other. Not both. And it is the state's task to care for the worldly, the church's for the spiritual good of the people.

The symbol I see in the Phoenix is the resistance against the elitist government. Forged solely by blood and wealth.The Phoenix opposed it, and even if we do not share its methods, we oppose it as well. We stand for reforms. For the Imperials to fulfil their promises made during and after the conflict. To give this Assembly a purpose you clearly do not want. So we are the political enemy. Our weapons are words, not muskets. But wouldn't you end up flagging us the 'New Phoenix' anyway? As part of the old elite, the one that stands to lose in a reform that benefits the entire empire? For this symbol, the creation of something new out of the old, or in this case the false illusion of something new, this is why we chose the name of our faction. It will stay. Did you notice the 'we'? A 'we' lacking in the current system. It is rather a 'few'.

And you better think about your own vote - do you wish to cause the symbol you loathe so much? A symbol for death, destruction, pillage, treason, maybe not 'the Usurper', and for suffering? There could hardly be more hypocrisy in your words. Or are Austrians, French, Germans, Scandinavians, even Hispanian soldiers worth less than Hispanians? Or are we equal before God, an equality that lacks here?"
 

ML8991

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Duke Matthias stirs briefly from his bed, his joints aching once again. His wife stood to his side, worry evident across her face, the de Leon features obviously distorted in concern. All too quickly did his eyes return to being closed.
 

Michaelangelo

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((The results of the vote.

Assembly Ministry Act: No
Lead Ministry Act: No
Religious Offices Act: No
Administration Act: No
2nd Amendment to the Parliament Act: No
3rd Amendment to the Parliament Act: No
Franco-Austrian War: France

May as well mention now that the next turn following this update may be a tad longer. My college has changed their exam dates for my program so I can only do them on Thursdays, so it's best I stop doing updates on that day. I also need a little extra time to write up some new rules for voting that takes the Parliament into account while also tackling homework and other stuff.))
 

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1768-1773 – The Franco-Austrian War

As war loomed over Hispania, the initial preparations were made. Minister of War Alejandro de Leon called for the recruitment of two entirely new armies, which would finally allow the army to surpass its pre-civil war size. The Exercit Africa was recreated, this time in Italy for quick deployment to Austria, and the new Exercit Granada came into being. Even the Grande Armada was taken out of the mothballs in preparation to blockade Austrian ports.

On the diplomatic front, the Prime Minister/Minister of Colonial Affairs Sophia de Trastámara began talks with Wallachia to formally integrate them into the realm. Seeing as the Voivode of Wallachia had been a loyal vassal ever since he had sworn fealty to the Emperor, he was more than willing to agree to such a request. The only thing he requested in turn was that he remain a vassal of the Emperor and not the Basileus in Byzantium, seeing as there were concerns they would become part of Byzantium, who had shown a willingness to eliminate non-Greek cultures such as Bulgarian in the Balkans. This process of integration would take some time, especially with the focus on the upcoming war.

Speaking of the war, an official reply was sent to France. Hispania would be siding with its oldest ally against the one who had betrayed them during the Hispanian Civil War. Both powers called upon their allies and soon the sides were set. Austria managed to convince Mainz to help defend the failing HRE, while the Habsburgs in Hungary willingly agreed to assist. That didn’t prevent them from being nearly entirely surrounded as France called upon both Germany and Scandinavia. Europe was at war once again.



Great Britain proved to be not so great anymore as Scotland put an end to their existence. With the annexation of their overlord, Argentine obtained a newfound freedom and proclaimed to the world that they would be known as La Plata. Despite being free at last, there were rumours stirring amongst the former colony that perhaps seeking a new protector might ensure they remained prosperous and free from external threats. ((They’re open to diplo-vassalization, for whatever reason.))

The Mediterranean transport fleet and Venice trade fleet encountered the Austrians in the Straits of Otranto, where they tried to trap the enemy force. Instead, the Austrians fled when they had the chance, perhaps fearing the Byzantine navy stepping in. Some saw this as an example that current ship designs were inferior and should be scrapped, but such outcry was ignored.

On land, the invasions of Austria and Hungary began. The Italian Exercits gathered in Mantua and Ferrara to besiege the forts there, while the Iberian Exercits made their way east. The Exercit Athens marched north to take eastern Hungary and ensure Wallachia wasn’t attacked. All armies had to be wary of enemy forces. The Austrians had gathered over 150k men and were somewhere near the French border, while all French armies had decided to march on northwest Italy. Hungary’s army made an appearance near Venice, but retreated perhaps after seeing the number of men in Italy or hearing of an attack on their homeland.

It did not take long for the Austrians to act though. They launched an assault on the French army in Mailand, wanting to dislodge them from the province. While they had twice the numbers, there were plenty of reinforcements nearby. The German forces marched down through Alsace with almost 100k men, followed by another French army of roughly 60k. All three Hispanian generals split from the sieges in Italy to march to Mailand, adding a further 114k to the battle. By the end, over 350k men had gathered to fight an Austrian army of roughly 160k. Both sides took staggering losses, but General Leon took over command upon his arrival and ensured it was an Austrian defeat, with nearly 100k Austrians put into their graves.



The Battle of Mailand proved a distraction in some regards. The Hungarians used the opportunity to attack the siege army in Ferrara. Reinforcements rushed from Mantua, but the most capable generals were at Mailand. Before that battle could be ended, the Hungarians managed to rout the siege armies. They weren’t quick enough to flee before the armies arrived back from Mailand. Leon led the charge with the assistance of the two other generals, as well as the new Exercit Africa. German forces even assisted to ensure Hungary was forced on the run.

Events in North America took a turn that favoured Hispania, or more specifically the Trastámaras. King Frederick II Seymour suffered a grievous wound during his war with Canada, one that made him incapable of siring a child. Seeing as his dynasty was small, having ascended to the new throne with his father, there were few members of the royal family and that meant the Seymour line would die with him. Faced with that prospect and the fact he could no longer sire children, he had to ensure succession. There were undoubtedly countless nobles striving to steal his crown, but he wanted to ensure someone of his blood would inherit it upon his death. That left him with only one choice as heir, someone related to him through his mother Sílvia de Trastámara. Seeing as the only close male relatives of his were Emperor Alfons IX and Crown Prince Carles as his cousins, it seemed likely the crown could pass right into Hispania’s hands, but that would surely spark a civil war with the nobles doing whatever they could to prevent it. Thus King Frederick sought out an alternative. He sent word to Emperor Alfons and requested that he find a suitable Trastámara to serve as his heir, one that had no major titles but was still a relative. After perusing the family tree, Alfons decided upon one Antoni de Trastámara, the son of his great aunt Princess Júlia de Trastámara and the late Emperor Jaume’s best friend Simeó de Trastámara. Not only did he possess a somewhat close relation to Frederick, albeit through a female line, he held no titles of his own, was married to the Emperor of France’s sister, and already had a son. All it took was convincing Antoni to swear off any claim to the Hispanian throne and the arrangement was set. Antoni de Trastámara would serve as the Crown Prince of the UKA. ((I know the event creates a child to become heir, but it makes no sense that a random Trastámara baby would pop up out of nowhere, so I picked someone suitable from the family tree to serve the role.))

Despite the setback in succession for the UKA, that did not prevent them from finishing their war. The UKA broke out from Canada’s attempt to restrict them from expansion westward, and also managed to secure the St. Lawrence and grab territory all the way to the provinces they already held in Quebec. Canada had been declawed and would not be bothering the UKA anymore.



France and Austria faced off again, this time outside Prague. The Austrians though were high in morale as they repelled another invasion. Time played against the French as reinforcements arrived. Despite suffering high losses, the Austrians won out and the French were forced to retreat.

While that was all going on, it gave time for France with Hispanian assistance to capture the fort at Mailand. With that done, three separate armies separated from the rest and headed north. France was so focused on chasing down Austria’s army and northern Italy that they had ignored Alsace, taking the time to capture Graubunden instead. Hispania would have to accomplish what the French seemed unwilling to do themselves if they wanted this war to end, but first they’d have to secure the surrounding area.

Germany launched an unwise assault on the Austrian army in Erz. Perhaps wanting to ensure the province wasn’t taken, they decided to ignore the Austrian army twice their size the next province over. Either way, the Germans were outmatched and had no choice but to abandon Erz.

The Hungarians decided to do something about the Hispanian army in eastern Hungary, launching an attack on it in Hunyad. Fortunately, by then the Scandinavians had arrived in Hungary and were nearby. With the added assistance of Scandinavia and Wallachia, the Exercit Athens repelled the attack and resumed the siege. Thanks to them, Hunyad fell the following month.

Hispanians rejoiced in early 1769 as Emperor Alfons IX announced that his wife had given birth to a son, named Pere, who was now heir to the throne.



Colonization efforts in South America continued as the Crown ensured no more of the Brazilian coast would be colonized by Scotland.

With France chasing the Austrians, it fell to Hispania to take Baden from Alsace. The tiny province was not well defended and lasted less than three months. The Austrians, though, did not seem pleased with this. Their army of 120k showed right up on the border, something that put a fright in the Hispanians with half the numbers, although Leon had taken charge and ensured they did not falter. Yet the Austrians were not up for a fight, perhaps because nearly 200k Frenchmen were swarming down south from Germany in pursuit. They disappeared again, this time appearing near northern Italy. Leon headed down south with two armies to ensure there were enough men to maintain the sieges of Mantua and Ferrara while Austria was in the area.

Yet again, the Austrian actions proved a distraction to serve Hungary’s needs. With all armies marching south, they snuck up into Bavaria and took out 10k Frenchmen with minimal losses. As for the Austrians, they changed their mind about Italy and headed up into the interior of Austria.

The colony in Bengkulu became self-sustaining, securing the rest of Sumatra for Hispania. Due to support from Parliament, the Crown sent off Joaquin Villanova to colonize Palu.

The Austrians reappeared near Alsace again, but their lack of commitment to any theatre allowed for the siege of Mantua to succeed. The two armies under Lieutenant António Dias moved on to Treviso.

This time it was Austria’s turn to make a potentially fatal move. They launched an assault on the French army in Württemberg, despite the fact that France and Germany had hundreds of thousands of men in the surrounding province, and that wasn’t including Leon and a further 100k Hispanians. The battle raged on for over a month with Emperor Charles VIII taking personal command of the allied armies. With twice the men of the enemy, it seemed victory was likely. When Sundgau fell, a further 33k fresh Hispanians arrived to keep morale up. After two months of brutal fighting, France proved victorious and the Austrians lost most of their army.



In Africa, Mali conquered most of Zazzau, making them the dominant power in the West African interior.

The Battle of Württemberg proved perhaps the breaking point in the war. General Leon managed to pin down the Archduke’s personal army and defeat them afterwards, although the Archduke managed to escape. Hungary had had its fill of war and sued for peace, agreeing to pay war reparations. With them gone, Scandinavian, Greek, Wallachian, and Hispanian men surged over from Hungary to begin laying waste to eastern Austria.

Resistance in Italy was all but gone when Ferrara fell at the end of 1769, and headway was being made in the west as Germany defeated an Austrian force, followed by a joint attack in Regensburg.

A steady supply of naval supplies was flowing into Hispania, ensuring there was enough material to construct new ships.



The Austrians were quite persistent and tried to sneak down into Italy with small armies to retake provinces. They couldn’t get past the Hispanian armies near Treviso. Captain General Gilbert de Saint-Pierre had already taken the opportunity to sail across the Adriatic and march on Wien with an army.

The nobles had taken great strides to ensure they held most of the power in Byzantium, but that didn’t stop them from trying to grab more or defy their liege. An army of rebels rose up in Malatya against the Basileus. Fortunately, the Exercit Jerusalem was still stationed in Cairo and was available to eliminate the threat for Byzantium.

The Austrians were not giving up on retaking Italy. An army was caught by Leon trying to sneak through Graubünden, and another was spotted in Sudtirol. Both armies were eliminated with little trouble. All these skirmishes were doing wonders for the Hispanian army. They had become a well-oiled machine, one proud of their accomplishments.



The Inquisition finally got to work again as it set out to ensure that all Christians, not just Coptics, were represented in southern Egypt, and that the heathens of Korea accepted the true faith.

The Archduke of Austria was persistent in his pursuit of Italy, facing off against Hispania again and losing. Despite the constant attempts to get troops by, forts kept falling, this time Oberschwaben.

The Exercit Jerusalem made short work of the rebellious nobles in Malatya, doing a great service for Byzantium. Once the rebels were crushed, the army returned to Egypt.

The Hispanian armies started pushing into the interior of Austria. Germany and Scandinavia were rampaging through Silesia and Bohemia, while France had finally decided to focus on Alsace and the surrounding area as well as south of Wien. As for Austria, they made another attempt on Italy, rebuked just like the last few.

By the end of 1770, not only Treviso had fallen, but Wien as well. Austria could not hold out much longer. As if to stick it in their face, Archduke Ferdinand had yet another army under his command decimated.



Nueva Granada and Nuevas Baleares got into a conflict over their borders, despite the latter only existing on islands. Now that there was the Colonial Congress in place to help sort out such issues, they could be left to figure such things out on their own.

Just as Archduke Ferdinand lost another battle, this time in Graz, Austria decided it had had enough. France forced Alsace to the peace table, and using their position as the war leader convinced the tiny state to sell out the Austrians. Alsace not only ceased to exist, but the entirety of Western Austria fell into France’s hands. They had secured the region around Alsace, as well as the remainder of the Swiss region and parts of Northern Italy. France had snubbed Hispania, who desired to weaken Austrian power in the Adriatic, as well as Germany, who desired Silesia and Bohemia. Germany had been unable to negotiate for more, seeing as their country was thrown into chaos during the war with yet another regency. However, the German army wasn’t content with receiving nothing, especially since France had promised land and had not given up any in the peace deal. As the peace deal was being worked out, a German force swarmed into Mainz and annexed the tiny state. The French, who had no interest in Mainz anyway, threw the annexation of Mainz into a sub-clause in the peace treaty. Austria had been struck a serious blow and France had found its new hunting grounds.



With such a humiliating peace signed, Austria started cutting ties with Hispania. All agreements, such as military access, were cancelled. However, the biggest blow was struck to the Trastámara family itself. Emperor Alfons’s sister Sophia de Trastámara had been married to Crown Prince of Austria years ago to help reconcile the two sides. Now that there was no chance of that, Austria brought a swift end to the marriage. Using claims that the marriage had never been consummated, and proving it through a rather invasive examination of Sophia, the Austrians sent the Hispanian princess back to Valencia in tears. When the Crown Prince remarried a few months later to the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Austrian count, rumours of an affair began to spring up. Princess Sophia and the entire Trastámara family were humiliated by the whole affair. ((Austria broke the marriage and I needed a convincing reason why it’d end and possibly why the Crown Prince might have heirs born before the marriage ended.))

The TATC was acting up in South Africa and trying to pester the Scandinavians into leaving the region. The Crown had to intervene and establish dominance to put the trading company in its place.

Far to the east, Persia was growing into a formidable power, first by taking land from Bukhara and then by annexing Tabarestan.

Colonization efforts in Southeast Asia were going splendidly and people were more than eager to move to the colonies.

With the war over, time could be spent integrating Wallachia into the realm. Perhaps some weren’t happy with Hispania gaining land in Eastern Europe, but the Wallachians certainly weren’t amongst that group. They felt more than accepted.



As 1772 neared its ended, the tensions that had been growing in Parliament made themselves known. While the more liberal-minded factions had been pushing for change, they had been thwarted on several occasions. However, there were also those who felt that the very existence of the Parliament and any reforms being passed were too much. A conservative backlash occurred as a result. Religious groups, who saw the liberal attacks on religion’s role in government, protested that the Parliament was trying to subvert the word of God. While such protests were peaceful in nature, one in Tripoli turned violent as a nervous soldier accidentally fired on the crowd. A riot ensued, and the army had to be called in.

A second such backlash occurred amongst the nobility next. Several prominent Portuguese families had been caught forging documents and bribing officials to extend their properties. This clear violation of law could not be tolerated. Emperor Alfons IX ordered that the lands stolen be returned, but the nobles refused. These nobles, fed up with their power being siphoned away, rose up in revolt.

The two rebellions did not last long. Saint-Pierre, who had been passing through North Africa, led the Exercit Africa in an attack on the violent protestors, putting an end to that riot. Leon led the Exercit Madrid against the rebellious nobles, showing that no one could defy the Crown. The French were even spotted sending troops over the border to assist in crushing the rebellion, an appreciated but unneeded gesture. By the end of the year, both rebellions were crushed and order restored, but it clearly showed that even the more conservative members of society were not content with the status quo.

At least the court could celebrate one event as a daughter was born to the Emperor with the new year, the young Princess Clara.





JpsioAG.png

Presenting His Imperial Highness, Alfons IX de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, and Protector of the Greeks.

The war with Austria is at an end and we are victorious. I must admit, I had hoped for a better peace, one that perhaps took into account all participants or focused more on keeping the Austrians in line rather than outright conquering them. The French are always quite exuberant with their conquests, and I can only hope they will not continue pushing into Austria and possibly interfering with Hispania’s position in Italy as a result. Let us pray that this will ensure peace in the region at last.

We should always look forward though. The colonies continue to grow and bring in wealth to Hispania. I hear Palu is quite prosperous and will make a fine city one day. Perhaps we should consider repairing some damage caused during the war. We need not be hostile towards Hungary, and reconciliation could be a good step forward. Poland is next door, after all. With us now in Wallachia, perhaps it is time considering securing a port in the Black Sea or lands further inland, which can only come from Poland. I will let you all consider these things.

But now we must come to the most important matter. The last time we had a major discussion before the war on reform, I had hoped to see some cooperation between the various factions in Parliament. Many reforms were proposed, some I considered a good step forward and others not so much. Yet it seemed that everyone was intent on either accepting them all or tossing them all aside. Change is necessary, and this system cannot work unless it is reformed. On the other hand, we must be careful so as not to create something even more damaging to Hispania or that threatens the sovereignty of the Crown. It seems that the only reforms that get passed are my own, and that is because you’re all too afraid to oppose your monarch. While I appreciate the trust and respect towards Crown authority, we need an open discussion of issues for things to progress properly. We must find a fine balance, one that requires compromise, and from what I have seen none of you are capable of that. Thus I must take a more direct role in Parliament. I ask that my mother, the Empress Dowager, step down from her role as Prime Minister so that I may assume the position. I will be appointing all ministers from now on and ensure that they better represent both the Crown’s interests and that of the Cortz and the Assembly. I expect all ministers to perform to the best of their abilities and to actually participate in government or they will be replaced. I will hesitate for the moment on making any new appointments until I’ve had time to consider potential candidates.


((I said the Emperor would act based on the last vote, and thus he has. The events right before the end of the update help set the mood too.

As for our usual business, I will tentatively give ministers until Tuesday at 12PM PST to post their plans. As stated before, I will be extending the time until the next update since I can’t do it on Thursdays anymore and I need time to set up a new voting system. Might be worth waiting until I get around to reshuffling the Cabinet before posting plans anyway. Players can still propose laws and reforms in that time period too. We also have some new missions to pick, so I’ll include a screenshot below.

I'd also like players to state what party or faction they are in, or if the faction leaders could put a list of members in their party or faction's main post. I will most likely need that information for the changes I'm hoping to implement for the voting system, since I would like to attempt to figure out some sort of parliamentary composition.

Pensioners:
@zenphoenix

))
 

alscon

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Faixòn spent the last years travelling across Hispania, holding speeches wherever he could. About the corrupt government, that, against the wishes of the Emperor himself, continued to oppress the Assembly and with it the people, a rat nobody wants. Soon enough, he thought, the people would take matters into their own hands if the fools continued to hold on to their power for any price.

________________________________________

The French may not have been able to, or simply didn't want to, negotiate for a German Silesia, but Montségur was still somewhat satisfied at the war's result. Mainz had been absorbed into the Reich, and so that left only Bavaria. And he found himself Regent and Chancellor of Germany. It was time to speak to the Bavarians and see if they would see reason. Perhaps he would need to speak to other powers as well, but first - Bavaria. So Alexander von Sickerberg met with the leaders of Bavaria to discuss the state's future.

"Bavarians, Germans, brothers. As if another proof was needed, the Franco-Austrian war has been the final nail in the coffin of the undead abomination that is the HRE. A Holy - condemned by the pope - Roman - a title wielded by Hispania's Alfons IX, with a far better claim as he does hold the city - Empire - led by an Archduke elected by himself and his soon-forgotten vassals. As far as I can see, Bavaria is not one of Ferdinand's vassals. Fairly autonomous, yet still an official part of the empire and therefore with obligations towards Austria. What does Bavaria gain in exchange? Nothing. Perhaps protection? When the Emperor cannot protect his own realm, hardly.
We have a lot in common. And sooner or later, Bavaria will have to face a choice: Germany or Austria. The Archduke, licking his wounds and seeking a target to make up for his losses. Or Germany, seeking the unfication of our peoples in one nation, having defeated those who stand in the way of this unification, be it Poland or Austria. Look at Lüneburg, and you see what could be Bavaria's future under Germany. Or look at Bohemia, Silesia, and you will see your future under Austria. now you still have the choice to preserve your rights, to dictate any treaty. In the future you may not.
For what guarantees your independence? Hispania? Your allies? It is surely not enough. With the last peace, I am sure that some day, there will be another war against Austria started by Hispania. By Germany. By France. Allies in one war, united against a common enemy - why not another time? And then, who is there to protect Bavaria? Or the other way around - the new allies fight each other, leaving Bavaria wide open for an Austrian invasion. Who would intervene? Anyone marching through Germany or Austria? Nobody will be able to march through that land.
I repeat the advantages you have on your side now. You have the better position in any negotiations, there can be privileges for Bavaria, a certain degree of autonomy, what you might believe necessary. For you have to make a choice, surrounded by two nations, nations that both wish your land, but due to a different motivation. Join Germany as brothers, or Austria as prey. As we speak, I expect any day to hear that Hispania drops its guarantee. The Hispanian leaders know as well as I do that there are other priorities.
Bavarians, make the right choice. For you have seen that both sides are well able to back their words with their weapons."
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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((Private))

Tommaso was smoking his cigarette outside of Santa Caterina, a church in Livorno, where he lived. His father held many estates in the Tuscan lands, and he often gave them to his children, including him. He heard steps on the cobblestone streets come his way, he knew who it was. "Al! What the hell are you doing here!" he told the man, in a quiet voice. He was Alphonse.

"Come come, we need to go to a more private place." said Al into his ear. Tommaso would follow him, into the alley where he bid him to go to. "I noticed an opportunity for us."

Tommaso came closer, "What's in it for me?"

"I didn't know what else I expected from you, Tommy" Al said with smile, before continuing his plans, "You know how the nobility have began to... encroach on the properties of the plebs. I believe we can get gain from this?"

"How?" Tommaso wanted to gauge the possible profit from this.

"Well, there have been some rich folks who fear what happened in, what was it again, oh yes, Madrid, would happen to them."

"And how is this of any concern to me?" Tommy told him, an inquisitive manner on his face.

"Well, it seems that they are willing to pay quite a bit for 'enforcers' to protect them from the nobilty, and we make a tidy profits off of this."

"And you need funding from what I understand?"

"Aye, but it will be profitable, I assure you."

He took out the cigar from his mouth, "Considering I am the one making all the 'investments', I presume I shall receive most of the profits from this business of yours?"

"Aye, it will be split 65-25-10, for you, myself, and the men we hired."

"Make that 70-25-5, and I'll agree."

"Alright, we shake on it, then we agree to it on paper at a later day, understand?"

Tommaso nodded, and they shook hands, then left. Tommaso light up another cig and stayed by his usual place outside of the church
 

Michaelangelo

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The French may not have been able to, or simply didn't want to, negotiate for a German Silesia, but Montségur was still somewhat satisfied at the war's result. Mainz had been absorbed into the Reich, and so that left only Bavaria. And he found himself Regent and Chancellor of Germany. It was time to speak to the Bavarians and see if they would see reason. Perhaps he would need to speak to other powers as well, but first - Bavaria. So Alexander von Sickerberg met with the leaders of Bavaria to discuss the state's future.
"Bavarians, Germans, brothers. As if another proof was needed, the Franco-Austrian war has been the final nail in the coffin of the undead abomination that is the HRE. A Holy - condemned by the pope - Roman - a title wielded by Hispania's Alfons IX, with a far better claim as he does hold the city - Empire - led by an Archduke elected by himself and his soon-forgotten vassals. As far as I can see, Bavaria is not one of Ferdinand's vassals. Fairly autonomous, yet still an official part of the empire and therefore with obligations towards Austria. What does Bavaria gain in exchange? Nothing. Perhaps protection? When the Emperor cannot protect his own realm, hardly.
We have a lot in common. And sooner or later, Bavaria will have to face a choice: Germany or Austria. The Archduke, licking his wounds and seeking a target to make up for his losses. Or Germany, seeking the unfication of our peoples in one nation, having defeated those who stand in the way of this unification, be it Poland or Austria. Look at Lüneburg, and you see what could be Bavaria's future under Germany. Or look at Bohemia, Silesia, and you will see your future under Austria. now you still have the choice to preserve your rights, to dictate any treaty. In the future you may not.
For what guarantees your independence? Hispania? Your allies? It is surely not enough. With the last peace, I am sure that some day, there will be another war against Austria started by Hispania. By Germany. By France. Allies in one war, united against a common enemy - why not another time? And then, who is there to protect Bavaria? Or the other way around - the new allies fight each other, leaving Bavaria wide open for an Austrian invasion. Who would intervene? Anyone marching through Germany or Austria? Nobody will be able to march through that land.
I repeat the advantages you have on your side now. You have the better position in any negotiations, there can be privileges for Bavaria, a certain degree of autonomy, what you might believe necessary. For you have to make a choice, surrounded by two nations, nations that both wish your land, but due to a different motivation. Join Germany as brothers, or Austria as prey. As we speak, I expect any day to hear that Hispania drops its guarantee. The Hispanian leaders know as well as I do that there are other priorities.
Bavarians, make the right choice. For you have seen that both sides are well able to back their words with their weapons."

We would sooner die than bow down to scum like you. We will not be slaves to either Germany or Austria. Both of you are aggressive powers hellbent on the slaughter and conquest of your neighbours. If you want to steal our land, you will have to soak it in our blood first. We doubt eternal damnation is worth such conquest. If you would grant us autonomy anyway, then leave us in peace so we can live as neighbours. We have no interest in taking orders from the heretic king of Munster. We wish to be left alone and will not tolerate any attempts by Germany or Austria to subvert out independence. Now return to your child king before the Hispanians hear you are outside Germany and try to stick your head on a spike.

- A very angry and offended Bavarian king

* * * * *

JpsioAG.png

I have mulled over the current Cabinet and have decided to implement some changes. I agree with what others have said that the Cabinet is not representative enough of Parliament. First of all, I believe it best to dismiss both the Minister of Finance and Minister of Trade, men who are part of the bureaucracy but not of Parliament. I instead wish to offer the positions to men within this body. The Finance ministry has been following the plans of the late Duke Alvaro for years and I hope that his successor, who currently sits on the Cortz, might be as skilled with finances. If Martí de Alvaro ((@Robban204)) will accept, I would gladly have him as Minister of Finance. As for the Trade ministry, it takes someone familiar with our vast trade empire to understand its working. The position has usually fallen to someone connected to the TATC as a result. While not focusing on trade per-say, the Villanova family has been at the forefront of Hispania's colonial efforts for decades, and thus knows much about the lands we control outside Europe. I thus wish to offer the position of Minister of Trade to Joaquin Villanova ((@DragonOfAtlantis)), who has faithfully served as a member of the Assembly since being appointed there. Now I also wish to address the issue of the Second Minister. While I have great respect for His Holiness, I believe it to be compromising to have the head of the Catholic Church also serve as the head of the Assembly, not to mention the great burden it places on a man who already has such a tremendous job to do in Rome and must also serve as our Minister of Religious Affairs. I thus believe it best that the position go to an elected member of the Assembly, someone who has shown themselves to be dedicated to the body in question and who has proven that they are committed to ensuring Parliament as a whole moves forward. I believe that Cibrán Arceo ((@Firehound15)) would best fill that role, and so I offer him the position of Second Minister. As for the remaining ministers, I believe they shall perform well enough as they are, and I encourage them to actively participate in government. If any minister cannot fulfill their duties themselves, I will be forced to find someone who can.

- His Imperial Highness, Alfons IX de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks

* * * * *

((May as well mention my progress towards reforming the voting system. Most of it has been theoretical, since I haven't gotten around to devising the actual mechanics. At the moment, I believe I've come up with how VP will be handled in regards to Parliament. Instead of VP deciding the composition of Parliament, VP will instead determine your ability to influence the people in Parliament. Basically the composition will be determined beforehand during an election or over time, although I'm still working on a system for that. Once the percentage of each house each party controls and the number of independents has been determined, VP will then be used to influence it. What I have in mind is that your VP will decide how many votes of your party you control. Let me give an example.

So let's say we have three people in a party with 1, 2, and 3 VP each, and their party controls 30% of the Assembly. The total VP of the party would be 6. Using that, the 3VP player would control 50% of the party, and thus 15% of the Assembly, the 2VP would control 33% and 10%, while the 1VP player would control 17% and 5%.

Of course that only determines the party vote, but what about independents? While only players in a party can influence their own party's votes, everyone can influence independents. Let's take our three players from the last example and add in two more players with 2VP each, who are part of a party that controls 20% of the Assembly. 50% of the Assembly is controlled by the parties and thus can only be influenced by those parties, while the remaining 50% is filled with independents. Thus all five of those players compete for votes, with a total VP of 10. Based off their VP, the 3VP player would control 15% of the independents, the 2VP players would control 10% each, while the 1VP player would control 5%. If you count up the numbers, the first party of three players would get 30% of the independents and the two 2VP players would get 20% for their party, in effect creating a total of 60% and 40% for the two parties.

This, however, does not account for players who are either independent, not members of Parliament, or simply don't want to join a party. They would also be competing for the independent votes, but they have the disadvantage of not being access the various party votes. To make things more fair for them, their VP will be doubled, giving them greater influence over their fellow independents. So using the last example, let's add in two more players, independents with 2 and 3VP respectively. The party players already have 10VP, but the independents add a further 10VP because their VP is doubled, creating a new total of 20. In this one instance, the numbers work out so all the party players have their influence halved from the previous example, so the 3VP player gets 7.5%, the 2VP players get 5%, and the 1VP player gets 2.5%. As for the two independent players, the 3VP one gets 15% from their now 6VP, and the 2VP one gets 10% from their now 4VP. To add it all up, the two independents control roughly 25% of the Assembly, the first party controls 45%, and the second party controls 30%.

As you can see, two independents effectively took over a quarter of the votes. I'm hoping that this creates different strategies for choosing whether or not to join a party. Joining a party gives you access to a safe portion of the votes that cannot be affected by your opponents and with enough members can secure a majority, but being an independent can bolster your own vote especially if you have high VP but at the risk of having it weakened by the other players. I'm thinking this should work for allowing VP to work with the Parliament without changes in VP altering the composition.

One thing to keep in mind is that each player will be only voting in and influencing a single house, specifically the one you sit in. If you are not a member of either house, your class will most likely be the deciding factor, with nobles influencing the Cortz and everyone else the Assembly. That may change based on reforms. If for whatever reason a party ever ends up with no players representing it in a specific house, perhaps due to recent character deaths or reforms affecting seats, the NPC members still present will follow the example of the other house, although with no players present the independents will not be influenced by that party.

Of course, as I've said, I have yet to actually figure out how to calculate the composition of parliament. At the moment, I suspect there will be quite a bit of randomness involved, using an RNG to determine general trends in changes of seats, but I will also be using events in the iAAR and the game to determine where things will swing. For example, if that event about reform allowing representation pops up again, that would make sense as a reason for liberal parties to gain more support. It will require some subjectivity on my part, but I will try my best to remain as neutral as possible. Also, having more players in your party should have an impact, since that should mean the party is more popular as a result. I've also taken the liberty of conducting a census of sorts, making a list of all our European provinces and some basic stats about them including location, culture, and development. I'm thinking that development could be good way of determining how much representation each province of the Empire has in the Assembly, since it's the closest thing to being able to determine population and it seems logical that the more developed provinces would have more people and thus voters. It's obviously not completely accurate, but it's the best we can go off of with EUIV.

Now the Cortz will be a tad different though. Seeing as its members are not elected, its composition should only be changing as people die off and our replaced or if people can be convinced to change their minds, which isn't all that easy. The Cortz will thus work on a smaller scale than the Assembly and most likely won't fluctuate as much, and I expect that as long as there are appointed positions in the Assembly those won't change that often either. That brings me to the issue of number of seats. The number 300 has been tentatively thrown around for the Assembly, and I'm inclined to use that number since it seems reasonable enough and can easily be divided into the appropriate number of appointed and elected seats. As for the Cortz, I can technically get an exact number. Seeing as it consists of only nobles of the rank of count or higher, and we've made all provinces in-game as equivalent to counties, I can just count the number of provinces and get an exact number of seats, while accounting for the multiples counties held by one person. I suspect this number though will be fairly low, probably somewhere around 50 or more. I'm not entirely sure if there would be more based on other qualifications, so some advice on the matter could be helpful. Perhaps every county or above should get a representative, even if held by the same person, meaning that someone can have multiple votes or put their own representatives in the Cortz. Like I said, advice is welcome.

Seeing as this new system is likely to rely heavily on parties, I need people to state what party they are in. The only ones I am certain of are alscon, Mach Twelve, Firehound15, and zenphoenix because they are party leaders. I need to know who is in what party for the new system to work. I'm not sure if I will have everything ready to go by the vote, seeing as I expect it will take awhile to set something up in Excel, but being informed earlier would be better.))
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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I accept the position of Minister of Trade.
Joaquin Villanova

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Perhaps every county or above should get a representative, even if held by the same person, meaning that someone can have multiple votes or put their own representatives in the Cortz. Like I said, advice is welcome.
((It can make sense, after all, in the first Continental Congress of the US, Ben Franklin represented about 3 or 4 states alone.))

Seeing as this new system is likely to rely heavily on parties, I need people to state what party they are in. The only ones I am certain of are alscon, Mach Twelve, Firehound15, and zenphoenix because they are party leaders. I need to know who is in what party for the new system to work. I'm not sure if I will have everything ready to go by the vote, seeing as I expect it will take awhile to set something up in Excel, but being informed earlier would be better.))
((I am currently independent.))
 
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Robban204

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I accept the position as Minister of Finance.

Martí de Alvaro

((I am a member of the Reconquista Party))
 
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wzhang29

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((Independent))
 
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