Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan

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This article is about the former independent micronation. For the confederation it has been a part of since August 2014, see Confederation of Leylandiistan & Gurvata.

Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan

20122014

Leyflag.PNG123coa.png

Motto
Ní neart go chur le chéile
(Unity is achieved through Strength)
Anthem
Our Motherland
Cork, Southern Ireland
Capital city Orchardstown, Cubbyhole
Official language(s) Gaeilge, English
Official religion(s) Secular (Mainly Roman Catholic population)
Short name Leylandiistan
Demonym Leylandiistani
Government Democratic Republic
- President Fionnbarra Ó Cathail
Legislature National Assembly of Leylandiistan
- Type - Unicameral
Established 3 November 2012
Area claimed 350 m²
Population 19
Currency Leylandiistan Lira and Euro
Time zone (GMT +0)
National drink Lemonade, LeylandiiCola, Cubbyhole Apple Juice
National animal Cat, Dove
Patron saint Brendan, Gobnait, Gertrude
Member of the GUM

Leylandiistan Government homepage

The Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan was the original state of the area of the Confederation of Leylandiistan and Gurvata known as Leylandiistan. It was originally divided into two Autonomous Republics: Robinscourt and the Cubbyhole, however following Robinscourt's secession the Cubbyhole became the sole constituent of the republic. The Democratic Republic became one of the two constituents of the Confederation of Leylandiistan and Gurvata following its signature of the Treaty of Union between Leylandiistan and Gurvata. The capital was located at Maple Hill until July 2014, and then at Orchardstown, while the legislature was the National Assembly of Leylandiistan.

Etymology

Leylandiistan was named after the Leyland Cypress (often referred to as simply leylandii), a plant found widely in the Cubbyhole. The -stan suffix is used frequently by various states. It was also the national plant of Leylandiistan.

History

Melandic Republic

The area on which Orchardstown, Cubbyhole A.R. is situated was first discovered by Fionnbarra Ó Cathail in April 2009. In March 2012 the area surrounding the Cubbyhole seceded from Ireland. The president was Fionnbarra Ó Cathail, and the vice president and defence minister was Tomás Ó Murchú. The Melandic Republic was the name of the nation, and it had it's own currency, the Melandic Krona. Only four banknotes were printed. Around May, the Melandic Army attempted to invade a neighbouring micronation. While the invasion was successful, it proved to be an unpopular move. Together with economic stagnation, it was only a matter of time before the Republic collapsed. The government lost interest in running the country, and at the end of June, the country was disbanded, and the territory was handed back to Ireland.

Formation of Leylandiistan

Leylandiistan's first flag, used from 25 October to 10 November 2012.

Five months later, the idea for a new independent nation was conceived by Fionnbarra Ó Cathail and Ruairí de Créag. The Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan declared independence on 3 November 2012, thus seceding from the Irish Republic, and the first rulers were Co-Consuls Ruairí de Créag and Fionnbarra Ó Cathail. The Declaration of Independence was read a few days later, in a completely peaceful process.

The Diarchical Government

The First Cabinet meeting took place in Maple Hill on 15 November; those in attendance were the two Consuls, Ruairí de Créag and Fionnbarra Ó Cathail. At the meeting, Leylandiistan's flag was changed to its current format, while the political structure of the country was devised. Cabinet meetings continued to be held by the Co-Consuls throughout their term.

On 22 November 2012, the Leylandiistan Government officially recognised the UN Human Rights Charter, and on 25 November, the first business enterprise in Leylandiistan was established. It was called LeylandiiCell and it ran parts of the state telecommunications network until it went dormant after the selling of its shares. When LeylandiiCell's dormancy persisted following the reassignment of duties within the company, the company was officially disbanded and its assets distributed among its members at the company's AGM in early 2014.

On 21 February 2013, Co-Consul de Créag set out a document entitled "Agreement as to government powers". This document detailed terms of a coalition between Co-Consul de Créag and Co-Consul Ó Cathail. He then established the Central Democratic Party, and as party leader he signed the document on 22 February at 19:00 GMT. Ursula O'Sullivan became the second member and Deputy Leader of the Central Democratic Party soon afterwards, and Ó Cathail set up his own party, SALDAL.

Issue 3 of the Sentinel controversy

On 26 March 2013, the Leylandiistan Sentinel published a controversial article as its headline piece on its third issue[1]. It detailed claims that the CDP's website was almost identical to its rival SALDAL's website, which was published two weeks earlier. The article said there were "calls for an inquiry into why they happen to be so similar". The article claimed that de Créag said that the particular design "proved to be the most attractive design for the website" in a published statement. It also featured comments from Fionnbarra Ó Cathail, who was also author of the article, where he said it was an embarrassing blunder for the CDP, and one sure to be mentioned coming up to the election.

Party leader Co-Consul de Créag then released an official statement on the matter on the party's website on 29 March. He criticised SALDAL leader Fionnbarra Ó Cathail for using his position as editor of the Sentinel to "weaken the image of the CDP". He also said that the Sentinel's claims of him releasing a statement on the matter were false, and that the similarities between both websites were simply there because most parties follow a typical format for website design.

SALDAL leader Fionnbarra Ó Cathail released a statement on his party's website countering de Créag's claims, and criticised de Créag for using the government twitter page to publicise his statement, saying that he was manipulating state bodies for his own party's benefit. In private, exchanges between both Co-Consuls became heated, and some feared for the stability of the government. However, both parties agreed to settle the matter. In Issue 4 of the Sentinel[2], an apology was made for the claims that de Créag had released a statement when he had clearly not, they said that what had in fact occurred was private discussion among the Co-Consuls. The Issue 3 scandal, as it became known was the first political controversy in Leylandiistan's history, and one which stuck in the minds of those high up in both parties.

Elections and the Constitution

The Co-Consuls decided to end their power sharing agreement after a democratic election. After an election date was set for mid-August 2013, the campaign began. In the election, nine candidates ran. The winner became the president, the runner up became the vice-president, and the next five took up secretarial positions within the National Assembly. The nation went to the polls between the 7th and the 12th of August 2013. In the election, all parties won seats in the National Assembly. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail, leader of SALDAL, was elected President, and Ruairí de Créag was elected Vice-President. Five candidates were elected to the National Assembly of Leylandiistan. The inauguration took place on Monday, 19 August 2013, in Maple Hill, Robinscourt.

Initially, the National Assembly was stagnant. Only two Acts were passed between August 2013 and February 2014. After realising the problems that existed in Leylandiistan, the Executive Council wrote a draft constitution, and in March 2014, this was adopted after being sanctioned by a referendum. Major changes took place within Leylandiistan, including a restructuring of the legislative and judicial branches, as well as granting semi-autonomy to all Leylandiistani territories. The autonomous republics, as they were known, had "regional councils" as legislatures, which nominated one of its members to represent it in the National Assembly. This meant that after March 2014, there were only two National Assembly members, the President and the Vice-President.

Logo of the Electoral Commission of Leylandiistan.

Division of Leylandiistan

Things began to spiral downhill after the constitutional referendum. After a cabinet meeting announced the results of the referendum, contact between the two autonomous republics decreased, and the implementation of the constitution took longer in Robinscourt than in Cubbyhole. In April, the Vice President declared a government hiatus. Although President Ó Cathail was concerned at the length of the hiatus, he went along with de Créag's plans, and so the government suspended activity for the duration of the school exam period. President Ó Cathail was eager to return to work in the government after the exams, and began drafting several items of legislation throughout June. De Créag returned from the United States in early July, but the government did not meet for another ten days.

At the first meeting of the new National Assembly on 17 July, President Ó Cathail opened the meeting and presented the legislation he had drafted, and the Assembly approved the Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact. Ó Cathail later told Béal na Tíre [3] that de Créag seemed "uninterested" in the meeting. Ó Cathail raised his concern at the commitment of de Créag, the inactivity in Robinscourt A.R. and the departments run by de Créag. A "heated discussion" followed, but the conclusion that the Assembly came to shocked many. Leylandiistan was to split in two, with Cubbyhole remaining as Leylandiistan, while de Créag would lead an independent Robinscourt known as the Maple Federation.

The micronational community was surprised by the division of the state. President Ó Cathail spoke to Béal na Tíre, the Clyran Micronational [4] and the Mancunian media [5] on the issue, and a sense of calm returned to Leylandiistan soon after it was clarified that Leylandiistan would continue on its current path, with or without Robinscourt as a constituent. Two weeks after the division, the Maple Federation ceased to exist, and Robinscourt became part of Ireland. While the country seemed determined to continue on its current trajectory, Leylandiistan was nonetheless weakened without Robinscourt.

Treaty of Union

On 30 August 2014, Pádraig Ó Ceocháin of a nearby micronation known as the Republic of Gurvata met with Fionnbarra Ó Cathail at Orchardstown to begin negotiating terms for a merger of the two states. The result, after hours of discussion, was the Treaty of Union between Leylandiistan and Gurvata. The treaty made Leylandiistan one of the two constituents of the Confederation of Leylandiistan and Gurvata, which is still commonly known as Leylandiistan.

Apart from merging with Gurvata and disbanding the National Assembly, little else in Leylandiistan really changed, exactly as both parties had intended. The Confederation is to this day a widely respected nation in the micronational community, as the Democratic Republic also was. The Treaty of Union brought a permanent end to government inactivity and legislative deadlock in Leylandiistan, and gave Leylandiistan extra citizens, while the Treaty gave Gurvata international attention it had never had before. The signature of the treaty by both parties at 18:25 GMT that day marked the end of almost two years of Leylandiistan existing as a Democratic Republic.

Government and politics

Proposed political system of Leylandiistan, 2012.

Between November 2012 and August 2013, the Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan was run by two co-consuls, Ruairí de Créag and Fionnbarra Ó Cathail. This was the first government in office since Leylandiistan's independence. It was a diarchy, and it made all the decisions of government. Both co-consuls were also the pro-consuls, or governors, of each territory, Robinscourt and Cubbyhole. Early on in the country's formation in 2012, a political system loosely based on that of ancient Rome was devised. It was divided into three branches; the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The legislative branch, or Senate (later called the National Assembly) consisted of 10 senators, five from each territory, and would have been chaired by a Praetor. A co-consul would have been elected by each territory, and both co-consuls would have acted as heads of state. The judicial branch consisted of a supreme court, based in the capital, Maple Hill, Robinscourt Territory; a high court based in the Cubbyhole Territory, and a district court in each territory. Each court would have been presided over by a praetor. Due to a lack of citizens, only the executive branch of this system was ever implemented, and by the time the population began to increase in January 2013, a simpler form of government began to be pursued.

After February 2013, political parties were established. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail's SALDAL later became Conradh Daonlathais, while Ruairí de Créag once led the Centralist Democratic Party of Leylandiistan (CDP). They agreed to end the diarchy after the 2013 Leylandiistan General Elections. Though elections were initially scheduled for 1 June 2013, they were continuously postponed. On 31 July, the date was scheduled for 7 August. On 4 August, both CDP and SALDAL released election statements, and circulated email messages to Leylandiistani citizens. Voting lasted three days, and concluded on 10 August. There was one ballot paper nationwide, with nine candidates. The winner was elected president, the runner up vice president, and the next five most popular were elected to the National Assembly of Leylandiistan. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail was elected President, and Ruairí de Créag was elected Vice-President. Their inauguration was held in Maple Hill on 19 August. Between the election in August 2013 and the constitutional referendum of February 2014, the National Assembly passed two acts, approved the GUM Charter and was consulted on the government's stance on some diplomatic conflicts.

The Flag of Leylandiistan flying in the Cubbyhole Autonomous Republic.

The Executive Council was informally established following the election. Consisting of both executive branch members, the President and Vice President, it met about every fortnight in the capital, Maple Hill, or in Orchardstown. It had little power compared to the National Assembly. However, it became a legally recognised body in November 2013 when the National Assembly passed legislation giving the executive and legislative branches more powers. It could "set up small extra-­governmental bodies" and "recommend legislation based on the outcomes of its meetings". "Extra-governmental bodies" established by the Executive Council included the Postal Service, National Aerobics Society, and a health centre which provided basic medical care in Maple Hill, though these projects soon fell into dormancy. The President chaired Executive Council meetings, and could suspend the Council if he wished until both members of the Council agreed to re-establish it. The Executive Council also drafted the new Constitution of Leylandiistan, and organised the referendum which approved it.

After the constitutional referendum of February 2014, Leylandiistan started edging towards direct democracy. In Leylandiistan, the vision of direct democracy enshrined in the constitution was applied through citizen-run regional councils in each Autonomous Republic. Every citizen sat on their local Regional Council. The Regional Council then elected one of its members to represent the Autonomous Republic in the National Assembly. All regional and national legislation was reviewed by each Regional Council. The Regional Council could pass its own laws which would only have effect in the area it controlled. The Executive Council's functions did not change, but it was renamed to "the executive branch". While politicians could align with political groupings, in the National Assembly their political grouping was irrelevant. One of the fundamental theories of Leylandiistan's new political system was that politicians should work together for the betterment of the country, rather than squabble among each other over their political affiliations.

After the Division of Leylandiistan, normal government functions were impossible under the Constitution, which did not allow for a Leylandiistan with just one constituent territory. President Ó Cathail remained head of state while he attempted to resolve the deadlock. He continued his duties as Foreign Secretary as normal, and continued representing Leylandiistan at the Grand Unified Micronational. However, there were little other duties he could perform, and it was not long before negotiations for a merger with the neighbouring Republic of Gurvata began. The Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan's political history came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Union on 30 August 2014.

Geography

Leylandiistan is located in County Cork, Ireland, which has a cold, wet, sometimes snowy climate in the autumn and winter, and occasional warm periods in the spring and summer. Despite the occasional snowfall, there has not been any heavy snow in Leylandiistan since late 2011. However, there was light snow in the winter of 2013, when the snow reached 2 cm at its deepest. Leylandiistan's first winter saw 6 to 7 cm of snow.

Leylandiistan's geology is similar to that of neighbouring County Cork; the rock is either Limestone or Old Red Sandstone, most likely the latter. Originally, Leylandiistan's territory was 400 metres squared, but this has since dropped to 100 metres squared. Before the division of Leylandiistan, the capital was in Maple Hill, Robinscourt, but this has since moved to the Cubbyhole's Orchardstown.


Economy

An advert for the beverage LeylandiiCola

Throughout its history, Leylandiistan experienced very little industrialisation. For the first year or so of its existence, foreign affairs and internal administration were seen as more important than developing the economy. Three weeks after Leylandiistan declared independence, LeylandiiCell Telecom was established. Throughout its lifetime it achieved very little. On one occasion, 3% of its shares, which at the time totalled €1, were sold to a private bidder, later named as Ruairí de Créag. It was disbanded at its first AGM in early 2014. Similar attempts at establishing companies also did not succeed, as was the case with the Postal Service, which posted four letters in total in its lifetime.

LeylandiiCola was the first enterprise which produced products for the domestic market. In mid-2013 it produced five litres of cola, though its production was limited to the summer season. There were numerous schemes planned for producing an array of goods. At one stage, all the equipment needed to produce hydrogen gas for the domestic economy had been acquired, but concerns over the safety of the project led to its cancellation by Cubbyhole Regional Council. In spring 2014, land was prepared for growing food in Orchardstown. Over the course of the summer more and more plots were set aside, and food production increased. By the end of the year, the plots had produced carrots, lettuce, rocket, herbs (fresh and dried), lemon balm and mint. The orchards produced many kilograms of apples, as well as nine bottles of cider. By that stage, however, Leylandiistan had become part of Leylandiistan & Gurvata, and thus is not remembered for economic success.

Leylandiistan Lira

A £100 lira note

In January 2013, efforts were made to introduce a new currency, the Leylandiistan Lira. Banknotes were designed, and an exchange rate was set. This rate was fixed to the euro, at the rate of €1 to LY£4. A sample of banknotes was purchased by a Chinese collector, and interest from other collectors was also expressed. However, beyond this the Lira had little impact, and not many notes were printed, though a high number of lower denomination notes were. No coins were produced. Notes that were printed were £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100. There were plans for a £2, but these were scrapped. Each company and state body in Leylandiistan were given a small amount of Lira notes by the government to encourage the currencies use. However, the euro dominated financial transactions, and the Lira's dominance as a currency quickly became a dream. Like many micronational currencies, it was an expression more of patriotism than of economic sovereignty.

Military

Following the introduction of the new Constitution, the legislative and executive branches had near-total control over the military. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail was once captain of the navy's only boat, the Tropicana. The Tropicana had been for water trials in Roch'Hir, Loguivy de la Mer, France and Kinsale Harbour, Ireland. The vessel could hold 80 kilos, and was 1.5 metres long by 1 metre wide. However, on 12 June 2014, the Tropicana hit a rock off of Cap du Penvins in Morbihan, France, and suffered unrepairable damage. This incident marked the end of Leylandiistan's military ambitions at sea.

Culture

The Democratic Republic of Leylandiistan was a very cultured country. Irish was widely spoken as a second language, and all place-names in the country are in Irish as well as English. The culture of the nation was quite unique. It was mainly Celtic, with French culture having a reasonable influence. Neighbouring micronation Gurvata also had some cultural influences on the nation. The merger of Leylandiistan with Gurvata combined these cultural traits with those of Gurvata, and the Confederation is widely considered to be a Celtic nation by external observers.

References

  1. Issue 3 of the Leylandiistan Sentinel
  2. Issue 4 of the Sentinel
  3. Béal na Tíre report on the division of Leylandiistan
  4. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail speaks to the Clyran Micronational's Micropressure column
  5. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail speaks to Mancunia Loud and Clear