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Arqea

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Arqea (Qromean pronunciation: [ɑɹˈkejä]) is one of the sovereign states of VetoVeto. It is one of the largest and most influential countries of the southern hemisphere, along with Qromadea. The majority of the residents speak Arqean Qromean.

Government

The form of government of Arqea can be seen as a mix between a technocracy, meritocracy and democracy. Arqea has a separation of fields, meaning that decisions regarding e.g. media entertainment are not concerned with environmental issues. This can be compared with systems found in certain countries of Earth, such as the United States of America. For instance, the Department of Agriculture is focused on e.g. farming, which is not a task of the Department of Commerce.

Decisions are made by the different Schools, but they have to comply with the law of the country. All Schools together are called a council, and major decisions have to be approved by either one or multiple councils.

Council of Arqea

The highest council is the Council of Arqea, also known as The Council, where all schools are represented. The Council has 1153 seats (or 481 in hexadecimal). Each seat is taken by a representative of a School, where the seats are not evenly distributed amongst Schools. New rules, or certain implementations, have to be approved by The Council. It is important to note that The Council is not, unlike a parliament, a legislature: it does not create new laws. The Council merely approves new laws and decisions and also debates them. It also gives feedback as to why decisions are rejected.

New laws, law amendments and the like are created by Schools themselves. These have to be approved by the School itself and by at least one council and possibly also by the provincial council or even The Council. As a technocracy, the School of Biology cannot make law proposals regarding e.g. tax reforms, unless if it can prove that the proposals fall partially under their domain. Several Schools are represented in councils to serve as a power balance: decisions that affect multiple domains should be approved by multiple domains.

Guard of Arqea

Arqea's equivalence of a Department of Defence is the Guard of Arqea. This can be seen as the army, whereas the provincial Guards can be seen as the police. The Schools of Combat typically represent the interests of The Guard more often than other Schools, but it should be noted that the Guards are not aligned with any School.

Audit of Arqea

Budget proposals have to be approved by the Audit of Arqea. This government instance monitors all budgets and watches over the allocation of goods. It is important to note that this government body is not aligned with any School.

Justice of Arqea

Court cases belong to the Justice of Arqea, provincial justices or other justices. This government instance does not belong to any School. Law proposals and amendments have to be reviewed by a council, not by a justice generally speaking. Implementations of the law have to be approved by a council as well but, in case of fraud or other irregularities, a justice has to review the case as well.

Education

Arqea is a meritocracy and knows a separation of fields. Each field of knowledge generally belongs to one School. For instance, pure mathematics is taught by the School of Robotics, whereas earth sciences are taught by the School of Geology. Completing a programme results in the acquisition of a degree. Many programmes cannot be entered without specific degrees.

Every inhabitant of Arqea is required to complete so-called base degrees. This can be compared to completing primary and secondary education. Base degrees are often not taught in school-specific buildings but, rather, in general purpose buildings. Enrollment starts at an Earth-equivalent age of 5 and typically ends at the age of 12 to 14. Students are guided through the programmes belonging to the different schools and are required to acquire all base degrees.

With base degrees, inhabitants can enroll in higher level programmes. These programmes are generally taught in school-specific buildings. Arqea does not have a direct alternative to Bachelor's and Master's degrees or doctorates. The degrees are, however, classified by various independent agencies.

Tests

Each School oversees its own tests and as such, they are standardised. A test should contain at least one question and all questions should be open. That is, the test cannot contain multiple-choice questions. Each question is worth a number of points and answers are analysed by different individuals from other official organisations. These organisations award points per question. The total number of points determines the grade, where grades are in hexadecimal. The points are scaled, so that the maximum number of points is a 1016 (1610).

So, if a the maximum number of points of a test happens to be 10010, it means that 8010 points corresponds to: 8010/10010×1610 = 12.810. This corresponds to a C.CD16, rounded to two decimals. Everything above or equal to an A16 (1010) is a pass. It is possible for 90% of the students to pass a test, as grading is simply a flat calculation of points, scaled so that the maximum number of points corresponds to a 1016. Therefore, grades in itself are considered redundant: all that matters is that the student passes the test, proving a sufficient amount of knowledge about the subject.

Tests generally take place in different buildings and they always happen simultaneously across the country in order to avoid fraud.

Provinces

Arqea has 28 provinces that have their own degree of autonomy. They have their own council, guard, audit and justice. Provinces are aligned with certain Schools, giving them special rights.

Voting

Arqea does not have traditional elections as seen in democratic countries on Earth. However, there are several annual elections and Arqea also has referenda.

Voting for councils

In Arqea, inhabitants do not vote directly for representatives in the council. Rather, inhabitants rank matters which they deem important. This essentially means that inhabitants rank Schools. For instance, someone might find trade more important than biology, so that person ranks the School of Trade higher than the School of Biology. Every ranking has an equal weight and they determine the composition of councils on a local, provincial and nation-wide level.

In order to be eligible to vote, the inhabitant must have the appropriate degrees. These degrees are sometimes called voting degrees. Having these degrees means that the inhabitant has sufficient knowledge of the political system of Arqea. Obtaining these degrees is not considered difficult and often mandatory for many other degrees.

Voting for Schools

Of course, finding trade important is not the same as determining how trade should be done. Arqea is a technocracy, so inhabitants need to be able to prove that they have sufficient knowledge before they can have a say in such matters. Every School has its own voting day, which happens simultaneously across the country. In order to be eligible to vote, the inhabitant should have appropriate degrees. These degrees are often more difficult to obtain than regular voting degrees.

Other votes

Votes for the audits, guards and justices do exist, but they require appropriate degrees as well. Contrary to votes for councils and Schools, these votes do not draw much attention.

Referenda

Formal complaints and requests can be made by e.g. inhabitants, enterprises and Schools. If such a complaint or request gets enough signatures, it might cause a provincial or nation-wide referendum.