Questers

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The Questarian Federation
Questers
Flag Flag of the Questarian Communist Party
Motto: Commune Bonum
Anthem: Solidarity Forever
Questers in Maredoratica.
Relief map of Questers
Capital
and largest city
Jesselton
Official languages English, Dansk (official)
Varnian, Sondsteadish, Gallan (regional accepted)
Ethnic groups (2012) 92.7% Questarian
71.7% Gallosaxon
21% Danske
Demonym Questarian
Government Commonwealth
 •  Directorial cabinet Cabinet of Ministers
 •  Prime Minister Peter Baker
Establishment
 •  Kingdom of Questers 877 
 •  Questarian Revolution 1991 
Area
 •  Total 679,800 km2
262,472 sq mi
 •  Water (%) 1.2
Population
 •  2017 estimate 119.2 million
119,271,640
 •  Density 163/km2
422/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
 •  Total $2,995 billion
 •  Per capita $25,110
Gini0.166
low
HDI 0.815
very high
Currency Questarian Pound (QPS) (£/)
Time zone Jesselton Mean Time
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drives on the left
Calling code 72
Internet TLD .ke

The Questarian Federation, commonly known as Questers (pronounced: /kɛstəs/, KEST-ers), is a Commonwealth and constitutionally-Socialist state in Alisna. With a population of 119 million, it is the second most populated Alisnan country, and also the fourth largest economy in Alisna, with a gross domestic product PPP of $2,995 billion. Questers borders Sondstead over the Rytuic sea, Alanko and Varnia to the north, Jumieges and Schaumburg to the west and Pollona to the south. Questers covers an area of 262,472 square miles.

Jesselton is the capital city of Questers, and one of the largest cities in Alisna. Questers is highly urbanised; the other major metropolitan areas of Haschester, Altringham, Harrington, Softham and Owceister contain more than 45% of the population. In antiquity, Jesselton was the centre of cross-Maredoratic trade, and has influenced the rest of the country accordingly. The Questarian people and Gallo-saxon, their language, are a result of millenia of migration between the peoples of Sondstead, Varnia, Galla and other south-western Alisnan states.

Today, Questers exerts significant global cultural influence via the international use of its language. It played a leading role in historical events, such as the Christianisation of Alisna, the Age of Exploration, the Industrial revolution and the Great Maredoratic War. Questers is a signatory of the Treaty Against Proliferation of Nuclear Armaments and the Global Trade Facilitation Protocol, and a member of the G8, the Nordic Forum, the Socialist International and other international organisations. Questers resigned from the Maredoratic League in 1942 after it imposed sanctions during the Questarian-Varnian War.

Since antiquity Questers has been ruled by a royal family, but this family was deposed in 1991 in the Questarian Revolution. In 1992, Stephen IV was discovered to be leading a plot to overthrow the Government, and he was exiled to Galla. The Questarian Communist Party and Trades Union Congress took power of the country and wrote a constitution making Questers formally a socialist state. Private property was either nationalised or communalised. Questers does not possess any overseas territories or non-metropolitan districts, and is de-jure a unitary republic, with two official languages; Anglo-saxon and Danske. Foreign observers have called Questers a single-party, police and counterintelligence state.

Questers maintains cordial relations with its neighbours, but travel into and out of the Commonwealth is controlled by a strict visa system, including exit visas. Questers spends the most per-capita on foreign aid in Maredoratica, and directly supports developing countries in Alqosia and Wilassia, as well as financially backing left wing political parties in those countries. Questarian troops have been active in Karaman and in 2015, mutinied and fought a three-week conflict with Prekonate.

Etymology

The current name Questers is a modern form of Quaster, a word which loosely translates to 'bident' in Old Questarian, after the delta of the river Beam. The Quastrian Empire had its capital on this delta and dominated the region until its collapse in 720 AD. The bident held symbolic power in the Quastrian court, and has maintained its place as a Questarian national symbol - modern, socialist interpretations identify it as a pitchfork. Questers is pronounced: /kɛstəs/, (KEST-ers). The name is a Pollonification.

History

Prehistory

Evidence of human ancestors in Questers has been found in a number of locations - Cardigan man, until 1992 the oldest example of homo erectus, was discovered in the Cardigan valleys in 1973. Prehistoric settlement began before 3500 BCE, with tribes along the Questarian coast and even further inland. These tribes practiced the Fleckenwalder culture, but polities did not begin to form until well into the iron age, around 350 BCE: the discovery of plentiful iron deposits formed the basis of economic and military expansion.

Antiquity

Following a period of continuous warfare, the largest and oldest of the polities based around the fertile southeastern region eventually formed into the Quastrian Empire in 30 BCE. This state was one of the first large polities in Alisna to adopt Christianity and by conquest spread that religion across the entire eastern coast of Questers. The period between antiquity and the middle ages saw the collapse of the Quastrian Empire in 719 CE following sectarian conflict between Arians and Catholics; Gallan raiders began to settle in 720 CE and were defeated in 877 CE by King Jessel, who founded Jesselton and the Kingdom of Questers. These Gallan settlers had a permanent impact on Questarian language and culture.

Middle ages

The House of Jessel controlled the country until the War of the Rose and the Poppy, when the House of Beaufort wrested control in a six year conflict; during the Middle Ages, successive Kings conquered more and more of the country, settling large cities in the west and north: dozens of castles were built to secure the new land and the population quickly rose.

Exploration and Empire

Industrialisation

1920-1991

Revolution

Modern

Geography

A relief map of Questers
Eastern moors.

The total land area of Questers is approximately 262,400 square miles (679,800 sq km). The country lies between the latitudes 59° and 50°N and longitudes 3°and 14°E, in the eastern flank of the Alisnan continent, lying between the Rytuic Sea and the Maredoratic Ocean. It is considered both geographically Nordic and Northern. Questers has almost 1,190 miles of land borders, sharing five land boundaries with Pollona (695-mi), Varnia (124-mi), Jumieges (215-mi), Alanko (149-mi), and Schaumburg (6-mi). Approximately 41% of land in Questers is used for agriculture, with another 47% being unused. Of the 41% of land which is used, 33% is arable and 31% is pasture.

Questers is located on the northeastern end of the Fleckenwalder mountains; the mountains drain into the Rytuic and Maredoratic from eight major rivers and three major lakes; the longest river is the Beam river (978-mi), which is also a major cultural location and the site of several ancient cultures. The area encompassing the Fleckenwalders is normally referred to as the highlands; it is sparsely populated, with 85% of the Questarian people living in the lowlands. The Pembroke Basin is the largest internal drainage system in the world. The lowland areas are mostly flat in the north, but become more hilly in the south and eastern parts of the country, with significant moorland.

The southern and eastern parts of the Highlands are dotted with valleys, vales. This area of Questers is called 'the Valleys' and is considered culturally, although not geographically, distinct from the Highlands. Parts of the Questarian highlands have very tall mountains; Pikes Peak is the tallest part of the country, at 13,950-ft (4,251-m). Questers has four mountain peaks above 13,000 feet, twelve above 10,000 feet and nineteen above 2,500 feet.

There are twelve national parks in Questers, taking up 12.25% of the country's land area. National parks are managed by National Heritage. Construction and waste disposal in Questers is heavily regulated by the Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs.

Climate

The Questarian climate is influenced by prevailing winds, which blow cold air down from the arctic into the Maredoratic Sea. Consequently, most of Questers has a continental climate, albeit with warm summers, although the interior of the country which covers the Fleckenwalder mountains is classified as being subarctic. Parts of the southern coast are classified as being oceanic, and summer temperatures in southern cities like St Georges and Jesselton can reach 90°F. Most of the mountainous interior is cold all year round, and regularly reach 10° to 5°F in winter.

Questers receives high average precipitation. A major ocean current moves down directly into the Maredoratic Sea and a second prevailing wind, known as the Boreal Stream, follows it, blowing large quantities of evaporation directly over Questers. More than 95% of Questers receives snowfall every year.

Climate data for Questers
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −1
(30)
0.2
(32.4)
3.8
(38.8)
12.2
(54)
18.7
(65.7)
21.5
(70.7)
23.6
(74.5)
22.8
(73)
16.7
(62.1)
10.2
(50.4)
2.9
(37.2)
−1.2
(29.8)
10.8
(51.4)
Average precipitation cm (inches) 17.5
(6.89)
12.3
(4.84)
13.8
(5.43)
8.6
(3.39)
7.9
(3.11)
8.5
(3.35)
9.2
(3.62)
10.7
(4.21)
13.9
(5.47)
16.2
(6.38)
16.5
(6.5)
16.9
(6.65)
152
(59.8)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 3.6
(1.42)
3.4
(1.34)
0.7
(0.28)
0.3
(0.12)
1.1
(0.43)
3.2
(1.26)
4.5
(1.77)
16.8
(6.61)
Source: Maredoratic Meteorological Society

Wildlife

Environment

The Questarian valleys.

The Department for Ecology was set up in 1991, the first environment ministry in Questers, in order to regulate the country's environmental quality and to control and clean up pollution. Although Questers heavily increased its industrial output during the 1990s, the Department for Ecology was able to limit some of the environmental impact; its National Environment Controls Agency was able to influence the placing of certain industrial enterprises and was granted access to the central planning procedure in 1995.

Questers has very low carbon emissions for its industrial output, a consequence of its policy to reduce car usage; less than 5% of Questarians own an automobile. The increasing use of nuclear power and hydroelectric power contributed to the low carbon emissions; 6.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita in 2017. Questers is a signatory to Mardeoratic League agreements and arrangements on cutting carbon missions.

In 2016, Questers ceased exporting lumber, in order to reduce its deforestation. Every year the Department for Ecology's Flora Service plants at least 950 million trees in Questers; this number is set to triple by 2020.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Questers

Commonwealth Place, in Alexander Square, is where the Trades Union Congress meets and where Peoples Conferences take place.
Questers
Kcp new.png
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Questers

The Questarian Federation is governed by the Constitution of Questers, a document co-written by the Questarian Communist Party and the Trades Union Congress, the Questarian federation of trades union, in 1991. The Trades Union Congress is the country's main legislative body, with Delegates being democratically elected from the country's workplaces, and together with the Communist Party the Congress effectively runs central government and the horizontally-planned economy. The Congress selects a Cabinet which acts as the country's executive body. The judiciary, and the country's powerful omsbudsman, select within their organisations and are constitutionally immune from interference, although the Communist Party has informal influence over these institutions.

The Questarian system is characterised by the significant political powers which have been devolved to the Commune. The Commune is the basic level of local government, which is governed horizontally, via popular consensus. The Commune is responsible for providing and operating social services and social enterprises, in which cost the limit of price characterises economic activity. Most Communes constitute between 15,000-20,000 citizens.

The constitution created five governing authorities, all of which have the legal power to either make laws or govern the operation of state agencies. These are usually considered the pillars of the Questarian government. Questers is normally considered to have a fusion of powers system due to the closeness of the branches, their powers, and their appointments.[1][2][3]

  • Legislature: the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a federation of all of Questers trades union, and the supreme Questarian legislative power. Delegates are chosen by the trades union and are subject to immediate recall. The TUC constitutes the legislature of Questers and is responsible for passing acts of law and drafting economic plans. The Congress selects then Cabinet of Ministers.
  • Executive: the Cabinet of Ministers is a directorial cabinet government selected by the Congress and responsible for the day to day operation of the government. The six-member Cabinet makes decisions collectively and is considered the equivalent to a head of state. The Cabinet selects a Prime Minister who directs the Cabinet and acts as a head of government. Although the Prime Minister is meant to be first amongst equals, in reality he has significant powers to direct government.[4][5]
  • Omsbudsman: the Office of the Peoples Special Advocate (OPSA) is an omsbudsman which has very significant powers to investigate corruption.[6] Since establishment in 1991, the office has had the constitutional powers to subpoena information regarding any corruption or misfeasance. The OPSA can appoint special counsel to investigate particular affairs or events in which it thinks there has been perversion of the course of justice. Questers is one of the least corrupt countries in Maredoratica by public perception[7].
  • Judiciary: the College of Justice (CJ) is a college of courts which includes the three supreme courts of Questers; the Court of Sessions (criminal), the Court of Agreements (civil) and the Court of Establishments (constitutional). The College is a self-appointing body although all members and judges must be members of the Communist Party. The supreme judge of the whole College is the Chief Justice. The College of Justice's courts (and their inferior appellate courts) make judge-made law by binding their decisions on future judges.
  • Party: the Questarian Communist Party (KCP) is constitutionally the only political party allowed in Questers. Its main role is in managing the machinery of government and controlling appointments to the civil service, since loyalty to the Communist Party is a significant factor in promotion and appointments.[8][9] The Communist Party, with the TUC, also sets the country's political and economic agendas in Peoples Conferences. It operates youth organisations and womens organisations.

Local government

Counties of Questers

While the task of formulating national plans and administering national policy via bureaus and ministries is the remit of the central government, administration and management of local services is devolved to local government. Although Questers is a unitary state, the Powers of the County Act 1991, Communes Act 1992 and Local Government Act 1995 provided many powers for local authorities to make bye-laws, a form of delegated legislation, on a wide range of subjects. In 1997 the Constitution was amended to include the right of people to form Communes and for Communes to form the basis of local economic, social, and political activity.

Questers is divided into Counties, Metropolitan areas, and Communes. The task of the County government is basic administration and the raising of police and militia; County governments are therefore chosen by the Communist Party as they are administrative bodies that do not make policy. Counties either consist of Communes , or Metropolitan areas, which are also subdivided into Communes. Communes are formed out of a small geographical area, usually encompassing a large enterprise and attached residential areas, or large residential blocks. Communes are self-forming: the Communes Act gives citizens the right to form their own Commune based on supermajority, and to receive funding from the County government. Communes are involved in the administration of personal services such as collective cafeterias, laundromats and creches and also the communal running of social enterprises such as restaurants, bars, and hairdressers. A Commune is usually not more than 10-20,000 citizens.

Foreign affairs

Questers foreign relations are officially governed by Sorelist international relations theory, although in practice, Questarian policymakers and diplomats are typically pragmatic. Nevertheless, Questarian foreign relations are constitutionally directed: Article 51 "compels the foreign affairs authorities of the Commonwealth to instigate world revolution." Questers supports other socialist countries and even non-socialist parts of the developing world with its significant foreign aid budget. This budget was believed to be between $29 and $46.5 billion, depending on which metrics were used. Questers maintains significant military forces, including military bases overseas, as part of its foreign policy.

Either through direct grants or through the Fraternity organisation, Questers sponsors individuals who are either members of Communist Parties or who are from the developing world to study in Questers at no, or nominal, cost. Questers hosts approximately 75,000 foreign students per year, the majority of whom are from Communist Parties of wealthier countries or from the developing world. At least 15,000 Rochehautese students are present in Questarian universities at any one time. In some cases, technology stolen by the Questarian Special Reconnaissance Executive from industries in the first-world is given to developing countries for free or nominal cost.

Law enforcement

Security services

Questers has several security agencies, each with particular tasks and jurisdictions. However, the overlap in roles and the jurisdiction of the various agencies has led to confusion inside both Questarian security agencies and the foreign agencies tasked with infiltrating them. In addition to broad overlap and varying command structures and hierarchies, there is reported to be significant inter-service rivalry in Questarian intelligence and security agncis. The civilian agencies usually considered part of the intelligence community are:

Military

Main article: Armed Forces of Questers

Economy

Main article: Economy of Questers

Headquarters of the Central Planning Board, Jesselton.

Questers has a socialist economy which contrasts significantly to market economies or mixed economies. The Questarian socialist economy is marked by the absence of private property, and the presence of laws governing the difference between capital and personal property. Capital can owned and managed in three possible ways:

  • State ownership: Other than state agencies and branches of government, the state owns and manages large banks, international trade organisations, and infrastructure and communications networks.
  • Worker ownership: Almost all enterprises which produce goods and commodities are owned by their workers, who elect managers. Workers and enterprises are federated into the Trades Union Congress.
  • Common ownership: Small local enterprises such as retail, entertainment, and service enterprises are typically owned by local municipalities known as Communes, and their management democratically decided.

The Questarian economy is structured around a mix of decentralised planning and central planning. Broad economic goals are decided by bargaining between trade unions and consumers, and the state's Central Planning Board devises a budget centrally, allocating funds to industries, local communities, and state investment. State investment agencies focus on capital accumulation and intense development of the productive forces via fixed investment and research and development in order to move the country towards communism.

Questers has the fifth-largest economy in the world, with gross domestic product estimated at $2.95 trillion PPP in 2017. GDP per capita is slightly higher than the world average at $25,110 PPP. The Questarian economy is characterised by high income equality, human development and full employment. Major industries in the manufacturing sector include a variety of heavy industries, machine tools, electronics, aerospace engineering and chemicals. The service and knowledge sector is dominated by research and development and software development, and education.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is an extremely important component of the Questarian economy; manufacturing exports reached just over $1,110 billion in 2017, providing the hard cash integral for consumer goods imports. Questarian manufacturing is characterised by high fixed investment and a highly-skilled workforce. Manufactured intermediate goods constitute three quarters of exports and include capital tools and heavy machinery, engines, turbines and other motors, motherboards and other electronic components, industrial plastics and chemicals, and timber. Finished goods widely exported include pharmaceuticals, refrigerators, radios, electronic goods such as home entertainment systems and digital cameras, and textiles.

Services

A modern People's Canteen in Haschester.

Other than traditional sources of tertiary employment, such as services like retail and leisure, the Communist Party has tried to communalise housework, in part due to pressure from communist feminist groups and a desire to put more women into work, thereby increasing the workforce. Communal Peoples Canteens, Peoples Laundries, and Peoples Creches are available to most of the population and function as a way to both compensate women for traditional housework and to provide low-cost services to the general population. Food courts and cafeterias are common in Questers and are a way for individual citizens to increase their income as well as sources of food provision and places of leisure. The majority of small personal services are communally owned.

Questers has a thriving internal tourist economy. Tourism is centred around the coast and mountains, especially national parks. Most public transport is heavily subsidised, and a four-day working week and the abolition of internal passports means that internal travel and tourism is relatively common in Questers. One of the largest tertiary industries is healthcare; there are 6.1 physicians and 11.5 nurses or midwives per 1,000 people. Healthcare is provided free of charge in all circumstances. Retail is another large service industry, and retail operations are usually concentrated in very large retail parks.

Consumer goods

Many Questarians still use Betamatic VHS systems as more modern home entertainment is almost entirely exported.

Unlike countries with a market economy, Questers does not have competing consumer goods. The vast majority of consumer goods are designed by the Institute for Product Design (IPD), which also designs industrial products and architecture. Most consumer goods are designed to the international quality standards of developed nations and so are typically high. Despite the best efforts of the state, international observers often report that shortages of consumer goods are common, especially perishables.

Foreign trade

Science and Technology

Research

Electronics

Aerospace

Infrastructure

Transport

Trains run even in extreme weather.

Transport policy in Questers is run by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Ministry manages and runs the roads, railways, canals, public transport companies, airports and airlines in Questers.

Between 1992 and 2015 the state invested nearly $700 billion in overhauling transport infrastructure. Railway lines were more than doubled from 18,150 km in 1989 to 41,250 km in 2009 and further expanded to 57,500km in 2015. The number of billion passengers per kilometres increased from 112 in 1995 to 611 in 2015, making rail the most used form of transport outside of cities. Paved roads were also expanded, increasing from 381,950 km in 1989 to 632,109 in 2014. Private ownership of cars, however, decreased, whereas bus and freight vehicle use increased. Questers has one of the lowest rates of private automobile ownership in Maredoratica, a consequence of punitively high taxes on automobile ownership. Cars accounted for only 3% of journeys not made on foot in 2015, including taxis.

There are approximately 33,000 miles of bicycle path in Questers, concentrated mostly in urban areas; a 2015 survey revealed that more than 25% of the population use the bicycle as their primary mode of transport. Bicycles are subsidised and children are taught how to ride a bicycle in school. In 2016, Questers opened the first 47-mile bicycle highway, connecting the cities of Harrington and Altringham. Four more are planned to be open by 2019.

Energy

'Farside A' pressurised water reactor in Pembrokeshire.

In 2009 Questers was Maredoratica's third-largest energy consumer[10], but ranked only eighth in overall energy production[11], and Questers has only limited sources of natural gas, coal, and oil. In 2017, 75% of Questers' electricity was produced by nuclear power, 16% by hydro-electric, and 9% by coal. State research into solar power was cancelled in 2009, although there is still limited research and development in the wind power sector. The Department of Energy continues research into renewable energy sources as a matter of contingency planning.

Since 1994, the Government has embarked on a project known as Energy 2020 which aims to make Questers energy independent by 2025. The plan aims for 1,150 billion kWh production by 2020, met 70% by 31 nuclear power stations and 14 separate hydro-electric complexes, supported by a number of tidal installations. In 2010, Questers finished production of the Richard Elliot Hydro-electric Dam, the largest dam in the world. The total budgeted cost for the entire programme of designing, producing and bringing online 31 nuclear power stations with 48 reactors is approximately $23 billion per year, within the 20 year timeframe. Work on power stations is on-schedule.

Demographics

The first Questarian census was in 1092; census records have been taken every 20, 10, and even 5 years in some cases; the most recent Questarian census was 2011; the National Registration Office is responsible for conducting censuses, and throughout history has been responsible for maintenance of identity cards.

Since 1991, the population has increased at an average of 1.9% per year; comparatively, the population only grew 1.2% between 1981 and 1991, and 0.5% between 1971 and 1981. The population of the country 0-14 has increased dramatically; and the proportion of the population over 65 has decreased significantly.

Overall, the total population recorded in the 2016 census was 117,439,583. The average total fertility rate is 2.1.

The 2011 census recorded that slightly more than half of the country's population are women (51%), 92.7% are of Alisnan descent, and there are an estimated 4.6 million homosexuals (4%). The state does not recognise the existence of transsexuals or religions, so these are not counted on the census.

Danske people

Rugbrod, or ryebread, a symbol of the Danske people in Questers.

Danske people (Dansk: Danskere) make up slightly more than a third of Questers demography, although less than a third speak Danske as a first language, and are considered to be ethnically Questarian. Historically they are derived from settlers who stayed in Questers rather than move to Varnia or Sondstead and were later absolved by the Questarian Empire. Danske was only recognised as an official language in 2001; before that, it was considered a foreign language.

The Danske people mainly live in the west and northwest of the country, and constitute approximately 24.5 million of the country's 117 million people. Their culture is closely entwined with that of the Gallo-saxon Questarian culture, but in certain counties such as Ingolmshire, they form a majority, and signs in their language are commonly found. Danske is an optional language in the country's education system; though only 83% of Danske people speak Danske as a first language, 98% of them speak it as a second language.

Their influence on the country's culture is present principally in art and literature, as some famous Danske artists came to prominence in certain historical periods, and some of the country's most popular childrens's literature and folk literature has been written by Danske authors, in Danske including Lars Anker Rasmussen and Christoffer Jorn, who is especially celebrated in the modern era for his connection to the Communist Party. Jorn's book The Fishermen was voted the nation's most loved piece of literature in 2007 and 2009.

Race and ethnicity

A Karamish immigrant prepares kebabs in Jesselton.

The Questarian people can be considered a mix of many Alisnan ethnicities from all neighbouring countries; principally, however, they share DNA mainly with Gallans, Varnians, Styrians and Sondsteaders. As of 2001, the Government no longer recognises the existence of specific ethnicities. The National Statistics Office and the National Registration Office consider only four races to exist (as well as mixes:) white, black, brown and yellow. Racial discrimination is a crime in Questers.

A large number of Questarians trace their ancestry to Varnia, Sondstead or Galla, and in 2009, 47% of Questarians claimed a "Nordic ancestry." This is either reflected in names, especially surnames, language spoken at home, and cultural practices that may differ to Anglo-saxon Questarians. Some consider Questers a Nordic country for this reason.

Questers has historically had extremely low levels of immigration from outside Alisna; poor economic performance and strict immigration laws kept immigration low. Since 1991, Questers has run a policy of nearly open borders. The Maredoratic Organisation for Human Rights, Refugees and Development has named Questers as the "easiest country to migrate to" in Maredoratica; conversely it has also been lamed "the hardest country to emigrate from" in Maredoratica. Questers does not allow dual nationality and operates a strict system of exit controls. Nonetheless, immigrants have arrived, especially from Alqosian countries and refugees from Karaman and other places.

Language





Circle frame.svg

First Language Distribution

  English (69.5%)
  Danske (19.5%)
  Varnian (6%)
  Gallan (3.5%)
  Sondsteadish (0.5%)
  Other (0.5%)

There are three types of language in Questers; "official" languages," "accepted languages" and "foreign languages."

The official languages of Questers are English, which is spoken by 63.5% of Questarians as their first language, and Danske, which is spoken by 19% of Questarians as a first language. Danske suffered from linguistic repression until 2001, when it was recognised as an official language. A further 10% of the population speak one of the three accepted languages as a first language;Varnian (6%), Gallan (3.5%) and Sondsteadish (0.5%). Since nearly all these people are individual, more than half of Questers is bilingual.

Since a Modern Foreign Language has been mandatory for all students aged 4-25 since 1995, approximately 10% of Questers is bilingual or trilingual in a Foreign Language; before 2001 few Questarians learned or spoke a foreign language. Nonetheless, foreign language training is academic in nature, and few Questarians get a chance to use their language skills. Through the Enseigner nos amis en Questerre! (French: Teach our friends in Questers!) programme, some foreign teachers from Morieux have been recruited, but less than 1% of Questarian language classrooms are led by a foreign teacher.

Questarian English is heavily influenced by Gallan, Sondsteadish, Varnian, French and German, via the various migrations that Questers was subject to throguhout history. The language is therefore very diverse, with vocabulary and grammatical structures from a variety of languages. Spelling and pronunciation are particularly irregular.

Questers has many varied accents and regional dialects. Before 1991, Received Pronunciation was the preferred mode of formal communication in English, but since 2001, regional accents and dialects have been given more prominence in media; many Questarian politicians speak with recognisable accents. Unlike other languages, Questers does not legally regulate its language. A variety of dictionaries are published and none are accepted as de jure.

Religion

Many Questarian Churches were expropriated by the state and converted to secular administrative buildings.

The National Registration Office, as a Government office, does not recognise the existence of religion, and so does not keep records on the number of believers in the country. The Organisation pour la liberté religieuse, based in Berry, has estimated that 25.5% of Questarians visit a Church at least once per month.

Christianity in Questers spread quickly, and its influence was never waned by brief interruptions of Gallan religions and Islam. The country was the source of a number of conflicts between Arian Christianity and Catholicism, but by the early 15th century, the country was mainly Arian. The majority of Questarians became Presbyterian or Calvinist following the Reformation. The Church was an integral part of the State and via the Parish System, had legislative, executive and judicial powers. Religion was traditionally a major force in Questarian society. Atheism first entered the country in the 19th century, but early atheists were persecuted. The powers of the Church were expanded in the 1980s.

Since 1997, the Questarian government has refused to recognise the existence of any religions under a system known as Religious Blindness, or Blindity. Local Churches were converted to secular municipal buildings; larger religious buildings have been made into museums or public spaces. Government employees may not wear religious clothing. Public advertising may not mention religion, and students (not their parents) in Questarian schools must specifically request to receive religious education. According to the Questarian government, the country has the highest level of freedom from religion in Alisna; the Maredoratic Organisation for Human Rights, Refugees and Development claims that Questers has the lowest level of religious freedom in the same continent.

The original Questarians were pagans, practicing a polytheistic religion somewhat common to all of Alisna. A small but growing quantity of Questarians practice these beliefs and the Questarian courts have ruled that they do not constitute a religion and are therefore exempt from the Blindity policy.

Education

Main article: Education in Questers

Education is fully controlled and funded by the state; the right to an education is a right enshrined in Article 4 of the Questarian constitution. The Questarian education system is mandatory between the years of 4 and 18, and consists of four parts: state-funded childcare for babies and toddlers; Infant and Junior Schooling for 4-10 year olds; Senior Schooling for 11-16 year olds, and a further/higher education for 16-22 year olds, which is differentiated by academic and vocational education, culminating in University or Technical College. After certain stages of education, all males who pass a physical test are conscripted for two to three years. Education is administered entirely by the Department of Education and Skills, and the relevant Goverment cabinet minister, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills. The current Secretary of State is currently Oliver Moore.

The Questarian education system's main aims are equality between students and outstanding academic outcomes, with particular focus on fostering academic success in young learners. Teachers at every level receive the highest salaries in Alisna relative to average income after tax, and have proportionately higher requirements. Tertiary education, which is called Post Secondary Education (PSE) is divided between Technical Colleges and Universities. There are currently 42 Universities and 110 Technical Colleges, which often focus on specific subjects. PSE, like other stages, is completely free, and the state provides generous grants to students. In 2016, 33% of those who passed Senior School went on to PSE; 71% of these graduates went to Technical Colleges and 28% to Universities, with the last 1% going to foreign Universities.

Questarian education, especially primary education, was poorly ranked in the 1980s; most international organisations rated Questers education system below those of developing Wilassian countries like Rochehaut and Guurdalai. Since that time, education rankings have steadily increased, with Questarian education rivaling that of more developed Alisnan nations. In 2011, Questarian students ranked first in the world for mathematics, which is the first time Questers has topped an educational leaderboards. In 2017, Questers was awarded a 0.909 on the Education index, the third-highest in Maredoratica.

The Questarian Communist Party influences the education system through the National Teachers Union, which all teachers have to be a member of, and through youth organisations, which are voluntary, although only the Communist Party's youth groups are allowed, and it is impossible to join the Communist Party without first moving through its youth groups. Foreign observers and defectors report that success in life is tied to the membership of the Communist Party and also membership of its youth groups, and criticise the influence that these groups have on children, accusing the state of indoctrination.

Health

Main article: Healthcare in Questers

Questers has a single-payer healthcare system, administered by the Department of Health. Government spending on healthcare in 2016 was 232 billion USD, or 7.75% of GDP. Private healthcare is non-existent. In addition to the healthcare budget, an estimated $15 billion is spent per year on medical research by various agencies such as the National Medicines Authority and National Biological Research Service.

Questers health system is well funded and generally well regarded; with 5.91 physicians per 1,000 people, Questers has the most doctors in the world per capita; it is fourth-highest in the world for hospital beds per 1,000 people (10.25). Nutrition has occasionally been a problem for the Questarian health service as imports of various foodstuffs became more expensive. Children are allocated priority in the rationing system; however, undernourishment of adults is high, and at 8.95%, is nearly double Questers neighbours such as Pollona and Varnia. Between 11-14% of Questarians are obese or overweight.

As of 2017, the average life expectancy in Questers was 75. According to Questarian health sources, this low life expectancy is mainly a result of preventable causes such as alcoholism and smoking; Questers has a higher rate of cigarette consumption per capita than any other industrialised Maredoratican country, at nearly 80% of all adult males. Questarians consume more than 18 litres of alcohol per person per year; again the highest rate in industrialised Maredoratica. Both of these two factors have been stated by the Maredoratic Health Organization to be the principal cause of Questers low life expectancy. Suicide is also amongst the highest in Maredoratica. In 2013, 85,000 Questarians took their own lives.

Culture

See also: - Questarian people
Questarian culture evolved out of Fleckenwalder culture, a common Alisnan culture, and was made distinct by a mix of migration from other various Alisnan peoples such as Gallans and Alpinians, as well as other religious, political, geographical and social factors. Nonetheless, Questarian culture is still broadly similar in foundation to the culture of its neighbouring countries, a result of a history of close economic and social interaction. Northern Questers has a high level of cultural similarity to neighbourign Varnia and Sondstead, whereas southern Questers is more closely linked to its cultural ancestors in Galla and Pollona.

Nordic influence and presence

Roadsign in Danske in rural Questers.

Main article: Nordic countries in Maredoratica

Around 47% of Questarians believe their ancestry to be nordic; that is, stemming originally from either the Dansk, Varnia, Galla or Sondstead. 26% of the population speak Dansk; 10% speak a language from the other three nordic countries. Official forms must be offered in these four nordic languages, and there are newspapers, television to cater for those who prefer to use them. Questarian culture has been influenced by these three foreign nordic groups and by the Dansk people of Questers.

Though the state is not obliged to produce signs in any other language than English, local authorities often do if the number of Dansk speakers is high. Some border regions with Varnia also have roadsigns in that language. Compulsory military training is in English, even in the Danske regiments. All schools and universities in Questers are in English, although examinations must also be offered in Danske, and Danske students have the right to be receive Danske language education. ATMs and public voting machines offer three language selections; English, Dansk, or "Other," of which there are three subselections for the other nordic languages. Co-operatives can register as being a Dansk or other accepted language place of work", in which case employees can not be penalised for speaking those languages. By law all public employees must speak English at work and when dealing with the public. All courts are in English, although translators are of course provided.

For television, Stations 4 and 5 (Dansk) 7 (Varnian), 9 (Sondsteadish) and 11 (Gallan) serve these minority groups and FM radio stations 89.30 FM and 88.70 FM (Dansk) 89.80 FM (Varnian), 91.90 FM (Sondsteadish) 92.90 FM (Gallan) provide services not in English. It should be noted that since these languages are heavily mutually intelligible, these media outlets are somewhat interchangeable. It is common for speakers of one language to listen to programming they prefer in another language they find understand. CommonText provides Dansk, Gallan, Varnian and Sondsteadish services.

Sport

Questarian rules football.
The two major sports in Questers are rugby football and Questarian rules football. Questarians also play football, cricket, tennis, hockey, snooker and many others; other sports such boxing, fencing, shooting and athletics are also extremely popular. Virtually every sport can be found somewhere in Questers. Nearly 82% of Questarians listed sport as a major hobby in a recent survey. Racing of all types; cars, dogs and horses, is also popular. The gambling industry is mainly based around these sports.

Sport culture is pronounced, especially in team sports, and famous Questarian clubs for these sports are supported throughout the country; sports are played throughout the year in various seasons. Both rugby and cricket were invented in Questers and Questers participates in all major sporting events in Maredoratica and Alisna; it is the Maredoratica champion for rugby and came second in the 2014 Maredoratica Cup.

The Government has embarked on a programme to encourage sports; it sponsors the production of sports areas all over the country, mandates sports in school, and created two national holidays specifically for playing sports. It believes that sports, as part of exercise, are part of preventative medicine and a healthy population would reduce the need for health expenditure. Through the People's Sports Initiative groups of individuals can apply for state grants to turn "disused" areas into sports fields.

Cuisine

See also: Questarian cuisine

A typical Questarian breakfast.
Questarian cuisine is varied, and uses all of the main cooking methods. The staple foodstuffs of Questers are potatoes and wheat, as well as cereal - in the 20th century meat became widely available. The most commonly consumed meats are lamb, pork and chicken, and Questers has unusually high per-capita consumption of rabbit and hare. Beef is not commonly eaten. At special occasions moose and elk are often served. These meats are usually roasted or used in stews. Fish, specifically haddock, kippers, cod and mackerel are commonly consumed, often fried in batter. Sandwiches were invented in Questers.

Since 2001, major foreign fast food chains have been banned from operating in the country, and Questarian fast food chains usually provide traditional dishes such as fish and chips and sandwiches; they compete alongside purpose-specific shops chip shops and delis. Questers does not import major foreign brands of cola. Harry Cola is the domestic cola brand and has had enjoyed limited export success.

Although Questarians drink the most tea in Maredoratica, both per capita and nominally, alcohol is also widely consumed - many famous alcohol brands in Maredoratica are Questarian. Beer is commonly drunk, and ale constitutes 93% of all beer consumed in Questers. Gin is also consumed in extremely large quantities. According to the Maredoratic Health Organization, alcoholism is a serious health problem in Questers. The MHO blamed subsidised costs of alcohol and a prevalent drinking culture, as well as a lack of a legal age for alcohol purchase or consumption. Per capita, Questarians consume 73 litres of beer and 8.4 litres of spirits per year. Questarians use imperial measurements for drinks; attempts to decimalise were widely ignored.

Literature

Literature has a strong tradition in Questers and began as part of the performing arts, including poetry. The first well-known authors in English began writing in the 14th century, and in Dansk in the 15th century. In the 19th century, romantic authors wrote of Merry Questers, while social realists and naturalists began to write prose, much of which was satirical and political, on the social conditions in Questers, which were rapidly beginning to change. Works such as Elizabeth Fillmore's Pride and Prejudice and Grundtvig's Northern Mythology are examples of the former, whereas Alan Pecking's David Copperfield and Henrik Pontoppidan's Nattevagt are examples of the latter.

In the 20th century, Questarian literature produced a wide variety of authors, including Jake Barnes, whose A Farewell to Arms characterised the war with Varnia, Winston Smith who wrote widely-read descriptions of life in Questers, such as The Road to Wigan Pier, and other famous authors such as Anthony Burgess and Graham Greene. Questarian literature continues today with works widely-read across Maredoratica, including J. K. Rowling's Barry Potter series. Some Questarian chilren's classics such as Thomas the Tank Engine are still popular all over Maredoratica.

Music

There are not many famous Questarian composers; in previous times the nobility preferred foreign composition and there were few schools or specialists inside the country. Modern music has taken on something of an independent development. Urban Questers is a centre of Indie rock in Maredoratica, and electronic music is also very popular in Questers. Electronic Dance Music was pioneered in Galla and Questers and is very popular in both countries. Aside from these two genres, folk and country music is still very popular across Questers, as well as jazz.

Art, Film & Theatre

The Blue Expanse by Arthur Ruler, 1918.
After the medieval era, in which Questarian artists followed a standard Alisnan pattern Questarian artists, like other Alisnan artists, developed into - and out of - the fine art era, in which technical competence was the most highly rated skill. Questarian artists followed with a particularly realist style, heavily influenced by romanticism; the Questarian Ruralist school made many famous paintings of the Questarian countryside in a romantic, realist style. Questarian artists were heavily influenced by impressionism, and out of that developed social realist styles. During the 50s and 60s, abstract art emerged. Social realism has come to dominate the Questarian art scene, emerging into a full blown socialist realism style that is so recognisable today. Art commissioned by the state is almost always in a social realist or socialist realist style.
The National Opera and Theatre House, formerly the Royal Opera House.

Film in Questers did not arrive until later than the rest of Maredoratica, and films were usually important; the Questarian film community, which finally made international sales in the 50s and 60s produced mainly epic dramas based on myths. The first Questarian films did not provide social commentary, and used simple production techniques. Since 2001, the Department of Culture and the Arts has provided subsidies to domestic film producers, setting up the National Film Agency to promote Questarian films at home and abroad. Most films produced in Questers have some level of state funding. The Department of Culture and the Arts has been accused by the Maredoratic Organization for Culture, Education and Science of widespread censorship of foreign and domestic films.

Theatre and the performing arts have a long history in Questers; the ancient Quastrians placed a high value on performing arts. Throughout the ages, plays and performances were the main form of entertainment for Questarians, in both high and low culture. Questers has inherited a rich history of theatre, and many plays produced during the "Golden Era" of Questarian theatre, the 16th-17th century, are still performed, either in their original form or modern adaptations. The Department of Culture and the Arts actively promotes theatres and performing arts with subsidies through the National Theatre Association.

National symbols

The national animals of Questers are the Ermine (the stoat) and the Alsatian. Non animal symbols include the bident.

Public holidays

See also

  1. Maredoratic League Handbook: Questarian Commonwealth/Politics
  2. Morivaine Mission to Questers: Basic details
  3. Political Systems of the World, de Lorraine, St Lo University Press
  4. The Questarian System, St Lo University Press
  5. Political Systems of the World, de Lorraine, St Lo University Press
  6. Political Systems of the World, de Lorraine, St Lo University Press
  7. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  8. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  9. Political Systems of the World, de Lorraine, St Lo University Press
  10. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  11. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial