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San Carlos Islands

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Commonwealth of the San Carlos Islands

Сан-Карлос Острова
Flag of San Carlos Islands
Flag
Coat of arms of San Carlos Islands
Coat of arms
Motto: "Последний Рубеж"
"The Last Frontier"
Location of San Carlos Islands
CapitalKetchikan
Largest citySaint Petersburg
Official languagesIslander Xussman, Gwáay
Ethnic groups
Demonym(s)San Carlos Islander
GovernmentFederal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Tsar
Alexsandr Gryaznov II
Andrey Pavlov
Kennedy Piątek
History
• Independence from Xusma
1 January 1941
4 February 1979
Area
• Total
79,130 sq mi (204,900 km2)
Population
• (2020 estimate) estimate
8,517,685 (15th)
• Density
107.64/sq mi (41.6/km2)
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
440 Billion
• Per capita
51,735 (1st)
Gini (2020)Positive decrease 28.2
low
HDI (2020)Increase 0.955
very high
CurrencySan Carlos Islands ruble (SCR)
Time zoneAMT+8 (SCT)
Driving sideright
Calling code+64
Internet TLD.sci

The San Carlos Islands (Islander Xussman: Сан-Карлос Острова, tr. San-Karlos Ostrova), officially the Commonwealth of the San Carlos Islands is a sovereign island country in the Southern Ocean. The population of roughly 8.5 million is highly urbanized. The capital of the San Carlos Islands is Ketchikan, and its largest city is Saint Petersburg. The country's other major metropolitan areas include San Carlos City, Camarillo, and Fort Archangel.

Indigenous San Carlos Islanders inhabited the islands for thousands years prior to the arrival of Xussman fishermen in the 1700's. In the early 1800's population grew exponentially with the arrival of Xussman fur-traders and gold prospectors. By the late 1860s, most of the islands had been explored and were placed under Xussman control. After extensive lobbying by locals, on 1 January 1941 the country was granted independence as a Xussman commonwealth. With the passage of the San Carlos Islands Act in 1979, the country gained more sovereignty from Xusma; removing most Xussman control over the coomonweath while still recognizing the Xussam Tsar as head of state.

The San Carlos Islands is a highly developed country with a massive economy for its rather small population, generating its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking, and manufacturing. It has a high-income economy, with the world's highest per capita income. The San Carlos Islands has the second-highest human development index and ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. The San Carlos Islands is a member of the Terraconserva Council of Nations (TCN) and Terraconserva Economic Union (TEU).

Etymology

The name "San Carlos Islands" derived from the name Quebecshirite Captian, Félix Vernier gave to the islands upon their discovery during his voyage around the globe in the 1300's. He named them "San Carlos" after a town he visited in Creeperopolis.

Colloquial names for San Carlos Islands include "the Final Frontier", "the Commonwealth", and "Little Xusma".

History

Pre-colonial history

Human habitation of the San Carlos Islands is known to have begun at least 17,000 years ago, with the arrival of the Gwáay people in the present-day state of Tsarinaland. Indigenous San Carlos Islanders have established an intimate connection with the islands' lands and oceans through their spiritual beliefs.

At the time of Xussman contact they had already established established highly structured societies, and constructed many villages. Indigenous San Carlos Islanders have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a matrilineal kinship system, with a societal structure based on a clan system, properly referred to as a moiety. Indigenous San Carlos Islanders are known for their craftsmanship, trading skills, and seamanship. They are thought to have been warlike and to have practiced slavery.

Xussman colonization

The first non-indigenous sighting of the San Carlos Islands has been attributed to the Quebecshirite Captian, Félix Vernier in the early 1300's while the first recorded non-indigenous landfall on the San Carlos Islands has been attributed to the Xussmans who landed in what is now the state of Admiralia in the year 1700. The Xussmans who started inhabiting the San Carlos Islands mainly consisted of fisherman who profited off of marine life-rich waters of the archipelago. These settlers remained on friendly terms with the local indigenous populations.

While major settlements such as Saint Petersburg and Fort Archangel were established by Xussan fisherman during this period, population growth was slow until the discovery of gold in the southern parts of the archipelago in the early 1800's. During this gold rush period, population growth was exponential as settlers, mostly Xussmans, moved to the islands to strike rich.

Xussman control of the San Carlos Islands continued until the mid-20th century.

Nationhood

Women voting in the 1940 independence referendum

On 1 January 1940, independence was achieved after a decade of planning, consultation and voting. This established the Commonwealth of the San Carlos Islands as a dominion of Xusma. The Federal Capital Territory (later renamed the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory) was formed as the location for the federal capital.

After nationhood, the San Carlos Islands encouraged immigration from Xusma and New Gandor, but since the 1970's immigration from elsewhere has also been promoted. As a result, Australia's demography, culture, and self-image were transformed. The passing of the San Carlos Islands Act in 1979 ended all possibility for any vestigial role of the Xussman government in the government in the San Carlos Islands. In a 2000 referendum, 86% of voters and a majority in every state rejected a proposal to become a republic with a president appointed by a two-thirds vote in both Houses of the San Carlos Islands parliament.

Contemporary era

After the ratification of the San Carlos Act, the Commonwealth experienced much economic growth, combined with the policies of successive democratic governments, led to the emergence of a new San Carlos Islands identity, marked by the adoption of the green, white, and blue flag in 1945,and the implementation of official bilingualism (Islander Xussman and Gwáay) in 1980. Socially democratic programs were also instituted, such as Medicare, the San Carlos Islands Pension Plan, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and San Carlos Islands Student Loans, though state governments, particularly Skeena and Admiralia, opposed many of these as incursions into their jurisdictions. Finally, a series of constitutional conferences resulted in the creation of the San Carlos Islands Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1984.

A number of crises shook San Carlos Islands society in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These included the 1998 crash of FlySCI flight 47, killing 130 San Carlos Islanders and the Gwáay Crisis of 2005, the first of a number of violent confrontations between the government and indigenous groups.

Government and politics

Alexsandr Gryaznov II, Tsar of the San Carlos Islands
Andrey Pavlov, Governor-General of the San Carlos Islands
Kennedy Piątek, Prime Minister of the San Carlos Islands

The San Carlos Islands is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Tsar Alexsandr Gryaznov II reigns as monarch of the San Carlos Islands. Since independence, he is represented within the federal government by the Governor-General and by the governors within the various state governments, who by convention acts on the advice of her ministers. Thus, in practice the Governor-General has no actual decision-making or de facto governmental role, and merely acts as a legal figurehead for the actions of the prime minister and the Federal Executive Council. The Governor-General does have extraordinary reserve powers which may be exercised outside the prime minister's request in rare and limited circumstances.

The federal government is separated into three branches:

  • Executive: the Federal Executive Council, which in practice gives legal effect to the decisions of the cabinet, comprising the prime minister and ministers of state who advise the Governor-General;
  • Judiciary: the High Court of the San Carlos Islands and other federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the Governor-General on advice of the Federal Executive Council.

In the Senate (the upper house), there are 86 members: twelve each from the states and two from the San Carlos Capital Territory. The House of Representatives (the lower house) has 200 total members; 150 of witch elected from single-member electoral divisions, commonly known as "electorates" or "seats", allocated to states on the basis of population, and 50 of witch elected using proportional representation. Elections for both chambers are normally held every three years simultaneously; Senators have overlapping six-year terms except for those from the territories, whose terms are not fixed but are tied to the electoral cycle for the lower house; thus only half of the Senate are put to each election unless the cycle is interrupted by a double dissolution.

4 Creek Street, official residence of the prime minister
Parliament building, Ketchikan

The San Carlos Islands' electoral system uses mixed member proportional voting for all lower house elections. Voting is voluntary for all enrolled citizens 16 years and over in every jurisdiction, as is enrollment. The party with majority support in the House of Representatives forms the government and its leader becomes prime minister. In cases where no party has majority support, the Governor-General has the constitutional power to appoint the prime minister and, if necessary, dismiss one that has lost the confidence of Parliament.

There are two major political groups that usually form government, federally and in the states. The SDES Coalition which current holds power at the federal level, is a formal grouping of the left-wing in the San Carlos Islands. Member parties of the SDES Coalition include Social Democratic party, the Ecological party, and the Socialist party. On the other side of the spectrum lies the Conservative Coalition. This group of right-wing political parties are the official opposition at the federal level. Led by the Conservative party, the Conservative Coalition also includes the National party, Democratic party, and Christian Democratic party.

The most recent federal election was held on 10 March 2020 and resulted in the SDES Coalition, led by Prime Minister Kennedy Piątek of the Social Democratic party, defeating the Conservative Coalition government.

States and territories

The San Carlos Islands has seven states — Admiralia (ADM), Petersland (PLD), Chirikov (CRK), Tongass (TON), Tsarinaland (TLD), Skeena (SKE), and Zolotka (ZKA)—and one territory—the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory (SCICT) In most respects, this territory function like the states, except that the federal parliament has the power to modify or repeal any legislation passed by the territory parliament.

Under the constitution, the states essentially have plenary legislative power to legislate on any subject, whereas the Commonwealth (federal) Parliament may legislate only within the subject areas enumerated under section 51. For example, state parliaments have the power to legislate with respect to education, criminal law and state police, health, transport, and local government, but the federal parliament does not have any specific power to legislate in these areas. However, federal laws prevail over state laws to the extent of the inconsistency. In addition, the Commonwealth has the power to levy income tax which, coupled with the power to make grants to states, has given it the financial means to incentivize States to pursue specific legislative agendas within areas over which the Commonwealth does not have legislative power.

Each state and major mainland territory has its own parliament—unicameral in the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory and, and bicameral in the other states. The states are sovereign entities, although subject to certain powers of the Commonwealth as defined by the Constitution. The lower houses are known as the Legislative Assembly; the upper houses are known as the Legislative Council. The head of the government in each state is the Premier and in each territory the Chief Minister. The Tsar is represented in each state by a governor; and in the San Carlos Islands Capital Territory, the Administrator. In the Commonwealth, the Tsar's representative is the Governor-General.

Foreign relations

The San Carlos Islands maintains embassies and consulates in every country in the world. Over recent decades, the San Carlos Islands foreign relations have been driven by a strong commitment towards

SCIA troops on training, 2008

international trade liberalization, multilateralism, and international development.

Military

The San Carlos Islands armed forces or the San Carlos Islands Defense Force (SCIDF)—comprises of the Royal San Carlos Islands Navy (RSCIN), the San Carlos Islands Army (SCIA) and the Royal San Carlos Islands Air Force (RSCAF), in total numbering 81,214 personnel (including 57,982 regulars and 23,232 reservists) as of November 2015. The titular role of Commander-in-Chief is vested in the Governor-General, who appoints a Chief of the Defense Force from one of the armed services on the advice of the government. Day-to-day force operations are under the command of the Chief, while broader administration and the formulation of defense policy is undertaken by the Ministry of Defense.

In the 2019–20 defense budget, defense spending comprised 2% of GDP.

Economy

Natural gas rig off the coast of Tsarinaland

A wealthy country, the San Carlos Islands has a market economy, a high GDP per capita, and a relatively low rate of poverty. In terms of average wealth, the San Carlos Islands is ranked first in the world; in addition to this, the country also boasts the highest median wealth in the world. The San Carlos Islands poverty rate decreased from 10.2% to 8.5%, from 2013 to 2020.

The San Carlos Islands ruble is the currency for the nation. The San Carlos Islands Securities Exchange is listed as one of the stock exchanges in the world.

Ranked highly on the Index of Economic Freedom, the San Carlos Islands economy is surprisingly one of the smallest in the world at around 440 Billion; however, thanks to it's rather small population, the country has one of the highest per capita GDP (nominal) at ₽51,735. The San Carlos Islands is ranked second in the world for Human Development; furthermore, cities in the San Carlos Islands such as Saint Petersburg, San Carlos City, and Camarillo.

Total government debt in the San Carlos Islands is only about ₽28 billion — 4% of GDP in 2019. The San Carlos Islands has among the highest house prices and some of the highest household debt levels in the world.

An emphasis on exporting commodities rather than manufactured goods has underpinned a significant increase in trade for the San Carlos Islands 21st century. Since 2001, the San Carlos Islands has managed to keep a balanced budget and provide its citizens a favorable tax situation. The San Carlos Islands has grown at an average annual rate of 4.5% for over 15 years.

The Kaczka Government floated the San Carlos Islands ruble in 1983 and partially deregulated the financial system. The Jugovac Government followed with a partial deregulation of the labor market and the further privatization of state-owned businesses, most notably in the telecommunications industry. The indirect tax system was substantially changed in September 2000 with the introduction of a 11% Goods and Services Tax (GST). In the San Carlos Islands tax system, personal and company income tax are the main sources of government revenue.

As of September 2018, there were 5,877,201 people employed (either full- or part-time), with an unemployment rate of 3.8%. Data released in mid-November 2013 showed that the number of welfare recipients had dropped by 2%. In 2018 55,621 Unemployment Allowance Program recipients were registered. According to a government survey, full-time employment for newly qualified professionals from various occupations has increased in recent years.

Since 2008, inflation has typically been 2–3% and the base interest rate 5–6%. The service sector of the economy, including tourism, education, and financial services, accounts for about 70% of GDP. Rich in natural resources, the San Carlos Islands is a major exporter of energy in the forms of liquified natural gas and coal. This sector contributes substantially to the export performance of the nation. The San Carlos Islands' largest export market is Quebecshire. The San Carlos Islands is one of the world's largest exporters of alcoholic beverages.

Demographics

The San Carlos Islands is highly urbanized, with 67% of the population living in the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (metropolitan areas of the state and mainland territorial capital cities) in 2020. Metropolitan areas with more than one million inhabitants include Saint Petersburg, San Carlos City.

In common with many other developed countries, the San Carlos Islands is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. However, in 2018 legislation was passed to increase the total fertility rate of the San Carlos Islands to 2.1 by 2030 by creating incentives for couples to birth two or more children children such as mortgage aid, tax benefits, and universal daycare and pre-k.

In 2018 the average age of the San Carlos population was 37.5 years.

Largest cities

Ancestry and immigration

Until the 2010's, the vast majority of settlers and immigrants came to the San Carlos Islands from Xusma. Starting around the passage of the San Carlos Islands Act, the San Carlos Islands received a large wave of immigration from other sources, with many more high-skilled immigrants arriving to either take advantage of the strong San Carlos job market or to retire.

Language

A multitude of languages are used by San Carlos Islanders, with Islander Xussman and Gwáay (the official languages) being the mother tongues of approximately 64% and 34% of San Carlos Islanders, respectively. As of the 2016 Census, just over 170 thousand San Carlos Islanders listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. The most common non-official first languages is Gandorian. The San Carlos Islands' federal government practices official bilingualism, which is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages in consonance with the Federal Official Languages Act, Islander Xussman and Gwáay have equal status in federal courts, the Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either Islander Xussman or Gwáay and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all states and territories.

Gwáay has been established as the official language of Chirikov, Skeena, and Zolotka. Although more than 75 percent of Gwáay-speaking San Carlos Islanders live in these states, there are substantial Gwáay populations across the country; Tsarinaland has the largest Gwáay-speaking population outside of the three Gwáay majority provinces. The San Carlos Islands Capital Territory, the only officially bilingual Administrative subdivision, has a Gwáay-speaking minority constituting 33 percent of the population. This cluster of Gwáay speaking San Carlos Islanders, mainly those working for the federal government, spills over into the state of Tongass.

Religion

Religious Background in the San Carlos Islands

  Xussman Orthodox (51.9%)
  No religion (17%)
  Other (5.2%)

The San Carlos Islands has no state religion; The San Carlos Islands Constitution prohibits the federal government from making any law to establish any religion, impose any religious observance, or prohibit the free exercise of any religion. In the 2016 census, 82.8% of San Carlos Islanders were counted as Christian, including 51.9% as Xussman Orthodox, 25.9% as Creeperian Catholic, and 5% as other; 17.0%, of the population reported having "no religion"; .12% identify with non-Christian religions.

Before Xussman settlement, the animist beliefs of of the San Carlos Islands indigenous people had been practiced for many thousands of years. Indigenous San Carlos Islanders spirituality places a heavy emphasis on belonging to the land and dependence on the sea. The collection of stories that it contains shaped indigenous law and customs. Indigenous art, story and dance continue to draw on these spiritual traditions. The 2016 San Carlos Islands census counted more than 85,176 respondents as followers of a traditional Indigenous religion.

Since the arrival of the first Xussman settlers, Christianity has become the major religion practiced in the San Carlos Islands. Christian churches have played an integral role in the development of education, health and welfare services in the San Carlos Islands. For all of San Carlos Islands history, the Xussman Orthodox was the largest Christian denomination, with a large Creeperian Catholic minority thanks to the zeal of missionaries from Creeperopolis evangelizing to Indigenous San Carlos Islander communities.

The San Carlos Islands has one of the highest levels of religious adherence in the world. In 2019, 66.3%% of San Carlos Islanders attended church on a weekly basis.

Health

The San Carlos Islands life expectancy is one of the highest in the world for both males and females. Life expectancy in the San Carlos Islands in 2016 was 81.1 years for males and 85.5 years for females.

Total expenditure on health (including private sector spending) is around 9.8% of GDP. The San Carlos Islands introduced universal health care in 1988. Known as Medicare, it is now nominally funded by an income tax surcharge known as the Medicare levy, currently set at 2%. The states manage hospitals and attached outpatient services, while the Commonwealth funds the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (subsidizing

The University of Skeena consistently ranked as one of the best in the world

the costs of medicines) and general practice.

Education

School attendance, or registration for home schooling, is compulsory throughout the San Carlos Islands. Education is the responsibility of the individual states and territories so the rules vary between states, but in general children are required to attend school from the age of about 5 until about 16. In some states (e.g., Admiralia, Chirikov, and Zolotka) children aged 16–17 are required to either attend school or participate in vocational training, such as an apprenticeship.

The San Carlos Islands has an adult literacy rate that was estimated to be 99% in 2016.

The San Carlos Islands has 31 government-funded universities and one private university, as well as a number of other specialist institutions that provide approved courses at the higher education level. The San Carlos Islands is placed among the least expensive nations to attend university. There is a state-based system of vocational training, known as TAFE, and many trades conduct apprenticeships for training new tradespeople. About 58% of San Carlos Islanders aged from 25 to 64 have vocational or tertiary qualifications, and the tertiary graduation rate of 49% is among the higest in the world. The ratio of local to international students in tertiary education in the San Carlos Islands is among the highest in the worlds. In addition, 30.9 percent of the San Carlos Islands' population has attained a higher education qualification, which is among the highest percentages in the world.

Culture

Since colonization, the primary influence behind San Carlos Islands culture has been Xussman culture, with Gwáay influences still maintaining strong importance. The divergence and evolution that has occurred in the ensuing centuries has resulted in a distinctive San Carlos Islands culture. Since the late-20th century, popular culture from Quebecshire, and Greater Sacramento has strongly influenced the San Carlos Islands, particularly through television and cinema. Other cultural influences come from neighboring New Gandor and Eminople.

Arts

Traditional designs, patterns and stories infuse contemporary Indigenous San Carlos Islander art, "the last great art movement of the 20th century"; Indigenous San Carlos Islander society continues to produce a robust and highly stylized art form. While artists frequently have expressed this in large wooden carvings (totem poles), weaving, or ornate jewellery, in the 21st century, younger people are also making art in popular expression such as Indigenous San Carlos Islander manga. Early Xussman-San Carlos Islander artists, trained in Greater Sacramento, showed a fascination with the unfamiliar land. The cubist works of Timur Ignatov, Innokenty Volkov and others associated with the 20th-century Admiralia School—the first "distinctively San Carlos Islander" movement in art—gave expression to a burgeoning San Carlos Islands nationalism and democratic ideals in the lead-up to the San Carlos Islands Act. While the school remained influential into the new century, modernists such as Liliya Andreeva, and, later, Vladislava Lagunova and Vyacheslav Pavlov, explored new artistic trends. The landscape remained a central subject matter for Viktor Matveev, Prokopiy Borisov and other post-San Carlos Islands Act artists whose works, eclectic in style yet uniquely San Carlos Islander, moved between the figurative and the abstract. The national and state galleries maintain collections of local and international art. The San Carlos Islands has one of the world's highest attendances of art galleries and museums per head of population.

San Carlos Islands literature grew slowly in the decades following Xussman settlement though indigenous oral traditions, many of which have since been recorded in writing, are much older. 20th-century writers such as Matvei Chaykovsky and Yury Ignatov captured the experience of the bush using a distinctive San Carlos Islands vocabulary. Their works are still popular; Ignatov's poem "Wading Through the Canal" (1935) is regarded as the San Carlos Islands' unofficial national anthem. Nikifor Filippov is the namesake of the San Carlos Islands most prestigious literary prize, awarded annually to the best novel about San Carlos Islands life.

Many of the San Carlos Islands' performing arts companies receive funding through the federal government's San Carlos Islands Council. There is a symphony orchestra in each state, and a national opera company, OperaSCI, well known for its famous soprano Luna Medvedeva. At the middle of the 20th century, Ninel Fedorova was one of the world's leading opera singers. Ballet and dance are represented by The San Carlos Islands Ballet and various state companies. Each state has a publicly funded theater company.

Media

The Streets of Fort Archangel (1942), one of the world's first feature length film, spurred a boom in San Carlos Islands cinema. Come the late 1940's, Willdavie monopolized the industry, and by the 1960s the San Carlos Islands film production had effectively ceased. With the benefit of government support, the San Carlos Islands New Wave of the 1970s brought provocative and successful films, many exploring themes of national identity, such as The Early Days, while The Huntsman and the ozploitation movement's Whale for Help series became international blockbusters. In a film market flooded with foreign content, San Carlos Islands films delivered a 5.2% share of the local box office in 2015. The SCIACTAs are the San Carlos Islands' premier film and television awards.

The San Carlos Islands has four public broadcasters (the San Carlos Television, Сан-Карлос Вещание, Канал Содружества and the Native Television Service), seven commercial television networks, several pay-TV services, and numerous public, non-profit television and radio stations. Each major city has at least one daily newspaper, and there are three national daily newspapers, the Islander, the Ketchikan Journal, and the San Carlos Islands Financial Review. In 2010, the San Carlos Islands was ranked as one of the best countries for freedom of the press.

Cuisine

Most Indigenous San Carlos Islands tribal groups subsisted on a simple hunter-gatherer diet of native fauna and flora. The first settlers introduced Xussman cuisine to the islands, much of which is now considered typical San Carlos Islands food, such as Beef Stroganoff, and Pelmeni. Immigration transformed San Carlos Islands cuisine.

The San Carlos Islands is also known for its cafe and coffee culture in urban centers, which has influenced coffee culture abroad.

Sport and recreation

CHL stadium in Fort Archangel

About 24% of San Carlos Islanders over the age of 15 regularly participate in organised sporting activities.

The San Carlos Islands's official national sports are ice hockey and football. Handball, basketball, boxing, auto racing, volleyball, athletics, tennis, bandy, biathlon, figure skating, weightlifting, gymnastics, wrestling, martial arts, rugby union, and skiing are widely enjoyed at the youth and amateur levels.

The San Carlos Islands also boasts several major professional sports leagues including the Commonwealth Hockey League and the San Carlos Islands Premier League.