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 Pro-Religion Legislation

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Rasvidi
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PostSubject: Pro-Religion Legislation   Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:15 pm

Chairman Väinö Nakashidze has announced today his intention to introduce a bill to the council which would effectively shut down anti-religion legislation currently enforced throughout the nation. This move was expected based on his party platform, but it is nonetheless expected to receive strong resistance by opposition parties in the council. Since the ruling Progressive Party holds a minority government, commanding less then 50% of the seats in Council, then the party will have to rely on support from opposition with enough votes to reach 50%. Support is expected from the Libertarian Party, and discussions have been held with the People's Party about potential support, however the party leader has yet to comment publicly on the issue.

The two remaining parties, the Pralnikov Party and the Nationalist Party, have vowed to vote down the bill if it is introduced. Party supporters have staged protests outside the Kongressitalo (Capitol) Building in Ulyanovsk, with reports of violence after Pro-Religious protestors and Anti-Religious protestors crossed paths. Annaliisa Haapakoski, leader of the Nationalist Party, has said that legalization of religion in Rasvidi would disgrace the nation and it's principles, and pave the way for religion to once again dominate the politics and leadership of Rasvidi and return it to the Commonwealth period. She also accused Väinö of being a closet Vähemmänist, questioning the motivation behind this legislation. The Chairman responded by denying the accusations, affirming his strong Atheism and expressing distaste for Vähemmän ideology.

Public support for the legislation remains mixed, with the most recent polls indicating 49% approval.

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PostSubject: Re: Pro-Religion Legislation   Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:20 pm

[I would endorse this bill publically but I don't want to hurt it like I did in the election]

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PostSubject: Re: Pro-Religion Legislation   Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:27 pm

[It can always be a little bit more sneaky then public support Wink]

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Holy Edesu SocialistState
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PostSubject: Re: Pro-Religion Legislation   Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:23 am

[I would do whatever I could to help, but it would probably backfire. Smile ]

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PostSubject: Re: Pro-Religion Legislation   Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:50 pm

The religion debate is raging on in Rasvidi, with more players becoming involved in the discussions. Former Chairman and People's Party leader Vladimir Ovseyenko has stated in interviews that if he were still party leader, he would support this legislation. He further stated that he would have introduced similar legislation while Chairman had he been re-elected, or had there been less war during his term. He also criticized Nationalist Party leader Annaliisa Haapakoski for comments she made about Chairman Väinö Nakashidze, calling the comments embarrassing for her party and accusing her of fear mongering. He has also said that the People's Party platform does not necessarily prohibit religious freedom; instead, he says, the post-revolutionary period required strict control of antagonistic religious and political groups which led to the anti-religion legislation. As the son of a prominent revolutionary who was close friends with Venedikt Pralnikov up until his death, he says he recalls no conversations where the legendary leader denounced religion outright.

Various critics have pointed out, however, that Ovseyenko was never a close acquaintance of Pralnikov and that these conversations do not likely reflect his views on the subject. Pralnikov Party leader Gülbahar Küçük has come forward saying that Ovseyenko's comments are insulting to the memory of our glorious leader, and that he should be imprisoned by the government over his comments.

As a result of discussions with the Progressive Party, and in response to comments made by Vladimir Ovseyenko, the People's Party leader Boris Demichev has announced that he supports this legislation, however in reference to his party's divided view on the issue, he has declared open voting for his party when the bill is introduced. This means that party members will be free to vote however they like, and will not be required to follow Demichev's vote. This makes it possible for the bill to pass, although it is unknown how much of the party will support the bill. In light of this information, the bill has been drafted by the Progressive Party and is in the process of introduction to the lower council.

Public support for the legislation fell to 43% from most previous figures, demonstrating a growing disenchantment with the pro-religion legislation. Many have blamed misinformation campaigns paid for by the Nationalist Party. Statistics have a margin of error of 2%.

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PostSubject: Re: Pro-Religion Legislation   Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:24 pm

Voting on the Pro-Religion Bill is scheduled to begin within a week, following it's introduction to the People's Council by Chairman Väinö Nakashidze. Traditionally, a legislator has 60 minutes to present the bill to the council, also known as the One Hour Rule, after which a date is set for the council to consider and vote upon the bill. This leave is customarily around one week, to give legislators enough time to consider the bill and consider the desires of the public. If it passes in the People's Council, it then goes on to the National Council for review and approval. While the National Council cannot technically deny the passage of the bill, they can suspend it until the next prorogation. This occurs after every federal election, and removes dead or stalemated bills from the legislature. If it passes in the National Council, it is then approved by the People's Commissariat and officially comes into force as a Law.

The bill in it's current form would introduce the concept of religious freedom and equality to the Rasvidi judiciary, although it would not carry the weight of a constitutional right, and could potentially be struck down if it violates the Rasvidi Constitution. It basically repeals most religious crimes, including public religious displays, preaching, worship and a variety of other similar offenses, but leaves intact certain more serious crimes such as religious propaganda, and prohibits politicians, educators, and federal employees from being able to openly adhere to a religion. Punishment for these crimes ranges from a small fine to several years in forced labour, a serious drop from previous penalties for the same crimes, which frequently included execution.

It still remains to be seen if the bill will actually pass in the lower council, however it is expected to get at least 170 of the required 176 votes it needs to pass, without taking the People's Party into consideration. This means that only 6 of the 139 People's Party council members need to vote in support of the legislation for it to pass.

Despite this, public support continues to be hairy, and public demonstrations against the legislation have taken place in most major cities. Reports of violence in Novosibirsk, Ulyanovsk and Saratov have occurred on a nearly daily basis since the bill was introduced, and some rogue groups have threatened to take action if it passes. Recent rhetoric from the Nationalist Party has been particularly worrisome, speaking of a need to defend the ideals of post-revolutionary Rasvidi. The scars from the revolutionary war still run deep, and reminders of the conflict permeate every day life for most citizens.

Regardless, public support has hovered around 40% overall, but certain regions such as Vaeringjar and Pazyryk have much stronger support, at 53% and 61%, respectively, while regions such as the central republics have approval ratings in the 30's or even 20's.

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PostSubject: Re: Pro-Religion Legislation   Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:00 pm

Following a lengthy session of voting and debate in Ulyanovsk, the pro-religion legislation was declared into law, passing through the lower council after hours of debate and re-counts, before passing swiftly through the upper council. Amendments are expected to be made based in the review given by the upper council, but the bill has nonetheless made it into law and is to be approved by the People's Commissariat. This landmark legislation abolishes most of the 50 year old anti-religion legislation, but still makes religious organization illegal and forbids the public sector and federal employees from openly adhering to a religion. It is a cautious first step towards complete religious freedoms in Rasvidi.

Various groups have decried the passage of the legislation, calling it a failure of the government to abide by the wishes of the public, pointing to the dismal support it has received throughout the nation. Widespread rioting has been reported in Ulyanovsk, with shops being looted, vehicles set on fire and anti-religion and nationalist graffiti on the buildings. In a more serious turn of events, two people are in the hospital in serious condition after being severely beaten. It is reported that they announced their religious affiliation shortly after the legislation passed, which led to an altercation with an angry mob. The military has been called in to keep the peace in the capitol, and after a brief firefight all riot activity seemed to have ended. Tanks and squads of troops will continue to patrol the streets and a curfew will be enforced over the next 14 days.

Officials have called the rioting and current situation unfortunate, and have called on the citizens of Rasvidi to help one another if they witness a crime being committed.

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