The Gathering Storm, Redux - Gameplay Thread (End of 1937)
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  The Gathering Storm, Redux - Gameplay Thread (End of 1937)
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Author Topic: The Gathering Storm, Redux - Gameplay Thread (End of 1937)  (Read 8814 times)
DKrol
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« Reply #175 on: August 10, 2022, 07:23:58 AM »

The Prime Minister will campaign in Quebec ahead of the Legislative Assembly elections. Looking to build off his successes nationally and in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Prime Minister will hold a series of rallies across the province, including in Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres, Saint-Jerome, and Granby. The Prime Minister will argue that, with the global landscape shifting from peace to conflict, Canada needs to be strong and united - something that can only be achieved with a Conservative government in Quebec. The Prime Minister will make a point that no Canadian would be conscripted into the armed services if another global war breaks out that pulls Canada into the conflict, hoping to smooth other lingering French Canadian concerns from the Conscription Crisis. He will also highlight his multi-national effort to bring the 1940 Olympics to Montreal as a sign of the Government’s investment in the province.
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Senator Spiral
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« Reply #176 on: August 10, 2022, 07:19:06 PM »

Statement from President Kemal


Fellow Turks and all those listening around the world,

The latest reports from Yugoslavia amount to the gravest sign yet that regular order in Europe is no longer. Italy and Yugoslavia are engulfed in war, which shall only destabilize our region despite the proclamations of Duce Mussolini should this continue. The Republic of Turkey fundamentally condemns this invasion and implores Italian leadership to reverse course immediately. We shall send a reminder that our government is currently bound to the Balkan Mutual Defense Treaty should they continue further and will honor our pledge to maintain peace as necessary. Nonetheless, we shall attempt a fair resolution in good faith before war engulfs us all.

We have also seen discontent closer to our borders from the Hellenic Republic. The Greek people are being subjected to coup attempts and illegitimate elections which are prompting the opening of old wounds. All of these developments I have addressed to you tonight risk multiple nations facing regime collapse, refugees fleeing to all corners of Europe, as well as the deaths and mutilations of countless souls. In the interest of our national security, along with the whole of Europe in mind, the Republic of Turkey shall reclaim full control of the Turkish Straits by suspension of the Treaty of Lausanne.

This is not an act of aggression towards any nation, nor is this a unilateral decision made in haste as certain nations will attempt to claim. On the contrary, this has been an effort years in the making with the mutual support and understanding of many great powers. We profoundly thank their leaders and their people for assisting Turkey with realizing self-determination as any nation deserves. Although the Treaty of Lausanne was earnestly conducted and provided the necessary peace for its time, it unfortunately can no longer stand to the same effect today. Over the coming years, we hope to formally renegotiate Lausanne with the British, French, and other signatories to forge a new contract for our times.

The Turkish nation can confidently boast to have a proud people. We are fiercely independent and will defend our soil to our last breath. The Turks are also a fair and forgiving people who will see to it that future generations can live their full potential under peace and prosperity. Our proclamation tonight bears the markings of all these traits. Turkey is committed to the freedom and well-being of people within and beyond our borders. This administration shall continue our program of peace at home and peace in the world.
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GoTfan
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« Reply #177 on: August 10, 2022, 07:48:33 PM »

Statement from the Soviet Foreign Ministry

Our world is on fire.

The reactionaries of Europe stomp all over the peace that they themselves agreed to in 1919. The restoration of the German monarchy is a clear and blatant violation of the Treaty of Versailles, as is any German rearmament whatsoever. The public statements made by the German Chancellor are likely lies to placate the Western nations.

We see an example of this reactionary hypocrisy in Japan. The Japanese Empire makes an issue of what is happening in Ukraine, yet cannot prevent the atrocities that are taking place in China under its own forces.

We cannot ignore what is happening in Eastern Europe either.  The would-be Caesar is attempting to enforce his will upon the sovereign nations of the Balkans. Rest assured, the Soviet Union remembers its obligations to its friends and allies, and will do what must be done to fulfil said obligations.

In light of the recent actions of Italy and Germany, it is only fair that other nations reassess their policies as well.

That is why the Soviet Union stands in total and unequivocal support of President Kemal's statement. The Turkish Straits, by right, ought to be controlled by the country they are named for.

x Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

x Vyacheslav Molotov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #178 on: August 10, 2022, 08:36:59 PM »


Excerpt from Radio Address of Il Duce



I was informed while I was being briefed on the foreign press headlines that the Soviet government has called me a "would-be Caesar." Either the Russians are very very stupid, or they have had a sudden change of mind! Caesar was a great man! He tore the pages of history asunder! He destroyed the decadent establishment, and he built a new one of virtue and honor! He expanded the boundaries of civilization to all of Europe! He built the greatest empire in the history of man! He took from the decadent elites for the benefit of the soldiery and the nation as a whole! He put the immortal ideals of virtue, honor, and nation ahead of the feeble weakness of individualism and degeneracy. He brought glory to all the Romans and all Europe! It is only because of Caesar that the Parisians have their art and culture. It is only because of Caesar that the Britons have the bustle of London! It is only because of Caesar that the Spaniards have their spectacles of civilization! Caesar is Europe and Europe is Caesar.

Now we all know the Romans never conquered Russia. The sons of Caesar never brought the bright light of civilization to Moscow, where they lived in villages and uncivilized specks for centuries while we Italians built Florence and Venice. If they had, then we would not deal with the Bolshevik peril today. So I thank the Bolsheviks for calling me a would-be Caesar, I am honored! Caesar was a supreme genius of military strategy and of statesmanship. He was the icon of victory! We are still the sons and daughters of Caesar! We have a duty passed down from generation to generation to be the light of civilization. We shall carry out our duties! 

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« Reply #179 on: August 11, 2022, 01:31:23 AM »

Radio address from Stalin

It cannot be denied that the world today is one that is not peaceful. In recent years, the Soviet Union has endeavoured to develop its nation and bring itself to the standard of other modernised nations; to leave our past under the Romanovs behind. A land where the Tsar ruled all and lived in opulence, while the people were refused everything. Against the will of his people, the last Tsar joined a war that was unpopular with the people. he ignored that, and both he and Kerensky paid the price for their refusal to listen to the people.

The leadership of the Soviet Union is committed to the people.

To this end, the Soviet Union is in unequivocal support of the global push for the rights of women. As was said by Marx himself, social progress can be measured by the social position of the female race. We honour that great revolutionary Rosa Luxembourg, who was so cruelly cut down by fascist reactionaries. The Soviet Union will establish a department to oversee the inclusion of women in the political apparatus of the Union.

On the incessant bleating from the Italian fascist, I would remind him that Caesar was a man who sought nothing but his own benefit. A man who routinely betrayed his allies and launched illegal wars. A man who gleefully murdered enemies and friends alike. A man who desired to make himself King. The King of Italy should be on his guard.

I would also caution him that if he were to attempt a war against the Soviet Union, the fascist experiment will break itself upon us.

The Soviet Union remembers its obligations to its allies and friends. To the nations of Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia: We stand with you against the fascists. We guarantee your security against foreign powers.

The Soviet Union remembers its friends and comrades.

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« Reply #180 on: August 11, 2022, 09:54:40 PM »

The Kingdom of Hungary stands in solidarity with the German Reich and denounces the French occupation of the Saarland until the scheduled referendum is held.
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« Reply #181 on: August 12, 2022, 12:19:36 PM »


OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM BUDAPEST

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His Serene Highness and Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary, Miklós Horthy, announces that a ceasefire has been signed with the Kingdom of Romania!


Quote
"Regent Horthy would like to proudly announce that a ceasefire has been signed between Hungarian diplomats and their Romanian counterparts. While this by no means is an end to hostilities with the Romanians, it is massive step towards a peace treaty finally ending hostilities between our two nations."

X His Serene Highness and Regent of Hungary, Miklós Horthy
X Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary, Gyula Gömbös
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YPestis25
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« Reply #182 on: August 12, 2022, 12:41:17 PM »

The French Ambassador to Bucharest is recalled for urgent consultations.
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RGM2609
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« Reply #183 on: August 12, 2022, 06:36:35 PM »

Alfred Hugenberg: "After the illegal occupation of the Saar by the French Republic, Germany has once again decided to take the high road, enter negotiations with the French and try to reach a compromise in the name of international peace, despite us being the ones wronged. During these negotiations, undertaken under the mediation of Poland, the German Reich was willing to compromise, accepting to push the referendum back until 1940 and let Saar continue to be a French mandate until then. Given that the referendum should have taken place this year and more than likely Saar would have become German, this was a big concession made in the name of preserving peace and in the hope that us, free Europeans, would finally put aside differences and unite against the Bolshevik threat. Unfortunately, France proved that it has no desire for peace. It has rejected to fully withdraw its divisions, which are there illegally, from the Saar, and refused to guarantee a referendum taking place at the set date. It was planning to occupy the Saar again in 1940 and prevent the referendum! In these conditions, it is clear that there is no possibility to solve this crisis together. Thus, the German Reich withdraws from the negotiations."
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Dereich
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« Reply #184 on: August 12, 2022, 11:02:44 PM »

On the Crisis Facing the Spanish Republic

The Spanish Republic was birthed as a means to renew the nation and to safeguard the liberty of its people. From its foundation, the Republic has been the representative of ALL Spaniards. It was never meant to act solely as a vehicle for revolution; the PSOE canard that “the Republic is accidental and only Socialism fundamental” is not and has never been true. This is not a Republic only for the left, only for the atheist, or only for the revolutionary. The Republic represents all Spaniards and is the only vehicle for liberty; true liberty, that the nation has ever seen. However, that liberty can only exist so long as the Republic maintains its solemn responsibility to maintain order.  We cannot and will not tolerate a separate Socialist order exist within the current State and so will take action under the law. Under the Law of Public Order, passed by the Socialist government of Azana, a state of alarm exists. Indeed, a state of war exists against the Spanish nation.

We will treat those who rebel against the Republic with neither cruelty nor impunity. However, we will not hesitate to make full use of the law to punish the guilty lest they be tempted to again take arms against the Republic. Accordingly, the Minister of the Interior is empowered by the Law of Public Order to suppress any strike activity of the UGT or the CNT. The printing right of those newspapers which have expressed opinions favorable to acts of violence against the Republic or are owned by individuals who have done the same until further notice. The Esquerra and its leader Companys, in promoting and supporting the Balkanization of Spain, have committed an act of unacceptable treason against the nation. One needs only look at the chaos and bloodshed of Yugoslavia to understand the vile results of such antics. Thae rights of that party are immediately and permanently suspended. The government also intends to introduce new legislation to suspend any member of the Cortes who fails to attend any session for six months. The work of the Republic to ensure peace and prosperity to the Spanish people will not end with these measures; this government will guarantee to the nation that the Republic will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.
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Lumine
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« Reply #185 on: August 17, 2022, 03:33:33 AM »

End of 1935



In the News:

TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR: Benito Mussolini and Josef Stalin
(Cover: “Fascism v. Communism”)
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Not awarded (No suitable candidate)

Third Balkan War
Yugoslavia on the brink of collapse, Croatia gains ground,
Hungary secures Romanian ceasefire, loses Budapest to the Czech,
King Alexander avoids assassination attempt, vows to fight to the bitter end

Following a mostly inactive year across the Hungarian frontlines, with most attention focused instead on the developing and growing Yugoslavian Civil War, the Third Balkan War continues to flare up with a violence, yet again avoiding the sort of decisive year – and decisive victory – envisioned by the Little Entente at the start of its intervention. After a much needed increase in national morale provided by the sudden appearance of Archduke Otto von Hapsburg within the Kingdom as a volunteer – with the young Prince then deployed to a series of non-combat roles -, Admiral Horthy seemingly scored a decisive achievement by seemingly securing a ceasefire with the Kingdom of Romania, the announcement of which – not formally confirmed by Bucharest – caused general surprise. Whatever the case, Romanian troops ceased their advance, but continued to hold onto over a third of the country.

Having thus apparently closed one of their three fronts, the Royal Hungarian Army went on the offensive against the Yugoslavian forces, perceived as vulnerable on account of their increasing domestic disintegration. The offensive, the first started by Budapest since the beginning of the war, was only to be a mixed success. Despite their low morale, the Yugoslavians were nonetheless far better armed than the Hungarians due to foreign arms shipments – particularly those previous to the Italian blockade -, and ultimately were able to contain most assaults and prevent encirclements. It was only the further deterioration of the home front that forced a withdrawal, in which a mostly intact Yugoslav force yielded territory in return for better defensive positions. In the meantime, the Czechoslovak Army had seemingly awoken from its slumber, launching a full-scale offensive to storm Budapest.

Having failed in their initial attempt to collapse the defenses of the city, a violent series of trench battles followed, eventually culminating in a street-by-street struggle that took weeks to conclude. Despite numerical superiority, the Hungarian volunteers were not yet a match for the highly trained, well-armed Czechoslovak Army, and the city eventually fell by October 1935. It was a crippling blow, only lessened by the fact that the prolonged resistance caused substantial attrition to the enemy and provided more than enough time for the capital to be evacuated in an orderly fashion, allowing Regent Horthy and the government to flee to the Austrian border. Despite the loss of Budapest, the Hungarians technically control more territory than in 1934 due to the Yugoslavian tactical withdrawals, but it remains to be seen how the loss of the capital – at a time in which foreign supply remains woefully insufficient – will affect further resistance.

In Yugoslavia proper, the domestic situation continued to escape King Alexander’s grasp despite his energetic attempts to take personal control of the situation and even lead the army in its suppression of the internal revolts. Forced to reply more and more on his Serbian base of support, Alexander’s task was made harder when new uprisings flared up outside of Croatia proper. And while the bulk of these were either contained or defeated at a heavy cost, a large-scale uprising by the Bosnians in central Yugoslavia further compromised repressive efforts. Ironically, the Bosnian revolt has not only been badly received in Belgrade, but also in Zagreb, as the Croatian provisional government – in line with the apparent view of most Croatians – seemingly aspires to subdue most of Bosnia into the independent Croatian state. As a result, it has not been uncommon to see three-way battles within the region, alongside growing and mounting reports of ethnic cleansing on all sides.

Up north, the Italian intervention deepened. Following the proclamation of an independent Republic of Slovenia – under Italian protection -, the Croatian militias and the Royal Italian Army units in the region further secured their stronghold over Croatia, forcing isolated Yugoslavian units to withdraw further, or encircling them into isolated points of resistance. In Dalmatia, however, the Ustache militias and the volunteer brigades were not to be successful this year either, the inability to secure a rapid victory back in 1934 resulting in Gallipoli-style trench warfare across the coast line. It is here that the Yugoslav commanders have scored their biggest successes, a defensive success widely credited with preventing – thus far - the total collapse of the Yugoslav state. Still, by the end of 1935 almost half of the Yugoslav state is now under control of rebel militias or the more formal breakaway states, which are said to be planning a bid for League of Nations membership.

In Belgrade itself, beset by a campaign of riots, sabotage and assassinations, King Alexander himself survived at least two assassination attempts by radical Croats and Bosnians. Amidst such dire conditions, the King has vowed to resist to the last man, in spite of advice by a moderate faction – unofficially led by Prince Paul – that a settlement should be sought. With Albania having swung back into subservience to Italy on account of recent military successes – and with a repentant King Zog preparing to resume debt payments – many believe Greece and Bulgaria may offer the key to Yugoslav collapse or survival, particularly after recent domestic developments.

The September 11th Incident
Confusing coup d’etat in Tokyo, Emperor intervenes,
Toseiha faction purges Kwantung Army and Kodoha radicals,
Days of violence and chaos, thousands dead

In light of recent events, including the assassination of two consecutive Prime Ministers and repeated acts of military insubordination, as well as discontent within parts of the military establishment regarding government policy, it was perhaps inevitable that large-scale violence should break out within the Empire of Japan. And once the Empire suffered a heavy blow to its prestige on account of the unexpected media storm in Europe over the actions and behavior of the Kwantung Army in its Manchurian fiefdom, it was perhaps also inevitable that it would resemble a struggle for survival rather than a calculated power struggle. Whatever the case, reports that only hinted at military discontent soon grew more and more outspoken, and, on September 11th, 1935, they materialized. Up to this day, and several weeks after the incident and subsequent week of unrest, it is unclear to foreign observers what precisely happened. For some, a military coup by the radical Kodoha faction was either launched too early or was forced to go into action upon fear of discovery. For others, the relatively more moderate Toseiha faction launched a pre-emptive strike of sorts, or was caught in the process of it. And for some – all foreigners -, even the Emperor does not escape potential blame as a mastermind behind this confusing incident.

Whichever the case, motives and origin, the night of September 11th featured a series of violent gunfights near military barracks across the city of Tokyo. Soon after, military vehicles circled the capital and even appeared in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace. That night, a handful of high-ranking political figures were assassinated, including Prime Minister Keisuke Okada, who was ambushed by a Kodoha Lt. Colonel whilst leaving his home after being informed of the situation. By the morning, and with enormous confusion as to who actually held power in the capital, Japanese listeners across the city – and indeed the nation – were utterly startled to hear the angry voice of the Showa Emperor himself, Hirohito, from a recording played constantly from Radio Tokyo. The Emperor, in what was his first ever broadcast to the public, denounced a failed assassination attempt on his person and a treasonous conspiracy led by the Kodoha faction.

Asserting that the capital was in control by loyal units of the IJA, and after levying up the gravest of charges on the faction and it leaders – with a language that made many civilians wince due to its harshness -, the Emperor denounced military insubordination and proclaimed it a capital offensive, giving orders to the Army to destroy the enemy. Open acts of violence would continue for much of the day, but the more the speech was broadcast – and following new gunfights – the more silence took over the city. The Minister of War, General Nagata – widely seen as the unofficial leader of Toseiha – and his subordinate General Sugiyama restored order through any means necessary. In subsequent days, multiple corpses would show up floating on the rivers of Tokyo, and multiple Kodoha officers – dozens, if not hundreds – would be found having committed ritual seppuku.

In both Formosa and Korea, the Toseiha-aligned Governors General – Vice Minister Kenzo and General Ugaki – both effectively suppressed any resistance within the first two days. However, it was within Manchukuo that the greater acts of chaos and violence were committed, as a large contingent of Tokko – Japanese secret police – agents flew into Harbin. Ably assisted on the ground by Toseiha General Tojo and Deputy Minister Kishi – the latter of which is believed to have sold out his former colleagues in the Kwantung Army -, the agents arrested Kwantung Army Commander Minami and most of his high-ranking staff. In later weeks, Tojo and Kishi would issue a report outlining a full audit of the activities of the Kwantung Army, confirming much of what was reported in the western press.

In said report, which was made available to the public, Tojo and Kishi would go on to blame the “shameful bloodlust” of the Kodoha faction and its Kwantung Army puppet, and would furthermore clear both the Emperor and the now late Prime Minister – the third one in a row to be assassinated – of responsibility. In the meantime, hundreds of Japanese army officers – thought to be connected to Kodoha – have gone missing, many of them listed as under arrest and awaiting a trial. Many more still have committed seppuku, some leaving death poems expressing their shame at having been disowned by their own Emperor. Although undoubtedly there must be those who have escaped, the only confirmed case – by sources close to Emperor Puyi – is Kwantung Army Spymaster General Kenji Doihara, known by many as “Lawrence of Manchuria”. Doihara, missing since September 13th, is allegedly said to have joined the ranks of the hundreds of deserters who have abandoned the Kwantung Army and currently roam the Manchurian countryside as militia or bandit units.

Whilst Manchukuo remains in a state of chaos and disarray following the overthrow of much of its leading administrative and military elite – with the resulting strengthening of resistance militias loyal to Zhang Xueliang -, and Korea/Formosa have avoided much strife, public commotion across Tokyo and Japan proper continues, and is likely to last for a long time. The public remains allegedly stunned by the Emperor’s broadcast and intervention, and the Toseiha faction has seemingly captured the entirety of the IJA and IJN’s high commands. Although the violence was not enough to reverse the rapid economic recovery recently experienced by the Empire, it has certainly disrupted many government functions, leaving Japan in a particularly vulnerable state. Whether this lasts, for how long, and what the consequences will be for such a momentous week in Japanese history, no one can say.


Chinese Civil War
KMT crushes the CCP, Mao killed in mountain ambush,
Chiang promises reforms, Southern and Northern coalitions agree to ceasefire,
Warlords call for a conference, issue a demand for anti-Japanese action

Holding their largest advantage in years against the Chinese Communists following the encirclement and destruction of much of the Jiangxi Soviet, the Kuomintang seized the unique opportunity to get rid of one of its most persistent rivals by once again focusing their military efforts on the fleeing Communist cadres. After escaping Jiangxi with thousands of soldiers and civilians, newly elevated Chairman Mao Zedong attempted to cross Hunan province during the first half of the year, hoping to take the Communist cause up north into a distant province from where to regroup, planning to leave Chiang alone to battle with the rival warlords in order to gain time. It was not to be. Despite some creative decisions by Mao enabling him to enter deep into the province, the local warlord troops of He Jian collaborated closely with Chiang’s NRA, and successfully encircled and destroyed Mao’s column at the Battle of Zhijiang.

In the aftermath of Zhijiang, Mao’s bullet-ridden corpse was found and paraded by the NRA, the destruction of the Communist column putting an end to dreams of a CCP escape into a distant refuge. With the Communist cause in China at the brink of collapse, their last remaining hope is provided by the secondary column of Zhang Guotao, who has gathered much of the surviving forces in eastern China and taken them westwards – north from Mao’s planned route – into Hubei province. Having thus gained much needed respite from the threat once posed by the CCP, Generalissimo Chiang enjoyed a relatively successful year after having feared defeat, events in Japan – and particularly in Manchuria – doing much to improve said position. Having denounced the Sino-Japanese treaty to public approval, Chiang then attempted to reach out to the rival warlord coalitions to his north and south, hoping to bring an end to the civil war.

While neither the Northern nor the Southern coalition have yielded any territory gained thus far – and have fortified their positions -, the outrage at the actions of the Kwantung Army and the aftermath of the September 11th incident persuaded Hu Hanmin, Feng Yuxiang, Li Zongren and Zhang Xueliang of the need for unity. Thus, all four have announced a temporary ceasefire, and demanded Chiang to attend a conference to establish a united front against Japan. Sensing Japanese weakness in Manchuria, all four warlords are widely expected to demand that the Nanjing government declares war on Japan as the precondition to end their efforts to depose Chiang and rejoin the NRA. In the meantime, Chiang has further reversed – but only up to a point – his popularity deficit with the announcement of new reforms and even local elections by 1938, all while playing up the anti-Communist rhetoric.



Isolationist backlash in the US!
Roosevelt stuns America with Chaco War intervention,
Despite military successes, public outrage forces Congress to pass Neutrality Acts,
With 36’ approaching, FDR to face twin primary challenge

Although it had been the economy that had sunk Herbert Hoover back in 32’, it was beyond clear that his internationalist foreign policy had also been a negative factor for a nation that grew more and more isolationist as the decade went through. And, at least for a time, President Roosevelt appeared to be able to ride said wave of isolationism despite some instincts to the contrary. Although he had courted major controversy and political weakness due to the Yugoslavian aid package and a series of foreign policy blunders, he had also courted popularity by successfully extricating the US from Haiti and Nicaragua, and by securing Filipino independence all in a single term. Initial sanctions on Third Balkan War belligerents were also relatively well received at the start, at least on the intention to deter open warfare in Europe. However, the tide was soon to turn most decisively for an administration already challenged on the home front.

With the carnage of the Chaco War still ongoing after three years, and the recent withdrawal of Paraguay from the League of Nations seemingly ruling out the prospect of a negotiated end to the war, many expected the war to go on for years, at least until Bolivia – if Paraguay could maintain its present advantages – gave up. This was dramatically altered when President Roosevelt announced the development of a several thousand US troops to intervene in the war on Paraguay’s side, openly entering the conflict and securing a secretive deal with Argentina to secure passage for the expeditionary corps. Leaving aside the reaction to this, the move was undoubtedly successful from the military point of view. Despite logistical and terrain challenges making it impossible for the US troops to have an impact before the second half of the war, their vast technical and training superiority compared to the weakened Bolivian Army resulted in a decisive triumph at Villamontes.

The Battle of Villamontes allowed Paraguay to fully occupy the Chaco, it opened the route to an invasion of Bolivia in 1936, and forced La Paz to sue for peace. However, the direst consequences of the war – at least for FDR – would not be felt on the frontlines despite malaria outbreaks within the US troops, they would be felt domestically. Having supported the Nicaraguan intervention due to its limited goals of extricating US citizens, the American public was outraged at such a blatant act of war and intervention in a foreign conflict, particularly as the President pursued a unilateral act that entirely bypassed Congress. Having only had limited success with anti-New Deal talking points, Republican leaders – and prospective candidates for 36’s – jumped on the Isolationist train with glee, loudly opposing the Administration from Congress and calling on the US to suspend intervention on such matters.

Said public outrage was not helped by further decisions by the administration, including instantly reversed sanctions on Italy and France that sparked financial panic and levied accusations of lack of a firm policy. This, combined with an ill-advised push to strip the Supreme Court – which, emboldened, continued to overturn New Deal policies – turned a Republican offensive into a Democratic revolt, cementing the loss of political control over Congress. Incensed, a newly formed, unofficial “Isolationist coalition” refused to formally declare war on Bolivia, rejected ratification of the arrangement for use of Argentinian territory to transport US troops – causing the Argentinian President to warn of unexpected consequences such a promised aid package not be ratified -, and passed a series of “Neutrality Acts”, imposing an arms embargo on all parties involved in a war, and stripping the President of the power to sanction countries without Congressional approval. The President, however, may yet decide to veto the Neutrality Acts, raising the question of whether the veto can be overridden.

This backlash has all but ensured that foreign policy will be just as relevant as domestic policy in what promises to be a highly exciting Presidential Election. And whilst the Republican field starts to form as several candidates start to see hope in finding Roosevelt vulnerable, Democratic opposition to the President has also started to materialize. From the anti-New Deal isolationist conservative wing, Senator Harry Byrd (D-VA) has promised to challenge the President in the Democratic primaries and convention. And from the left, Senator Huey Long (D-LA), who recently survived an assassination attempt, has also announced his intent to challenge the President by championing isolationism and the “Share Our Wealth” banner. With the stage thus set for 36’, and while Roosevelt still commands significant popularity within the working class, the President may be in for a far tougher reelection than anyone would have expected.
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« Reply #186 on: August 17, 2022, 03:36:58 AM »

Somoza takes over
Strengthened by foreign advisors and support,
General Somoza defeats rival Sandino, forces him into exile,
Nicaraguan President resigns, Somoza elected with 98% of the vote

The outbreak of the Nicaraguan Civil War, following the relatively successful US withdrawal, had resulted in a bitter struggle between Anastasio Somoza and Augusto César Sandino, both champions of vastly different views regarding the future of their nation. Sandino, having made himself strong in the countryside thanks to his revolutionary rhetoric and guerilla expertise, was expected to be able to resist the more conservative and authoritarian Somoza for a while, an assumption that was shattered during the year. Within a few months, Somoza’s forces proved to be far better trained and armed than before, their field performance increased to the point in which Sandino’s forces began to melt away due to attrition and battlefield setbacks. Indeed, by December most of Sandino’s bases had been captured or destroyed, and a second failed assassination attempt had forced Sandino to flee into Honduras into temporary exile.  

Although Sandinist resistance continued in the northernmost regions of the country, Somoza declared victory, taking personal credit for vanquishing Sandino and the “threat of a Marxist revolution”. In the aftermath of his successful campaign, General Somoza has successfully forced the President to resign his office so that he could run in the subsequent election. Facing token opposition, Somoza was elected President with over 98% of the vote, leading to accusations of fraud. Thus far, it remains unclear how Somoza was able to gain the upper hand so quickly, with Sandino openly denouncing – to those that will listen – that Somoza has been receiving support from a foreign power in order to establish his “dictatorial rule”. In any case, observers believe Sandino will be forced to remain on the sidelines for now, with Somoza now firmly in control.

Landslide for Smuts
South African PM ruthlessly calls for snap election,
Hurt by pro-German stance, National Party plummets in the polls,
Despite having a mandate, Smuts is undermined by electoral system

It had been a momentous three years for the Dominion of South Africa since, against all expectations, Jan Smuts had returned to power after winning a narrow majority, propelled by the effects of the economic depression on J. B. M. Hertzog’s National Party government. In that term, most of Smuts’ energies were invested both in the trade conflict with Britain and the struggle to secure the formal annexation of the mandate of South West Africa, the latter of which essentially dominated the politics of the parliamentary term as the government – buoyed by a local referendum – felt within striking distance of success. It was not to be, for South African aspirations were dashed at the League of Nations once Germany signaled its opposition to unilateral annexation.

And, although on normal circumstances such a failure may have spelt trouble for the incumbent PM, Smuts had the distinct luck of having the leader of the opposition – former PM Hertzog himself – known for his pro-German stance as opposed to Smuts’ pro-British beliefs. With the National Party thus weakened by association, and having several options on the table, Smuts went for the jugular and called for an early general election. The gamble was not without its dangers, particularly since the apparent lack of an agenda seemed – so believed the beleaguered Nationals – to indicate Smuts’ decision was a transparent political maneuver. But they could not effectively make that case, not with Hertzog forced to defend his pro-German views at every opportunity. In the end, Smuts succeeded in opening a tremendous vote gap, fueled by unprecedented urban margins.

On election night, the South African Party (SAP) surpassed Smuts’ 1921 record, garnering more than 50% of the vote and a clear majority of 14 seats. However, and despite outvoting the National Party by over 16 points, the opposition’s proverbial strength in rural areas – as opposed to Smuts’ urban dominance – was rewarded by the FPTP electoral system, preventing a complete collapse. South Africa’s third party, the Labour Party – notoriously hostile to the PM -, managed to hold onto its seats and share of the vote, and the handful of independent MP’s were wiped out. With this record defeat, National leader Hertzog has resigned, opening the door to firebrand hardliner D. F. Malan to take over the party. Smuts, for his part, has won a clear window of opportunity to try and pass his own agenda.

1935 South African General Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
South African Party52% (+4)82 (+11)
National Party36% (-4)57 (-8)
Labour Party9% (=)11 (+1)
Others3% 0
Total150 MP's

Incoming Prime Minister:
Jan Smuts (SAP)

Incoming Government:
SAP Majority (14 Seats)

MacDonald’s Gamble: Indian Home Rule
MacDonald faces stiff opposition to proposed bill, narrowly succeeds,
Conservative Party revolts against PM, rejects compromise candidate for GE,
National Government collapses, death of King George temporarily saves PM

In some ways, many felt that the worst had passed for the National Government in the UK, formed in the direst of economic conditions and with a paralyzed political system. Despite being disowned by his own party as a “traitor”, Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald had been able to lead an unstable alliance with the Conservative Party to victory in 1931, had presided over a steady – if painful and unemployment riddled – economic recovery, and had, for the most part, kept Britain away from European conflict, all moves that served to cement his rule despite having an almost non-existent base of personal parliamentarian support against Tory hegemony. Indeed, it was not too difficult to image that MacDonald, though too old and exhausted, could hand over to a successor to continue the National Government and win the next election against a divided and weakened Labour Party, still led by stop gap leader – and pacifist, left wing firebrand – George Lansbury.

Ultimately, this was all dynamited in the process of securing what was – easily – MacDonald’s greatest achievement, a success that was ironically to leave him on the verge of political collapse. Having grappled with the question of Indian independence and/or home rule for decades, and forever unwilling to learn from the Irish experience, the British establishment and political elite had long resisted meaningful decentralization in power in India. The reasons varied, ranging from a belief that the Empire could not survive without the British Raj, to dismissive – but common – views regarding the ability of Indians to rule themselves. Thus, when MacDonald proposed an act of parliament to give India a bicameral, devolved parliament – in effect turning it into a Dominion – that, at least for its Indian House of Commons, would be directly elected (with an appointed House of Lords), reaction was swift and explosive. Even if MacDonald had ruled out independence itself, Conservative rebels were quick to denounce him, with Winston Churchill MP going as far as to call the PM “Judas” in the House of Commons.

But perhaps what truly went too far was the concept of allowing India to send MP’s to Westminster and enabling Indians to access British citizenship, a proposal that – aside from being instantly killed in committee by a befuddled Parliament – sparked race riots, irate editorials warning of imminent race mixing and the horrifying prospect of Indians at the House of Commons, and almost brought down the government itself. Ultimately, the bill passed partly due to several lucky accidents, partly due to Lansbury’s principled decision not to block Indian Home Rule after the proposal gained lukewarm approval from leading Indian politicians, enabling the government – despite its massive, unprecedented majority – to narrowly win the vote and push a watered down version of the bill through despite almost 200 Tory defections. The vote, for all purposes, killed the National Government, with the Conservatives disowning MacDonald and rejecting his proposal for a compromise candidate – Foreign Secretary Simon – to lead the coalition in the 1936 General Election.

With Labour ready to push for a Vote of No Confidence and the Conservative revolt about to give it an unequivocal approval, MacDonald was only saved from the sudden end of his premiership by the most unexpected of events: the death of King George V, the man who had seen the Empire through the Great War. Dying peacefully in his sleep – so the Palace reported -, the sudden disappearance of the towering monarch and the enthroning of the Prince of Wales as King Edward VIII made a VONC distasteful given the occasion. Thus, MacDonald remains Prime Minister during the royal transition, virtually held hostage by an outraged Conservative Party and with the election set – at the absolute latest – for October 1936. And, while the death of the King may have come as a potential stroke of luck, rumors surrounding the romantic inclinations of the new King may well force MacDonald into a constitutional crisis right as he tries to save his premiership.

In India itself, soon to be the Dominion of India – though no date for the election is formally set – the Indian National Congress and its leadership has expressed cautious and skeptical optimism, with some of its leaders feeling that Home Role comes too late. Others, however, express a willingness to try and work with the new constitutional framework, which will have to decide on many difficult issues soon enough.

Election season in Europe
Kemal’s CHP wins another landslide, Parliament offers him “Atatürk” title,
Sanation reforms Polish constitution, Koc elected President in opposition boycott,
Czech coalition under pressure, Communists and ethnic parties gain strength,
Tsar Boris restores democracy in Bulgaria, Popular Bloc returns to power

By a curious quirk of fate, several eastern European nations have held their own elections during 1935, coinciding with key foreign policy events and wildly different economic and political situations, as well as participation – or not – in the ongoing military conflicts.

Perhaps the easiest and most painless of all contests took place in the Republic of Turkey, where President Kemal upheld official policy that only allowed the ruling CHP to stand in the election. Aside from a small number of independents, over 90% of the Grand National Assembly continues to belong to the CHP. Indeed, the actual novelty in the election – aside from local disturbances in the eastern provinces – was the successful enactment of female suffrage in time for the election, allowing millions of Turkish women to vote for the first time and even elect the first female MP’s. Despite the Turkish economy suffering heavily still from the US embargo, the hugely popular Kemal has been recently acclaimed by Parliament as “Father of the Turks”, and given the surname “Atatürk” as a result.

In Poland, the newfound unity of the Sanation regime – arranged through several political deals deftly negotiated by Colonel Koc – has been enshrined through the drafting of the Constitution of 1935, formalizing several aspects of Pilsudski’s regime and bringing in a whole new constitutional structure. Among other measures, the Sejm changed its electoral system to FPTP seats, “extreme” opposition parties were forbidden to stand for election, and a Presidency-Vice Presidency scheme was arranged, providing non-negligible legislative powers to the latter. With Sanation faction leaders Rydz-Smigly and Valery Slawek replacing Koc as twin Ministers of State, Koc himself ran for President with the incumbent President Moscicki as his running mate. Colonel Koc campaigned hard for the election, presenting himself as the heir to Pilsudski and championing both strong government and a recovering economy. With the opposition for the most part boycotting the elections and protesting the Sanation regime as “undemocratic”, Koc and the Sanation-aligned BBWR won in a landslide.

In the Czechoslovak Republic, the election soon turned into an unofficial referendum on the war, with the ethnic German, Slovak, and Hungarian parties broadly standing against it, the ruling “Petka” of five democratic parties (center left to center-right) in favor, and the opposition Communist Party following Stalin’s lead by supporting the war. With the government declining to intervene in the campaign – only stating President Masaryk’s intent to remain in office for now -, a seemingly gloomy outlook for pro-war parties due to the rapidly deteriorating economy only marginally improved following the fall of Budapest, thus preventing a collapse by the Petka. In the end, the Petka parties all lost seats, whilst the newly united or reorganized ethnic parties all held onto their seats or won more. Crucially, the Communist Party made substantial gains among those supportive of the war, with the National Fascist League also making gains by becoming the main anti-war Czech party. Said results will likely make government formation more difficult, a task in which President Masaryk may have to use his political expertise.

Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, the recent overthrow of the Zveno military government and the restoration of temporary personal rule by Tsar Boris III led many to consider the possibility of a royal dictatorship, a move that some saw as a likely solution to Bulgarian political instability. However, the Tsar made the momentous decision – which, while not that popular with the electorate, earned him crucial parliamentary support – to restore constitutional government. Maintain his powers only until the election, the Tsar promptly banned the Communist Party and Zveno-friendly parties, allowing the moderate liberal Popular Bloc – which had previously governed before being deposed by the Zveno – to run almost unopposed and triumph at the general election with a resounding majority. At least for the time being, Bulgaria appears to have secured some measure of stability.

1935 Turkish General Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
Republican People’s Party (CHP)85% 411
Others15% 17
Total428 MP's

Incoming Prime Minister:
Ismet Inonu (CHP)

Incoming Government:
CHP Majority (394 Seats)

1935 Polish Presidential Election:
CandidateVotes (%)
Adam Koc and Ignacy Moscicki (IND)100%

Incoming President and Vice President:
Adam Koc and Ignacy Moscicki (IND)

1935 Polish General Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
BBWR92%192
Others8% 16
Total208 MP’s

1935 Czechoslovak General Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
Petka (RSZML/CSSD/CSNS/CSL/NSJ/CZOS)47%145
Ethnic Parties31%94
Communist Party14%39
National Fascist League6%17
Others2% 5
Total300 MP's

Incoming Prime Minister:
Jan Malypetr (Petka-RSZML) [Acting] (SAP)

Incoming Government:
Petka Minority (6 short)

1935 Bulgarian General Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
Popular Bloc61%205
DA-NLP Opposition31%68
Others8% 0
Total273 MP's

Incoming Prime Minister:
Nikola Mushanov (Popular Bloc)

Incoming Government:
Popular Bloc Majority (137 Seats)

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« Reply #187 on: August 17, 2022, 03:37:45 AM »

Bennett stumbles in Quebec
Despite popular economic policies, Conservatives stand divided,
Newfoundland claims exploited by Liberals, Duplessis opposes Bennett,
Conservatives make underwhelming gains, Taschereau re-elected

His hand strengthened significantly by an unexpected electoral triumph and the highly popular annexation of Newfoundland, Canadian PM R. B. Bennett’s next challenge was provided by the turbulent province of Quebec, which had remained a Liberal stronghold at the federal level that regional Conservatives had been unable to break. The task of breaking through in Quebec was made all the more difficult not only given the popularity of incumbent premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, but also the evident splits between the Conservative Party of Quebec and its federal counterpart. Despite Bennett’s assertive moves to provide for a strong, active campaign, as well as the popularity of a no-conscription pledge, a decision not to award Quebec its claims on Newfoundland was badly received in the province. And while Bennett’s historic Canadian Social Security Act moved through parliament to federal acclaim, it was bitterly resisted by regional Conservative leader Maurice Duplessis, a staunch enemy of Keynesian economic theories.

A political opening seemed to have materialized when a group of Liberal dissidents separated from Taschererau – alienated by his style and ethical issues -, running as their own grouping. Despite strong moves from the membership to seek an alliance with the dissidents, led by Paul Gouin, Duplessis would hear none of it. In the end, the campaign was muddled as Bennett’s ever more Keynesian policies clashed with Duplessis’ own agenda, preventing the Conservatives from having a clear message with which to clash against Taschereau. In the end, the Liberal Premier – who rallied against the Prime Minister and exploited the Newfoundland issue against Duplessis - prevailed despite some seat losses, and the Conservatives, despite making gains and surpassing Gouin’s challengers to remain the opposition, are left far, far away from government. As Premier Taschereau returns to government yet again – having served since 1920 -, the first sign of an effective opposition to Mr. Bennett may have emerged, particularly as the Liberals debate and clash to elect a successor to the retiring Mackenzie King.

Return of the German Empire
Zentrum and BVP stand down, Hugenberg’s DNF reigns alone,
Imperial Diet elected, Goerdeler-led opposition takes form,
Amidst Saar defiance, the Chancellor remains beset by threats

Following a few months of work, the constitutional convention in Germany, which had already made headlines by approving the return of the monarchy and the crowning of Kaiser Wilhelm III, closed its activities following a last flurry of orders and decrees. Despite fears of a secessionist crisis in Bavaria, last of the credible holdouts that could oppose Chancellor Hugenberg, negotiations with the BVP and the Zentrum – aided by the initial surge of patriotism caused by the occupation of the Saar – resulted in a compromise, allowing both parties to stand down as political pluralism, much like in other European nations, finally came to a casual, almost dismissive end. Rather than risk civil war, Zentrum politicians stood down in return for a Concordat between Berlin and the Vatican preserving the Catholic Church’s influence, and the BVP government in Bavaria did the same in return for the restoration of the Wittelsbachs to the Bavarian throne. Indeed, only a few weeks after Wilhelm III’s crowning, Crown Prince Rupprecht became Rupprecht I of Bavaria.

In return for such concessions, the Zentrum and the BVP complied with their ordered dissolution, as the convention established single-party rule via the enshrining of the conservative German National Front (DNF) as the sole legal party. However, a façade of internal democracy was allowed, as a number of personalities were allowed to join the party, rebranded – much like Sanation and its associate party – as a non-partisan organization. Upon finishing the last touches to the constitutional reforms, Gregor Strasser resigned from the government alongside his now outlawed VF, denouncing Hugenberg as a “capitalist relic” and calling on the workers not to support his “regime”. Elections to the Imperial Diet took place on October 1st amidst the Saar crisis, amidst threats of a US embargo – addressed through what was ultimately viewed as an advantageous deal – and fears of war.

Having decided to allow multiple DNF candidates to run in the various districts, Hugenberg won his desired supermajority of compliant deputies to complement a – thus far – subservient Kaiser, but not all of the DNF members were firmly behind the Chancellor. During the first sessions of the Imperial Diet, political observers have begun to talk of a new opposition grouping led by DNF deputy Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, who, while broadly supportive of much of Hugenberg’s agenda, has adopted moderate criticism of the government when he finds it suitable. Thus far, much of it has been directed at the dire economic situation, worsened by US threats, industrial strife caused by a lack of control over the trade unions, and the cost of the civil war, with privatization and deregulation policies yet to show an effect.

In the Saar itself, citizens have been unable to comply – not for a lack of trying – with Hugenberg’s instructions to hold a referendum anyway, as French occupation has made it impossible to even hold a symbolic vote. Still, acts of defiance are common across the territory, with protests, riots, sabotage and even small acts of humiliation against French troops springing up daily. Such actions have resulted in dozens of wounded, and it is believed the steady stream of incidents may turn deadly yet. And just as the furious mood in Berlin was been somewhat tempered by fears of war and a feeling of impotence towards Hugenberg, so has the mixed mood in Paris turned less jubilant still, with the economy also reeling from the cost of the occupation, pacifist marches denouncing the threat of war, and Finance Minister Blum still being burned in effigy – though not Daladier himself – at far-right parades and marches.

1935 German General Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
German National Front (DNF)100% 400
Total400 MP's

Incoming Chancellor:
Alfred Hugenberg (DNF)

Incoming Government:
DNF Majority (All Seats)

The Slow Death of the Great War Treaties
Various treaties under challenge by once defeated nations,
Austria, Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria remilitarize and rebuild their armies,
Turkey remilitarizes the Turkish Straits

Upon the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and all of its associated treaties punishing the defeated Central Powers in the aftermath of the Great War, opinion was split on whether the treaties could last or whether, as Ferdinand Foch himself said, whether they were only a twenty-year armistice. Clearly, the treaties and the push for part of the international community in seeing them fulfilled – or reversed – over the past fifteen years has been a major push behind several key decisions and developments, and attempts at defiance had been growing more successful by the end of the decade. This process has seemingly entered into overdrive as of lately, with virtually all of the former Central Powers undertaking moves that nullify, alter and/or void much of the content and limitations established in the treaties, even if their goals may not necessarily align.

In Germany, Chancellor Hugenberg’s decision to remilitarize and reintroduce conscription via ignoring the Treaty of Versailles has already led to the Saar occupation and the real threat of American economic warfare, but it has also placed Germany in a far stronger position than in 1933. On the other hand, France’s occupation of the Saar – which also contravenes Versailles – places the local pro-German population in the awkward position of having to rely on the treaty for any hopes of a plebiscite. In Austria, newly elevated President Dollfuss – now supreme master of the Austrofascist Republic – responded to Hugenberg’s moves by ripping the Treaty of St. Germain apart in military terms, also reintroducing conscription and substantially increasing the Austrian army. In Hungary, outside fears of a potential breach of the Treaty of Trianon have turned into something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the Third Balkan War has forced the Hungarian to also ignore the military restrictions in order to fight the war.

Most recently, President Kemal of Turkey and Tsar Boris of Bulgaria have both violated the Treaties of Laussane and Neuilly-sur-Seine to great domestic acclaim, the former – albeit with some international support – reasserting control over the Turkish Straits, a vital move for the viability of Turkish strategic security, and the latter also starting a rearmament program and reintroducing conscription, seemingly ending – at least on the surface – the marked vulnerability of the Kingdom as opposed to its neighbors. Such moves also coincide with mounting public frustration on the League of Nations’ recent inability to reach unanimity on a series of issues, and with Germany and Paraguay already having left the organization. Thus far, pacifist organizations and personalities have bitterly decried such actions and described them as inexorable steps towards another Great War. In contrast, others argue they represent a restoration of national sovereignty. The truth, some suspect, may lie closer to the middle.

Spanish Civil War
Asturias Soviet crushed, Catalan State collapses without help,
Despite efforts by PM Lerroux, several rebel MP’s are smuggled into the Cortes,
An uneasy calm sets in as the government must decide on the aftermath

Despite fears that the uprisings of late 1934 could plunge the entirety of the nation into civil war, and even that a rival Republican government could be formed and cause a breakdown in the legitimacy of the Spanish state, events in 1935 have proved surprisingly kind to Prime Minister Lerroux, even with the odd setback here and there. Crucially, the League of Nations was unanimous in its ratification of a resolution supporting the Prime Minister and the legitimacy of his government, and none of the potential partners that might have made a larger revolution possible took action. Some, it is rumored, did quite the opposite. Whatever the case, Lerroux did not waste time risking the deployment of working-class recruits thought to be unreliable, and the colonial forces were immediately shipped towards the mainland for the government counteroffensive.

Aided by military missions from friendly powers, and having courted moderate Catalan politicians to deter defections, the Lerroux government dispatched General Lopez Ochoa to Asturias with the Regulares and the Spanish Foreign Legion, whose superior training, experience and brutality proved more than a match for the enthusiastic but ill-equipped revolutionary militias. In a campaign of a few weeks, and with no reinforcements or assistance for the Asturias Soviet via sea, the workers were utterly crushed. Attempts to expand the war into the Basque Country failed, as negotiations between Madrid and the moderate PNV resulted in the latter staying away from the conflict in return for what they hope will be firm concessions. By the middle of the year, it was General Franco’s turn to lead the colonials into the Catalan State, whose vulnerabilities were made worse by the lack of international recognition.

In Madrid proper, it soon became clear how the wind was blowing, enabling rivals of Lerroux such as former PM Azaña to finally break their obstinate silence to condemn both the revolution and Lerroux’s repression of it. The government plowed ahead by suppressing newspapers, strikes by the trade unions, and political parties such as the Catalan ERC, thought to be the main force behind Companys’ declaration of independence. A key measure enacted forced the Cortes to expel deputies absent for more than six months, which, while leading to the effective expulsion of the most hardline pro revolution MP’s, could not stop dozens of PSOE and PCE representatives – including Francisco Largo Caballero, a key personality of the left – from being smuggled into the building for a session to thus retain parliamentary immunity.

Tricks aside, by the time Franco started his offensive into Catalonia the fate of the revolution had been sealed. Still, Franco showed signs of effective, ruthless brutality in clearing the territory of “enemies of the fatherland” and in racing towards Barcelona, the Catalan militias crumbling like a house of cards. Franco entered Barcelona by September, releasing General Batet from imprisonment and arresting the bulk of the Catalan leadership. Companys, however, along with his closest advisors, escaped to France. Thus, and despite strikes still ongoing and being harshly suppressed, the Spanish Revolution is seemingly over. It falls to the government now to handle the aftermath, with the country in a deeply divided state.

The Stalinist Challenge
Khrushchev helps Soviet Union survive LON investigation into Ukraine,
Sensing an opening, Left and Right Oppositions to Stalin seemingly join forces,
Citing religious, industrial and foreign policy, Rykov challenges Stalin at emergency party congress

One of the few motions approved at the League of Nations in 1935 called for an investigation and report into the apparent famine in the Ukraine over the past few years, a potentially embarrassing situation for the Soviet Union at a time in which General Secretary Stalin – and, by opposition, Mussolini – continues to gain visibility in European discussions. A LON mission visited Odessa, Kiev, Kharkov and other cities during the course of the year, delivering a report which concluded that, while a famine had taken place, there was little concrete evidence of government involvement. Perhaps crucial to that conclusion had been swift action by new Food Relief Director Nikita Khrushchev, whose efforts to fire and purge officials, as well as to distribute food, may have well persuaded most – but not all – of the investigators that efforts were at hand to alleviate any suffering.

In doing so, Khrushchev – presumably acting on Stalin’s orders – may have spared the Soviet Union great embarrassment, but the whole enterprise may have come at a significant cost. Indeed, unconfirmed reports suggest that much of the effort towards the industrialization of the Soviet Union may have been halted to combat the famine, the consequences of which are hard to discern. Having declined to further press his apparent supremacy with regards to his seemingly defeated enemies, it appears this environment and a series of decisions may have conspired to resuscitate the ghost of opposition to Stalin, previously tempered through the brutal defeat of the Left and then the Right Opposition. Unconfirmed as it is, reports – circulated through Trotskyite circles in Europe – argue that both the Left and Right opposition to the General Secretary may have united for the first time, repeating Stalin’s own tactic to deal with each foe separately.

Citing policies such as an unexpected rebuke of antisemitism, decisions surrounding industrialization and the apparent tampering down of anti-religious campaigns, the lack of apparent support for the Communist struggle in China, Spain and – partially – Germany, and perhaps motivated out or fear or concern over Stalin’s supremacy over the party, the opposition coalition – shrouded in clouds, and for some an NKVD invention – has seemingly succeed in calling an emergency Party Congress, with former Premier Alexei Rykov (removed from the Politburo during the purge of “Right” elements) apparently being the challenger to Stalin’s position. So-called “Kremlinologists” have expressed puzzlement at this development, finding Rykov – his qualities notwithstanding – an unlikely option for such a brazen challenge. Thus, said academics disagree on whether Rykov’s challenge constitutes a “stalking horse” for more prominent yet more tainted rivals to Stalin, or whether it may be an NKVD maneuver to draw out the opposition. Whichever the case, sparks are expected to fly at the emergency Party Congress.

Unrest in the Middle East!
Turkey secures and wins Hatay Referendum, annexes province,
Syria erupts in General Strike, immediate independence demanded,
Riots in Palestine over fears of Jewish state

Relatively – relatively – calm over the past few years as new nations slowly gained autonomy from their previous colonial masters, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East has been the center of much strife recently, a problem that does not appear likely to end any time soon. Within the Republic of Syria, ground zero for the most challenging instances of strife, tension over independence talks with France multiplied following an arrangement between Paris and Istanbul, providing a greenlight regarding Turkish aspirations to the long desired Hatay Province. Having mutually agreed to a referendum, the eventual results showed a majority – albeit not a particularly large one – in favor of integrating Hatay within Turkey, a result that was widely challenged by Syrian nationalists on account of the residency criteria established in order to be able to vote.

The Syrians have thus claimed to the foreign press that the referendum was rigged to favor Istanbul, and have, as a result, abandoned talks with France following the latest proposal of independence – within certain lines – by 1940. Hashim al-Atassi, the leading nationalist Syrian leader, subsequently called for a nationwide general strike over the Hatay cession, denouncing – in his view – that the country was “once again being split up”, and demanding either that the plebiscite be declared void and the decision rescinded, or that immediate independence be granted to Syria, followed by a French evacuation. Thus far, the general strike has been able to paralyze the country and profoundly embarrass the pro-French government, with riots and protests already yielding the first few casualties.

Down south, in the Mandate of Palestine, rumors that the League of Nation was planning the establishment of a Jewish homeland within the Mandate – incorrectly fueled by a motion defeated through a Turkish-Arab veto – fueled immense discontent within the local population, already frustrated by rising rates of immigration into the territory. Perhaps drawing inspiration from the Syrians, though not yet reaching general strike levels, protests have taken place within the largest cities in the Mandate. A petition has been sent to General Wauchope, the British High Commissioner, demanding – among other things – an end to Jewish immigration and land purchases, as well as a clear route to “Arab independence”.
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« Reply #188 on: August 23, 2022, 12:57:12 AM »

Turn IV: 1936


The Cast:

German Reich: Chancellor Alfred Hugenberg (RGM2609)
United States of America: President Franklin D. Roosevelt (NewYorkExpress)
Empire of Japan: Emperor Hirohito (Devout Centrist)
British Empire: Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald (S019)
Republic of France: Prime Minister Edouard Daladier (YPestis25)
Soviet Union: General Secretary Josef Stalin (GoTfan)
Kingdom of Italy: Duce Benito Mussolini (KaiserDave)
Republic of China: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (Kuumo)
Republic of Turkey: President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Spiral)
Dominion of Canada: Prime Minister R. B. Bennett (DKrol)
Czechoslovak Republic: President Tomáš Masaryk (JacksonHitchcock)
Union of South Africa: Prime Minister Jan Smuts (Ishan)
Spanish Republic: Prime Minister Alejandro Lerroux (Dereich)
Kingdom of Hungary: Regent Miklós Horthy (AverageFoodEnthusiast)
Polish Republic: President Adam Koc (Windjammer)
Kingdom of Romania: King Carol II Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (Muaddib)
Kingdom of Bulgaria: Tsar Boris III Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (OBD)
Commonwealth of Australia: Prime Minister Jack Lang (iBizzBee)

Economic Performance:
Empire of Japan: High
British Empire: High

Soviet Union: Moderate
Kingdom of Italy: Moderate
Union of South Africa: Moderate
Dominion of Canada: Moderate
Polish Republic: Moderate
Republic of France: Moderate
German Reich: Moderate

Republic of Turkey: Weak
United States of America: Weak
Kingdom of Bulgaria: Weak
Spanish Republic: Weak
Commonwealth of Australia: Weak
Kingdom of Romania: Weak
Republic of China: Weak

Czechoslovak Republic: Very Weak
Kingdom of Hungary: Very Weak

Popularity:
Tsar Boris III: Very High
President Kemal: Very High

Duce Mussolini: High
Prime Minister Lang: High
Prime Minister Bennett: High

President Koc: Moderate
Emperor Hirohito:  Moderate
Regent Horthy:  Moderate
Prime Minister MacDonald: Moderate
Prime Minister Daladier: Moderate
Prime Minister Smuts: Moderate
President Masaryk: Moderate

President Roosevelt: Low
General Secretary Stalin: Low
Chancellor Hugenberg: Low
King Carol II: Low
Prime Minister Lerroux: Low
Generalissimo Chiang: Low

Mobilization Level:
Total Mobilization: None
War Mobilization: Republic of China, Kingdom of Hungary, Czechoslovak Republic, Kingdom of Romania
Partial Mobilization: Kingdom of Italy
Conscription: Republic of France, Empire of Japan, Soviet Union, Spanish Republic, Polish Republic, Kingdom of Bulgaria, German Reich, Republic of Turkey
Volunteer Army: United States of America, British Empire, Dominion of Canada, Union of South Africa, Commonwealth of Australia
Demilitarized: None

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« Reply #189 on: August 23, 2022, 12:59:08 AM »

German Reich:


Chancellor,

The month of August approaches, and with it the opening of the long awaited 1936 Summer Olympics. Of course, Berlin is a different city and Germany a different country than what they were when the event was awarded, but it is still very much an opportunity to showcase what the Reich has to offer and, perhaps, to regain some international legitimacy after a long period of strife. Still, even though Berlin has been mostly rebuilt at great expense, there’s the question of whether Germany should invest heavily on a spectacular Olympics, or whether, given the shaky economic situation, a more subdued event should be prepared. Finally, there’s also the matter of whether foreign heads of state will visit, whether any restrictions will be placed on foreigners, and even how His Imperial Majesty and you will act. So, how will you handle the 1936 Olympics?

The occupation of the Saar by the French has undoubtedly incensed parts of the German public, just as it has spooked others who fear war. And while there’s ongoing defiance in the Saar by the local population, it is beyond clear no plebiscite can happen without foreign support or de-escalation from France. And while the Saar may be the most urgent of foreign matters, some of your advisers – with Vice Chancellor von Papen in tow – point out that there are other prospective issues requiring your attention, even if it’s for the long term. In Czechoslovakia, good electoral results for pro-German parties raise the prospect of the German minority there. In Austria, President Dollfuss continues to take on a strongly critical line of your government. How will the Reich handle its international affairs this year?

Domestically, there are still problems to be addressed, even as formal or legal resistance to the new regime – with its unassailable control over the new Imperial Diet – has fully died down. Strasser’s departure has left the government vulnerable to industrial action, with strikes in industrial cities starting to emerge as proxy acts of opposition. The crowning of Wilhelm III in Berlin and Rupprecht I in Münich have led the remaining German princes and houses deposed in 1918 to ask for their restoration as well, thus fully completing the revival of the German monarchy. And while the economy may be finally recovering amidst unprecedented US debt forgiveness, lower taxation and mass privatization - one of the main causes of industrial strife -, the Reichsbank fears it could all come crashing down in these uncertain times.

British Empire:


Prime Minister,

With roughly ten months left – at the absolute most – until the next General Election, you face a most puzzling situation. The India policy, while perhaps a crowning achievement in terms of the future, has utterly alienated the Conservatives, and only the unexpected death of His Majesty has granted you a reprieve given their control over Parliament. And while normally the loss of Conservative support – acute enough to warrant Baldwin stepping down so the Tories elect a new leader – would be crippling, your inner circle has not lost hope for the future. The economy is rapidly recovering to the point of having a small surplus, you remain moderately popular, and what would normally be the alternate government in waiting, the Labour Party, remains crippled under the controversial leadership of George Lansbury. How will you attempt to survive and/or handover to a successor?

King-Emperor George V has passed away after a long reign, a popular monarch and a key source of stability for the House of Winsor. His successor, 42-year old Edward VIII, catches the public eye on account of his youth and unorthodox – some would say erratic - nature, which has made him very unpopular with the British establishment, and very popular with the working classes of Britain. Although this is not known to the public yet, the King wishes to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, a notion bitterly resisted and actively opposed by the Church of England, Baldwin and most leading Conservatives, much of the Royal Family and Household, and so on. Given the prospect of creating conflict with the Church and – perhaps – the Dominions, many would have you force the King to give up Mrs. Simpson – or give up the throne if need be -, to avoid a constitutional crisis. Others, whispering far more reckless notions, wonder if the embattled King does not provide an interest opportunity. How will you handle this unprecedented crisis?

India is set to have its own devolved government, a key development that might substantially reduce current struggles to maintain control over the enormous nation at the cost of losing much of its vital revenue of resources. Still, even though the hardest part is seemingly over, many practical decisions must yet be made. A date for the first election must be set. The government will have to decide on whether to intervene in the election – including persuading local princes to allow parties to take part – or let things run their course. And, though not related directly to India, neighboring unrest in the Middle East and specifically in the Mandate for Palestine – prompted by concerns over Jewish immigration and fueled by similar strife in Syria – also warrants a response. What will you do?

Republic of France:


Prime Minister,

After four years, the legislature has finally run its course, putting an end to an historic term in which you managed to govern – alternatively – with both the right and the left. A General Election is due, and you must decide not only how you and your party will face it, but also whether to take action on several sensitive issues. To name one, Finance Minister Blum, persistently harassed by the far-right, was recently wounded after being attacked by far-right thugs, leading the SFIO to issue calls for you to ban far-right parties and organizations ahead of the election. Another will be whether to fight the election as a coalition with the Socialists, and whether or not other parties – including, given recent political maneuvers, centrists or even the Communists – should be included.

Two concerning crises worry the Ministry of the Interior: First, despite having come close to a breakthrough in the Syrian talks, the recent Hatay Referendum has resulted in renewed riots and protests across the territory, culminating in a dangerous General Strike called by nationalist elements. Thus far, they’ve been able to paralyze and grind Syria to a halt, leading the High Commissioner to request new instructions to either crack down on the strike whatever the cost, or whether the Syrians should be appeased further to compensate for the loss of Hatay. And second, though acts of defiance remain impotent towards the French garrison corps in the Saar, the commanding officers worry that acts of violence may lead to casualties soon, raising the prospect of whether the economically-expensive occupation will be a long term one whilst the Third Balkan War rages on and fears of war grow. What should be done?

At last, and amidst much domestic hardship, some signs of economic recovery appear on the horizon, aided by an effective monetary policy that has, at least for now, provided the nation with needed room to maneuver. Still, there are warnings of rising inflation amidst ongoing stimuluses to the economy, funding for recent government programs and the cost of the Saar occupation. There are also concerns that the situation may be shakier than it looks, particularly after the threatened US sanctions on France – instantly revoked – almost caused a financial panic. Despite this, there is a faction within the government that believes – particularly with the election up ahead - that such concerns are minor as opposed to meeting other goals, and that the government can afford to gamble. Should it do so, or should these concerns be taken more seriously?

United States of America


Mr. President,

Your first term in office is almost at an end, with the Democratic National Convention scheduled for June and the General Election for November. Though your position was once seen as unassailable, recent missteps have sparked primary challenges from Huey Long and Harry Byrd – with others likely to join should they sense further vulnerability -, and the Republican Party, while still crippled by the Depression, is trying to stage a comeback by riding an Isolationist wave. It is not an enviable position to be in with only a year to go, but it is by no means hopeless either. You must now decide how to fight the threats to the nomination, whether to retain or replace Vice President Garner, and how to fight the eventual GOP nominee – to be announced in the Midturn – so you, or alternatively, your faction in the party, remains in office. What will you do?

American troops, though limited in number, have achieved great success alongside the Paraguayan Army, pushing Bolivia out of the Chaco and forcing La Paz to start suing for peace. While these talks take place between Bolivia and Paraguay, the political blowback from the intervention has been severe. Congress has passed Neutrality Acts, severely limiting your ability to sanction, intervene and/or support other nations in foreign conflicts, and you must decide whether to attempt a veto or not. There has been a steadfast refusal to approved the promised aid package to Argentina, leading the Argentinian government to warn of consequences should Congress continue to decline. And, in a general sense – particularly now that Filipino independence has been achieved – you must decide on how to face rising isolationism in the US. How will foreign policy be conducted this year?

Despite undeniable signs of an economic recovery compared to the nadir of 1933, it is becoming clear said recovery has not been – thus far - as strong as hoped, opening a series of questions regarding the Administration’s domestic policy and whether, as some believe, there’s some sense or not in waiting for non-repealed parts of the New Deal to take further effect before major course corrections. The Supreme Court, having struck down the minimum wage, is now targeting the health insurance program, perhaps the most vulnerable New Deal item – due to its cost and severe implementation issues – at the moment. German debt forgiveness, whilst hugely popular with German Americans, has also led other foreign creditors to inquire whether their debts would be forgiven, with much of Europe still owing enormous sums to the US. What is to be done on the domestic policy front?

Soviet Union


Comrade General Secretary,

Worrying reports from Moscow. A few years after having steadily vanquished your political rivals one by one – often by working with some of them against others -, a new apparent challenge to your political position has emerged. Having succeeded at calling an emergency Party Congress, the shadowy opposition has seemingly placed moderate former premier Alexei Rykov as an alternate leader, presumably to challenge you to become General Secretary. This, of course, raises the issue of how to best react to this apparent show of defiance, and who to blame for it. Director Yagoda and the NKVD are unsure of who is pulling the strings behind Rykov, but the usual suspects include Zinoview, Kamenev, Bukharin and even the exiled Trotsky. And secondly, there is also the question of whom to trust. This includes Kirov, still adamantly refusing to leave Leningrad, and General Tukhachevsky, who has protested and asserted his loyalty after being recalled to Moscow. What will you do?

Regardless of whether this apparent party struggle fizzles out or develops further, internal work within the party has been ongoing lately regarding the prospect of a new Constitution, in order to replace the – for some now outdated – Soviet Constitution of 1924. The ultimate decision, of course, falls onto you. Should the Soviet Union seek to have a new constitutional framework, or is still best served by the 1924 text? Should there be any consultation regarding the public – as some of the most moderate party officers would wish – or should it just be dictated to avoid deviation from party orthodoxy? And, if the Constitution should change, providing an opportunity to remold the nation based on your personal views, how far dare you go?

Perhaps one of the most surprising – and more resisted – stances taken recently by the party leadership has been the rebuke of anti-Semitism and the open support for Polish diplomatic efforts concerning a “Jewish state”. Leaving aside the internal party debate, which still features strong anti-Semite postures - expressed by party comrades who expected you to take their side -, this issue is one that the Soviet Union has attempted to tackle before, having formed the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAO) in Birobidzhan a few years ago. However, partly due to the enormous distance – as the JAO is placed in the Far East, on the Manchukuo border -, partly due to the hostile climate, only 15,000 Jews reside there, barely a third of the local population. Within the context of these discussions on a Jewish state – and rising anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union -, what should be done about the JAO?

Kingdom of Italy


Duce,

As Yugoslavia further disintegrates despite the stubborn resistance of King Alexander, Slovenia and most of Croatia have been liberated through volunteers, nationalist militias and the Italian intervention. However, the Yugoslavian King shows no sign of being willing to relent to the partition of his country, and it is clear that, in spite of the intervention having given Rome a foothold and helped keep King Zog and the Albanians in the fold, there are unanswered questions to be answered. In Croatia proper, Macek and Pavelic have had their first open disagreements since joining forces, causing tension within the Croatian forces. In Bosnia, a Muslim-led uprising has further compromised Yugoslav defenses, but it opposed both the Serbians and the Croats as well. Lastly, the prospect of the Third Balkan War expanding further – avoided thus far – raises awkward questions regarding the more distant Italian outposts, including Rhodes and the African colonies. How should the intervention in the Balkans be conducted this year?

One of the most interesting aspects of Fascist rule in Italy has been the centralization of political power and government posts in your own person, the relative relevance of the Grand Council notwithstanding. And though there are certainly powerful ministers in your Cabinet – including Jung and Balbo -, many have noticed that, technically, you control at least three key ministries aside from serving as Prime Minister and Duce. The notion of a cabinet reshuffle has been unofficially floated by some of the more ambitious members of the National Fascist Party, many of whom would aspire to assist you by removing weight from your shoulders. Though not seemingly sanctioned by them, there’s even talk of Balbo and the other Quadrumvirs wanting to be further elevated, and of your son-in-law Ciano wanting more responsibilities. Will you seek to decentralize power – up a point – by giving up some of these ministries? If so, who should be rewarded? 

Although Fascism as an ideology remains underdeveloped and lacking in presence compared to Communism, it is undeniable that recent rhetorical struggles with Stalin have both raised your international profile and that of Italian Fascism. Recent – if relative – electoral success from local Fascists in the Czechoslovak election have once again raised the prospect of international cooperation, with previous and limited efforts failing to yield much results. Still, there are those who believe a “Fascist International” is possible, difficult at it seems to bridge ideological differences between various disparate parties. Such coordination would undoubtedly provide Italy with further means to exert influence, but given the hostility from several leading governments and parties to local Fascist leaders – including countries like Romania and Great Britain -, it could also be a double-edged sword. Should Fascist parties and leaders cooperate more, and should Italy lead such a process?

Empire of Japan


Your Majesty,

The Kodoha traitors have been purged from government and leading positions in the Army. Although this has been costly, and disruptions in several institutions are expected to last for some time, their attempts at an unforgivable crime have been stopped, and they no longer appear pose a direct threat now that Toseiha is in control. Sadly, you have lost yet another Prime Minister, and the time has also come to hold a new General Election, an election which, given the post-September political tension and the ongoing rate of violent incidents and/or seppuku from disgraced officers, not many in Toseiha are convinced should follow ahead. Will the elections move ahead, with or without changes or interventions from the government? Who should be Admiral Okada’s replacement as the next Prime Minister? And finally, depending on who wins the elections – if held -, is the Empire ready to return to civilian rule despite the associated risks?

While Korea and Formosa were left relatively untouched by the Kodoha purge, Manchukuo is another story entirely. Although the offer of amnesty was well-received and accepted by much of the Kwantung Army’s rank and file, and the purge of its leadership reasonably effective, many escaped officers – including the infamous Kenji Doihara – roam the countryside in command of bandit militias. The subsequent breakdown in rural control has also enabled the followers of Zhang Xueliang to regain some ground. Emperor Puyi, while still subservient, has some advisers all too keen to push for greater Manchurian autonomy, to the detriment of Japanese economic and strategic interests. And finally, there’s the issue of international outrage against the Kwantung Army, as it remains to be seen whether General Tojo’s report will be accepted by the League of Nations, and whether said outrage – even after the incident – will affect other Japanese ventures. What should be done about Manchukuo?

The collapse of the Communist position in China and the apparent truce – which, however, is by no means definitive – between Generalissimo Chiang and the warlords, coupled with the reaction to the Manchukuo scandals uncovered by the European press, has done much to alter the strategic situation in China. With the Generalissimo having disavowed the Sino-Japanese treaty, the prospect of war between Nanjing and Tokyo is very much real, at a time in which, at least according to the treaty, Japan would have been meant to withdraw from Shanghai. It is not entirely clear within Toseiha what should be done about this situation, as officers remain split on whether the Kuomintang needs to be taught a lesson or whether reconciliation is still possible or desirable. How will you handle the Chinese this year? Should the Sino-Japanese treaty be resuscitated somehow? And what will happen to the Japanese position in Shanghai?
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Lumine
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« Reply #190 on: August 23, 2022, 01:02:36 AM »

Republic of China


Generalissimo,

Partly due to the repudiation of the controversial treaty with the Japanese, partly due to the prospect of a long, renewed civil war, Hu Hanmin, Feng Yuxiang and the other hostile warlords have agreed in principle with a ceasefire, and called for a conference – requiring your attendance – in order to discuss a united front against the Japanese. Far from yielding on their criticisms of your rule, they appear likely to demand war with China, greater decentralization in power and, most likely, strong autonomy and inclusion within the KMT hierarchy. It is certainly unclear for many supporting your government what should be done about the warlords and their apparent demands, which are likely to cause tension between those who favor unity above all and those who, even after recent upheaval in Tokyo and Manchuria, are not keen to confront Japan just yet.  What will you do about the warlords and this proposed conference?

Reports from the west have been scarce ever since Ma Zhongying defeated Sheng Shicai and claimed Xinjiang – at least de jure – for your government. Recently, Nanjing has been briefed that Ma has consolidated control over the unruly region, significantly expanding and unifying local armies and resuming the extraction of natural resources. While there are no outward signs of disloyalty, some officers are wary of Ma’s seemingly unlimited autonomy, and many counsel giving some consideration to reigning the arrogant youngster in. Ma aside, there are also reports of a famine starting in other western provinces, particularly in the KMT-aligned Sichuan, and the Ma Clique-aligned Gansu, which have also led to calls for intervention from the central government. On the other hand, it is not entirely clear whether Nanjing can spare the energy and resources to confront the western famine and/or reign Ma in, given the more pressing issues with Tokyo and the warlords. Should something be done about the west, or should it wait until later?

Although the previously planned Japanese withdrawal from Shanghai has been placed into question following the decision to void and rescind the Sino-Japanese Treaty, and regardless of whether the Japanese withdraw or not, it is clear that the coastal metropolis is a source of many headaches for Nanjing. One of them is the continued presence of two sprawling international settlements, one Anglo-American, another French, both of which represented continued affronts to Chinese sovereignty. Another is the rise of crime syndicates fueled by a major drug trade, only kept in check thus far due to your private arrangements with Du Yuesheng and his Green Gang. Yet another is the continued survival of left-wing and pro-Communist intelligentsia thanks to limited KMT control, currently expressing itself though its enormous influence on the Shanghai film industry – and said to be preparing multiple films extremely critical of you -. How should Shanghai and its associated issues be handled?

Czechoslovak Republic


Mr. President,

In the aftermath of the elections, it has proved impossible as of yet to form a stable government, forming Prime Minister Jan Malypetr to stay in office as a temporary caretaker. Having previously commanded joint majorities with relative ease, the five moderate Petka parties – from the center-right to the center-left – have lost their combined majority amidst a surge of Communist, Fascist and Ethnic parties, creating quite a political dilemma. With the pro-Italy Fascists being entirely unacceptable and ostracized, the Petka faces the difficult prospect of either enlisting the Communists to form a strongly pro-war government, at the cost of having to give in to their many domestic demands and overcoming their extreme distrust of the pro-Moscow KSC; or trying to make a deal with the ethnic German or Slovak parties, at the cost of greater autonomy and perhaps even a weakening of the war effort, particularly in terms of enlistment and recruitment. With the moderate parties looking to you for assistance and advice, what will you counsel?

Budapest has fallen to the mighty Czechoslovak Army, and Regent Horthy has fled with his tail between his legs. Still, Hungary continues to resist, and it appears only Czechoslovakia has avoided either the crippling domestic chaos and dissent of Yugoslavia and the apparent temptation of Romania to seek a separate peace. Whatever the case, and with the economy in a critical state amidst American sanctions and a lack of a plan, this year may well prove crucial for the Little Entente and its struggle to subdue the Hungarian threat for good. How should Czechoslovakia handle the war this year? Should it seek decisive victory on the battlefield, hoping the Hungarians are weakened enough for one final push to succeed? Should it seek peace, whether on hard or light terms? Should it seek to expand the war, regardless of the consequences?

Kingdom of Hungary


Regent,

The capital has fallen, and your government has been forced to relocate near the Austrian border. Despite the nation’s brave resistance, the consequences of the war are unavoidable, with millions of civilians displaced, thousands dead, and international support still not enough to turn the tide. And yet the Kingdom continues to resist, given new signs of hope on account of Archduke Karl’s propaganda exploits, the ongoing collapse of Yugoslavia and, particularly, the prospect of a separate peace with Romania. You have made it thus far against the odds, but the effects of a third year of war – or more – will be hard to predict, particularly if the war does expand instead of contracting. How should the war be conducted this year? Will you seek a diplomatic route to end it? If so, what will Hungary demand – or concede – in order to return to a peaceful state?

The war and the fall of Budapest made it impossible for the country to hold parliamentary elections as they were scheduled, forcing the Hungarian Diet – controlled by the far-right National Unity Party (NEP) – to carry on under something of a constitutional limbo. To make matters worse, incumbent Prime Minister Gyula Gombos, the vaguely pro-Fascist leader of the NEP, is desperately ill with terminal cancer, his health further resented by the stress of the war. As a result, many wonder whether Gombos should be replaced now, and whether this warrants a reorganization of the Hungarian government for the duration of the war and/or perhaps even personal rule for you as Regent. What will you do?

Polish Republic


Mr. President,

Many congratulations to you and Vice President Moscicki on your joint election. With the Polish Republic now under a new constitutional framework and the opposition temporarily marginalized – their boycotting of the election, while damaging in terms of international perception, could not prevent or deter a Sanation triumph -, some questions have arisen regarding both the future of said opposition and of Sanation itself. Although the movement once again ran under the “BBWR” banner, a non-partisan vehicle – a model seemingly followed by Hugenberg in Germany -, those on the right are increasingly convinced that the movement needs an actual political party with a firmer ideology, as opposed to the more nebulous – and personality dominated – present situation. Thus, the question has been raised for you as to whether the BBWR should be now dissolved and replaced with a political party. That aside, hardliners have also renewed their calls for the opposition to be punished for their boycott, once again recommending internment camps or, if necessary, exile for opposition leaders. What would your response by to such proposals?

Your support for a Jewish state at the League of Nations has certainly not gone unnoticed, drawing plaudits both from local Zionist groups as well as from some – though not all – of the leading anti-Semite groups and leaders, which can at least agree that the formation of such a state could be a solution to the current situation in Poland. Still, while leading anti-Semites within Sanation have accepted your motivations and/or explanations and kept concerns private, it clear that the problem of anti-Semitic violence is not going away. If anything, the prospect of a Jewish state has led reactionary groups – including even Catholics and right-wing members of the opposition – to redouble voicing their concerns over the sizable Jewish minority in Poland – close to a tenth of the total population, further enlarged in recent years through immigration from the Soviet Union – demanding increased migration away from Poland, and even advocating acts of violence. With your first LON motion defeated due to Arab opposition, how will you navigate this veritable minefield?

Republic of Turkey


Mr. President,

The Hatay is finally back where it belongs, the Dardanelles are once again under full Turkish sovereignty and control, and a grateful nation – economic troubles notwithstanding – has fully supported Parliament’s unanimous decision to proclaim and name you “Ataturk”, Father of the Turks. However, not all citizens remain content, for a small revolt has broken out in the east of the country. The region of Dersim, heavily populated by Kurds, has often risen in rebellion and has proved most difficult to control. Rising in opposition to the Turkish Cultural Unity Act – easily passed in Parliament -, which they claim would erase their heritage, local religious leader Seyid Riza has enticed local tribes to rise against Ankara, blowing bridges, attacking local police forces and disrupting all government efforts and work in the area. As a result, Field Marshal Fevzi Cakmak, Chief of the General Staff, has counseled an immediate military occupation and the harshest possible repression to prevent a larger Kurdish revolt. What instructions should the Field Marshal receive?

One of your most significant foreign policy triumphs was achieved via your joint efforts with Greek leader Eleftherios Venizelos, a most productive personal relationship which seemingly normalized the previously fraught Greco-Turkish relationship and, at least for now, managed to get the Greek government turn away from the so-called “Megali Idea”. And yet, recent developments raise doubts as to how the bilateral relationship is to move forward, as well as raising doubt on how much weight can be given to your rapport with Venizelos. Following a failed Venizelist coup last year, the collapse of the Greek Republic led the military to restore the monarchy in what Venizelos argues was a fraudulent referendum, and a general election is to be held within a heated, tense environment. Thus, many privately wonder whether, in light of his relatively pro-Turkish stance, whether Ankara should not help Venizelos, or whether it is safer to let events play out to prevent the return of a hostile relationship. How should the Greco-Turkish relationship be conducted moving forward?
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« Reply #191 on: August 23, 2022, 01:03:17 AM »

Kingdom of Romania


Your Majesty,

Unconfirmed reports and claims from Hungary asserting the existence of a ceasefire and the lack of action in the front have both conspired to drastically reduce dissent from ethnic Hungarians, putting a temporary – and much needed – stop to acts of sabotage and resistance across Transylvania. Regardless of what the current status within Hungary and Romania is, it is clear that the Romanian position remains strong in spite of severe economic woes, at least in regards to the ongoing war. On the other hand, what remains unclear is how the Little Entente may react to this apparent rapprochement between Budapest and Bucharest, particularly as Yugoslavia disintegrates and the threat of the expansion of the war remains a reality. What will Romania’s foreign policy goals be this year? Can you lead the Kingdom into an agreeable – or successful – end to the Third Balkan War?

With the Romanian economy having been hit extremely hard both by the world-wide economic depression and the tariff war originally spearheaded by the Hoover administration, matters have been made worse due to the costs of the war and the US embargo, the latter of which has particularly hampered the local oil industry. Within the royal camarilla, a split has developed as to how the Romanian economy, currently in desperate need of capital, should move forward. Your leading economic advisor, Mihail Manoilescu, has suggested the time is ripe to change course and apply a nationalist economic policy, embracing protectionism, autarky, corporatism and the development of the internal market and industry. In the opposite side of the equation are the more liberal minded advisors, who believe the key to recovery must be found in getting European neighbors to lower tariffs, and in having a partner willing to invest heavily to salvage the Romanian economy, perhaps with its oil resources – as the largest producer in Europe, aside from the USSR – as collateral. Who will you listen to?

Spanish Republic


Prime Minister,

The Revolution is over, at least for now. Amidst heavy civilian and enemy casualties, the Asturian Soviets have been crushed into submission, and the Catalan government has collapsed as much of its leadership flees abroad. The government has prevailed, and now the question of how to handle the post-war politics and aftermath is at the forefront of all discussions. Despite a clever plan to strip seditious deputies from their seat at the Cortes, only the most recalcitrant of separatist and/or revolutionary deputies failed to show up, dozens of others – led by Largo Caballero – managing to retain their seats and thus their parliamentary immunity. You must now decide how to deal with those arrested and detained, those who remain your rivals at the Cortes, and even those whose support for the government was very lukewarm – if that -, such as Azaña, at a time in which the CEDA is baying for blood and demanding the harshest possible repression. What should be done?

The collapse of the Catalan devolved government opens the uncomfortable question of what to do with the notoriously unruly region and whether the Generalitat, as many on the right – and the Army – demand, should be abolished or at least temporarily suspended. Aside from Catalonia, the issue of devolution also requires decisions to be made regarding the Basque Country, with the moderate PNV – having stayed away from the Revolution – now demanding the implementation of the Basque autonomy statue despite permanent and unyielding opposition from the CEDA. And while less developed than in Catalonia and the Basque Country, both Galicia and Aragon have seen the rise of local nationalist – or federalist – movements asking for their own devolved governments, a movement led by the moderate left in Aragon, and by a coalition of left, center and right leaders in Galicia. With your key government partner ever opposed to regional autonomy, how should this issue be handled?

Dominion of Canada


Prime Minister,

Although the elections in Québec proved to be a fiasco, the government has nonetheless expanded its slim parliamentary majority thanks to the Newfoundland by-elections. This comes as a welcome respite, for a deep division has started to re-emerge within the Conservative Party. Your conversion towards a form of Keynesianism and pro-welfare policies has undoubtedly found a positive reaction with the electorate – and even opposition MP’s - as the economy finally starts to recover, and it has brought previous critics like H. H. Stephens back into the fold. In spite of this, the economically liberal wing of the party has reacted badly, accusing you of continuing to “infringe on Conservative values”. At least two Cabinet members, former leadership rival Charles Cahan and rising star Earl Lawson, are said to be considering resignation. How should this potential internal split be handled? Should Lawson and Cahan be ignored due to the apparent political benefits of your new approach?
 
Alongside the other Dominion premiers, you are likely to face an important decision regarding Britain itself. With confidential reports stating King Edward VIII is likely to encounter heavy opposition to his desire to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, support or opposition from the Dominions might well tip the scales on one or another direction. And should the worst come to pass and the King face the prospect of abdication, local consent – thanks to the Statue of Westminster – will be required to formalize it. What stance will you take on this conflict?

Union of South Africa


Prime Minister,

After ruthlessly confronting a weakened National Party, you have won the General Election with a resounding mandate, giving you room to maneuver for the next few years. Hertzog and his successor Malan will probably never forgive you, but at least for now, the initiative belongs to the South African Party. Since thus far most policy debates have been focused on South West Africa – and the seeming lack of a manifesto hurt the party at the election – your colleagues and the public are curious regarding your future agenda. Some party officers would have you addressed the electoral system, which they feel excessively rewards the National Party’s rural dominance. Others would have you decide on an agenda of economic reform, or assert the Union’s relevance and role in foreign affairs much like Australia and Canada have done recently. Now that you have the mandate, what will you do with it?

Alongside the other Dominion premiers, you are likely to face an important decision regarding Britain itself. With confidential reports stating King Edward VIII is likely to encounter heavy opposition to his desire to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, support or opposition from the Dominions might well tip the scales on one or another direction. And should the worst come to pass and the King face the prospect of abdication, local consent – thanks to the Statue of Westminster – will be required to formalize it. What stance will you take on this conflict?

Commonwealth of Australia


Prime Minister,

Amidst heavy public pressure, effective lobbying and some ruthless cajoling, a once skeptical Senate has been forced to approve the pilot for the National Health Service, which has, at least thus far, proved both massively unpopular and resisted by medical professionals yet well received by much of the population, giving the government a boost despite controversy – at least in the media - regarding its methods. Still, with an election scheduled for next year, the government must now decide whether to – due to the delays in passing the bill - accelerate implementation of the nationwide program for this year or now despite the lack of long-term evidence, and the threat of the High Court to strike the CHS down as unconstitutional. That aside, you must also decide what other domestic initiatives to push forward, as well as how to best handle criticism from establishment media and the UAP that you act as “an elected dictator”. What will you do?

Alongside the other Dominion premiers, you are likely to face an important decision regarding Britain itself. With confidential reports stating King Edward VIII is likely to encounter heavy opposition to his desire to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, support or opposition from the Dominions might well tip the scales on one or another direction. And should the worst come to pass and the King face the prospect of abdication, local consent – thanks to the Statue of Westminster – will be required to formalize it. What stance will you take on this conflict?

Kingdom of Bulgaria


Your Majesty,

Parliamentary rule has been restored, and the subsequent General Elections has returned Nikola Mushanov as Prime Minister yet again. Having won substantial goodwill with the PM and his Popular Bloc, the government is almost certain to listen to your views on domestic and foreign policy. Those initiatives aside, the issue of Macedonia has gained increased relevance due to the current state of the Third Balkan War, as well as the struggles faced by King Alexander of Yugoslavia. For years, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), a vaguely pro-Bulgarian revolutionary society, has fought the Yugoslav state to achieve Macedonian independence, and/or for a breakaway Macedonian state to join Bulgaria. Thus, the IMRO had been tolerated by some and allowed to operate out of Bulgarian Macedonia, only for the Zveno to crackdown on it and force its leader Ivan Mihailov into exile. The IMRO has undoubtedly poisoned the Bulgaria-Yugoslavia relationship, but with the removal of the Zveno and the weakness of Belgrade, some wonder what your attitude to Mihailov will be. What should be done about Yugoslavia and the IMRO?
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GM Team Member NewYorkExpress
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« Reply #192 on: August 23, 2022, 06:29:02 AM »

President Roosevelt vetoes the Neutrality Acts, stating that they will hamstring future Presidents.

Roosevelt also announces that he will not run for reelection in 1936. He is supporting the hypothetical candidacy of Secretary of the Treasury Wallace.
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DKrol
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« Reply #193 on: August 23, 2022, 03:09:39 PM »

The Prime Minister will table an advisory motion in the House of Commons seeking authorization to pursue League of Nations membership for the Dominion. The Prime Minister will declare this a vote on conscience for all members with no whip.
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« Reply #194 on: August 23, 2022, 03:16:59 PM »

The Prime Minister will table an advisory motion in the House of Commons seeking authorization to pursue League of Nations membership for the Dominion. The Prime Minister will declare this a vote on conscience for all members with no whip.

Canada was a founding member of the League of Nations.
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DKrol
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« Reply #195 on: August 23, 2022, 05:13:14 PM »

The Prime Minister will table an advisory motion in the House of Commons seeking authorization to pursue League of Nations membership for the Dominion. The Prime Minister will declare this a vote on conscience for all members with no whip.

OOC: withdrawn, because I am stupid and completely missed Canada in the list of LoN members the entire game.
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DKrol
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« Reply #196 on: August 23, 2022, 06:45:28 PM »

The Prime Minister will table the School Lunch Act. The bill will include the following provisions:

- All primary schools that receive public funds shall be required to provide students with a warm, nutritious lunch no fewer than three days per week when school is in session.
- A school may charge a fee per pupil for the lunch but the fee per pupil per day shall not exceed  10 cents.
- Whenever possible, schools should procure produce or dairy for their lunch program from producers within 25 kilometers.
- If a school is able to procure at least 75% of their produce or dairy from local producers at the end of each fiscal year, the school will be eligible for a reimbursement from the federal government for 50% of the total cost of the lunch program.
- Any school that fails to comply with the provisions of this Act shall be fined 25% of the school’s average funding over the previous three years.

The Prime Minister will hail the School Lunch Act as transformational for children, families, and farmers. The Prime Minister will say that the Act will ensure that children are fed at least one good meal each day at a time when families may be having troubles feeding their children at home due to the distressing economic situation while, at the same time, creating a new market for farmers and dairymen who might otherwise be struggling to find markets for their products. The Prime Minister will also point out that it is easier for teachers to include more instruction in the day if students do not need to be dismissed to their homes for a lunch period.

The Prime Minister will invite school children, teachers, and parents to engage in a massive letter writing campaign to MPs in support of the School Lunch Act. He will also encourage farmers to travel to Ottawa with some of their excess produce that is rotting due to failing internal markets in order to show the benefits of the Act from a rural economic perspective.
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« Reply #197 on: August 24, 2022, 08:17:28 PM »

National Radio Broadcast on New Year's Day (January 1, 1936)
Distributed via Tokyo Broadcasting Station (TBS) and made available for broadcast internationally

Credit to Japan-Experience.com
Quote
Citizens and loyal Imperial subjects, it is my great honor to address you at the dawn of a New Year. As our nation enters the year 1936, it is my prayer that prosperity and good fortunes settle upon all of your houses and hearths.

Much has transpired since the last address made by the Chrysanthemum Throne. This day, it is my desire to offer reassurance and hope to all subjects of the Empire. Let me be direct and clear in my words: there will be stability and safety this year, for all citizens and subjects of our Empire. The nursery shall be a place of joy for mother and child. The marketplace shall be open to the men of commerce. The streets shall be clear and safe to travel at night. Citizens, it is my solemn promise to you that each of shall be safe and secure in this coming year.

In order to promote safety and stability for this coming year, the Chrysanthemum Throne stands in full support of His Majesty’s Government. It is our hope that the Prime Minister, the offices of state, and the armed forces may work in concert with each other to bring about the rule of law and justice across the land.

Above all, my loyal subjects, take heart in the virtue of your work and the sanctity of our shared spirit. We are humbled by your duty and devotion to the Empire, and the Chrysanthemum Throne shall do everything in its power to reward your earnest support for the betterment of the whole nation. Let us go forth together, into the bright light of a secure and happy future.

The Imperial family wishes you all a joyous celebration today.

With heavenly tranquility,

Emperor Shōwa
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« Reply #198 on: August 26, 2022, 01:25:32 AM »

On the Campaign Trail in 36'
By Dorothy Kilgallen, for the Hearst Press

"Washington D.C. remains submerged in intrigue and speculation following the dramatic developments of the past few weeks, stemming from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's surprising decision not to run for a second term in office. Roosevelt's decision has been likened by many of his supporters  to that of former President Coolidge, a voluntary act motivated either by health or a desire to focus on the implementation of the President's New Deal agenda. Critics - particularly in the Republican Party - have instead explained the President's withdrawal from the 1936 election as motivated by a series of setbacks and failures, the Chaco War intervention - and subsequent surge in isolationist feeling across the nation - cited as the chief cause.

Whichever the case, it has certainly brought several prominent Democrats out of self-imposed lethargy. Treasury Secretary Wallace, the President's loyal adviser and new heir apparent, was quick to announce his own bid for the Presidency upon receiving FDR's public support. Despite only a fraction of delegates being chosen in them, Wallace has vowed to contest most of the Democratic primaries, in which he is expected to battle Louisiana Senator Huey Long directly. FDR's other would-be primary challenge, Virginia Senator Harry Byrd, is only expected to enter one or two contests, taking his efforts directly to the DNC in June of this year.

Whilst reluctant to challenge the President directly, his withdrawal from the field has encouraged other prominent Democrats to consider a run. Vice President John Nance Garner, allegedly spurned and slighted by the President's decision to support Wallace, is said to be planning a late nomination bid at the DNC, an effort in which "Cactus Jack" may well command the loyalty of much of the party's Southern delegates. For their part, Indiana Governor Paul McNutt and 1928 nominee Al Smith are also said to be interested in the nomination, and likely to stand should the convention enter a deadlock. Still, for the time being, it is President Roosevelt and his allies who control the party machinery, and with most of FDR's supporters in the capital behind Wallace many believe the nomination remains his for the taking.

On the Republican side of affairs, the party has found renewed hope at the recent turn of events, having previously despaired of their limited - or non-existent - chances in the coming election. Senators Vandenberg and Borah, both leading isolationist, are currently and bitterly contesting the primaries as the party's standard bearers for the conservative and progressive factions. Former Vice President Dawes and Governor Alf Landon, while not running in the primaries, have also declared their intent to stand, drafted by party bosses as potential unity candidates for the GOP. Ultimately, of the expected candidates only Senator Lester Dickinson has ruled himself out with a Shermanesque statement. Should the RNC also result in deadlock, several potential candidates could start last-minute bids, including Former President Hoover.

Whilst campaigning for the Maryland Primary, Senator Long once again championed his "Share Our Wealth" agenda by..."
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DKrol
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« Reply #199 on: August 26, 2022, 09:21:03 AM »

The Prime Minister will undertake a tour of various small, rural communities across Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba in the lead-up to the vote on the School Lunch Act. The Prime Minister will meet with local families who are struggling to keep food on the table and speak with children about how the difficulties economically are impacting them and their growth. The Prime Minister will speak about the importance of helping our neighbors in times of need and declare that his national policy doctrine is “Helping Each Other Help Ourselves”. The Prime Minister will also visit urban schools in Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg as he returns to Ottawa and meet with unemployed people who benefit from the Social Security Act. The Prime Minister will celebrate the “Compassionate Conservative Party” as a party for the people in a time of crisis.
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