History of Vuode
From Humble Beginnings
Talossa's oldest organized province, Vuode (pronounced "voo-OH-day," three syllables; it means "bed" in Finnish) has had the most tempestuous political history of any Talossan province. A large province, covering 2.4 square kilometres, Vuode originally comprised only King Robert I's bed while Talossa was still located in the King's bedroom. Vuode was created on 25 November 1980, and while it was apparently nonexistent between 2 June 1981 and 17 March 1982, since 1982 Vuode has been the cockpit of Talossan history.
When the era of Talossan expansionism known as "Cheap Glory" began on 17 March 1982, Talossa began annexing various land holdings in the Milwaukee area, starting with King Robert's house. The house and lot were renamed "Vuode Province" to honour Talossa's traditional capital, the royal bed. This new Vuode became the national capital, until 6 June 1982 when it lost that honour to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, then called Montevûdio Province.
A Growing Province
Vuode remained a tiny house-sized speck compared to other provinces of the Kingdom, until ca. 1 April 1983, when it was enlarged to cover all land between Downer, Locust, Bartlett, and Kenwood streets. The core of the province remained the same when on 30 November 1983 Vuode was restructured to fill what is now the entire Canton of Vuode.
On 9 December 1984, more territory to the north was added to Vuode, including the building known as Abbavilla (the King's father's office at UWM), which was designated the nation's capital. The area was ceded back to Atatürk Province on 24 July 1985 and Vuode again lost capital status and became contiguous with what is now Vuode Canton. The vast Dún Cestoûr Canton ("the Autonomous Region of Dún Cestoûr") was annexed by Vuode from Maritiimi Province with the Cosâ's blessing on 1 March 1991, bringing Vuode to its present borders and giving the Province a substantial coastline on the Talossan Sea (a.k.a. Lake Michigan). Today, Vuode Province is a union of two cantons, Vuode and Dún Cestoûr. Between May of 1992 and April of 1993, a tiny "Bradford Province" was separated by dissident leftists from the province, but this was expunged.
Vuode's provincial motto, "Hic Habitat Rex" ("The King Lives Here") sums up Vuode's role in Talossan history. King Robert I lives in Vuode, designed its flag in October 1985, and Vuode has long been almost his own personal fiefdom. Vuode adopted a democratic constitution on 26 July 1985 and held its first democratic elections that December; magnanimously, the King's Progressive Conservatives declined to participate. The next month a minority government headed by left-winger Danihél Lauriéir and the Democratic Dandipratic Party took power. Lauriéir tried to abolish the constitution, banned opposition parties, and forced the opposition Talossan National Party to rename itself the "Homosexual Communist League." Royal mediation efforts were spurned by both sides, and Lauriéir refused to obey national law. He was forced to resign on 14 January 1986 and Harry Wozniak became Vuode's new Premier. Wozniak proved a compliant servant of the King's Progressive Conservative Party.
A Bastion of Tory Monarchism
King Robert himself led his Progressive Conservatives to victory in the August, 1986 provincial elections and installed himself as Premier. Backed by the entire political establishment, the King and the PC handily won re-election in the provincial elections of March, May, November and December 1987, and August 1988, January 1989, October 1990, April 1991, November 1992, November 1994, and August 1995. Vuode was supervised by a Governor General appointed by the national government until the Governor General position was abolished in November, 1987. Since then, Vuode has been totally self-governing.
Vuode's character was largely determined in the year 1987. In February of that year, King Robert I abdicated the Throne in favour of Robert Dobberpuhl, who became King Robert II. In March, Robert II awarded Madison the hereditary title of "Viscount of Vuode," and after Robert II's overthrow that month, Vuode became a bastion of Tory reaction. During Talossa's "Peculiar Republic" period (March-August 1987), Vuode threatened to secede from Talossa, but was beaten down by its radical left-wing Governor General, Bob Murphy. The tug-of-war between Premier R. Ben Madison and Governor General Murphy was satirized in Madison's 1987 song, "A Just King," sung to the tune of the Marseillaise, which has been Vuode's official provincial anthem since April, 1987. The words were written originally in Talossan; this is an unofficial translation:
A Just King
A just King, wishing good for all, created a province. This was a free land, but '87 saw a change!
Citizens! Look at what's happening! Take up the defence of your country! The Appointee does what he wants here, Against all good and against tradition!
Vuode wants to live, to liberate our whole country! Onward, onward, sings the voice: The old ways, or death!
The Union is Dissolved!
After 1987, Vuode remained a staunch bastion of Tory Monarchism, and in June of 1991 a new Constitution was written which made Vuode in effect a one-party state with the Premier in the driver's seat. In August of 1992, a scandal-wracked Leftist government won power in Talossa under Prime Minister Tom Buffone. R. Ben Madison, still King of Talossa and Premier of Vuode, went ape over what he saw as the government's attack on Talossan nationality. Danihél Lauriéir, a prominent figure in the new government, had articulated the philosophy of "Peculiarism" which sought to define Talossa not as a country-like community, but as a wacky, borderless Zen-like "afterglow" or plasmatic blobule unlike anything else on earth, with no claims to territory or physical space. When the government blocked Madison's referendum attempt to define Talossa as a "real country," he immediately declared that Talossa had abandoned its national heritage; and to preserve that heritage, archconservative Vuode Province proclaimed its secession from Talossa as an independent Principality!
Vuode maintained its pompous nationhood for its "Glorious 21 Days." Madison claimed that since the Talossan government no longer believed Talossa to be a nation, Buffone could hardly complain if Vuode violated what the Constituziun called "national laws." "I will admit it does look like you've come up with something pretty clever," Lauriéir told Madison; later Lauriéir denounced Vuode's philosophical "Unilateral Proclamation of Secession" as "bewildering and ambiguous," the product of "a mind Jesuits would envy." Back in Talossa, hierarchs Lauriéir and Murphy staged what Madison called a coup d'état, proclaiming that King Robert I was no longer King or even a Talossan citizen, and preparing to rule by decree in his absence. Both sides agreed to settle the dispute in the Uppermost Cort to avert a full-scale Talossan Civil War. The Cort convicted Madison of treason (but gave him a suspended sentence on the grounds he was a "first time offender") but more importantly, affirmed Madison's central belief that "Peculiarism" was an invalid, un-Talossan philosophy. Talossa's true identity thus confirmed, Vuode abandoned its secession.
Reconstruction and Redemption
On 21 November 1992 Vuode re-entered the Talossan union. The central government imposed Nicholas Kovac as the new Premier, to replace Madison; but as Hereditary Viscount of the Province, Madison called a snap election and won power back from Kovac, with voters awarding the PC 100% of the vote in the province in elections for the 11th States General. (The PC then divided up its seats, with 35 going to the PC, three to the "Patriotic Dandipratic Party," and twelve to the "Thundersword Secessionist Movement." All three parties in the province were controlled by the PC.)
The central government protested the legality of this move, and Madison finally resigned as Premier on 16 January 1993. Wes Erni, an independent-minded Tory, was sworn in to replace him. This arrangement, imposed on the Province by the national government, was always a source of friction.
On 24 November 1994, Erni was finally ousted by an election for the 12th States General which returned Ben Madison to power, at the head of the "Raßemblamáintsch Vuodeán/Vuode Independence Party" (RV/VIP), a coalition of the three Ben-controlled parties that were awarded seats in 1992.
Elections on 14 August 1995, for the 13th States General, confirmed RV/VIP rule in the province. The coalition won 100% of the vote, dividing the seats 25 for the PC, 22 for Thundersword, and 3 for the PDP.
Genuine multi-party elections for the 14th States General, held on 15 September 1997, gave the opposition ZPT a strong 16 seats (out of 50) with the remainder going to the RV/VIP parties (Thundersword 25, PC 7, Patriotic Dandipratic Party 2). The political situation in the province stagnated, however, and few records were kept of what was going on in the government during this period.
Ben Madison's tenure as Vuode Premier ended on 8 March 1999 when the RV/VIP contested elections for the 15th States General under the new leadership of Matt Dabrowski, who was elected Premier. Initially very active, he later proved apathetic and divisive and ended up renouncing his Talossan citizenship.
On Sunday, 11 February 2001, Viscount Robert dissolved the 15th States General and called elections, which ended on Saturday, 17 February, with the election of the 16th States General: Ron Rosáis was elected Premier under the VPUP ticket. Like Dabrowski, he was very active in provincial affairs at first, and Rosáis was re-elected on the VPUP ticket in elections to the 17th States General on 22 May 2004 with 100% of the vote. A long-time controversial figure, he did not maintain the province's records properly. In June of 2004, Rosalez abandoned the province, leaving it officially without a Premier.
A New Partnership with the Federal Government
As Viscount Robert restored order in the summer of 2004, the Ziu (Talossan federal parliament) adopted legislation at the Living Cosâ of August, 2004, which would tie provincial government elections in Vuode (and in Talossa's six other provinces) to the national election cycle. Radical changes were aimed at eliminating the cesspools of corruption and apathy that most Talossan provincial governments had degenerated into. Responsibility for provincial politics was shared with the national political parties in preference to the small, inbred cliques which had come to dominate them in the past.
The 18th States General was elected on 14 February 2005. To lead the revitalization of the province and of provincial life generally, Ben Madison (Viscount Robert) came out of retirement to contest these important elections, and the RV/VIP was constituted as a single, united party under his leadership. Madison's revamped RV/VIP was dedicated to Vuode's local heritage, working with the Talossan government to implement provincial reform legislation, and working with all other provinces to assist them in drafting constitutions, designing websites, and preserving and defending their own unique heritage and historical materials. Talossa's oldest and most active province should be a model for the rest!
Vuode After Madison
The sudden departure from the Kingdom of Ben Madison in August of 2005 threw the Vuode province for a loop. Madison's Black Hand Party, which had grown to dominate provincial politics, fell apart without him, and the province was delivered to the hands of the opposition Conservative Loyalist Party, which now has a monopoly on the provincial legislature and premiership.
Today, while Vuode Province toots its own horn about being a "conservative rock of Talossan tradition" and looks back to its "Glorious 21 Days" of philosophical independence, the province is open to change like never before. Talossa's oldest and most successful province is a place where Talossan patriotism runs thick, and the trains run on time.