We were delighted to speak to Shane Cahill, First Minister of Mercia, regarding Mercia’s membership of the increasingly inactive Wuertige Empire. The referendum will be held this Friday, and Mr Cahill is campaigning for the ‘Yes’ side, which wants Mercia to leave the Empire. Kit McCarthy interviewing.
KM: Why has this referendum been called?
SC: The referendum has been called because the government has reached the end of its tether with the Imperial Government. Members of my government, particularly my Foreign Minister HL Richard I, have made numerous attempts to resurrect the Imperial Government and implement reforms to restore activity. The saying goes that where there’s a will, there’s a way, but the converse is also true; without a will in the Imperial Government, there is no way forward. The Emperor clearly has other commitments, because he only appears every four months or so. Furthermore, two other states, Nolland and New Israel, have left the Empire already. My government felt the time had come to ask the people of Mercia if we should do the same.
KM: If Mercia does leave, what will that mean for the Empire?
SC: It will mean that there will only be one other constituent left in the Empire, Beacon City, whose Municipal Assembly have passed a motion saying they will arrange their withdrawal from the Empire as well if Mercia votes to leave. I have been in contact with the Prince of Beacon City and we have agreed that we will help wind down the Empire with dignity, with the Emperor’s consent. The Wurtige Empire deserves an honourable end, everyone in Mercia agrees that it should not continue to languish in dormancy any longer. We need only look to St. Charlie’s current state of affairs as an example of what not to do, which is to centralise power and leave the whole Empire in dormancy and ambiguity.
The Empire has served its purpose. Its member states now outshine it, and it is time to move on. Wurtige states can cooperate in other ways once the Empire is done. I will commit Mercia’s government to close cooperation with our fellow Wurtige states once the Empire has been wound down.
KM: Do you think Mercia will vote to leave, given that a yes vote will almost certainly spell the end of the Empire?
SC: I think Mercia will vote to leave. In November’s parliamentary elections my main commitment was for a referendum on our membership of the Empire, and my government was reelected with a larger majority. I see that as an endorsement of discussion on our relationship with the Empire, and I feel that Mercian citizens are very much aware of the Empire’s inactivity. Furthermore, the Yes Mercia campaign now has broad support, and not just from my party, the NLP. I am optimistic that the Mercian people will agree with my views on the Empire and do the right thing for Mercia’s future, by voting yes on Friday.
KM: Why is leaving the right choice, in your opinion?
SC: The Wurtige Empire used to be a dominant power among this community, particularly in the GUM. Those days have long since passed, and now Mercia and Nolland are both recognised as some of the main nations in this community. Nolland left the Empire because the Nollandish people felt that it had outgrown the Empire. The same is true for Mercia. There are also some issues with staying in the Empire. The Imperial Government is technically superior to the Mercian Government, and yet it has been completely dormant since the end of 2014. It isn’t very clear where the boundaries between both governments lie on issues like currency and particularly the overall distribution of power between the Imperial Government and the Mercian Government. By voting to leave the Empire, the Mercian people are ensuring that every single decision about Mercia’s future is taken by Mercia alone.
KM: So if Mercia does vote to leave, what happens next?
SC: We are following the procedure for leaving the Empire according to the relevant Imperial laws and treaties. We have passed the necessary legislation to declare our intentions to make Mercia a sovereign nation, and to hold a referendum on the matter. If Mercians vote to leave on Friday, we will inform the Imperial Government of the outcome, and the procedures for acknowledging the fact that the Empire no longer has sovereignty over Mercia will be followed. I will then work closely with the government of Beacon City and the Emperor to bring about a dignified end to the Empire. It’s in everyone’s best interests to do so.
KM: First Minister, thank you.
SC: Thank you for your time. And to all Mercians, I encourage you to vote Yes on Friday!
You can read the Yes campaign’s brochure here.