by Ardashir Khan Osmani
The Babkhan people have, in this modern age, come to regard elections as one of those weary rituals which no one much likes but for which the alternatives are either not available or are considerably worse.
As always there are the two main parties: Rastakhiz and Behsaz. Both the Rastakhiz Party and the Behsaz Party stand for the renaissance of Babkha – indeed with a hint of irony the parties declare their support for perpetual renaissance, rebirth as a permanent state. In practical terms this means that the dogma remains constant between the parties. Everyone is for reform but reforms go unimplemented. The trouble for Babkha is that it has essentially become a stalemated society. With all previous elections since early 2004 being knife-edge between the Behsaz and the Rastakhiz Parties a pattern of Rastakhiz in Government and Behsaz in the Majlis-i-Mellat (Parliament) has developed. In such a system it is easy to blame the other for causing the inertia that wrecks reforms that people regard as being essential. These reforms are themselves mundane and functional, curb the bureaucracy, and reinvigorate recruitment and so forth. Bread and butter issues, and of course it goes without saying in Babkha that anyone who values their life supports the institution of monarchy with fervour.
What then distinguishes the two parties? To learn that we must focus on the personalities of the leading members of Behsaz and Rastakhiz, Ardashir Khan Osmani and Rakesh Ackbar respectively; both men are intermicronationalists, engaged in a whole host of other micronations, both are involved with the Micronational News Network and its strangle hold over the intermicronational community; Ardashir is a senior cartographer with the Micronational Cartographry Society while also finding time to perform his traditional function of warlord as moderator (if such a term is appropriate for one so predisposed towards imaginative war-crimes) over at the Micronational Recreational Warfare Society. Rakesh serves as the patricianesque moderator of Talk Micronations and the Micronational Eye; he is also the voice of liberalism in poor benighted and feudal Shireroth (where he lost his titles for his pains, a martyr to liberty). Both men believe in the active engagement of Babkha and in micronationalism, however that is where their shared beliefs end. Rakesh, a liberal and a Democrat believes in the universal appeal of democracy and liberty to the sensitive masses, masses who have sometimes been unsettled by Ardashir’s more melodramatic statements, such as the time he declared that foreigners were welcome to eat each other provided that they did not endanger Babkha’s place in the world. Ardashir is motivated by a nationalist worldview wherein the provision of justice, democracy and equality, is as incentives to be Babkhan rather than acknowledgements of an inalienable human dignity. For Ardashir the ideal is that all micronationalists would acknowledge the Shahanshah as their sovereign overlord, however he has been in his career faced by the likelihood that this will never be the case. Ardashir is, to the best of his abilities, a student then of the diplomacy of Kissenger and the philosophy of Machiavelli. A believer in the balance of power he has supported alliances with natural enemies such as the communists of Baracao and the Atterans, who were the historical bogeymen of Babkhan political culture. In spite of never holding the office of Vizier for Foreign Affair’s Ardashir’s imprint can be felt in Babkhan foreign policy.
Of course Rakesh also has had his share of foreign policy triumphs, including notably the Mango-Camel Pack with Shireroth, of which he has said,
"Liberty can be secured and spread only when like-minded nations think and act as if they are one. The Mango-Camel Pact intertwined the destiny of Babkha and Shireroth in this regard. Babkha and Shireroth today act together to spearhead the cause of peace, justice and security within the entire Micronational community. This Pact arguably served and serves as the cornerstone for the unprecedented era of peace and cooperation that all nation-states enjoy.”
Ardashir on the other hand is an advocate of the counter-veiling power movement called the G3, which comprises Attera, Babkha and Cyberia, and which enjoyed a notable success in assisting the Kingdom of Morovia to rout a republican insurgency mounted against it.
In these elections, Babkha faces a choice between two worldviews, one utopian, the other pragmatic to the point of cynicism. What the Babkhan people must decide is whether Babkha’s foreign policy should be characterised by the national interest or by moral crusades.