Sep 29, 2022 4:19 AM
Vanda Nosseo lands on a world that fights a lot of wars.
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"We can teleport but, again, don't want to invade Desnau."

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"You have already invaded Desnau," she says. "I can provide the records and orders of leave for those of my soldiers from the cantons you have chosen to dispute."

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"All right, we don't want to unambiguously invade Desnau," he amends.

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"You have unambiguously invaded Desnau by international law," she corrects. "I am only providing leave for soldiers under my authority from cantons you have already entered."

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"We do not want to enter territory belonging to Desnau that no other state claims without an official invitation, if that's a better way of putting it."

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"I do not see why providing you with enlistment records and granting soldiers leave to vote requires you to enter territory belonging to Desnau that no other state claims."

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"Are they going to travel to territories we've entered under their own power?"

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"They cannot do this if you wish to count the votes today. You cannot collect their votes where they are stationed?"

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"Collecting the votes isn't actually the problem, we can do that from anywhere; the problem is we must also verify they were cast secretly and the options fully explained."

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"You can send messengers to the garrisons." She has no doubt in her mind about that. "You have already done it; then you refused to count the votes cast as being from the location of the garrisons."

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"Yep. They don't live there. The people you were asking to enfranchise may, but we can't get in touch with them without crossing our line on invasion."

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"There are soldiers stationed outside undisputed cantons, from disputed cantons, whose votes you are not counting, and who you could count without altering your policies."

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"That's true. We can count those given a list, which I take it you have?"

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"Yes." Which was what she started the conversation by trying to say. Well. Aliens.

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"If you'll tell me where it's written down, I can have it copied and tell the pollsters to include those people."

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She can, in fact, describe the location of Desnau's canton registers from memory!

(This is technically treason, in the interests of the realm. She is not wholly certain her father will be alive when she makes it home. Hopefully she can steer her country to success even if he isn't.)

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"All right," says Eldamarquetton, "thank you very much. Is there anything else you want to talk about?"

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"Not until the next war," she says, because she is very, very tired. "So," she says drily, "I'll see you in a week."

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"I hope very much that it won't come to that!"

And a minute later all the pollsters have instructions to go find particular people in the garrisons and invite them to vote for their hometowns. If they haven't deserted already.

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The majority of the army of Desnau does not actually want to desert! It's only a significant minority.

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Well, now then the majority of the army of Desnau who can confirm under truth spell that they were from wherever-it-was can vote.

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A large plurality of the population of the area the vote was arranged in looks like it wants to join Ljudizem! A minority, in the corner near Desnau, wants to stay part of Desnau! A similar minority wants to be part of Gerontmarkh, and other minorities similarly for Simolya and Vzhoudoun! Eight villages and one very ethnically mixed city want to be independent except in Vanda Nosseo; slightly worryingly most of the villages were places that mostly didn't listen to Elspeth's speech.

There's a lot of confusion and mismarked ballots, and there's places with a plurality for one option but no majority anywhere, including some that want to join Ljudizem but not Vanda Nosseo, some that are 15% Vanda Nosseo/10% Desnau/15% Mixed Other 60% Didn't File, and a number of others. Of the ballots cast, significantly more than any other were for Ljudizem, but while there are regions (in particular the central one around the capital) that unambiguously wanted to be part of Ljudizem, there's plenty of other places where it's village-by-village.

(Factors that influenced the vote that will immediately fall out of the statistics: People who heard Elspeth's speech were more likely to want to join Vanda Nosseo and less likely to want to do Something Weird. Ethnicity. Language. Proximity to the capitals of the countries in question, which correlates with ethnicity and language, which obviously correlate with each other. Which army burned their village down most recently.)

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All of the population centers can have their results reported to them pretty quickly. If people want to self-sort by moving to different places more in line with their views at this time VN is happy to allow that. They do not consider votes completed if there are fewer than half of the eligible population down to the two-year-olds voting, and voting for a particular outcome - that plus the secret ballot thing is intended to make it hard to push through particular results by making particular blocs sit out votes - but people can keep turning in or revising their ballots and they can re-count at a later date.

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A few places will revise their ballots or ask for new ballots, and the number of ambiguous places will decline! But all of Ljudizem's neighbors have lost claimed territory, and also there are enclaves of all their neighbors inside their country, and Extremely Disputed Regions that Ljudizem claims as part of their recognized territory and did not muster a majority vote for anything.

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Speaking of which, Dinot would like it if Vanda Nosseo would remove the invading Coalition armies from the soil of Ljudizem with its amazing magical powers, please.

(They are, in fact, all stationing troops on what is unambiguously the territory of a Vanda Nosseo member.)

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