Kal Simpsen

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Kal Simpsen
Kal Simpsen in a convention hall
President of Pavonistade
Preceded by Eric Oppenheim
Governor of Toloupum Sector
In office
December 20, 2004 (2004-12-20) – December 20, 2012 (2012-12-20)
Preceded by Robeurt Hanks
Succeeded by Nell Burgundi
Member of Parliament for Toloupum South
In office
April 16, 1993 (1993-04-16) – July 1, 2004 (2004-07-01)
Preceded by Allisen Mullen
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born Kallum Simpsen
(1963-10-11) October 11, 1963 (age 53)
Bethlehem, Luziyca
Nationality Pavonistadian
Political party Republican Party
Residence Pavonistadeck, Capital Province
Alma mater University of Gordhoss
Languages Pavon, Luziycan

Kallum "Kal" Simpsen (born October 11, 1963) is the 9th President of the Pavonistadian Provinces. He mostly served as a politician in Pavonistade at the provincial and federal levels. He previously served as Member of Parliament, as well as Governor of Toloupum Sector from 2004 to 2012, before contending for presidency in 2017.

Born to parents in Luziyca, Kal Simpsen and his family moved in 1970 to Pavonistade, then a dominion of Luziyca. He was enlisted in the Republican Party in 1982, which began his political career. He garnered popularity as well as disapproval as he was elected Member of Parliament in 1993 and served in the position until 2004. He won the Toloupum Sector gubernatorial election in 2004 and subsequently became Governor of Toloupum Sector, the first to belong to the Republican Party since 1992.

Simpsen did not run for gubernatorial re-election in Toloupum Sector in 2012, claiming a need to adjust certain personal objectives. As election laws in Pavonistade allow foreign-born or naturalized Pavonistadian citizens to run for Presidency, Simpsen was eligible to enroll as a presidential candidate of his party, which he did so ahead of the 2017 presidential elections.

On June 30, 2016, Simpsen announced his intention to run for presidency in 2017 on behalf of the Republican Party. He was nominated as his party's presidential candidate during a leadership convention, making him the first naturalized citizen to become a presidential candidate. He subsequently won the election with a plurality of the electorate vote and seats, which also makes him the first naturalized citizen to be elected President of the Pavonistadian Provinces. He was inaugurated on April 28, 2017 and his presidency was marked by several highlights, such as diplomatic crises and increased involvement in international incidents.

Early Life

Kal Simpsen was born on October 11, 1963 in Bethlehem, Luziyca. His full name is Kallum Simpsen but the nickname "Kal" came into common usage in his early life. He was raised by Elias Simpsen, a lawyer, and Andrea Novak-Simpsen, a primary school teacher. He has a younger brother, Damien (b. December 2, 1965), who is a Member of the Governing Council in Occidentia as of 1999. At the age of 7, Simpsen and his family arrived in Pavonistade on March 10, 1970. They resided in Toloupum and held permanent resident status before they gained Pavonistadian citizenship through naturalization in 1975.

Simpsen was enrolled in the Katia Secondary School from 1976 to 1981. After graduating from secondary school, he then enrolled in the University of Gordhoss from 1981 to 1987, receiving a master's degree in political science.

Political career

Member of Parliament

Kal Simpsen joined the Republican Party in 1982, believing that membership and participation in said party best represents his family's ideologies and that effective work is needed to preserve certain political and cultural values in his region. He first rose to fame in the 1990's due to his criticism of multiculturalism and social/cultural liberalism, which he often referred to as radical liberalism.

He campaigned in the constituency of Toloupum South, representing most of southern Toloupum, ahead of the 1993 elections which led to victory for Republican presidential candidate Jacquie Iatouqua and formation of a Republican majority government. Simpsen won a plurality of votes in Toloupum South, allowing him to become Member of Parliament for the constituency. He served from April 16, 1993 to July 1, 2004, when he resigned to take part in the Toloupum Sector gubernatorial election later in 2004.

As Member of Parliament, Simpsen concurred with a vast majority of proposals introduced in Parliament that were intended to combat crime via deterrence rather than rehabilitation. The tendency for Simpsen to make comments that are often viewed as controversial originated from his career in Parliament. He tabled two acts, the Unyielding Justice Act in 1997 and the Religious Prudence Act in 2000, that were passed by Parliament and promulgated by former President Iatouqua.

Governor of Toloupum Sector

Kal Simpsen announced his resignation from his office on April 30, 2004 for the purpose of partaking in the gubernatorial election in Toloupum Sector that is set to take place later in the same year. His resignation became effective on July 1, 2004, the same day that the constituency of Toloupum South was dissolved to reflect population change in Toloupum. His continued hard-line approach to various issues and his consistent refusal to offer public apologies garnered a significant amount of support and criticism.

On November 5, the day of the Toloupum Sector gubernatorial election, Kal Simpsen and the provincial Republican Party secured a majority of seats in the provincial Governing Council. Simpsen was inaugurated as Governor of Toloupum Sector on December 20, 2004 and served in his position until December 20, 2012, when his term concluded and he was replaced by Republican colleague Nell Burgundi.

Simpsen introduced various reforms in Toloupum Sector that were often contrary to reforms in the rest of Pavonistade. Most of Pavonistade followed the "Democratic progress", a series of new social and political policies led by the Democratic Party, while Toloupum Sector followed Simpsen's efforts that were often referred to as the "Republican progress". Certain measures from Simpsen's government included the replacement of the provincial welfare system with workfare, empowerment the provincial welfare fraud department, creation of new social safety nets to cover additional at-risk residents such as people with disabilities, affirmation of legal protection for LGBTQ people, and promotion of interculturalism.

Over the course of Simpsen's term as governor, he has been accused of discriminating against working-class Pavonistadians and ethnic minority groups. In particular he is alleged to have Shudriphobic attitudes, one of the allegations still made against him in present day. He denied all accusations, stating that he is a strong opponent of all forms of discrimination, but he fell short of providing any apologies for the groups that were affected.

Simpsen retained his majority in the 2008 gubernatorial election, but did not seek re-election in 2012 despite his eligibility to do so. He cited the need to reorganize priorities in his life, and his colleague Nell Burgundi was selected to run on behalf of the Republican Party in the 2012 gubernatorial election. Burgundi was elected governor but failed to secure a majority as Simpsen had in his two terms. Simpsen is regarded as one of the most questionable governors in Toloupum Sector history according to a 2013 survey from the Pavonistadian Broadcasting Corporation, but he is also frequently regarded as an admirable and strong leader by much of the respondents of the survey.

President

On June 30, 2016, prior to the 2017 presidential election, Kal Simpsen announced that he had intentions to run for President of Pavonistade on behalf of the Republican Party. His bid for presidency was approved by the Pavonistadian Presidential Electoral Commission and in the Republican Party leadership convention on April 16, 2016, Simpsen was nominated as the party presidential candidate.

He took an active role in campaigning which began on January 6, 2017 (the start of the electoral campaigning period) and ended on March 16, 2017 (the day before the 2017 elections). On March 17, Simpsen and the Republican Party won more seats than the other parties, defeating the incumbent Democratic president Eric Oppenheim. Simpsen's electoral victory was met with anti-Republican demonstrations and "victory parades", both of which led to rioting in multiple Pavonistadian cities.

Simpsen was inaugurated on April 28, 2017, alongside appointed federal ministers and civil servants.

Diplomacy

President Simpsen promised to "revitalize diplomacy for Pavonistadian interests" multiple times during his presidential campaign, as he believed that "the way Pavonistade conducts diplomacy is terribly wrong: it forces us into servitude under other countries and those that share values contrary to ours are given grace passes." He stated that several steps to achieve his diplomatic goals include further limiting diplomatic communications with states that are deemed undesirable and expanding upon the Pavonistadian government's list of dangerous states.

On May 4, 2017, President Simpsen announced his government's intentions to sever diplomatic relations with Xiaodong. The embassies in Pavonistadeck and Rongzhuo were closed while Pavonistadian diplomatic staff were recalled and Xiaodongese diplomatic staff were given one week's time to leave Pavonistade. The Pavonistadian Ambassador to Xiaodong and the Xiaodongese Ambassador to Pavonistade were already recalled in March 2017 due to a separate diplomatic incident in the month. Simpsen's decision to end reciprocal diplomatic presence with Xiaodong drew sharp criticism from Xiaodongese Pavons and the Xiaodongese government, but it was received very warmly by Republican, Conservative and Pavonistade First politicians.

Kinzerian Crisis

President Simpsen expressed support for Vjaarland during the 2017 Kinzerian crisis. He signed Executive Order 528/17, which mandated the Pavonistadian government to sever diplomatic relations with Kinzeria and impose certain sanctions against select individuals, and went into effect immediately after a Vjaarland-issued ultimatum to Kinzeria expired without any response from the latter.

On June 1, when the Vjaarlandic Air Force and Navy carried out strikes against Kinzeria, President Simpsen declared support for Vjaarland by stating, "Kinzeria has openly demonstrated to be willing to condone the heinous nature of terrorism, or at worst demonstrated itself to be a sponsor of terrorism. [...] Vjaarland has the right to begin slaying the beasts at Lykkestad."

President Simpsen and Foreign Affairs Minister Lee Crannon criticized other countries that supported Kinzeria, particularly Austrosia and Ankoren, both of which were accused of being savageous or uncivilized. In turn, President Simpsen and Minister Crannon were criticized for various racist and Islamophobic statements.

Controversy

Racism

Kal Simpsen is accused of harboring various racist and xenophobic attitudes, though he denies any allegations of racism and claims he is a "vicious opponent of racism and all baseless hatred". Occasionally he defended hismelf from such allegations by citing his marriage to a Shudri woman.

Allegations of xenophobia were made against him since his career as a Member of Parliament, but became more frequent after he became Governor of Toloupum Sector. In 2010, an audio file supposedly recorded Simpsen stating "Shudri people should quit acting like vicious savages" to one of his aides, prompting outcry from the Pavonistadian Shudri community. Later audio files released on March 6, 2017 allegedly recorded Simpsen making xenophobia comments against various groups, including Shudri and Muslim Pavonistadians while in a conversation with running mate Aurelia Robbens.

Simpsen has rarely apologized for instances where he was accused of racism. He did however remarked upon the consequences of certain comments. He once stated in a highly-publicized 2016 interview with the National Sentinel that he "regretted making statements that paint all people with the same brush [...] the only intention I have is to go for the people that are truly barbaric and despicable, but it's clear that some innocent people were caught in the mess".

Central Ocean tidal wave statements

After the occurrence of an earthquake which generated a tidal wave in the Central Ocean region on June 10, 2017, President Simpsen released the first three tweets in regards to the regional crisis several hours after the eastern Namorese coast was hit by the tidal wave. The first tweet offered "nothing less than deep condolences to the families of everyone that have unfortunately lost their lives in the devastating waves". However, the second tweet stated that he offered "no condolences to the government of Namor" because the tidal wave was "the consequence of pushing forward with the #DNDA", and the third tweet claimed that there was "no dispute that Namor's government and its countless supporters received what they deserved in the form of a righteous tidal wave".

His second and third Central Ocean tidal wave tweets received some support from Republican, Conservative and Pavonistade First party members. Pavonistade First chairman Arnold Taggan praised President Simpsen by claiming he "did the right thing by showing the Namorese that they can't get away with the DNDA forever". However, President Simpsen's tweets received overwhelmingly-negative responses from the international community and led to both Ainin and Namor expelling their respective Ambassadors from Pavonistade.

Personal life

Kal Simpsen married Marie Simpsen (née Marie Petulengro), an ethnic Shudri, on August 1, 2002. The two remain spouses to this day and have a son named Nathan Simpsen, born on December 21, 2004. Simpsen currently resides in Pavonistadeck, but he lived much of his life in Toloupum and spend several years in Gordhoss during his post-secondary studies. It is unclear what his literary interests are, as they are not often mentioned by Simpsen himself, but it is believed that he pays particular attention to historical texts and adventure fiction.