|Dominion of Lion's Rock
|Motto: "Hear me roar!"|
|Anthem: "Forward, Lion's Rock!"|
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Map of Lion's Rock
|Largest city||Lion's Rock|
|-||Lord Protector||Gareth II Arthurius|
|-||Governor General||Marilyn Weber|
|-||Prime Minister||Julius Tan|
|Legislature||Parliament of Lion's Rock|
|Autonomy from Arthurista|
|-||Referendum||1 October 1962|
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
|Currency||Leonese Dollar (LD)|
|Drives on the||left|
The Dominion of Lion's Rock is a self-governing dominion of the Arthuristan Commonwealth. It is located in the Far East region of the world, off the coast of San Carlo, comprisng of its namesake island and surrounding territorial waters. The city state of around 5.2 million inhabitants is one of the most highly developed polities in contemporary Ashizwe and is often cited worldwide as one of the greatest success stories of neo-liberalism.
The island which would one day be known as Lion's Rock was 'discovered' in 1788 by Commander Tom Rafael of the Commonwealth Navy, then attempting a circumnavigation of the world in his sloop HHS Challenger. While the ship weighed anchor at the uninhabited island to take on water, the commander's naturalist friend, Dr John Seymour, was nearly killed by an attacking male lion before it was shot by Rafael. He subsequently claimed the island in the name of the Lord Protector and named it after the aggressive feline.
The island's strategic location, ideally sited as a resupply spot for ships from Lusankya and Kasaishima transversing the Victorian, made it into a major shipping and trading hub. By the early-20th century, it has developed into a burgeoning port city with a rapidly growing population from all corners of the world. the Shield's Colony of Lion's Rock became a self-governing dominion after a referendum in 1967.
The Civil Action Party, which has dominated the Leonese legislature even before the devolution, initially pursued a course of Keynesian development, encouraging the growth of light industries and the manufacturing of electronic components to complement its traditional role as a trade hub. The economy did not develop nearly as rapidly as government subsidies increased, which also had the effect ballooning government debts to dangerous levels. This course was reversed in the late-70s by Prime Minister Kaur Singh, who spent his formative years in Emmeria and the Seubyeni Islands, where he observed the operations of a laissez-faire market economy first hand. Lion's Rock became one of the pioneers of the neoliberal wave which would sweep the world. Government debt was swiftly brought under control after a major campaign of privatisation and the flotation of the Leonese Dollar, while business tax rates were gradually reduced and the economy deregulated to attract foreign investment. Barring a few brief stock market crises, growth rates increased rapidly in the subsequent decades. GDP per capita exceeded that of its suzerain state since the late-90s and remains the case to this day. Conversely, it has one of the highest income-inequalities in the developed world.
Contemporary Lion's Rock enjoys a diverse, knowledge-based tertiary economy. Its main strength lies in the financial sector, but the dominion is also very active in the electronics, biotechnology, biomedical sciences and pharmaceuticals, port and logistics, petroleum refining, mechanical engineering and tourism industries. It has one of the largest foreign currency reserves in the world.
Politics and law
Technically, Lion's Rock is a parliamentary democracy within the context of a constitutional monarchy. The Lord Protector of Arthurista remains the territory's sovereign, represented locally by his Governor General. The actual business of government is conducted by the dominion's cabinet, headed by its Prime Minister, formed by the largest party in parliament which, invariably, is the Civil Action Party.
Under the devolution agreement, the Lion's Rock government has complete autonomy over all internal affairs. It can conclude agreements and treaties with foreign governments, although the Arthuristan Foreign Office has the power to veto those related to the status of the dominion's sovereignty, its defence or those deemed to have a 'negative impact on the vital interests' of the Greater Arthuristan Commonwealth, although this power has never been invoked. Conversely, although technically it has no power to declare war or conclude peace, the dominion's government has the prerogative to deploy its own armed forces unilaterally "in situation where the use of force for self-defence or the defence of the dominion's critical interests" is called for. Furthermore, the dominion government has the right to veto the deployment of Lion's Rock military forces overseas. It maintains embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions in foreign countries independent of those of Arthurista's.
Although small opposition parties do exist, the Civil Action Party has stayed in power ever since independence using a variety of means. The government commences libel claims against vocal critics on a frequent basis. Districts which dare to elect an opposition MP would also swiftly see its public services cut to the bone. For good measure, tax rebates and the free distribution of shares in listed public utilities inevitably precede each election. Although the population technically enjoys the full set of civil liberties and human rights commonly available in most democratic nations, it is in reality curtailed by the Internal Security Act, which grants the government sweeping powers to deal with "subversion, organised violence, terrorism and incitement of inter-community conflict". Preventative detention is frequently used to enforce the Act. While the rights of assembly and protest technically exist, in reality they never occur as gatherings of more than five individuals in a public place not previously registered with the police is prima facie a riot under Leonese criminal law. Permissions for such protests are almost invariably denied.
Lion's Rock is known for its draconian criminal law. Hanging is available not only for murder, but also a variety of other offences such as possession with intent to traffick. The importation of chewing gum is strictly prohibited, while smoking or drinking in a public place could result in a jail time for repeat offenders.
Lion's Rock has a diverse population, mostly descended from the waves of immigration which arrived in the city in the late-19th to mid-20th century. About 50% of Leonese can trace their roots back to immigrants from the Hostillia, with the rest from Arthurista, San Carlo and Chaco.