Politics of Dynamo Island

The dominant principle governing the ethos of Dynamo is that man and the animal kingdom are the centre of the world and that as far as possible all infrastructure and activity should be scaled appropriately. So, for example, the straw-bales produced on farms are lift-able by the average human and the vast machine-produced and fork-lift handled bales of modern European and America that disfigure the landscape by their inappropriate scale and their black plastic covering are not to be seen. Similarly, all buildings outside the larger cities are restricted to two or three stories and natural lighting is a top priority in all architectural design. Much importance is attached to the relationship between inside and outside, with arcades, verandahs and other sorts of spaces between interior and exterior being maximally valued. Humans are as far as possible encouraged to use their own powers of movement – walking, cycling, sailing – with use of public transport for longer distances. The banishment of the motor vehicle, whether private or utilitarian, has massively facilitated this. The continued use of animals – horses, ponies, even oxen – for light or heavy transport in the countryside enhances both human understanding of and sympathy with the animal kingdom and the well-being of the ecological system.

This ethos of human scale and purpose extends to the democratic principles underlying the Republic’s political structures. The federal republican system means that inhabitants of each of the eight provinces are fully aware of the issues that are important to them and feel they have a real influence on how they are dealt with through the regional parliaments. Communal participation in sports and leisure activities and the public funding of all major facilities means that every citizen feels they have a stake in the country and that their voice can be heard. Motivation to excel, to work hard and to prosper is provided by a competitive streak in the national ethos which is fuelled by regional, sporting and other competitions and by the wish on the part of most people to demonstrate their physical, social and intellectual skills by performing well in whatever activity they engage in. Traditional skills (printing, weaving, wood-carving) are highly prized while new technologies (electronics, computers, visual media, telecommunications) are taught in all second-level schools and regional colleges. The older generations are valued for their experience and skills, while their generally high level of fitness and mental alertness means that they continue to contribute vitally to the life of the community.

The general appreciation of the importance of good health and exercise means that the country’s national health system is able to operate efficiently and democratically without crippling internal finances. The ethos of physical and sporting activities means that the incidence of heart disease is low while the absence of smog, the relatively slower productivity rate of a zero-growth economy means there is less stress. Pleasure is taken in as many aspects as possible of human and natural life, with cooking, eating, gardening, caring for animals and plants all integrated as pleasurable as well as essential aspects of everyday life. All children brought up in cities are invited to spend at least two weeks of the year living and working in the country, with country children similarly spending part of their holidays in the cities. The extension on a national scale of media technology to the remotest towns means that people living in remote areas do not feel deprived of the stimulus the city can offer. The notion that human economies produce waste for recycling rather than rubbish means that people have a higher appreciation of the value of materials and the excitement of transforming ‘waste’ into new materials or products is discovered to be as vital as is the case with raw materials.

The national commitment to openness and transparency in public and political life is reflected in the architecture of civic and governmental buildings. Like the government buildings and chancellery in modern Berlin, the new Parliament building in Dynamo’s capital, Veloxeter, is constructed across the meanders of the River Crease about a mile upstream from where it disgorges its waters into the Atlantic Ocean. The sides of the buildings are mostly glazed from ground level to rooftop with various openings into courts and squares that give air and breathing space. As in Berlin, public walkways pass through the buildings at street level while river transport passes beneath the buildings along the Crease. Large works of contemporary painting and sculpture are mounted in these buildings in such a way as to enhance both their visibility to the public and to enrich the aesthetic impact of the setting. The elected Upper House of the Dynamo governmental system sits in an oval pink granite building sited in one of Veloxeter’s main parks. Its entrance incorporates a discreet but legible digital notice board that informs the public of the names of Upper House representatives present within the building and the programme of debates scheduled for the day. Each of the main ministry buildings in the capital city is equipped with a similar display system showing the names of the minister and senior staff and providing a brief outline of the ministry’s function, while the country’s written constitution and the bill of human rights are engraved in gold letters in the wall of the national parliament building.

Since their are no motorcars in Dynamo, there are no ministerial limousines; members of Parliament, the Upper House and ministers travel about the city in small electric taxis, painted in the national colours of green and blue, to distinguish them from the otherwise similar public taxis painted in grey. It is not unusual to see ministers and members of Parliament traveling round the city by bike. On state occasions, the president is driven in a horse-drawn carriage dating back two centuries with a ceremonial guard mounted on horse-back. The annual opening of each parliamentary session is marked by a boat-trip down the river Crease to the Parliament buildings, in which all elected members participate. This ceremony marks a long tradition according to which elected representatives of seven of Dynamo’s eight federal states used to travel by boat down the Crease and its various tributaries to take their seats in the national parliament at Veloxeter. Representatives from the eighth state, Maurice Island, came by sea to Veloxeter from Quinnport to rejoin their fellows from the other states.

The Flag of Dynamo Island

Dynamo’s national ethos finds its clearest expression in the national flag, established with the republic’s new constitution in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of a wheel centred in an oblong divided horizontally, the lower half green and a the upper half blue, the flag symbolizes the harmony of natural elements and the necessity of ecological balance between climate and sky and land and sea. The white central wheel is divided into eight equal sections, representing the balance and equilibrium that unites the Republics’ eight provinces. The incorporation of the blue top part of the flag into the green bottom half of the central hemisphere and the reciprocal presence of the colour green into the upper half of reflects the ethos of re-cycling and reciprocal accord central to Dynamo.