|Kingdom of Skade
|Motto: "Ved loven i landet skal bygges"
"By law the land shall be built"
|Anthem: "Lovsangen til Asgeir"
"Hymn of the Asgeir"
Location of Skade in Southern Illypnia
|Recognised regional languages||Gotalandic
|Ethnic groups||91% Skadian
|Demonym||Skadian, Skades (unofficial)|
|Government||Elective constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Gissel Adelsköld|
|-||President of the State Council||Signe Høyland|
|-||Unification of Skade||598|
|-||Current Constitution||15 June 1985|
519,340.61 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
low · ??th
very high · ??th
|QLI (2016)||8.11 very high|
|IEF (2016)||73.5 Mostly Free|
|Currency||Sendt (Ꭶ) (
|Time zone||ACT+2 (TUC+2)|
|Date format||dd.mm.yyyy CE|
|Drives on the||right|
Skade (Skadian: ᛋᚴᚭᛞᛂ, Skåde), officially the Kingdom of Skade (Skadian: ᚴᚬᛝᛂᚱᛁᚴᛂᛐ ᛋᚴᚭᛞᛂ, Kongeriket Skåde), is a unitary sovereign state located in Southern Illypnia. It is bordered by Ostung, West Lapland and Gotaland to the north, the ??? Sea to the south, and Viborg to the west. Most of the country is covered by the Skjold mountain range, with the country's highest peak being Mount Valhalla, at ?? meters. Skade is the ?? largest country in Adonia by area, and with a population of ?? million, it is the ??th most populated country in Adonia and the ?? most populous in Illypnia.
Skade is a elective parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising 18 cantons. The largest city is Amundsen, with a population exceeding 2 million inhabitants. Skadian citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and since 2001 Skade has been ranked ??th in the world for its Human Development Index.
Since the mid-twentieth century, Skade has maintained a combination of market economy and a welfare state with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system. Skade has extensive reserves of petroleum and natural gas in its exclusive economic zone, along with minerals, iron ore, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower in its mainland. The petroleum industry accounts for around one-tenth of the country's gross domestic product. The country has the ?? highest GDP per capita in the world, and the ?? largest economy by GDP (PPP). Skade maintains an active foreign policy, serving as a protecting power.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics and government
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture
Skade is located on the southern half of the ??? Peninsula, bordering the ??? Sea to the south, Viborg to the east, and West Lapland, Gotaland, and Ostung to the north. It's territory is dominated by the Skjold mountain range, which contains Mount Valhalla, the country's highest point, at ??? feet. All majority cities and the majority of remaining towns and settlements of Skade are situated along the ice-free Northwest coast, with the population being concentrated along the northwest coast and the wide valleys of Central Skade.
The climate of Skade is highly influenced the Whatever Current, which causes air temperatures to rise and move inland oer Northwest Skade, causing it to have a much warmer climate than the south. However, even during the summer temperatures can drop well below freezing in Southern and Central Skade. The difference in temperatures often ranges between -3 and 5 degrees Celsius. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Skade was -83F (-63.9C) at Vigulda in 1981. The warmest temperature in Skade was recorded in 1986, at 91F (32.8C) near Ingjald, Selasund.
Precipitation is less frequent in Southern Skade, and falls in smaller quantities, typically less than 400 millimetres (15.7 in) in Frystmark, Kongsfest, and Kvällhälla. More rain falls in the coastal areas of Northeast Skade, where there can be more than 1,000 millimetres (39.4 in).
Arnarhvall Islands of Southern Skade
Politics and government
According to the Constitution of Skade, which was adopted on 17 May 2013, Skade is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, wherein the King of Skade is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. Power is separated among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, as defined by the Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document.
It outlines basic and political rights of individuals and citizen participation in public affairs, divides the powers between the government and the canton and defines the national government's jurisdiction and authority. There are three main governing bodies on the national level: the Althing (legislative), the Council of State (executive) and the National Court (judicial). The current Prime Minister of Skade is Gissel Adelsköld, the leader of the Citizens' party (pictured right). The next elections are scheduled for 17 February 2017.
The Monarch is the head of state, with strictly representative and ceremonial roles, such as formal appointment and dismisal of the Prime Minister, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and a symbol of unity for Skadians. The monarch is elective (although essentially hereditary, as the only candidates come from the House of Kjellfrid), and they are chosen by the 17 members of the Council of State, and serves for life (or until abdication). The current Monarch is Alexander X, who has reigned since 21 February 2009.
The Althing is the parliament of Skade, which consists of 153 members who are elected under a system of proportional representation from the 17 cantons, and it also serves to elect the Prime Minister of Skade, although effectively the Prime Minister is the leader of the largest party. Members of the Althing serve for 5 years, and have no term limits. The Council of State is made up of 18 senior members of government chosen by the Prime Minister, and functions as the collective decision-making organ constituting the executive branch of the Kingdom. Through referendums, citizens may challenge any law passed by parliament and through initiatives, introduce amendments to the federal constitution, thus establishing a direct democracy.
Judiciary system and law
Skade uses a civil law system where laws are created and amended in Parliament and the system regulated through the National Court of Skade. The judiciary is independent of executive and legislative branches. While the Prime Minister nominates National Court Justices for office, their nomination must be approved by Parliament and formally confirmed by the Monarch in the Council of State. Usually, judges attached to regular courts are formally appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Skade abolished the death penalty for regular criminal acts in 1985, although before then there was a mandatory death penalty for murder, as well as for certain aggravated drug-trafficking and firearms offences. The Althing later abolished the death penalty for high treason in war and war-crimes in 1991. The Skadian penal system now focuses on criminal prevention and rehabilitation.
As part of the Stortåpning reforms (Skadian: "the great opening"), the Althing removed provisions from Constitution which required civilians to pledge to uphold the "Skadian race" (thus legalizing miscegenation), while easing restrictions on external immigration, repealing laws which disenfranchised existing minorities, significant scaling back the power of the SIOS, and greatly increasing government transparency. However Skade is still criticized by some as an illiberal democracy, citing a continued policy of detention without trial, suppression of speech deemed harmful to Skadian unity, and excessive whitewashing.
Skadian law in regards to religion are considered to be contradictory. The Separasjonlov ("Seperatation law") removed the right of religious organizations to interfere in political matters, and withdrew recognition of religious beliefs as a legitimate reason for the proposal or passage of laws and treatment of an individual on Skadian soil. However the state maintained Ásatrú's status as the official religion of Skade, while the state gained control over the leadership of the state church.
Skade's relationship with the freedom of religion is complex. The Parliament has listed many religious movements as dangerous cults since 1995, and has banned wearing conspicuous religious symbols in schools since 1954 (with the one excepting being Røhnisch Ásatrú). In 1960, it banned the wearing of face-covering Islamic veils in public (despite the Muslim population making up less than 0.6% of the population). Adherents to minority religions have complained that they suffer from discrimination in housing, education, and the workplace due to Skadian law. While these laws are controversial internationally, they are supported by the majority.
Direct democracy and elections
Skade's form of direct democracy (direkte demokrati) is often called "half direct", as the system includes institutions of the typical representative democracy, used to support the main system. Direct-democracy has long been present in Skade, being used by the Asgeir to select their kings, establish basic laws, and decision making. This process, called folketsvalg ("people's choice") was continued throughout Skade (and the other South Illypnian states) up until the Skadian Civil War and the rise of the Rådskåde regime, in which power was vested wholly in the Skadian Council. It was only restored with the adoption of the Constitution of 1985. Between 2000 and 2015 alone Skadians voted 215 times on 59 different political issues, the highest number in the world. Public meetings and debates are commonly used to discuss political issues, and to allow citizens to voice their issues, concerns, or ideas.
The voting age in Skade is 16, as established by a public referendum approved by 56% of voters in 1999, in line with the Ásatrú tradition of age 16 being considered the age of majority. Voting was mandatory in the country until 2007,and those that did not vote were penalized with a Ꭶ5 fine. The law was repealed by popular vote, with 75% in favor. Skade still has some of the highest voter turnout in the world, averaging above 80% consistently since the 1990s.
Once a person settles in Skade, they are required by law to register with the municipality they reside in within a week, so the local government will know their address, thus eliminating the need for citizens to register to vote themselves. In the weeks before a referendum, or an election, ballot cards are sent out in sealed envelopes to every citizen, who casts their vote, signs a card to identify themselves, and sends it back to the municipality. The transmission card is checked to verify the voter, and is disposed of, and the ballot card is collected, thus making the process anonymous. As of 2015, Skadian regions have introduced e-voting, allowing people to cast their votes or propose popular initiatives over the internet or through SMS.
In addition to voting for popular initiatives, citizens vote for the three levels of administrative division in Skade: the 153-member Althing, the 17 cantons, and the 2,941 municipal assembly seats. All three levels use the same voting system of proportional representation, but the Althing is the only level where earlier elections can be called. The current election threshold in Skade is 2%, as established by electoral reforms following the election of the Adelsköld government. Despite this relatively low threshold, only five parties managed to gain representation in the 2012 elections.
Skade is divided into 18 cantons, known as kantonen (ᚴᚪᚿᛐᚬᚿᛂᚿ). The cantons are semi-autonomous, with their own elected parliaments and premiers, who represent their canton in the National Council. Each canton is further divided into counties (fylker; ᚠᚤᛚᚴᛂᚱ) and from there into municipalities, and are collectively known as småregjeringer, or "little governments". The amount of cantons reached its current number of 17 with the separation of Kvällhälla from Frystmark in 1994.
The Gotalandic-speaking area of Brumundberg is actually a special administrative region, and is completely demilitarized in line with provisions derived from both the Constitution of the Vekkelse regime and the 2013 Brumundberg referendum, and thus is considered a half-canton (halv-kantonen). Arnarhvall is not actually a canton, but an unincorporated territory of Skade, and maintains it's status as a demilitarized free economic zone.
*This canton is known as a half-canton and is thus granted a relatively high level of autonomy.
**An unincorporated area in the Kingdom of Skade.
Skade's foreign relations are handled by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, which has it's headquarters in the capital. The first diplomatic relations were formally established on 1 September 1631, with the Amundsen Conference resulting in official diplomatic recognition of the Kingdom of Skade. As of 1 May 2016, there are 207 diplomatic missions in Skade (trade/cultural offices, consulates, and embassies), while Skade has 192 missions abroad. Skade's foreign interests are mainly focused within its region, in pursuit of peaceful economic and social development, and protection of Skadian interests.
However Skade has remained largely absent from international organizations, reflecting the skepticism of the Skadian electorate in regards to globalization and the potential loss of sovereignty.
Skade maintains friendly relations with most nations on Adonia, and has long maintained a close relationship with the Northern Illypnian states. Since its establishment, Skade has maintained a balanced foreign policy based on adoption of dialogue, respect of international conventions, and non-interference of other country's internal affairs. Skade also supports the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, but has not renounced the use of force. The basis of Skade's foreign policy is armed neutrality, with the goal of defending it's sovereignty and neutrality in international affairs, but in recent years it has shifted towards a larger international role with closer cooperation with the Adonian Community.
Due to Skade's isolated, homogeneous background, it has developed a relatively flexible approach to civil affairs, such as human rights, which are legally protected by the Constitution of Skade. It confers equality, liberty, rule of law, presumption of innocence in legal procedures, inviolability of the home, freedom of movement, freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of communication, freedom of religion, freedom of council and association, freedom of occupation, freedom to be elected to office and others onto all citizens, within the limit of the law.
However, the Constitution also places the well-being of the Skadian State above everything else, thus providing an ambiguous loophole in the law. However this is considered to be a third rail, and thus is rarely used, as it would be akin to committing political suicide.
The Forsvarsmakt (Skadian: "defense force") is solely responsible for the national defense of Skade, numbering a total of 250,000 personnel, including civil employees. According to 2009 mobilization plans, full mobilization produces approximately 1,475,000 combatant personnel. Skade introduced conscription in 1920, (including 6–12 months of training); and became one of the first countries to conscript all citizens once they reach the age of majority, in 2001. The military of Skade is legally required to maintain a minimum peace-time deterrent force of no less than 1,250,000 personnel, citing a longstanding policy of complete territory defense.
Skade's long history of foreign invasions combined with its perceived vulnerability prompted the enactment of an aggressive defense policy, paving the way for the construction of the National Redoubt and the declaration of Skadian neutrality in 1921. Resumed conflict with Gotaland in the following decades subsequently ensured the continuation Skade's rearmament. A conscious effort was made by the Vekkelse government to drastically downscale the size of the Forsvarsmakt, but was ultimately abandoned with the continuation of the Skado-Gotalandic conflict.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Forsvarsmakt is King Alexander X. The military of Skade is divided into the following branches: the Skadian Land Forces, the Skadian Navy, the Skadian Air Force, the Skadian Cyber Forces, the Specialstyrkor (Special forces), and the Skadian Guard. Article 11 of 'Härskara XI', the official policy on Skade's military structure, enacted in 2001, automatically registers all citizens as conscripts at age 17, in precipitation for their training once they reach the age of 18. About three-quarters of Skadian men are found to be suitable for conscription, while alternate services are available for those who are not deemed suitable for combatant roles. In addition, people determined unfit for service, where fitness is defined as "satisfying physically, intellectually and psychological requirements for military service or civil protection service and being capable of accomplishing these services without harming oneself or others", are exempted from service but are penalized with a required 5% additional annual income tax hike until the age of 30. About 80% of All Skadian males complete conscription.
Skade's neutrality was officially enshrined in Chapter II Article 39 of the Consititution of Skade in 1986, with the dissolution of the Vekkelse government, and has remained unchanged since. Skade avoids joining organizations that may entail a military alliance, or a loss of neutrality. Because of Skade's armed neutrality policy, the Skadian military does not adhere to common defense treaties, and instead works to preserve the country's territorial integrity and defend from external threats independently.
The country has a large and fully indigenous arms industry, producing most of its own military equipment with only few types of weapons imported. Skade is the world's ?? largest supplier of arms, a spot it has held since 2001, accounting for around ??% of worldwide weapons sales and exporting weapons to about ?? countries. In 2010 Skade was ranked the ?? largest arms consumer by the Adonian Community in 2015, increasing its share by almost 30%.
Skade, with 20,983,342 inhabitants, has the ???-largest population in Illypnia and the fourth-largest in Southern Illypnia. It is one of the more sparsely populated countries in the world, with a population density of 15 inhabitants per square kilometer, below the global average of ???. Around 76% of Skadians reside in urban areas, and continues to rise with increased migration to Northern Skade.
At the Skadian census of 2007, 98.7% of the people of Skade claimed Skadian nationality, and 97.2% declared that they speak Skadian at home. At the 2012 census, 2.24% of the almost 21 million inhabitants of Skade declared to be descendants of another single ancestry than Skadian. That number includes 350,000 who declared to be Gotalandic as a national-ethnic identification (89,000 as single ethnicity and 200,000 a second ethnicity) and 17,000 Breislandic (16,000 as single ethnicity). Recognized minorities numbered 0.7% of the population, including 75,000 "Faroese" (61,000 as a single ethnicity), while 0.2% of the population are foreign citizens. Among them, the largest ethnic group are Kalinovans (92% of whom reside in Amundsen-Stat and Frystmark), followed by Viborgians and Ostungians.
The city of Amundsen is the largest city in Skade, with over 2 million residents in its metropolitan area according to the 2010 census. Other major cities include Ingjald (1.6 million), Asøn (1.3 million), Kristina (750,000), and Bjørnsson (620,000). The historically-low proportion of Skadians living in urban areas is commonly attributed to initial overcrowding and government policies (such as the Blood and Soil movement) aimed at discouraging rural flight.
Largest metropolitan areas of Skade
Government of Skade
|Rank||Cantons of Skade||Pop.||Rank||Cantons of Skade||Pop.|
During the government of Prime Minister Naala of the 1970s, education was rapidly expanded, and the first fully secular university was built in Skade. Free education was first opened to all Skadian citizens regardless of gender or religious beliefs in 1978. Since then, the country has progressed with efforts of ensuring high literacy rates, modern programs and women's share in education. Skade currently devotes approximately 22 percent of total federal government spending to education. The overall literacy rate is 99.4%.
Public education is free for male and female citizen children through the university level in Skade. Expatriates can also attend school in Skade, but they have substantially higher costs than Skadian citizens. Education is compulsory through the twelfth grade. Primary school enrollment for males in 2015 stood at 99% and 99% of females. Secondary school enrollment figures are lower with 79% for males, and 88% for females. In 2014–15 approximately 0.01 percent of students in grades one through five and 0.07 percent of students in grades six through nine did not complete their education; this rate rose to 0.1 percent in grades 10–12. Between the ages of 15-29, literacy is measured as 99.7%.
Skade has a broad-reaching welfare system, which ensures that all Skadians receive tax-funded health care. Expenses to medicine is fully funded, and some non-vital medical treatments are partially funded. Skade has a countrywide, but municipal administered social support system against poverty, ensuring that qualified citizens have minimum income of living. All Skadians citizens above 18 years of age can apply for some financial support, if they cannot sustain themselves or their family. Approval is almost automatic, and this system has been extensively developed over the last ten years. For those that are severely sick, they will receive some financial support throughout the extent of their illness and not just for the maximum of 1 year as previously. Their ability to work are usually re-evaluated by the municipality after 12 months of illness. Skade has some of the highest pensions in Southern Illypnia. The lowest-income group before retirement from the age of 65 receive 120% of their pre-retirement income in pension and miscellaneous subsidies.
Skade has seen a steady increase in immigration over the decade, with the majority of new immigrants originating from non-Western countries. Skade is considerably more hostile towards immigration than it's neighbors, due to fears of multiculturalism. As of 2014, more than 7% of the population of Skade consists of immigrants. The population of immigrants is approximately 1,142,585, excluding Skadian born descendants of immigrants to Skade. This recent shift in demographics has posed challenges to the nation as it attempts to address religious and cultural difference, employment gaps, education of both immigrants and their descendants, spatial segregation, crime rates, and language abilities.
Skadian laws in regards to immigration are some of the strictest in the world, due to strong opposition towards the perceived Überfremdung (over-immigration) affecting Skade. Thus, the state limits the granting of visas to only 1,000 a year, including for work, education, and residency reasons. Citizenship is only open to those who have provided extraordinary or spectacular service to the State, or persons of the Ásatrú faith who are approved as eligible for Skadevisualisering (Skadianization). Vast knowledge of the Skadian language and the Runic script are required as part of the process of naturalization.
Ásatrú is the official religion of Skade, and it has special status in the constitution of the Kingdom. The Ásatrúfellesskap (Ásatrú Fellowship) is the state church and the largest religious organization in Skade. However the government is legally required to respect all religions, thus all are considered equal in the eyes of the law and only reprehensible if they violate the law or infringe on individual freedoms. While the constitution guarantees the undeniable freedom of religion, the influence that Ásatrú has had on Skade's social, political, and economic systems is highly visible. Skadian passports and official government documents all bear Ásatrú symbols and phrases.
In the 2010 census, 71% of Skadians identified as Ásatrú followers, 21% non-religious (including atheist and agnostic), 5% Christian, and 3% unstated. The separation of church and state has been slow to take hold in Skade compared to other nations, and it remains a divisive issue nationwide, with polls showing an even split between those who support the establishment of a secular system, and those who support keeping the status-quo.
Strong government support for the Ásatrú religion have caused concern within the country and in the international sphere, as many of its beliefs are seen as ultra-nationalist, xenophobic, and Skado-centric. The religion has been linked with a rise in xenophobic attacks and protests against ethnic and religious minorities in recent years, largely led by the Skadian Front. Despite this the government has implemented several laws strictly cracking down on hate speech towards minority religious groups, and has officially recognized these groups as part of its wider fight against religious nationalism, and has indicated its intention to remove Ásatrú as the official religion of Skade.
Since the fall of the Rådskåde regime it has become widely accepted that there is a deep divide among Ásatrú followers, as ideological clashes between the increasingly ethnonationalist, right wing group, and those with more internationalist views, continue to inflame tensions. Often referred to as the "Ásatrú Civil War" by the media, it has deeply polarized not only Ásatrú followers, but a wide variety of religious groups, with a steep decline in the numbers of those who actively participate in religious activities. Religious participation across the spectrum has fallen 25% (from 45% in 2007 to 20% in 2015). In the same period, those who identify as "secular, or irreligious" has spiked, rising 17% (51% in 2007 to 68% in 2015). Several sects have broken away from mainstream Ásatrú due to its racialist issues, most notably the Heathenist movement, which espouses and romanticizes the natural and mystical aspects of Ásatrú.
Skade maintains a stable mixed economy, consistently ranked as one of the most innovative in Illypnia. It has the world's ??? largest economy by nominal GDP and the ??? largest by purchasing power parity. The largest sector of the economy is services at 72.1%, followed by manufacturing and refining at 26.7%. With respect to foreign trade, the key export products are raw materials and steel. Skade has a per capita output roughly equal to that of Breisland and Volisania. The country ranks among the highest in internet and telephone penetration. The country also has the world's ??? highest home ownership rate, at 89%.
Skade enjoys a very high standard of living, with the ?? highest GDP per capita in Illypnia, and the ?? highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. Skade is ranked relatively high in HDI based on its economy and regulatory environment, earning .930, placing ?? out of all countries listed. GDP growth rate for 2016 was 2.02%. The national debt as of June 2016 was ₭21.484 billion, or 2.3% of GDP. In 2016, its GDP, as measured by purchasing power parity, stood at ₭934.114 billion. The economy of Skade largely benefits from its vast natural resources (including minerals, oil and natural gas), highly educated population, low levels of corruption, and its comprehensive social safety net.
Petroleum and natural gas exports play an important role in the economy, especially following the oil boom of the 1970s. The state neglected many other sectors of the economy up until the 80's, instead depending on increasing demand for petroleum exports, causing a crisis when oil prices momentarily collapsed in 1979. Restructuring in the 1980s eventually led to economic recovery. Skade has since reduced its production and consumption of oil, as concerns about climate change continue to grow. The state has continued expanding the tourism, finance, and construction sectors. As a mainstay to the economy, oil exports now account for about 6-10 percent of Skade's total gross domestic product. Concerns about the volatility of oil prices led to the creation of the Skadian Sovereign Fund, now worth around ₭4 trillion.
The Skadian Budget (including that of the regional cantons) had a size of 422 billion Sendts in 2010, which is an equivalent 33.8% of the country's GDP in that year. The main sources of income for the national government are the value-added tax (33%) and the direct income tax (29%), while the main expenditures are in the areas of social welfare, infrastructure, and national defense.
Science and technology
Progress in the fields of science and technology became a major focus during the government of State-financed research, centering on the universities, is under the control of the Skadian Institute of Innovation and Technology (SIIT), which also handles long-term industrial research and development. Skadian students graduating with science and engineering degrees account for 42% of all university students.
Between 2005 and 2015 the Skadian government dedicated ₭121.8 billion for scientific research and development, with another ₭12 billion in grants, loans, and construction of scientific facilities. Skadian researchers are among the top in the world in their search for new renewable energy sources. The emerging high-tech and electronics industry of Skade is concentrated around the city of Krisuvik and the Ryddigsted International District in the Tronddall.
As of 2016, 93.7% of Skadian households own a computer, while 98.3% own a mobile phone.
Energy, infrastructure, and environment
Electricity generated in Skade is 78% from hydroelectricity and 19% from nuclear power, resulting in a nearly CO2-free electricity-generating network. Skade became one of the first countries to implement tidal power in 2005, with the opening of the underwater Bylgja turbine generator station. As of 2016, Skade has 2,166 hydroelectric generating stations, most of which are located in the country's northwest. The Skadian government also enforces energy conservation, green technologies, emission reduction activities, and aims to meet the country's electricity demands using 100% renewable sources by 2020. Skade is committed to the ??? and several other treaties promoting biodiversity, low emission standards, water management, recycling, and the renewable energy commercialization.
In 2016 Skade was the world's ?th largest exporter of crude oil, and the world's ?th largest natural gas exporter. However, Skadian production has steadily declined year on year due to mounting concerns over climate change and the effects of drilling on Skade's marine habitats, along with the election of a government more sympathetic to ecological concerns.
Transportation has rapidly improved in Skade since the oil era, with the government spending billions on upgrading railways, and the construction of airports and the Skadian Hovedvei (Autobahn). From the late 1800s Skade has developed an extensive system of tunnels and canals through the scattered mountain valleys of the Skjold range. While air is the easiest way to travel around Skade, most travelers choose to either take a train, or drive through Skade. Rising immigration, overcrowding, and rapid urbanization combined with an increasing lack of space has discouraged dependence on roads and a shift to rail.
Skade banned the introduction, sale, and use of new gasoline vehicles (excluding airplanes) across Skadian territory in 2007, before phasing out and ultimately introducing a complete ban on conventional combustion engines over the following years. The switch to electric and plug-in vehicles was achieved with a series of generous government incentives, including free public parking, tax breaks, and access to bus lanes for all electric vehicles.
Skade has almost ???km of navigable waterways and canals, although most of it is restricted to small boats and other watercraft, except the NAME Canal, which connects the Neptic Ocean with the Gulf of Kalinova. Skade's merchant fleet totals over 700 ships, most originally owned by conglomerates that were eventually nationalized by the government. Major ports in Skade include Amundsen, Ingjald, Søgkim, Innjarni, Vigulda, and Skuurup. The latter two are frozen entirely during the winter months, and are served by a fleet of icebreakers.
Rail travel has become increasingly attractive option for commuters, in part due to government subsidies and increasing gas prices. Car ownership has shown a rapid decline in recent years, and it is has become very practical and convenient to live in any large Skadian city or metropolitan area without owning a car. Even medium-sized cities have good public transportation networks that use buses, trams, and urban/suburban rail lines to move people around. Amundsen became the first city in Skade to begin installing solar roads with the aim of finding alternate ways to generate renewable energy in the face of increasing overcrowding. In newer planned Skadian neighborhoods there has been a rise in opposition to the expansion of existing road networks. In response, city planners have turned to new pedestrianism, rejecting the need for cars and encouraging the use of cycling to move around.
Skade has the third-highest public social spending in relation to GDP, at 24.3% respectively, and the ??? largest total social spending, at 31.2% of its GDP. Skade has one of the highest tax burdens in the world, with tax revenue reaching 41.6% of GDP. Rapid privatization and moderate cuts to the welfare state in the mid-2000s led to the Skade having the largest growth in income disparity in the developed world, before slowing and ultimately reversing course in 2014.
One of the world's largest public sector (25% of the entire workforce on a full-time basis) is financed by some of the world's highest taxes. A value added tax of 25% is levied on the sale of most goods and services (not including groceries). Income tax in Skade ranges from 33% to 65% progressively, levied on 4 out of 10 full-time employees. These high rates have steadily decreased and have been supplemented with a recently increased 33% company tax. The public sector as a whole had a budget surplus of 4.4% of GDP in 2014, but tax cuts later increased private consumption and the labor shortage, thus resulting in a deficit on the trade balance and pressure to increase wages even further.
Skade has a broad-reaching welfare system, which ensures that all Skadians receive tax-funded health care. Expenses to vital medicine is fully funded, and some non-vital medical treatments are partially funded. Skade has a countrywide, but municipal administered social support system against poverty, ensuring that qualified citizens have minimum income of living. All Skadians citizens above 18 years of age can apply for some financial support, if they cannot sustain themselves or their family. Approval is almost automatic, and this system has been extensively developed over the last ten years. For those that are severely sick, they will receive some financial support throughout the extent of their illness and not just for the maximum of 1 year as previously. Their ability to work are usually re-evaluated by the municipality after 12 months of illness. Skade has some of the highest pensions in Southern Illypnia. The lowest-income group before retirement from the age of 65 receive 120% of their pre-retirement income in pension and miscellaneous subsidies.
The concept of hjemland (a word meaning both "the homeland" and a more general notion of cultural identity) has been central to the development of Skadian culture. Skadian society focuses on the need for a strong connection nature and one's self, stemming from the belief that nature is inhabited by thousands of different types of spirits (i.e. landvættir "land spirits", who inhabit different areas of the landscape). Society consists of closely-knit tribes, which serve as the foundation for consensus building and decision making. The unique Skadian farm culture (a result of Ásatrú influences, Skade's relatively isolated position, and the harsh climate) produced a strong romantic nationalism movement, based on the idea of Skadian exceptionalism.
The Kulturdepartementet (Culture Ministry) was established in 1924, and its sub-ministries were set up to monitor and control as aspects of cultural life, such as films, radio, newspapers, fine arts, music, theatre, and literature. Since then, Skadian culture has shifted towards self-preservation of Skadian traditions, while stressing unity and reformation in order to effectively counter external and internal threats to the Skadian identity.
Skadian culture (especially among its youth) flourished during the time of the Stortåpning reforms, blending libertine Ásatrú attitudes with progressive tendencies emerging across Illypnia, in what was known as the "Skådesyn" or the Skadian vision. Religious influence declined considerably during this time, with church attendance falling below 36% (1989). Counterculture, the youth movement and the sexual revolution emerged in the 1980s and spread further in the 1990s. Acceptance of these new cultural norms were pressed by public officials, hoping to further their own careers.
Art of Skade is typically characterized by a style of Romantic realism based on classical models. Skadian society is more hostile towards modern styles, seeing them as somewhat as degenerate, and successive Skadian governments have promoted the creation of artwork that exhibits Skadian excellence, along with purity and adherence to Skadian values.
The origins of Skadian art were very much influenced by Old Skadians, who largely stuck to Runic inscriptions and large-scale earthworks. The lack of contact with the rest of Illypnia and subsequent influence l However, they were largely shunned by the populace, with an upsurge in romantic Ásatrú artwork taking their place.
Initial opposition to outsiders and external influence greatly contributed to the rise of the neo-Ásatrú, ethno-nationalist Folketnasjonalisme movement, which came to prominence in 1920. The movement encouraged the creation of patruljerkunst (patriotic art), which depicted the purity and strength of ethnic Skadians. This art style became mandatory in all government institutions in 1922, and remains so to this day. In general, painting—once purged of "un-Skadian art"—was based on traditional genre painting. Landscape painting featured prominently in Skadian art, exhibiting the beauty and tranquility of the Skadian hjemland. Skadian paintings are typically romantic in nature, and feature no religious moods. Peasants were also popular images, reflecting a simple life in harmony with nature, and a struggle to achieve success, which is encouraged by Ásatrú and People's Nationalism. Ethnic Skadians are often depicted as godly figures, highly venerated by the state as protectors of the Ásatrú faith, and by extension, the wider national and cultural Skadian identity.
The North-South divide in Skade refers to the socio-economic and political differences between the industrialized North, and the isolated South. In political terms, the South, and particularly the South-East is largely right to far-right, and supportive of the Skadian Front and the Freedom Party, while the North (particularly the towns and cities) are generally more supportive of the more liberal/reformist Citizens' Movement and the Green Party. The North (especially the area around Amundsen) tends to be less opposed to immigration and multiculturalism (51% and 56% respectively), compared to the South (78% and 85% respectively).
In a religious sense, the North is much more secular-minded, with the majority (53%) stating they do not attend Asatru services or participate in Blót and sumbel events, compared to only 16% who would say the same in Southern Skade. The Odinist movement, an ideology that stresses the need to return to the traditions and values of the Old Skadians, originated in Skuurup, and is adhered by around 70% of southerners.