2015 Shopper Statehood Referendum
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New Delphis' flag as a Shopper territory.
|Date||1 Oct, 2015|
The Frosian Islands' flag as a Shopper territory.
|Date||1 Oct, 2015|
The 2015 Shopper Statehood Referendum was a set of referenda set up in two of Shops Island's largest territories, New Delphis and the Frosian Islands on October 1st, 2015. The vote inquired on whether these territories should become states of Shops Island. Voters in both territories voted by a large margin for statehood.
Both New Delphis and the Frosian Islands were annexed as territories by Shops Island in 2013. Both of these locations had become extremely important to Shops' status as a nation; New Delphis was an economic hub with great manufacturing capabilities and a high population to support industry. It was also strategically important, being on the Antarctic mainland and beside the USA and Polaris, two of Shops Island's biggest trading partners. New Delphis also gave Shops Island a military foothold on the Antarctic mainland, and so the Shoppers wanted to secure this position.
Likewise, the Frosian Islands were extremely important strategically, given that they were located in the bottleneck between the USA and UnitedTerra. As a state, the Frosian Islands could be better connected to the Shopper mainland and therefore better protected from outside threats. The Frosian Islands were also ripe for industrial expansion, given so much empty room and a population that would benefit from more jobs.
- See main article: New Delphis
Over the past few years, the Shopper government had heavily invested in New Delphis and ruthlessly Shopper-ised it. Shopper nationalism was planted and nurtured throughout the territory. President Lavender spent lots of time in New Delphis, trying to promote Shops Island's way of life and culture. New Delphis was brought closer politically and culturally to its master through the Frosian War, where the territory became a fierce battleground between the Allies and the Puffalian Axis. Throughout the Puffalian occupation of New Delphis, many partisans chose to identify themselves as Shoppers instead of as Delphians. Shops' investments in rebuilding New Delphis was very popular among the locals, but many still felt isolated from Shopper politics despite the territory's size and economic prowess. As early as June 2015, Delphian representatives in the Common Legislature started pressing for New Delphis to become a state. This movement quickly gained momentum and campaigns for or against statehood were launched across New Delphis. With the Frosian Islands' announcement of intent to also become a state, Lavender declared that a referendum would be hosted in both territories on October 1st, 2015.
- See main article: Frosian Islands
The Frosian Islands, throughout their time as a territory, had become Shops Island's most important trade hub, being located in the bottleneck between the USA and UnitedTerra. With this, it also became an important military and economic center, with many Shopper military bases and the Trans-Antarctic Pipeline passing through. In 2014, the Frosian Islands became a key battleground in the aptly-named Frosian War, where there was much guerrilla fighting and harsh reprisals from Puffalian authorities. After the war, Shops Island invested millions of WB$ into rebuilding the fragile Frosian infrastructure, and making it better than before. As the Frosian Islands started to get more and more central to Shops Island's empire in 2014 and 2015, the residents thought that they deserved more representation in the Common Legislature and a tighter bond with the Shopper mainland. Following the example of New Delphis, the Frosian Islands officially petitioned for statehood in September of 2015.
Results and Reactions
- Margate - President Frederick Mueller congratulated the governors of Frosian Island and New Delphis for their ascension to statehood.
- United Provinces - President Simon McClark strongly condemned the two becoming a state of Shops, and he believes it is an excuse for Shops to expand its "empire". McClark also slammed Mueller for congratulating the two in becoming a state of Shops. Mueller countered back by saying that the referendum doesn't "expand Shops' empire" in any way (since they already are Shopper soil) but provide benefits to the two territories.