1690 Shimmerspring and So-Sara status plebiscite
The Shimmerspring and So-Sara status plebiscite was a referendum held in Drak-Modan in 1690. Residents of the Drak-Modani portion of Shimmerspring (incorporated into Sehmlshire) and the western islands of So-Sara were asked about the future political status of those regions. The referendum was conducted under controversial circumstances. The king of Drak-Modan, John Hilding Waffel-Paine incited much of the population to violence and encouraged minority groups to move to these areas and vote themselves out of Drak-Modan. Concurrent to the referendum was the build up to Sanaman intervention in Drak-Modan, which necessitated foreign intervention in these regions due to the withdrawal of the Drak-Modani Defense Force, allowing a resurgence of guerilla warfare in Shimmerspring and uncontrolled piracy in So-Sara.
The Fury of Drak-Modan authorized the plebiscite for residents of eastern Shimmerspring and wester So-Sara only. The result would be binding and supported by the Drak-Modani government. The question was a Yes/No question that read as: Should the Sanaman military be permitted to enter eastern Shimmerspring and western So-Saran territories for the purpose of controlling insurgency and piracy?
Although not explicitly suggesting a transfer of sovereignty, the Drak-Modani government recognized that once the Sanaman military was in those areas--after the evacuation of the Drak-Modani military--they would be effectively be Sanaman territories.
Both eastern Shimmerspring and western So-Sara were declared Straight Protection Zones by a royal decree issued by the king. This effectively concentrated Drak-Modani's heterosexual population in those regions after the Loki's Inn Massacre resulted in the murders of 30 straight people in Dracoheim and caused violent Draconian uprisings throughout Drak-Modan. Although the king never outright denounced the massacre, he did pledge that all straight Drak-Modani residents would be protected en route to the protection zones. Although not explicitly a forced removal order, many international observers have denounced the decree as "knocking on the backdoor of genocide" and that Drak-Modan is at a tipping point of falling into rogue state category for its actions against citizens of a sexual minority.
The government actively encouraged all of its citizens to embrace the Draconian agenda and conform their sexual preferences to the now-prevailing social norm. The once-nomadic Draconians, now the largest growing ethnicity in the country, only had about 10% of its population report as being as "strict heterosexual" and of those few heterosexual Draconians, most of them left their families to move to more tolerant environments. The Draconian identity was fluid and self-defined so any Drak-Modani resident could claim to be Draconian and their lives would be unchanged under the new Draconian supremacist policies.
Because the Draconian identity was self-defined, it quickly became apparent that some Drak-Modani citizens were merely pretending to be Draconian in public, and remained heterosexual in their private lives. As long as the closeted heterosexual publicly supported the Draconian agenda, the government tolerated the presence of these few straight citizens if they remained closeted. The government of Drak-Modan also began requiring witnesses to verify a citizen's sexuality. If a claimant could not produce two witnesses of Draconian behavior or liasons, then the claimant was sent to a Kinsey testing facility. The first such facility was set up in Jugensk, with the intention that the city itself may not be under Drak-Modani jurisdiction soon.
The testing facility held hundreds, sometimes thousands of claimants for days and weeks at a time before either releasing them or holding them for further testing. International observers suggested the presence of these detention centers verged on concentration camps, something that the Drak-Modani government denies.
Campaign in Shimmerspring
Hearing of the situation in Drak-Modan, the Natopian Breeders' League sent advocacy teams to Shimmerspring to establish the Shimmerspring Breeders' League. The SBL became the de facto organization of the thousands of straight refugees streaming into Jugensk from across the country. The national government had effectively abandoned the area and the city's infrastructure and finances were stretched to the breaking point. Between the withdrawal of the DMDF and scheduled plebiscite there was about a month of lawless anarchy where eastern Shimmerspring was a temporary micra nullius declaimed by Drak-Modan and unable to be contained by Sanama yet.
As more straight Drak-Modani's entered the region, an even larger exodus of Draconians left. They did not want to live in an area reserved for the protection of straights. Many Draconians pitied and feared heterosexuals as sinful, distrustful, unnatural, and a burden on society. A very informal poll conducted by the Breeders' League on a small sample population estimated that 67% of the population of Jugensk would vote Yes on allowing Sanaman intervention. The number was expected to rise by the time of the vote as more Draconians fled and more straight refugees arrived and humanitarian crises multiplied in the overwhelmed city.
To compound the refugee crisis, reports were coming in from the country side that Shimmerspring republicans and Real Istvanistani insurgents were mobilizing again, further solidifying the increasing need for Sanaman intervention after DMDF withdrawal. Those insurgents began guerilla attacks against all Drak-Modani in the area in the hope that they would reestablish an independent Shimmersping.
Campaign in So-Sara
The demographics of So-Sara had been shifting towards a Draconian-straight disparity since the Drak-Modan became independent and the Draconian diaspora began returning to Dracoheim, their ancestral homeland. The island of Draconia attracted thousands of migrants a year from the Draconian diaspora and caused many So-Sarans to move over to to the larger island. In normal circumstances, the Draconians consider high birth-rates to be a burden on their nomadic life, but once they settled in their homeland they began to reproduce at a high rate. After the introduction of Bovic plural marriages, the birth-rate for Draconians on Draconia skyrocketed again. By 1690, a generation after Drak-Modani independence, the population of the island of Draconia was 51.5% Draconian, with every model projecting that to increase to 55% in 1700, and 60% in 1710. This alarmed So-Sarans and caused, what the Draconians call The Fruit Flight, as the wealthiest So-Saran fruit plantation owners left, and promised that laborers that relocated to the main island would retain their jobs.
The turmoil in So-Sara, mass-migration, and violent anti-straight uprisings in Dracoheim presented an opportunity for piracy to take a hold in the archipelago. Again, like in eastern Shimmerspring, the Drak-Modani navy was not ordered to mobilize, and many migrants fleeing Draconia were taken hostage, international shipments passing through to Sanama were boarded and stolen, and western So-Sara was left to twist in the wind. Although the situation was not as dire as in Shimmerspring, the more-established and prosperous cities of So-Sara were able to handle the influx of refugees and there were no insurgents (only pirates) so day-to-day life of many So-Sarans was not affected. After the plebiscites were announced, initial polling suggested only 45% of So-Sarans wanted Sanaman intervention.
Frustrated with lack of support from Drakorda, the So-Saran cities of Arg-e Noor, Sara-Nyl, Arg-e Miranda, Thanidor, and Bandar-e Kalirion formed the Municipal League of So-Sara. Millions of dollars, mostly from unknown foreign sources (perhaps Sanama, UGB, and the Natopian Breeders' League, and other worried Raspur Pact nations and organizations) poured into the league's treasury to convince the people of So-Sara to vote yes on the plebiscite.
On 6.II.1690 the people of Drak-Modan living in these zones went to the polls. Although the text of the question was limited to military intervention, statements by the king, political ads by the Shimmerspring Breeders' League and the Municipal League of So-Sara had made it clear that this was a referendum on the political status of these regions. The government of Drak-Modan had spent the time up to the election making life as difficult as possible for residents of these areas in the hope that they would freely vote themselves out of the new Draconian supremacist society they were creating.
The rural region of eastern Shimmerspring had been devastated refugees and insurgents and lack of national support. It recorded an 86.1% turnout and, as expected 69.4% of voters approved Sanaman military intervention and assumed it meant eventual annexation into that country.
Western So-Sara, where life had not been made as difficult, the prosperous cities provided an economic buffer, and there was an unfounded prevailing notion that "of course the navy will stop the piracy eventually", did not see as high a turnout, but nevertheless recorded 57.9% of eligible voters casting their ballot. Of those cast ballots, 52.6% voted Yes to invite Sanaman intervention.
After the results were announced, it was expected that last-minute holdouts would migrate, resulting in an even higher percentage of residents in these areas welcoming Sanaman intervention. The Drak-Modani government certified the results on 8.II.1690 and sent a communique to the government of Sanama informing them that they may enter the designated areas of piracy and insurgency and that the formal status of these areas would be finalized by treaty at a time of Sanama's choosing.