Manean Car Ban
Effects of the Ban
Upon independence, the use of private land transport of any kind – powered by any means besides that of a human or animal – was explicitly forbidden by the Manean Constitution. This extends to automobiles, trains, tractors, trucks, cranes, electricity powered vehicles, etc. If, however, the vehicle is not private (i.e. it is owned by the government), then it is not forbidden.
The result is a reliance on other modes of transportation such as boats – both traditional and otherwise – and an extensive public transport system consisting of many trains and even a few busses. It is considered a felony to own any of the aforementioned banned vehicles, and failure to comply with the regulations may result in heavy fines and/or time in prison.
It should be noted that there are exceptions to these rules as exemplified by the co-owned farm equipment program. In this program, any farmer wishing to make use of any banned vehicle may apply for an allowance. This allowance enables the farmer to purchase the vehicle in question and have it for private use. However, this vehicle is legally property of the government, and they reserve the right to take it from the farmer at any time – though this rarely occurs. Additionally, the farmer is required to give a certain percentage of their yield to the government.
Causes of the Ban
This law was one of many points argued strongly for by the Contemporary Conceptionists for the constitution of their new nation. As they had the majority of supporters, they were able to create a one-party state with many of these points, including the car ban, in their constitution which has lasted up until this day. As to why the ban was strongly advocated for, one must look no further than the attitudes of the Contemporary Conceptionists at the time. Of course, a car ban did seem to go hand in hand with the platform of their party. That is to say, Contemporary Conception – like its roots in Modern Thought – pays close attention to environmental and land use concerns. Therefore, the ban on cars addressed in part both of these concerns by reducing emissions, cutting down on land used for roads, etc.
However, the causes went much deeper than this. Such a radical law requires radical minds to instate. These were the minds of the Maneans after having gained sovereignty. They wanted to show the world that they too were a powerful, civilized, progressive nation. Though naturally many nations rebuke the ban, it still has on these nations the intended effect. Additionally, when under the rule of other nations, many of the poor farmers of Manea could not afford a motor vehicle, and they were seen as a symbol of status. Many of their oppressors, on the other hand, had motor vehicles, thus it was also seen as a symbol of oppression and naturally was banned. This ties in closely with the Contemporary Conceptionist ideal of traditional ways of life. Cars, to them, were no part of this ideal.
The question, however, still remains as to why this policy was not adopted by neighboring Awating, a nearby nation sharing a very similar history and ideology. When Awating and Manea became sovereign, they did so as two separate nations despite being lumped together as Awatomanea for a decent portion of history. They entered a period in which each nation did not want much to do with the other as they wanted to preserve their unique cultural identities. Contemporary Conceptionists in Awating became more moderate than those of Manea, and so when Manea illegalized motor vehicles, Awating did not follow suit. Perhaps they saw more potential in keeping cars.