How does the Cascadia Society Function?
Cascadia, Canada, and the United States trace their cultural identities back for centuries, and since the secession various cultural groups have disputed the legitimacy of the new national boundaries. Accordingly, old feuds grounded in demographics still persist to this day, and recent deployments have witnessed humanitarian relief organizations attempting to referee disputes between colliding cultures, religions, and extended family clans. A similar challenge could easily present itself in any future deployment to Cascadia, where both militant sectarian and ethnic groups whose national identities remain in perpetual conflict. All concerned have a poor track record in the realm of peaceful coexistence and mutual toleration.
The vast majority of Cascadia’s citizens are Atheist or Secular Humanists, a fact that historically has placed them at odds with the country’s sizeable Christian minority that often depends on the neighboring United States to champion its religious freedoms. The United States has always demonstrated a willingness to accommodate this need, and the result has often involved friction in areas that contain a mix of citizens that identify with two inherently different world views and preferences. Some Cascadians of United States heritage would prefer life as United States citizens, even as their fellow countrymen are prepared to accept nothing less than unqualified support of Cascadian cultural hegemony and national sovereignty. The majority see the relative infancy of their constitution as a position of strength; fiercely nationalistic, Cascadians widely observe Constitution Day throughout the country with the exception of those in the more easterly provinces, which lean toward their perceived United States heritage.
Cascadia’s citizens have suffered considerably from the combined effects of the global economic downturn and the mutual trade embargo that fuels ill feeling between Cascadia and the United States. A persistent, high jobless rate has caused more than 200,000 people to cross international boundaries in search of better employment opportunities, in effect the largest displacement in the Pacific Northwest since the first decade of the twentieth century. Within this transient population, 95% formerly resided in regions west of the Cascade Range, predominantly from the major population centers of Portland and Seattle.
The work-related diaspora makes it almost impossible to tabulate accurate census data. Many Cascadians have sought refuge in what they consider their United States "Motherland,” while others have chosen to look for work throughout Central and Eastern Cascadia. Those remaining behind must contend with radical swings in inflation rates and the necessity of accepting menial employment in fields for which they are often vastly overqualified.
None of these impediments to an acceptable quality of life is a reflection of Cascadia’s literacy rate, which consistently remains above 99% for both males and females. Government officials and an array of public and private relief agencies make the country’s educational system a source of intense national pride that reinforces its century-old tradition of independence and sovereignty. Widespread educational institutions are the norm, from daycare and kindergarten through university and conservatory levels.