Ben Olson

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Ben Olson
Olson at MicroCon 2022
Minority Leader of the National Congress
In office
3 January 2022 – 29 July 2022
Preceded byMay Junkin
Succeeded byNicolas Caiazzo
In office
27 January 2021 – 11 October 2021
Preceded byAzerianus Severanus
Succeeded byMay Junkin
In office
14 November 2020 – 2 December 2020
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byAriel Lederman
President of the Democratic Republic of Benjastan
In office
30 December 2017 – 11 January 2022[a]
Vice PresidentSha'uri Ellis
Preceded byHimself (as King of the DKB)
Succeeded byNone[a]
President of the West River Confederation
In office
17 October 2020 – 21 October 2021
First MinisterLogan Jack
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born1 May 2007 (2007-05-01) (age 16)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
CitizenshipCanada (2007–present)
United Kingdom (2007–present)
Benjastan (2017–2022)[a]
Georgienstine (2020–present)
Bryantia (2020–present)
West River (2020–2021)
Aswington (2020–present)
Bartonia (2021–present)
Excelsior (2021–present)
Kraitia (2022–present)
East Galway (2022 - present) Libertas (2022 - present)
Political partyNew Democratic (Canada)
Popular Unity (Georgienstine)
Other political
Labour (Aswington)
Socialist Party (Bartonia)
People's Social (Bryantia)
Liberty Front (East Galway)
Military service
Allegiance Benjastan
Branch/serviceBenjastanian Army
Years of service2018–2020
Battles/warsFirst Benjastan-Mollyopolis War
Second Benjastan-Mollyopolis War
Shriyak Skirmish

Benjamin Charles Olson is a Canadian micronationalist, politician, activist, and statesman who served as president of Benjastan from 2017 until the country went into a state of dormancy in 2022. He was the only leader of the Picklista National Liberation Front from 2020 to 2021, and was the de-facto leader of its predecessor, the Party for Socialism and Liberty. He also served as president of West River from its establishment in 2020 until its dissolution in 2021.

Outside of Benjastan and West River, Olson has been most active in Georgienstine, where he serves as minority leader of the National Congress and placed second for president in 2020 and 2021. He served as the fifth president of Florania from November to December 2020 after the resignation of Sean Dunkerque and was the first secretary of Bryantia since 2021 to April 2022, when the position of President became head of state and government, replacing the first secretary as head of government.

Macronationally, Olson is a student and political campaign worker. Politically identifying as a pragmatic ecosocialist, he is a youth representative in the Brantford—Brant New Democratic Party EDA. He holds British citizenship due to the fact that his father was born in the United Kingdom and was a citizen at the time of Olson' birth. Olson lives in southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Early life

Olson was born in Ontario to a middle-class Canadian family. He first learned about micronations from the book How To Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt, which he found in his elementary school library. The evening after he read the book, Olson founded the Democratic Kingdom of Benjastan

Micronational career


Olson founded Benjastan on 16 October 2017. Originally a monarchy, Olson was the King of Benjastan until 30 December 2017, when the congress voted, at his request, to become the Democratic Republic of Benjastan.[b][1] He was appointed by a unanimous vote of the Congress of Benjastan as the country's first president.

He was a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberty, which was formerly known as the Workers' Party, from 2018 until 2020, when Benjastan adopted a non-partisan government. Throughout his administration, Benjastan saw rapid growth, especially after the creation of its discord server in January 2020.

2018 - 2019

Olson, who was visiting family in Germany for Christmas when he became president, returned home in early January. Several of Benjastan's extended territories declared independence in the coming months; including Jackaanadia, and Logastan, which were led by former classmates of Olson. He, King Miles of Jackaanadia, and President Logan Jack of Logastan, founded the Union of Unrecognized Sovereign States, an economic and military pact.

Benjastan-Mollyopolis Wars

The first test of this union came in April 2018, when Benjastan was hit by an unprovoked attack from the Queendom of Mollyopolis, which was led by Olson' younger sister, Molly. This led to the First Benjastan-Mollyopolis War, in which the UUSS took the side of Benjastan against the attacking Mollyopolans. UUSS forces pushed back to Mollyopolis, where Queen Molly announced her surrender. The countries signed a peace treaty, which forced Mollyopolis to pay reparations in the form of Benjastanian money and Mollyopolan-made weapons.

Several weeks later, Olson accused Queen Molly of not following the treaty, as Mollyopolis had not provided any of the reparations. In response, the Queen ripped the treaty apart, and said that she would not follow it. This sparked the Second Benjastan-Mollyopolis War. The UUSS was believed to be winning once again, but the war stopped when the parents of the two leaders threatened "sanctions" if they would not stop the war. They obliged, and peace was established without a treaty.

MicroCon 2019

Olson had first expressed interest in attending MicroCon when he learned from a Youtube video that the next one was planned to be in Toronto. In Spring 2019, Olson signed up to attend the convention with his father Ian on behalf of Benjastan. Olson met several fellow micronationalists; including Eric Lis, Kit Kecenr, and most notably, Kevin Baugh. During MicroCon, Olson was interviewed by the Youtube channel Not Exactly Normal for their video about the event.[2] Following his appearance in the video, Benjastan's Youtube channel saw a significant increase in its number of subscribers, and Olson became relatively well-known in the micronational community.

Late 2019 - early 2020

In November 2019, Shriyak Kashyap, a classmate of Olson', declared a coup against the Benjastanian government. In response, Olson declared war against Kashyap and the coup,[3] leading to what is known as the Shriyak Skirmish. The conflict consisted only of a brief altercation, and hostilies ceased only a few days after the declaration of war. The conflict officially ended several weeks later.

In early 2020, large infrastructure renovations began in mainland Benjastan, which consisted at the time of Olson' bedroom. Because he was unable to live in Benjastan during this time, Olson was granted the right to reside in Mollyopolis for the duration of the renovations.

On Earth Day 2020, a summit was held between the leaders of Benjastan and Mollyopolis. During this meeting, Olson proposed that the two countries merge, with Mollyopolis becoming a state in Benjastan, and that they annex the rest of their house as part of the country. Queen Molly agreed, and Benjastan's territory grew exponentially.

On 11 December 2020, he announced his proposal for a new Benjastanian constitution, which would change the government system to a semi-direct democratic socialist republic governed by workers' councils.[4] The new constitution was ratified by a supermajority vote among the people of Benjastan, and an election for the People's National Council was scheduled for January 2021. In January 2021, a referendum passed which returned the country's partyisan system. Following the vote, Olson created the Picklista National Liberation Front.

West River

Olson first discussed the idea of forming a new micronation on 12 September 2020 in a Discord voice call with Logan Jack. Jack, who had recently dissolved his micronation, Logastan, agreed with the idea. They began planning the micronation, and after several weeks, decided on the name "West River Confederation", based on the fact that they lived to the west of the Grand River. Olson and Jack announced their intention to create the new micronation in Benjastan's Discord server on 10 October 2020.

The constitution, which Olson wrote, was ratified unanimously on 12 October 2020. Olson was elected as the country's first president in a landslide in the 17 October presidential election. Olson' first term has focused on establishing West River as a member of the micronational community.


Benjamin Olson became a citizen of Georgienstine on 17 June 2020, after he had become friends with its president, Raphaël Olivier. At the time, Georgienstine was still a monarchy known as Syldavia. Olson joined the Syldavian Workers' United Front, which had been founded the same day by Sean Dunkerque. However, shortly after Olson joined, Syldavia changed its name to Georgienstine and became a democratic republic, leading to the dissolution the country's political parties. Because of this, Olson formed the Workers’ and Farmers’ Party of Georgienstine, an agrarian socialist and populist party, under which Olson was elected the first governor of Augustine.

Logo of Olson' 2020 presidential campaign.

On 2 July 2020, the Workers' and Farmers' Party merged with the Socialist Democratic Party of Georgienstine to form the new Labour Party. The party won two seats in the July 2020 congressional election, coming in second place behind Olivier's Nationalist Party. Olson was elected to the National Senate on the same day, where he became the minority leader.

2020 presidential campaign

Immediately after founding the Labour Party, Benjamin Olson announced that he would run for president of Georgienstine, with Caucasia governor and former SDP leader Gus Rósínśtí as his running mate. To support his campaign, Olson and Benifecent Party leader Logan Blanc formed the Working Families coalition between their two parties.

Olson's campaign focused on his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform. He debated Olivier on 15 July,[5] and was perceived by many to have won the debate, as he has been praised as a talented public speaker. The majority of polling throughout the election campaign showed double-digit leads for Olivier, though one Georgienstine News Corporation poll showed Olson behind by only two points.

Olson was defeated by Raphaël Olivier in the 16 July presidential election. The results were announced by the Georgienstinian News Corporation on 18 July, which showed that Olivier had won 7 votes and 58.3% to Olson' 5 votes and 41.7%. Olson conceded defeat on that day, and pledged to continue working with the Olivier administration.

Post-2020 election

Shortly after the 2020 election, Olson was appointed by President Olivier as Secretary of Agriculture, becoming the first opposition member of the cabinet. He also announced that he was strongly considering another presidential bid in the next election, which at the time was scheduled for 2022.

Olson faced a tough re-election as Governor of Augustine in the August 2020 gubernatorial elections. The Nationalist Party candidate, Isaiah David, was removed by the party after he faced criticism for saying Olson would bring "anarchy" as governor, despite Olson saying "I am not an anarchist" immediately before. After being removed as the Nationalist candidate and replaced by former secretary Andrew Mountain, Burdette continued running for governor as an independent. Olson' other opponent was Humanist Party candidate Addison Dillon, who had run a brief campaign for president in the 2020 election.

Labour-Democratic Party and departure from Georgienstine

The Liberal Party of Georgienstinian was founded as a moderate breakaway faction of the Labour Party on 27 July 2020. It saw a surge in support, with members joining from both the Nationalist and Labour parties. Liberal leader Jimmy Foodle agreed to join the Working Families coalition, which also grew to include the Red Dawn Party and Les Populeux, a briefly existing left-wing populist party led by Sean Dunkerque.

Members of the Working Families coalition, which had achieved its highest number of members in history, voted to form a big-tent left political party known as the "Labour-Democratic Party". The party was officially social democratic, but had many ideological factions, ranging from the centre to the far-left. Olson was elected as the first leader of the largest left-wing party in Georgienstinian history. However, cracks began to form when several centrist members left the party and joined the Nationalists, likely having been promised cabinet positions, most notable of which was the campaign manager for Olson' 2020 presidential campaign, Tom Mark.

The Labour-Democratic Party was crushed in the August 2020 gubernatorial elections, losing all but one of its governorships. Olson lost re-election as governor of Augustine to Andrew Mountain. He left Georgienstine for unrelated reasons on 12 August 2020, citing the effect of "toxicity" and the country's right-wing dominance on his mental health.

Return to Georgienstine and creation of the MFS

Olson rejoined Georgienstine on 26 August 2020 after he was convinced to do so by Raphaël Olivier. He formed a new party with several former Labour members known as the Movement for Socialism. Olson returned to his position as Secretary of Agriculture, and declared his candidacy for president in the next election. Ten days later, he returned to the National Senate after winning a seat in the September 2020 senatorial election.

MFS was the fasted growing party in Georgienstinian history after its founding, growing to be 12 members strong. It formed a libertarian-unity coalition with Ariel Albert Lederman's Libertarian Party, known as the Georgienstinian Democratic Coalition, for the November 2020 elections. The coalition was unsuccesful in its attempt to take the majority in the newly-unicameral congress. Sean Dunkerque, who had negotiated on behalf of the MFS to found the coalition, left Georgienstine in late-November, dealing a heavy blow to the stability of the coalition. On 2 December 2020, the Libertarian Party withdrew from the coalition, with their leader directly naming "Picklist influence on the party" as the reason he withdrew.

Socialist Labour Party

Logo of the Socialist Labour Party.

Shortly after the Libertarian Party withdrew from the GDC, Addison Dillon, who had joined the Movement for Socialism in October, left the party and announced that she and Lederman would form a big-tent party known as the New Democratic Party of Georgienstine. After this happened, Olson contacted fellow representative Gaia Grìbhinneach to discuss the possibility of creating a new far-left party, to which Grìbhinneach agreed. The MFS voted to dissolve that afternoon, immediately after which Olson and Grìbhinneach announced the creation of the Socialist Labour Party.

After this dramatic series of events, Olson proposed a bill in the National Congress of Georgienstine to hold a snap congressional election that weekend, as a third of congress was now occupied by parties that did not exist during the previous election. The bill passed, but was vetoed by President Olivier because it did not allow a long-enough campaign time in accordance with Georgienstine's election rules. Olivier instead called a snap election on 18 December 2020. The SLP tied with the New Democratic Party with three seats in the election, though with a slightly smaller percentage of the popular vote.

2021 presidential campaign

Olson had withdrawn from the presidential campaign on 2 December, prior to that day's later events, saying that he did not have time to run a campaign at the time; but may un-suspend his campaign closer to the election. On December 5, he announced through Georgienstine's People's Voice newspaper that he would be making an unspecified announcement in a press conference the next day. The next morning, Olson held the press conference, announcing that he would re-enter the 2021 presidential campaign, with Gaia Grìbhinneach as his running mate. He released his campaign platform later that day.[6]

Olson defeated Sean Dunkerque in the Socialist Labour Party primary, and will be officially nominated at the party's convention. He has promised to hold a primary for the vice presidential nomination.

Political views

Olson identifies politically as a pragmatic socialist and environmentalist. He is a member of the New Democratic Party, Canada's main social democratic labour party, and canvassed for the federal and provincial NDP in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Olson became heavily involved in local municipal politics in late 2022, serving as chief strategist for a succesful council campaign. Municipally, Olson advocates for investment in public transit, loosening of zoning policies, and a YIMBY approach to housing.

On domestic policy, Olson generally aligns with the socialist caucus of the NDP. He supports the nationalization of public utilities, expansion of Canada's universal healthcare to cover prescription drugs and dental care, tuition-free postsecondary education, electoral reform, significantly higher taxation of wealthy individuals and corportations, and a Green New Deal. On foreign policy, however, Olson differs from the socialist caucus significantly, supporting a pro-NATO foreign policy as "the lesser evil" and Canadian sanctions on China and Russia for their aggression towards Ukraine and Taiwan respectively. He has jokingly referred to this position as "socialism with neocon characteristics". Olson has also called the state of Canada's railway system "criminal" and advocates for the nationalization of Canada's privately owned railways and significant federal investment in expanding inter-city transit.

Personal life

Olson suffers from autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, and ADHD. He is close friends with Nicolas Caiazzo, whom he met in person twice in 2022. Olson's family is of English, Scottish, and Swedish descent. Olson had spinal fusion surgery in early 2022 to correct idiopathic scoliosis.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Benjastan went into a state of dormancy (known as "nationsleep") on 11 January 2022 after a long period of inactivity.
  2. During its time as a republic, Benjastan has been known by various long-form names, including the "Republic of Benjastan" and the "Democratic Republic of the United Benjastanian States", due to poor record keeping. Its official name is the "Democratic Republic of Benjastan".