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News: Let this region resound with the song of the Kitten Paw Happy-time, and be permeated with the smell of catnip and pine!

Author Topic: The Northern Lights, Issue IX  (Read 580 times)

Offline Ash

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The Northern Lights, Issue IX
« on: October 04, 2016, 06:59:46 PM »

Plembobria forms dynamic cabinet of fresh faces and seasoned officials
by Praetor

With Plembobria's election to the position of delegate for the remainder of 2016, he summarily set about appointing ministers.

Initial appointments returned Gladio to the position of defense minister and Praetor as the minister of foreign affairs. Syrixia was appointed minister of cultural affairs. Kasch retained his post as minister of gameside affairs. Applications for the remaining ministries – communications, home affairs and World Assembly affairs – were opened and filled quickly. Bootsie, Tomb and Pallaith were appointed respectively to their positions. When asked what expectations he had for the upcoming term, the delegate replied, "Ministers will get stuff done or be flagellated!" The ministers have a wide variety of experience between them which will serve the delegate well in the upcoming term.

Gladio has been the minister of defense for the last term and is a general in the North Pacific Army. He is one of the most highly regarded individuals in the north, and his commitment to the NPA is unparalleled. He initially joined The North Pacific in 2012 and has been a member of the North Pacific Army since then. During the spring in 2014 he was made the deputy minister.

r3naissanc3r promoted him to defense minister in May 2014 and he remained as such until January 2015. He lead an impressive renewal of the department, and within two terms managed to elevate the NPA from a rarely seen force to being able to field 20 endorsements in a single update. Gladio is highly decorated with 44 ribbons and over 100 operations – the most in TNP. For this term, his "ultimate goal is to break the record deployment number" of 25.

Praetor first joined TNP in February 2016 and was appointed minister of foreign affairs by Lord Ravenclaw after his unsuccessful run for the delegacy. He led an effort to replace inactive ambassadors and recruit more department staff. More than 30 individuals joined the ministry during his term. After another unsuccessful run for elected office, this time for vice delegate, Plembobria reappointed him to the cabinet.

Syrixia is a longtime member of the community, joining in October 2014. Highly active in the roleplaying community and a long time member of the cultural affairs ministry, this is his first term in the cabinet. He says he wants to “lay the groundwork for my plans for the ministry of cultural affairs” through a program dubbed A.S.S. – “Activity, Simplicity, Spirit.”

Kasch is another new member of TNP, joining in April of this year. He applied and was accepted to the position of the minister of gameside affairs for the previous term. The ministry of gameside affairs has a large role in getting new nations onto the forum. Kasch's focus was on the creation of a brand new ministry, including the appointments of regional mentors, recruitment officers and RMB moderators.

This term, he is "going to encourage a more active presence on the RMB” and “make sure that every single one of our staff members knows what they need to do to get our new players from the game and onto the forums.” He says these duties include “releasing helpful dispatches and threads, showing people the ropes of recruitment and welcoming new members."

Bootsie was impartially appointed to head the communications ministry after running for the delegacy against Plembobria. His prior two terms as vice delegate had him heavily involved in the government, with last term's appointment to chief of staff. He has also previously served as the minister of communications, as well as the deputy minister of home affairs. He has been a deputy speaker and the elected speaker of the Regional Assembly.

With the last issue of The Northern Lights being published in late April, there is a lot of pressure on him to ensure one is published. A challenge he will have to face in addressing this is "a lack of dedicated members that want to write 400 word essays. People love to contribute all day to recruiting or coming up with ideas for a festival, but there aren't many who'll sit down and write a column for a newspaper." The Northern Lights is one of the major policy tools of the communications ministry. The lack of a publication has harmed TNP's foreign affairs, so the new edition is much anticipated.

Tomb has an extensive history in The North Pacific, previously serving as minister of home affairs, foreign affairs and communications, as well a deputy minster of several departments. He most notably served as delegate from February to May 2015. Tomb is quickly seeking greater involvement in the off-site community. His team sent almost 4000 telegrams manually in the span of a few days.

Tomb claims home affairs is a vital department because "the minute that the H.A. Ministry goes inactive, the bloodline of new members into the region is directly affected. And so it is important and necessary to keep the executive staff active and interested. In the past, we've offered no incentives. This time, I plan to put in place a rewards system to serve as an incentive for people to join the H.A. executive staff, as well as a way of rewarding existing members."

With Tomb's credentials it is quite likely that he will be able to create a system to improve recruitment and retention of citizens.

Pallaith is the newest cabinet member, with no prior ministerial experience. He joined in September, just prior to the election. He applied for the position and was accepted by Plembobria. He rolled into a job with only a few hours until the contentious resolution "Commend Benevolent Thomas" went to vote and performed admirably in handling this challenge. He aims "to make TNP a haven for resolution authors and bring W.A.L.L. back to forefront, so that the ministry of WA affairs can do its part to enhance diplomacy with our neighbors and put our region's immense influence to even greater use and effect." The World Assembly Legislative League, or W.A.L.L., is an under-utilized treaty designed to enhance the signatories' power in the World Assembly. The North Pacific has the largest voting bloc in the world by a wide margin. Hopefully, Pallaith can further bolster TNP's influence.

The ministers of The North Pacific have a considerable amount of power, with that power comes a lot of responsibility. Ministers are responsible in ensuring the government runs smoothly, to advise the delegate, and most importantly, to improve the community. Each ministry is unique and should one not accomplish its tasks, it has a significant impact on the region.

The ministers are not alone in this, however. Each department has a dedicated staff usually featuring between 20 to 40 members to assist them in their role. With such a large staff, communication occurs on the forums, as well as the Discord servers for executive staff and the NPA.

The community of The North Pacific looks forward to seeing what its new cabinet can accomplish in the closing months of 2016.

The second edition of the Northern Cup swings into action
by Kasch

What started out as an idea, floating around quietly on one of our Discord channels, has slowly and steadily grown over the past few months. The Northern Cup has expanded into a tournament with 32 teams and its own qualification process.

Almost nothing like this had ever been managed before the very first edition of what I called the Northern Cup. It was a big surprise to see how quickly we acted upon what started as a simple conversation in Discord. I already knew that quite a lot of people would be interested, and so I decided to go ahead with it and get it up and running.

I have learned from this experience that doing something while you have the time is better than finding a reason not to do it. I am hoping to introduce a whole new team of people into the management of the The Northern Cup, from Adjudicators to Reporters, as there will always be people who want to help.

All of the time taken to care for each little detail and to ensure that people are seeing my best work, all of that has paid off and I can proudly say that I am looking forward to running this cup every year or so from now on. I guess you could say that it was the people around me that gave me the motivation and the inspiration to begin the tournament.

When sports role play is introduced to a forum, there are always people who do not like sports, people who love sports, and everyone in between. But no matter who they are, there should always be opportunities for them to take part in events and tournaments.

One of the aspects I have enjoyed greatly whilst running this tournament is the opportunity to design the tournament's graphics. It has been a real eye opener to see how much of a difference a graphical effort can make. Although it is not necessary, it has certainly brought life to the skeletons of text.

All role playing regions should have the same goal: if there is an idea, put it into action. If somebody suggests something, take the time to listen and understand. Without the encouragement of many people on NS, the forums and Discord, I doubt I would have even continued with TNC.

I don't know how tournaments in the future will turn out or what features may be added, but I do know one thing: starting TNC and working to build it all up has really given me a reason to keep role playing sports and to keep regularly setting up events. I hope to expand on it even more in the future, but nobody can be sure of what may truly become of the Northern Cup.

Let's just hope things get even more interesting than they already are now.

A race to remember: Region's finest on display in September elections
by Tomb

Every January, May, and September, The North Pacific holds its general elections, in which it elects the delegate, vice delegate, and speaker of the Regional Assembly. Needless to say, general elections are a time of high buzz and activity in TNP. With experienced citizens, rising stars, and new members all competing for the three highest seats of government, TNPers are often faced with hard decisions at the polls. However, no recent election has matched that of the September 2016 race in terms of the quality of the candidates, level of competition, and the overall amount of campaigning.

The race started out with outgoing Vice Delegate Bootsie and then Minister of Home Affairs Plembobria declaring their candidacies for delegate. Both candidates ran on a joint ticket system with Bootsie choosing Praetor, the minister of foreign affairs as his running mate, and Plembobria choosing former Deputy Attorney General Yeraennus. Both candidates for delegate ran on platforms promising to continue the progress made in the past eight months under outgoing Delegate Lord Ravenclaw while also incorporating their own ideas for the region for the next four months. As far as credentials go, Plembobria emphasized his strong record as a former chief justice and his executive branch experience as the minister of home affairs. Bootsie highlighted his consistency as the region’s vice delegate for the past eight months and his familiarity with the executive branch through his role as chief of staff. As no further nominees would accept a nomination for the delegacy, the race for delegate looked to be an extremely close match between Plembobria and Bootsie.

In the race for vice delegate, Praetor and Yeraennus started out as the major candidates; however, the state of the race would dramatically alter after Lord Ravenclaw, the outgoing delegate, decided to join the race. Raven’s candidacy came as a surprise to those who expected him to take a break after his eight month tenure as delegate of the region. Raven explained that his candidacy for vice delegate allowed TNPers to have another option for the position, since many voters were wary of the ticket system that was adopted and implemented by both of the candidates for delegate. Raven also expressed his desire to continue serving TNP in an official capacity. He went on to cite his experience as a veteran of the region’s executive branch, which could be put to use in either a Bootsie or Plembobria administration. Also joining the race for vice delegate were current security councilor and long time TNP citizen, Romanoffia, and former Minister of Culture Lord Lore. This put the number of candidates for vice delegate at five, with each one of them having the necessary skills and experience to fulfill the job.

The race for the speakership of the Regional Assembly was dominated by Zyvetskistaahn (Zyvet), the incumbent speaker and sole candidate for the office. Zyvet emphasized the fact that he was the region’s longest serving speaker and promised to continue performing at the same level of excellence that he had shown TNPers in his previous terms.

The elections were highly contested, and for many voters it was a really hard decision. As a result, a debate was conducted for both the delegate and vice delegate races. The debates were moderated by former delegate and long time TNP citizen, Eluvatar, and they really helped showcase the candidates’ knowledge on issues as well as clarify many of their positions and policies. Lord Lore and Romanoffia were unavailable for the vice delegate debate, and so it was to be held between Praetor, Yeranennus, and Lord Ravenclaw. It was agreed that Lord Ravenclaw won the Vice Delegate debate; however, both of the other candidates performed well and were knowledgeable on almost every topic asked. The results for the delegate debates, which were attended by both candidates, were inconclusive as both of them put forth a strong performance. And so all candidates continued to campaign until the last day of voting. The results were announced on Sept. 13 with Plembobria winning the race for delegate with 43 votes compared to Bootsie’s 34 votes. Lord Ravenclaw won the vice delegate race with 44 votes. Praetor came in second place with 18 votes, and Romanoffia, Lord Lore, and Yeraennus finished up in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively. Last but certainly not least, Zyvet handily won the election for speaker, mustering 66 votes. The votes were all certified and the voter turnout was placed at 83 votes, an extremely high number even for a GCR.

It is elections like these that really help showcase how strong democracy is in TNP. Not only was the voter turn out high, but the citizens themselves had many viable, experienced candidates for each seat. And so it is this active electorate coupled with a dedicated list of candidates and crazy competition that make TNP the best region in all of NationStates.

The region you choose matters: First impressions from a new arrival
by Pallaith

Every single player in NationStates begins their journey in the most populous and influential regions in existence. When we arrive we are new, wide-eyed and awestruck by their size and the number of players interacting. The regional officers look imposing with all their endorsements, the RMB is bustling and we probably don’t know any other people there, and to top it all off, within minutes the recruitment telegrams have stuffed our inboxes. It can be very intimidating. While a lot of nations decide to stay in the region, most take a good look at those telegrams and make the first important choice in this game.

My first nation in this game was Ghostopolis, and I spawned in The North Pacific. A few friends in another online group got into NationStates and showed me the site. I had no clue how any of it worked, outside of a few tips those friends gave me. One of the things they mentioned was that all players start out in a GCR, and to hear them tell it, if I decided to stay put I would be swimming in an ocean where I would be one of many schools of fish, destined to be eaten or outswam by the sharks and whales that resided there. I came to believe that if I wanted to take the game to a level higher than answering issues and voting in the WA, I would have to aim for a small pond or a large lake where I could swim freely and be counted as a valued part of the region. So I left, choosing one of the regions who reached out to me.

These regions make a lot of promises: activities, a shot at political success, a friendly and welcoming community. I figured the odds of that would be better in one of the other regions, but I figured wrong. My first region was small but was an elite club of people who knew each other longer than they knew me and didn’t seem much interested in letting in anyone new unless they were carbon copies of the people in charge. We had RP but alternative viewpoints were not welcome. We had elections but the outcomes were predetermined. Following their rigid ways and playing along with all their ideas meant that innovation could not take root, and there was very little reason for anyone to do much. I left for another region within the year, completely burned out from the experience. I answered issues and voted in the WA, but that was it. My second region was a good one, and I could have had a lot of fun there, but I was so disappointed by the experience and still intimidated by the idea of incorporating myself into another group of strangers who were all friends that it took me almost two years to get invested in the game again.

The region you choose matters. You can travel around looking for a better fit, but even if you find it, you may not be ready or able to appreciate it. The people who enjoy this game the most are the people who make an effort and get involved. There can be a lot of trial and error in NationStates, and that word trial is important. You have to try, but so does the region. The North Pacific put all the tools at my feet, and I just had to decide to pick them up. I have been a citizen of TNP for less than a month and I am blown away by the experience. I have found here what I thought I could not when I was a newcomer. Where else could a new arrival have a platform like The Northern Lights, let alone be appointed a minister so quickly? Everyone I met has welcomed me with open arms, they put up with my dumb jokes and my endless questions. All I had to do on that first day was stop by the forum and start posting. I could have enjoyed this game so much more from the start.

I absolutely vouch for TNP and admit that my friends led me astray, and all my worst assumptions about them when I joined were wrong. TNP is not just another GCR, it is a fantastic, open, encouraging region. I could write another paragraph of positive words, but that isn’t enough. You have to experience it for yourself. Sign up, take a look around, visit Discord. There are no limits to what you can do or what this region can do if we all take a leap of faith together. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to do here, and I definitely don’t have any incentive to stop. I’m not presumptuous enough to claim to speak for all new nations in the region, but I wanted citizens old and new to hear from one of the new guys for a change. I for one appreciate the work the veterans and architects put into the region as it exists today. I appreciate the outreach, your friendliness, your helpfulness, your patience. It goes somewhere; it makes a difference. If you’re new like me, take advantage of your new region’s effort, and give back to them. This will make everyone’s game so much better, and you’re here to play, aren’t you? So let’s play some NS.

The Northern Lights: Beauty in Truth
Publisher: plembobria :: Executive Editor: Bootsie :: Managing Editor: Kondratev :: Graphic Artists: SillyString & Imki

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 04:57:53 AM by Ash »