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News: Citoyen priority warning: Not reporting counter-revolutionary activities is conspiracy to commit counter-revolution under the Anticivil Activities Act. Penalties go up to and include permanent Ecclesiastical explusion.

Author Topic: Foreign Update #11  (Read 15024 times)

Offline Rogamark

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Foreign Update #11
« on: April 10, 2015, 04:40:08 AM »

Spiritus Foreign Update: Gleam Street Edition

Hello, friends of Spiritus! Now this is the first update in our attempt to put one out every two months. We've been busy with general elections so let me first introduce the first government of Spiritus under Roganimis. As an homage to Sir Terry (as conceived by Vice President Legonimis), our new theme is Discworld:

The Government of Spiritus

The City of Ankh-Morpork (Executive Branch)

The Patrician (President): Rogamark
The Librarian (Vice President): Legonimis

The Crackpot Dreamer of the Alchemists' Guild (Culture): Wuufu
The Second Crackpot Dreamer (Deputy Minister) of the Alchemists' Guild: Feirmont

The Constable of the City Watch (Defense): Denth Kasten
The Deputy Constable of the City Watch: Vacant

The Master of the Assassin's Guild (Foreign Affairs and Information): Rogamark
The Deputy Master of the Assassin's Guild: Guy

The Postal Inspector of the Post Office (Integration): Vacant
The Deputy Postal Inspector of the Post Office: Vacant

The Albatross of the Bird Garden (World Assembly Affairs/Delegacy): The Salaxalans
The Other Albatross of the Bird Garden: Shimoda

Secretary of the Clockmakers' Guild (Ministry Without Portfolio): Tim

Guildmaster of Merchants and Traders (Regional Security Advisor): Lord Ravenclaw

Unseen University (Regional Assembly)

Archchancellor (Speaker): Cam
Wizzard (Representative): Legonimis
Wizzard: Salaxalans
Wizard: Jonielle
Wizard: Red Dusk

The Astronomers of Krull (Supreme Court)

Arch-Astronomer (Chief Justice): Guy
Astrozoologist (Associate Justice): Sovreignry
Chelonaut (Associate Justice): Wuufu

Regional Assembly Update

The Regional Assembly intensely discussing the finer points of a controversial draft

For the second term in a row, the Regional Assembly saw two resignations, requiring special elections to fill the empty seats. In reaction, legislation was passed to reduce the nomination and voting periods for special elections; also, several proposals were discussed to prevent resignees from bouncing right back into public office. These highly controversial proposals didn't find a sufficient majority and did not result in legislation. Following a court ruling regarding the SDF's reporting requirements, the Constitution was amended to ease the burden on the military while still allowing the general public oversight regarding SDF activities.

The most noteworthy product of the prior RA session was the ratification of the treaty between Spiritus and The South Pacific (known as the Lampshade Accords), the first treaty ever to be passed by the RA. There was an attempt to overturn a presidential citizenship decision (the RA reserves the power to intervene if they feel the President’s decision neglects to protect regional interests and security); however, the RA refused to make citizenship decisions a matter of popularity and ultimately denied the motion. Representative Cormac initiated the first Executive Accountability Act hearing, in which Minister of Defense Dawsinian was questioned by the RA regarding suspicions of unsanctioned military activity. Despite earlier concerns, the hearing was conducted in a cooperative and constructive atmosphere and went well; the activities in question turned out to be independent actions of a single SDF soldier and the issue was quickly resolved.

The recent general elections brought moderate but notable change to the RA. Representatives Red Dusk and Legonimis were reelected, as well as Representative Jonielle (who had won her seat in the latest special election).They are joined by former President Salaxalans and highly-experienced-but-new-to-Spiritan-politics Cam. The latter was then elected as Speaker of the Assembly after former Speaker Legonimis declined to run for a second time.

General Election and Executive Government Update

The newly elected President trying to reach a Minister who doesn't answer his phone

The recent general election also resulted in changes in the executive government. Longstanding President Salaxalans and Vice President Guy were unable to stand due to term limits. Minister Rogamark and then-Speaker of the Assembly Legonimis, who had narrowly lost their previous bid for the Presidency by two votes, ran unopposed and, unsurprisingly, won. While there were almost no changes in the Cabinet, Roganimis decided to split the presidential workload, with Vice President Legonimis overseeing the departments of Culture and Immigration and President Rogamark managing the more gameplay-oriented areas like Foreign Affairs and Defense.

To our knowledge, sharing presidential responsibilities like this has never been tried in Spiritus, but we're confident it will not only work, but lead to a more efficient and less bureaucratic government. We are especially grateful that Salaxalans has agreed to stay on as Delegate and WA Minister. The Elemental Republic is also glad to welcome to the cabinet Lord Ravenclaw, well-known throughout NS, in the newly-created position of Regional Security Advisor.

Spiritus and TSP Sign Treaty, Joint Festival to Celebrate

Spiritan lampshades resting after a particular raucous celebratory round

Following an initiative by Salaxalans and Lord Ravenclaw, Spiritus and The South Pacific entered into treaty negotiations in early March. The Lampshade Accords, mainly negotiated by then-FA Ministers Feirmont and Rogamark (with amendments from both region's legislatures) were then unanimously ratified by the RA a few weeks later. The treaty, containing the usual clauses on cultural exchange and mutual defense (and a few not-so-standard clauses on the interregional trade of lampshades and ducks), was then signed by both regions’ Heads of State and FA Ministers during a joint Spiritus-TSP festival.

In celebration of the ratification of the treaty, TSP hosted the House of Lampshades festival (lead by Feirmont and assisted by Wuufu), which many citizens of Spiritus attended. During the festival, games were played and fun was had, notably including a competition for writing conspiracies, a daily caption contest, and a Clue game hosted by Wuufu (unlike a standard round of Clue, it was more about tracking down who killed Lampshade, a dog, by analysing where people were and at what time).

ChurchofSatan (or The Freedom Factory, as he goes by in the Spiritus forums) won the conspiracy competition; Qwert, ProfessorHenn, TAC, Bonaugure and The Solar System Scope each won the daily caption contests. In Clue, the town successfully deduced that Escade was the person who killed the dog, leading to a town victory.

Spiritus and its citizens enjoyed themselves immensely and look forward to many more celebrations of the Spiritus-TSP relationship!

Spies Everywhere, and Trouble in Lazarus

The Regional Security Advisor helping a spy to find the way to the border

Earlier this month, Spiritus was troubled by a minor espionage incident. New citizen and SDF soldier Emma, who was allowed into both the region and the military despite presenting a doubtful story in the course of her citizenship application, turned out to be a spy from Ainur. After confessing, Emma resigned her citizenship and was immediately declared persona non grata by then-President Salaxalans. Since the Elemental Republic of Spiritus cares little for friends who traipse through our apiary (or don’t mind their own beeswax, as a normal person might say), we have since ended diplomatic relations with Ainur. Diplomatic relations require a certain level of mutual trust, a trust which Ainur damaged beyond repair.

This incident revealed a major oversight during the overhaul of our criminal laws last term: failure to include espionage as an actual crime. This gap was temporarily filled by Rogamark's Presidential Statement 026 (Regarding Crimes against the Elemental Republic), which defines the criminal offenses of Espionage, Subversion and Citizenship Fraud. It remains to be seen whether the Regional Assembly is content with these changes or if they wish to make different amendments to the Criminal Code.

Also, Spiritus joined several other regions in ending diplomatic relations with Lazarus on the orders of President Rogamark in response to the Chairman Stujenske’s recent actions, which we consider to be oppressive and outright destructive. We hope that normalcy in Lazarus can be restored by peaceful means, and the Elemental Republic of Spiritus, standing by its values of self-determination and freedom from oppression, is ready to assist our Lazarene friends.

The Patrician’s Views - Just A Game?

Rogamark's Remarks (or The Patrician’s Views under our Discworld theme) are my personal comments, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Spiritan Government or Cabinet, nor are they my official presidential or ministerial opinions.

Friends of Spiritus,

Everybody who has spent more than a few weeks actively engaged in a NationStates region knows the old jingle: "It's just a game, I don't know why people get all that serious about it," often spoken by those people that are most serious about it. The inevitable response is, of course, "This is a political game; if you don't like that, go play a Halo!". If I had a stamp for every time I have heard this exchange, Spiritus' recruitment needs would be covered for the next year or so. I was never quite sure which side of the argument I prefer; as it goes, both sides have a point.

Yes, NS is political, and yes, NS is a game. You could say "we're just playing politicians in an arbitrarily set government system" and that's the end of it. The only problem, however, is that that’s nowhere near the end of it. All successful regions, some more than other, are driven by a community: friendly people interacting on matters both internal and external to NS. While NS is usually the most prominent and most important part of it, a regional community can operate without the NS element; however, it is nearly impossible for an NS region to operate without the community element.

If you are elected or appointed to an office within a NS region, you're not just assigned a role to play. You're taking responsibility, a position of trust within a community. Unlike a game-only position where you save and quit when you're tired of it for now, it's sort of an important thing. Only a handful of people may care about specific actions you take while in office, but the members of the community overall care if you abandon them without good cause. Several NS communities have been effectively ruined by careless or unmotivated officials.

Now, where are the limits? It is a generally agreed among NSers that RL takes precedence over NS. No NS position, however important, overrides that. I intensely dislike it when people properly declare a leave of absence, taking care that at least their most important duties will be handled by someone else in the interval, but then still are yelled at for ‘not taking their NS role seriously’. NS is intended to be fun, not forced labor.

Where does that leave us? I can't say. However, I think NS would be more fun if people were to remember two things: 1) If you are holding an office in a NS region, you are not only playing a game; a community has entrusted you with responsibility and its members deserve better than you shrugging and saying that it's just a game. Sometimes it is not. 2) Tell people when you're away! Except for emergency situations, you are expected to announce LoA's. It takes thirty seconds; "I forgot" is not an excuse.  NS may be a game, but the communities and friendships are as real as the people sitting at the computer.

Having said that, if somebody is caught up in RL and not as active as you'd wish them to be (or even is absent for a couple of days), pause and consider before you start yelling and name-calling: it may really be an emergency. I recall that once somebody had to take a few days off because their aunt had unexpectedly passed away. The person forgot to properly announce the absence; while they were away, people started calling them everything from "unreliable" to "traitor" for not posting a Foreign Update in a timely manner. Sadly, the person understandably quit NS after returning and reading all that. Remember that sometimes it really is just a game.

Thanks for reading the Spiritus Foreign Update!
Authored by President Rogamark and Minister Wuufu
Edited by Vice President Legonimis

President of Spiritus
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Information

Offline Myroria

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Re: Foreign Update #11
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 01:33:48 PM »
Thanks for the update! Good to see courteousness and cooperation in your Regional Assembly even in such a sensitive issue as a formal investigation.
"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."