by The One-Winged Etymology Shark of Erinor. . 214 reads.


(Psst! Want to see how I performed as delegate last time? Why not read my Delegate Blog!)

Greetings, fellow South Pacificans,

Last year, it was both my honour and my pleasure to be your Delegate for the first half of the year and, with your permission, I would like to step back into that role for at least one more term.

Why is that? Well, in all honesty, being Delegate of the South Pacific was the most fun and the most rewarding position I have thus far enjoyed in NationStates and it felt a natural fit for my personality and talents. Just look at what I achieved! As part of my term and with the help of the Council on Regional Security, I pushed the endorsement count and World Assembly voting influence of the Delegate of the South Pacific up by by over 200 endorsements, 150% of what it was when I took over and the current record for most endorsements in TSP history, which in turn resulted in a higher endorsement cap for all nations. I also built a new kind of relationship with the RMB, even more so than during my stint as a Local Councillor two years previously and I was very keen last summer to let it all roll on for another term.. These were things I didn’t want to put down and hand over right away, not least because there was more to be done.

My anxiety and the brewing “Timscade” incident made me decide that it would be better for my mental health to take a break from NS instead, but I've been back for months now and have been steadily reintegrating into the regional apparatus, including joining both the Council on Regional Security and stepping up to help out on the Legislator Committee. Taking on these responsibilities has reminded me all the more of the joys and opportunities the Delegacy affords.

And there's still more to be done! Here are some things I've had in mind:

  • The Southern World Assembly iNitiative (SWAN) launched last summer at least in large part due to the increased focus on endorsements and influence seen during my term. I’d like the opportunity to return to the forefront of this initiative and promote the great work of United States of Vietnam, the Council on Regional Security and the MoRA in bringing this to fruition.
  • With a new Local Council due to be elected at the start of the term, the opportunity to shake up the political aspect of the gameside comes to us once more and I’d like to take the lead in helping new LC members find their feet and make the most of the powers granted to them by the Charter.
  • Having made myself available as a source of advice and encouragement on the RMB during my last term, and having experienced the value of such things myself, I’d like to create a network of resources that all nations can use to find help and support when they need it.

A vote for me is not a vote for radical change - I don't believe the Delegacy needs anything radical done to it. It is, however, a vote for continuous improvement, seeking out new opportunities for development in gameside governance and World Assembly affairs and, above all, it's a vote for a safe and caring pair of hands in which to entrust this most beloved of regions.

Once more, I would be your servant.

Questions and Answers.

  • What is your opinion on the current debate between Sandaoguo and Kringalia about whether a High Court justice should have a security background or not?

  • As a legcomm member, do you believe that there should be more requirements for legislatorship, and/or do you believe the background check should be tougher on legislators? i.e, not allowing legislatorship to anyone who has ever been a citizen in, say, Balder or the Black Hawks?

  • What do you believe is the most necessary approach to prompt gamesiders to vote forumside?

  • Do you believe that evidence should be released publicly when an individual is banned or has their legislatorship status taken away? (Excluding situations like Yuno, Solorni, or 5-million population RMB spammers)

Apart from the question about gamesiders, I don't think these questions are terribly relevant to the delegacy, but I'll do my best to answer them anyway.
  • I don't believe that a security background is necessary to be a High Court Justice. All that should matter is a strong ability to interpret the law fairly and consistently.

  • I'm reasonably happy with our requirements as they stand at the moment. Whilst there might be some merit to preventing former members of hostile regions from joining, I'd be reluctant to deny those who have genuinely recanted in the process and fear it might be a step too far. Our current processes allow us to consider if anyone requesting Legislator status might be doing so in bad faith, which would cover those with such histories if we do not believe they have really moved on.

  • Your use of the word 'necessary' is interesting. I think the best approach is to give them general information about what is going on in the forums and the Assembly, explain the advantages of joining the forums and of being a Legislator and then leave it up to them. If they do not wish to take part, that's fully their right, but they should at least know what it is they don't wish to be a part of.

  • This would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Given how lenient we can be as a region, the majority of bannings will be either of the generic trolling/spamming kind, for which the evidence is usually already publicly available, or of the safeguarding or anti-harassment kind, for which the evidence may be sensitive and should not be shared without the express permission of those affected, if at all.

From Amerion:

What are your thoughts on the state of The South Pacific as a whole? Where do you believe we can improve on?

I believe we're a fantastic region which, if anything, should spend a little more time celebrating what makes us great. We tend to focus a little too much on the arguments and debates, which are, for the most part, healthy, so it would be good to offset those (not replace) with more celebration and fun. We can go too far in that direction, too, of course. Last year's event fatigue was real (and I helped contribute to it), but there are lots of little things we could do all the time to promote the best of TSP to all its member states.

As has been highlighted many times over the years, most recently by Viet, we could also do more to improve our integration, although we have certainly taken some positive steps in this direction since I first joined two and half a years ago. The pace is not rapid, but change is happening and that's not nothing.

Finally, I think we could benefit by expanding SWAN towards a full WA ministry, but the issue of having the right people and culture behind that remains a big one and one for which I don't think there's a simple solution. It will take time and it's not clear where we need to start the ball rolling, either.

From Poppy:

I was wondering what exactly you mean by "expanding SWAN towards a full WA ministry"? I mean, I'm not really sure exactly what you're implying this Wa ministry would do. I'm pretty sure I misunderstood something about what you're saying here so I would appreciate some clarification in what you mean by expanding Swan to a full Wa ministry.

I'm always happy to clarify.

SWAN was inspired by and modelled after the World Assembly Development Program of our ally, the North Pacific, but in TNP the WADP is accompanied by a full World Assembly ministry, headed up by a cabinet minister, whose job it is to ensure engagement with the World Assembly at all levels from encouraging nations to become members to helping those members vote and even draft WA legislation. TNP is majorly engaged in the World Assembly and that, along with their WADP is why they are so successful with endorsements and so influential in WA votes. To get anything like that would take a very long time and a lot of work and isn't something I'd expect to see achieved in the course of a delegate term, but it is something I still feel we should aspire to.

[With respect to the idea of a WA ministry] Can you elaborate on how you can get this accomplished? How similar to TNP's will you try to make it?

I would stress that I don't know that I could get this accomplished, in fact, I know that I alone could not. This is not a campaign promise, just an aspiration for the region.

That being said, as I see it, to accomplish a functioning WA ministry we would need:

  • A base of existing players engaged with the WA and willing to contribute

  • Experienced and talented WAers willing to promote debate on and analysis of resolutions as they are proposed

  • A creative/technical team willing to produce propaganda, guides and other materials

  • Full backing and involvement from the delegate, LC, MoRA and the cabinet in general.

This is just what we would need to get the ball rolling to produce enough of a culture of WA engagement to actually need a WA ministry. It is not a small job and there has to be an actual desire to see it through from a whole host of parties. It might be a pipe dream, but, if I'm making any kind of promises on this for my delegate campaign, it's that I'll keep on probing the community and raising the profile of the WA to prepare the ground.

What do you plan to do if things do not seem to go your way, like if the various ministries or other governmental bodies do not seem to be willing or capable of cooperating with you in the way you want or cannot carry out your plans for the region?

What is your opinion with the relations we have to other regions? Is there some region you would like to strengthen or weaken our bonds with?

The delegate is not the PM, so it's not their job to cajole other officials into action (except, the case could be made, for the LC), so if there is no buy-in from others wrt any plans I may have, then that would be disappointing, but so be it. What I can do is focus on those things that are within my remit (like welcoming new nations and being approachable, keeping a watchful eye on the region, keeping endorsements up, helping out the LC etc.) and use my influence to encourage the nations of TSP and the assembly to seek continuous regional improvement and to hold their elected officials to account.

I do not think it is the place of the Delegate to dictate our foreign affairs agenda, only to serve to carry out that agenda as required, much as the Queen of the UK does not decide Britain's foreign affairs policy, but has been one of its most important diplomats. I would offer my services to the MoFA in this regard (for example, I was one of TSP's signatories to the constitutional agreement in Lazarus last year, because that would have been significant to TWP, another signatory region) and not seek to influence their policy direction except as any other member of the Assembly.

If you are elected Delegate, do you plan to continue the electric boogaloo? (What is your stance on gameside activities and events?)

I'm always keen for more activities and conversation starters on the gameside and whilst that's primarily for the LC to decide and I wouldn't want to step on their toes, there's definitely room for the Delegate to set the tone for this and fill in the gaps where needed, too. I'll start the conversational ball rolling whenever I can and encourage activities as they are needed. I'm also always happy to listen to suggestions and run with them whenever. And, of course, I'd be keen to help promote festival activities on the gameside for the MoRA.

What is your opinion on political parties on TSP? Do you think that they are outdated and should be removed, or do you think we should keep them?

Whilst I'm not inherently opposed to the existence of political parties per se, I think they have mostly had their time. They were an interesting, if not entirely successful experiment.

From Esfalsa:

You mention in your campaign that you'd "like to create a network of resources that all nations can use to find help and support when they need it." I have a few questions with regard to this:
  • How will a "network of resources" work? In other words, what would be its organizational structure, and why would that be better than just creating more resources without forming a network?

  • How do you plan to distribute these resources?

The term 'network' may have been poorly chosen if it implies a greater organisational structure than what I have in mind, which would mainly be a dispatch or set of dispatches covering a range of topics, including mental health issues and safeguarding. I plan to open up input on these to the community and the moderation teams, also, to ensure consistency.

As for distribution, I would hope to have a keystone dispatch pinned to the WFE and would encourage the LC to share them on the RMB in situations where it was deemed useful/appropriate. I would also promote them in my Delegate blog (which I plan to resume).

What do you think your greatest weakness in the Delegacy would be?

What makes you more fitting for the role than other candidates?

My biggest weakness these days would be keeping on top of the RMB, something I prided myself on in my last term. I'm working up to more involvement even more, though and grinning and bearing the aspects that just don't do anything for me (like all the murder RP), 'cos 1) that's their choice and 2) they deserve a delegate who will engage with them.

What makes me more fitting? I have the experience of doing the role well before and the demeanour to be a caring, gentle leader.