by The aukumnia times. . 370 reads.

The Aukumnia Times | Issue VII

  • A New Constitution: Why and How The Constitutional Convention is Reforming Aukumnia[here]

  • Shmeckle Elected: End of Prozera's Questionable Term[here]

  • Governmental Reform: Formalisation of the Institutions of Old[here]

  • Anti-Party Debacle: The Debate Over the End of Parties[here]

  • RaiderCon Around the Corner[here]

  • TEP Heading towards an Interregional Crisis[here]

  • Parties as an Unnecessary Evil[here]

  • Leisure and Comics[here]

Ever since the refounding of Aukumnia there have been calls for reform, both small and grand. Originally, people called reform because they were of the belief that we should use the refound crisis as an excuse to improve our institutions. However, a month later and all the changes that had been made were done not by a Convention, but rather by the Chamber. But this was to change.

Just one week prior, the Constitutional Convention of Aukumnia was called by the Founder, Xadrya, who proposed it in a public vote, which passed with 85.7%. The Convention was called for two reasons. Firstly, on the basis of a notable inconsistency in the Constitution, an issue that had arisen over time due to continued amendments and changes. It wasn't a legal inconsistency, but rather an inconsistency in style. Secondly, with the passage of additional laws which both clarified procedure set by the Constitution and added onto it, there became the issue that the Constitution gave a misleading picture of governmental procedure in some areas, since much of the procedure was written in separate Acts. This issue became prevelant with The Court Reform Act and The Comprehensive Chamber Reform Act, which both added, changed, and removed so much of Aukumnian procedure that very little could be garnered from a simple read of the Constitution.

Thus, it was determined that the Constitution should either contain a full guide to the procedure and functions of the bodies, or should simply function as a basic outline of the institutions of government. These two styles would be the basis of the Constitutional Convention. Xadrya planned to create two Constitutions, a Constitution following the more extensive theme and another more general outline Constitution and have the Constitutional Convention choose between the two. However, as the Constitutional Convention evolved the list of changes the Convention desired continued to pile up and eventually the Founder came to the decision to simply propose a single lengthy Constitution. While the changes aren't drastic, they are certainly noteworthy.

First and foremost, the new Constitution brings an entirely new Article, the first and, in some ways, introductory Article. The first section deals with the sovereignty and title of Aukumnia; Whereas, the next section details the extent and jurisdiction that the Aukumnian government holds, from regional jurisdiction and colonies, to jurisdiction over certain governmental nations, such as the Aukumnian Office.

The third and final section of the first Article takes on citizenship. While this section was in the prior Constitution, it sees some major game-changing edits to the requirements and rights of the citizenry. In the realm of the actual institution of citizenship, the new Constitution gives the executive branch a twenty-four hour period to revoke citizenship if the individual in question has provably violated site conduct rules within the past year. As a check, the Court or Chamber may contest this decision of the executive if their evidence for this violation does not seem sufficient.

More controversially, the rights of the citizenry see a major change in this section. After a vigorous debate between the Convention members, spurred on by Algerburg, the decision was made that several rights would be removed for alleged redundancy. Among these removed rights include: the right to free passage, which was removed at the general conclusion that not all people should be allowed in Aukumnia and you can't truly stop someone from leaving the region; the right to propose legislation, which was agreed to be rather pointless as current law guarantees any citizen the right to propose bills; and, last but not least, the right to protection under government, which was removed simply because it was far too general and rather meaningless as a result.

Beyond Article I, the next Article, which explores the executive, sees some major changes in several institutions. Firstly is the Supreme Chancellor, who is mandated to publicly announce all Chancellery decisions regarding the executive branch in the form of E.D.'s, Executive Directives, to ensure not only the organisation of all executive decisions but also the public knowledge of all executive decisions. For safe measure, classified information within these executive directives may be redacted.

Next is the institution of the Founder (or more recently, the Emperor), a well-respected, but sometimes controversial, position. Traditionally, the Founder has existed for two reasons: firstly, the guidance of the elected government, and, secondly, the protection of the region through emergency powers. However, as the region has evolved many have argued that the elected government no longer needs that guidance and that they can now act in a more independent fashion. The Convention has come to the unanimous conclusion that the place of the Founder is in the protection of the region through his emergency powers. Thus, the postition of Founder has been completely reduced to an emergency role.

The third Article deals with the legislative branch, which is entirely the Chamber of Representatives. This Article doesn't make any major changes to the actual structure or procedure of the Chamber, but rather places several additional powers in the Chamber, notably over the Supreme Chancellor. One of these powers is over the aforementioned executive directives. The Constitution grants the Chamber the power to overturn certain executive directives, such as an executive directive placing a region or nation under the jurisdiction of Aukumnia or an executive directive establishing or removing a Ministry.

Next, the Fourth Article deals with the Court. This Article makes one key change, and that's the cycling of the Imperial Justices. Under this system, suggested by Algerburg, one of the three Imperial Justices is cycled out of the Court every four months. They can be re-appointed, but must be re-evaluated before doing so. This system is to maintain the Court's activity while still ensuring that the Court does not become a political body with a single Chancellor appointing them.

Finally, the last Article that makes any significant changes is the elections Article. This Article makes the change of setting stricter procedure for elections to fix the prior uncertainty surrounding and regarding Aukumnian elections. Among this change is establishing a set system, preferential, for both Chancellery and Chamber elections, and establishing a set guideline for registration, mandating that the head of the Commission for Aukumnian Elections cannot disqualify or otherwise disadvantage a candidate.

All in all, this Third Constitution takes an important approach that has yet to be seen in Aukumnia. Over the next week, the Convention will continue to work hard to complete this Constitution and bring the needed reform to the Imperium.

From the insignificance of citizenship, to the prowess of Supreme Chancellor, this week we saw the election of Aukumnia's eldest citizen and newest rising politician: Shmeckle. On the 1st of this month, Shmeckle won with harrowing odds against the well-established Supreme Chancellor, Prozera. How did this unlikely victory come into fruition and what does it mean for the future?

Prozera's term, despite the big promises and decent accomplishments, was filled with a considerable degree of uncertainty. From his hyper-partisan attacks on the Chamber of Representatives to his murky and uncertain fumble through the realm of regional management, often his overly-ambitious nature and aggressive stance towards other parties overshadowed his real accomplishments. He rode in on a wave of TIF success that was built by his predecessor, Retiva, and didn't have the charisma or resolve to uphold what he had built up.

Up until the final twelve hours of the registration period for the Chancellery elections, only one candidate had registered, Prozera. Everyone believed he had a firm grasp over this race; however, at the last minute, within hours of the election, the Chairman of the Commission of Aukumnian Elections made an announcement within several party servers that additional candidates were direly needed. This would be Prozera's downfall.

The rising party, Shmecklecratic Roman Republic Party (SRRP), and the liberal Aukumnian Freedom Party (AFP) both fielded candidates, the SRRP fielding Shmeckle and the AFP fielding Trev. Additionally, two independents registered, Seal and Hugh.

The race started out with Prozera in the expected lead, Trev right behind him, and Shmeckle, Hugh, and Seal tied for last place. However, the AFP saw an opportunity to take down Prozera. They swiftly withdrew Trev from the race and endorsed Shmeckle for the position, and within hours Shmeckle shot up upwards of 20% ahead of Prozera. Hugh was from TIF, and this split the vote of Prozera's voter base, giving the third candidate Shmeckle the chance to take the lead.

By the end of the election, Prozera congratulated Shmeckle on his victory and the new Chancellor took his office. Shmeckle appointed a similar cabinet to prior, simply removing the Minister of Recruitment and Integration and appointing Prozera as Minister of Justice as opposed to Dukna. However, with his Roman ideology, he couldn't help but change up the executive branch in a rather drastic way.

Not long after he took office, he used his executive-shaping powers to create several bodies within the executive branch, including a Senate, that could exercise veto power, and a co-Consul. This quickly brought forth controversy as people questioned whether he could truly do that within the bounds of the law. However, despite the disagreement Shmeckle held true that he had the power to shape the executive branch as he pleased and that he wasn't truly infringing on the legislative by taking this action.

It's only early in Shmeckle's term, and we have yet to see what is to come. However, whether it is successful or not, Shmeckle will push hard for the Roman reforms his party has always advocated for, no matter the backlash he faces. Time will only tell whether Shmeckle fades into the shadows of history or becomes a reformer of Aukumnian government.

On the 14th of June and 27th of June, the Chamber of Representatives passed the Court Reform Act and the Comprehensive Chamber Reform Act. Both bills, written by the then Chancellor, Prozera, definitely marked some of his career's most notable achievements, and were two of the most intricate and lengthy pieces of legislation the region has yet to see. Thus, a full extent summary of the changes they brought is more than due.

Starting off on the Court Reform Act, having passed with a 71% majority, which brought a couple major changes to an office of Aukumnia that saw very little reform throughout its existence, even prior to the re-founding. The Act took the approach of repealing all prior bills effecting the Court and completely writing the rules and regulations from scratch. To begin with, the Bill mandated the creation of a #case-filing channel within the discord, allowing for the long-criticised system of Prosecutor-only cases to finally be abolished with citizen-initiated cases.

Other notable changes were that of a formal institution of a more serious and outlined Court Prcoedure, which now gives structure to any and all cases and is to be followed by the presiding Imperial Justice in order to guarantee a Constitutional trial. The Act also brought in a formalised Order of Court Presidence, which details the exact heirarchy of Imperial Justices presiding over a case, based on the Senior level of each Imperial Justice, as well as explaining the rules to eventual exceptions of said order.

The Offices of Public Attorney and Prosecution were both merged and formalised in this act, a change made on the basis of an overall lack of manpower.

In other changes, the Court Reform Act also amended previous parts in the Constitution regarding the Imperial Court of Justice, such as the appointing of Chief Justices, previously done by the Supreme Chancellor only, now done by the Imperial Court of Justice themselves. It also facilitates the overturning of legislation by the Court of Justice.

The Comprehensive Chamber Reform Act passed with a whopping 98% approval rating. Like the Court Reform Act, it brought a general makeover to the functions and procedures to the Chamber of Representatives. It repealed all bills passed regarding the Chamber of Representatives (counting 9 in total), and thereafter reformulated most clauses in said acts in a more official document.

Now, the Chamber has clearer guidelines on systems such as bill formatting (Sec. 4, Clause I), the required activity of each Representative (Sec. 4 clause II), and outlined in detail the procedure of bills, from the proposal to the official passing (Sec. 3, Clause III). Other changes include the definition of the Speaker's role and powers (Sec. 3, Clause II), the outlining of a treaty procedure (Sec. 3, Clause IV) and the outlining of an amendment procedure (Sec- 3, Clause V).

All in all, both Acts passed by Prozera take the important role of reforming and formalising the Court and Chamber, two institutions in need of it.

The Anti-Party Debacle was caused by one of the last acts proposed by the late Supreme Chancellor and Leader of the Imperial Front (TIF), Retiva. This bill was the Chamber and Anti-Party Amendment.

As outlined in this bill, he held the belief, “that parties have become a ground for agenda-setting rather than a platform critically thinking citizens with their own thoughts, defeating the point of joint-representation.” and “that political parties have become counterproductive to regional growth, resulting in petty squabbles for power rather than regional development. To incentivise greater quality in leadership and accountability of political figures, removing the party system and introducing an all-independent political structure is crucial.”.

His essential goal was to remove parties and replace them with an independent run Chamber. He was supported by Ar, leader of the Aurelian Reformist Party (ARP) for the same reasons as Retiva. Almost three days of debate controversy followed the bill as the Aukumnian Freedom Party (AFP) (most vocally Trev and Red) pledged to not support the bill as it violated the citizens right to free assembly.

Further complicating matters was Marrum, an Honourable Representative from the ARP, who proposed his own anti-Party legislation named “The Political Association Act”. This built on from Retiva’s own bill but proved even more controversial. Both bills during the time had a probable chance of passing as Ar was the leader of the ARP and Retiva the former leader of TIF.

When the voting commenced though, Retiva’s bill failed to pass, losing 2-7-1, Marrum's bill falling to the same fate, at 5-8-0. After this a short lull followed as another Honourable Representative, Phoenix from TIF, presented his own anti-Party bill, but different from the two previous in the fact that it wasn’t an obvious attempt to remove parties, instead it was a motion to replace parties with ‘houses’ which would act like parties but have a more aristocratic theme. The AFP's opinion on this legislation was also negative as they opposed any legislation which attempted to bring in aristocracy while both TIF and ARP opinions were somewhat mute, though Ar was a supporter as it did remove parties and Algerburg was an opponent of the Act as he saw nobility as "cancerous".

This legislation while discussed heavily never made it into the voting floor, as it was withdrawn by Phoenix, and there ended the first rendition ‘Anti-Party Debacle’. However, Ar and several others continue to campaign against the institution of parties.

RaiderCon Around the Corner
Written by Ar, revised by Xadrya

An interesting aspect of gameplay, and in particular, the military gameplay is the events organised by various organisations and regions, that often attract a lot of attention. Across the spectrum, while defenders have struggled to band together and successfully pull off a annual and consistent event for all defenders, raiders on the other hand have managed to do so quite frequently. Among them, the more popular ones include the hall of fame and RaiderCon. However, this time around, another interesting event seems to have gained some attention.

The Raider Hall of Fame, as the name suggests, rewards the influential raiders of the year by adding their name to the hall of fame. It is an annual event that started almost half a decade ago. It was started by Jakker, who is a core part of The Black Hawks, and has been involved in a large number of operations, carrying out a number of raids. As such, he was among the recepients last year, alongside Ditzie Freaks of the LWU and Domination6 known for his counter intelligence and diplomacy among the raiding community. The nominations for this year's event started little over two weeks back and have led to a number of nominations coming from a wide range of individuals. Nominations were closed a few days back and the next inductions will be announced at the end of the RaiderCon.

RaiderVision, being organised by LWU, inspired by FRAVision, is a song contest based on the Eurovision. The contest will have applicants representing their regions, with the winner getting to host the event next year. The submissions for the same were closed less than a week back, with a number of interested participants and several well wishers. As such, the system seems to be well functioning, and should it be well recieved, it could most certainly emerge as a long term annual event which could be an interesting interregional event. For now, all eyes would be on the results which would be announced at the end of the RaiderCon.

The RaiderCon itself is quite popular and has a lot of attention in the realm of military gameplay, which is enhanced by the number of events surrounding the event itself. The event, spanning across roughly 5 days, have already begun on the 28th and will end on the 3rd, with the results for the RaiderVision and hall of fame on the 4th of July. The event will cover a wide range of topics, from technology to giving tribute to the raiders. Various discussions will be led by influential speakers which would be announced prior to the events. As such, it does sound quite interesting and has a lot of eyes on it.

The events being organised on the interregional platform with participation from a number of interested individuals and regions go a long way in building the community and the culture surrounding NS, and enhancing the experience for the nations by widening their oppurtunities for involvement and incentivising the same. It would be quite interesting to see how these events would fare, and what they mean for the future events, and the R/D community in general.

The East Pacific has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons, recently, as the tensions in the region grows high under the reign of their Delegate Fedele. The region in general hasn't been popular per se for a while so far, however, recently, a number of accusations and disagreements arose which have led to conflict boiling in TEP, with a number of interested parties looking on eagerly. The conflict itself has been going on for a while, and as such, with new revelations and bringing the issue to the limelight, it threatens to explode into a crisis for TEP. The criticisms surrounding TEP emerge from two factors.

The consistent purging of inactives, which are basically nations with the default flag who have not joined the WA and involved themselves in the region, has led to the region gradually losing it's numbers. This regular purging of the inactives are a common feature in more authoritative regions, with The Pacific being among the most well known example. As such, such a stance being adopted by TEP has been frowned upon by a section of the community. This and various other policies of the delegate has led to a number of conflicts emerging between the delegate and other long term influential members of the community.

Another major area of conflict was the appointment to the Magisterium. Aleister had led the LWU coup of Lazarus in 2019, and so, his involvement in the Magisterium, and in TEP, as a whole, was questioned. Similar concerns were raised about other appointments, which culminated in Fedele criticizing the Magisterium. This resulted in a backlash, with some, calling it as inappropriate and demanding an apology for making these comments. As such, there is a clear detachment between the delegate and the various institutions of the region.

The appointments were criticised even by the officials of the delegate's own executive. As such, there's a growing section which is resisting Fedele's changes and policies. This sentiment was put to test in the delegate elections which had a number of strong contenders. In a tight race, Fedele emerged victorious yet again, re-elected as the Delegate. This was aided by foreign involvement that has marked his considation of power during his delegacy.

The popular support for Fedele has come from two groups, LWU and the Rahl Family, both of which have high ranking officials in TEP, and in other regions as well. This is observable in how Fedele has placed high ranking LWU officials, or former officials in important positions and the like. While the situation has not yet gone out of control, it does slowly seem to be heading in that direction, as Fedele continues to consolidate power, while disagreements continue to grow in the region. The interregional community would certainly keep a close eye on his every move.

Political parties have been an integral part of the region's political environment, and essentially the guiding force of the same. As such, they've been around for so long that, for many, it is unimaginable what the region would be without them. And it's not altogether wrong to claim that parties have played a crucial role in guiding political competition and discourse forward, and led to the rise of a number of political leaders of the region. The role that parties played in the region was enormous, undoubtedly, however, while initially they were needed, now, with the growing number of individual leaders and what not emerging in the region, and a firm foundation established, built through efforts of a number of individuals, parties have outlived their usage, and as such, they are redundant, and should be disbanded.

Parties are the first step one must go through to be involved in the political system of the region. When a newcomer joins the region, to be involved in the political sphere, parties would seem as the only viable option. Without parties, a newcomer has no chance of getting into the chamber. Independents who do get into the chamber are those who've made a name for themselves already, typically under a party no less, and as such, have been involved in the region for a considerable while, which contributes to their electoral successes. Newcomers trying to get into the chamber as an independent, or even as a party of their own (which only has them as a member), have failed to do so a number of times. Meanwhile, the same newcomer could see a lot of victories under the banner of a party. Newcomers have been inducted into the chamber under the banner of a party, but rarely, if at all, as an independent.

While on the surface, it may seem that parties are a good way for newcomers to be involved, and could provide the boost they need to launch their political career in the region forward, it depends on how the parties themselves function. Newcomers, especially, end up taking on the ideology and the views of the parties itself, as they may feel indebted to the parties for getting them to that stage, and as such, their own personal views are eroded. As such, the chamber becomes a mass of faceless bannermen of their parties, rather than a collection of diverse views and ideals engaged in meaningful discourse about the fate of the region. Another crucial aspect of what form the newcomers themselves end up taking on depends on the organisation of the parties themselves.

While initially there was a huge diversity in the ideologies the parties had, with vast differences in ideology and views culminating in an intense political competition, with unpredictable results that would have the citizens on the edge of their seats, now, the parties offer little distinction in their functioning, and little meaningful differences exist between the parties themselves. None of the parties, even those voicing for massive reforms, work towards one. Meanwhile, others that are just fine with the status quo refuse to reinvent and change their ways. As such, it puts the political parties of the region in a stagnant position. This is reflected by the representatives of those parties in the chamber who end up being inactive as they are not pushed to do anything by their parties.

Another aspect to this is how parties are guided by a single individual. In the chamber, broken up in parties, every party has one outspoken individual who ends up being the only one from the party voicing their opinions. Others, even if they disagree, end up not voicing their opinion out of respect for their own party. This as a whole puts party in a difficult position. It ends up being an organisation serving no other purpose apart from striving for political victories in the form of chamber seats or in the cabinet, and thereby extend their lifeline by a little. It is absolutely unnecessary and utterly despicable.

As such, it is quite evident that the parties have outlived their neccessity. Often, as mentioned initially, because parties have been there since forever, it is quite hard to imagine a future without them. As such, I do not intend on critiquing parties, without offering an alternative. However, before doing so, it is important to see what positive role does a party play in the region, and how could they be effectively replaced, while maintaining the general political atmosphere of the region as a whole.

The first major task that the parties accomplish is of integrating the newcomers into the political sphere. This could be replaced by two systems, which should compliment each other. Firstly, a section of the integration department, or whatever replaces that, in the executive, could be tasked with acquainting the newcomers with the political system of the region, and essentially act as mentors to them, even if briefly. It would also serve to involve the veterans, who may not be interested in being politically involved, a chance to still be involved in some shape or form. This could be accompanied by reserving a few seats, maybe 1 or 2, in the chamber for the newcomers, ie those who are contesting elections in any shape or form for the first time, and have never held any political position prior to this, with the exception of being involved in ministries as a staff members. This would help in integrating the newcomers, and encourage competition among them, and at the same time, not expose them to compete with the veterans instantly.

The next major task that the parties accomplish is of providing a space for discussions and cooperation among like minded individuals, which plays a major role in integrating the individuals to the political atmosphere and what not. However, that can be replaced quite easily with a few initiatives in the region. Firstly, a section of the server could be devoted to discussing potential legislation ideas and drafts among the citizens. It would be more effective than such a system within parties because it would invite scrutiny by a much larger and diverse section of citizens. Similarly, a section of the server could be devoted to listing ideas for potential legislations, and so forth. As for cooperation, groups for strategizing elections and the like could still be optional.

This however, could give the impression that the parties are not being removed but only, esssentially, taking on a new form. However, this would make the parties optional, rather than a neccessity for the individuals to get into the political arena. It would go a long way in improving the general political atmosphere, and possibly bring it out of stagnation and invite greater political competition and what not by the individuals. As the region closes in to a year since it's inception, it is high time it decides to reinvent itself and turn a new leaf, in order to survive and grow against all odds.

Created by Schyzo

"David vs. Goliath"
Created by Algerburg

Designed by Xadrya, produced, written, and edited by Ar, Xadrya, Schyzo and Red. Any comments, suggestions, or criticisms may be directed towards Xadrya

The aukumnia times