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Messages - Açafat del Val

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16
The Hopper / Re: Real Cosă 2021
« on: January 03, 2021, 02:18:55 PM »
MMP requires constituencies. That's the whole point of "mixed-member" in "mixed-member proportional".

If we had a closed-list proportional system but only 15 seats, like is being suggested, then we run into the problem that was already pointed out: small parties get shut out. By creating constituencies we ensure the possibility that smaller parties still get a fair crack at gaining seats.

But again:

Quote
Is Talossa ready for that? And wouldn't that conflict too much with provincial Senators?

I would never want to see Talossa become a nation of two parties. We're already almost there. We should do every effort to make the Cosa accessible, so that "everyday citizens" can enjoy a meaningful role in the lawmaking process.

If you take that as the highest priority/principle, as I do, then a 15-member Cosa with closed-list PR is a really bad idea.

So, again:

Quote
I am basically articulating that the status quo should remain, or we go all in for a unicameral Ziu with 15-20 seats using MMP. Everything else feels like a broken half-measure compromise that creates more problems than solves.

17
Wittenberg / Re: COVID-19 update
« on: January 03, 2021, 02:10:46 PM »
*eyeroll*

Let her exercise some pride and relief. As if other nationalities wouldn't be doing the same.

Don't be jealous that other countries actually prioritize science and public safety over authoritarian / fascist populism.

18
Wittenberg / Re: ANNOUNCING: The Campaign for Dual Head of State
« on: January 03, 2021, 02:06:55 PM »
I'm not working from false premises, but from unstated premises. There are diminishing returns if we commit to large treatises at every turn of a conversation.

The Co-Princes of Andorra and the Captains Regent of San Marino are bad comparisons. The former are both unelected - the opposite of your own proposal, because one of the co-heads would be an unelected king - and the latter are themselves based on the Roman Consuls, i.e. where they cannot act except together (have a unilateral veto on each other), exactly as I suggested.

In other words, the Co-Princes and Captains Regent are not even what you yourself are suggesting for Talossa.

The issue with your specific proposal is that, if it came to pass, our diarchal leaders would be at constant squabbles. Imagine that AD were one half and Miestra the other half. You don't think for a second that they wouldn't undo or undermine each other at the turn of each Clark?

Your proposal assumes that the King and the Prince (??) would find a common ground. That is folly. Again:

Quote
We are better served when a given office has a clear, concise, and conspicuous exercise of its powers. If we want dual heads, then, we should merely mimic what so-called semi-presidential governments do: the head of state has unilateral power on some items, the head of government has unilateral power on other items, and everything else is exercised by the legislature or judiciary. See for some reference the governments of France, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, and Mongolia.

You claim that we would get to keep the pomp and "periodic will of the people", but we can get those things, too, with a singular elected head of state. A "president" or "steward" or whatever title we want can still do "kingly things".

19
Wittenberg / Re: ANNOUNCING: the Campaign for an Elected Head of State
« on: January 03, 2021, 01:55:42 PM »
This seems to be identical to Eðo's proposal. Leaving the Thone permanently empty is a cop-out (see page one of this thread).

Cop-out, compromise. Tomato, tomato.

Yeah, the Monarchy should be abolished. Shame on me (us?) for trying to reach a middle ground.

If an elective monarchy, or indeed a republic, be the will of the people, it must be valid. But a permanently empty throne seems to me—though inspired and interesting in a Game of Thrones kind of way—slightly absurd. The throne itself is just a piece of (digital) furniture. Without a person sitting it, it doesn't retain much symbolic meaning. It's comparable to having a permanently empty parliament. It sounds ghostly, like a memorial for an institution with no life left in it. If that's the case—as the more iconoclastic republicans among us would have us believe—then they should go the full distance and advocate for its full abolition. All these semantic compromises strike me as the staging grounds for a later move against the entire monarchy and its vestiges, such as the peerage. We're in the process of cobbling together some kind of new monarchical system in the wake of our Bastille. If and when the supporters of our monarchy attempt to flee to Varennes, as it were, there won't be any further need for compromise.

(Apologies in advance if this is a slippery slope fallacy. Indeed, sometimes history abides by very illogical and fallacious rules. Cf. Tolstoy, War and Peace, Epilogue. Also, for a biblical perspective on our current troubles, see 1 Samuel 8, especially verse 18: 'And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day.' I would prefer a true monarchy, or no monarchy at all.)

The throne is not just a literal piece of furniture; it is a legal entity through which all power is exercised. See the British Crown or the Catholic Holy See.

Are these things legal fictions? Yes, they are.

Just like the Queen of the Commonwealth, right? Does anyone think anymore for a serious second that either she or the rest of the Royal Family have any actual power? Is it not a well-understood open secret at this point that, even if the Crown is the source of all unilateral sovereignty under an unwritten constitution, she would be deposed immediately upon any attempt to exercise that power?

This is to point out to you that the "absurdity" of the suggestion is perfectly grounded "in the real world". Legal fictions exist everywhere if you look under the rugs.

I hear over and over how the Monarchy of Talossa as a concept is so vital to the very spirit of Talossa, as if to suggest that without a king we would be all doomed, while then the same people make this false choice that we have to be 100% Republican or 100% Monarchist.

Look all around the world. The Emperor of Japan is constitutionally the embodiment of all that is right with Japan... yet even constitutionally lacks any right to exercise any powers. Does that make the Emperor any less important to Japan?

You all want a Monarchy. Cool. Let's have an empty throne and have it be "guarded" by a steward.

If the answer is no, then all these "compromises" are a waste of time (in fact, cxhn. Andrinescù for one has already dismissed them in advance) and we might as well just go for what we want.

Truly.

Edo and I offer a compromise but are bitten for daring to meet in the middle, yet then we get criticized elsewhere for not including more feedback or for carrying the banners without asking permission.

Childish rubbish. You lot want compromise or you don't. Stick to a consistent talking point, please.

...
I agree in a very real and practical sense.

A monarchy has real value in terms of stability in a small country which lacks very many physical anchors and symbols of continuity.  If the constitution changes every few years, major institutions change their workings dramatically or simply fall into disuse, and new political parties rise and fall, then what remains to tie Talossa together with any sort of continuity?  Only a handful of people are interested in our language or other aspects of our culture, after all.  Having some important elements of our country that remain continuous means that there's a weight of history behind Talossa -- doing big things has deeper meaning because they help build up something that's going to last into the future, just as it's lasted from the past.

You can build a sandcastle down in the waves, but the constant tide will pull it right down and leave you disinterested.  If you want it to last, you build it on a rock.

Honestly, this argument is very persuasive and I am nearly onboard with you. The one point of disagreement is that you insinuate that a King is the only way to achieve the stability. Poppycock.

Why does a Monarchy have to be the bedrock? Just because it's been around for 40 years? There is no reason that our other institutions cannot withstand the tides.

I for one do not support the abolishment of the civil service, the peerage, or the other hallmarks of "monarchical life". These things can exist, however, without a king.

I also do not see anyone saying that the very foundations of the United States are crumbling because they do not have a king. No, they are crumbling because the institutions around the presidency have been and are abdicating their own responsibilities to resist the executive branch (cough cough, Congress).

Talossa does not suddenly lose its personality because we lack a King. The current King has grown increasingly absent in recent years, and yet there is still a Talossa.

Talossa carries onward on the work of everyone else than the King. Stability? Yeah, important. But the source of stability is everyone else: the Seneschalsqab, the Chancery, the College of Arms, the Uppermost Cort, and more.

...
Why do you get to decide what's fun for people?  Why do you get to decide which Talossan traditions are valid, and which aren't?
 Heraldry stuff is fun for people!  Peerages are fascinating!  Do we really have to grind it out of existence because it doesn't meet with your personal approval or because King Ben did it a different way?

I mean, honestly, 2005 was sixteen years ago!  "Oh, well, you've been doing this thing in Talossa for sixteen years, but it doesn't count as a traditional, real Talossan thing.  Only valid King Ben cosplay is really doing Talossa."

We can keep these things at the same time as abolishing the Monarchy. They are not mutually exclusive. See France, Portugal, South Africa, and Australia.

...

In Talossan history, there have only been a handful of peerages.  The Earl of Kenwood in 1987, the Viscount of Vuode in 1999, five grants in 2005-2006, and only two since.  Of the recent grants, one was done for purely governmental reasons (to ensure continuity of government) and one was done by right of blood (elevating the Prince of Prospect).  Peerages are uncommonly rare.

There's a reason why, after Reunision, Talossan culture has more or less reverted to the older traditions (preserved by the Republic during the national schism), while RUMPish innovations have died out. This, the cultural tradition, is the continuity, which is far older than the current Absentee monarchy. The exception to this is heraldry, which meh. I have a coat of arms and I don't regret it. Why would I wipe it out? Açafat dal Vàl, a firebreathing Republican, is in the College of Arms.

I'm glad that you tolerate heraldry and one of your allies enjoys it, but maybe those aren't the best yardsticks for whether or not you should "wipe it out."

Precisely because it relies on edicts from central government and cannot survive without it, he bogus peerage belongs on the same scrapheap of dead-ends in Talossan cultural evolution as consonant mutations.
Didn't an edict from central government eliminate consonant mutations?  Not sure you've thought out this metaphor.

Listen, if we are going to start wiping out things, then we should think it through.  If you want to create a new republic of Talossa, we should look at what happened to the old one.  The Republic boasted ownership of talossa.com, a citizenry with a ton of longtime Talossans, the form of government you're proposing, and experienced leadership in the person of your very own self.  But the Kingdom ended up, in the reckoning of our current Seneschal, "much more culturally rich and attractive to citizens."  So let's figure out why... before we jettison even more of that cultural richness.

The issue here is that a single unelected person should not have - does not deserve - control or influence on the political directions of our nation. King John has no more right to veto my clarked bills than a dandelion.

We're not "wiping out" the Monarchy. We're asking that it be an elected office, and be elected more often than an unpredictable abdication every 15 or 20 years. Total strawman / red herring poppycock.

Elected heads of state may exercise the exact same powers as the King does now (including a veto!); the difference is that the former is held accountable every 2-5 years.

20
Wittenberg / Re: ANNOUNCING: the Campaign for an Elected Head of State
« on: January 02, 2021, 02:38:52 PM »
Sorry that I am responding so late.

To give hope to all those skeptics out there, I wanted to share an idea. We could amend the Organic Law such that Talossa remains a kingdom nominally, but the throne is permanently vacated and its functions exercised by a Regent / Consul / First Citizen / whatever title we want who just so happens to be elected nationally every 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 years.

Something like...

Quote
1. The nation of Talossa is a Kingdom.
2. The King of Talossa does [insert functions here].
3. The Throne of the King of Talossa is permanently vacant.
4. While the Throne may be vacant, its Powers and Duties shall be exercised pro tempore by a Regent.
5. The Regent of Talossa shall be elected nationally by all citizens for a term of two years.
6. No person shall be elected consecutively as the Regent of Talossa.

Win-win scenario for everyone. We stay a Kingdom on paper while in practice we have an elected head of state.

21
The Hopper / Re: Real Cosă 2021
« on: January 02, 2021, 02:32:37 PM »
My two cents:

We should maintain the status quo exactly as it is, or we should have a 15-member Cosa where one member holds exactly one seat.

There is great value, I think, in having a system as we do where very small parties can still gain representation in our legislature. To make it otherwise is to exclude citizens who deserve to be involved with the lawmaking process. Principles 1, 2, and 3 could be enacted, I concede, under the status quo; I resist them only because I think that it is fair currently if more active MZs are awarded with larger shares of the seats.

On the other hand, if we reduce the Cosa seats to 15, then we should just commit fully to the idea: one member, one seat. To make that work, though, we would have to abandon the perfectly proportional seat allocation that we have now and replace it with electoral districts. Is Talossa ready for that? And wouldn't that conflict too much with provincial Senators? We could try the mixed-member proportional (MMP) system that the German Bundestag and, poignantly, the New Zealand House of Representatives use, but how much of these new constituencies would overlap fairly or unfairly with the provinces? Imagine a scenario where Talossa all but implodes on itself because the new constituencies gave some (un)fair advantage to a particular political party.

I am basically articulating that the status quo should remain, or we go all in for a unicameral Ziu with 15-20 seats using MMP. Everything else feels like a broken half-measure compromise that creates more problems than solves.

22
Wittenberg / Re: Appointment of Regeu-Hamiltă d’Armeux
« on: January 02, 2021, 02:01:25 PM »
Super like!

23
Micked.

24
The Hopper / Re: An Act to Recodify El Lexhatx G (Justice)
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:55:48 PM »
A substantive summary is encouraged.

Having said that, and speaking now specifically as the A-G, I should caution us from putting this to a Clark too quickly. Between the impending referendum concerning the future of our head of state, as well as the background work on a "new" Organic Law, it may be poorly advised to adopt such a large and sweeping reform of El Lexhatx. It would be better to see what plays out elsewhere, so as to avoid changing the changes after the fact.

Unfortunately, reforms of El Lexhatx must necessarily go in tandem with reforms of the Organic Law if we wish to avoid - as the kids say - a cluster**** of law.

25
The Senate / Re: Shall we do a virtual Living Senäts?
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:47:55 PM »
Speaking not as the A-G, but as a Senator and member of this house, I concur with the Senator of Cézembre.

To the extent that we would mimic the Organic requirements for a Living Cosă, and that we would adhere to the Standing Orders of the Senäts as well as predetermined parliamentary procedures (Robert's Rules, Madion's Manuals, and/or any other set of procedures), then we should be in the clear.

In place of Zoom - though Zoom is an entirely viable solution - might I recommend that we utilize the preexisting Discord server? Discord supports video conferences, and as for recording the conference, that can be done with any program locally. For example, the Mençéi could use OBS. The advantage of Discord would be that other citizens can easily observe our public proceedings without having to disseminate a Zoom invite or necessitate a Zoom account.

26
Wittenberg / Re: COVID-19 update
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:37:27 PM »
Is that the Czech Republic which you're referencing?

I didn't know that Prague was in such poor shape. Much luck to you.

Hopefully the EU can help out. That would be the purpose, one would hope, of an economic confederation.

27
The College of Arms / Re: Invitation to the CoA
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:30:51 PM »
I knew that there had been a proper thread somewhere. So, I am just pasting the below into this thread so that it ends up in the right place:

I am willing to accept whichever position the Squirrel King or the Squirrel Viceroy of Arms would find fitting.

Though, if it is appropriate to ask in this thread, I do wonder: is there a list somewhere of all the positions and ranks of the College? Yes, there is.

I may recommend for myself to be a Jolly Good Fellow.

28
The College of Arms / Re: My coat of arms
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:29:26 PM »
Bumping in case @the applicant is still interested.

29
The College of Arms / Re: Coat of Arms for Adam Grigoriu
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:26:47 PM »
I have emblazoned below the following blazon: Lozengy argent and gules a book argent, a bordure azure.

What do we think?

https://imgur.com/5SW2Ti4

30
The College of Arms / Re: Coat of Arms for Adam Grigoriu
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:05:07 PM »
I am willing to accept whichever position the Squirrel King or the Squirrel Viceroy of Arms would find fitting.

Though, if it is appropriate to ask in this thread, I do wonder: is there a list somewhere of all the positions and ranks of the College? Yes, there is.

I may recommend for myself to be a Jolly Good Fellow.

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