Hi Folks, Iím Tim!
This was not a thread I expected to be writing for some time, if Iím being perfectly honest. I donít think itís been much of a secret that I was teasing #TimStark2019, but #TimStark2018 was not something even I was particularly expecting. I assumed Seraph would easily win when he ran for re-election, and then when Seraph (Erinor) declined I assumed PS2 (Pencil Sharpeners 2) would easily win when he ran. As weíre all aware by now, neither of them are running.
It took a lot of thought, soul searching, cutting back on other commitments, and advice seeking before I decided that I was interested in running for TSP Delegate this July and would be able to dedicate the time to the role that both it and the best damn GCR out there deserves. Ultimately, I was convinced that this wasnít a completely terrible idea, so here I am.
I really love TSP, and itís genuinely my favorite region Iíve actively been involved in for a long while. We have a vibrant community, both on-site and off-site, with so many wonderful individuals and characters who work hard everyday to make us an active, positive and the best damn GCR there is (donít @ me). From the Festivals to the Assembly, and even to the RP which I admittedly havenít been sucked into yet, thereís something for everyone. Whether someone is simply interested in hanging out on the RMB, socializing on Discord, RPíing, getting involved in politics, or one of our many other avenues for activity, I donít think you can find a single NSer who wouldnít find what they want in TSP (except Imperialists because all they want is to subvert us).
Anyways, thatís enough introductory chatter I think. Yíall know me and I know most of you, so letís get down to brass tacks and talk about some campaign goals, ideas, and overall plans.
Timís 4 Focuses
Now, you might be thinking right now ďTim youíre totally doing the generic thing where you split your platform into numerous focus pointsĒ. Youíre right, I am. Iíve flitted back and forth in my opinion on how platforms should be written and organized, and I find this is the best way when thereís a lot to write. In my case, thereís quite a bit to write, so it feels like a necessity for sure.
World Assembly Endorsements
I feel more than comfortable in my ability to not only sustainably continue raising our overall endorsement numbers, but to excel at it. Iíve previously served as Delegate of Osiris for roughly ten months in total, and believe that I can bring my GCR Delegacy experience from that avenue and into this one. While Sinkers deal with a lot less WA nations, they do have to put a lot more effort into getting their WA nations to actually endorse them, so Iím pretty experienced in finding ways to not only have WA nations endorse the Delegate but to have them excited about the WA as well. Ultimately, nations want to know what they get out of the WA. While Regional Security and World Assembly clout is great, that benefits the region, and I really want to work on narratives related to how WA membership benefits our individual. While Iíll expand more on some of these plans more in the next part of my platform, I really want to talk about one particular plan in this segment.
One of the things I think could be most exciting in that WA avenue is USO Vietnamís WA Development Program that heís been spearheading the planning and development of. Itís modeled after TNPís program of a similar vein, and weíve seen just how ridiculously effective itís been there. While itís going to take a lot of work to roll it out, I think itís a more than worthwhile venture, and one that will pay out dividends in terms of both overall native regional influence and in Delegate and CRS Endorsements, an area I think we have grown in greatly but still have so much more we can achieve. Can TSP one day break 1000 endos? I definitely think it can!
World Assembly Clout
As Osiris Delegate, I became very acquainted with regularly reading the GA forum and keeping up with it. As an active SCer, I already pay attention to that. Let me tell you, the WA is a crazy body, thatís for sure. However, enough about my feelings about the World Assembly. I believe that my goals for developing our WA Culture can be summed up to one word: Clout.
To be clear, Iím referring to the definition that describes clout as ďinfluence or power, especially in politics or businessĒ rather than ďa heavy blow with the hand or a hard object.Ē The latter definition is whatíll happen if somebody tries to stroll in and subvert TSP, the former is what Iíd like to grow within our World Assembly culture if elected as Delegate of this beautiful region.
Here are the two main ways I intend to do that:
1. Vote Early
Itís pretty well-documented that the earlier you vote in the World Assembly, the more your vote is worth. World Assembly votes typically end up going whichever way the major GCR and UCR delegates vote it towards, and the earlier a vote is registered the more effect itíll have in influencing the global vote. Fortunately, I have the sleep schedule of an irresponsible college student working in the food industry, and already conditioned myself to check for votes from my phone quite regularly during my previous GCR delegacy, so Iíd be voting real early into the process each time, only further increasing our global WA influence and direction-setting.
2. Delegateís Opinion
On top of voting early, I think itís important to not only keep the regional WAís happily endorsing the Delegate, but to provide them enough interest that they start actively voting as well. Thereís a good chance that would grow TSPís overall vote even further, and even if people vote the other way itís still beautiful to have them more involved and more interested in WA ongoings.
To achieve that, I intend to release dispatch and forum posts for every WA proposal that goes to vote. Within them, I will present summarize what the proposal is ultimately doing, why it should or shouldnít be passed, and ultimately the way I am voting on that matter. I believe that by releasing such information, it can help the TSP population to engage with the WA more easily, and can potentially provide some information and guidance for individuals who arenít sure how to vote on a particular resolution. I intend to do this for both the GA and the SC, and would look to have my opinion formulated prior to voting, thus ready to post once voting goes up.
In addition, Iíd like to, potentially in cooperation with USO Vietnamís WA Development Plan, have a monthly newsletter for the region specifically focussing on our WA progress in the region. This will include recaps of all WA votes that month, how I (as Delegate) voted on it, as well as details on WA growth in the region and any other notable factors. The World Assembly is some really cool stuff, and marketing it in a vibrant manner to the region could pay dividends for our overall growth and development!
I had the privilege of serving in the Cabinet as Foreign Minister for the two Cabinet terms prior to this one, and really grew to not only appreciate the strengths and goals of the Cabinet, but of our Council for Regional Security as well. While we may have butted heads at times, theyíre all individuals with diverse strengths who really care about the overall security of The South Pacific. Iíd be very excited for the opportunity to assist them in continuing to keep our beautiful region safe from any threat, subversion, or otherwise unpleasant happenings.
Iím pretty experienced in GCR Security, having been very actively involved in the counter-coup efforts of Osiris in itís Summer 2013 Gatesville Coup, The South Pacific ourselves when we were couped by Milograd, and Lazarus when it was couped by rogue NPO elements. I was also involved, though on a lesser level, in the recent efforts to liberate Lazarus from Lone Wolves United. If thereís one thing I can give you a 100% assurance on, itís that there will be no shenanigans like that happening to us. We have a lot of regions whoíd seek to do us harm, and thereís no way in hell itíd ever be happening on my watch. TSP, from every issue answerer to Old Guard politician, deserves to enjoy peace, prosperity, and stability.
In addition to this, I would look to develop my relationship with the Local Council, having already spent time hanging out with many of the candidates. I believe that by attaining this close relationship and understanding, I would be at my most effective in assisting with the moderation of the RMB, as well as connecting to the overall RMB community more closely.
The strongest thing about the South Pacific has always been its community. We are a group of diverse players from all over the world, all time zones, all coming together because of our love for some aspect of this game and most often it begins with the people. As delegate I hope to continue building and growing this community feeling on the gameside as well, through activities such as movie nights and TSP-related quizzes, as well as efforts to integrate our gameside community into many festivals and cultural events. One idea Iíve been tossing around is collaborating with the Local Council on some sort of contest to dictate my nation, whether it be a flag design contest for it, or it be an unrelated contest where the winner gets to choose my flag (within reasonable limits). I really want to build on the togetherness that Seraph fostered on the RMB, and strongly believe that my experience and passion can help that succeed.
Another exciting thing that will be occurring during this next upcoming term is N-Day, which we know will be once again occurring in late August. Last year, the UPPERCUT faction that TSP formed with TNP and the NPO narrowly missed out on a first-place finish to the Augustin Allianceís faction. While I was only tangentially involved with UPPERCUT at the time, mostly via diplomatic negotiations on behalf of my Potato Alliance faction, I would be at the absolute forefront of TSP N-Day events this time. Having been heavily involved with the gameside outreach and overall integration of Spiritusís RMB Community into the nuclear force, I helped oversee the Potato Alliance to a 3rd Place Finish.I believe that the outreach skills I developed from that event, and many of the others, make more than equipped in connecting and developing stronger bonds between our whole community, gameside and forumside. Our allies from last year have already talked to us about our plans this year. Letís make TSP and its allies number one this N-Day! I know I can lead us to victory!
I think that, much like Erinor (Seraph) did, I can bring a fresh perspective with motivated goals for the delegacy that will help The South Pacific continue on its trajectory of growth and innovation within the Delegate position.
Anyways, feel free to leave any comments, criticisms, concerns, questions, or otherwise election-relevant remarks below. Iíll do my best to answer all of them as quickly as possible.
Campaign Questions and Answers
Campaign Thread - Campaign Dispatch
This is an accumulation of questions I've been asked about my campaign, combined into one easy and convenient dispatch.
Moreover, if you intend to lead rather than follow the majority of the region, what types of WA proposals are you going to support? Would you be willing to provide a list? While I think this is an interesting proposal, it's rather different than most delegates in TSP has handled it and actually has ramifications to change in-game nations and (as such) we need to get a little more pointed in what "TSP" will be supporting.
1. I don't really think I would be. While I'm definitely interested in gaining regional opinion, and will speak about it a bit more in the next part of my answer, it's been pretty consistently proven throughout NS that individual WA nations largely will just vote for whatever option is already winning in the WA vote. The TSP regional breakdown, if untouched by any outreach, would follow that just like any other large region's individual WA breakdown. Waiting a significant period of time before voting would result in simply voting for whatever option is ultimately leading at the time, because the majority of regional WA's would already be voting for that option, having been driven to it by the early vote stacking of the more WA-involved GCR regions and High-Endorsement UCR regions. This would result in TSP ending up following the pack, rather than leading it, and I'd really like to continue on the groundwork that's been laid down in regards to us leading the pack. TSP is now strong enough to lead rather than simply follow others. Our WA count is high, we have strong alliances, and I emphatically believe that now is the time to really solidify our position as a leader in NS.
2. While I consider myself an expert on the SC, holding x4 authorship badges and having been put in charge of maintaining the Passed Resolutions thread in the SC Forum, and am pretty read up on the General Assembly, I certainly don't want to be a one-man show dictating our WA direction. In regards to the Security Council, as that is ultimately the one more tied to our GP-based Endeavors, I would look to communicate with the Cabinet regarding preferences for voting direction. Much of the SC has become politicized by Gameplay, and I would thus look to use that voting to drive our overall Foreign Affairs and Military Affairs agenda. In past terms, we've already engaged in early vote-stacking on a number of SC proposals, so this wouldn't be too far from the already-established norm for that body. Regarding the General Assembly, it's far more split by political ideology rather than GP factionalism, so the situation becomes more complicated.
Ultimately, for the GA, I would similarly consult with the Cabinet to see if there are any plans to coordinate with like-minded allies or anything else of that sort. In addition, something I would really like to create that would be an early term priority would be a sort of WA Advisory Council. We have a lot of people passionate about the World Assembly, and I would look to get them all together so we can work more closely on figuring out the direction to take for proposals. As proposals usually linger at least a day or two in the queue before going to vote, there would be time to both discuss and draft opinions and set an overall voting strategy. In addition, I plan to regularly engage with the RMB about WA proposals and votes, to see people's opinions on them and hear what our more WA-interested individuals think. I believe that such a body would also really effectively mesh with Vietnam's S.W.A.N program for TSP WA Development, an initiative I'm really passionate about promoting and pursuing.
I don't think I can come up with a list of proposals I'd support per se, as I believe proposals should be judged case-by-case on their individual merits. However, I think my main driving code on proposal quality is based on how well it's written, if it's targeting an actually deserving nominee (in the case of the SC), and if it's not filled with exploitable loopholes (in the case of the GA). We unfortunately play in a time where you can effectively get any proposal to vote if you spend enough stamps, so high-quality proposals are a big desire of mine. However, one thing I can assure is that I would not make the vote my own personal soapbox. I strongly believe that by keeping close consultation with the Cabinet and with this Advisory Council, we will be able to devise the most optimal direction to lodge our vote in, and that this will ultimately be a team effort.
Thanks so much for the questions, Tsu! I thought they were really important ones to ask, and I was seriously thankful for the opportunity to be able to think further on that subject, and for the opportunity to further flesh out and describe my ideas and plans in relations to our WA direction.
What makes TSP unique?
What will you do if you are not elected Delegate?
1. I think TSP's more unique factor has always been our overall regional personality and general "vibe", so to speak. We've always been that "Island Paradise", that I've personally always imagined to be quite like Fiji, and I think that such theming and vibing has led to us been a generally less over-politicized region than perhaps other GCRs would be. I think that, due to that, even when there is conflict, it really never hampers the community spirit too much. I've been involved in all the Sinkers at some time or another, as well as about half of the feeder regions, and I think TSP has by-far the most close-knit community spirit. That's one of the things I also happen to absolutely love most about The South Pacific, and why fostering community spirit and enthusiasm for various long-term regional goal are such major focuses of my platform.
2. Honestly, I'm not sure. I imagine I'll stay quite involved in The South Pacific, as I have been now for quite some time. I'm still serving as a member of the Advisory Team for the Foreign Ministry, and am pretty involved in both the Assembly and in the community at large. Should whoever is elected Delegate, in the case that I lose, be interested in Vietnam's S.W.A.N program like I am, I'd definitely like to be involved in rolling that out still.
If I can get one more quick question in before voting begins: Can you explain where you see the limits of the delegate's powers and/or how you plan to interact with other elected officials in the office?
Apologies for being vague here, but I'm thinking about an instance near the end of the last Cabinet term where you, as MoFA, made a firm decision that ruffled some feathers.
As such, do you see any potential problems with other governmental orgs (the Cabinet, LC, CRS, Assembly, even) and, if there is a conflict, can to discuss a bit about where power lies in the region?
Absolutely! I was actually really excited to talk more about those WA plans, so I do once-again really appreciate the question that you posed there.
Regarding your follow-up, and I do apologize that I wasn't able to get to it before voting opened, I think the limits of Delegate Power is quite clearly defined. It's a Head of State position, and its involvement with the Executive Branch is at-most on an Advisor-level basis. It's closer tied-in with the Local Council, but ultimately is also more the executor of their will rather than an individual dictating actions. Should the Cabinet be interesting in doing something together, I'm certainly more than up for it, but they're the ones who are dictating government policy rather than myself. In the same way, while I'm more than open to working closely with the LC, it will be their RMB conduct rules I would be following, and my role would similarly be that of an Advisory position if anything. Now, should one of those government entities be proposing something illegal, or is executing illegal actions on Gameside, I would look to consult closely with the CRS on what the best way to potentially proceed would be.
I don't foresee conflicts with any of the branches, really. The Delegate position is not one that makes or should be making unilateral government decisions, and I don't foresee any scenario in which I would be making any, unless you potentially count the roll-out of the S.W.A.N program. Even with that, I'd look to be working closely with Vietnam, The Cabinet, LC, and the CRS to ensure that we have the smoothest and cleanest roll-out possible. I think the ultimate power in the region, though, lies with the Assembly, and I believe that it is they to whom all forum-based government officials are ultimately accountable to. In relation to the Delegate, I believe it also has to balance accountability with Gameside, and I will strive to serve the region admirably in both on-site and off-site avenues.
Okay, so the last six months consisted mainly of my 2nd MoFA Term and part of my 1st MoFA Term. During that time, I believe my major happenings included:
- involvement in the planning of Lazarus' liberation and subsequent peacekeeping
- working on the drafting, presenting, and passage of the NPO/TSP treaty
- working on the drafting, presenting, and passage of the TEP/TRR/TSP treaty
- close cooperation with the MoRA on multiple interregional festivals
- general activity in and awareness of Assembly happenings
I might be forgetting some stuff, but I think that's the main haul of it
And then there's the hairy one, and I'm honestly surprised nobody's mentioned it yet. I guess I'll be the asshole fall guy and mention the obligatory thing: In April 2016, when you were Delegate of Osiris, your preferred successor (Cormac) lost to Almighty Jesus Whale in the Delegate election, so you couped and installed Cormac. What assurances can you give TSP that, upon becoming Delegate and then leaving again, you wouldn't coup if you didn't like the successor that was elected?
1. Yes, I'll absolutely be more involved in the Gameside RMB community, and getting more involved with the Gameside community was one of the things I did before I even considered actually running for Delegate. I didn't think I would be making a fully informed decision unless I first interacted regularly with the at-large community I've represented. I think I've had some great chats on the RMB, with time hampered in the past 1-2 by RL circumstances, and I've been really getting an understanding and appreciation for both the style of the RMB and how they ultimately operate. I think if you're going to be Delegate, you should absolutely be involved in Gameside, and I thought Seraph set a more than admirable example of Gameside interaction this term. I definitely think that being less RMB involved prior might hurt me should I make it to Gameside, but I hope that my goals, passion, overall drive, and the interactions I have had will reflect in a way that will make folks supportive of my candidacy.
2. I think obviously context is important, in that Jesus Whale was widely-suspected as being a foreign plant who many experienced individuals thought would coup. However, when it comes down to it, it's a completely different situation and environment. In the case of Osiris, it was always ultimately a top-controlled oligarchy, and I widely consulted on the action against Jesus Whale basically ensuring the folks at the top knew what would happen and what we were getting into.
The South Pacific is not anything like that, and that's one of the things I love most about this region. We are a proudly democratic region, one that exudes strength and passion on a worldwide scale. Democracy is one of our cornerstones, and we have a more than capable security net should any threats arise. Ultimately, what connects people is not the laws themselves though, but the community they govern. What connects people is people, and I don't think I'd ever be willing to sacrifice the friendships I built for an action like that. Here in TSP, if a candidate we don't like wins, we still go with it. Some people think power is worth more than friends, and I'm very much not about that. It's friendships that keep us going, and I couldn't burn friendships for some in-game bullshit.