by Max Barry

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by The Electorate of United Federated States of Omega. . 82 reads.

TSP July 2019 Round 1 Delegate Debate Transcript

North Prarie: Welcome, everyone! This is the Delegate debate for the July 2019 elections, featuring your hosts, myself and Omega!
North Prarie: Introducing your candidates....
North Prarie: Qvait!
North Prarie: Aumeltopia!
North Prarie: Roavin!
North Prarie: And The Solar System Scope!
United Federated States of Omega: Welcome everyone. As always we will ask a series of questions, a majority of which will be directed to the field at large.
North Prarie: Each candidate has 4 minutes to answer a question directed to them, and 2 for questions for everyone. After the candidate offers their answer, however, any candidate can offer their counterpoint. The hosts will decide when it is time to move on.
North Prarie: Your first question, candidates: TSP has not been the best with integration in the past. How will you work to better our integration system?
North Prarie: @AstroVulpes, you go first.
The Solar System Scope: Well, I'll continue giving the welcoming messages I've been giving for all these years, and assisting with any questions these ask. I will try and cooperate with MoRA and the Welcoming Committee to help any also come to the forum.
North Prarie: Alright.
North Prarie: @Somyrion / Aumeltopia, you next.
North Prarie: Somy, you have a minute left to answer.
North Prarie: 30 seconds
Aumeltopia: Well - I've seen this issue from both sides, both in the ministries/forumside and from the RMB perspective. From the RMB, there's a feeling that there's nothing "in it for us" for getting involved elsewhere. I will continue to promote getting involved in the Assembly and the Ministries, and one thing I'm thinking of doing is using Coco to set a reminder for myself to post a RMB message about applying to become a legislator every week or so :stuck_out_tongue: But also, I think we need to help people gameside get involved gameside, not just on the forums. So that means making easily readable and accessible dispatches for MoRA. As MoMA, one of the biggest (in my opinion, the most important) thing I accomplished was to found the SPSF Reserve force (now the Tidal Force), and that's a style of activity I'd like to expand in spirit elsewhere.
Aumeltopia: Ook, not so well-written :P
North Prarie: It’s fine!
North Prarie: @TheJayCoop (Qvait), you seem eager to answer! You next!
Qvait: I agree with them. These messages are important to help give orientation to new and incoming nations and allow for greater participation. I also want to look further at SWAN and expand involvement in the World Assembly. Another area of improvement is participation on the forum, whether it be politicking, roleplaying, or spamming. I know from personal experience as a roleplayer that there is a lot of room for improvement on the last part.
North Prarie: And finally, @Roavin.
North Prarie: Roavin, you have a minute left.
Roavin: On my phone, so answers are short. New nations are overwhelmed with a ton of recruitment spam and most simply CTE again. With my proposed Second Day initiative, I want to reach out to nations that survive the initial onslaught and log in for a second day of NS (these nations can be found with code I already have written), and have a personal dialogue with them about ways to get involved beyond the issue game.
North Prarie: Cool.
Roavin: I'd expand further but... phone typing sucks :P
North Prarie: It does :P
Aumeltopia: Roavin - Would you give out your second-day code to the delegate/LC if you were not elected?
North Prarie: @Roavin?
Roavin: @Somyrion / Aumeltopia ofc
United Federated States of Omega: Answer as you finish please. Every campaign seems to want to invoke the name of Seraph in their campaign. When I sat down with him he mentioned how the delegate can be a figure to unite the gameside government and serve as a representative of them and he was looking for a candidate he believed would do that. So how do each of you plan to, as Seraph put it, "be a leader for the gameside?"
North Prarie: And you now get 4 minutes to answer all questions.
Roavin: I don't have anything special to say or offer. In my 16 months as PM, I made it a point to always be reachable and approachable at any time and I would do the same as Delegate (and make sure everybody knows that). Better answer subject to when I'm at a computer :P
The Solar System Scope: Being present and post actively is a basic way to earn the trust of the citizens. Actively engaging in the conversations there boosts your reputation but also ensures that people are going to be more comfortable around you, and not see you as a faceless power-holder. Furthermore, cooperating with the LC, especially during a deadlock and helping with offenses needing moderation action helps build a secure environment. Assisting with dispatches and other gameside methods of communication to update the populous with forumside developments also might trigger an interest in the forum or the very least keep them knowledgeable of what is happening beyond the site.
Qvait: Seraph has been a great delegate for our region and, to the credit of the Local Council, has become part of TSP mythology. I want keep the gameside a fun and engaging place for everyone and maintain its less-than-serious attitude. Granted, we should rally behind the rights and freedoms of marsupials everywhere.
Aumeltopia: Well, I've served in the LC for two terms now, and I am right now an LC member. I read the RMB avidly and make sure not to miss a single post. Being a leader of the gameside is something I'm already acutely familiar with. Although we talk about "gameside" as if it's one thing, there are really many parts to it. There's the RMB, which itself contains groups of light-roleplayers and more serious discussers, and there are also the hundreds of nations that just answer issues and endorse people. While endorsing through the entire region (and sending unendorsement TGs :P) I've gotten responses from so many different people who don't appear on the RMB or on the forum, but are present and happy to talk anyways. And some of them I've actually had nice (if usually short) conversations with. And that's what, I think, being a leader of the gameside is about. Being a leader of "discordside" often just means being around and being involved in both the important and the trivial conversations that go on... gameside is no different. To be a leader of the gameside, you just have to know your stuff, have an open inbox, and reach out to everyone who you represent. I believe I check all of those boxes. :)
North Prarie: Sorry i wasn’t very fast! In some rain.
North Prarie: Your next question: The Cabinet recently released a statement condemning the ‘marsupial’ purges, among others, in the East Pacific. I know this isn’t really the Delegate’s job description, but if you were Delegate and a conflict with TEP or any region, really, arose, how would you work with the CRS to handle it and protect the region?
Roavin: Unless there were an actual non negligible attack on our region (very unlikely) this wouldn't affect the day to day of the Delegate.
Aumeltopia: It's not really the delegate's purview unless the conflict is a direct threat to our own Coalition and the integrity of our gameside foundations. I would step out of the way and let the Cabinet do their work.
The Solar System Scope: I would trust their advice and strategic diplomacy to resolve the conflict in a way that causes the least friction while simultaneously showing that we are steadfast in our democratic values.
Qvait: I have been the most vocal on this issue. In my capacity as a legislator, I put out a press release approving of the statement made by the Cabinet on the issue of the East Pacific purging marsupials. Of course, I do not want a conflict with the East Pacific, but we must use our platform to take a strong stand and speak out when there is oppression and discrimination.
The Solar System Scope: (The CRS's, that is)
United Federated States of Omega: Here's our first audience question: TSP hosts nations from all over the world in a multitude of timezones. Can you guarantee your availability and accessibility in this role, specifically during a critical update should it be required?
The Solar System Scope: I can be around for both updates, most of the time, since I tend to be logged in from waking up to going to sleep.
Qvait: Living in Pacific Time, I'm available for the most part from about 10 am to 2 am the next day. I am online during these updates.
Roavin: In 99% of cases I can be online at any game update when necessary. In most cases I can be on at any other time too (even 4am if I reaaaally have to) if I know a few hours beforehand.
The Solar System Scope: Although, I might need prior notice for the major update, since it can be quite early...
Roavin: ^ yup. 6am for us.
Aumeltopia: As I said on the forum, I can make pretty much all major updates and minor updates on weekends for the most part. My timezone lines up well with when the largest number of people in TSP are online, which helps with accessibility.
North Prarie: Alright, this next question is for @AstroVulpes specifically.
North Prarie: You’ve been pretty vocal in your dislike of your fellow candidate, Somyrion, mostly stemming from his anti-RMB ‘floofing’ RP approach.
North Prarie: If you were Delegate, you would need to work with Somy and the rest of the LC. How could you maintain a professional relationship with Somy while getting things done?
North Prarie: Astro, you have one minute to answer.
The Solar System Scope: Well, I don't personally dislike him... It's just that I see his techniques as... ineffective. He chose to convene with the LC alone, instead of consulting the actual populace about the change... That caused several days of chaos that could have been avoided...
Anyway, I'm capable of putting aside personal... grudges, and not interfering with the LC's duties, only intervening when absolutely necessary.
United Federated States of Omega: Alright twenty minutes to go! A big part of the role of delegate is security. How would you help to explain to newer nations, who haven't yet seen a coup, why security of the region is so important?
Roavin: There is no short and sweet answer to this question, but I've explained regional Security to many nations young and old during my (literally award winning) tenure as Defender, so I know a thing or two about it. It's important to gauge what the other nation already knows, what's important to them, and what misconceptions they may have. Citing relatable examples of when it went wrong or went right are always helpful.
Qvait: If a coup goes down, the fun stops--the culture of the region changes. We can't let our guard down one bit. I've been a part of this region since 2014 and seen it grow into the fun place that it is today. I don't want that to change and the fact is that many others don't want it either. That's why we must endorse our delegate and everyone in a public capacity to make sure that someone and his/her cronies can't just come in and take over in one fell swoop.
The Solar System Scope: TSP has seen a lot of coups in its turbulent past. What is a coup, you ask? Well, it is when somebody takes power without being authorised or democratically elected, and that means that they can disregard our Charter, which means our safe and comfortable home can be torn apart and your friends ejected. So, making sure that those rightfully elected can continue ruling fairly, we need to make sure they're endorsed and that we can defuse any attack, whether from inside or outside the region.
Aumeltopia: If I'm not mistaken we have a dispatch as part of SWAN that explains at least part of that. It's a chain of effects that doesn't require someone understanding all the nitty-gritty of influence mechanics to understand. More endorsements = more influence = harder for someone to take over. During my time as Minister of Military Affairs and also in handling the 2017 coup in Lazarus, I encountered a lot of new people to train and explain the basics to. It takes a string of discord messages or about three telegrams often to get across the basics, but I've had a bunch of experience assessing how much people want to know to do what they want to do ("why am I endorsing this person?" or "what do you mean, update?") and there's a different level for each. I probably still have the copy-pastes for explaining update somewhere :P

We also have the most progressive involvement of the gameside in our democratic processes of any feeder region, and we can point to that as a reason for why the Coalition must be preserved.
North Prarie: Alright, your next question;
North Prarie: The gameside populace is hard to win over if you’re a forumsider, and the pace is hard to keep up with. How will you maintain a constant presence on the RMB as Delegate, while making yourself as likable as possible?
The Solar System Scope: Be who I am...? I think I've succeeded in that, more or less...
North Prarie: Let’s not be calling people names, reactions or otherwise, please.
Aumeltopia: First off: The pace is not hard to keep up at all with if you check in on it as often as you check in on discord. The RMB often goes far slower than discord does (though it's steadier, with fewer spurts of conversation). People who are on discord all the time shouldn't be complaining about the RMB going quickly :P
North Prarie: Fair point :P
Qvait: In the last few months, I've made a considerable effort to be a part of the RMB. Since joining the region in 2014, I dedicated almost all of my time on the forumside RP. However, the culture of the region changed somehow and I had realised that in the last few months. I can grow and expand by participating both on the gameside and the forumside. I've actually found the RMB to be a fun place that is faster paced than the forum. I'm not gonna give up RP on the forum, but I can definitely go all in on what the RMB is today.
Aumeltopia: As a Local Councillor, right at the beginning of the term I set up an "LC Records" spreadsheet, with some code that we can run to get all the new messages from the RMB and mark them as "covered" (i.e. read by a LCer) or not. That's really spurred me on to "cover" as much of the RMB as possible, and the spreadsheet (which shows post author, time of post, link, etc.) keeps me on top of where the RMB is much better than just the little red notification button on the sidebar, which sometimes gets accidentally checked off if you look at the region page. I'd like to continue to use the spreadsheet, or make myself a copy, going into the delegate position. I've been reading every single RMB post for about a month now, and there's no reason I'd stop that if delegate.
Roavin: First, regarding the pace: It has gotten much better than it was for quite some time. Consider that such a rapid pace as we had isn't just unwieldy for forum-siders, but also for new nations trying to get involved, asking questions, and such. The pace we have now is much, much better for both the classical forum-sider and for the new nation to get started in.

Second, It was important to me as Prime Minister to also keep up with gameside; I only didn't do that during my third term at a time when the RMB was very unwieldy. Right now, the pace is much more manageable and I've been lurking and contributing again for quite some time (as anybody with "like" notifications enabled can confirm). So, the presence there is not an issue, so long as things don't devolve into the floofing madness we had before (and I'd be in a much better position to stop that, unlike last time).
Aumeltopia: And on the likable portion: At the beginning of my LC tenure, I felt I had to be a sort of serious force while we were instating the new RP rules. But as people have settled down, I've actually had lots of fun occasionally doing a couple posts of RP with Auphelia or defending Alice Parker's raccoon pets. :P I like to think one of my strengths is being humorous and light-hearted whenever possible :p
The Solar System Scope: Sigh, everyone makes such long-winded posts... How do you manage...
Qvait: I have to give credit where credit is due. The Local Council has played a great role in making the RMB a better and funner place. Kudos to @Somyrion / Aumeltopia.
United Federated States of Omega: This next one is verbatim from an audience member: Everyone loves talking about how they wish to imitate the great work Erinor has done as delegate, that said, even Seraph isn't infallible, in fact, before the poll as to who the populace wanted as the next delegate, Erinor didn't even appear to think his reign was that significant at all, probably due to his humble nature. Still, there must still be some areas in which improvement can be made from his reign, so in what specific areas or in what specific ways do you plan to act or work differently than Seraph has in his current term?
The Solar System Scope: Well... For one, being somewhat more active. The TSP vote in WA resolutions was often unused, so that's something that can change. To be honest, I cannot think many things he has not done that I'd like to see be done.
Qvait: Forumside participation is an area that the South Pacific has a lot of room to improve. I remember a few years that there were times when the forum felt dead and I don't ever want to go back to that. I'd like to create a working group of RPers and politicians in order to present the gameside the fun opportunities that exist on the forumside.
Aumeltopia: Ook, this is a hard one. :P Maybe one thing would be poking a little more at the RMB and LC to get involved in being part of the local policy discussion and the lively promotion of activities instead of stepping back and only appearing on the RMB to say hi (though I completely understand why Seraph didn't feel "into" doing this especially a couple months ago). I think getting the delegate into the LC discussion channels (discord group DM and telegrams) would be a good idea, especially.
Roavin: Erinor's greatest strength, in the position as Delegate and as a friend, is being somebody with a very good listening ear. I don't see a reason to change any of that, rather my idea is to go beyond that with some specific things that I've outlined in my campaign - coup tuesdays, second-day initiative, WA involvement, and helping the LC get the RMB's more unwieldy elements under even better control than they already have in recent months.
North Prarie: Alright, the next question:
North Prarie: Erinor has been a great Delegate, but we’ve had a lot more in our history too.
North Prarie: What Delegate, besides Erinor, do you seek to emulate in your term?
Qvait: Tsunamy, greater-than-life delegate figure
United Federated States of Omega: If you don't seek to emulate one, who is your favorite past TSP delegate?
Aumeltopia: Well... I don't have much of a choice given that I only have first-hand knowledge of two others. Tsunamy is hard not to choose, for his willingness to work with everyone and compromise, maintain strong security, and just be such a model of the spirit of the Coalition. :P
The Solar System Scope: I can only really remember Tsunamy as a person that was really an exemplary example, but not quite as much gameside participation as would be craved...
Roavin: Tsu is great, but I'll go with the answer Tsu would give: Fudgetopia - not for the longevity, but for all the other reasons she will be remembered as one of the, if not the, greatest Delegate this region has been graced with. I had written a dispatch in 2016 about her:

The oldest democracy in NationStates is turning 13, and that needs to be celebrated! From June 2 to June 7, we are holding the Coalition Day Festival. Next to fun and games, there will be quite a bit to learn about historic moments of our regions past: great festivals, exceptional leaders, and tumultuous battles fought and won.

Today is Day 2 of the festival, and our topic is: 1001 Fudgetopian Nights, or the History of Fudgetopia.

How to participate
- Read about history and news of the time below
- Take the LinkTrivia Quiz! (Previous answers and scores are here)
- Join the Linkforums to play spam games, roleplay, and ask history questions!
- Play some TSP-themed games, and post your results on the RMB!
- Talk with others on LinkDiscord or LinkIRC.
- Have fun on the RMB! Celebrate with us by drinking some of our legendary SPIT (South Pacific Iced Tea)

History Lesson: Fudgetopia's Legacy
brought to you by Roavin

No history of the South Pacific would be complete without mentioning the longest-running Delegate, who benevolently guided our region for an astounding record of 1276 days. Fudgetopia was Delegate from July 7, 2006 to January 3, 2010. As fate would have it, much information of her reign is lost in the mists of time due to forum crashes, leaving regional archeologists clueless to many details that may shed light on her ascent and historical tenure.

Founded just after the the Coalition, Fudgetopia had long been a well-liked and respected member of the South Pacific. She had been in the DSP (Defence force of the South Pacific), the first military of the region, and had subsequently held several offices, such as Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of the Region, and Secretary of Intelligence. How she finally came to be Delegate on July 7 of 2006 is unknown. What is known that she declared non-intent to run for delegate on June 4, 2006, just over a month prior to becoming the Delegate afterall. We can assume that she surely didn't expect to become the longest-serving TSP Delegate by far.

Of course, three and a half years of Delegacy aren't without challenges. After nearly 6 months in office, Fudgetopia found herself in a bind. Due to a forum crash, the laws of the region were lost, and the nation Cherque Farm was rapidly gaining endorsements. In an incredibly brave step, Fudgetopia briefly declared martial law in the region, ejected Cherque Farm, enacted an endorsement cap, and prohibited challenges to the Delegacy. In her usual manner of utmost transparency, she clearly laid out exactly what she was doing and why she was doing it, ending her statement with this inspirational message:

Please note that this is a temporary, if extreme measure. This region means a lot to me, and I will do my utmost to protect it, it's laws and my people - especially my friends and those whom I have fought alongside to keep it the free, fun and sage region we know. I've been here a long time, and seen many come and go, but those who know it best are those who have put a piece of themselves in. I am protecting it for you.

Looking back, many might assume that she received some backlash to this measure, but this was not the case. The community fully supported her decision, trusting her to do the right thing (which she did, of course). And it's exactly this that defines her legacy in our region - beyond her generosity, her general kindness, her contrasting capacity for well-meaning sass, her apt sense of sarcastic humor, and her incredible likeability that led the region to celebrate every birthday of hers as well as the 555th and 1001st days of her delegacy, it's trust that stands at the core of what Fudgetopia has meant and continues to mean for the region. Without an immense amount of trust, a nation cannot be the democratically chosen Delegate of a region for well over a thousand days, or receive the full support of the community for decisions made during very trying times. Her legacy of trust continues to this day - in fact, Fudgetopia was the first person Tsunamy contacted during the regional conflict in early 2016, and when asked why, Tsunamy simply stated "Fudgie was — and is — the most trusted person in the region".

-- Roavin

News from Back Then
Journalism was alive and well very early in our region. In this segment, we are reprinting some noteworthy news article from around the time of our history lesson.

Announcement; regarding Martial Law
January 2, 2007; by Fudgie

Dear Nations of the South Pacific,

Last night I found out that a nation called Cherque Farm had slipped through our intelligence net and was amassing endorsement at an extremely fast rate.

He had managed to climb to 275 endorsments, which was 81 % of my own count, so swift action was necessary.

There was no time to question his motivations and wait for his response. Further, he was not eligible for delegacy under the Law of Succession, and there was no other way for him to fall back to an acceptable amount of endorsements in a timely fashion.

Considering the above arguments, I saw no other choice than to eject this nation from the region.

As you are all well aware, the recent invision crash has destroyed many records of our laws and our history. There is no up to date safeguard for the delegate, leaving my position rather vulnerable, as the law we had no longer exists.

Therefore, effective immediately, the following restrictions on endorsements will be in place.

There is now a 50% cap on endorsements. Violators of this cap will be given one chance to either drop below this level or stop gathering before they are ejected to the Rejected Realms. The only exemption will be the Vice Delegate Elect.

There will also be no challenges to the delegacy at this time. Consider your moves carefully, as should it be discovered you are making plans to take the delegacy, you will be ejected.

This interim law will be in place until a full Law of Succession is up and running. Already there is a proposed law up and ready for discussion and vote here. This interim law will be effective IMMEDIATELY, and will be in effect until the new law is ratified by the assembly.

Once the new law is passed, this temporary law will be finished with.

Please note that this is a temporary, if extreme measure. This region means a lot to me, and I will do my utmost to protect it, it's laws and my people - especially my friends and those whom I have fought alongside to keep it the free, fun and sage region we know. I've been here a long time, and seen many come and go, but those who know it best are those who have put a piece of themselves in. I am protecting it for you.

The South Pacific decides...On Half a Government!..
March 27, 2007; by SPOT News

The polling booths have been open now for just over 3 days and a steady trickle of voters have been seen milling around the Town Hall...But they have only been able to vote for 3 candidates out of a possible 5 as there are no candidates for MoR (Minister of the Region) & MoFA (Minister of Foreign Affairs)...

Our exit poll seems to suggest that candidates Geomania (Minister of Security), Eastwales (Minister of Justice) and Kloister (Prime Minister), all seeking re-election, will be successful...SPOTs intrepid reporting team garnered the following comments...

'I really expected a bigger turnout.'
'I almost got knocked over by that tumbleweed over there.'
'Oh! Is that what we were voting for. I thought we were finally going to be rid of Conrad Crooner, the rubbish one from the reality TV show'...

With the results of the election seemingly not in doubt, the attention has turned towards the Delegate and who she will nominate to fill the vacant positions...It is unlikely that Caer Rialis and Tsrill will be tempted to resume their duties, as both have stressed a strong desire to step down from Cabinet for the short while, at least...

Attention will almost surely be on those members that have served in Cabinet before and are currently in a position to accept the call to serve...Mavenu, Htz3, KingJ, DickvanDyke, ParrrrTay and Polkstreet are names heading the list...

The newly formed government will surely have to address the clearly apparent apathy towards politics and democracy in TSP...Will this resurrect the calls for a move away from the constitutional monarchy style of government towards more of an authoritarianist dictatorship...

It's only going to get more interesting...Stay tuned to SPOT for the best news coverage...

Delegacy Challenge Fades... Contenders Withdraw...
March 4, 2008; by SPOT News

The South Pacific has seen two challengers for the Delegacy come and go over the past few days. The DOOP and Thonex (aka Vrtbovska Zahrada) declared their intentions to formally challenge Fudgetopia, the long standing Delegate of the region, with neither seeing their campaigns through to a conclusion.

It is believed that The Ministry of Security became aware of both challengers large number of ‘tarts’, (the common term used for describing the act of eliciting endorsements from fellow UN Nations), and had been under close surveillance for some time.

The DOOP caused some consternation to members of TSP, through citing their wish to postpone their campaign until additional challengers had declared their intent. A failure by The DOOP to fully understand the workings of a Delegacy contest and resulting security implications of such a statement led to a swift end.

Thonex, a far more engaging candidate, certainly stimulated more questioning from the members. To which they responded with energetic riposte. However, the fate as befalls many challengers, Thonex could not adequately convince the members of any clear advantages in them replacing Fudge. Add into the mix concerns over the raider/invader past of Thonex and the fact that they were holding down a Cabinet position in The North Pacific, members were quick to jump on the clear conflict of interest issue.

Both challenger’s UN Nations are no longer in the TSP.

Fudge’s reign as Delegate (607 days) is of course a matter for the members and they ultimately decide on who holds that office, through the time honoured standards of honesty, trust and faithful service. Something that any newcomer harbouring wishes for will have to take on board.

It’s not that TSP are an ‘Old Boys Club’. That could not be further from the truth. Members truly value friendship and the bonds of trust that subsequently develop when time is taken to get to know one another.

Joining TSP and expecting to wield inordinate amounts of power immediately is just something that is not going to happen. The members see the sense in not allowing that to happen to a region they have worked long and hard to forge.

Read dispatch

United Federated States of Omega: Our final question: if you could sum up why people should vote for you in one word, what would that one word be?
Qvait: One word?
The Solar System Scope: Approachability.
Roavin: SOON ™
Qvait: Fun
Aumeltopia: Biscuits!
Roavin: Real answer: Ideas
Aumeltopia: Enthusiasm.
Qvait: and protect the marsupials
North Prarie: That’s the debate, everyone!
North Prarie: Thanks to our audience for participating and watching, and especially to the candidates, for putting your ideas on the regional stage!
Aumeltopia: Thanks for having me! :)
United Federated States of Omega: Thank you all for participating, and to all TSP legislators voting should begin very soon so be on the lookout.
The Solar System Scope: Thank you sincerely for letting us have this opportunity.
Qvait: Thank you, we must protect the marsupials.