Hello again, nations of the New West Indies, and salutations to our good friends reading us from abroad! If your first reaction to this is “what the hell, an October update in early November?” hear me out… the zombies ate my homework. It also explains why you got a Diwali banner, despite Diwali being over. Also because the Update couldn't possibly miss an occasion to celebrate Diwali, the celebration of light, to commemorate the return of the god Rama and his wife Sita to their capital, Ayodhya (it is an Indian celebration).
Another reason for the candles in the banner is that the only other option would have been to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, which was yesterday night! For those of you that are not close to British culture, Guy Fawkes was a man who tried to blow up Parliament and kill the King of England on November 5, 1605. That didn’t work, but now we celebrate with fireworks and actually pretending to be successful at blowing things up. And if something didn’t blow up in October, it is the New West Indies!
October has led us to lose some members of our community, but despite having fewer nations, we reached a long-time high in activity levels in roleplaying, regional governance, and the NWI social life. With several high profile GA resolutions making the cut, new news providing rules, a whole bunch of new people, and the continuation of glorious stories in our regional roleplay, this is a great time to be a member of the NWI.
We just survived a zombie apocalypse where many millions died. Thankfully, despite over 20 billion citizens being infected at the height of the invasion, we were able to repel the undead with cure missiles, and send them back to their graves - or to the living. The New West Indies achieved a very respectable survivor count, for which we must thank all citizens as well as our friends from Refugia who gave a helping hand.
Reporting from the GA, recounting roleplay, analysing the political scene and more await you in this update that was lost twice due to a combined failure of my computer and Microsoft Word’s autosave…so I guess you’re getting the most refined version possible!
To enjoy even more of our region's uniqueness and community, please join our discord! There you will find the beating heart of our regional politics, culture, art, and discussions! A place where insane thoughts, poignant speeches, and hilarious memes coexist, and a place you ought to discover if you aren't there already!
The Monthly Update can only hope to progress and become a better read for you all with your aid, so please feel free to comment via DM, Telegrams, or any other fashion, and address any questions, advertisement requests, feedback, and reservations to Celestiam! If you liked this update, please upvote it! to make this dispatch more visible.
We hope you enjoy reading this update and thank you for your time and curiosity!
You may spot a typo or two, but the grammar will be better than this
Office of the Secretary-General
Department of Foreign Affairs
Department of Administration
Why we must not fall into the trap of becoming blind to our region's diversity
Two events this month got me thinking about the depth of the New West Indies.
The first was the Halloween Zombie Event. For something like 33 hours, members of the region helped each other, cured each other as if they were family, discussed, jeered guffawed day and night about how they had slapped 40 million undead with a cure missile. We saw dozens of people perform tasks even, more monotonous then sending recruitment telegrams, tirelessly pressing on a button. Simple game mechanics, basic strategy, and yet great excitement. Note that you'd get people mobilised to press on a simple button while the Secretariat is still struggling to hire high-level civil servants to accomplish diverse fascinating tasks. It is only after the curtains fell and the zombies all magically became people again that I thought we had been the newest victims of the self-named "The Force Awakens Effect" (named after the famous Star Wars film that looks awesome when you watch it, but that night in your bed you start asking yourself questions).
The second event was the return of a citizen from a short one week ban. Upon a difficult return, the Secretary of Administration accused the returner of not having contributed to the region as much as he had (which really isn't hard, the SA being one of the most active and hardworking folk out there (I better not get my article kicked out of the update)). Of course, the returner merely said that he was active and had contributed just as much, albeit in a different way. This time, I had fallen to "The Phantom Menace Effect" (named after the famous Satr Wars film where you think it is utterly awful until you think a little and realise it actually isn't that bad). Because like TGI or dislike him, he may have had a point: there are other ways to contribute than writing roleplays or governing the region.
Consider the words of Wisdom (pun intended) of Refuge Isle, an admin at Calamity Refuge (known on NS as Refugia), a prominent social space, when discussing why those people who seemingly "contribute nothing" still come to the New West Indies:
If I had friends somewhere, I'd probably want to keep coming back and seeing them, too :P"
Refuge was implying that some people are here for the socio-cultural aspect of the New West Indies. The aspect that does not involve interpreting laws or blurbing Latin, nor writing novels on the RMB. Those who hang out on Discord, crack a few jokes, debate RL politics, spam a little, post a meme, cheer up your day, and leave. Can it be true?
Think of Idiocarasia, someone who is an unremarkable GA member and an occasional roleplayer. But take away his memes, and our regional Discord server would be a much darker and less exciting place. Imagine a Discord server without PotaTown's energy, Deugaw's takes (when he's not behaving like Dennis Prager), or Karteria's statuses. Imagine a server without #faux-news! (see, complimenting my way towards getting published).
Imagine what our region page would look like if it did not have New United Carolina's flags, or Cymiopolis' greek translation and wines, or Karteria liking every post...
It wouldn't be the New West Indies anymore I hear you say, and you're correct! Somehow, beneath the roleplaying and governing, there is a culture that holds the range of different people from all four corners of the world that we are, together. And we must never fall into the deadly trap of forgetting that. Nor can we keep being complacent about pretending it does not exist or keeping it on our Discord server. The Halloween event, the Monthly Update's Games, and the way we all interact is proof that even those who aren't on Discord want, and have a right to, enjoy our regional culture.
So my call is incorporate it! It is sickening to see the upcoming events section always so, empty, while our vexillologists come up with flags that could make you blind by their beauty. While our graphic designers spend time taking pictures, crafting logos, medals, banners, gifs and memes that flood us with emotion. While our poets write inspiring speeches, hilarious satire, and just pure trivia. While our great minds come up with the kind of ideas that blow up your paradigm.
The Secretariat has no Cultural action. And it's not really their fault either. The Constitution (from what I'm told) does not really award anyone other than maybe the Secretary-General (and overworked and already restless person) the possibility to host cultural events. The Department of Internal Affairs or even the Department of Foreign Affairs in the case of interregional cultural events or state visits can handle this. You don't need to make a Department of Culture as some other regions have. All we need to do is value it, and take some time off to make a gallery, to make contests, to make events where the world comes to us and we go to the world with what makes us the New West Indies. We're already going the right directions, what with the #quotes channel on Discord and the most recent Executive Decree Amendment on Broadcasting. But those are still too Discord focussed.
Don't wait for Culture to be ostensibly visible before you act. It's there, around us, permeating every living be...whatever, it's here. Incorporate it, and make us proud to be part of the New West Indies!
-An anonymous regionmate
Bureau of Regional Statistics Report
At the time of writing, the New West Indies had 90 nations, which represents a 14.3% fall from the 105 we had at the end of September. The main cause of this fall was inactive nations ceasing to exist, with some being either forgotten puppets or nations that didn’t log on by the time the CTE deadline came.
General Assembly voting polls brought between 15-18 voters to the polling stations, while World Assembly Polls only managed to garner the interest of about 10 nations.
If the Judicial Proposal passes in the General Assembly, we have our very first Chief Justice elections to determine the head of our judiciary branch.
If you want to announce an event on here, contact Celestiam.
Department of Internal Affairs
Despite the fall in residency numbers, we got to welcome a few new nations to the New West Indies. Congratulations to Hatoraga
Some have already made the NWI their home by posting RP, joining political parties, being active in the GA, and achieving office. Regardless of what they have done, we are happy to have them among us!
We have cookies.
The widespread and uncontroversial war against the 2nd Ottoman Sultanate has made the headlines for much of the month of October, with Cymiopolis, PotaTown, and Libertana forces among others fighting on the Sultanate territory, and parts of Western The Greater Iran, who had authorised camps to be set up.
Government reforms in Idiocarasia led to the execution of former Council members by way of combined throwing off a cliff and immolation.
In New United Carolinas a destructive hurricane dubbed Eleanor was announced, prompting Carolinan allies Luraqau and North Italian Union to send foreign aid. The hurricane was exceptionally destructive, though the Carolinan Government was able to provide a coordinated and organised response to this natural disaster.
A conspiracy to assassinate the President of PotaTown failed during a peace conference over the Ottoman fate in Joshenia, with the President miraculously surviving even after a cardiac arrest.
The fire of rebellion is growing in The Anarchist Communist deeply worrying Head of State Alexander Wagenknecht, who called for international help to fend off his revolting people.
The ENS Space Agency from New Sistonia successfully tested its Alcubierre Warp Drive starships by accomplishing an unmanned journey to the Alpha Centauri system. The ENS Institute of Celestial Science announced a few days later that two planets around the Alpha Centauri star were suitable for life. This led the Empire to order a manned mission, inviting other New West Indies scientists on the way. The landing was successful and the humans have built the first extra-solar space colony.
In revelations at least as important, Deugaw became the first country to legally mandate that pizzas be delivered in circular rather than square-shaped boxes.
The Ventuan Government issued a warning concerning Idiocarasian space corsairs attacking cargo spaceships off the moons of Jupiter, Io in particular.
The Government of Unity Islands announced its intent to start a space program, adding one more power to the now enlarged human presence in space.
The Government of Portinabia announced the reopening of its borders, and the imposition of harsh prison sentences on anyone “polluting”.
The Cymiopolitan and New Sistonian government have come to an agreement, where Cymiopolis provides metals to New Sistonia and can mine the newly discovered Sistonian planets. New Sistonia also provided some Faster than Light technology to Cymiopolis.
Finally, the Update extends its congratulations to Mr Yagman Bolevich, winner of the New Anarchist Communist national cigar-smoking competition, who called for other smokers of the world to unite and break their chai… sorry to participate in a worldwide smoking competition.
There has been regained interest in space exploration.
Executive Decrees authorized in October.
October is not an election month, which means there was no opportunity to outseat the bourgeois ruling class…
The Assembly is debating GAR#21 Establishment of a Judicial System, and is expected to vote on amendments and the whole act soon.
GA resolutions passed during October
There is still plenty of free space around the Capitol to build Congressional offices, so do join the General Assembly!
- Make sure to check out the Master Dispatch and the Roleplay Information documents (linked at the bottom of the page) to see all available resources provided by the New West Indies!
States the Secretariat Agenda and other updates from the Office
States the Embassy Policy and other information relevant to the DFA
All resources from around NationStates (and other sites) is compiled here for your use
Questions candidates on relevant information for elections
A Spanish Version of the General Assembly members list
A depiction of the region in a baseball setting – created by Karteria
Unscramble each of the clue words. Each word is the NS name of one of the New West Indies' Nations!
Copy the letters in the numbered cells to other cells with the same number. You will get a phrase...
The first person to TG, DM or otherwise communicate Celestiam this phrase gets an interview in the next Monthly Update!
So... a friend has asked to test whether there is interest for a Choose your own story series in the Update, and has kindly written us an episode. The concept is simple: read the story, and communicate to Celestiam which outcome you want out of those listed at the end. Enjoy!
9AM, NWI Capital Tramway
You start cursing in your head as you slam your card against the reader. This time, the gate opens and lets you out of the tramway station. You frantically look around you, recognise the street, and start sprinting. You become oblivious to your surroundings, to the old man begging in the corner, to the lady who gives you a strange look after your rage with the ticket machine. You do not feel the pain in your feet, despite the low-quality shoes you are wearing and the high speed at which your feet hit the light cobblestone walkways of the neighbourhood. You do not care. All you care about is arriving on time.
For years you have waited for this moment, studied for this moment, stressed and hoped for this moment. Your significant other has encouraged you, and a thought went to your parents yesterday. This was going to be the beginning of everything, the final step of the ladder that allows you to climb out of the hole of poverty and social disprivilege in which you are born. And yet your ********** alarm clock, insufferable as it is, had chosen this day to not go off. For all of your high school years and its boring classes where you wished you didn't wake up, it had worked perfectly, but for the one time that you actually needed it to work, it had betrayed you. You were no stranger to the feeling of betrayal... but from something as inanimate and stupid as a bunch of metal gears in a box? Distasteful!
As you run towards the entrance of the majestic building that reigned over the small plaza on which you had arrived, guards smile at you and wait just a few more seconds before closing the large metallic doors behind you.
"Well, you were nearly late there!" one of them told you, checking your ID. You did better than them". The guard points outside where, through the glass panels on the door, you see others like you knocking and begging to get in. But they would not. They had already failed.
As you walked into the examination room, it was even greater than what you had seen in the movie clips. It was gargantuan, spanning many hundred square feet, looking more like the grand hall of a train station than an exam room. Above you, the glass dome let the morning sunshine through. You walk to your seat, turn your tablet on, and wait. In front of the room, an old figure, so old that the very fact they could walk was a miracle. They seemed to struggle to wear the heavy velvet mantle on their shoulders. This was a Supreme Judge, you knew it. They emitted an aura of respect, and the room grew silent. The Judge spoke of the rules, not cheating, timing etc... Then suddenly, your screen turns black and white letters appear "Civil Service Examination. Answer the following questions by typing. Time: 4 hours". You start
A few hours later...
"Please follow me," the young lady at the reception told you. You were separated from some friends you had made after the exam, with whom you compared answers. Why you? What had you done? You hadn't really felt that test well, but was the failure so bad that you had to be taken apart? The lady left you in a useless silent waiting room, though thankfully (or not) for you, you needn't wait long before the door before you opened and a bald man, perhaps in his forties, invited you inside.
"Do you know why I called you in?" he asked. Before your lack of response, he laughed "ah, and humble with that! Congratulations, you're an incredible fellow!".
"Your test results are...exceptionally high. This is not something we see every day. I, therefore, had the permission from the Office of the Secretary-General to offer you to enter any branch of civil service you may like. What would you like the most?"
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING
I want to enter the Department of Foreign Affairs to become a diplomat.
I want to enter the Department of Security and Information and become some kind of spy
I want to enter the Department of Administration and do some clerical work that looks boring but might not be.
I want to enter the Department of Internal Affairs and take care of the NWI's interior wellbeing.
I want to join the Press Corps and be a reporter.
I don't want to join your big government civil service.
Another thought? (tell Celestiam)
Stage at the Liberal Demcorats' party conference
Frequent observers of the New West Indies' political landscape will be quick to notice a shift in the region's political parties. On one side, the Conservative Party dissolved itself, plagues with lack of activity and membership. on the other side, a new party rose. Starting with the name "The Social Bloc", it recently renamed itself "Liberal Democrats"
The Update sat down with prominent Party Council member and Founding member of the Party Blankenheim, to discuss the party, what it was, and where it was going.
What has motivated you to found a new Party?
What motived me to found a new Party in the NWI was more making sure the remnant from the Republican Antilles stayed together. The NWE created a close-knit community between myself and the members of the Progressive Front and we were the ones who chose to secede to form the RA and we're the ones who eventually chose to close down the RA. Through all of it, the primary figures in the now returned to the NWE Sanchee, Saariset, and myself, we all agreed that we needed to stick together. While I want to emphasize that the Liberal Democrats are for everyone, we do have our origins in, and were motivated by, the group of NWE/RA people sticking together.
If your party were to come to power for a year, what would the NWI look like in a year's time?
As for what the NWI would look like in a year's time were we to come to power, well, I should hope it would be more of an international place. One thing that seems to be lacking from the NWI, in my opinion, is the simple lack of real and meaningful interaction outside of the NWI. When I was back in the Republican Antilles, we attempted to negotiate an agreement with a few other regions which would allow for more cooperation and political development between those regions. If we were to come to power, my first inclination would be for us to attempt to resurrect those ideas. Also, we would immediately attempt as well to really do another overhaul of the foreign affairs structure. I'm also currently running for the Director of Foreign Affairs in the New Western Empire and my first focus in that office, as here as well, would be re-structuring and making professional the diplomatic corps while also expanding our contacts with the outside world. True to our real life counterparts, we are the internationalist party in the NWI.
Why has the Bloc chosen to rebrand itself as Liberal Democrats?
I don't want to lie, so I will tell you that the choice was more of a whim. I didn't particularly care what we were called and honestly, our political ideology, or at least my own, has always been closer to liberalism (in the European tradition) than it has been social democracy. So, while the change did happen on a whim, it was more done to reflect better the ideology of members of the party. Granted, we do have social democrats in our ranks, but the majority of the leadership is either Euro liberal or modern American liberal.
Do you believe the policy needs of the NWI and the NWE are similar?
For policy concerns, I must say that each region faces its own unique challenges and therefore, their real policy needs are quite divergent. The creation of a real and seemingly consequential judiciary, the foremost issue of the NWI, is also something the NWE has struggled with, but the reasons why and what we're doing to resolve that is very different in both regions. And in both cases, legislating through it or simply choosing better justices, is a decision that both have to make. As for other policy concerns, I dare say that they are indeed very different. The NWI is more about choosing detailed policy plans so that contingencies can be accounted for, but the NWE simply isn't equipped to handle that. In my opinion, the detailed policy concerns are indeed different, but they're different in ways that are very much to the detriment to the NWE.
You have appeared in the GA to support efforts in drafting the Judicial Proposal. Do the Libdems support the establishment of a Court as currently proposed? Will the Libdems be fielding a candidate for Chief Justice?
Absolutely, I'm all for the creation of a Court because it seems as though it has the detail to succeed while also being accessible to layfolk who are only occasionally involved like myself. If the Court or the legislation establishing wasn't accessible to people who weren't intimately involved in the process like Twelve Titans, Reno, and Karteria, then I actually would be inclined to say no, but is so I'm in favor of it. As for whether we plan to stand a candidate for Chief Justice, that's not a matter I really want to comment on at this time. My inclination would be to say yes, but we certainly want to explore our options once the candidate nomination period has actually opened and I don't want to commit one way at this time.
Where do the Liberal Democrats stand on the debate between Parliamentary sovereignty and flexibility of the Secretariat?
One of the main reasons that the RA formed in the first place was an overzealous executive branch in the former of the Emperor and what I viewed as a simple lack of accountability of the executive to the Senate of the NWE. If there's one thing that I've tirelessly worked to promote, both in other regions I've been involved in and the NWE, it's definitely accountability. Therefore, I think that a sovereign parliament is indeed necessary. While the Secretariat should have the power to undertake decisions that can arise at a moment's notice, I don't think that should be done to the detriment of the General Assembly. If anything, if emergency debates were allowed in the Legislature (and they may be, I haven't been around to experience them), that would be a positive step which I think would be a healthy balance between the two branches.
Contact Celestiam for more information.
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