Dear New West Indians, or A! as some would say,
Ever since a Foreign Head of State on a state visit to the NWI committed a bit of a diplomatic gaffe and asked Karteria if I was his heir, back in November 2019, people have been asking me if I would be running for Secretary-General one day. I did not know, so I sat there, and I watched. I watched as this Region grew past the 100 nations bar, I watched as its roleplay revived, the broadcasting sector exploded, the Karteria administration concluded a successful first term and got re-elected. I watched as initiatives started, some succeeding, some failing. I watched as newcomers arrived, people left, and the region continued its path towards a bright future. I watched, wrote about it in a few Monthly Updates, and kept watching. What I ended up seeing filled me with joy.
I saw in this Region one thing that makes it truly unique, the Crown Jewel of the New West Indies: its community. You. You who are reading this platform, and everyone else. I saw you as you warmly welcomed our newcomers, made them feel at home, and showed them our region. I saw you as you held each other's hands, exchanging kind words and restoring faith in humanity for those who felt down. I saw you empathise, I saw you roleplay, I saw you imagine and create. Few regions have such a loveable and admirable community like this one, and I thank every New West Indian for being...who you are.
I am running for Secretary-General because I want to conserve and grow this community. As a Moderator and a Prosecutor, I witnessed first hand that freedom from toxicity and a comfortable environment for all come at a time cost: without active shielding from toxicity, nothing is stopping a region to fall into this abyss. I am ready to ensure this as Karteria and Achipel have done for the last year. This is a community where initiatives are made, and they must be encouraged, enabled, and championed. I have seen my initiatives be welcomed by an open administration, and other initiatives deserve the same treatment. This is a community where we rely on each other and see each other as more than nations or Discord personas, and that is something that must be conserved, and to which new people deserve to be introduced.
I do not promise you that I am Karteria's heir, as that President once said. Nor do I promise you that I am the best new West Indian to have ever lived, or that I am more fit to become Secretary-General than anyone else. What I, however, can promise is that this ticket has a team, a vision, ideas, and plans that amount to signing up for 6 more months of stability and prosperity for our Region. I can promise that we will achieve the feat of maintaining stability, while continually serving the New West Indies, allowing it to grow to its full potential. I can promise that we are not gone, the New West Indies is alive and kicking, and will still be a strong, wonderful, and prosperous region by Christmas of this year.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy is famous for having asked Americans to think not of what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country. As election day will approach, I invite you to ask the exact opposite question. By your existence, activity, and fantastic personalities, you are already doing a lot for the region. Ask what it can, and should, do for you. This is the question the next few thousand words will, hopefully, answer.
Best to you all, regardless of how you vote
When considering this ticket, it is not just one individual you are considering, but an entire Cabinet to lead our Region in the right direction. With more authority being devolved to Secretaries under this Administration, it is expedient that the members who will be partaking in this as Secretaries be introduced to you all.
New United Carolinas is a regional expert at getting things done. As an Administrative Assistant, Secretary of Administration, and Director of the Roleplay Committee, they have shown the leadership and initiative skills the Department of Administration, and the Secretariat as a whole, will be needing. They are the perfect link between roleplay and government resource keeping. They have experience, the Order of Service, and unmatched dedication. Their impressive prior services to the region along with their buoyant personality and character traits will, without a shadow of a doubt, keep making New United Carolinas an excellent Secretary of Administration, and a gamechanger this term.
Cymiopolis is a bright mind and a Cabinet veteran, somebody capable of carrying this ticket's very ambitious Internal Affairs promises. As the longest-serving Secretary in NWI history, they bring to the table the experience some other parts of this ticket lack. Having run flag contests before, they are someone who has a history of actively running and promoting other's cultural initiatives. They are also one of the region's most gifted artists and vexillologists, and there are truly very few things Cymio is incapable of. They'll make for a polyvalent and competent Secretary of Internal Affairs.
That's me, Celestiam. I arrived last September, in the first half of Karteria's first term, and have done everything to know more about it. I became Director of the Press Corps and provided the Region with a mix of actual news and satire through Faux News. Keeping myself and others informed of everything going on was my job, and I know I can call upon this experience as SecGen. I also became the Region's Attorney, constantly ensuring I have a grasp on the laws of this Region. I never served as a Secretary, but have had some insight thanks to those two Government jobs, that I held continuously for the past 10 months.
Funky Goats is a totally new face to Regional Politics, and has been here since the Conifer Merger. That's right, they are a former Coniferan, having seen the Indies both from the perspective of a foreigner and that of a citizen. That, plus their indisputable charisma, puns, and image that led to a host of goat emojis invading our Discord server make the reason why they'll be an excellent Secretary of Foreign Affairs self-explanatory. Funky Goats is an active and unavoidable person that represents the ambitious drive this ticket wants to give Foreign Policy.
North Italian Union is our favourite Pizza Master, an icon of the Crusade against food heresy. But they are also a level headed, scientifically minded, a rational thinker who will bring to the Department of Defense and Information activity, methodology, and courage to tackle the dangers that exist outside our borders and make sure they do not harm us. North Italian Union is the former President Pro Tempore having served alongside Reno Sheriffs Department and is a Cabinet first timer with some experience of how the laws, institution, community, and security of the New West Indies work. They'll make a superb addition to this team, and the New West Indies' Security.
Leadership is an important issue for the next 6 months and was the base of many a debate in the Indies. My Leadership style is a result of my personality, faith in the spirit of initiative, reading of the Constitution's intent, and observation of new needs for our times.
An omnipresent Secretary-General was a necessity one year ago, but the necessity to have such a concentration of activity has loosened. 366 days after the Right Honourable Karteria's ascent to the Office of Secretary-General, we have a region with many active members full of ideas, a decent shot at having a Cabinet composed of Secretaries as, when not more, competent than I am in their domains, and a shared interest in ensuring this Region takes its best possible path at every crossroad.
This new reality calls for a different kind of leadership style. This does not mean a less active Secretary-General, one that delegates so much that they become a useless figurehead, or never actually does anything. The Secretary-General must always be there to be the second pair of eyes, the extra pair of arms, a guide, advisor, and leader of the general project of Governance. However, the initiative is what makes our region great, and I plan to extend that to the highest offices of Government by promoting the widening of each Secretary's agency.
This increase in agency will affect how the Executive functions and communicates. This will translate into the introduction of Green Papers (a fancy way of saying that Secretaries will be encouraged to provide their informed and independent opinion in the policymaking process). Those opinions can then be challenged, questioned, and refined in conjunction with the Secretary, until a strong and reviewed policy emerges, one where the relevant Secretary played a critical role in determining its direction. Their increased agency would also lead to the apparition of Joint Executive Decrees. On this last point, this would mean co-drafting decrees and issuing them under the relevant Secretary's signature, co-signed by the Secretary-General (as opposed to a unilateral decree authored and signed by the Sec-Gen). As an accomplished jurist and legislator with experience accompanying less experienced authors in their first drafts, I am confident that even those Secretaries whose interests are not in legalese will be able, with appropriate help, to issue decrees under their own department. Not only does this empower Secretaries and provide more voices to the forging of Decrees: they are a show of Government Unity and ensure Secretaries comprehend and adhere to the laws that they will be in charge of enforcing.
Beyond those practical examples, empowering Secretaries and giving them agency will be a guiding principle in our interactions. The Constitution provided the tools to create a strong Secretariat that a confident General Assembly and High Court can check. Said Secretariat is in a non-optimal form if the Secretary-General's essential action becomes the only show in town. This principle will also be extended to other Government offices, such as the Region's Attorney, the Director of the Press Corps, and Ambassadors, who are all experts of their domains in their own right. While they do not issue Executive Decrees and do not play the same holistic role in policy-making that Secretaries and the Sec-Gen play, their knowledge and perspective will be understood and listened to, continuing and accelerating the dynamic instituted in Karteria's second term.
The Job Description of the Department of Internal Affairs has changed in the last few months. Once a primarily roleplay-focussed department, the RP Committee, the GA, and citizens' demands are slowly turning it into a Department of Culture, one in charge of promoting individual initiative and overseeing community and cultural events. This is a direction this ticket fully adopts, and our Internal Affairs Policy reflects that.
Nationstates is a game, and as such any people here appreciate other games. Groundbreaking progress was established when the NWI Games Server was established and we got a New West Indies Minecraft Java World running. It is important to make access to gaming with other New West Indians as open and inclusive to citizens of the New West Indies as possible. We have to distinguish those games that are based on progress and necessitate appropriate vetting, such as the Minecraft world, which was unfortunately griefed a few weeks ago, from those that do not. And promote both.
More options in games need to be offered, and especially free to play ones. The Department of Internal Affairs will be seeking to encourage the holding of game nights with easy to access, free to play, less progress dependent games like those of Jackbox, Cards against Humanity, Tiny Tanks, Trivia etc... The DIA will be working alongside private citizens to establish a system that allows people from all timezones, financial situations, and game-knowledge a chance at having fun with fellow New West Indians, thereby strengthening our community and making it a more agreeable place for people to hang out.
Competitions and other contests have proved to be successes in the past, and have underlined our specialities as a region. The flag-making contests have always been widely followed and have allowed for the presenting of a variety of designs and talents. The Photography and Poetry contests run by Subadent have put the artistic side of New West Indians under the spotlight. The DIA under this Administration would hold the double responsibility of occasionally running such events, and often aiding and supporting private citizens who wish to start them. We have a heritage and culture that revolves around certain activities, and those are the activities that need to promoted by such contests, and shown to the Multiverse to become a recognised centre for those, from storytelling to vexillology.
Upholding our current Regional culture will also be an objective, outside of game nights and special competitions. Some elements, such as our quotes on Discord, or some factbooks gameside, are representative of the New West Indies as a community. Those need to be tracked and published. The Quote of the Week system needs to be upheld and continued by the Department of Internal Affairs. Our Wiki needs to be upgraded, fact-checked, and new contributors need to be encouraged to write there so that it can be as diverse and representative as our community is.
I have stated earlier that our Community is our most valuable treasure, and the Department of Internal Affairs is to become the part of Government that ensures this continues to be true throughout the next 6 months, anchoring as more than a bunch of NS Nations, but true friends under the banner of the NWI.
Following a Government that has initiated numerous foreign ties with regions as illustrious as Osiris, Lazarus, or 10000 Islands, and in light of the benefits ton individuals that a well rounded and carried out Foreign Policy can bear, I consider Foreign Policy one of my priorities this term.
All diplomatic heavyweights on Nationstates have one thing in common: they understand the importance of diversity in foreign relations. This administration will roll out a Foreign Policy that values the diversity in centres of interest and agreement types we can have with other regions, all the while clearly demarcating values that we endorse and promote.
The New West Indies needs to anchor itself as a democracy in Nationstates by making it clear it is willing to open and maintain relations with other democratic regions of any size. In the larger ones, this would happen by opening Consulates, sharing our news to a vast number of players and benefitting from the cultural, numerical, and diplomatic strengths of such regions.
One type of region that deserves more attention are emerging democracies. Those are democratic regions with a Constitution and elections, or the intention to design those, while having either small populations (15-100) or early histories. We have a lot to share with those communities, who can teach us new ideas and provide platforms for the furtherment of democratic region models in Nationstates, while we can bring our experience in domains such as lawmaking and avoidance of partisanship. Forging partnerships with emerging democracies means establishing ourselves in the network of freedom-loving regions, and ultimately gaining recognition as a major democratic region.
Our Foreign Policy nevertheless needs to be more than political, and take into account the direct benefits our citizenry can gain from successful diplomacy. Avenues need to be opened with fellow roleplay regions, and cultural centres across Nationstates. By allowing for common game nights, interregional competitions, meme festivals, and sharing of roleplay advice and resources across borders with friendly regions, we can generate an amount of welfare that is larger than the sum of its parts. Essentially those good relations would lead to like-minded citizenries interacting and deriving pleasure from something that, on first looks, sounds nerdy and elitist.
For this to have a chance at working, we need to be proactive in seeking partners. We also need to accept different levels of partnership. Some regions can be good partners, but establishing an in-game embassy would be premature. Collaboration can look different from region to region, and a two-sizes-fit-all approach is not going to be helpful. Which brings us to treaties.
Treaties are a powerful tool for bilateral relations when used right. The New West Indies has a history of both successful and failed treaties that can be traced back to who we contract treaties with. This administration will pursue treaties with regions with whom the New West Indies has a history of successful cooperation, after said cooperation, rather than as a precursor to it. Whereas bilateral and even some multilateral treaties are functional, this administration does not believe most supraregional organisations are worth joining, as the sovereignty trade is worth less than any benefit such a union can bring to the Indies.
Few things make me more proud of the New West Indies than the strong bond we have between each other, and our relative freedom from toxicity. Under the previous administration, toxicity was preempted, or when it occurred was rapidly suppressed. I intend to see this continue.
Furthermore, our region's safety from foreign and internal aggression and crime is paramount, which is why a competent Department of Information, but also Office of the Region's Attorney is a major plus for the Indies.
The first line of defence for our region is composed of a strong collaboration between the Department of Defense and Information, the Secretary-General, and the Founder. As the three offices permitted to issue summary suppressions and bans, this trio is essential to the first line's functioning. Reinforcing communication between these three officers, and creating shared documentation on regions and nations to watch is going to be a priority this term. This administration will continue using and updating the Persona Non-Grata list, adding nations who are on the NSL Watchlist as well as other nations based on reporting and observation.
The second line of defence is that of moderation and the Region's Attorney. Here, the Department of Defense and Information still has a role to play, aiding moderators in keeping an eye on the region, and taking summary action when appropriate. The Secretary of Defense and Information will be of great aid in running day to day operations such as masking on the server and sitting as part of Moderation.
The idea that the Moderation Team is not under the Government's pressure or orders, but simply cooperating with the Government to one same objective needs to be reinforced. Making appeals to Mod action more collegial, making it clear that undue government interference in Moderation Affairs constitutes an abuse of power, and continuing close collaboration all advance towards this direction. Discussing protocols for cases where we would be faced with severe rulebreaking and OOC crimes that would not be tried also need to be determined, with the presence of the Secretary-General, Secretary of Defense and Information, Moderation Team, and Founder is absolutely essential.
For those crimes that are not OOC Crimes, the Government must ensure the Region is appropriately represented in Court. The next Region's Attorney will be left with resources on our judicial system, and a strong conversational link must be maintained between the Office of the Region's Attorney and the Secretariat. The RA's legal advice and the attorney-client relation it has with the Government means the RA is a significant ally to defending freedoms of citizens, while either re-educating or, in the less agreeable cases, purging those who abuse the system and our citizens' typical warmness to commit harm.
The Department of Administration is one of the departments we most easily forget, but also one of those with the most pivotal roles in ensuring the New West Indies is what it is. Without it our Constitution would not be updated, the information would be hard to get, and everything would be much much slower and much much more complicated. The Department of Administration has a glorious history of imparting meaningful progress to the region and can be proud of it.
This ticket sees three core missions in the Department of Administration's work: provide information, update it, and make it as easily accessible as possible.
The provision of information is already excellently covered, thanks to the hard work of Secretaries Karteria, Kronshtadt, and New United Carolinas over the last year. The establishment of the RP Committee is also extremely helpful in this matter, and this ticket intends to maintain the committee and the Government's support for it. In an age where private initiatives supply information to the Wiki and RP Committee, this is an existing bu secondary priority for the Department of Administration.
Updating information always was a key function of the Department of Administration, and ensuring that dispatches are true and up to date is essential for citizens and visitors to be aware of what we are up to. In the case of updating the Constitution, it is one of Administration's most critical duties and one that will continue being diligently fulfilled. Maintaining a list of dispatches with information prone to change and regularly checking up on them will ensure that any information you find on Nwi.gov or another Government-sponsored dispatch is true and accurate.
Finding information is a challenge for a region with so many dispatches and available info. Nwi.gov helped with that, and this Department of Administration will continue running and maintaining Nwi.gov. Upgrades will also be considered, such as a page allowing the user to Ctrl+F search dispatches and information using keywords, so that nobody ever has to browse through Nwi.gov's dispatches. Thinking of Nwi.gov as a site needing a logical sitemap and connections will also be discussed so that users feel documents are naturally located and navigation is instinctive.
Continued cooperation with the Roleplay Committee on all three missions is bound to allow for seamless and ergonomic access to a variety of up to date information on the New West Indies, facilitating our lives. Though it may not seem like much, the current level of the Department of Administration's work is admirable and will be maintained for the next 6 months.
Recruitment is an essential part of the New West Indies progress, as new roleplayers, vexillologists, jurists, lawmakers, and friends join and contribute to the development and atmosphere that is unique to the Indies. It is nevertheless important to design a Recruitment policy where Recruitment is at the service of the Region, rather than the opposite. Many Regions become so obsessed with recruitment that they forget why they recruit. To pull the feat of having a good inflow of new people without sacrificing the region's resources and atmosphere, I plan on pursuing a two lane plan.
The first lane of recruitment is the traditional one: sending telegrams to new players. While one can argue sending telegrams is inefficient and amounts to playing a lottery, it is important to focus on actual contributions rather than statistics. Many of our brightest citizens came from Recruitment telegrams, after all. The key is to avoid sucking up an unreasonable amount of resources to that objective, which is why this is only one of two approaches, and would not be a primary priority for the Government, merely a mission among others.
The second lane of recruitment is a less conventional but more enjoyable and unique recruitment method. It essentially rests on every citizen of the New West Indies to keep doing what they do best. By roleplaying, designing, and being awesome people, they contribute to the NWI's reputation. From there, an active presence on the Gameplay Forums and Find-A-Region Megathread is sufficient to bring new nations to the gate of the Indies. This method has also brought great citizens in the past, and is remarkably efficient for the New West Indies.
One method this administration would never dream of using in poaching or WA Recruitment. The New West Indies has cut embassies with poaching regions, and clearly placed itself as an interregional opponent of these recruitment methods. This administration will stand by the New West Indies' past commitments in that matter.
By using those two methods, telegrams and reputation/gameplay in conjunction, we can ensure that our citizenship base grows and more people come in and contribute to creating a community we cherish, all the while making sure that we don't spend more time and effort recruiting than enjoying the fruits of this recruitment.
Of course, those methods would only be rolled in after FD001 on Regional Security expires or is rescinded.
Wow, if you actually read this until the end you are one dedicated fellow. If you just skimmed through the TLDR's, congrats, you used this platform as intended! Hopefully, parts of it will have piqued your interest enough to read more. In all cases, thanks for still being here!
As we come out of a year of remarkable stability and a government that took a lot upon itself, it is easy to forget the challenges and dangers that can await our region. The recent founder decree is a painful reminder that our safe haven is not to be taken for granted. If the Government once had the role of totally running the New West Indies, so many of these functions have been adopted by courageous private citizens. You might be tempted not to vote at all, or believe this whole election is quite useless. But it is important to remember that the Government still has a role to play: that of creating and maintaining the environment in which our community can strive. Balancing intervention and leaving place for initiative, and providing the best possible Umwelt for our community to continue being one of the most wholesome and rewarding places to be on Nationstates.
This month is Pride Month, and I am proud of the diversity of the New West Indies. The diversity of genders, orientations, races, political opinions, artistic styles...our region is great because it is a tolerant and welcoming place for all, whether they arrived here a few weeks ago or two years back, after a telegram, a forum search, being a Coniferan Remnant, or pure chance. It needs to stay this way. It needs to continue being a source of comfort, a safe space, a cool hangout, a place to make new friends and strengthen existing bonds. It needs to be all that, and be rewarding to you. Your Region owes you all of this, and this ticket will hold up its part of this offer. That, my friends, is our promise.
Don't forget to vote on June 14th, hopefully for this ticket, but in all cases, if you are a citizen, please do vote. Your voice deserves to be heard!
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