by Max Barry

Latest Forum Topics




by The Treacherous Travails of Taungu. . 9 reads.

February 2021 House By-Election Debate | Transcript

Moderated/Hosted by: Taungu, Electoral Commissioner of Thaecia
Participants: Marvinville, Saint songbird (Chip), and Snalland

Opening Statements

Snalland - Hello I am Snalland vote me please

Saint Songbird - Hello Thaecia, you all know me, you all probably hate me at this point, but here I am again and I'm running for House (also again). This time we'll hopefully see it all the way through : I'll vote as much as humanly possible for me, I'll debate as much as I'll can, I'll give you the activity and the voice you deserve but have been denied by our inactive reperesentatives. Excited to be here and debate with the other candidates today.

Marvinville - Hello everyone! I am excited to participate in this debate before the election for the vacant seats in the House of Commons. You all know me and how much experience I have in this region but if you are not planning on voting for me in this election, I hope I can sway your opinion today in this debate.

Rapid Questions

What's 9 + 10?

Saint Songbird - ninety ten

Marvinville - ^

Snalland - See the answer is actually incredibly complicated. While at first it might be simple it is important that we look at all sides of the argument. But first you must ask, are we in Base Ten?

How often do you check up on Discord or Nationstates?

Snalland - Incessantly

Marvinville - Quite a few times a day

Saint Songbird - Every day, most of the day, I'm available to check if needed.

Do you feel that you are a globalist or isolationist in Nationstates?

Marvinville - isolationist

Snalland - It is important that all nations have their opinions heard. So Iíd say Iím a Globalist

Saint Songbird - Overall, I'm probably a globalist, but in Thaecia I'd consider myself an isolationist. I believe the foundations which are region are built upon lend themselves much more to that: our emphasis on the legislature, engaging an active citizenry, and so forth. When we do these things we can move on to outside our own region.

Last one of these for now: Favorite letter of the alphabet?

Snalland - Which alphabet?

Saint Songbird - B, for my bb Brototh. Totally not trying to earn his vote back... :smirk:

Marvinville - B for thot because he is my bb, not chips

Latin Alphabet :p

Snalland - Which version of the Latin Alphabet

Definitely W, for Wumbo

What do you hope to achieve if elected to the House of Commons, given that this is an exceptionally special late election occurring in the middle of the last month of a two month term for the House of Commons? And if elected, how would you ensure that these plans come to fruition?

Snalland - Weíve very little time to accomplish much of any sort of great magnitude, however it is important that we republish the simplified constitution in a manner that is not riddled with spelling errors and typos. And is written in such a manner that it is not just understandable to the average reader, but is presentable for foreign diplomacy as well.

Saint Songbird - To keep the House from falling apart and remain active, frankly. It's unfortunate that that's a high bar for our elected officials these days, but alas, it is. I also would like to focus on amending and editing all bills that come before me so that they are as concise and as effective as possible.

Marvinville - My hope is to bring decency and competency back to the House of Commons. For so long, we have seen such an inactive house, with many just not voting at all which is a dereliction of duty. I will debate and express my thoughts on each bill and will not miss a vote if elected for the remainder of the term. There is not a lot that can get done legislatively but we need to start now to work on making this region better

Although the term is rapidly coming to a close, you would be faced with some interesting questions in the coming days, key of which has surfaced is the Constitution in a slew of amendments. Do you think that it should be amended by way of a Constitutional Convention or otherwise?

Marvinville - Yes I believe we should hold a Constitutional Convention that would be fair to all citizens in the region, just not those in the government. However, this convention, if it were to happen, should be pushed forward to the next term.

Snalland - If reform is going to happen, I say let it happen all at once. Rewriting the constitution may sound radical, but it frankly isnít. Keeping large majorities of the constitution and adding bits that will help the people is mandated by our position as elected representatives. Simply, Constitutional Convention sounds pog.

[Saint Songbird]: I am personally of the belief that we need a full rewrite of the constitution - there are just so many errors and inconstencies within it that it's the responsible thing to do. In this we would keep all the same content but reword it to be, as I said before, as concise and effective as possible. This obviously would entail a constitutional convention.

Although many a candidate speak loftily about amending a bill or act or introducing legislation, few do so. Do you have sections of the Constitution or laws that you feel are most pressing to amend?

Snalland - It would take time for me to find which one exactly it is, but the Vice President should not be an appointed position.

Marvinville - I'm sure there are multiple laws that needs to be amended and it would be our job as a legislature to fix bills that are outdated.

Saint Songbird - There's a lot of little issues. One of the most pressing ones is the one we discovered when unfortunately, the reduction amendment failed. But there are plenty of things I know many of us have realized and become aware of lately, and the overall theme is this: the constitution just isn't that stable, it isn't that foolproof, it's not that good.

Marvinville - ^ and once we finish up a newer, updated constitution, we would need to conduct a major LR review to update laws to make them in accordance with our constitution

Saint Songbird - Agreed

Marvinville - this would be a long, but needed, process

On that note, one topic that is soon to arrive in the House is an amendment to change to the confirmations for Ministers and Justices. For a while now, Justices have been confirmed in the Senate on rare occasion while Minister are confirmed every four months in the House. Senators such as Cerdenia have recently advocated for flipping that around, allowing the bulkier House to not get bogged down in confirmations early in a term, what are your views?

Marvinville - I strongly support Cerdenia's constitutional amendment that flips this process

Saint Songbird - I support this. It makes sense from a timing perspective.

Snalland - The House must retain the ability to balance the President. We must retain the power to deny nominees for minister. After we have approved it, I believe it should go through the Senate AS WELL, to thoroughly ensure that the ministers are the best they can be.

Marvinville - why make ministers go through both chambers? that would prolong the process, which goes very slowly currently

Saint Songbird - Snalland, I have to disagree, that sounds like a colossal waste of time given how ineffectual one chamber inevitably is. The fact is that the Senate has more time, and should handle the more time-consuming tasks.

Snalland - I appreciate your input, but in order for democracy to function, it must be as democratic as possible. Regulating the flow of ministers will ensure that the executive branch does not get to hold power through its powerful supporters. The legislative bodies must restrict the executive branch from over reaching.

Marvinville - our region is democratic enough already and the congress does a fair enough job in holding the executive accountable

Saint Songbird - All due respect, but we've never had any issues before? What makes you think this is needed?

Snalland - No issues yet. Key word being yet. Theoretically, a strong-man ideologue could be elected as President, and stack the ministry with supporters. All it would take is a bit of luck in the House to allow this to happen.

Itís unlikely, yes I will acknowledge that, but it must be prepared for in any case.

Marvinville - The President does not have the ability to nominate nor fire ministers

Saint Songbird - So we should take three times as much time to confirm ministers on the absolutely miniscule offchance that we elect a bad PM?

Snalland - Thatís literally what a ministry is why is it called that if he canít

Saint Songbird - Uh... no.

The Prime Minister appoints the ministers.

Snalland - I was mistaken, but my point remains. Replace the President with prime minister and we are good, I think. Not sure, Iím a yank

Feel free to continue the discourse, but for now let's push on, on this line of confirmations, as we saw first raised in the last Senate by-election, the High Court has experienced quite a tumult as criticisms came about for the first time in many months leading to ideas on holding re-confirmation votes for the justices? Do you feel this is a change you wish to see?

Saint Songbird - Yes, it is. Life terms are rather ineffectual in the NationStates context.

Snalland - No real opinion on this one, unfortunately. But more voting is always good so I could get down with it.

Saint Songbird - That's a... flawed ideology at best.

Snalland - All ideologies are flawed, intrinsically.

Saint Songbird - Not my point.

Snalland - No, but I did state I didnít have a real opinion either way, Iím too uninformed on this topic.

Marvinville - I abstain from this topic

Saint Songbird - Does the value of the vote outweigh the time waster of the vote, is my question.

I believe in this case it does.

Snalland - It wouldnít waste much time if we could get the legislature to work efficiently, though.

Saint Songbird - How do you plan to do that, then?


Snalland - No clue, just a hypothetical

Good question though, wish I could answer it in a manner that would provide some satisfaction

Very well, and the issue that has dominated the past couple election cycles, what are your views on the move to reduce the size of the House of Commons from its present 15 seats to 11 seats? Is this something that can counteract what many view as a ponderous chamber plagued by inactivity as bills have passed with just eight out of fifteen voting and what are your opinions on "The Amendment To Fix a Problem In the Constitution Which Is Very Big and Should Definitely Get Fixed Because If it Doesn't That Probably Means The Legislature Isn't Smart" with its forthcoming referendum?

Saint Songbird - Well I'm of the opinion that legally we can't hold another referendum on reduction before the general election, but I do support it, yes.

Marvinville - I strongly support the push to reduce the size of the House of Commons from 15 seats to 11 seats but we should go further than that and reduce the Senate from 9 seats to 7 seats as well.

Saint Songbird - ^^

Snalland - Efficiency versus democracy is an interesting question, one that goes a bit more in depth than can be stated in a discord post.

But reduction, for now, I am behind.

Saint Songbird - What about reduction?

Snalland - Iím behind it, so long as we keep in mind potential growth of Thaecia and the necessity of adding more representative the more people join, should probably be in the constitution imo

Marv, why do you feel that the Senate should be reduced alongside the House, many a Senator has expressed their feeling that the chamber is sufficiently operating on the current number, resulting in no move to reduce that chamber with the last Congressional Reduction Act?

Saint Songbird - I hate to push, but what sort of amendment would you propose adding?

Snalland - Some sort of ratio, one that allows for growth.

1:50 maybe

Marvinville - We have seen that Emaz has resigned from the Senate, Rayray is leaving for the Court, Hulldom is not going to run for re-election. Last time we had an election to fill 9 seats in the Senate, there were only 10 candidates. I believe that the Senate should be reduced to continue a longstanding tradition of competitive elections and to prevent there being a lack of candidates to fill seats

Onto a different note, although the House might not be the most involved in Foreign Affairs as a chamber, as asked by Dykataar, what are your thoughts on Thaecia being in a WA voting bloc or in any other interregional organizations like the Consortium?

Marvinville - I believe that Thaecia should not be in any WA voting bloc nor should we be in any interregional organizations such as Consortium. I am a proud isolationist and we should be focused within our own region, not with others

Saint Songbird - No to a voting bloc, yes to an interregional organization, although it depends on the specific agreement. We'll have to see with Consortium.

Snalland - I am very against the voting block as it actively works against what we have constructed with regards to our ideals of democracy. If the inter regional organization shares similar ideals, I could support it.

Now, as a final note before some targeted questions, a candidate in another by-election for the Senate, Toerana V has suggested other systems to running the Thaecia legislature, "Do you support the removal of an elected legislature, and instead have a citizen legislature, with all citizens participating in the legislature?"

Snalland - In the abstract I support direct democracy, but seeing as how often times 15 people canít come up with the time to vote on simple issues, it wouldnít work here.

Saint Songbird - Yes, but in due time.

Marvinville - An elected legislature is a hallmark of our region so it would be a mistake to remove it.

Chip, could you expand on what you mean, do you envision Thaecia as a region with such a legislative outlook in the future?

Saint Songbird - If there is popular support for it, yes, but it would need a referendum similar to the way we had unicameralism.

Chip - The last time you ran for office was a couple weeks ago in a Senate by-election, saying that you were looking to retire from political life here and exiting with a last hurrah. Yet now we see a serious campaign with the flairs of memes as in your campaign posts, why's that?

Saint Songbird - I can't get into specifics as it's personal issues, however, circumstances have changed within the region that make it feel more like a safe space for me again and I'd like to be involved now that that is the case.

Marv - As of now, you are serving as an Associate Justice in the Supreme Court after having resigned from your Senatorial post to accept that nomination just last month. Why have you decided to leave the court so soon after confirmation?

Marvinville - The court itself is incompetent and we all have seen it in the last trial. I can serve this region better in the legislative branch as I have for well over a years time

Snalland - In your campaign dispatch you look to change the Constitution to make a "simplified yet robust version", could you detail some of these changes and how you intend to make it more "robust" and "simplified"?

Snalland - I apologize, itís going to take a bit of time to respond in any sort of half decent way.

Give a brief synopsis if you will, after all, this is the primary point in your campaign promises.

Snalland - The idea of the constitution is to outline the laws of the nation, and how it is run. Our constitution barely does the second, and not the first at all. To simplify a new constitution, is to keep its meaning, but (for lack of better term) dumb it down a bit.

The robustness requires that we recognize that too much simplification will allow for faulty, incorrect analyses of the constitution. We must be certain that the constitution means what it says, and what it says canít be confused for something it is not.

Solid responses, but now we appear to have reached the time to close off this debate, if you have any cross-questions you wish to ask any of the other candidates, feel free to do so now.

Saint Songbird - Marv, you just became a court justice in the past two months, and now you're already running for house. What's to keep you from getting bored of the House, too?

Snalland, I again ask for specific examples of places you'd like to cut down the Constitution.

Marvinville - I am a legislative person. I have served for over a years time in our Congress and I like participating in our legislative process to pass and amend laws

Snalland - Removing bits isnít the point, itís to take the bits that exist, refine them. Then simplify from there. You can go on and on about what needs to be added, we should in fact go on and on, but in its current state a ďbabyís first constitutionĒ should be released.

I see this being brought up, but what do the other candidates feel about this seat warmer election?

Seems most people are kinda pissy about it

Canít say I blame them, a bunch of guys got elected then just gave up halfway through. If they werenít committed they shouldnít have started, no?

Closing Remarks

Very well, seeing no further responses on the floor, I now invite the candidates to give some closing remarks if they wish. If so, I invite you to include somewhere what 10 + 9 is.

Snalland - I donít have the experience, or the expertise my fellow candidates have.

But I can promise each and every one of you that I will work twice as hard as they will to make sure the people get what they deserve.

Saint Songbird - I think this debate has painted a pretty clear picture of who is prepared and who is qualified to fill the shoes of MP. We need someone competent, we need someone active, and we need someone tested, in these critical days before our general elections I would like to be that chipmunk-unicorn-person.

Marvinville - Thank you Taungu for hosting this debate. I enjoyed debating the other contestants and wish them luck in the election. I hope to earn your vote in this election so this house can have decency and competency again


Thank you to all these wonderful candidates for taking the time to participate in this debate, letting us take a closer glance at their views and visions for their potential terms as MPs.

It has been a wonderful time to see some of their views on new or old contentious topics in the discourse of Thaecia!

If you would like to give your thoughts on who you feel performed the best in this debate, leave it down below, till next time for the Senate debate tomorrow!