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We Need Higher Standards | The Assemblian

POLEMIC: We Need Higher Standards
by Kavagrad
As I write this, TLA is in the midst of a Secretarial election to decide Secretary Greylyn's successor. If pre-election polling is to be believed, Minister of Foreign Affairs Super Awesome Fun Times is likely to win a first-round victory and become our next Secretary. However, as Assemblians decide on the leadership that will take us into the future, I would like to take a few minutes of your time to discuss the recent past. As we hopefully elect a better government for TLA going forward, the time has come to enact a shift in our political culture in order to secure that quality.

When I talk about the inactivity and incompetence of the current executive branch, I should be clear in what I mean, so let's use an example that is playing out as we speak. The voting period for this Secretarial election was supposed to start on December 8th. Elections start on time in TLA. Sometimes, rarely, we miss it by a few hours, but never by more than a day. This time, we were three days late. Voting began on December 11th, the day it was supposed to end. Why did this happen? Well, it's the Secretary's job to appoint a Founder to act as the lead election moderator. Until one is appointed, elections cannot begin. This is usually sorted a few days before voting is supposed to open, so that the mod team has time to meet and ensure that the election form is correct and secure. Instead, a Founder mod wasn't appointed until December 10th, and even that only occurred after the Founders had to remind the Secretary to do it. As a result, Grey's term has been artificially extended by three days, and his successor's term will be three days shorter than it should've been. Let's be clear: This is an unprecedented failure by the Secretary to do the most basic aspects of their role when it comes to election season. The Founders handle most election-related work, appointing a Founder mod is one of the few things the Secretary actually had to do, and yet here we are.

These sorts of problems aren't new with the current leadership. In fact, the Secretary has been largely inactive since the collapse of the WA Ministry (a whole other problem) earlier this term, and yet there have been few questions asked of the Secretary, no real criticism of the Secretary's absence, and certainly no calls for the Sec to resign or for a Vote of No Confidence to be held. What I fear, and the recent past seems to confirm this, is that Assemblians have become complacent with our political leadership. It appears that we're losing our ambition for good government. That's a massive problem, and one we need to solve. A poorly-functioning executive branch is one thing, a populace that doesn't do anything about it is far more dangerous.

After all, is it acceptable that the Secretary has been inactive since mid-October? No. Is it acceptable that the election has been delayed by several days, that the Secretary will serve the longest single term in TLA's recent past by sheer incompetence alone? Of course not. So why have we been treating it as if it's acceptable? Why does nobody ask the hard questions of our government anymore? Are Assemblians waiting for a cue, for a big name to speak out before they do? We all have a voice, use yours! Do Assemblians think they don't have the political capital to hold the government to account? A Vice-Secretary was brought down just last year by a VoNC from a nation that has never run for office, history demonstrates that all Assemblians have that power if they're right in what they say! Have we simply had it too good for too long, with a year of competent and unobjectionable governments leading to complacency? Let the failures of this term be the wake-up call that we need to prevent this from happening again!

If we're to prevent bad government in our Assembly going forward, we must both raise our expectations of our government and increase the level of day-to-day pressure on it. Assemblians must call out errors and inactivity, demand change where change is needed, and not be afraid to ask if a Cabinet member simply isn't good enough to stay in their post. It is our duty to hold our government to a higher standard, and we've failed at that duty just as our executive branch has failed at theirs. It's time for a more politically active citizenry, and that change comes from all of us. Get involved, be vigilant, fight for a better government, and for a better TLA.


For A Better Assembly!

by Kavagrad, 12/12/2021

The assemblian

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