by Max Barry

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by The Free Lands of Vancouvia. . 1,085 reads.

So You Want to Run for Office

Probably one of the best things about The Western Isles is that anyone can run for office at virtually any time. We have enough offices that elections are frequent, and by operating on a challenge system, we make sure that officers who are not doing their job are especially likely to lose their position to a better candidate.

However, one of the main faults of letting everyone run for office is that there is no quality control; there is no guarantee that the candidates will know what they should be doing and how to convey that in their speech. Therefore, I am taking some time to write this dispatch, in an effort to educate potential candidates on what the officers should be doing, so that they can better craft a speech and can better execute their office if elected. What I say from this point on is only my opinion and is not law nor anything close, but may be helpful for you if you are running for an office or plan on it eventually. Think of this as complementary to the Constitution.

How do Elections Work?

Elections occur in one of two ways. First, if the office is currently unfilled (most likely due to a resignation) then an election will occur. Second, if an officer is challenged by a non-officer for their position after the officer has served a reasonable period of time, then an election will occur. In both cases the Founder will send out a regional telegram asking for candidates to send them their speeches. You nominate yourself simply by telegramming the Founder a speech within that 24+ hour period. After the 24+ hours, the Founder puts all the speeches in a dispatch and then sets up a regional poll. After the poll expires, the candidate with the most votes fills the office.

So, what should officers be doing?


All officers should know that their duties are solely OOC, meaning that their nation itself isn't an officer, rather the player is. Officers should be very active. Officers should spend time RPing with others on the various regional RPs. Officers should be fairly knowledgeable on regional documents, the NationStates site (including its terms and acronyms), and their fellow nations. Officers should be approachable, friendly, and helpful. Communication is key; all officers should be actively conversing with the President, other officers, and the region in general.


This is arguably the most open-ended position. The President should be capable of leading the region and the members within and representing its values. The President is also in charge of embassies and representing The Western Isles to other regions. The President should have the foresight and the pro-activity necessary to not only lead the region, but excel it forward.

Secretary of Recruitment

The Secretary of Recruitment's job is to attract and retain players in the region. This is mostly done through mass telegrams, so it is important to be familiar with that system. The Secretary's job is also to promote the "happiness, well-being, and harmony of member nations" so that means being actively involved in what problems the region is facing and forming ideas to fix them.

Secretary of Role-Play

The Secretary of Role-Play is in charge of establishing and enforcing common sense realism standards while also making sure people have enough quality opportunities to engage in RP. Therefore, the Secretary should have enough practical experience, knowledge, and ideas in order to make sure the region's RP climate continues to be accessible and well-stocked.

Secretary of Information

The Secretary of Information should be able to find and present important information on a regular basis. This means they need to be able to communicate with the other officers and the region as a whole in order to publish relevant, informative reports.

General Tips

Make a good speech! Longer doesn't always mean better, but shorter almost certainly means worse. What I mean by this is show that you actually want the position by putting effort into the speech, but don't feel like you have to write a huge ten paragraph essay on why you were destined for this position. Use good grammar, make it flow smoothly, and don't be afraid to add a little emotion and passion. Also, don't be afraid to talk about yourself, i.e. "I was in a speech team/debate team/model UN so I know how to debate/present myself/be professional..."

Understand what the position entails. Don't say something in your speech that is completely unrelated to the position. If you're trying for Secretary of Recruitment, don't talk about how you want to start up more RPs, as that is not your job. Make sure you completely understand what you will do if elected.

Talk not about what you want to do, but what you will do. If you have plans or goals, say step-by-step how you will accomplish them, and be sure that what you have in plan is actually capable of being accomplished.

Do some research. Talk with former officers and current officers. You can ask me for advice any time and I'll help you. I am more than willing to assist you with your speech, or answer questions about the offices.

Be ready to campaign and then campaign. Feel free to do this by telegram or on the RMB. Keep it civil but don't be afraid to explain how you're better than the other candidates.

Spend some time in the region before trying for an office, unless you really think you have what it takes. Even though they probably shouldn't, a large proportion of voters vote simply on how well they know a person. Spending some time on the RMB and on regional threads can be a huge plus in your favor. Establish yourself before seeking office.

Find the right balance between serious and silly, formal and casual. Know how to be amicable enough to sway people to your side, but serious enough that people know you will actually carry out the duties of the office.

The Free Lands of Vancouvia