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The Rejected Times: Issue LIII

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Issue LIII | August 1, 2019

Media Officer: The Aligned People

"Being Proud of our Pride" | OPINION | WRITTEN BY Senior Correspondent Glacikaldr | EDITED BY The Aligned People
"The Rejected Realms Election Frenzy" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY Media Officer The Aligned People
"The Marsupial Protection Act (and why it failed)" | SATIRE | WRITTEN BY Intern Sancta Romana Ecclesia/Paulus Gaius Epistre | EDITED BY The Aligned People

Being Proud of our Pride
OPINION | WRITTEN BY Senior Correspondent Glacikaldr

As Pride Month came and went this June, I'm proud to be a part of a community that so unilaterally and unapologetically embraced its diversity. From regional to national flags, we decided to show our true colours, and show them we did. As an ally, I found it inspiring to see just how many of my different social circles made a point to embrace the underlying compassion and good-will behind the symbolism of Pride Month.

There's always the odd unsavoury moment flaring up because of these things, from some rather questionable RMB discussions to outright hate, but I think it's important for us to reflect on how important it is to keep activities like these, as unspoken or intentional as they may be, alive and thriving among our community. We have to remember the demographics and impressionability of new players in this game, and how important it is for us to be accountable for setting the tone over the more grey areas of our environment, even when freedom in our nation's, and even region's, roleplay is also a priority.

And for that reason, I stand to challenge our community to celebrate its acceptance and diversity beyond Pride Month. We are and damn well ought to be proud of our communities acceptance, and the positive vibes we're sending across our community, and unapologetic of this fact at all times of the year. Seeing General Assembly Resolution #467 pass, “Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy”, stands as a testament of where we are considering it appropriate for our roleplay and our OOC values to meet following this Pride Month.

But we still have a way to go: with 23.4% of the World Assembly nations who, constituting 3,309 nations, voted against the passage of this Bill. No doubt at least half of them can be contributed to how they received the in-your-face messaging our regions sent out throughout Pride Month (and if TRR's RMB is any indicator, I'm surprised the Bill even passed as easily as it did - certainly some messages spread by the loud minorities put a damper on a couple of my days this June).

Now, I'm not saying all these votes against the Bill were born out of retaliation for Pride Month's vibes, but, for the players who care little for preserving the 'sanctity of complete roleplay freedom' of which must categorise the majority of the people that are inhabiting our nations, I'm sure it had a considerable impact on the overall votes against.

We can't possibly change everyone's minds but that's not really the point. It's important for us to call out toxic behaviour in this community so that our most impressionable and young players are clear on what we see as right and wrong.

Where do nations fit into all this? Well, to the lowly nation wanting to make a positive impact and send a positive message but without the time to do so, this is my challenge to you: when the next season of trading cards are about to be released, make sure you have the Pride flag featured or even overlayed on your nation's flag. Make it clear to all future card collectors, hopefully reaching the more casual players who open a pack or two as well, where this community stands. If you need a flag made, I highly recommend the “Flag Makers/Requests II” thread currently active under the Gameplay subgroup, found here. I also ask that the powers-at-be help accommodate for this challenge through providing some warning for when the next season is going to be, allowing people interested in undertaking this challenge some time to prepare.

For now, I'm going to keep my nation's flag with the Pride flag proudly displayed. The more people who see it, the better.

The Rejected Realms Election Frenzy
NEWS | WRITTEN BY Media Officer The Aligned People

The Rejected Realms has seen many elections these past few months and there has definitely been no shortage for those that love regional politics here in TRR. Ever since the joint Officer and Speaker election was held back in April of this year, TRR has had six elections. The reasons that lay behind all of these elections include resignations, challenges, officials switching positions, and some had already been scheduled as mandated by the Constitution.

The first election in the line of six began when Jamie resigned from the role of Officer. The resignation came a week after the start of the election voting period and in it, Jamie apologized to all who gave their support in the election and stated that real-life matters needed to be focused on. This resignation began the process for a special election to be held to fill the vacant Officer position. Jamie was the Officer of Outreach, so those deciding to run in the special election geared their campaigns towards Outreach. Voters had a choice between five candidates that could fill the vacant Officer position; Neop, Bormiar, Rom, Bobberino, and Xanderstralia. It eventually came down to two: Bobberino and Neop. Bobberino won the election by a vote of 15 to 10.

The next election in this string was the Delegate election as prescribed by the Constitution of The Rejected Realms. We had three candidates who were running for the position: Kyorgia, Deadeye Jack, and The Church of Satan. Kyorgia originally joined the region in 2014 and decided to stay due to the “interesting theme we had. Kandy's BBQ & Grill was still running and there was frequent talk on the RMB about it” (Kyorgia). Deadeye Jack joined the region in 2017 and became involved all throughout TRR. Deadeye Jack has served “as Culture Officer, as an ambassador and a foreign affairs advisor, an active participant on the Regional Message Board,” and “as a writer for The Rejected Times” (Deadeye Jack). The Church of Satan had previously served as Delegate of TRR, and he was ready to get back into the ring after taking a break from public service. In the end of the election, Kyorgia won with 33 votes against Deadeye Jack with 24 in the second round.

Because Kyorgia was elected Delegate, his former government position as Foreign Affairs Officer had to be filled. Sarah, Flower Boy, Morover, and The Church of Satan all ran to fill this new vacant position. Sarah won the election with a total of 13 votes. Her platform consisted of a campaign that was geared towards Culture and Outreach. As such, she became the new Officer of Culture for TRR after Deadeye Jack said he would be willing to change Officer roles from Culture to Foreign Affairs. A new election was not needed to confirm Deadeye Jack to his new position because the power to assign Officers their role lays with the Delegate.

The next election was triggered after N-Vice/Invincible challenged then Officer Bobberino for the position. The campaign/challenge that N-Vice put forward was all said in a couple of sentences: “I'm frustrated that the Flemingovians of The North Pacific have invaded TRR, the motherland of Zyonnism. Because of this, I have no choice but to challenge Bobberino for the position of Outreach Officer. Hail Zyonn!” (N-Vice). Many citizens regarded this challenge as a joke and denounced the challenge due to the lack of a platform. N-Vice did stand by his challenge and the platform he put forward. But even then, other citizens made their animosity towards the challenge known as this platform was only held up by Bobberino’s involvement with The North Pacific, which was regarded as unnecessary and disrespectful by some. This special election truly was a rare one as Frattastan confirmed the widespread belief that this challenge was uncalled for:

“It is a joke.
Manson asked Vince to run for the whole Zyonnist meme, and Bob was supportive of the idea (even if he forgot to enter the race).
So yes, this is a pointless and a damaging election: the challenger has no plans and the incumbent supported this endeavour too” (Frattastan).

N-Vice then stated that even though his challenge may have started off as a joke, it has turned into something far from it. So, the challenge went to vote and 12 out of 7 determined that N-Vice should not become Officer. This, however, is not where it ended. This then triggered a Constitutional crisis as Bobberino did not state that he was going to be running against his challenger. Due to this, Manson, who was Speaker at the time, made a statement saying “Since Bobberino didn't contest the challenge, I say that the office of Outreach Officer is vacant…” (Manson). Many did not agree with this decision by Manson as this move by the Speaker was unprecedented. Manson did end up reversing his decision after many citizens made it clear that they did not agree with the move.

The section of the Constitution in question is Article 8, Section C which states “...An official being challenged must confirm their intent to run during the challenge period, but does not require the support of any other citizen.” Some thought that this wording should only apply to challenges that have been triggered due to a mandated election by the Constitution; not when an official is challenged outside of scheduled elections. This led to a discussion thread being made in the Assembly Forum for TRR, and Guy wrote the constitutional amendment that went to vote. This amendment cleared up the main problem of this Constitutional crisis as it states that “An incumbent official being challenged is automatically taken to have submitted a challenge unless they announce a contrary intention.” It also affirms that all persons wishing to run in a Constitutionally scheduled election must state their intent to run regardless of their incumbency status. This proposed amendment and voting thread can be seen Linkhere and is currently up for vote with the voting period ending on August 4th.

About a month after N-Vice’s challenge against Bobberino went to vote, Bobberino decided to resign from his position after being challenged by Flower Boy. Three candidates decided to run, and they were Bormiar/Twertis, Flower Boy, and Morover. In his resignation, Bobberino said that “I can't handle the stress of this office. I'll still be around as a citizen, though. Been fun…” (Bobberino). Morover had the majority of the votes with 15 and won the vacant Officer position. He did take over Bobberino’s place as Outreach Officer. In his campaign, Morover stated he wanted to focus on "Recruitment and the World Assembly...because I believe that they are what can benefit the region the most" (Morover).

This brings us to the last and most recent election which was the TRR Speaker election. There is not too much to go over with this election as it was scheduled and there were no hoops to jump through. Four candidates were on the ballot: Jamie, Borovan, Neop, and Wabbitslayah. Neop got the majority of votes with 16 and was elected Speaker of TRR. And this election frenzy is far from over as Officer elections will be kicking back up today, August 1.

The Marsupial Protection Act (and why it failed)
SATIRE | WRITTEN BY Intern Sancta Romana Ecclesia/Paulus Gaius Epistre

The government of TEP has been pursuing a controversial policy of ejecting nations labeled "marsupials" for some time. "Marsupials" are described as those nations that are inactive, keep the default Aboriginal Flag (this is said to be their biggest crime), do not join the WA, and do not apply for the citizenship. So they're as active as some citizens, minus the fact that inactive citizens have one more post on the offsite forum than them. A considerable number of gameplayers oppose these ejections on the ground that marsupial rights are nation rights.

Due to this policy and the game mechanics used to enforce it, TRR has seen an increase in the marsupial population. A citizen of TRR concerned about this fact, Jamie, brought before TRR's Assembly an act seeking to address the issues of this growing minority - the Marsupial Protection Act. It was a serious attempt at guaranteeing freedoms of the marsupial-kind, particularly their right to stay in TRR, their right to vote, their right to apply for the citizenship, and any other right enumerated in the bill of rights. The proposed law also stated that, while being a protected minority, marsupials are still fully liable under the law for the acts of treason and aggression. Despite its noble intentions, the support from Manson (then Speaker of the Assembly) and some other citizens, the bill didn't succeed and was scrapped by its author, 32 hours after being posted.

Let us examine why it failed. To begin this topic, there were 5 minor issues with this bill:
1) TRR is (reportedly) missing a button to eject nations, so it's not necessary to state that they're welcome in the region by law.
2) Citizenship (and not a nation's classification in the animal kingdom) grants the right to vote per TRR's Constitution.
3) Speaking of TRR's laws, the Marsupial Protection Act would duplicate the Charter of Civil Rights and Responsibilities, as it grants the same rights to all residents, be they marsupials or otherwise.
4) According to the commonly accepted terminology, marsupials cease to be marsupials once they apply for citizenship. So it's redundant to guarantee that they'll receive equal treatment for their citizenship applications.
5) Since TRR lacks an established court of law and the legislation criminalizing aggression or treason, marsupials would need to be held liable for these offences in a kangaroo court. This would seemingly violate the "Nemo judex in causa sua" principle.
But those were, as said already, minor issues.

The much bigger underlying problem with the bill is its structural problems. The act was perceived as lacking in two qualities - seriousness and complexity. It was received by some as a "lame joke" (that's how former TRR Delegate Catalyse described it), it was believed that its provisions "would not have any actual operation" (in the words of another former TRR Delegate, Guy). Therefore, if you are an aspiring legislator, your law should be seen as more serious than the Marsupial Protection Act, i.e. you need to write a long preamble to it. It is an undisputed fact (because nobody disputed it up to this day) that every serious law has a preamble that is at least three lines long. Jamie's proposal had a preamble that was 3 times shorter than this minimum. The law should also have a complex structure. Intricately written laws, that introduce several new definitions and are divided into many articles, sections, subsections, clauses, subclauses, sub-sub clauses, etc. usually do something. Or at least escape the scrutiny of the masses more easily.

NOTE: The Rejected Times does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rejected Realms.

Discuss this Issue over on the NationStates forum here.

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