Thalassia Election January 2020: Arenado Leads, Candidates Answer Questions

The results of a NationStates Today poll for the January 2020 Thalassia Prime Minister election are in. We polled approximately one-third of the Thalassian electorate by the last election’s figures from January 14 to 16, with 11 individuals being asked, “which of the following candidates would you vote for if voting were held today?”

Arenado commands the lead

Arenado, who has been endorsed by former founder of Thalassia, Cormac, and current President Rockiberg received 54.5% of the vote from those polled. Wiskawga, who has been endorsed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayeinc and Veaetmar, received 27.3% of the vote. Toerana, endorsed by Minister of Culture Liruslau, who was convicted for espionage in Lazarus after leaking Lazarene Guard operational information to third parties, and labelled as “disqualifying” by former founder Cormac and President Rockiberg, was chosen by 18.2% of respondents. Ashurg received no votes in the poll, perhaps showing that the criticisms levelled against them for having never been a member of the civil service are resonating with voters.



Nearly all voters who picked Arenado as their prefered candidate listed his reform plans, which mainly centre around the creation of the Department of Administrative Affairs to control record-keeping and implement wide-ranging reforms from changing who can attend Cabinet meetings to shaking up the Ministries, as the main reason behind their choice. Most Wiskawga supporters respected and admired him for his service as Minister of Security. Toerana’s time as Minister of Culture before his resignation due to differences of opinion with the Prime Minister was the main reason those that selected him as their preference did so.

Picking up new voters from those who are currently supporting other candidates may prove difficult this election – ranking themselves on a 1-to-10 scale of likeliness to change their mind, 54.5% placed themselves at 3 or lower to indicate that they were highly unlikely, while the remaining portion placed themselves at 6 or 7 to indicate a moderate potential of changing their eventual vote. Although the initial results show an absolute majority for Arenado, there may still be time for the other candidates to campaign and potentially pull this race back.

Candidates answer voters’ pressing questions


What proposals do you have to help the roleplay scene in Thalassia? (anonymous)

Arenado: “In my campaign, I have promised to revitalize the roleplay; I am proud that our roleplay community is going strong as ever. There are a few roleplay projects I have been working on for some time and I am happy to say one of them is close to completion. I will also be approaching the roleplay community to see what would be needed to improve the roleplay scene in our region.

Toerana: “Nothing new as of late, but I have ideas about further expanding the role of in-character player-ran international organisations as a way to promote activity.

Wiskawga: “I want to establish a roleplay summary to help roleplayers keep up with the events that have happened in the roleplay. I would also like to have special roleplays (e.g. one-time scenarios).


What is your stance on Thalassia joining an interregional alliance or coalition? (Ayeinc)

Arenado: “Generally speaking, I am not opposed to joining such a coalition or even starting our own; context is king, however, and the specificities of such an alliance would be important before committing one way or another. It would not be a high priority for me in government at first, though.

Toerana: “It depends on the nature of the coalition, its members and the principles. However, I am not against the proposition given we’d be given fair representation and it stands for ideals that we ourselves share. As per our anti-fascist stance, I would not be pro, in any way shape or form, joining an alliance/coalition with members that have ties to fascist regions, or themselves are fascist/preach hateful ideologies.

Wiskawga: “I’m certainly not against us joining one, but it would depend on the alliance or coalition.


Do you plan to keep the Ministry structure as it is now or change it? (Liruslau)

Arenado: I do intend to make some changes to the structure of the Ministries if elected. I intend to make changes to the Ministry of Information, splitting off the recruitment part of its responsibilities and reforming the Ministry to focus on record-keeping and the regional newspaper. I would create two new Ministries, the Ministry of Recruitment, responsible for recruitment and integration of new citizens, and the Ministry of Administrative Affairs, a Ministry I would create to spearhead the administrative reforms I would like to pursue if elected.

Toerana: “Likely keep it the same, however, I may look towards expanding Information or Culture to look towards encompassing more general Internal Affairs roles and potentially running recruitment in the future, though more likely Information for that.

Wiskawga: “If that means not discarding or adding any Ministries, yes. I’m satisfied with the structure we currently have and, for now, I don’t think we need any more or less.

I would look to have many of the departments run relatively independently, promoting and introducing new ideas, and I have no plans to change roleplay drastically.

Toerana

How will you foster the growth of the region, both in the number of nations residing in it, as well as in involvement with regional activity? (anonymous)

Arenado: “To refer to the previous question, I would create a Ministry of Recruitment which would be responsible for the recruitment and integration of new citizens. This should streamline and rationalize our recruitment process, increasing efficiency in recruitment. As for regional activity, I will be working with the Ministry of Culture to create new cultural events – from new roleplays to, potentially, a regional festival.

Toerana: “Rewarding activity and actively promoting both offsite and onsite activity, may it be in rewards programs as I previously mentioned or monthly rewards programs for activity.”

Wiskawga: “Recruitment is very important, and I want to ensure that Thalassia is appealing to people, whether they’re new to NationStates or have been players ‘since time immemorial’. I want to appeal to them through our roleplay, an active public Discord server, and our interregional events.


Do you plan on making any direct changes to the roleplay, or to leave it entirely to the Ministry of Culture? (Yaldian Territories)

Arenado: “I would work with the Ministry of Culture as well as the citizenry as a whole to make whatever changes to the roleplay that would make it the most fun and engaging for our citizens. I would also like to host roundtable conferences with our citizens on the issues of roleplay and culture to see what citizens want. I would like to engage and collaborate both with the Ministry of Culture and our citizenry to make the best roleplay and cultural community possible.

Toerana: “I would look to have many of the departments run relatively independently, promoting and introducing new ideas, and I have no plans to change roleplay drastically.

Wiskawga: “I don’t currently have plans to change roleplay much, other than working to make it more fun and appealing. I do plan to be active in working with the Ministry of Culture to create special roleplays.


If you could enact one new treaty over your term, which region would it be with, why them, and what would the treaty involve? (anonymous)

Arenado: “I would be willing to consider treaties with several regions from Karma to India, however, context is king and the specificities of any treaty would need to be known before any commitment can be made one way or another. I would like to improve our ties with embassy regions and would consider many potential means to that end including inter-regional events and treaties.

Toerana: “Tricky question. My go-to would be a region similar to ours, likely DSA [the Democratic Socialist Assembly], but my knowledge of interregional affairs is not good enough to give a definite and detailed answer at this time.

Wiskawga: “To be honest, there’s not one particular region that I currently want to focus on enacting a treaty with. Overall, I’d like to improve our foreign relations everywhere. I would say that any treaties we do decree would most likely primarily be for co-operation with security and cultural affairs.


Do you believe it is the duty of a public official to disclose their in-game past? Do you believe certain charges should be taken into consideration when running for such a lofty position? (anonymous)

Arenado: “I do think that it is advisable for public officials to disclose their in-game past to the public and that it is in the public interest to do so. To that end, I will be releasing a dispatch later sharing a bit more about myself and my in-game history with the public. I also do believe that certain charges should absolutely be considered when standing for such a position on a case-by-case basis, however, context is king and the specificities of such a charge are incredibly important before making a final decision.

Toerana: “Any charges or crimes committed within Thalassia should definitely be considered when casting a vote or running for election, but I do not believe anyone should be forced to disclose their past. People have done things they may not be proud of, but they should not be forced to disclose this to the public.

Wiskawga: “Transparency is very important to regional security. Do I believe it is a public official’s duty to disclose their past? Well, if they are asked about previous positions in regions—or even just the regions they’ve been in at all—or if they are asked about aliases, yes, I do believe they should disclose that information. Even if they aren’t asked by the public, I think that it is wise to disclose their past, whether only to government officials or to the public. And I do believe certain charges should be taken into consideration when running for an office. I do, however, have experience in mostly Internal Officer-related positions during my short time in the game, which have given me valuable experience on the game and how various programs tend to impact the region.

In short, I want to reform the Ministry of Information to make its mandate more manageable, I want to introduce a new roleplay […] I want to create two new Ministries (Recruitment and Administrative Affairs), and I also want to review the government as a whole.

Arenado

How important is the separation of powers in your eyes? (anonymous)

Arenado: “I consider the separation of powers to be quite important – the line between the political and the non-political should be clear and respected. However, I also see the value of seeking the views and opinions of people in non-political roles, especially when they can be considered to have the utmost qualifications to contribute.

Toerana: “Very. Giving too much power to one individual is dangerous, regardless of whether they are elected or not.

Wiskawga: “Very. I don’t believe that it’s wise to leave so much power in one person’s hands, regardless of whether they were elected or not. Power in government needs to be well distributed through separate individuals and Ministries, but according to the role that the individuals or Ministries play.

I don’t believe that it’s wise to leave so much power in one person’s hands, regardless of whether they were elected or not. Power in government needs to be well distributed through separate individuals and Ministries, but according to the role that the individuals or Ministries play.

Wiskawga

Will you be enforcing the use of deputies? How important is it to have deputies?  (anonymous)

Arenado: I don’t want to tell my Ministers how they should run their Ministries down to the minutia of whether they should use deputies or not, however, as a deputy myself, I can confirm that they are an incredibly useful tool not only to the Minister but the region as a whole. So I would encourage but not mandate their use.

Toerana: “I will not be enforcing deputies, but I do believe they are important. A good deputy is someone who the Minister can rely on to help release projects and work on regular updates and things to that nature. However, not everyone may want or need a Deputy, so I will not be enforcing the position.

Wiskawga: “I think it’s pretty important to have deputies, and I would like deputies to play more of a role than they do now. It’d be great to have deputies to help represent Thalassia in interregional affairs, and to prepare them to become a Minister—acting or not—should the need arise. That being said, I don’t believe it should be required to have a deputy, but it’s good to have one.


ARENADO only: What do your reform plans entail? (NationStates Today)

Arenado: “I have laid out several of my plans for reform in both my campaign dispatches and in this interview, and I am always willing to answer more detailed questions if you want more specificity. But, in short, I want to reform the Ministry of Information to make its mandate more manageable, I want to introduce a new roleplay and work with the roleplay community to make changes as needed, I want to create two new Ministries (Recruitment and Administrative Affairs), and I am also [sic] want to review the government as a whole to see what changes can be made to increase transparency and efficiency.


ARENADO only: How do you intend to implement these reform plans? (NationStates Today)

Arenado: “There are several methods to pursue – the Ministry of Administrative Affairs would look into possible ways to increase the effectiveness and transparency of government as a whole, I want to work with my Cabinet Ministers to implement reforms as we can and, if needed, we will also consider methods such as legislation.


TOERANA only: How do you feel your past can impact your potential performance as Prime Minister? (NationStates Today)

Toerana: “Well, the obvious aspect for me will be my banning in Laz and subsequent ban in Osiris will make Foreign Policy there tricky, but not impossible in any stretch of the imagination. The Government is comprised of multiple people who are likely willing and capable to negotiate on my behalf and on the behalf of the region, as the PM is elected to represent the region.


TOERANA only: Do you believe that the founder should take a bigger role in government? (NationStates Today)

Toerana: “No.


WISKAWGA only: You proposed a judiciary in your manifesto. Do you intend to continue this pledge despite prominent members voicing their opposition to it? (NationStates Today)

Wiskawga: “After collecting more opinions on the matter, I’ve decided it may be best to discard my proposal of a judiciary. I won’t abandon it completely, as I’ll look into other ways to possibly reform the idea to make it more feasible.

Wymondham

Wymondham Asteorra has been in NationStates for over three years, spending most of that time in Osiris. He presently serves as their Vizier of Foreign Affairs, having also been Chief Scribe for a year, as well as Minister of Home Affairs and Deputy Minister of Security in Pacifica and Thalassia, and Tribunal Prefect and Tribune of Culture in the Empire of Mare Nostrum. He currently serves as Public Relations Director and Chief Gameplay Editor of NationStates Today. In his spare time, he enjoys preparing, getting guests for, and recording the podcasts - the work never stops!