Opinion

Analysis: The state of play in Adammic politics at dissolution

Adam I, Editor

SERKATIA – The sixth legislature of the Ruling Council dissolved on Wednesday, which makes this an ideal time to look back on the term which has just gone, as well as speculate about what the future holds for Adammia’s parties and key politicians.

Not counting the fallow months between now and the autumn, Lord Helliker has now effectively completed his first term of office as Prime Minister. The term has gone well – despite a few inactive months following the New Year, the governing coalition has succeeded in bringing a healthy amount of legislation through the Council. Legislation around the courts and electoral law is aimed at strengthening the rule of law in Adammia, something which is badly needed following last year’s government transition. However, regardless of what the statute book says, Adammia’s presence is still felt very weakly in provinces such as Alluria and Paternia. Next term, there will be an expectation for the executive to switch to a higher gear, with a particular need to get the Adammic Police Force up and running again – constables have still not been appointed for the new provinces.

The Moderates still have only one active member – the Prime Minister – which means they lack any substantial presence on the Ruling Council. However, this might not matter; Helliker has proved a competent Prime Minister and it is probably more likely than not that he will be re-elected in October based on his personal vote. From there, the Moderates can easily work with the Liberals – with whom they share similar ideological ground – and independent members to secure a Council majority.

One thing that is clear from the events of the past year – especially the recent establishment of the Dank Party – is that Adammic politics remains very fluid. New members have been hesitant to get on board with existing parties, instead opting to start their own, or remain as independent members. In particular, this spells trouble for the Liberal Party. Despite currently having more Council seats than any other party, they will soon lose Lord Gurr as he leaves the Council after graduating from Birmingham University. That, combined with the fact that the party’s leader, Lord General Panconi, is extremely inactive, means that the Emperor could be the Liberals’ only active politician next term – and of course, he is prohibited from running for Prime Minister due to being Monarch. Unless the Liberals can recruit someone new quickly, they will probably have to nominate Panconi again, who will almost certainly not win another National Election. A potential solution could be for the Liberals to merge with the Moderates – as already mentioned, the two parties already occupy similar ideological ground, and they have proven that they can work well together as part of the current coalition. However, both parties have long and proud histories, and they may be unwilling to surrender their traditional identities.

Another party that will probably be in trouble is the Nuclear So-and-so Party. Lady Admiral Simpson is currently their only active member, and like Lord Gurr she will probably be leaving the Council after she graduates. Even if the Nuclear So-and-sos manage to recruit a new member, they could be hurt electorally by the fact that they did not actively promote their manifesto much during the past term; they U-turned on STV, instead supporting the Liberal proposal of AV. It had previously been expected that Lady Peace might might join the Nuclear party, given that she and Lady Simpson are close friends, but the establishment of the Dank Party means that instead, the Dank Party will probably replace the Nuclear So-and-sos in the next legislature. At the last election, despite their unusual name, the Nuclear party presented a serious challenge to the Moderates, falling short by just a couple of votes. Could the Dank Party inherit this strong position? That depends on whether Lady Peace is prepared to adopt a more serious position – despite their name, the Nuclear So-and-sos did have a serious, yet radical, manifesto. Running on a joke platform may be entertaining, but as was showed by Lord McKenna’s disastrous re-election campaign in August 2017, it rarely yields results in Adammia.

The Labour Party is in a similar situation to the Dank Party. Newly-revitalised with a single active member in the form of Lord Maude (who will likely be party leader by the autumn, with Lord Hall expected to stand down in his favour this summer), Labour too must make a choice between a serious platform or a novelty platform. Maude is yet to fully reveal his plans for Labour, but his comments at his first Ruling Council meeting mostly seemed to be aiming to satirise Corbynism.

So, looking at the current state of play, we can see two possible outcomes for the next National Election:
-Either there is no serious opposition to Lord Helliker, and he is easily re-elected, or;
-Either Lord Maude or Lady Peace get together a serious manifesto and run a strong campaign against Helliker.

However, there is a third possibility – someone new could come onto the scene. With Paternia due to be ceded back to the United Kingdom in September, the Emperor is already looking at possibilities for new provinces which could replace it. It is understood that the government is preparing for a massive citizen recruitment campaign in the autumn, viewing the political community at Birmingham University as fertile ground. New figures entering Adammic politics could offer new leadership to the Liberal Party, create a rallying point for the opposition parties against Lord Helliker, or even to start another new party altogether which could receive mainstream support. However, it’s worth viewing this possibility with caution – despite lots of excitement last autumn about new politicians from Alluria and Paternia, it turned out that very few of the new citizens were interested in Adammic politics, and the Emperor had to look elsewhere to create a complete Council. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure – October is going to be a very interesting month indeed.

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Emperor Adam I: Micronations as Rational Actors

Note from the Editor: The following is an opinion piece which may not necessarily reflect the views of the Adammic Express.

micromap
Should the theories of international relations and geopolitics be applied to micronations – and if so, how?

I was recently made aware of the Abeldane Empire’s recent decision to leave the Grand Unified Micronational, something which struck me as inexplicable. Why had Abeldane politicians pushed for such an outcome in the referendum? Analysing the situation objectively, it makes little sense: the GUM does not affect the sovereignty of its member states in any way, nor does it carry with it a harmful reputation (quite the opposite, in fact, considering that Austenasia is a member state). Of course, the positive aspects to GUM membership are slim at the present time, as the organisation is still struggling with inactivity, but at the very least the GUM is still a forum in which micronations can foster positive relations, which Abelden has now isolated itself from.

I have heard it said that the vote was something of an imitation of Brexit, which seems to make sense. However, at least the arguments for Brexit were based on some sort of tangible benefits to leaving (as much as I may personally believe that those reasons were deeply flawed). By leaving the GUM, Abelden will not regain any sovereignty, nor will it save any money or indeed have any kind of economic impact. This has led me to the conclusion that the Abeldane politicians who pushed for a Leave vote did so completely arbitrarily. Although there are few positives to GUM membership, there are clearly no negatives, so based on the net result, rationally the opposite decision should have been made.

Around the same time as this news story broke, my Prime Minister Sir Alex Helliker and the Leader of the Opposition Admiral Ems Simpson were both taking part in a Model UN crisis simulation. In this crisis, the two Adammic politicians assumed the roles of members of the Italian cabinet in 1939, and had to gain an advantage over the UK, France and the Soviet Union in the run-up to the Second World War. In this exercise, it was crucial to take rational decisions, by doing research, gathering intelligence, weighing up pros and cons, and evaluating the probability of success for each option. The interests of virtual Italy were clearly defined and decisions were taken with those interests in mind. It occurred to me how different this was to what had just happened in Abelden. The team had assumed the role of a “rational actor” (or alternatively a “rational agent”), and had to act accordingly.

Abelden’s Leave vote is not an isolated example. Micronationalism, especially in the MicroWiki community, is rife with arbitrary-ness and lacking in rationality. How many times have we seen a country join a federation or empire, only to leave it again a few weeks later? Clearly, both the decision to join and the decision to leave cannot both have been the correct decision – one of them was wrong. Why was the wrong decision not identified beforehand? It’s not as if micronationalism is a particularly complicated business – compared with the vast multi-dimensional web of macronational politics and international relations, it’s like child’s play. Did the people involved not even think, for five minutes, about the implications of these decisions for their interests? Do they even know what their national interests are?

How about another question: does it even matter? Aren’t we just here to have fun? Yes, generally speaking, that is the case. For completely non-serious micronations who are just here to mess about, this stuff doesn’t really matter. However, I do believe that if a micronation wants even an ounce of respect from senior micronationalists and the general public, it has to attempt to behave rationally, especially in the field of foreign policy (domestic policy isn’t so important). My reasoning for this is that it can be extremely frustrating for a serious or semi-serious micronation to conduct diplomacy with an arbitrary nation. If someone comes to me offering their territory to become an Adammic colony, how am I to know that they won’t change their mind six months later and suddenly decide that they want independence, despite the fact that I’ve done almost nothing to infringe on their autonomy? In the space of a year, the territory formerly known as Adammic Columbia, which is now called Hoagland, left Adammia to join the Holy Roman Empire, then re-joined us, then left us again to join Austenasia! All this does is leave me with more legislative paperwork to do. There are even more extreme examples out there: in the past four years or so, the micronation currently known as Breckland has changed its government type no less than twenty times. The fact that we don’t know whether we will be dealing with a liberal democracy or a communist dictatorship in a week’s time is the reason why I have never even entertained the idea of granting diplomatic recognition to Breckland. I understand that Austenasian foreign policy expressly rules out setting up relations with nations that have changed their government type too many times in the past year because of situations like these.

As a micronationalist, you are far more likely to earn the respect of senior members of the community if you behave in a logical, rational manner, as it makes you easier to understand and easier to do business with. A micronation can either be arbitrary in its foreign affairs, or be taken seriously – you cannot have the best of both worlds. A possible solution to this problem for those who want both is to set up two micronations: a “serious” one and a “silly” one which acts more like a sandbox. It’s also worth pointing out that running a micronation seriously can still be just as fun as running a micronation arbitrarily. I can assure readers that the members of my government who took part in the Model UN crisis last weekend thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and the parallels between the crisis simulation and serious micronationalism should be obvious (indeed, we arguably have more in common with the Model UN crowd than we do with the geofiction community).

I’m going to wrap this piece up by talking a bit about what a micronation as a rational actor actually looks like. Firstly, it is important to understand what your interests are – what are your goals as a micronation? For Adammia, the main goal is to gain prestige amongst other micronations and to grow our territory and population; most micronations will have pretty similar goals to these. Every major decision needs to be evaluated in the context of your national interest; this is the basic essence of rational actors. Of course, some entities make better rational actors than others, and the key factor here is knowledge. Better decisions can be made if you understand the underlying theory, and also if you have more research and intelligence relevant to the situation. Adammia is currently trying to improve itself in this area – I am looking at bringing on board some of the people involved in the Model UN exercises as advisors. Virtual Italy performed so well in the crisis simulation because understanding the theory of political science and international relations (especially the field of geopolitics) gives you an advantage, and a number of the team members are Politics and/or IR students at the nearby university. Micronationalists may find it useful to do some cursory reading on Wikipedia on the basics of political science and international relations, whilst taking time to think about how the theory may be different when applied to micronations. Indeed, I believe there is plenty of potential for developing an understanding of micronational PS and IR, which I suspect would be broadly similar to the mainstream theory but with some key differences (perhaps this would be a good topic for discussion within the GUM). Aside from theory, good decision-making also requires a practical understanding of the current situation. Proper record-keeping helps with this, and it is one of the reasons why Adammia maintains extensive archives. MicroWiki itself is also incredibly useful if you need information about another micronation. However, sometimes it will be in a nation’s interests to keep some information secret, whilst it may be in another nation’s interests to obtain that information. Therefore, a basic understanding of intelligence may be useful. Micronations don’t tend to have access to elite hackers or 007-style secret agents, so the main field which is relevant here is human intelligence (HUMINT). Adammia has in the past successfully made classified information which would have been embarrassing to Adammic prestige had it been revealed to the community at the time.

Certainly, I feel that micronationalists have much to learn from our cousins in the Model UN community, and at the end of the day I feel that it is in the interests of all serious micronations to think about how to make more rational decisions.

Emperor Adam I: Achieving Success in Micronational Economics

Note from the Editor: The following is an opinion piece which may not necessarily reflect the views of the Adammic Express.

Yesterday, I set up the Empire of Adammia’s first ever private investment fund, adding finance to the list of sectors which the Adammic economy now covers. It joins the media, software development, and wine-making industries in what I described, in my last opinion piece, as “the most successful economy in the MicroWiki community”. This seems like a bold claim, does it not? Last year, we reported a GDP of £118.95. Here’s how the numbers break down: Citizens contributed £56 through the Contributions Scheme, in which each of our 10 over-18 full citizens pays 50p per month to the Treasury. Wine made by my grandfather generated £17.18, a small coding job I did got me £24.57, and adverts on videos on my YouTube channel made £18.62. Physical copies of the Adammic Express made £2.10. My modesty has made me hesitant to make the claim of having created the most successful economy on MicroWiki, but try as I might, I have not been able to find an economy on the Wiki which compares to ours. Leylandiistan might have been a competitor had they stuck around long enough to develop further. Some economies, such as those of Juclandia, reportedly have a much higher GDP extending into the thousands or tens of thousands of pounds, but they don’t go into much detail about how they actually make that money, which has led me to believe that many such countries are counting macronational sources of income in their figures, which is a little misleading.

I would argue that any economic activity only counts as micronational economic activity if it could, in theory, be taxed by your government at a reasonable rate, and if it actually takes place on your territory. Otherwise it’s not really part of your economy at all, and is instead part of the macronational economy. I suppose a better claim would be that Adammia has the most successful verified economy on MicroWiki. We have verified our economy through the use of comprehensive, transparent accounting systems. All of our companies submit quarterly reports to the Imperial Companies Agency, giving us a full breakdown of the economy so that we can see exactly where the money is coming from.

I have noted the increase in interest, over the past year or two, in micronational economics with projects such as the SJEP and the MEG. Recently, the new “Glastieven Model” of economics correctly identified the faults in many of these earlier projects. Their focus was on finance, banks and stock markets, institutions which were useless without any proper businesses to invest in. The few businesses which did exist were extremely niche and offered no practical rate of return. As a result, these systems soon fell into inactivity. The Glastieven Model correctly pointed out that micronational economics is not the same as micronational politics, micronational diplomacy or micronational law. While those can exist as ends to themselves, micronational economics requires more incentives to get the ball rolling. This is because macronations offer much more lucrative opportunities to make money than micronations. People need to buy day-to-day goods such as food, and micronations usually offer nowhere near that level of income, so why would anybody bother if they could just get a macronational job instead, which actually pays the bills?

Whilst the Glastieven Model was initially on the right track, its aversion to working with the macronational economy let it down. It opted to artificially create supply and demand through the use of its own currency, something which I see as the wrong approach. I don’t see anything wrong with integrating your economy with the macronational economy. Surely all macronational economies are integrated into the global economy? Look at it this way: the very nature of micronations means that trade with the surrounding macronation is absolutely vital. Our populations are too small to provide a sustainable number of customers, and we don’t have the raw resources and the labour force necessary to build everything from scratch. Our approach is as follows:

Identify the resources you have available. For example, in Adammia, we have a pear tree, a plum tree, wine-making equipment, and computers which can be used for programming. What skills do your citizens have? In Adammia, I can code, and my grandfather can make wine. Then, offer incentives for people to set up companies which use these various resources. Wine production was already taking place here before Adammia was founded, so it wasn’t difficult to have the operation transformed into a micronational business. You shouldn’t count anything that cannot reasonably be taxed. You may not choose to impose taxes, but in my view, one of the main purposes of creating a micronational economy is to provide your government with extra income. It’s a more fun way of raising funds for your micronation without going after people’s macronational earnings, which is likely to fall flat on its face as people need those earnings for day-to-day living. You can impose a flat rate on citizens in such a manner, but it has to be at an extremely low level to avoid upsetting people – this is why the Adammic Contributions Scheme is only at 50p per month. The addition of tax revenue from our economy gave a significant boost to government income on top of the Contributions Scheme. When it comes to identifying potential sectors which could be capitalised on, it’s often good to investigate people’s hobbies. As I’ve said, most citizens won’t want to have their macronational job taxed. If they work from home, or own a farm, or something like that, then the economic activity is indeed taking place on your territory, but if all the income is coming from outside, and is all needed to spent on goods from outside, it can’t really be considered part of your economy. However, some people may have hobbies which involve making something; before Adammia came along, my main hobby was making YouTube videos, and my grandfather had been making wine for years. The government should be offering these potential CEOs a deal: we will help you monetise what you make, we will use our national infrastructure to connect you with potential customers, and we will do all the accounting for you. In return, we take X% of the profits as taxes, and you get to keep the rest. Citizens now have a way of making a little bit of money on the side doing something they enjoy, with support from your government. If you already have some money sitting in the Treasury, you could also provide your new companies with some extra start-up equity, giving your government a cut of the dividends on top of the tax revenue.

From then on, it’s pretty straightforward. The government will probably have to actively encourage the economy to get started at first, but hopefully your new companies will get settled into a routine. Of course, always be aware of macronational law – this is why Adammia can’t export its wine. It will often be necessary to sell products at a fraction of their market value in order to encourage customers. It’s highly likely that the value of your GDP will be much lower than the macronational market value of all your goods and services, but there’s not much which can be done about that. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter too much, because this is only supplementary income derived from hobbies, rather than a full-time job. The government should always be looking to support the nation’s businesses. This may involve setting up the necessary infrastructure to trade with other micronations or macronational customers (I’ve always been sceptical of trade between micronations because the shipping costs tend to outweigh the value of the goods, rendering the transaction at best extremely inefficient, and at worst counter-productive, but PayPal is your friend here, and as long as you are offering a unique product, they will probably be willing to pay the shipping fees – this business model has worked well for the Lostislandic firm MicroFlag). If you are lucky enough to attract tourists to your nation, they can be an excellent way to make a bit of money for your companies.

A lot of the time, economic activity may be very slow – it’s not uncommon for companies in Adammia to return quarterly reports in which there are 0 sales. However, provided the government continues to provide encouragement, revenues will eventually add up, which is how Adammia gets its annual GDP figure hovering around the £120 mark. Throughout all this, we have deliberately avoided creating a currency. In our view, a currency which would have to be converted into GBP would only slow us down. It would make our companies less attractive to potential customers who would have to make the conversion, and it would make it more difficult for the companies to reinvest their earnings, because if no company exists in the nation to provide what they need (presumably, for example, your nation does not have a factory in it), they will have to import what they need from outside. We have also avoided the use of banks or stock markets. A micronational economy will likely only ever have a handful of companies at best, and maybe only one or two investors – a stock market simply cannot function under these conditions. Maybe if more countries followed our model, there would be enough companies and investors in the community to warrant an intermicronational stock exchange as has been attempted in the past. One of the main reasons why past stock exchanges failed was because the companies listed on them had no real value – they were too niche, and made earnings using currencies which could not be converted into macronational currencies. I cannot state how important it is that any micronational currency must be easily convertible into macronational currencies, because like it or not, we are reliant on the macronational economy if we want our companies to grow (which, of course is the point of a stock exchange – no point investing if you can’t expect a return on your investment). But fiscal policy is a debate for another day, and it’s not a debate I’m particularly interested in, because ultimately it isn’t what determines your nation’s wealth. If you want a micronational economy to work, it’s not finance and currency you should be focusing on – it’s industry and productivity.

Emperor Adam I: The Adammic View of Imperium

Note from the Editor: This is an opinion piece written by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor in his capacity as Monarch and does not necessarily represent the views of the Adammic Express.

The concept of Imperium is fairly well-known in the micronational community. Originating in the Austenasian Civil War over seven years ago, it is a worldview popular in Austenasia, Reyla and the Wyvernian Holy Roman Empire, and is represented by the tri-lateral agreements of recognition which exist between those states. It essentially holds that the only “legitimate” empires are those which can claim descent, via the concept of translatio imperii, from the Roman Empire. Austenasia claimed to have achieved this after being recognised by Sebastian Linden’s revived German Empire in 2011, and later extended the status to Reyla and the Holy Roman Empire by recognising them in turn. In a similar vein, the Holy Roman Empire claimed succession from the historic Holy Roman Empire due to King Quentin’s descent from Charlemagne.

I have been aware of the concept of Imperium since my earliest months in micronationalism, and have always viewed it with a mixture of interest and irritation. During the first year or so of Adammia’s existence, it was a given in Adammic foreign policy that we would eventually directly seek recognition from Austenasia partially for the purpose of attaining Imperium status. In recent years, this has effectively ceased to be an objective of the MoFA (although we would be willing to discuss such matters were Austenasia or another member of the Imperium “club” to approach us).

The reasons for our disinterest in the Imperium worldview are two-fold. Firstly, the whole concept of Imperium is profoundly un-Adammic. By this, I mean that Adammia has always been about self-sufficiency and shaping our own destiny; my claim to use the title of Emperor has always been derived from my sovereignty over an Empire which has been built from the ground-up, independently of foreign interference. It is this philosophy which has driven Adammia to create what is arguably the most successful economy in the MicroWiki community. Under our philosophy, the notion that we must prove descent from a historic entity in order to legitimise our own Imperial Majesty is an implied weakness, as it forces us to rely on other emperors – who have their own empires and their own agendas – in order to validate ourselves.

The second reason is that Imperium arguably has a negative effect on smooth diplomatic relations. It has not escaped our notice that Austenasia very carefully avoids referring to either myself or the Emperor of Paravia as emperors; Adammia has, of course, opted to ignore this in good faith. The reality is that empires are no longer rare in the MicroWiki community. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that we are in an era of great empires dominating the community: Austenasia, a military and diplomatic superpower; Paravia and Abelden, the two territorial superpowers; and, to a lesser extent, Adammia, an economic superpower. Adherence to the Imperium doctrine, and more specifically the Treaty of Wrythe, means that the Imperium nations will not treat the other empires of the community as equals in diplomacy, and will not even grant them the recognition accorded to nations with heads of state of lower diplomatic rank. It may well be that Austenasia would be willing to persue negotiations with other empires so that they may be admitted to this “club”, but the more empires are recognised, the more difficult this would become as the map of the Western Roman Empire becomes increasingly divided in increasingly awkward ways. Here this presents a quandary for Adammia – in the event that discussions as to mutual recognition did ever take place between Adammia and Austenasia, would we have to agree to similar terms as the Treaty of Wrythe meaning that I wouldn’t be able to recognise emperors without the consent of the other Imperium emperors, as I already have done with Paravia and Abelden? Or would Austenasia have to sacrifice its effective monopoly over the entire doctrine? A win-win outcome looks impossible. Certainly, Adammia would flat-out refuse to relinquish its right to recognise foreign empires without relying on the consent of other Imperium empires – this would go against our philosophy that I described earlier.

There are two solutions as I see it: firstly, we continue as we have done for the past four years, and Adammia simply dismisses Imperium as pretentious; secondly, a multilateral treaty involving all of MicroWiki’s active empires be drawn up, so that everyone is put on equal footing. Given the amount of work the latter option would take, I suspect the status quo will remain for the time being.

Adam I: The SDP View on the Longest Night in Mercian Politics

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The following is an opinion piece which does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Adammic Express. This is authored by Emperor Adam I in his capacity as Count Adam Belcher, Leader of the Mercian Social Democratic Party.

We were obviously not expecting the result in the Mercian Parliament House yesterday when Earl Eden of the NLP was elected First Minister. We are now in a situation which clearly violates one of the basic principles of a parliamentary democracy, and the lack of clear legislation on forming coalition governments is to blame.

Baron Uberquie has been kind enough to fill me in on some of the details of the Partisan Democracy Act, which created the framework for the current system. It is a given in a parliamentary democracy that any government should ideally have the support of the majority of the legislature and that a minority government should only be formed if this is not possible. Thus, I believe that an NLP minority government should have been able to form a minority government if and only if the other parties had been unable to form a grouping with more seats than them.

However, this is not the case. An agreement was formed between the PDP, the SDP and the Green-Socialist Independent to rule as a majority coalition. This coalition had a majority of seats in the House and should, therefore, be the rightful government. However, there was nothing in the PDA to reflect this kind of situation, which was clearly a mistake by the authors of the said Act. The coalition was forced to improvise, automatically assuming the mantle of government and adding in what was supposed to be a ceremonial vote to cement our position. Clearly, we failed to recognise that this vote could be abused due to the fact that it took place entirely in the House Skype room rather than on the forums. The NLP won the vote only because Earl McCarthy and Baron Wu were unable to make the Skype meeting; it has turned out that McCarthy’s absence was due to a last-minute family emergency which should take precedence over macronational politics, let alone micronational.

Due to the fact that the House is sovereign, this does mean that Earl Eden is technically now First Minister. However, in principle this is utterly wrong. It has always been accepted that votes to pass legislation take place on the forum so that those unable to make the Skype meeting can still vote later on. The appointment of the First Minister for a four-month term is arguably as important as, if not more important than, legislation, and the vote should therefore have taken place on the forum. Although it is the fault of the coalition that we didn’t recognise this loophole, it was wrong of the NLP to abuse this loophole and plant a First Minister who is facing a unified coalition which can and will use its majority to reclaim its rightful place in government. Unless the NLP plans to have even legislative votes take place in the Skype chat, which would be shameful cowardice indeed, the coalition can easily use its majority to pass opposition legislation via the forums which closes the loophole. The NLP know this and must surely know that their government is doomed to fail within the next one or two Parliament meetings. It is inevitable that the coalition will secure power sooner or later and the NLP have only delayed this, leaving Mercia without a stable government for even longer. They should have recognised this and had some of their members abstain from the vote. In fact, this is a principle which is actually used in the UK Parliament, where an MP who will be absent for a vote makes an agreement with an MP who would vote the other way to abstain, thus cancelling out the absence. Whilst that exact procedure wasn’t possible in this instance as we didn’t know who the nominees would be in advance of the meeting, the principle remains the same.

Since then, things have turned ugly. Arguments have surfaced in the Mercian Lounge about whether or not a new election should be held and whether or not certain individuals should be allowed to vote in that election. All kinds of allegations have surfaced and it has reached the point where things have gotten personal, friendships have ended and the Lord Spiritual himself has intervened to condemn the situation. It has become clear to me that there are some people in Mercia who are a little bit too keen to see their parties in power. I can only hope that whatever happens next, we keep things dignified for the good of the Mercian people.

Emperor Adam I: Professionalism and the MicroWiki Community

Note from the editor: This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Adammic Express.

On the 12th of April this year, I, as the 22nd Chairman of the Grand Unified Micronational, presided over what is likely to have been the last ever session of the Quorum of Delegates. This was, of course, the session where the motion was passed to begin the process of shutting down the GUM, leaving behind only the GUM Lounge as a formal chatroom, effectively dissolving the GUM as an organisation. I twice had the privilege of leading the GUM, although perhaps not everybody saw it as a privilege; indeed, amongst many in the older section of the MicroWiki community, the GUM was increasingly being seen as a joke, perhaps a final remnant of the legacy of the infamous Robert Lethler and his incredibly formal approach to diplomacy.

Although the general opinion amongst the older community was negative, there was still an air of sadness as the institutions of the GUM were finally abolished. For many of us in the pre-2014 crowd, the GUM was seen as the last bastion of formal diplomacy in the community, except for perhaps exclusive isolated groups such as the St. Josephsburg Economic Pact. It felt like we were losing much more than just the organisation. This is, no doubt, why Austenasia’s delegation proposed the retaining of the GUM Lounge – we couldn’t bear to leave ourselves without a single formal venue for micronational affairs.

The point is, why should we care about formal diplomacy, and the mantra of “professional” micronationalism that seems to go along with it? Surely formality in diplomacy is simply an act used to dress up the process, when in reality you’re just chatting to some folks on Skype? I’ve already discussed this to an extent in my forum post here, but this opinion piece seeks to expand upon that post.

The modern MicroWiki community is split in half. On one side are the “Old Guard” and the generally more experienced micronationalists from before 2014, who typically use Skype rooms such as the Yellow Bear Micronational. On the other side are the newer members using the Forums. Whilst there is some overlap between these groups, attempts at integration have proven disastrous – one need only look at the bullying of the leader of Nedland when he was added to the YBM. In recent months I have become increasingly critical of the way many in the Skype section of the community conduct themselves – as exemplified by my recent departure from the “Ministry of Marmite”. There was also the recent incident in the new Uberstadt diplomatic lounge. The attitudes I have seen from many in the YBM have left me in the unfortunate situation of only having a few micronationalists who I actually respect: Jonathan Augustus, Richard Hytholoday, Fionnbarra Ó Cathail, and King Adam, amongst others. My point is this: I don’t find the Skype section of the community to be a friendly place. I don’t say that because the predominant political views there often clash with my own, it’s because I know what a friendly community looks like. I was becoming involved with gaming communities almost a year before founding the Empire of Adammia. These communities revolved around Minecraft servers which are now long dead – but the people I met there are my best friends to this day. These are people who I’ve been to conventions with, the people with whom I drank alcohol for the first ever time – they are almost real-life friends. Just like people in the MicroWiki community, many of them have differing political views to me; I may be a member of the Liberal Democrats, but I happen to have a friend who is in fact a member of the Labour Party. There, different beliefs isn’t an issue. In the MicroWiki community, it’s grounds to be called “disgusting” by hordes of people presenting their opinions as fact in a never-ending circlejerk of bigotry.

Of course, I could simply abandon ship and just hang out on the Forums with the younger micronationalists, but to be honest I have no desire to do that either. Not only are most of them inexperienced, but there are a few nutcases over there blathering about Christendom as if we’re still in the Middle Ages. Ultimately, though, I’m not looking for friends – as I’ve said, I have those elsewhere. I just wish it was possible to discuss and collaborate with other micronationalists without descending into the usual “macronation x is better than macronation y” or “ethnicity x is better than ethnicity y”. I’ve heard that enough now and it has no relevance to me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that informal venues are inherently bad, or that micronationalists should be discouraged from discussing these things. I actually don’t mind just chatting about random things, even political things, with other micronationalists. However, I’m becoming irritated by the fact that this is all I’m seeing from the MicroWiki community. In informal venues, unfriendliness sticks out like a sore thumb compared to in formal venues, and I’m sick of seeing it all the time.

Ideally, I’d like to see far more formal diplomacy between micronations. Venues like the GUM Lounge should foster polite, productive discussion that acts as a springboard for first formal relations, and later collaboration between micronations, which can be as simple as sharing advice or as advanced as actual trade between nations. Currently, the predominance of informality within the community makes this very difficult. The manner of the informal chatrooms has leaked over into one-to-one discussion and has made formal direct messages feel clumsy and awkward in many cases.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to encourage more formal discussion within the community. I intend to soon be resigning as GUM Chairman, allowing Jonathan Augustus to run and take office as my successor. He should have more success in promoting the use of the GUM Lounge than myself. However, I feel that there’s something underpinning all this which will make a resurgence of formality difficult: the current state of professionalism. Most micronations in the Skype section of the community maintain some level of professionalism. If we define “professionalism” in the context of micronationalism as attempting to emulate the procedures of macronational governments – not necessarily politics, but the way in which basic government functions are carried out – we see that most micronations do a good job – they archive their legislation, they have decent state symbols, and so forth. Professionalism is something that most micronations strive to achieve, regardless of whether they are secessionist or simulationist. Rather obviously, micronations tend to get better at it as they get older and more experienced. And yet, acting with proper decorum – surely a part of the professional package – is almost always seen as unnecessary. On the Forum side of the community, the situation is even worse, with micronational leaders actually renouncing professionalism and formal diplomacy. I mean, I get that some micronations just want to have fun, and not worry about doing everything perfectly, but I would say that diplomacy is the one area where professionalism is needed – even though it’s the one area where professionalism is almost always forgotten. Even great micronations like Molossia have their silly laws, but they always take diplomacy seriously. The Molossian model of micronationalism is ideal: you can still have fun with your domestic policy, but whilst taking a professional, serious approach to foreign policy so that you can share ideas easily with other micronations. Can you imagine Molossia hosting all these state visits if President Baugh was only ever informal towards other micronational leaders?

I know that the potential for serious diplomacy is there, because I’ve seen it in action a fair few times: I’ve signed a few treaties, and most nations will, shall we say, sober up a little bit when the time calls for it. In general, however, formality is not given the place it should have within the MicroWiki community. I suppose this has been quite a ramble-y opinion piece, but I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately on the current state of affairs that I wanted to publish.

Adam I on the Council and the Government

The following opinion piece is written by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Adam I. The Adammic Express does not endorse the opinions of any politicians.

Things have really been cruising along lately in the Empire as far as politics are concerned. Since Foundation Day, the Ruling Council has passed a handful of laws, the executive has carried out only essential tasks, and nothing at all exciting has happened. By exciting, I mean things that will help the Empire progress. Before Foundation Day, we had all sorts going on: Annexations, the reform of the civil service, and of course the Flappy Bird Crisis which led to the creation of the Police Force.

It’s hard to deny that I am still the driving force behind Adammic politics. Without me, the system would probably collapse within weeks, or a few months at best. All the legislation brought before Council has been written by me, and I have also been behind most of the plans carried out by the Cabinet. While I am happy to handle the civil administration side of government, the political side should be stepping up its game a little. Admittedly, the Foundation Day celebrations were devised and orchestrated by the Prime Minister very excellently, and she continues to play a key role offering suggestions during Ruling Council meetings. The Minister of Finance has also done an outstanding job in managing the Treasury and working with me to get the nation’s fledgling economy up and running.

And that is where the efforts of the Government end. And why shouldn’t they? There’s no reason for them to do anything more. The sad truth is that we have a Cabinet of 8 Ministers and we could probably survive with just 4. The Ministry of Science and Technology runs AISA at my own prompting, and that wasn’t even successful, meaning that at present the entire department is useless. The Ministry of the Environment is just a joke. The Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Infrastructure have relatively new Ministers, but there’s no sign of enthusiasm from any of them. The Ministry of Culture has been given several responsibilities by Acts of Council, but Lord Sir Andrew has not even been made aware of these.

So – what’s going on? Well, for starts, I myself am largely to blame. As the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications, I should probably be ensuring that the Ministries at least actually co-operate with each other and do what they are expected. However, the Cabinet does not meet without my prompting. That shows that the Prime Minister and the rest of her team, too, need to start taking charge for themselves and coming up with productive projects and policies.

Meanwhile, there is the Ruling Council to think about. The Council itself is certainly big enough. With our 11 members, compared to, for example, the 8 representatives in the Austenasian Parliament, we have a legislature most micronations would kill for – and it even meets in real life. The problem comes from the apathy of its members. They’ll go with whatever legislation I put before them, which is incredibly convenient for me, but at the same time kind of disappointing. Under a Westminster system like ours, the executive should be accountable to the legislature, but because none of them care what the Cabinet does, the Council are happy to just sit back instead of putting any kind of pressure on them to do the right thing. 8 out of the 11 Council members are Cabinet Ministers anyway. There are no active political parties, so the closest thing we have to an Opposition are the 3 Council members who aren’t in the Cabinet. Amongst those are the 2 representatives from Myway, who last attended Council in April and who I have only even seen once since then. Their absence is as much to do with their apathy as it is to do with their distance from White Gold Palace and their busy schedule. They are excused. That leaves Prince Jake, who is completely disinterested and probably doesn’t even know what the Government is actually doing most of the time. To quote Malcolm Tucker, he’s so back-bench he’s actually fallen off. He’s out by the bins.

So, here’s what needs to happen. First, I need to have a decent long meeting with the Prime Minister so we can figure out just what is going on with the rest of the Cabinet. We need to speak with the Ministers and give them something of a reality check. By some means, we need to get them doing their jobs again. Then, at the next election, we make more of an effort to divide the Council into at least two teams instead of just two Prime Ministerial candidates, which will give us our political parties and a natural Opposition. An Opposition can pressure the Government into keeping up the pace. We know that this works – Duke Christopher, in one of his rare Council appearances in February this year, criticised the Government’s relative lack of planning for Foundation Day – we promptly began sorting things out, and look how well the event turned out.

However, I fear that this is still not a long-term solution. Forcing the Council into sides may provide some of the driving force needed, but at the end of the day they still aren’t politically motivated enough to challenge their own family. What would be ideal is a new wave of politicians from new Adammic provinces, who have more of an interest in furthering the Empire’s political system. Unfortunately, we have reached the limit with the way we run things now. Council meets during our weekly family visits to Tytannia, and inviting non-family members there to take part in Council could rapidly become difficult. The provinces would have to be nearby, and nobody I know within my immediate vicinity – i.e., old schoolfriends and the like – has ever shown any interest in participating in Adammic politics. They did well in the Army, but outside of that, the hobby as a whole does not appeal to them. It seems we have reached the largest point to which we can grow – so for now, we’re going to have to make the most of what we’ve got.

Seek wisdom and honour, and long live the Empire!