Strategy and sports in Talossan gaming

​Alèxandreu Soleighlfred has launched a Talossan-oriented online adaptation of the well-known strategy game Risk.

The map for the game is based on the eight provinces of the Talossan realm. S:reu Soleighlfred is looking for at least three other players before hostlilities can commence. The former ModRad MC, who recently reapplied for cotozenship after a public renunciation, warns however that play will “not be too fast because I will conduct it manually”.

In other gaming news, the Talossan Football League, reestablished by former National Gamesmaster Senator Dien Tresplet in 2016 as a private venture, also continues for enthusiasts of American Football. And in a more purist version of Talossa’s National Pastime, Senator Ian Anglatzarâ offered a blow by blow account of a recent round of Sails of Glory.

Opinion: Coalition must level with the people

The three party coalition that took office after the 49th Cosa general election promised accountable and transparent government that “got things done”.It has, to an extent. 

The indefatigable Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, despite having a young baby in the house, has received over 30 identity card applications, and is steadily working through the demand. The Kingdom’s social media is back in government control, even if seems to have been rarely used. Coalition members have led the successful effort to legislate for provincial assignment and Cosa reforms, previously controversial measures that in the end passed with overwheling support in the Ziu.

However, when compared to the ambitious targets laid out in the Activity Report the results are meagre. The lack of interest displayed by most Ministers in their actual portfolios is flagrant. Important projects that would improve the Talossan experience, like Telecommuna, or just be cool, like coins, have clearly stalled. And while legal reform is worthy, it is not the stimulus the country needs, culturally, socially or politically. 

The feeble state of the FreeDems, despite the valiant efforts of Dien Tresplet, should not suggest government strength, but merely that the rot has spread. The experience in government was not kind to the FreeDems, and life seems to be taking its historic leaders away from Talossa, which can only be regretted. For the moment it leaves the Senator from Maricopa a general without an army.

It is also a fact that of the three parties in the coalition, only the TNC actually experienced an increase in support in the 49th Cosa election. The RUMP continued their steady decline in support, and lost their position as largest party. The ModRads lost a quarter of their votes compared to the 48th Cosa election. Only the TNC, winning 14% of the vote from a standing start, can truly be said to have enjoyed popular enthusiasm.

For all these reasons, I feel it is imperative that the Seneschal make a statement to the Cosa on the state of his government and what role, if any, the TNC now play in it. At the very least, the government needs to reassess its priorities and release Ministers from the burden of titular responsibility. A clearing of the air is required.

If it transpires that this incident is a sign that the TNC has collapsed, it may be time for Sir Cresti to go to the King and request a dissolution. It may not be the most convenient timing for the parties, but electoralism is a proven shot in the arm for the country, and the TNC’s voters deserve to have their say if their champion has left the field. 

TNC called for “hard-line” on Cabinet accountability 

Breneir Itravilatx’s upstart Talossan National Congress promised a “hard-line” on what the Foreign Minister called “the most significant factor in the dysfunction” of the 48th Cosa Cabinet: the failure to hold non-performing Ministers accountable.

Responding to the third question of the 49th Cosa election All-Party leaders debate, the TNC leader declared that any coalition deal his party joined would have to agree that “any minister, regardless of coalition logistics, will be dismissed…upon unsatisfactory performance”.

The TNC leader also called for the nomination of a deputy or alternate for each Minister, so that dismissed Cabinet members could be rapidly replaced. It is not clear whether these elements were finally included in the three-party coalition agreement, as this has never been published.

At the time of writing the government has not issued a formal statement on the departure of S:reu Itravilatx from the Cosa, and requests for comment from a number of senior government figures have not been returned. It therefore appears that S:reu Itravilatx remains Foreign Minister for now.

Government silent on consequences of TNC travails

The government has remained tight-lipped about the future of the TNC in the coalition. This follows the loss of Cosa seats by two of the party’s three MCs for failing to vote on two consecutive Clarks. At the time of writing it appears now ex-MC Breneir Itravilatx remains in place as Foreign Minister.

Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül and ModRad party leader Senator Lüc da Schir had not responded to questions from ETT at the time of writing. ETT asked about the status of the Foreign Minister, and whether any sanctions would arise from a lack of engagement in government business, should this be the case.

Cabinet Chief of Staff Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, the most senior government figure to publicly comment on the situation, asked “wonder what is going on with him [i.e., S:reu Itravilatx]”. Sir Alexandreu had not responded to a request from ETT for further comment at the time of writing. 

The RUMP leader was a fierce critic of what he claimed was the inactivity of the previous government, and during the 49th Cosa election campaign called for greater accountability for recalcitrant Ministers, including their removal from office for non-performance.

Asked by ETT if the expulsion of the TNC MCs would in his opinion effect their participation in the coalition, ModRad MC and Minister of STUFF Ian Plätschisch would only say that “it is not my place to speculate on the future of the TNC, that is for the voters to decide”.

Opposition leader Senator Dien Tresplet was philosophical about the events, telling ETT that “it’s common for Ministers to disappear, regardless of what party leads the government”. He also expressed disappointment at his party colleague C. Carlüs Xheraltescu’s loss of the Fiova Senate seat, though he claimed that “with the general level of activity we’ve seen the last few months, I’m honestly surprised more people haven’t lost seats in the Ziu”.

Attempts to contact S:reux Itravilatx, Zubair and Tamás Ónodi, who is the sole survivor of the TNC caucus, have as yet been unsuccessful. Both Itravilatx and Zubair have however been active recently on social media. Ónodi last logged on to Wittenberg in early September, according to his profile.

September Clark: TNC decimated, CCX out of Senäts

Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir has announced that two-thirds of the TNC caucus, including leader and Foreign Minister Breneir Itravilatx, have forfeited their seats due to missing two consecutive Clark votes. And, while not yet officially confirmed by the Chancery, it would appear Fiova Senator C. Carlüs Xheraltescu had also lost his seat in el Senäts for the same reason.

S:reu Itravilatx, who is also Foreign Minister, created a surprise with the strong performance of his party in the 49th Cosa election. His activity appears however to have dwindled since the election, despite devising an ambitious foreign assistance scheme announced in the government activity plan.  Party colleague Tariq Zubair made an emotional appeal for aid earlier this year claiming threats from Islamist militants and police brutality in his home country of Pakistan.

The apparent loss of S:reu Xheraltescu also complicates further the party rebuilding pledged by FreeDem Acting Leader Senator Dien Tresplet. However in his interview with ETT published this week the FreeDem leader acknowledged that S:reu Xheraltescu had been occupied by extra-Talossan activities of late, so the forfeit of the former Seneschal is not completely unexpected. [ETT: the former Senator is the founder of this publication]

All bills on the Clark passed with token opposition in both houses, including the latest provincial assignments reform, and a previously controversial measure resurrected by ModRad MC Ian Plätschisch, which introduces “flexible” Cosa candidate lists. 

Despite the implosion of one of its constituent partirs, the coalition appears to be in no danger of collapse, and even a redistribution of TNC seats would not significantly change the arithmetic in the Cosa. In the end the government easily survived the Vote of Confidence, 109-38, with only FreeDem and Republican MCs voting contrâ.

FreeDems: Tresplet appointed acting leader, party decision “soon” on 12-month Cosa

Senator Munditenens Tresplet has been appointed Deputy Leader and acting President of the Free Democrats of Talossa. Senator Tresplet, who is also Mençéi (President) of the Senäts, revealed the appointment while speaking to ETT yesterday.

The Senator from Maricopa also stated that he would be seeking a full term of office as leader at the next party convention, “probably first of December”. He stated that he aims to “ramp up activity and put a few bills out there” for the remainder of the Cosa term.Tresplet was briefly leader of the party in 2015, before stepping aside for personal reasons.

The Senator declined to read anything more than a seasonal trend in the markedly reduced activity of his party since the Summer. He admitted that prominent MZs Txec dal Nordselvă and C. Carlüs Xheraltescu were both occupied with extra-Talossan affairs, but that the general membership was still engaged with the party, including recently retired former leader Miestrâ Schivâ.

On the “12-month Cosa” proposal currently under discussion in the Hopper, the Senator describes himself as leaning towards the views of Cezembre Senator Ian Anglatzarâ, who argued that reducing the frequency of elections would be damaging to the vitality of the community. The Senator also stated that sentiment in his party was negative on the proposal, and that he expected the party to take a formal position “soon”.

In a personal capacity, the Senator stated that he was sceptical of proposed reforms to the Royal Talossan Bar, and felt that membership should not be compulsory in order to offer legal representation. He stated however that the FreeDem membership was “evenly split” on the question. He also declared that he personally supported a return to Royal appointment of the Tuischac’h, describing the current system as having created “problem after problem”.

The Mençéi also told ETT that he took issue with our opinion piece on the 12-month Cosa, disagreeing with our suggestion that the Senäts was a more appropriate target for reform than the Cosa. He described the institution as having “an important place in the Ziu”, both as a means of representation for the provinces, and as a repository of experience and tradition.

Opinion: Half the elections, twice the apathy

Senator Ian Anglatzarâ’s blunt rejection of the latest piece of OrgLaw tinkering to come from the fertile mind of S:reu Furxheir is the first piece of common sense to emerge from the “12-month Cosa” discussion since its debut.

The notion that partial elections for the Senäts could somehow replace a national general election is comical on the face of it. As of now Senäts elections, when contested at all, and when in conjunction with national contests, have generally pathetic turnouts. Never mind the Senäts serves no purpose as a house of review, dominated by Ministers and party leaders as it is.

I would submit that MZs of both government and opposition who are eager to reform our democracy could instead profitably meditate on the unrepresentative, poorly understood and frankly useless institution that is the Senäts. 

It takes nothing away from Ian Anglatzarâ’s bold intervention that he could just as easily speak sensibly as an MC. Provincial representation could be guaranteed equitably in the Cosa via the electoral system. If the Senäts vanished tomorrow, aside from the wounded vanity of the Senators, who would notice?

If we are to think the unthinkable, lets start with the Other Place before increasing the opportunities for government apathy. Or offering Ministers who clearly have little interest in their portfolios even more leisure to range freely over every topic but what they have been appointed to do.

Anglatzarâ blasts “coffin nail” 12-month Cosa plan

Cezembre Senator Ian Anglatzarâ has strongly criticised the “12 month Cosa” Amendment currently under discussion in the Hopper. The Senator described the proposals as “coffin nails” for the Kingdom.

The Amendment, proposed by Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir, has gone through considerable evolution since first proposed, but would eliminate one of the two Cosa elections currently held each year. Under discussion also is a related proposal to shift Senäts elections to July, with half the provinces electing a Senator each year.

Claiming that a “pattern” exists where elections are more “engaging” than government, the Senator describes reducing the number of elections as “the wrong way to go”, and that the proposals would be worse than the status quo.

The Senator, an independent who was elected last year, is a veteran Talossan and was a citizen of the Republic until Reunison. His stance contrasts with the positive interest shown by a number of senior political personalities, from both government and opposition, in the proposals.

Royal Bar: Jump start admission by scrapping the exam?

Following a query from returned citizen Viteu Marcianüs on the procedure for admission to the Talossan Bar, Seneschal Sir Cresti Siervicül has revealed that he favours “more deregulation” of the procedure, including abolition of the professional examination.

S:reu Marcianüs inquired about the existence of the law course that is one of the prerequisites for admission, along with an apprenticeship period and passing an examination. Ian Plätschisch MC also revealed that he had joined the course but that it was cancelled, and never restarted. He suggested eliminating this prerequisite, while retaining the examination.

Course instructor Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, who cited increased family and political responsibilities, stated that its return was unlikely in the immediate future.

In response to this discussion Sir Cresti , who is a former Chief Justice himself, stated that owing to “the shortage of licensed attorneys and the limited resources of the Bar, I am in favour of significantly deregulating the practice of law in Talossa”. He later explained that he would be willing to go as far as making admission to the Bar dependent on a self-certification process, eliminating the Bar exam entirely. 

Justice Litz Cjantschier, who is currently head of the Royal Bar, responded that she would be uneasy if lawyers dealing with cases where citizenship was at stake did not have demonstrably high professional standards, and suggested an expanded apprenticeship scheme, where the qualified lawyer would be responsible for monitoring the progress of the apprentice and proposing their admission at the appropriate time.

Sir Cresti replied that while he was favourable to the idea, the very shortage of lawyers would make an apprenticeship system potentially unworkable, a point agreed on by Sir Alexandreu. The latter suggested that there was a need to “bootstrap” the process by loosening the existing prerequisites, but with a return to an examination system still possible later.

Talossa: The Next Generation

With the recent birth of Adiens, the first daughter of Finance Minister Sir Alexandreu Davinescu and his spouse, the Kingdom is experiencing a minor baby boom. 

Adiens’ birth follows that of Sir Cresti Siervicül’s child born earlier this year, and in her resignation speech in June Dama Miestrâ Schivâ revealed her wife is also expecting a child in September. The newborns join the ranks of the Dandelions, a peculiarly Talossan institution. 

Talossan citizenship is automatically granted to those who are born to or adopted by at least one Talossan parent, and are known as “Dandelions” under Talossan Law. The status was introduced to Talossan law by the 16th Cosa, and later reformed by the 35th Cosa, with Lexh.E.13.2. Children already born before their parents became Talossans may also be granted citizenship, and are known as “Broad-leaf Dandelions”. Any minor child of a citizen may be granted citizenship on application to the Secretary of State by their parent(s). 

However only at the age of 14 is the Dandelion granted full citizenship rights under Talossan law, as was recently the case for K. Furxheir, daughter of Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir.

According to TalossaWiki’s article on the subject, only one other Dandelion has ever sought full Talossan citizenship, No’ac’h Ventrutx. The accession of a Dandelion to citizenship is regarded as a great occasion, with Sir Cresti describing the qualification of D:na Furxheir as “exciting”.

a Talossan Press Association affiliate publication