Category Archives: Cabinet Crisis

Cabinet Crisis: Miestrâ gives her side of “Blackmail” Affair

As reported by ETT, newly appointed Minister of Finance and Stuff MT Patritz da Biondeu MC has resigned from the Free Democrats of Talossa and accused the Senator Miestrâ Schivâ of “blackmail”. S:reu da Biondeu, who is also Scribe of Abbavilla, claimed that Senator Schivâ threatened to reveal that the Scribe’s had privately and apparently vociferously called for the dismissal of ModRad ministers if he left the party. The Scribe went so far as to claim that the FreeDems “can not be trusted to lead a government” as a result of the incident.

During ETT’s discussion with Senator Schivâ (first part published yesterday), ETT asked the Senator for her side of the internal conflict that has rocked the FreeDems, to which she replied at length. We had hoped to get S:reu da Biondeu’s response to her comments but we were not able to reach him at the time of writing.

Senator Schivâ told ETT that “the Scribe’s summary of the facts is more or less correct. The word “blackmail” is frankly ludicrous. We could say, rather: “explaining the consequences of bad behaviour”.”

The Scribe cited three specific sources of dissatisfaction with the FreeDem party in his “blackmail” statement:

  • “the tactic of incessantly attacking AD” [RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu MC]
  • what the Scribe claimed was an unwillingness “to take action until things blow up”, a reference to the debate around the fate of inactive ministers
  • a “double standard” operated in the party, where “[Senaor Schivâ] can attack you for voting against her bills…but you cannot do the same when your bills are voted against”

Senator Schivâ points to the second rationale as being the decisive reason for the Scribe’s discontent. According to the Senator the Scribe had demanded that Seneschal C. Carlüs Xhertaltescù dismiss the MRPT ministers “a month ago”, which the Seneschal had refused to do. Senator Schivâ states that she had sided with the Seneschal in the descision, which she says was the “right one”. The strain in the Scribe’s political relationship with the Seneschal now extended to his personal relationship with the Senator, who says that the Scribe “underestimated” the personal ties between the Seneschal and the Senator after a “decade working together on politics”.

Senator Schivâ claims that the Scribe “strongly objected” when the Seneschal voted against the Scribe’s Caught In The Act Act Bill in the December Clark. According to the Senator, the Scribe then began to criticise bills already published in the Clark by the Senator, in order to illustrate the “double standard” to which he referred, which the Senator frankly admits that she found “annoying”.

With respect to the her treatment of Sir Alexandreu the Senator declared that “as leader, I will be guided by the Party in all my political dealings. If the Party says “back off with your attacks on the RUMP leader”, I’ll back off. If the Party says “hug him and tell him he’s a lovely person”, I’ll grit my teeth and do so”. She stated that she will seek to “walk the fine line of correcting any concern-trolling or disingenuous partisan misrepresentations I see without losing my temper or straying into personal attacks or trolling on my own part”. She did however emphasise that “I consider that responding to (factually correct) attacks on the Coalition Government’s record with “consider the alternative!” is political fair play”.

She told ETT that aside from the point relating to her often tempestuous public interactions with the RUMP leader, she didn’t feel S:reu da Biondeu’s criticisms were esentially political at all, but a product of personal frustration. Discussing her interactions with S:reu da Biondeu, the Senator said “when you’re in a situation where a person is saying you did a bad thing, you say “I’m sorry, you’re right, it was bad, what can I do to fix it”, and he just starts accusing you again because he doesn’t think you’re really sorry… you have to realise that actually resolving the conflict is not the goal, that they just need to be angry with you and curse you, and the best thing is to let it happen”. (S:reu da Biondeu himself admits that he used insulting language towards the Senator in their most recent private conversations. It is unclear however if this tirade began before or after the incident the Scribe refers to as “blackmail”).

She did however repeat her public statements on Wittenberg that “the Scribe is a good, active Talossan, that I would happily include him in a Shadow Cabinet if he hadn’t already refused on the grounds that I’m “untrustworthy”, and I wish him and his new husband the very best”.

FreeDem turmoil: Tresplet resigns as leader, Schivâ accused of “blackmail”

Less than a week after the collapse of the coalition with the MRPT the Free Democrats of Talossa were rocked by the resignation of newly elected party President Senator Munditenens Tresplet, as well as allegations of “blackmail” agains Senator Miestrâ Schivâ made by FreeDem MC and Scribe of Abbavilla MT Patritz da Biondeu.

Explaining that the difficulties of a family member will “require most of my time, attention, and energy”, Senator Tresplet stated that he felt it would be thus “irresponsible” to lead the FDT into the next election with “my thoughts focused on something else”. He did however confirm that he would be seeking reelection as Senator for Maricopa.

Senator Tresplet denied that his resignation had been influenced by the recent controversies that rocked the now defunct coalition. While stating that he “understands and respects” the MRPT’s reasons for leaving the government during the final clark of the Cosa, Senator Tresplet described the timing of the decision as “unfortunate”. The Senator also declared that as FDT President he had campaigned for a “government that works for the people [and] leave the politics to the Ziu”, and urged his successor to pursue this approach.

Senator Tresplet was elected to the position by the post-merger convention of the new party, the fruit of a merger between the ZRT and the Liberal Congress. The Senator announced an ambitious agenda to lead the FDT into the next government as the largest party, even as he acknowledged that he was not in sympathy with a number of signature FDT policies on a nuber of issues, most notably on Cosa reform.

Meanwhile, in an emotive statement on Wittenberg newly appointed Minister for Finance and Stuff MT Patritz da Biondeu MC accused his party collegue and Distain Senator Miestrâ Schivâ of “blackmail”. S:reu da Biondeu claims that the Senator threatened to release private correspondence that would have revealed that S:reu da Biondeu had wanted to replace ineffective Ministers unless he remained in the FDT, a prospect that as “a rather quiet person” would “devastate him personally”.

The FreeDem MC, who is also Scribe of Abbavilla, claimed that he had advised the Senator of his “intent to leave the FreeDem party”. Sireu da Biondeu claimed that this was due to his dissatisfaction with “the tactic of incessantly attacking AD” [RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu MC], as well as what the Scribe claimed was an unwillingness “to take action until things blow up”. He also claimed that a “double standard” operated in the party, where “[Senaor Schivâ] can attack you for voting against her bills…but you cannot do the same when your bills are voted against”. He did acknowledge that he had wished to have ineffective ministers “fired…replaced with individuals who would do the job”, and that he had “ridiculed” the Seneschal for his reluctance to do so, despite later criticising this stance. He also confirmed that he had “insulted [Senator Schivâ] privately”.

Senator Schivâ responded to the allegations by claiming S:reu da Bondeu had sent “pages and pages” of insulting messages, but she also however confirmed that “da Biondeu’s accusations are essentially correct”. Declaring that it was “hypocritical to be criticising the Seneschál for doing something that MTPdB said should have been done a long time ago”, she confirmed that she “did say I would reveal the gap between public and private in this issue if he were to walk out of the party over it”. She also claimed that da Biondeu had claimed that the FDT party leadershp elections had been fraudulent (da Biondeu had been a candidate but came third).

Senator Schivâ later declared that “the Free Democrats of Talossa are united and strong”, claiming that as “a nation addicted to politics” the public “break” of the Scribe was “funny”. She also claimed that “MTPdaB’s issues are personal ones – he still agrees with our actual political stance, I think”.

December Clark: Coalition collapses, Rôibeardescù out of Senäts

Secretary of State Marti-Pair Furxheir has announced the results of the sixth and final Clark of the 48th Cosa. As expected, the government has lost the Vote of Confidence, by a margin of 41 seats Për to 111 Contrâ, with a total of only 152 seats out of 200 cast.

The RUMP delegation, with the exception of Sir Cresti Siervicül MC, voted Contrâ. They were joined by those MRPT MCs who voted, as well two FreeDem MCs, Ministers Françal Ian lux and MT Patritz da Bondeu also voted Contrâ, with S:reu Lux explaining in the voting thread that he was voting against confidence in order to hasten the end of the collapsed coalition.

Supporting the government were the balance of the FreeDem Cosa delegation, with Progressive leader Justice Owen Edwards MC and independent Nicholas Hayes also voting Për.

The 48 seats not voted included the 13 held by Sir Cresti as mentioned above, but this appears to have been an oversight as S:reu Furxheir has apaprently received the RUMP MC’s votes on the other items in the Clark, but under the law could not accept them without a valid VoC vote cast, and as such these may be included in the final results at a later date.

Excluding Sir cResti’s seat, the remaining 35 seats absent were those of MRPT MC Lupulüc da Fhöglha, who holds 15 seats, the 4 seats formerly held by Progressive Eovart Caçéir that have not yet been reallocated by Justice Edwards, and the 16 seats of the TSP, which have not yet been redistributed absent a party leader to decide their allocation.

S:reu Furxheir also announced that following his failure to vote in two successive Clarks controversial Senator for Cezembre Txosue Rôibeardescù has forfeited his seat. This means that there will be an additional Senäts seat to be filled in the 49th Cosa general election, along with those of Maricopa, Fiova and Maritiimi-Maxhestic.

Of the 10 bills and amendments published in the Clark, 4 were defeated, including the two amendments proposed, the Mandatory Cosa Lists Amendment and its associated statuatory legislation, as well as the People Will Enact Amendment, which were a reform of the Cosa’s election procedures and a popular initiative proposal respectively. Also failing were the Arkell vs Pressdram Bill, an attempted codification in Talossan law of a timeless lawlerly communicaton from the world of British libel law, and the Caught in the Act Act Bill, a proposal by the Scribe of Abbavilla mandating multiple printed copies of legislation passed by the Ziu.

Cabinet Crisis: Reshuffle announced as tone mounts in coalition dispute

Seneschal C. Carlus Xhertaltescù has informed the King that he is reshuffling his Cabinet. Senator Miestrâ Schivâ has been appinted Distain in place of MRPT leader Lüc da Schir. M.T Patritz da Biondeu MC has been appointed as Minister for Finance and for Stuff, replacing Senator da Schir in the former and Senator Sevastáin Pinátsch in the latter.

The reshuffle was prompted by the mass resignation of MRPT Ministers at the beginning of the week. Senator Pinátsch did not publicly join his party colleagues in their resignations and it is unclear at the time of writing if he communicated his resignation privately to the Seneschal or was dismissed as a consequence of the collapse of the coalition.

Mutual dissatisfaction among the coalition partners with the underperformance of the government in general has emerged as the proximate cause of the crisis. MRPT Ministers objected to what they claimed was an unfair and partisan attempt by FreeDem leaders to ascribe the coalition’s problems to their performance, and chose the final Clark of the 48th Cosa to publicly demonstrate their rejection of this.

In his most expansive public comments on the issue yet, Seneschal Xheraltescù declared that he had “made it clear” in Cabinet discussions that he was dissatisfied, but that the MRPT had failed “to take the decision” to replace an underperforming Minister from their party. This is thought to be a reference to Senator Pinàtsch.

The Seneschal also claimed that what he described as the “inability of [MRPT] ministers to communicate what their party was up to, and to communicate our legislative agenda to their own party did [the government] in somewhat too”. Although not confirmed at the time of writing, this may refer to a level of FreeDem discomfort with MRPT MC Ian Plätschisch’s legislative initiatives on Cosa reform and on attempts to resolve the Proclamation Crisis.

Branding this statement as “weak”, outspoken former Seneschal and MRPT MC Glüc da Dhi challenged the Seneschal’s leadership record stating that “a true PM” would have explicitly requested that the minister of Stuff be replaced, something Senator da Schir denies that the Seneschal actually did.

The Seneschal responded to S:reu da Dhi by declaring that while he accepted responsibility for the overall underperformance of the government it would be “ludicrous” for him to accept what he claimed was “the blame for [da Dhi’s] party’s role in slowing things down”. The Seneschal also declared that he would not “be gagged on where fault rests…I will be honest and upfront as I always have been”.

Cabinet Crisis: Ministry of Stuff at the centre of coalition controversy

In the ongoing and increasingy testy back-and-forth between FreeDem spokeswoman Senator Miestrâ Schivâ and her various MRPT interlocutors, one striking item of contention appears to be the precise problem the Seneschal and by extenson the FreeDems had with the MRPT’s performance in cabinet: the Ministry of Stuff.

While criticising Senator Lüc da Schir for a more recent lack of activity, which has been acknowledged by the latter, Senator Schivä seems to point to the longer-term decline in the Minister of Stuff’s public activity in Talossa as the more serious problem. Stating that “if cxhn. Pinátsch, for example, had even told the Cabinet [that he was unable to continue] we could have replaced him”, but that while the Seneschal had been privately “vocal” in his criticisms of what he regarded as the MRPT ministers underperformance he had eschewed a confrontation over their replacement to avoid a coalition collapse.

Senator Lüc da Schir, the MRPT leader, denied that the Seneschal had asked him to replace the Minister of Stuff but that his response to such a query would have been “sure, if Sevastain is willing to step back”. The Senator also denied that proportional representation in Cabinet was a significant motivation for his party, as they had not objected to ex-MRPT member Breneir Itravilatx continuing as Foreign Minister, even though it reduced the number of MRPT ministers as a whole. The Minister’s MRPT colleague Glüc da Dhi insisted in response that the Minister had made his difficulties clear and had tried to get additional help with content, but claimed that “elections coming up is a better motivation” for the FDT.

Senator Sevastáin Pinátsch was appointed Minister of Stuff in September 2014 [ETT: Senator Pinátsch is Editor of ETT] According to the Organic Law, the Ministry of Stuff “shall prepare, at the behest of the Cosâ, the Seneschál, or on his own initiative, informative texts about the Kingdom of Talossa”. In practice this has meant being responsible for the Kingdom’s web presence. The Senator has not publicly announced his resignation from the Cabinet at the time of writing, though Senator Schivâ referred to “rumours” that the Minister may be dismissed as a result of the collapse of the coalition.

With respect to the Minister’s level of activity, a series of posts in September 2015 on Wittenberg suggest that the Minister was experiencing some turbulence in his family life. On 22rd September, he apologised for a lack of activity, and claimed that as “life has become considerably more complicated” his Talossan time had been curtailed, and that “most of my recent work to our information platforms has been technical”. In the same thread a day later, citing chldren entering adolescence, more stress at this workplace, and long days, the Minister described sleep as his “most treasured posession”.

In a more detailed post on 30th September, which was presumably a response to the criticism in the press and in the Ziu of the lack of progress on the update of talossa.com, the Minister explained that no content on talossa.com had been updated since April of this year, and that in setting up the system he had “hoped to receive much more volunteer relief than I have”, despite “repeated requests for help”. He also stated that he was “unable to do much more than ensure that the website operates properly and securely”.

The Minister also declared that “if I am over-reaching in my hope and expectation, or am simply demonstrating that I am ill-suited to the responsibility of this Ministry, you may request my resignation”. Four individuals with editing rights [ETT: including ETT contributor Inxheneu Crovâ] to the portal responded that they wished to maintain their ability to update talossa.com, but there was at the time no direct public comment from either the Seneschal or the Distain to the request, or on the Minister’s status.

The Minister, who is also Senator for Atatürk, has regularly requested feedback on each Clark of the 48th Cosa, has attempted to briefly motivate his votes, and has not missed a vote during the entire term, according to the Database. In response to encourgements from a fellow provincial, the Senator stated on 20th December that it been “a busier year for me than last year”, but that he was “budgeting time to read bills thoroughly”.

Cabinet Crisis: Lüc da Schir speaks to ETT

ETT: Senator, was there a specific experience being in government that led you to the conclusion that you can achieve more outside of it?
LDS: I wouldn’t single out any particular episode, although I don’t necessarily believe that coalitions are inherently bad – we as a party are just in a particular moment of our existence when giving ourselves the usual fresh layer of paint before the next General Election is no longer enough. We need some time – more than a Congress – to reflect on our role within Talossa and the best way we can deliver our platform of Liberalism, Progressism and moderate monarchy reformism to the Talossan people. Doing so while simultaneously holding Cabinet posts is close to impossible: it would be attempting to do two things while getting nothing done. Power for the sake of itself is just inherently bad.

ETT: Do you accept any of the criticism that has come the way of MRPT ministers in the present government (and is this part of the reason you want to remain outside of it)?
LDS: My reason for advising the party to decide to stay out of Government in the next Cosa is not the criticism that has been thrown at us by our former allies – that’s more like the reason we decided we didn’t want to stay in this government anymore. Still, I think that members of the MRPT have indeed publicly accepted that part of the blame for the government’s failure does lie on the MRPT’s shoulders and it would be disingenuous on my part to deny that this really is the case. My and Sevastain’s performances were severely hampered by events in our extraTalossan lives and this is truly regrettable although intrinsic in Talossa’s nature.

ETT: In the party Digest the MRPT still mentions the idea of a directly elected Seneschal- might this be a solution to the coalition problem, since the government would not depend on party support in the Cosa, and might be able appoint and dismiss individuals from office regardless of their party?
LDS: That’s not really my own opinion, and indeed I have long believed that point should be scrapped as it both has a vague timeframe and, well, I don’t really agree in principle with it. The Government should rely on the support of the Cosa and I believe the current system is good for Talossa. But I wouldn’t really say there’s a “coalition problem” going on, the last two MRPT-led coalitions have worked just fine.

ETT:If the party vote goes against you, and the MRPT is prepared to enter government, would you lean towards a particular party? Do you personally feel more ideological affinity for one over the other?
LDS: I don’t really think I would prefer a Tresplet government over a Davinescu government or the other way around. I disagree with them on a lot of issues – for instance Davinescu is against reforming the Monarchy, both are against a smaller Cosa and candidates lists. I would just hope that the new leader makes his best effort to choose the second best deal for the MRPT (the best one obviously being staying out of government for a term) and I would definitely not accept a Cabinet post. That said, anyway, if I won and we decided to prop up a Government from the outside, I guess I will simply choose the party who offers us the best possibility of implementing our platform in exchange for our confidence votes. There will be no hard feelings towards any of the two other main parties.

Cabinet Crisis: MRPT ministers resign, vote against confidence

MRPT party leader Senator Lüc da Schir has confirmed that his party are withdrawing their support from the goverment. Senator da Schir has resigned as Distain and Minister for Finance, following the shock announcement by MRPT MC Ian Plätschisch that he would resigning his government posts and voting against confidence earlier today.

Senator da Schir described the collapse of the coalition as “sad and unavoidable”, and “should have ended months ago” due to pressure of academic work. The Senator claimed that the break with the FDT was prompted by the “washing of dirty clothes publicly” by FDT cabinet colleagues.

MCs Glüc da Dhi and Erschéveþ da Schir joined their party colleagues in their renunciation of the alliance with the FDT and Progressives, with da Schir stating in the Cosa that voting confidence “would put a lot of us at odds with our consciences”. S:reu da Dhi, in a lengthy statement to the Cosa, claimed that “this government has not been what any of us had hoped for”, citing inactive or ineffective ministers and a “mostly invisible” Seneschal C. Carlüs Xheraltescù. He also acknowledged that while “over the top”, certain of the criticisms made of the government by RUMP leader Sir Alxeandreu Davinescu MC were “valid points”.

S:reu da Dhi however defended the legislative record of the MRPT, singling out Ian Plätschisch’s work on the 3/4 Majority Amendment in particular. While stating that it was “not wrong to discuss some of the weak points”, he criticised the Seneschal, in what he claimed was “election mode”, for unfairly singling out MRPT ministers. S:reu da Dhi also declared that while today’s events meant the “end” of the present FDT-MRPT, he would not personally rule out coalition with the FreeDems or any other party in the future, and that his party “should always be willing to take its responsibility”.

Seneschal Xheraltescù stated that he was “saddened though not surprised” by the resignations, but questioned whether “pressure from the wider party” explained the announcements, rather than the will of the individuals involved.

FreeDem Senator Miestrâ Schivâ accused Senator da Schir of having “pretty much disappeared for the past month or two” and that FreeDem ministers “have done virtually everything for at least the last two months”. The Senator also claimed that Sir Alexandreu Davinescu wished to “destroy” the government, and being “unbelievably dishonest” in accepting the support of “of the very people who caused the failure” of that government. She also stated that she would personally not accept a coalition with the MRPT in the next Cosa, but would consider indivdual ModRad participation “if not tainted by the serial ball-dropping” of the present government.

Speaking to ETT, Foreign Minister and former MRPT MC Breneir Itravilatx stated that “I have no comment on the current back-and-forth but I am saddened by the demise of the coalition. The actions of the MRPT are an understandable response to recent public statements by some FreeDem members. Hopefully there will not be irreparable damage to future potential for policy collaboration”. S:reu Itravilatx has registered a new centre-left political party, the Talossan National Congress, which will be launched in the coming weeks.