Category Archives: All-party Debate

All-party Debate: Closing Statements

Closing the debate for the FreeDems, Miestrâ Schivâ claimed that in voting for the her party one would be voting for an “active and competent government” and a committed Seneschal. A FreeDem government would have a reform agenda, stating that the “King needs to be brought under control”, and that reform of the judiciary and Chancery would also be priorities. She also reaffirmed her party’s commitment to promoting a “non-political” Talossa.

She stated that despite her fatigue at what she described as a culture of personal denigration in politics she would carry on to “get the job done”. She declared that if elected she would not serve more than one term as Seneschal, and was actively considering leaving politics altogether, but not until she had achieved her aims in government and “prepared her successors”.

TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx declared that the major issues facing the country are now known, but that the question for voters now is which party can lead the process of reform.  These issues are in his view reform of the monarchy and of the functioning of government,  and the opening up of greater cultural opportunities to all citizens.

He declared that the TNC was ready to work with other parties to implement its platform, which he described as “not a list of promises but as a list of solutions”.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu declared that his party was “ready to work for you”, and that after three terms in opposition his party was prepared for government, and that it was the only party that had made itself accountable for delivering on its promises. Claiming that his party had “plans” and sufficient “talent” to lead the government, he also declared that his party was “ready to lead” and was “willing to work with others” in the Ziu.

The RUMP leader claimed that while they had positive aspects to their leadership and programmes, both the FreeDems and the ModRads had been ill-prepared and ineffective in government, and that as a new party the TNC had no record. He declared that only his party could “get Talossa moving again”.

ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir claimed that support for his party was “a vote for liberalism and progressivism”. He denied that a vote for the MRPT was a “spoilt vote”, declaring that his party would have “considerable leverage” over the next government, and that without the “centrist alternative offered by the MRPT the Ziu would become a “pit of political hatred”.

He cited reform of the monarchy and of geographic assignment, as well as the promotion of non-political cultural endeavours, as the top priorities of his party. . He also stated that “legislatively speaking” his party had a number of achievements to its credit,  and that it was able to find compromise with other parties. He pointed to the reform of foreign affairs policy as an example of these achievements.

Closing the debate, co-moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir thanked the participants, and stated that he looked forward to his next opportunity to organise the debates. He also intimated humorously that delicious, delicious pastries would be a welcome reward for his efforts, if anyone was so minded.

All-party Debate: Rebuttals and a clash over rules

Debate moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir announced on 1st February an opportunity for rebuttal. S:reu Furxheir stated that “each party will get to rebut ONE answer from ONE question, from ONE party”, and that participants should “choose wisely”.

The rebuttal order was announced as MRPT, RUMP, TNC and FreeDems, with closing statements to follow in reverse order. The TNC ultimately waived their right to rebuttal.

ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir chose to address the response of RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu to the fourth question of the debate, relating to constitutional reform.

He expressed scepticism at the RUMP leaders commitment to reform along the lines of the 3/4 Majority Amendment, emphasising again the role of ModRad MZs in its passage.

He insisted on the monarchism of his party, but that it supported reforms to ensure the King “did not forget where his power came from” and challenged the RUMP leader to state whether he could expect ModRad support while being unwilling to specify the reforms he had in mind.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu, claiming that Senator da Schir had gone beyond a rebuttal in his remarks, requested the opportunity to respond directly to the ModRad leader, outside of the rebuttal rules.

This was after some hesitation ultimately denied by S:reu Furxheir, with Society President Dr Txec dal Nordselvă publicly disagreeing with any change, while insisting that he did not wish to impose his view on S:reu Furxheir. Sir Alexandreu stated in a comment to ETT that “it wasn’t ideal” that Dr dal Nordselvă intervened, as he is deputy leader of the FreeDems.

Claiming that he felt obligated to respond to the ModRad leader’s challenge, Sir Alexandreu stated that in his opinion the Proclamation Crisis showed the “dangers” of royal power, even if he insisted on the positive legacy of monarchy in Talossa.

He rejected what he called the mischaracterisation of his party’s position on the issue, which he defined as support for prudent reform of the institution of monarchy, but “stalwart” opposition to republicanism, or to any attempt to make the monarchy a purely ceremonial office. He stated that whom the MRPT chose to support was their affair, declaring that the party wished to continue to “find solutions that everyone can support”.

With TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx finally having declined his opportunity for rebuttal on 4th February, FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ chose to address the RUMP leader’s response to the fifth question of the debate, relating to the RUMP’s ability to form an active government.

Claiming that Sir Alexandreu’s response was “disingenuous”, the FreeDem leader claimed that in what she claimed was the absence of a truly active RUMP team, a vote for the party was a “blank cheque” to the RUMP leader, and that certain members of the RUMP were “only interested in Talossa if the RUMP are in control”. She contrasted this with the “active and competent” government team she claimed the FreeDems had assembled.

She also claimed the TNC were a “one-man band” despite the protestations of its leader, and that the ModRads “have a team” but claimed that their recent record in government left doubts as to their capacity.

Inaugural class of Royal Society Fellows announced

Dr Txec dal Nordselvă, President of the Royal Society for Advancement of Knowledge, has announced the inaugural class of members of the Society.

Under the patronage of HM King John I, the Royal Society has 5 Senior Fellows, one Fellow, and an Associate Fellow.

Dr dal Nordselvă told ETT that Fellows must maintain a certain scholarly level by delivering a lecture in their declared area of interest at least once a year, and by participating in Society events. More details about the requirements for Fellowship may be found here.

Citizens of Talossa may apply for fellowships from 1 November to 31 January and from 1 June to 31 July each year, with the first application period having thus just come to an end.

When asked about the role of the monarch as Patron, Dr dal Nordselvă told ETT that “we’ve not ironed out the details yet, but I expect it will be mainly ceremonial. [King John] has not applied to join the Society”, though he is a Senior Fellow of the Society by right.

ETT also asked Dr dal Nordselvă to shares his thoughts to the recent All-party Debate, sponsored by the Society. He told ETT that “the debates have gone well, I think. I was a little concerned at the rule change mid-way initiated by MPF [Secretary of State and debate moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir], and a little annoyed that I was blamed for not allowing Sir Alexandreu [Davinescu] to rebut a specific question”.

When asked if he was disappointed that moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir had apparently decided to organise future debates independently of the Society, Dr dal Nordselvă stated that even in that eventuality “I’d still like the Royal Society to host its own in the future as well”.

All-party Debate: Rapid fire round

In what he lightheartedly called a “shocking twist”, debate moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir gave the fifth and penultimate part of the 49th Cosa All-party Debate a “unique” format, asking each participant an individual question. S:reu Furxheir also announced that opportunities for rebuttal and for closing statements will follow in the coming days.

On being asked “how does the RUMP plan to deliver on it’s extensive promise when it appears to lack a sufficient number of active members?”, RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu responded with a theatrical “sigh”, and proceeded to explain that he had asked well-known members of his party where the problem might lay, but that they “couldn’t figure it out”.

He stated that his party would rely on “the same RUMP-style Cabinet of Talents recently adopted by the Free Democrats” in the event of securing an absolute majority, and would have “zero difficulty” in meeting its campaign promises.

FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ was asked given her “hot temper” and her party’s rejection of coalition, “how do the Free Democrats plan to control the Ziu” after the election? The FreeDem leader agreed that she does indeed have a fiery temperament, especially when faced with “what I consider to be lies and bullying”. She stated however that she believed Talossan politicians need to behave with “more respect and less knee-jerk hostility” towards one another and that she was “attempting to lead by example”.

She also said that, absent an absolute majority, she was confident that the FreeDems would be able to find an agreement with other parties based on “comity, trust and policy agreement.”

ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir was asked given the perception of a RUMP-FreeDem two party race for Seneschal “what does the MRPT have to say to a strategic voter unsure how to cast his vote and how does the MRPT feel about this portrayal of a 2 party race?” The ModRad leader replied that his party is “still…the premier option for liberals, progressives, centrists and moderate monarchists”.

Claiming that no party will win an outright majority, he declared that this would put the MRPT “in a position of strength even outside of the Cabinet”. Describing bipolar politics as “deleterious” he claimed that a Cosa dominated by the FreeDems and the RUMP would be “a pit of confrontation and antagonism”, and that a vote for e MRPT would not be “wasted”, but would be for a party that “got things done”.

When asked about the recent controversy over his party’s scope and ability to deliver on its platform, TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx defended his movement as “a new and small party”. He accepted that it did not have a “full slate” of candidates, but that it was founded explicitly “with the goal of participating in coalition government”, and with an “optimistic and hopeful” ethos.

Claiming that “cooperation and compromise produce stable and productive governments”, he stated that his party hoped to build a tripartite coalition. He declared that the “failures” of the previous government were “not a sign of the inherent unworkability of coalitions” but demonstrated the importance of “accountability” and “respect”. He explicitly praised the ModRad leader’s acceptance of “responsibility” for the problems of the coalition, declaring that “we look forward to working with them in future”.

Stating that he did not accept what he described as recent attempts to “denigrate” his party, he declared that he “responded forcefully, firmly and did not back down” and that he would respond in an “aggressive” fashion to those who lack “respect and cordiality” towards him.

All-party Debate: Leaders tackle constitutional reform

The party leaders were responding to the fourth question of the All-party debate, on institutional reform:

There is a balance of power in Talossa between the King, The Cosa, The Senate, the Prime-Minister’s PD and the Cabinet as well as with the population (via referendums). Does your party believe in the status-quo or do you promise changes in that separation/balance of power, notably considering recent events?

Debate moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir has also announced, as the “fifth question”, a series of individual queries to each party. He will also allow each participant time for rebuttal after all responses have been received.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu declared that he believed “there should be some changes to the status quo”.

He claimed that the Seneschal’s decree power (the Prime Dictate) is too broad, and that this “glaring loophole” should be resolved “before it becomes a problem”.

He also stated that “we also need to take a look at the monarchy”. Declaring himself opposed to the “blanket veto” claimed by the King during the Proclamation Crisis, he claimed that the 3/4 Majority Amendment was a “workable compromise” for resolving it.
Stating that due to its small population the Kingdom was vulnerable to being “utterly transformed in a short span”,  RUMP leader declared that a “strong and independent monarch is one of the only protections” against this. He did however state that while the monarchy must be strong enough to act as a “check” on the rest of the government, it “should still ultimately be accountable to the people”.

He also stated that the scope and power of the Secretary of State’s office needs to be reviewed, describing the Chancery as resembling a “fourth branch of government”, and pointing to the potential for a “dangerous centralization of power” in the office.

TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx also claimed that the Proclamation Crisis required reform of the monarchy. He declared that his party supported Organic Law reform to allow for an override of royal veto, and that his party has “entertained” proposals for an elective monarchy, and for a reinforced impeachment process covering “grave misconduct or official abandonment”.

The TNC leader also declared that “we should be concerned with members of the Judiciary serving in positions of public partisanship”. He proposed that judges should have to follow the example of Chief Justice Tamoràn in maintaining public neutrality in political affairs, on the grounds that the courts must “jealously” preserve an impartial image.

He stated that his party had no official position on reform of the Prime Dictate, but that it did believe that citizen legislative initiative should be implemented.

ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir declared that “the biggest concern” the MRPT has with the political system is what he claimed was the “undemocratic and illiberal behavior” of the crown during the Proclamation Crisis.

The Senator stated that his party believed “the monarchy is good for Talossa”, but that the “figurehead of us all” should “do his job” in a better way. Pointing to his MZs work on the 3/4 Majority Amendment, he described it “getting things done in the Ziu, by compromise with the opposition, not confrontation”.

Thee ModRad leader continued by emphasising that the King should “retain his check powers against the Ziu and the Cabinet, but the most important thing is that the monarch should be accountable to the people”.

The Senator concluded by agreeing that the Prime Dictate power required reform, and that members of the judiciary should not be permitted to hold office in the Ziu or Cabinet, while free to work in Civil Service and the New Citizens Committee.

FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ declared that her party “are the only party with constitutional reform at their heart”.

She stated that as the 3/4 Majority Amendment was vulnerable to a Proclamation Crisis-style veto the government’s legal challenge to the King’s (in)action in the Uppermost Cort was “our only real chance of success” in overturning the royal veto over Organic Law amendments.

She stated that her party’s main constitutional proposal was the addition of “nonfeasance” (non-performance of an official duty) as grounds on which a monarch can be deposed by the Ziu. She also suggested that the provision be extended to Uppermost Cort judges to deter “sabotage” by judicial inaction.

She also declared that the FreeDems are “the only party which refuses to take the word “republic” off the table – although compromise is still possible”.

She concluded by claiming that “competitive, democratic politics are the only effective check and balance on the unaccountable use of power”, and that this would be guaranteed by a Real Cosa of “15-20 members”. Under such an arrangement poorly performing parties and MCs could be “kicked out” of the Cosa by the electorate.

All-party Debate: “Balance of power” in question

Moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir has announced the fourth question in the All-party Debate for the 49th Cosa Election:

There is a balance of power in Talossa between the King, The Cosa, The Senate, the Prime-Minister’s PD and the Cabinet as well as with the population (via referendums). Does your party believe in the status-quo or do you promise changes in that separation/balance of power, notably considering recent events?

S:reu Furxheir has announced the order of response as follows: RUMP, TNC, ModRads, FreeDems. The RUMP has until noon TST today (6pm GMT) to respond.

All-party Debate: Leaders discuss government reform and Civil Service

For the third question of the debate, the party leaders were asked by moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir:

Does your party have any ideas on how to reform the cabinet so that the government will function better?

FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ, began by stating pointedly that she was answering the “original question” after what she claimed was her “disappointment” at the RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu’s interference in the rules of the debate. The RUMP leader had asked S:reu Marti-Pair Furxheir to reformulate his originally more elaborate question in a more direct way.

She stated that Cabinet reform was the  “centrepiece” of the FreeDem programme, and that her party believed government “is for use, not for show”. She pointed to her party’s “Cabinet of Talents” and the “Civil Service/Civil Society” policies as the way forward.

The former policy would avoid the “partisan carve-up” of traditional coalitions, and the latter would “massively expand the non-political Civil Service’s role” in administration.

She also stated that the FreeDems had attempted to secure the services of non-political Ministers, citing Ian Anglatzarâ as an example, but were unsuccessful. However she claimed that a cross-party Cabinet of “respected and competent” Ministers would be “almost as good”.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu declared that “government needs to do better”, and claimed that his party was “uniquely suited to lead a new active government.

He cited his party’s “Three Steps to a Better Government” as the basis for a “clear and accountable plan” for an effective government. The RUMP leader declared that this would lead to a transparent, responsive government that would be publicly accountable for clear and  specific promises.

The RUMP leader acknowledged a “risk” for his party in making detailed commitments, but that it was necessary for “the government to serve the country better”.

TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx declared that the lack of Ministerial accountability was “the most significant factor in the dysfunction of the outgoing Cabinet”. Refusing to play what he described as the “blame game”, he pledged his party would pursue a “hard-line” in seeking to implement its proposals for reform.

He described his party’ priority as the implementation of regular performance reviews of Ministers, based on clear and agreed plans decided at the start of the Cosa term, with their replacement by their Deputy or an agreed successor if found unsatisfactory.

He also called for the rapid appointment of a Speaker in order to activate the Civil Service Committee, and longer-term stated his support for a repeal of the Articulate Amendment.

He also proposed a plan to match citizens with needed skills to civil service roles to be organised by a new “Civil Service Corps”. 

ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir suggested that “Ministers need to have clearly-laid, minimal yet comprehensive programmes at the beginning of their term in office” in order to avoid “wanting to do too much” and failing to get anything done at all.

He also stated that the Seneschal should devote the first month of his term to draft a “Cabinet’s Agenda Sense of the Ziu that will be…ceremonially voted on along with the first Vote of Confidence”‘ and that regular monthly Question Time periods should be instituted, to allow the Ziu to hold the government to account.

While agreeing with TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx that the Speaker should be put in office “as soon as possible”, the Senator declared however that “an elected Speaker…empowers the opposition…and can get the Civil Service Commission to start working”.

The Senator also proposed that Ministers and their Deputies should focus on only one item on their agenda at a time before moving to the next, and that the Seneschal should try to organise the division of work between Ministers as efficiently as possible.

He concluded by suggesting that “ministers without portfolio” could be appointed for specific legislative projects, allowing departmental Ministers to focus on their administrative tasks.

All-party Debate: Third question asks how Cabinet can be reformed

Debate moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir has announced the third question of five in the All-party Debate.

Whoever is Prime-Minister will nominate a cabinet in the next Cosa. Some parties have already posted a shadow cabinet or made specific promises on what each ministry will be tasked with.

Today’s question is about the cabinet, but not the above points. What I want to know is: does your party have any ideas on how to possibly reform the cabinet so that the government will function better? Do you plan to offload some of the work to the civil service? Do you plan to have ministers which are not politicians? Do you have special tasks your cabinet would perform out of the ordinary or will it be composed in a special way?

S:reu Furxheir also announced the order of response as follows: FreeDems, RUMP, TNC and ModRads. The FreeDems will have until 9pm Talossan Standard Time (3am GMT) to publish their response.

All-party Debate: Leaders debate the future of the provinces

Responding to the second question posed by moderator Marti-Pair Furxheir, ModRad leader Senator Lüc da Schir stated that the “Moderate Radicals have historically been a very active party when provinces are concerned”.

He cited the party’s successful proposal of the Open Sesame Act in the 48th Cosa, as well as their efforts at catchment area reform. He also highlighted the leading role played by ModRad activists in a number of provinces.

The Senator reaffirmed ModRad policy on the question of assignment, stating that “geography and geography alone” should determine one’s provincial citizenship.  He suggested that this could facilitate offline interaction among citizens.  He denied that the resulting population imbalances would be an issue, and stated that his party would support moves to weigh Senate representation by province.

The Senator also suggested that a possible reduction in the number of provinces could be studied, while respecting provincial autonomy in the matter.

The Senator took issue with the questioner’s suggestion of organising provinces by interest group, stating that it was not pertinent to Senate representation and that a “unique [provincial culture] doesn’t have to be mean homogeneous”.

FreeDem leader Miestrâ Schivâ stated that her party would “100% endorse” the ModRad leader’s proposals on exclusive geographic assignment, and on weighted Senate voting. She declared that she “completely rejected” organising provinces as “clubs of interest”.

She cautioned however that historically the provinces have “never, ever been powerhouses of activity”, aside from when opposition groups have used them to “troll the King/national government”. She thus described herself as “quite relaxed” about low provincial activity.

However, she declared that her party was committed to provincial autonomy, and that as part of its “Civil Service and Civil Society” policy, it saw the provinces as part of the “non-political” space to built by the Culture Ministry. She also cited her party’s project for the creation of a “Council of Governors” as “a forum for the provincial governments to hobnob”.

RUMP leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu declared that “I strongly disagree that provinces have been a “failure.””, citing his own province of Maritiimi-Maxhestic as an example. Claiming M-M is “one of the more active provinces, a radically democratic province, and a province particularly proud of the ability of its citizens to work with each other across party lines”, he also praised the unique traditions of the other provinces.

He suggested the perception of provincial apathy as “a game of numbers”, with the relatively low proportion citizens who are active participants on Wittenberg is spread too thinly among the eight provinces to sustain consistent activity.

The RUMP leader concluded by declaring that his party’s “government activity plan”, as well as its “many more” ideas for change, would “attract new active citizens and revive the old”.

Concluding the discussion, TNC leader Breneir Itravilatx  declared that his party does not consider provincial revival “the most urgent issue”, and stated that the TNC would be “largely in agreement” with the ModRad proposals out lined by Senator da Schir.

He did however suggest that his party would support ongoing discussions about the merger of some provinces, citing the discussions between Vuode and M-M as an example.

He also suggested that the provincial forums could replace the national immigration forum as a “landing pier” for prospective citizens, on the model of the “Landing Pier” forum used by the Republic.