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Lily dies aged 7

26 January 2018 1 comment

Lily in 2010, soon after arriving at her new home.

Lily, Mascot of the Order of the Bullmastiff, has died aged 7.

Lily was born in 2010 to Rose, a pet bullmastiff of the Imperial Family who also served as Mascot.

She was sold to a family living in the British county of Surrey, and was visited by members of the Imperial Family in 2010 and 2011. Upon the death of Edd in April last year, Lily was appointed the Order of the Bullmastiff’s new Mascot.

Lily’s death was announced earlier this evening by her owners. She had been experiencing health issues since late last year.

Lily was the last surviving member of the Carothan kennel of bullmastiffs, and her death has left the position of Mascot vacant for the first time since its creation by Terry I in January 2009. If no bullmastiff can be found, there is provision for a dog of another breed to be appointed Honorary Mascot.

Jonathan I has sent a message of condolence to Lily’s owners, expressing sympathy at her death and thanking them for giving her a loving home.

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Senate convened as Emperor celebrates five years on the Throne

The Empire yesterday celebrated Imperial Ascension Day, the yearly anniversary of the reigning Monarch’s ascension to the Throne.

It has now been five years since Emperor Jonathan I accepted the Throne upon the abdication of his predecessor Emperor Declan I.

Yesterday also saw the recently passed Second Amendment to the Constitution formally come into force after having been approved by both a referendum and by Parliament.

As part of the Second Amendment, an Austenasian Senate has been established. The task of the Senate will be to keep the Monarch to account, and as part of this, the Monarch must make a yearly address to the Senate. The first such address was made by the Emperor yesterday to the Senate before being published publicly, and can be read below:

 

To the Most Illustrious Senate, greetings from Our Imperial Majesty!

We are pleased to deliver this address to you, five years since the day we ascended the Throne, on the founding day of an institution that is at once both new and ancient. You inherit the legacy of the Empire’s Senates of old, and we are pleased to have restored this institution.

Austenasia now has seventy nine people and over thirty two hectares of land, spread across every continent in the world but Antarctica. The fifth year of our reign saw sixteen Acts of Parliament, six Imperial Decrees, and seven Imperial Edicts passed. Constitutional amendments were approved by a vote taken by our people in a referendum, and successfully passed into law. The Empire grew with the annexations of the Towns of Ionisia and Jovanovo and the Territory of Hoagland, and diplomatic relations were entered into with Imvrassia, Ashukovo and Daljam.

Perhaps the most momentous event in the past year was the passage of an Act of Parliament in June adopting Christianity as the official religion of Austenasia. This decision was not made lightly, and important questions regarding religious freedom were considered before the Act was passed. Nevertheless, an unanimous vote in Parliament, followed by the majority of the population voting in support of similar measures in the recent referendum, reveals that this decision has been far from unpopular. As Austenasia forges on towards its tenth anniversary, organically constructing and realising its own national identity, we can now affirm that we are a Christian country.

The tenth anniversary of our nation will indeed be something to celebrate. It is not often that an endeavour such as the one undertaken by the now Imperial Family in September 2008 endures for a decade, and far less often that so many other people feel drawn to take part in it and help to make it a success. We plan to celebrate this success – our shared achievements and experiences over the past ten years – with a celebration hosted at the Imperial Residence on Independence Day 2018, and hope that all who are able to shall attend. We also look forward to seeing plans realised for other ways of celebrating this momentous milestone in our small nation’s history.

As a result of one of the amendments made to the Constitution as a result of the recent referendum, Cabinet ministers are no longer required to be Representatives. This opens up the executive branch of our government to a far greater number of people, with different skills and abilities to draw on. We shall discuss with our Prime Minister the best way in which to utilise this new pool of talent, and to what extent Cabinet ministries may be reallocated to ensure that we have the most suited and capable people working to govern the country.

Over this coming year, we shall engage upon a publicity drive for Austenasia in London and more specifically the Borough of Sutton, seeking to draw upon local interest in order to revitalise the Carshalton Nations and, if possible, to find new talent to benefit the Empire itself. As authorised by an Act of Parliament passed last year, we shall designate an area of land to be claimed as the Kingdom of Rushymia reborn, after ascertaining that there are no local objections to the annexation of said territory.

Personally, we intend to remain at the Austenasian Consulate-General in Castile and León with Princess Hannah until we return back to Wrythe in late June, with a visit back for Easter of a week or two in April. In late September, we shall take up residence in Chester as we begin a year-long Master’s degree at the university there.

Throughout this coming sixth year of our Imperial Majesty on the Throne, we shall continue to actively oversee the smooth running of the state, and to work with our Prime Minister, Cabinet, and the Representatives of our people to ensure stable, just, and efficient governance.

God bless you all, and God bless the Empire.

I C J A

Soria
20 January 2018

Constitutional amendments approved in referendum

7 January 2018 1 comment

A referendum held yesterday saw proposed amendments to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011 approved by the Empire’s electorate.

Out of the 54 subjects eligible to vote, 37 did so, a turnout of 68.52%. The amendments had been divided into four parts, each of which could be voted on separately.

The first part establishes a Senate as a body responsible for the accountability of the Monarch which may in extreme circumstances vote to depose them. It also removes the requirement for Cabinet ministers to be Representatives. This part of the amendments passed with 81.08% of votes in support.

The second part of the amendments makes it a requirement for the Monarch to be a baptised Christian, and explicitly claims that Austenasia is a continuation of the Roman Empire; this part passed with 70.27% of votes in support.

The third part of the amendments clarifies that marriage in the Empire is between one man and one woman, and also permits Parliament to expand upon various human rights laws in the Constitution which until now were unable to be repealed and put into more detail. This part passed with 64.86% of votes in support.

The fourth and final part of the amendments changes the office of Deputy Prime Minister from being the runner-up in a general election to being a Representative nominated by a newly elected Prime Minister. This part passed with 81.08% of votes in support.

Now that the amendments have been approved by referendum, they must be approved by Parliament. A requirement of over 80% of Representatives to be in favour of any constitutional amendments means that if more than one of Austenasia’s seven Representatives opposes the changes, they will not be able to be passed.

Upon approval, these amendments will come into force cumulatively as the Second Amendment to the Constitution at one second past midnight in the morning of Imperial Ascension Day, 20 January, the fifth anniversary of the Emperor’s ascension to the Throne.

2018 begins with the appointment of Consuls

Lord Admiral Kennedy and King Adam I

New Year’s Day has been heralded with the appointment by the Prime Minister of the two Consuls for the year.

Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Prime Minister, has appointed himself one of the two Consuls, and re-appointed King Adam I of Überstadt – one of last year’s – as a Consul for 2018 as well.

Consuls may serve a consecutive term, but King Adam is the first to have done so since Emperor Declan I, who held the consulate in both 2011 and 2012.

The Consuls are the highest judicial authorities in the Empire, passing sentence when guilty verdicts are reached. However, due to Austenasia’s practically non-existent crime rate, their function is mostly ceremonial, primarily being used to name the year after.

2018 will therefore be known as the year of the consulship of Adam Rex and Joseph Nobilissimus Caesar.

Categories: Austenasia Tags: , ,

Robert Lethler revealed as Sebastian Linden

Sebastian Linden, Steward of Rudno, shocked the MicroWiki community yesterday evening by revealing that he had been the creator of and true identity behind “Robert Lethler”.

Robert Lethler was the name used by an individual who claimed to be the leader of “Erusia”, a micronation which through its claims of an impressively active political system and developed socialist culture was able to achieve a high level of diplomatic influence over the early MicroWiki community.

From late 2008 to mid-2010, Lethler acted as one of the main architects of the MicroWiki community, serving both as an administrator of the website and holding high office in the Grand Unified Micronational.

In July 2010, a dossier – co-authored by none other than Sebastian Linden – exposed Erusia as entirely fictional, and Lethler as a fake persona. Lethler departed the community, leaving behind rumours that his guidance of the community had been a socio-political “experiment”.

Other than three subsequent, brief returns to the community’s Skype rooms – the last of which was in March 2012 – “Robert Lethler” disappeared from history.

Linden’s surprise announcement yesterday evening that he had been Lethler all along was verified when he logged into an old Skype account previously used by Lethler. Numerous other pieces of evidence were put together in support of his claim, conclusively proving that Robert Lethler had been Sebastian Linden all along.

On the Grand Unified Micronational and what plagues it

Article by His Grace Bradley, Duke of Dullahan

This is not a work to discourage micronations from formal association or to harass, attack or demean the GUM. This article is written out of the pure observation of someone who studies public administration and has seen trends that make the governance and maintenance of an organisation structured like the GUM impossibly hard. In this article I try to explain some trends and developments in both the macronational and the micronational world which might explain the hardships organisations like the GUM face.

We must never shy away from taking a good look at the works we joined or constructed. Even the oldest institutions and oldest buildings need mending so now and then. Forgoing a sharp critique of what is in front of you due to prestige and history is ignorance. Should we turn a blind eye to the errors and shy those who wish to aid an organisation then we are no better than the leaders of the OAM, who ignored clear signs even if they were shown by members.

To this end I will write about the history of the GUM, the functions it had and served and what it inspired. But also what difficulties it faces in today’s world. I ask all who take their time to read this to reflect on the GUM and the analysis I put forward and please draw your own conclusions.

The GUM, its history, significance, and prestige

The GUM was an organisation that bound together those who wished to communicate with each other. It became a club of high professionalism, learning and prestige. If you joined it you were of the higher classes of micronations who proved to be serious and stable. The GUM in this solved problems of diplomacy and allowed members to speak about and try and resolve issues in the community better and faster than could be done on the wiki.

For many the GUM was a learning ground. During its refounding it modelled itself like its previous incarnation with the vision of spreading professionalism, aiding in a formal diplomatic venue for micronations and offering a way for faster communication. The shear prestige that the biggest influential nations brought to the organisation in all its incarnations as well as its accomplishments in peacekeeping and development of micronations brought it great success. But here we can see the cracks happening.

What people sometimes forget is that a large part of the community wasn’t on Skype; Skype wasn’t even in the picture yet. The OAM was the biggest forum and organisation; it gave, like the GUM, a platform to communicate and share information with each other, something the Wiki couldn’t do. This was the most relevant and prestigious part of contribution these organisations gave the community.

Changes in activity and the role of conflict

The GUM never drastically evolved or faced the problems it had. Without it people felt there was no place for serious or professional diplomacy and discussions on their micronational development. But in times that it existed the most active days were those with conflict. I do not like to pad myself on my own shoulder but the State of Sandus and the Kingdom of Wyvern’s feud with each other was something that kept the community active, especially the GUM which was once a fighting ground for control between factions that disliked each other. These conflicts, which are not limited to the Wyvern-Sandus conflicts, gave purpose to the organisation. It gave relevance to an organisation that was being out competed by other venues that were less organised.

It was in our community’s culture to have conflicts, fights and arguments over nothing of importance. The admins and the GUM often called for peace and the return to calm micronational development. I once spoke with Emperor Jonathan Augustus of Austenasia regarding this topic. He seemed to notice that when we as a community began to disvalue conflicts and see them as idiotic child’s play on the internet, the inactivity rose sharply. Look at the Ideological conflicts, Black Marches, Yablokogate & the Leadership Scandal. These were the most active periods of time. The ‘’New Era’’ is one of the longest lasting and boring eras, and with it the GUM is faltering ever more.

Old age, no change, relevance issues and commitment

We see that organisation cultures are important. The GUM has a culture in its standards, behaviours and way of doing things. We can all see that it’s difficult to change the GUM and that has always remained the same in how it does things, even if the organisational structure is different. One of the cultural aspects that is the same but hurts it the most is the Chairman. The Chair is seen as the leader of the GUM and is tasked with the administration of the GUM. With this task the members see it as the Chair’s job to set the agenda, to set in motion activities and programs. The commitment of the members is low, it will also never increase. We tried hard, but to avail. Chair after Chair try and fail. We all try to change this, but a culture isn’t easily changed, especially when the ground cause is a world that is different than it was once.

Look around us, the world is faster and micronations on the Skype-part of this community are growing older, more busy. The youngsters do not always have the time either nor do they have the skills that we do. Look at who run the GUM or who guide the GUM from the sidelines. It is us, what these new ones call the Old Guard. If something is wrong with the GUM, Austenasia steps in and takes over to guide the GUM back to stability.

But should we? Isn’t it time that we let the GUM die and reform it into something that was tried once before? You see in the macronational world organisations and governments are having trouble with the governance of society as well. The complexity of the society has increased and the spread of data, information and knowledge is growing every day. Facebook, the Forum and Skype all provide venues where people can converse, enter into debates or share their development and news. In such a world the GUM makes itself obsolete. What relevance does the GUM hold? We have chats on Skype for informal diplomacy and chats/debates. We have the forum, wiki and Facebook for sharing our news and getting information, and we can use Skype for formal discussions as well. Why the need for structure in a society that moves from the traditional structures of hierarchy to complex networks?

The problems with reforming

Like I said earlier, forming a network out of the GUM in which the institutions are dropped is hard to keep as people desire to rebuild the old and try and give an old concept new life. Besides this it has been tried and then the relevance of the GUM slows down even more as other venues offer the same thing. But is perfect activity in a GUM network or discussion room bad? That is the question we need to ask ourselves.

To me it is simple. I have no time for the GUM and it adds nothing for me. Its surveys are meaningless if nothing is done with it, same goes for the guides. Quorums are barely even followed by half its members and many more wish to leave out of dissatisfaction. The Chair is the only person trying to pull the cart forward but no one pushes to help. Commitment is low and will remain this way. We must see reality. In a changing world where complexity and IT has changed the world of communication so drastically, should there be a GUM?

In conclusion

To recap, the GUM is an old institution that has lost its relevance and has its age-old problems still with it: lack of commitment, inactivity, losing more and more Old Guard and not able to address the lack of relevance for the organisation. With an evolving world of technology and communication we must face the facts that Discord, Facebook and informal Skype venues as well to some degree the Forums offer the same and even more then the GUM does; there are no commitments, people can put in what they like and take what they need at any time without the fear of being thrown out because of inactivity.

My suggestion is to make it a serious professional platform for sharing ideas, discussions and professional diplomacy. The Chair could be its admin, not its leader nor the leader of the executive branch. This might condemn the GUM to more inactivity, but it will solve the issues that are slowly killing it. Hierarchy in an organisation that only functions on the fuels of prestige and not purpose will eventually die.

 

 

Constitutional amendments proposed

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor yesterday promulgated an Imperial Edict which ordered a referendum to take place on 6 January in which all Austenasian subjects will be able to vote on proposed amendments to the Constitution.

The proposed amendments have been grouped into three parts, and voters will be able to vote Yes, No, or Abstain on each of the three parts.

The first part of the proposed group of amendments establishes a Senate as a body responsible for the accountability of the Monarch which may in extreme circumstances vote to depose them; the second part reflects the Roman and Christian culture of the Empire by explicitly claiming that Austenasia is a continuation of the Roman Empire and by making it a requirement for the Monarch to be a baptised Christian; and the third part defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

As each of these three parts has the potential to be controversial, voters will be able to vote in support of one and reject the other two, vote for two parts but against one, or vote for all or against all.

If no changes to the Austenasian population take place before then, there will be an electorate of 54 subjects eligible to vote in the referendum.

The full list of proposed amendments can be seen here.

UPDATE 7 DECEMBER 10:20 – The Emperor yesterday promulgated another Imperial Edict adding a fourth part of the amendment to be voted on in the referendum. This fourth part of the amendment states that the Deputy Prime Minister shall be chosen from amongst the Representatives by a newly elected Prime Minister; at present, the position of Deputy Prime Minister goes to the candidate with the second-highest number of votes in a general election.