- On 24 January, Dictator for Life Travis McHenry – who formerly served as King Montague I from 2009 to 2014 – resigned as Calsahara’s head of government. The Calsarahan government is now entirely in the hands of McHenry’s son, King Nicholas. McHenry remains a Calsaharan military officer and webmaster of the nation’s website.
- On 19 January, it was announced that a new Delveran colony founded in the American southwest had experienced success with crop growing.
GRAND UNIFIED MICRONATIONAL
- 2 January saw the first Quorum of the new Chairman, King Adam I of Überstadt. Thomas Merrell of Zenrax was appointed Vice Chair, Bradley of Dullahan as Chief Justice, and Emperor Jonathan I as Archivist.
- After three years of relative diplomatic inactivity, Juclandia has announced that it will “take her head out of the sand” and engage with the international community of small nations, partially in an attempt to help combat a perceived drift towards far-right and far-left politics; “our culture, our values and our principles can help others moderate their own discourse”.
- In the third week of January, Lord Spiritual Richard of Mercia and Sôgmô Will Soergel of Sandus met in Reykjavík, Iceland. The two leaders discussed matters of national importance and toured the local area.
- A new information sign has been erected at the Molossian border with the US. Previously, information brochures were available for passers-by to take, but these would often run out.
- On 26 January, President Baugh of Molossia announced the construction of a Friendship Gateway in a symbolic gesture of opposition to plans for a US-Mexico border wall. The gateway is “to symbolise inclusiveness and openness”, and donors who buy a brick for the gate will have their names inscribed on a plaque.
- On 25 January, the Principality of Ongal issued its first gold currency, golden Dukats made of 14 carat gold. The coins were issued in celebation of the marriage of a princess in the ruling family.
[Disclaimer: The Austenasian Times does not by publishing this article recognise the claim of Thomas of Zenrax to imperial rank.]
ROSEWOOD – King Adam of Überstadt is the 25th Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational after winning half the vote in a three-way race. He assumed office on 25 December at 00:01 UTC, relieving Acting Chair Jonathan I of Austenasia.
Adam received nine of 18 votes, with three member-states not voting. King Eden of Edenopolis placed second with six votes, and Emperor Thomas of Zenrax came in third with three votes. Seven votes were sufficient to guarantee victory, which Adam attained two days into the week-long voting period.
Eden found some of his strongest support among younger members, while nations often counted among the so-called “old guard” of the MicroWiki community tended to favor Adam. Such preferences were not without exception. Paravia, Roseland, and Shorewell, all founded since 2014, voted for the winner. The new chair will still face a generational gap in the organization, and will have to avoid…
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- On 5 July, Flandrensis updated its Constitution for the eighth time since the Grand Duchy’s foundation in 2008. The revision has served mainly to insert the Grand Duchy’s environmental mission into its constitution, including a ban on tourists visiting its Antarctic claims and the statement that Flandrensis is the “only country in the world that doesn’t want its land inhabited by people”.
- On 21 July, O-Hatsu Kenji-sama resigned as Kumano’s head of state. Senate leader Dr. Yamamoto Seiji has been appointed acting Sendatsu Daimyo (head of state) until elections take place in September or October.
- The Ladonian cabinet has appointed Indonesian resident Cornelius Marpaung as its Minister for Anime and Hetalian Affairs. Other unusual cabinet posts in Ladonia include a Minister of Thermonuclear Eye Protection and a Minister of Raccoons and 42.
- On 2 July, Ongal issued a claim to West Antarctica, i.e. those areas of Antarctica not already claimed by the seven UN member states of the United Nations which are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. The Empire is unlikely to recognise this new claim, as the territory in question is already claimed by Westarctica, Flandrensis, Campinia and Arkel, all of which are states Austenasia has treaties with recognising their claims.
- On 6 July, Prince Milomir I met with former monarch of Bulgaria, Simeon I, at the National Museum of Military History in Sofia. The meeting was of an informal nature, with Simeon of Bulgaria not representing his country in any official capacity.
- On 3 July, a membership application to the Grand Unified Micronational by the State of Sandus was rejected. On 27 July, the Empire suspended diplomatic relations with Sandus after its head of state Will Soergel published unfounded and untrue accusations that Emperor Jonathan I had masterminded a “conspiracy” to persuade GUM delegations to vote against Sandus.
- On 27 July, the Statenraad of Wyvern decided against talks with Sandus which had been proposed in an attempt to resolve long-lasting diplomatic hostilities between the two states, considering it extremely unlikely that such talks would result in any meaningfully positive outcome.
GRAND UNIFIED MICRONATIONAL
- On 4 June, after almost a year as a private venue for professional discussion between politicians and diplomats, the Grand Unified Micronational once more became an intergovernmental organisation, adopting a new Charter. The Empire of Austenasia and many other small nations are once more member states.
- On 25 June, Co-President Fionnbarra Ó Cathail of Leylandiistan and Gurvata was elected the twenty fourth Chairman of the GUM, beating sole opponent Lord Kit McCarthy by nine votes to one.
- On 11 June, Prime Minister Hatsu Ryuho reached a unity government agreement with his sister the opposition leader Senator Hatsu Sakura under the supervision of Kumano’s head of state O-Hatsu Kenji-sama, father of the two siblings. The two resolved several political issues and resolved to work together for the country despite their disagreements.
- On 29 June, the State of Sandus convened a legislative caucus to amend its citizenship laws. The last time a caucus was held was between February and April 2010, with legislative power usually wielded by the Sôgmô (head of state).
- The Überstadti navy has been reduced in size to a single ship, with its amphibious landing craft the Bergstrom having been judged beyond repair after being damaged in a gale in August last year. A search for a new amphibious operations vessel is underway.
- On 16 June, Princess Hannah granted the title Duke of Sweetpea Valley to HIM Emperor Jonathan I. The duchy had formerly been held by the Princess herself.
- On 24 June, the People’s Electoral Commission revoked the registration of the Moderate Party, claiming that it was not sufficiently active.
This article is one of a series of editorials from Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy known as The Lord Admiral’s Corner, where the Prime Minister will give his thoughts and opinions on issues affecting the micronation.org community. The opinions expressed in this series are the personal views of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Austenasian Times or the Austenasian Government.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical when His Imperial Majesty the Emperor told me of plans to revive the Grand Unified Micronational.
As a younger man, I was a very influential delegate from the now-defunct Ashukov Federation. I campaigned for the Chairmanship three times, though only the second one was successful. I was instrumental in the creation of the now-defunct GUM Library and established a committee dedicated to enacting a new Charter (which failed to accomplish its goal following the end of my term). I was as instrumental in attempting to revive the GUM as I was in its disestablishment as an organization; I was one of the first to advocate for its disestablishment and I served as the last Vice-Chairman of the old GUM under Adam of Adammia, my former rival and electoral opponent.
Eventually, I came to agree with efforts to revive the GUM for a few reasons: the lack of discourse between nations in this community and the rise of the very capable (with some exceptions) “new guard.” When the GUM was disestablished, there ceased to be a hub for intermicronational diplomacy, with the only other major organization remaining being the then-relevant and active Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact, which is currently planned to be dissolved by the remaining member-states. This community has needed something like this to revive discourse between numerous micronations and to ensure stability.
One of the reasons the old GUM failed was because, for a time, the number of lower quality new nations was exceptionally higher than the number of higher quality new nations (and because, against my advice, Quorum would vote to let anybody in, but that’s another story for another time). As older nations began to die off, a void was opened that newer nations weren’t able to fill. Now, with the rise of nations such as Mcarthia, Roseland, Zenrax, and the return of Koss, the GUM has enough higher quality nations to not totally stagnate.
As a former Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Supreme Judge, I have some advice to give the members of the new GUM.
First of all, as dreadful as this might sound, I strongly recommend the newer delegates wait an election or two before seeking the office of Chairman. Now, I understand why you might dislike this advice because I once attempted to run for the Chairmanship against King Ciprian of Juclandia after only serving as a delegate for around six months. In retrospect, I was nowhere near experienced enough to lead an organization such as the GUM. Now, as a former Chairman I can tell you that the job is no walk in the park (as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t accept the position if Quorum unanimously begged me to). It’s extremely time consuming, doubly so now due to the increase of the Chairman’s mandate from three to six months. It’s also extremely stressful – one mistake and Quorum will ridicule you (especially if you’ve made political enemies and rivals, which I did and I’m sure most delegates will do). Numerous past Chairmen (myself included) have stories of the job being so stressful they quite literally broke down for a time.
Finally; please, for the love of God, don’t admit just anyone into the GUM as a full member. My personal recommendation is to refuse admission to any nation which hasn’t existed for at least six months (before anyone points out that Ashukovo was a GUM member from day one of its existence, Ashukovo was a successor state of a prior GUM member-state and all Ashukov politicians were seasoned micronationalists with at least six months of experience), doesn’t maintain active relations with at least five full member-states and can’t compose a decent MicroWiki article. That doesn’t mean you should shun most of these nations entirely (excluding lost causes such as joke nations and obvious fakes), just advise them to seek observership so more seasoned members can help them improve and then seek full membership.
I believe the new GUM can be a positive force in the modern MicroWiki community so long as the new delegates avoid the errors of the past. I will serve as an Austenasian delegate and will occasionally voice my opinion and vote in Quorum, but at present I don’t plan on seeking office in the GUM. I wish the new and old delegates the best of luck and offer them my wholehearted support.
HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Duke of Bohemia
Yesterday evening, a quorum was held by the Grand Unified Micronational for the first time since June last year.
For the past ten months, the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) has functioned as a formal chatroom for heads of state, politicians and diplomats, having been reformed from an increasingly dormant international organisation.
Yesterday, however, Emperor Jonathan I and Lord Kit McCarthy raised the prospect of having the GUM return to being an international organisation for small nations.
With overwhelming support from the chatroom’s members, the Emperor – who is the current Chair of the GUM – called together a quorum, a meeting of delegates which was used to pass motions when the GUM was an organisation.
The members of the chatroom passed a motion agreeing to begin work on drafting a new reformed charter for a restructured GUM, which would learn from the mistakes of the past. Although several microstates and micronations were represented in the quorum, it was agreed that none would be considered member states of a revived GUM organisation until after the new charter was passed.
Although international organisations have recently become increasingly unpopular in the diplomatic community of small nations, there is support for a reformed GUM from a wide range of those in the MicroWiki community, for which the GUM functioned practically as a United Nations equivalent for much of 2009 and 2010.
It is hoped that the restoration of the GUM to an international organisation will help to improve ties between the older and newer members of the MicroWiki community, who are increasingly forming two separate factions according to many observers.
Lord Kit McCarthy is Baron and Governor of the newly annexed Austenasian territory of Amerdansk, and last year founded the RadioMicro media group and the micronation of Mcarthia (his house in Scotland). He is known for his public criticism of Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy – most recently supporting concerns raised over the Prime Minister’s mandate – and is a prominent figure amongst the newer members of the MicroWiki community. The Austenasian Times has conducted an interview with Lord McCarthy:
Tell us a bit about Amerdansk. What’s it like; what interesting features does it have?
Amerdansk is a patch of land next to Mcarthia’s east border, sitting directly north of Government House – indeed, the President’s Office overlooks it. Mcarthia’s two free range chickens are frequently seen there, along with Mcarthia’s two cats.
The land is accessed by a short narrow path through a wooden frame with various plants growing over it.
Much of the territory is actually covered in thick moss, which in summer gets extremely warm. In fact, two years ago, it got so that residents could see a little steam coming off!
Why did you decide to offer Amerdansk to the Empire?
Mcarthia greatly respects the Empire’s position as a community leader, and on our first anniversary we wished to make something of a contribution. Therefore, the Mcarthian Parliament unanimously agreed to cede the land of Amerdansk to the Empire.
We also hoped that after the – ahem – ‘Austenasian Election Affair,’ relations could be improved between the two nations.
There have in the past been tensions between yourself and the Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Kennedy. Can you see this being a problem for your position in the Empire?
I would be lying if I said I approved of all the Prime Minister’s actions, and that is common knowledge. At times, I have found the Prime Minister to be offensive, and believe that some of his actions have been inappropriate for someone of his position.
However, he has been democratically elected, and no matter what issues I may have with him, if the electorate trusts him, I will of course support his position.
I have no desire to fight further, and hope that we can respect each other – accepting, but not dwelling on past events. So long as he is also prepared to accept that, I hope there will not be any further problems between us.
You’ve recently advocated for the Grand Unified Micronational to return to being a full-blown intergovernmental organisation. Could you tell us a bit about your reasons for this, and what you think it would take to be a success?
The GUM was fairly undeniably the most successful of all the micronational organisations, even considering its eventual demise. I have been discussing with a senior member of the community the possibility of the GUM once again becoming active in its previous style.
The community, I have long believed, needs some kind of focal point. Even disasters such as the MNTO brought the community together, and created activity (even if it wasn’t always the activity we wanted…). Despite their bad name, organisations are a good way of encouraging participation in the community, and helping us stay attractive to new and younger members.
I think that with genuine careful planning, and the support of major micronations, the GUM has a hope of becoming a ‘real’ organisation.
It is an unfortunate fact that most, if not all, organised micronational activity does not last forever. I suppose the essential reason for this is that micronationalism is for many a hobby, and is not essential to people’s lives. So what if an organisation collapses? However, this puts many off founding organisations.
We have to accept that there is perfectly good chance that the GUM would not survive again. However, I don’t think this should put us off. If it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. It’ll have given us all something to do!
Any efforts however would face a dilemma – the GUM survived while it did primarily because it was full of extremely experienced, respected nations. However, in my discussions with others, it is clear that many would see a new GUM primarily as a project for newer nations. Concerns have been raised that younger micronationalists have no role model, if you will. People see a need, and I think I agree, for an organisation that would mentor MicroWiki’s younger members, and give them valuable political and professional experience.
But then, there is a problem. If an organisation is focused towards younger nations, many of the more experienced nations might not be so interested in joining. And if we don’t have the experienced members, long term success would prove much harder. A very careful balance would need to be struck.
Absolutely meticulous planning would be required, probably months’ worth, and all of the essential technical and legal infrastructure would have to be in place before the organisation began again. One of the major problems the Nollandish Confederacy suffered was a lack of this. All our activities revolved around self-management because the system wasn’t effectively working when the organisation began. Work was divided into two categories – elections (taking 80-90% of our time), and attempting to pass legislation relating to governance and management. We were inflated by unimaginable amounts of bureaucracy.
What should be happening ideally is that the members of an organisation shouldn’t have to bother with this. Administration should, as much as possible, be taken care of behind the scenes.
We couldn’t afford this in a new organisation. Elections would have to take less than no time, and the Constitution should mean that self-governing legislation shouldn’t be necessary. A new organisation would have to hit the ground running.
What happened with the Confederacy was that a complete lack of anything useful being done meant that no one bothered to even vote on all the pointless legislation. No one cared. What others and myself were trying to do later in the Confederacy’s life was introduce some kind of projects – there was a guide for new micronationalists, for instance, or a Confederal games. It was too late.
A new organisation would have to be kept simple. A simple electoral system would be a key example. I have found that organisation designers are somewhat in awe of very complicated electoral systems that might produce a decent result but are absolutely impossible to run. They were the death of the Confederacy, I am fairly sure.
So then, to sum up (and I apologise for a very long answer): a new organisation would have to have confidence, experienced members, a very wide support base, a balance between providing for experienced members and younger members, extremely careful planning, a pre-prepared infrastructure, and a simple governance system. Heaven knows that’s not all, but it’s a start, and if we can get that, I think we’d have a decent chance.
Thank you for your time.