At her live Q&A; session last week, Lena De Winne, the CEO and Vice-President of Asgardia NGO, provided an analogy to answer this question. “There is a saying – don’t confuse tourism and immigration,” she said.
She compared citizens of Asgardia – those who accepted the Constitution – to legal residents of a country, and those who chose not to support the Constitution – to tourists.
“If you like a country, if you want to live there, if you want to be part of that system, it’s only natural that you abide by the established regulations in that country,” she explained. “And in most countries, that would be the Constitution. Anybody in the first 100,000 will have the right and are welcome to exercise the right to get Asgardia’s citizenship for free.”
“Citizens are those who support the Constitution, the basic makeup of the country. So, we consider those who have voted for the Constitution citizens as in when, for example, a referendum was happening on whatever might be the subject, these people are entitled to vote. As far as we are concerned, they have declared that they are supporting Asgardia, so their vote counts when decisions are to be made,” De Winne explained.
Citizens of Asgardia have the right to receive Asgardia’s documents for free; upload their files to Asgardia-1 and future satellites without charge; nominate themselves for leadership and Parliamentary positions; work in the government and become local representatives. Citizens can bring forth petitions, including those to update the Constitution.
As for the future, she said, “After the first 100,000 is done, the voting will continue, and every new person who is applying has to provide a certain amount of data about himself or herself, and then has to vote or not to vote on the Constitution.” Those who accept the Constitution after the voting is closed will be considered applicants for Asgardian citizenship.
If a person does not accept the Constitution, they will still stay a registered Asgardian and participate in forum discussions, for example. The difference, De Winne said, is that “by doing so that person either says 'I am interested in becoming a citizen,' or 'I’m visiting your Asgardian nation as a tourist'.”
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