Nov 24, 17 / Sag 20, 01 20:13 UTC

Re: Pledge of unity  

can you please speak to Anton (in your candidates) he can translate your meaning for us quite well.

Nov 25, 17 / Sag 21, 01 03:28 UTC

Hello Chris:

Excellent idea of a pledge of unity. It will be very important if all selected are present and the event become world wide on the news.

Nov 25, 17 / Sag 21, 01 09:37 UTC

Hi Chris,

I agree with the idea of the pledge, though I feel that much of the language of your draft has a pseudo-religious conotation that would best be avoided. Likewise the taking of another name seems to run counter to being an effective representative to me. Without full knowledge of who a representative is, a constiuent has not way of effectively researching a candidate and efforts to avoid corruption would likewise be stimied.

  Last edited by:  Lila Redden (Asgardian, Candidate)  on Nov 25, 17 / Sag 21, 01 09:38 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Nov 26, 17 / Sag 22, 01 05:16 UTC

Hi Lila, thanks for your input.

I didn't intend a religious tone, but a "classical" tone  a Thespian/Shakespearean tone because I'm no artist and all I can do is sloppily copy. I feel this document requires an artistic tone, and sorry if I chose one you didn't like, as I mentioned already I'm no artist.  Do you offer other words to replace these?  Whatever you suggest I hope it is deeply moving, for such a ceremony should be.  I hope you take it as seriously as I do.

To address your second point, and what I feel is the most important part of the document.  I suggest each parliament take a new name, for they are a new person, or should be - they should be born again not to serve the old individual, but the one unity, at least while they serve us.  How else would we protect our leaders against the corruption of other governments, or corporations which seem to so many to be the cause of all our woes.  We can offer no guard, no police or army, only secrecy and so we must.  I also fear for their very lives, extremists are here already and more come every day, how else will we keep our chosen leaders safe? They will do so much for us, a new name is all we have to give.

Personally I have given every waking hour to Asgardia since I decided to lead by example. "Chris Pavlis" is no more, ceneezer has replaced him, and if I become parliament even ceneezer is too self serving - for I am still only one voice, not yet representing anyone.  Only the election could make that change.

  Last edited by:  Asgardian 794177 (Asgardian, Candidate)  on Nov 26, 17 / Sag 22, 01 05:28 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Nov 26, 17 / Sag 22, 01 09:30 UTC

I think it's a good idea and necessary to take a pledge of unity, but it would also incorporate a pledge of individual responsibility.

A hug.

Nov 26, 17 / Sag 22, 01 21:18 UTC

I disagree with taking a code name but should keep our names open for all.  This is because our biggest goal for creating Parliament, and the Asgardian government in general, is transparency.  If people do not know who the Parliament members are by name, then how are they to trust that Parliament will be open and honest about anything else if they are not willing to even let people know their names?  I understand it's to keep those who are disgruntled from not being elected, or from having friends of those not elected, seek retribution against those that won election into Parliament, but it's supposed to be about trust right?  As well as unity.  You cannot have unity without open honesty and trust.  That's just the way things are.  If I win Parliamentary election, I will not take a code name.  I will use my true full name.  I love Asgardia with all my heart.  And I trust Asgardia's citizenry.  If I am so afraid that I will not use my real name, then what right do I have to lead?  So I'm sorry, but I think that using a code name for Parliamentary members is unnecessary and a potential step backwards as far as unity and transparency in our government.  

Also, I saw the suggested Oath and "I beg you receive my oath now?" Now I do believe there should be an oath of office, but I do not believe one should use a fake name or beg, though I understand it's for more ceremonial purpose.  Now here is how I can see an oath of office that's a bit more compact.

Raise your dominant hand, left or right which ever your dominant hand is:

"Do you swear to uphold the laws, ideals and dreams of the Asgardian Nation, to honor your position within the Parliament and uphold the Asgardian Constitution to the best of your ability?  Do you swear to lead with respect, avoid corruption, thinking always of how to aid the nation and its future, and always remain as open and honest to both your fellow Parliamentary members and the citizenry as humanly possible?"

<New Parliamentary member>  I <member's real name here>  Do so swear to uphold the Laws and Constitution of the Asgardian Nation, to be respectful and without corruption, to be open and honest and to look to the future of Asgardia now and always."

I think something like this sounds far more human and much less like a religious ceremony.  Also, as we are going to start off with 150 members, we all could do such at once in unison rather than one at a time which would take hours.  I realize this is an important moment, especially the first Asgardian Parliament, but we do also have to be reasonable about this as well.

  Last edited by:  Bridget Kielas-Fecyk (Asgardian, Candidate, Member of the Parliament)  on Nov 26, 17 / Sag 22, 01 21:23 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times

Nov 27, 17 / Sag 23, 01 10:17 UTC

I can see you totally missed the point about new names (not code) because firstly they are awarded after an election, so the people already know all about the candidate, who they are, ect - they just don't know which votes come from which "real world" identity, it's not like they get a new name with every vote or something.  You'll also note I use my name, unlike many candidates.

Secondly, lets take the extermely hypothetical situation of, say, a tobacco company trying to get a law passed that allows smoking inside.  They have a quick and easy list of real word identities to pressure and soon enough nobody but some big conglomerate is happy... no thanks.

I do like that yours is a little shorter, but it seems vastly lacking too, such oaths are used many places where corruption runs rampant... I am trying to avoid corruption by making each member give a very personal commitment to each other member - in hopes that such a deep commitment will be taken more seriously than a quick little blurb.

Nov 27, 17 / Sag 23, 01 14:02 UTC

The problem of corruption when such oaths are given has nothing to do with flaws in the more simplified oaths themselves and everything to do with potential for moral hazard. A moral hazard created by lack of transparency and insufficient oversight by the people. No matter how theatrical or solemn an oath ceremony may be, corruption will occur when there is opportunity and a lack of sufficient ethical behavior. Its why its far more practical to create a system with transparency and oversight as well as sufficient parliamentary procedure to reduce the moral hazard to the point where any potential personal gains are insignificant compared to their costs. I also feel a more theatrical oath, like your speaking of is potentially damaging to our national credibility. Certainly some pomp and circumstance around the oath is a good idea, but this can be done by promoting its visibility. Making the ceremony itself something theatrical makes it appear to be just that, theater.

@Bridget - I like the simplified oath as a draft, its definitely a good starting place. I'd probably reword this section ", to be respectful and without corruption, to be open and honest and to look to the future of Asgardia now and always." to something like "to be respectful to my fellow Asgardians, and to be open and honest, eschewing personal gain, and to look to the future of Asgardia, now and always" That wording isn't quite right either, but maybe is a bit closer? I feel like the word corruption itself should be replaced with the specific behavior we're wanting the oath to curtail.

Nov 27, 17 / Sag 23, 01 16:27 UTC

@Chris, Having my name stripped from me and a code name given does not feel like a reward but a punishment.  A way to hide who I am.  I'm sorry but I could never do that.  Part of me running for Parliament is to ensure transparency through complete, open honesty.  Hence, why I would strongly advise against, and even actually fight against, being forced to take a new name.  I would openly refuse to use it and, if someone called me by that name, I would refuse to respond to it.  No this is not being childish, it's about avoiding the very corruption you seem to be worried about.  If you hide behind a pseudonym, it's like being online.  You can hide your face, "wear a mask", and no one outside the Asgardians who voted for you would really know who you are.  We don't want that.  We need to make sure everyone within, and outside, Asgardia knows who we are so we can be held 100% accountable for our actions and our behavior.  I realize most don't like being held to task for what they do or say, but actions, be it verbal or physical, have consequences.  And as Leaders, we must be ready to acknowledge this.  Leaders must be forced to stand tall, their heads high, outside of "closed doors" before their people and say "Yes this is who I am."   I understand 100% your idea of code names or "Asgardian Names".  I have not died as a person to be *reborn* in Asgardia.  I am not reborn anywhere.  My name is Bridget Kielas-Fecyk I was born in Wisconsin, USA.  I currently live in Wisconsin, USA.  And, more than likely, I'll die here.  Unless we end up having a land-based colony as I highly doubt there will be a place in space that I, at 44 years of age, will be able to visit.  Though I do hope to be cremated when I die of old age and have my ashes shot into space, since having a whole body sent up is a bit out of my family's budget.  But that is who I am and I refuse to change that. 

Simply put, if I'm so terrified of people finding who I am outside of Asgardia that I use a pseudonym within Asgardia to hide myself, then I have no right to Lead.  We are not here to hide who we are.  We are not here to escape anything.  As in Asgardia, outside the Nation, if we do something wrong, we NEED to be held to task.  In fact, as Parliamentary members, we need to hold ourselves even MORE accountable for our words and our behavior because as higher officials, our actions reflect on the nation as a whole.  If a person cannot accept that level of responsibility, then they should drop their candidacy.  The Parliament is not about personal power or having that "higher rank" above others.  It's about being able to help lead this nation into the future.  About being there for others to lean on when they need that shoulder, or to listen to others when they need someone's ear.  It's about being the rock that the nation can stand upon to hold it steady.  The Parliament isn't the crown, it's the bedrock under the feet.  We're not doing this for standing and bragging rights, we're doing what we must to help the Asgardian Nation continue to be able to stride into the future.  As a nation, Asgardia's an infant.  Let's hold its hand, not put a trip rope under the feet.

As far as the "Short little blurb"   Yes it was just a suggestion for an oath, but there is a reason for something short that everyone can say together.  Be it a short few sentences or some huge religious-like ceremony, a person's heart isn't going to change.  They're not going to take it any more seriously simply due to the length.  If anything, if you make it too drawn out, too filled with redundancies or too much like a religious ceremony, there are those that will zone out and simply stop caring.  They'll go through the motions just to get it over with and simply stop caring about what's being said.  And remember, you're talking 150 Parliamentary members all taking the oath on the same day.  So whatever oath of office that the officials decide for the elected Parliamentary members to take, I'm sure it will be comprehensive, but I doubt it'll be something that will be as drawn out as you'd written.  For the simple fact that there ARE so many doing such at the same day, and the fact that we want it to be an oath everyone can accept and get behind.  It needs to be very, very carefully worded and the entire ceremony of office needs to be something everyone can accept. 

@Linda, thank you, that was my intent. 

Nov 27, 17 / Sag 23, 01 18:49 UTC

wow I'm surprised by the heated debate and personal offence you feel.  I honestly feel that if we take the alternate route you suggest Asgardia will be doomed - much as you feel the path I suggest would, and wonder how you will feel when your family is being targeted by conglomerates to pressure your decisions.  And also feel that if you cannot see the danger, or would not be willing to sacrifice your family for your ideals and the betterment of asgardia that you are also unfit to lead. - but I can see for now we will have to agree to disagree... can we at least agree there are two sides to this coin? if not many more.

I wonder if we can at least agree that nobody is fit to lead?

  Last edited by:  Asgardian 794177 (Asgardian, Candidate)  on Nov 27, 17 / Sag 23, 01 18:54 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times

Nov 28, 17 / Sag 24, 01 15:01 UTC

  • Chris, I don't believe personal offense has anything to do with it. If I understand Bridget's point correctly, and if so, I agree with it, the personal benefits of such pseudonyms are far outweighed by the potential negative impacts they have on Asgardians as a whole, both internally as well as how we are perceived externally. The pressures you seek to avoid are felt by every person in any position of power from a local union organizer up to Presidents and Dictators. There will always be those with money and influence who seek to shape public policy to their benefit. Pseudonyms are such a thin shield to protect against this that their point becomes moot. Correct me if I'm wrong, but here is my understanding of the pros and cons of the pseudonyms.

    With Pseudonyms:
  • + Representatives receive some personal protection against coercive forces
  • + Representatives have an easier separation of private and public life
  • - Asgardians have difficulty identifying who their representative is and their history
  • - Asgardians have difficulty identifying corruption from representatives who make policy with one name and accept bribes with another.
    - Other nations have difficulty identifying Representatives and thus see interaction with us as a possible security risk.

  • Without Pseudonyms:
    + Asgardians have a clear course to identify representatives and their history
  • + Representatives cannot hide corruption behind the use of their real name and their pseudonym
  • + Other nations can readily identify Asgardian Legislative members and are able to verify identities with both Asgardian documents and our home nations documents
  • - Representatives must show moral fortitude in rebuffing attempts to coerce them
  • - Representatives must put more effort into separating private and public life.

If I've missed a potential positive for using pseudonyms here, feel free to correct me, but I think its clear here that any potential gains are limited and personal and not in the interest of Asgardians nor in Asgardia's position as a prospective nation.

Nov 28, 17 / Sag 24, 01 17:55 UTC

Yes, those points sum it up nicely though I'm sure there are more and I don't think they are of equal weight - and I disagree that your 4rth one is even possible, who would dbe foolish enough to bribe someone that they can't verify the outcome of? what insurance would the briber get?  this is exactly the reason I want a pseudonym - so that a briber cannot find me.... if a briber knows who all the parliament is but not which are which they cannot ensure that the person they bribed did as they wish - so pointless - and if they should bribe everyone, so long as one vote goes in there favor they would not know which one.... so to me a bribe would merely become a gift "thank you for doing a good job keep up the good work" - when they wouldn't even know specifically how I voted.... who couldn't use free money? though I doubt it would come, which is the point.

I was also reminded of one of my main reasons for having created "ceneezer" many years back - it is a *unique identifier - unlike the name "chris pavlis" of which there are several... making it easier to track which one is parliament and which are not, now "chris pavlis" is not so common - but what about the infamous family name of  "for startegist" or "thehistorian" ?

  Last edited by:  Asgardian 794177 (Asgardian, Candidate)  on Nov 28, 17 / Sag 24, 01 19:01 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Nov 28, 17 / Sag 24, 01 19:22 UTC

I'm afraid I don't see how your logic follows. If constituents have any ability to identify members of parliament then third parties will succeed in doing so. Either you have complete secrecy, which runs counter to any form of legislative transparency and almost guarantees corruption and self-service, or you have constituents able to identify the real names of their MPs and thus third parties will ultimately have access and you'll never avoid their efforts because they simply know that "ceneezer" is "Chris Pavlis". There's not really an in-between here. 

Nov 28, 17 / Sag 24, 01 20:56 UTC

which is why our citizens also should not be able to trace back which candidate is which.. though I see the problem that it removes accountability, that could easily be corrected by a small security fource. at least for their first parliament - but the next would not be, because they would run under the same name, so voters would be voting for their work in Asgardia, being all linked to that identity, not their families or "real world" friend... sure some would not take a fake name and use the support of their dedicated friends (which I feel is unconstitutional, votes should be for ideas, not people, that is why parties are forbidden)

Thank you for bringing up yet another point - what of those people who are very famous in real life, I'm sure "The Govenator" would do very well here, under the current setup, don't you? is that what is best for Asgardia in your oppinion?

Nov 28, 17 / Sag 24, 01 22:00 UTC

A security force who would be inured from corruption how? The problem with such methods is that ultimately you create an intricate machine of which many dozens of wrenches bring the entire thing to ruin. A government cannot be built for ideals, it must be built for people, as they are. We can aspire for Asgardia to be a great place with dedicated people who will not allow such corruption, but should we even tempt them? Why when we could so easily eliminate the problem with simple, straightforward systems which allow no metaphorical darkness for corruption to grow or hide in?

As to your question, I think its perfectly reasonable to set limits on campaigning. Not allow the expenditure of money in campaigns and as such only allow people to argue for their election on the strength of their arguments. However, cults of personality exist and we will not be free of them simply because we are a digital nation. Whether its a vocal someone whose opinions are popular within the forums and blogs or an entertainer or artist, popular due to their works, I see no problem with such individuals having increased likelihood of becoming members of Parliament. In fact their contributions to Asgardian society would set them apart. If you want to counter such candidates, you want a more informed electorate, not less. Would you rather laws which gag order MPs and MP candidates so they are not allowed to reveal their identity themselves? I certainly would not. Fewer, simpler, laws which eliminate moral hazard without need for secrecy or layers of enforcement and protection are far better and provide Asgardians far greater confidence in our institutions.