EPNS - Edition 17

Aug 12, 2020
The East Pacific
The East Pacific News Service

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The East Pacific News Service
July 31, 2021

Atlae Elected Delegate by Slim Margin, Transition Begins

FEATURE | BY: Tretrid | Edited by: Zukchiva | You can read more about our authors by clicking on the "Our Staff" tab at the top

As a result of the latest round of June Delegate elections, erstwhile Overseeing Officer Atlae has become Delegate-elect, beginning the transition process for the Delegacy.

As per schedule, the East Pacific began its latest Delegate elections for June with nominations beginning on June 1st and lasting for a week.

Outgoing Delegate Zukchiva made it abundantly clear that he was not going to seek a second term well before the elections started. That left the Delegacy essentially up for grabs.

Here is a list of every person nominated during the nomination period: (Editor's note: There's a big gap here. I don't know why. This is only in the NS Forum edition.)

Nominee (Forum Username)Response
A Mean Old ManDeclined
Aurora YukihimeDeclined
East MalaysiaDeclined
Todd McCloudUndisclosed
YSG HermitcraftAccepted

Zukchiva initially accepted a nomination so he could open a thread in the Delegate Elections subforum. This thread was to act as a Questions & Answers session with him, and Zukchiva later withdrew his nomination.

The two primary campaigns of note in this election were those of Overseeing Officer Atlae and that of Vizier Sammy, both experienced and qualified candidates in their own right. Other candidates of note include the up-and-coming YSG Hermitcraft and joke campaigns from Taduwe, Algerstonia, and ArenaC.

Former Delegate Libertanny also ran as a sort of “safety” candidate in case either Sammy or Atlae had to withdraw. Libertanny asked voters not to rank him first, but to rank him second or third instead.

Despite Libertanny’s fears and the massive slew of candidates, the region’s attention mainly fell on Sammy and Atlae, who wrote extremely long-winded campaigns to comprehensively cover a cascading range of issues. They covered what essentially amounted to every issue that faced The East Pacific, while also putting forth their desired structure for the Executive. Many questions were, of course, asked to further clarify their policies.

When voting came around a week later on June 8th, it seemed mostly that Atlae and Sammy would continue to dominate the elections. For the first time since October 2019 (when Marrabuk was elected Delegate), elections did not conclude within the first round of vote counting.

Sammy won a plurality of votes in the first round, but he did not win within the first round since he did not gain a majority of votes. The procedure for Instant-Runoff voting was thus initiated, and extra rounds and vote counting continued until there was a clear winner.

In the end, there was. Atlae ended up with 19 votes just enough to gain a majority and edge Sammy from victory. These margins were the slimmest margins a TEP Delegate had been elected by to date.

The Delegate transition immediately commenced after then-Viceroy Wallenburg announced the official results. Atlae, as Overseeing Officer of the EPSA, did not have World Assembly membership on his main nation, so he had to start from a grand total of 0 endorsements. Two weeks later sees Atlae gaining close to the 500 endorsement mark- a great improvement but a yet incomplete transition.

While Atlae is still Delegate-Elect, he has fully assumed the role of legal Delegate within the Executive and has already announced his new Cabinet. There remains a lot of work to be done, but Atlae and his picks have already begun their labor to improve the region. EPNS wishes the Cabinet and Atlae good luck on their endeavors during the remaining four month period.

A Social Analysis of the Summer Election's Outcome

FEATURE | BY: Vanzeria | Edited by: Zukchiva

After the recent elections on TEP, Atlae rises victorious with 19 voices against Sammy, who earned 18 voices. Out of curiosity, the 48 electors were asked the reasons of their votes. Only 10 responded.

Two voices emerged from the responses: One voice was happy with the outcomes, and Atlae's win as Delegate. Some of these voters testified that they voted for Atlae due to the importance of the Army, and for proposing more relatively realistic projects compared to other candidates.

The other voice was surprised to see the election's outcome, and would have preferred to seen Sammy win instead. Some voters testified that the voting system was unfair, due to Sammy having a relative majority on 4 rounds out of 5, with Atlae only winning with the absolute majority in the 5th round with only one vote to spare.

Some other people decided to abstain, due to some other factors. Among them :

- All the candidates were equally respected, hence said voters had no preferences,
- The voter was a candidate and didn't want to influence the elections.

However, due to the small amount of voters who voted for a specific candidate (41 ± 2), and the smaller amount of answers (11 ± 0), these survey results should be taken with a lot of caution and not representative of the majority of TEP's mindset!

So, throughout this study, it appears that, even if it is widely accepted, the Atlae's win as Delegate doesn't make full consensus.

The Problem With An Unaligned Focus

FEATURE | BY: Zukchiva | Edited by: Albrook

The East Pacific has, for the most part, remained an unaligned region since its founding two decades ago. However, our region does sometimes lean ideologically in one way or another- sometimes being completely neutral from the battlefield, sometimes leaning raider, and sometimes leaning defender. While these changes in ideological leans were numerous, TEP has almost always remained content with applying no label to itself.

While unalignment has always existed beyond the East Pacific, it has not always remained a big force in the R/D battlefield. Traditionally, unaligned regions like TEP took a background supporting role to Raiders and Defenders- the main stars of the battlefield. However, with Raiderdom currently lapsing, the unaligned/Independent sphere (namely with Thaecia, Europeia, The North Pacific, Caer Sidi, and the East Pacific) has begun to emerge from the shadows as a unified faction.

This growing faction has let our region coordinate with other unaligned or Independent regions in ways we have been unable to do so before. For a large part, this causes excitement. Afterall, multiple Delegate campaigns during the last election called for focusing on cooperation with the unaligned sphere. It’s a no-brainer: let’s work with our own kind!

But there lies a problem.

When we say “unalignment”, unalignment can mean many things. The penultimate fact is that while a region can be officially unaligned, its previous ideologies and historical relations can severely change the way it views R/D. The East Pacific has always remained special in this way with how we dip into a variety of ideological perspectives.

Part of that is simply because the East Pacific doesn’t put any great weight into any ideology nor sphere. Raiders, Defenders, Imperialists, Independents- we’ve always attempted to interact equally with all these kinds of regions and more. Additionally, while our military may engage in more raiding than defending or vice versa at certain points in time, there is almost always an attempt to make sure we’re working with all our allies militarily when we have an opportunity to do so. This versatility of The East Pacific’s foreign affairs and military operations can be seen with how TEP is perceived: some people think we’re Raider-sympathetic, others believe we are fully Defender. In short, TEP is not constrained to a singular ideology but is rather neutral to all of them.

This leads to the big issue with a focus on cooperating with unaligned/Independent regions. While the day is still young and this sphere hasn’t held the spotlight for too long, the fact is hyper-focusing on this sphere could limit our region’s options with our regional relations. Why? Because factually speaking, bulking up on relations with a specific sphere has a lot of effects. We may begin to have weaker relations with our more ideological friends by focusing on the unaligned sphere- leading to more chances for miscommunication. This could snowball to lost or lessened relations in the future- especially with our Defender allies who often have a negative perception of the unaligned sphere. Not to mention that our regional culture can also be affected based on our long-term relations, and we can eventually see ourselves firmly integrated into the unaligned sphere and nowhere else. In other words, we lose our balanced unalignment in favor of cooperating primarily with fellow unaligned regions.

Now, this is not to say that our region should not work with the unaligned sphere. It’s awesome to work with regions more similar to our own thinking and in times when Raiderdom isn’t as active, only natural. My primary fear is if Defenderdom begins to weaken or if Raiderdom starts to strengthen… will we return to working semi-equally with Defenders and Raiders? Or will we cease cooperating with Defenders/Raiders as we turn our eyes to operations with our fellow unaligned regions?

This is probably an unwarranted concern. Our region has leaned multiple ways in the past, why would it stick with focusing on one sphere? My answer is that the unaligned sphere is so much more similar to us than regions in the Raider or Defender sphere. It isn’t a big leap of faith for our region to start adopting to working more and more with unaligned regions until they become our closest allies- leaving our current allies in the dust.

That being said, ultimately maybe this is just a bunch of fearful nothing. Our military will probably start working with Defenders more if Raiders do start appearing again. But maybe it will not. So while there is always a benefit with focusing on cooperating with unaligned regions, we should keep in mind the problems that come with an Unaligned focus and the limits it may place upon our region. Ultimately, we should continue our policy regarding ideology as we always have post-coup: pay it no heed. Then we will have no problems with our regional focus.

Force: The Instant Shift from Impending Ally to Condemnation

FEATURE | BY: Albrook | Edited by: The Atlae Isles and Pledonia | You can read more about our authors by clicking on the "Our Staff" tab at the top

In the last edition, I wrote an article on the everyday duties of the TEP diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FA). In specific summary, I wrote that the Senior Diplomats meet to discuss in the event of diplomatic crises. On May 29, indeed, something happened. The Union of Force, a potential social ally to TEP via The Consortium – an interregional social organization, caused major upset in its handling of refounding The Socialist Syndicalist Union (TSSU) and grossly mishandling the resulting fallout.

A full chronicle of the events, featuring Force’s motives, actions, and other communities’ reactions and sanctions, is available on NationStates Today. While my original intention for this article was a chronicle of events as shown here, Quebecshire does due justice in factually explaining the situation. If you are unfamiliar with the events, I highly recommend giving this article a read before continuing. This article instead focuses on TEP’s eventual response. On June 1, TEP ultimately decided to end its relationship with Force. This was no easy decision, and is the result of days of deliberation. TEP condemns seven actions from Force. I will address these in three groups.

  • Constant changes in Force's narrative of the situation;
  • Threats by the Founder of Force towards an ally and former Delegate;
  • The Founder of Force bringing Out-Of-Character into an In-Character diplomatic situation;
  • Failure to properly and publicly apologize to sides offended by Out-Of-Character claims and threats;
  • Diplomatic threats within the most recent statement coming from the Government of Force;
  • Force's failure to condemn Founder's actions;
  • Failure on the part of all involved to take responsibility for the situation.

If you asked each Force government official what happened on May 29, I bet you would have gotten several different answers. During the public Force Press Conference on May 29, the Press Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister explain that the TSSU raid and the proposed referendum, voting on admitting TSSU into the Union of Force, was a joke and miscommunication by Minister of Foreign Affairs Krovx and Founder Renegalle. Time would eventually reveal, however, that the only miscommunication was between the non-existent Force military chain of command and the rest of the regional government. This was just one of the few discrepancies that made it difficult for TEP FA to determined what happened, and ultimately realize how mishandled everything was.

Points 2-4 address some particularly interesting “regional complements” Renegalle made to Xoriet, the New Pacific Order’s Senator of Diplomatic Affairs and former TEP Delegate, off-site that I unfortunately ought not to repeat on NS itself. While unofficial apologies were made, it is very curious that Renegalle and Force, even in its official statement, continued to feel the need to defend such statements as “hyperbole” and “regional dialect”, and never once officially apologized for such actions.

Furthermore, in said official statement, Force officially proclaimed that it may need to consider partnering with blacklisted NS communities if forced to by the mainstream response. I know of nobody personally who believes including such a proclamation in a defensive statement would ever be acceptable or positive.

If you asked any Force citizen what happened on May 29, I bet you would have been told that the actions of a few members of the capitol don’t represent the feelings of the Union of Force. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Never did Force or its member regions condemn or sanction Founder Renegalle for the miscommunications and mishandling. While the truth was eventually coerced from those involved, Force and its government overall played the blame game as to who did what, with nobody taking responsibility. And to that fact, few even took the time, such as the now fired press secretary, to understand what even really happened.

In conclusion, on June 1, after several days of tough conversations, TEP made the hard decision to break ties with Force. This statement was released days after a Joint Statement from the United Regions Alliance and nearly a day after Force’s statement. As cited previously, the lack of clear information and the Force statement’s inability to satisfy TEP’s concerns were key factors into our decision.

TEP realized a community that was a close friend, that we were preparing to align with through Consortium, needs to shape up and deal with egregious internal issues before it is right to continue a relationship. TEP wishes Force well in its journey of self re-discovery and rebranding as a Force for good.