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The Lazarene Gazette March 2019

(This post was last modified: 03-28-2019, 03:32 PM by New Rogernomics.)

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The Official Newspaper of Lazarus
Issue 5 • March 2019 • 2 Pages

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By [Image: new_rogernomics__354428t2.jpg]New Rogernomics
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Lazarus has signed a treaty with Osiris, which seeks to increase cultural, political, and military co-operation between the two sinker regions, as well as support each other in regards to the regional security of both regions. It is hoped that this treaty will not be the last, and will be part of diplomatic initiative of Lazarus to come back onto the diplomatic scene. The treaty ratification process was not without it's concerns however, with some parts of the treaty holding up ratification, until both regions agreed to an amendment at a later date.

With the signing of the treaty, many beneficial provisions come into effect, with both regions formally recognizing each other, and pledging mutual defense and military co-operation, with an emphasis against infiltration or mutual threats. It also provides a basis for cultural co-operation, with both regions pledging to hold cultural events together on annual basis.

Article 4, Section 3, held up this treaty with concerns over enforcement given the wording. The major concern was that it could be used to compel one region or the other to violate their own constitution or legal procedures. The part in contention was the requirement to "punish any of their citizens convicted by the other", which was considered too loose a framework to the liking of many Lazarene citizens.

The treaty passed overwhelmingly by a margin of 100%, with 27 votes to approve the treaty and 3 abstentions, such a margin bodes well for the future of Osiris-Lazarus relations.

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By [Image: new_rogernomics__354428t2.jpg]New Rogernomics
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With another month comes new regional appointments within Lazarus, with Imkiville, the Delegate of Lazarus discussing her new plans for restructuring government departments, as well as appointing Arlo as the new Court Justice. With this restructuring comes the dissolution of Recruitment and Outreach, as well as the change of the Department of Media and Events into Internal Management or as it is known outside of theme context, the Interior Ministry.

Within her address Imkiville stated in reference to her new Court Justice appointment, "I have been thinking long and hard about a third and final member for our Court after Citizen rejection of my last proposal and I have decided to present Arlo for the position of Court Justice.I believe Arlo will be a great choice to complete our court as a loyal Lazarene citizen who has shown themselves to be bright, rational and fair in my experience. While not having in game court experience he is knowledgeable on the subject offline and I believe will be a great addition to the already awesome team."

This appointment takes place after the last Court Justice re-appointment of Roavin, failed to pass a vote of the Assembly, though it is quite likely the latest appointment will pass, given that current feeling within the Assembly is that it is the right choice, with no forward opposition to the motion to vote.

Following this, in her general remarks about the restructuring she described how TempestShadow would be moved on to the Foreign Relations Department, to serve under Your Imaginary Friend, with special mention made to TempestShadow's efforts in regards to the World Assembly, and the difficulties in the vague organization of the now defunct Ministry of Recruitment and Outreach.

Imkiville explained in full terms, "Firstly I will be dissolving the Ministry of Recruitment and Outreach and intend to incorporate it into our already existing Ministries instead. I think the Ministry in its current incarnation was too vague and far reaching for one person to run alone, but TempestShadow has been doing a wonderful job informing the region on World Assembly Resolutions so I would like him to now focus on just World Assembly Affairs as a Deputy Minister under Minister Your Imaginary Friend and the Foreign Relations umbrella."
Close to finishing her remarks she explained her new plans for the Ministry of Media and Events, and it's modification into the Internal Management Department, among a general desire for new efforts to encourage and assist newcomers to the region.

"For now I ask Vice-Delegate Treadwellia, Minister New Rogernomics and the Media and Events Ministry to encourage and assist newcomers to the region and citizenship. I will also be trying to do more there personally but I strongly believe that recruitment is something every single member of this region plays a part in whether they mean to or not. We are all representing Lazarus with our words and actions and sometimes something as simple as a friendly greeting can be enough to make a new nation more curious about our lovely home. I’d like to ask you all to just keep that in mind and be kind and helpful to your fellow region mates when you can.

As the Ministry of Media and Events is really far more than just Festivals and our Newspaper I have decided to rename it Internal Affairs, or in our LazCorp theme, Internal Management. As this covers such a vast array of areas I strongly encourage Minister New Rogernomics to spread the load by appointing more Vice-Ministers to help spearhead the various sub-departments."

She ended by expressing thanks for the time and effort of those in Lazarus, stating, "Thank you Lazarus, for your continued time and work in the region. It really is a pleasure to work with you all.

Finally, as writing this story, it appears highly likely given current voting that Arlo's Court Justice nomination has passed, with no votes against.

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By [Image: new_rogernomics__354428t2.jpg]New Rogernomics
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Lazarus is beginning the process of moving towards the democratic election of Deputy Directors (or Deputy Ministers), with both the Department of Public Relations, and Department of Internal Management, holding elections. This will be a major test of the attempts of the new administration, given the difficulties in holding votes during the failed Constitutional Convention, and the expectation that such mistakes won't be repeated in these elections.
Also of concern is whether Lazarus has the political climate and maturity to hold such elections, as a result of past factional differences built during the civil war period. Though, given that these are deputy positions, and not as strong as say the Delegacy or full Ministerial roles directly dictating regional policy, it seems unlikely to be of issue.

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By [Image: new_rogernomics__354428t2.jpg]New Rogernomics
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Generally the issue of theme has been a complex one in Lazarus, with the Celestial Union and Humane Republic both having their detractors, and the LazCorp theme is no different in this regard. The Department of Internal Management, with the blessing of many in the region, has established and alternative policy, which is to allow RP Groups and Organizations.

This policy is hoped will allow nations to create and role play their groups, as if they were regional governments or factions, with the first such factions being LazCorp by default, as well as the Lazarene Empire. Both are un-official, in that they don't act as the official governments of Lazarus, but instead as a means to role play an alternative organization or regime.

Fully registered groups with two or more members will receive a sub-forum and their own discord channel, whereas general regional groups will be listed in a game side dispatch.

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By [Image: new_rogernomics__354428t2.jpg]New Rogernomics
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Lazarus is at a crossroads, with some un-certainty over how democratic institutions and elections can be handled, and there is a sound argument for us to take our time and be careful, as well as an argument that we are going too slowly and should attempt to speed up the process. Both positions have their dangers, the former could mean stagnation, the later major security risks so soon after a civil war.
As a former elected Delegate, and a citizen, I've seen quite a few attempts at Lazarene democracy, and was distraught when the Celestial Union collapsed, and the democratic institutions built up for years with it. It is very hard to get that back, when nations have moved on, and all the expertise they had with them. It could be too easy to say, 'let's hold a constitutional convention and just restart what the Humane Republic had', or to call for some redrawn alternative that was put forward in the failed constitutional convention that led to the current government.

Though with renewed attempts at democracy, comes with threats towards regional sovereignty. Lazarenes could find pretty solid ground to worry about infiltration by outside actors, in any future Lazarene election that places nations without a history in Lazarus into positions of power or influence. Worse still is the concern that nations that already traumatized the region might return under a new persona, and wreak havoc once again upon the region. Lazarus in starting open elections, would hold the possibility of allowing such risks to become a reality, if such elections are not handled well. So while Lazarus attempts to move forward, there are dangers in attempting a more democratic and open Lazarus.

The Humane Republic of Lazarus was not always an ideal democracy, and had flaws, but it still had a functional democracy and thriving culture, despite infiltration that may have taken place at the time. It was also not as interesting to a lot of people, and it lacked the ability to make people enthusiastic about the government and the theme. This led to the Celestial Union, which despite being passed by a substantial majority, failed to hold a region together that was falling into civil war, with it's institutions losing support among critical members of the civil society. Everyone had different ideas for the region, and for who they wanted to run it. Members of the New Pacific Order, and members from other regions, took advantage of this chaos, but all Lazarus really needed was some wood on a fire that had been burning for some time.

Generally, I'd affirm that a functional democratic society requires institutions to be respected, and for citizens within that society to support the constitution and government in principle, even if they don't agree with all the decisions and all the actions of that society. Perhaps this is best explained in a four pillars analogy, with each representing an aspect required to have a democratic society function effectively.

The first pillar, is respect for legislature and it's ability to pass fair and reasonable legislation, to support freedom of speech and expression, and not persecute those who disagree. This pillar collapsed in Lazarus, when two major factions formed hostile to each other, and were unable to compromise. The faction I am describing consisted of Funkadelia and Lamb, and those who supported them on one side, and what would form 'La Resistance' on the other. When the Celestial Union finally fell into civil war, the legislature rightly or wrongly was then used against citizens.

The second pillar, is respect for the chief executive, in the case of UCRs this varies, but in a GCR, the Delegate has to have some respect for the region to prosper, and in turn the Delegate must respect those citizens that disagree with their actions. During the Celestial Union, this respect also collapsed, with Funkadelia losing the ability to rely on his own regional officers or guardians, and him coming into hostile confrontation with the judiciary.

The third pillar, is respect for the judicial procedures of the region, and the members of the judicial branch, in their ability to deliver a fair verdict, as well as a fair interpretation of regional law. Judges are allowed to make mistakes, but those mistakes should not compound to totally undermine the respect of the justice system. Unfortunately, in the Celestial Union, numerous decisions appeared to one major faction of the region to be a threat to the Executive, and not simply an opposing opinion - but an attempt to remove the leader of their faction, in this case the Delegate of Lazarus.

The last pillar, is the one that just as important as any of the last ones, if not more important, which is civil society. This is the ability of non-government individuals to be able to respect and support their region, and hold it together, in form of some cultural identity that can weather a crisis - constitutional or otherwise. For a long time, Lazarus had this, however by the Celestial Union this had broken down. There were still figures respected in Lazarus by both factions, but they couldn't stop the conflict, nor hold both factions back from further escalation.

Once all these pillars had collapsed, the Celestial Union and Lazarene democracy with it, was doomed to fall apart, despite the best efforts of many involved, including myself, to stop it. When we talk about democracy, it is my opinion that we need to take our time, and not just create democracy to be popular at home or abroad, but to create one that lasts, which can mean taking more time and risking some stagnation.

At the same time, that position naturally holds the risk of long-term stagnation, of active members staying away from Lazarus, as there is no ability for them to advance politically in the region, or to hold a position to support their opinion or vision for the future of Lazarus. So Lazarus can't hold back free elections on major positions forever, and will at one point have to take a risk. Naturally though, the Delegacy is too far for the vast majority, given if we lose the Delegacy at this moment, we lose the freedom of our region to decide our own fate, but that doesn't mean that Ministers and below can't be gradually made into roles elected through free elections. The general concern though would be to guard the region from bad actors, who might undermine the region through their position.

As a citizen, I don't know the future of Lazarus or entirely which direction it should take, but eventually it should be a return to democracy. Lazarus may choose to elect our Delegate or make it a long-term Executive that requires a challenge system to remove, either position I would support in principle. But that should be our choice - not one handed down by infiltration, threat, or power lust. What I do know is that we need to make the right choices in our future, and not the ones that led us to bitter factionalism and civil war.

Disclaimer: This article was opinion, and as such is the view of a private citizen, and not the official position of Lazarus nor the Lazarene government.

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Divine Cervine was nominated by [Image: the_copper_states__106557t2.png]The Copper States for their inspiring nation and you can't help but admire their dedicated collection of Factbooks that chronicle the changes and awards in the nation for over three whole years! 

A long time resident and known sight around the region with a fascinating nation, I believe Divine Cervine deserves more recognition and so I give them the Employee of the Month award for February! Please enjoy your place on our wall of fame! Big Grin

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