Earlier this week, the bill proposing the creation of an upper house of the Tynwald, to be known as the House of Lords, was struck down by the Puritanian direct democracy system. At the same time, however, flaws in the system became apparent. Puritania is perhaps the only micronation in the Micras Sector that allows all persons who visit it the right to vote in the Tynwald. This is based on the fact that Puritania has no citizenship laws, except one that proclaims every living thing to be a citizen of the Commonwealth.
The vote on the House of Lords amendment to the Compact (constitution) was defeated and numerous people were exposed for vote rigging, including Andrew MacNeardy and Peter Hickey. Due to this latest vote rigging incident, former Lord Protector, and founder of Puritania, Julian Starr, has proposed some changes to how the legislature does its business.
The proposal includes making the Tynwald a unicameral system, much as it is now, except there would be five elected representatives instead of the entire population and some double logins. This control is designed at curbing, as Mr. Starr put it, “last minute immigration flooding to unethically influence [Puritania’s] electoral system.” Ric Lyon, who has also served as Lord Protector of Puritania in the past, suggested a bicameral system where the lower house would compose the current direct democracy structure and the upper house would be elected. The proposal is similar to the failed House of Lords Amendment, except that the Lords would be elected, not appointed. Mr. Lyon cautioned, however, that an elected upper house could be easily corrupted by lobbyists trying to buy votes. For this reason, the British House of Lords and the Canadian Senate, both appointed houses, are far more functional as the members don’t have to get re-elected and thus they can do what needs to be done for the country, not what needs to be done to get re-elected.
Whatever happens, it is safe to say that Puritania is a prime example of why not to have open citizenship policy to all who stumble on in, especially when you operate via direct democracy. The dream of Puritania has long been tainted by those who seek to be opportunists and destroy the feasibility of direct democracy and open citizenship. The experiment has now landed; all that is left for Puritania is to continue down the road to obscurity, or create a citizenship system that will save the integrity of its national institutions.