Novapara hopes for renewal

FORT FUCA – Just weeks ago, Novapara, well-known for its professional-looking infographics and software initiatives, was placed into hiatus by its founder and leader, Mr Xavier. Yet already plans are underway for its re-birth in 2018.

A one-man micronation, Novapara ultimately met its demise on August 26 when Mr Xavier ran out of motivation to invest time in a project that had struggled to attract other participants to share the workload. The ensuing indefinite hiatus, however, became more finite today, though the same challenge remains to be overcome.

“The primary contributor to the failing government is the lack of people running it, ” Mr Xavier said in announcing a timeframe for Novapara’s return.

In order to attract others to the micronation, a “first half-year” agenda has been released, divided into three 2-month periods. The first two months will be dedicated to required maintenance on the Novian website, including its interactive citizens portal. Those efforts would be followed by work on the constitution and internal organization in months 3 and 4, while the last months will be spent creating new national identity and domestic products. Specific attention may also be paid to the expansion of the Novian Bank and its NovaPay financial services portal.

As for when the community may see the reborn Novapara, it is hoped that early-2018 will provide more favourable scheduling conditions; however, it was nonetheless cautioned that the attempt at planning a revival may still permanently fail.

Spat overshadows MicroWiki community

An effort to advance micronationalism has instead caused a diplomatic spat between two leading MicroWiki nations that has gripped the community as it descends into pettiness.

The growing war of words between Austenasia’s Emperor Jonathan Augustus and Delvera’s Consul Dylan Callahan, and other officials in their governments, originated in an unlikely venue: the Congress of Colo. That intermicronational organization billed itself as an effort to “bring stability … through structured diplomacy, economics, and sovereignty;” ironically, it instead spawned the current turmoil.

The spat, which became public through state media in each micronation on August 30, is largely a result of scheduling conflicts and semantics on the part of each side as opposed to any objectively serious issue.

In the former case, Callahan felt slighted by Augustus when, despite “months of advance notice, reminders, and suggestions [that Austenasia name more than one delegate],” Augustus, his nation’s sole delegate to the Congress, was unable to attend its first meeting. His absence caused the meeting to fail to meet a quorum, irking Callahan. That frustration increased as Callahan’s follow-up inquiries regarding Austenasia’s further participation reportedly went unanswered. In his defence, Augustus cited urgent personal matters for his absence.

When Augustus was later provided with a draft of what would become the Resolution on Micronational Sovereignty, he felt insulted as the document did not correctly cite his customary title as Emperor. He was further incensed by a re-draft to fix the error, when he read that it referred to the Congress participants as “micronations” as opposed to “sovereign states.” When he objected to the perceived semantic slight, Augustus, writing in his state media blog, noted that Callahan replied rudely which led to him promptly withdrawing Austenasia from any further involvement in the Congress.

Initial platitudes calling for further discussions to resolve the spat were customarily extended by both Austenasia and Delvera, but proved meaningless as the conflict boiled over onto the MicroWiki community forums and permeated state media in each micronation. The latest accusations include a Delveran agent attempting to engineer Augustus’ overthrow as monarch, Augustus abusing his power as owner of MicroWiki to censor Delveran state media, and vulgarity on the part of an Austenasian official. Practically-speaking, it has become a “tit-for-tat” situation in which each side strives to find fault with the other’s latest assertion and score credibility points before the wider community audience.

That semantics over the correct use of “micronations” as the term applies and impatience over missed appointments, plus the ensuing clash of personalities, have so severely undermined the relationship between the two micronations suggest that it was not viable in the first place. To that end, Austenasia announced today that it was cutting relations and communication with Delvera. As of press time, Delvera had not made a similar decision.

Consultations launched as Scotia seeks future

LYONESSE – One month since a failed, divisive, referendum on its future, the Principality of Scotia has reiterated its goal of independence from Scotland and launched a wide-ranging public consultation.

Questions regarding the micronation’s continuance began following the August 6th vote in which 49% of the population voted for autonomy within Scotland, while 48% desired preparing for full independence. A further 2% wanted full integration with Scotland. The referendum was declared a failure, as neither side reached a majority, causing the government to fall. The Sovereign Prince, Charles II, decided that Scotia would continue to work toward full sovereignty, spurred by the acquisition of an island in Scotland to support the building of a physical community.

The island, according to the Prince, is the first step toward fulfilling his vision for Scotia. “As we now have an island, the next 3-4 years will be very important to us in setting our foundations, solidifying our identity and preparing ourselves to declare independence as a fully sustainable nation,” he said in prepared remarks introducing a public consultation. At 27 sq. m., the island, the location of which has not been publicly announced, is reported to have a current population of 20, a range of existing community infrastructure, as well as a variety of livestock and agricultural foodstuffs.

The survey-based public consultation is comprehensive, seeking input from all interested individuals on a broad range of topics, from matters as small as choosing a national animal to more fundamental ones, such as revenue generation and the structure of the Royal Family. The consultation also seeks input on setting Scotia’s priorities ahead of any declaration of independence.

One such priority will be the formation of a stable government in the wake of the referendum. A month later, Scotia continues to lack a Prime Minister and National Council, despite pleas on its Twitter feed for citizens to come forward. It is unclear when or if a functional government will take office.

What is clear is that the decision to continue toward full independence, contrary to the will of 51% of the voting population who favoured some form of integration with Scotland, has set a difficult path ahead for Scotia.

 

Proposed tax sinks Economy Act

SILOFAIS – Despite its determination and the passage of two Acts to create a US Dollar-based economy for Silofais, the National Assembly found its efforts stymied by presidential vetoes.

Hoping to lay the foundation for the micronation’s future economy, the National Assembly passed the Economy Act on August 12. The Act adopted the USD as the micronation’s official currency, largely to ensure that the government dealt in the currency that it ultimately required for paying web hosting costs. The Act also provided for a largely symbolic annual $1 USD stipend to be paid to the holders of certain national positions.

To generate sufficient revenue to meet such commitments, the Act imposed a ‘Capitation Tax,’ which required each citizen over 19 years of age to pay $20 USD each year to the treasury beginning in January. Those who failed to pay the tax, either through evasion or negligence, faced fines ranging from $10 to $200, plus punitive interest or prosecution costs in some instances.

When brought before President Horatio Eden on August 13, the tax proved to be a political non-starter. For Mr Eden, it was an immigration faux pas that would undermine efforts to attract prospective citizens to Silofais by levying a potentially-discouraging tax. Such a concern is well-founded as imposing a tax in fiat currency might be considered a financial burden on some, especially those who are unsure if they wish to become fully-invested in a micronational project.

While expressing his support for the remaining provisions of the Act, including the need to raise USD to pay bills and stipends, Mr Eden ultimately vetoed the entire Act on August 20, directing his Council of State to investigate alternative revenue streams.

The National Assembly failed to overturn the veto on August 27 but was otherwise undeterred as a slightly modified version of the Act with the controversial tax still included was passed. That version met the same fate when laid before Mr Eden. “This Act is substantively the same one,” he said while committing to lay out a plan for funding Silofais’ website on or before his State of the State Address in November.

If such alternate arrangements are not found, Mr Eden said that he would relent, withdraw his veto, and allow the tax to come into effect.

MicroWiki logo competition underway

MICROWIKI – Micronational artists have a chance to leave their mark on one of the more active community forums as MicroWiki has begun a six-week competition to replace its current logos.

“The current logo is a bit rubbish,” said Kit McCarthy, its creator, tongue-in-cheek. “Everyone uses that same globe icon.”

So what’s in a logo, in the eyes of the MicroWiki administration team? The successful submission will be “stylish, clean and modern, but quirky and distinctive” according to the competition guidelines published by McCarthy. Whether the logo appears on the forums or on the wiki, it must maintain a consistent brand image. Importantly, the logo cannot be interpreted as politically-biased or micronation-specific. For those with a festive personality, the submission may also include seasonal variations, such as for Christmas.

Everyone with an interest is eligible to enter the competition by October 1. Each entry must include a forum header image, a wiki logo, and a favicon.

The MicroWiki administration team will prune submissions down to a shortlist that will ultimately go to a public vote, though a timeframe has not been published for that phase as of press time.

Micras loses significant micronation

GENEVA –  Since its foundation more than 15 years ago, Alexandria has played a central role in the Micras community, building its reputation from a shaky start under the name of Madland to one of community leader. Its story has now been consigned to the history books.

In an open letter to the Micras community on July 25, Alexandria’s founder and first-and-only monarch, Edgard Carrillo, announced its sudden dissolution. “I feel creatively constrained and bankrupt. The focus on creating something fun and engaging for myself was shifted towards winning petty squabbles with other Micran participants,” explained Carrillo.

Recent years arguably saw Alexandria’s core activity decline into persistent squabbling, contributing significantly to Carrillo’s stated loss of focus. Largely sustained by election campaigns and parliamentary debates in which political parties sparred, often over repetitive issues, Alexandria’s ability to focus development on other aspects of its identity became impaired. That squabbling translated to the intermicronational community where it found itself primarily involved in rival alliances, the resulting conflicts, and very much motivated by an imperialistic desire to expand its Micras world map territory.

“The time for judging Alexandria’s strength and progress by post counts and pixels is over,” said Carrillo with an implied sigh of relief.

Yet, as with other micronations that have made similar announcements in the past, there remains the possibility that Alexandria may one day rejoin the community. Such a decision, according to Carrillo, will be guided by his ability to regain the passion and creativity necessary to create the Alexandria that he always wanted, as opposed to the one it became.

As for Carrillo’s personal involvement in the Micras community, he will remain a contributor to other micronations and efforts.

Read more about Alexandria’s history by visiting our archive of 295 related news articles published since 2004.

 

Ecological stewardship declaration celebrated

Following on the Alcatraz Environmental Treaty of 2015, micronations have begun signing onto a new environmental agreement en masse. That agreement, known as the Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship (MDES), first adopted at MicroCon 2017 last month, aims to promote environmentally-friendly practices in signatory micronations.

The MDES brings together micronations that are concerned with humanity’s negative impact on the health of world ecosystems, aiming to galvanize a group effort to minimize it. That effort is especially motivated by a perceived failure of macronational governments to prioritize ecological stewardship, as well as the continued denial of anthropogenic climate change by others.

Calling for “more dramatic action … to minimize the negative effects of climate change,” the MDES seeks to empower micronations to recognize their ability to improve their local ecosystems, whether through waste diversion, ethical treatment of animals, avoiding the use of genetically-modified food crops, or preventing the proliferation of invasive species, among others.

Supporting that empowerment, the content of the declaration largely focuses on outlining local strategies that micronations can implement to improve their ecological stewardship. Strategies fleshed out in the declaration include ways in which to reduce waste, carbon dioxide emissions, and water pollution. It also encourages micronationalists to recognize an animal’s right to life, liberty and reproductive freedom, except where the animal is designated for food slaughter, threatening to humans, other animals or property, or an invasive species.

According to the Flandrensis government, one of the MDES’ most vocal supporters, the declaration was the fruit of a six-month discussion between twenty-five like-minded micronationalists from all over the world. “[The MDES in combination with the Alcatraz Treaty and other ecological charters] lays out a blueprint for reasonably addressing the topics of climate change, water conservation, biological diversity, and more,” it said in a press release.

Practically speaking, while loudly critical of macronational government inaction of ecological stewardship, the wording of the MDES makes it more an example of similar inaction than a reasonable blueprint. Quick to direct their condemnation, the signatories have agreed to a text that is wholly non-binding, with language limited to merely “encouraging”, “advising” or “urging” compliance. There is no expectation or requirement for any signatory to report on its efforts to improve ecological stewardship, let alone enact any of the included strategies.

Beyond being an exercise in political grandstanding, it is unclear what, if anything, the MDES will actually achieve, despite it being much celebrated and receiving strong support from influential micronations such as Flandrensis. As a follow-on to the Alcatraz Environmental Treaty effort, it may arguably prove to be underwhelming.