Leylandiistan & Gurvata dissolution announced

The Co-Presidents of Leylandiistan & Gurvata, one of the pioneering micronations in the field of agriculture and one that is widely respected across the MicroWiki Community, have announced its impending dissolution to the community.

In a joint statement on the heels of the two-year anniversary of the union of Leylandiistan and Gurvata on August 30, the Co-Presidents, Fionnbarra Ó Cathail and Pádraig Ó Ceocháin conveyed the outcome of a deep reflection on the micronation’s purpose.

Both expressed pride for the government implementing its extensive Plan for 2016 with time to spare, but neither appeared enthusiastic for the micronation’s future. “The need for a sovereign entity separate to the Republic of Ireland … is dwindling. The appetite for continued action by our government amongst our citizens is all but gone,” the statement read. Combined with an inability on the part of the government to gain new territory and citizens, the Co-Presidents reached the conclusion that Leylandiistan & Gurvata was at the end of its practical existence.

As a result of that realization, both agreed to move the micronation to dissolution, promising to do so in an “organized and dignified way,” with a Treaty of Dissolution to be proclaimed in the coming days.

While the passage of Leylandiistan & Gurvata into the history books is a blow to the micronational community, the micronation will be fondly remembered for its role in supporting the development of micronational agriculture and urban farming initiatives. It was the leading micronation in the agricultural field in recent years, setting up a seed bank and farming an extensive selection of crops in the backyard of Cathail. It also supported intermicronational cooperation and development in agricultural practices and played a key role in inspiring several other micronations to grow local food crops.

“We have no regrets and we are confident our countless hours of work have not gone in vain,” said the Co-Presidents. “We hope that our nation has been of some inspiration to you and that our influence on the rest of the community has been positive and beneficial.”

Vyktory prepares for growth, renewal

[Submitted: The Vyktoryan Times]  With the current state of the Commonwealth of Vyktory being of desolation, depopulation, and disrepair, King James I is correct about being worried about the future state of the nation, especially after his own inactivity and procrastination placed the nation in such a state.

His Majesty, while stopping short of making a concrete plan, has decided to attempt to recruit more citizens, to create more activity, and to work on a robust economic and political simulation to entice people to immigrate. Vyktory’s recent application to join the newly founded Micronational Economic Group is a key tenet of this new simulation, with the King planning to use the MEG‘s online portal to underpin the economy.

The political simulation will run on a macro-level, with each person running their own party and attempting to gain seats in the national parliament. His Majesty will be making full use of the seat calculator that Carl Jackson of Safiria created back in April.

The nation’s sports teams are also a focus of the reforms, with new logos for Vyktory Dragons, the Vyktoryan FA, and the Vyktoryan Football League having been obtained at a cost of US$20.

Only time will tell if this will restore the nation or place it further into disrepair, but for now, His Majesty remains dedicated to the cause.

Shireroth ends “open-door” immigration

An attempt to rejoin Shireroth by a past citizen has triggered its Kaiser, Hjalmar Redquill, to rescind the micronation’s long-standing “open-door” immigration policy.

The policy decision followed an application yesterday by Ludovic Alixion-Verion to rejoin the micronation after having resigned his citizenship approximately six weeks ago to protest Shireroth’s political leadership of the day under Kaiser Hjalmar Heirðrsson. With the Imperial Government and Kaiser Redquill still closely aligned with the former kaiser, Verion’s application received a tepid response and he quickly withdrew it, citing futility.

In the early hours of this morning, out of apparent concern that the laws of Shireroth were inadequate to prevent Verion from legally regaining his citizenship should he persist in the effort, Kaiser Redquill quickly proclaimed a new immigration policy. The prologue of the associated Imperial Decree took pain to focus on describing what personal qualities were inconsistent with Shirerithian citizenship, such as incivility, unpoliteness, immaturity and instability; qualities which were a poorly veiled reference to the opinion that Redquill and Heirðrsson’s allies hold of Verion.

The new immigration policy is one that is based on qualities that are highly subjective in nature, leaving it to the personal opinion of the Minister of the Interior as to whether the immigrant’s personality sufficiently meets the many requirements of the Kaiser, including elegance, gracefulness, and wisdom.

Shireroth must be “a place where the earth exults, the sky laughs, and everything is full of milk, of honey, and of nectar, and in which the Shirerithian citizenry shall feel good and safe,” said Requill in explaining his motivation for the new policy.

ANALYSIS

It is unclear whether the new policy will have any significant practical impact on immigration to Shireroth, except as a tool by which the Imperial Government can easily exclude Verion should he re-apply in the future.

As a community, the population of Shireroth, like that of the wider Bastion Union in which it operates, is essentially a closed-system, in which current participants usually reinvent themselves as new characters, as opposed to new participants joining from outside. The immigration policy is unlikely to be used often, as except for Verion, the Imperial Government knows, and appears to approve of the conduct of, everyone else in the group of individuals from which it would likely draw immigrants.

That said, the vagueness of the policy is open to being easily abused if a current Shirerithian has a falling out with the government and resigns his or her citizenship in protest, much as Verion did. In such a scenario, the Imperial Government can simply judge the person as impolite, due to the past disagreement, and that person can be excluded from rejoining Shireroth indefinitely.

The policy, if abusively managed by the same sensitive human emotions that led to its decree, will lead to Shireroth’s population being pruned into a narrow clique, which may ultimately spur the 16-year old micronation’s demise.

MEG aims to start where M$ left off

The downfall of the Micronational Dollar Institute earlier this summer, which the Coprieta Standard prophesied due to the administrative quirks of its design, brought a temporary halt to intermicronational economics in the MicroWiki Community. That halt may soon come to an end with the launch of the Micronational Economic Group today by one of the community’s leading economists, Henry Twain.

“[The MDI] failed, in a large part, because it was cluttered. It was disorganized. [The M$] operated through a series of Google Forms all altered manually by one person … this isn’t how a digital currency should operate,” said Twain, the Chairman, in opening his announcement regarding the founding of the MEG. To overcome that failure, Twain worked with micronationalists Karl Friedrich, John Houston, and Lucas Campos to develop the idea that would evolve into the Group.

In terms of its primary goal, the MEG aims to bring together public and private financial institutions throughout the community to support a number of economic projects, based on a new intermicronational digital currency called the “MicroCoin”. Among these projects is “MicroTrade,” an automated stock exchange which merges the former Quetico Microinternational Stock Exchange and the Skovaji Stock Exchange, and “MicroGamble” which will act as an online casino. The MEG will also operate the “MicroTimes,” a news outlet that will report on economics, as well as other traditional news topics, such as politics and entertainment.

Those micronations that do not wish to make use of the “MicroCoin” will still be able to make use of the MEG’s banking architecture to conduct transactions in its own currency. Those transactions, like those using the “MicroCoin,” will be automatically processed immediately, according to Twain.

That architecture consists of an integrated, secure website that provides users with access to all available services, in addition to a central dashboard. Through the website, users can add their micronations to the directory along with local currency (called a “commodity” in the program), create multiple bank accounts and engage in transactions seemlessly. The interface is clean and modern in its design, a great improvement on the last major automated bank/stock exchange program created half-a-decade ago by Internet micronationalism, the SCUE.

A Council and an Assembly will form the governance structure of the Group, though the latter will be an advisory body rather than a legislative one, offering member banks the opportunity to propose ideas for the Council’s ratification. The Council itself will compose the founding banks of the MEG, plus three non-founding banks elected by them. Those founding banks were Royale, Verona Bank, the Bank of Wesley, the Bank of Mcarthia and the National Bank of Loquntia, though the Bank of Mcarthia was since expelled from the group due to Kit McCarthy’s departure from micronationalism.

Reflecting on 15 years of micronationalism

It was in August 2001 that this author, while searching for new military- and political-themed discussion boards to participant in on the Ezboard network, first came across the concept of micronationalism.

A nondescript black-and-blue coloured board for a micronation known as “Interland” grabbed my attention that day and that micronation quickly became my first “citizenship,” where I participated as Minister of Defence due to my interest in all-things military during my teenaged years. It was the start of a developmental journey that saw me serve in various functions, political and bureaucratic, from lowly civil servant to prime minister of a leading micronation, from historian to businessman, across numerous successful (and unsuccessful) Internet micronations. It was also the start of a role in micronational journalism that continues to this day, over 1,100 articles later.

Like many other micronationalists of my age, where spare time is now a luxury, I look back on my 15 years of participation in this interesting community sometimes with exasperation: how could I waste so much time in my youth on such a “silly” thing, playing with pretend countries?

When I consider the question further, however, I realize that micronationalism wasn’t all that silly. Rather, it was something that has benefited me tremendously in my personal and professional development outside of micronationalism. For I realized that micronationalism, for all the seemingly silly aspects, is primarily one big sandbox which allows its participants, especially during their formative teens and tweens, to expand their knowledge, to refine existing skills, and to develop new ones.

For me, the knowledge that I gained regarding government, law, programming, and many other fields, has been invaluable in my career development outside of micronationalism. I refined or learned many new skills during these years, from improving my critical thinking, planning and organizing, to learning how to write and interpret legislation or create things such as a comprehensive policy papers; all of which have paid dividends in my career. I have also been able to practice certain skills that I learned through my career and formal education and become that much more proficient because I had access to the sandbox of micronationalism. Most importantly, through this community, I have met and “worked” alongside skilled individuals from all over the world, the experience and benefit of which cannot be bought.

Today, my participation in micronationalism is much more limited due to the obligations of life and career; however, I do not regret the time I invested in my early years. That being said, will I ever participate actively in another micronation again? It’s unlikely. As the past couple of years has demonstrated, I may dabble here and there in micronations that I still maintain citizenship with, but not to any notable degree. Micronationalism, as a means of immersing myself in the machinations of a state or government, has passed into the history books, as my career satisfies many of my related interests.

Going forward, micronationalism will continue to be my outlet for engaging in journalism, which is a personal interest of mine that I haven’t the opportunity to practice otherwise. And there is no better place to practice it, I think. Micronationalism is a dynamic community of talented individuals that I have immensely enjoyed reporting on for a decade-and-a-half. It has been, and remains, an eye-opening experience from which I have learned much. It is a great story that we all share in, and one that I have been honoured to be able to write about. It has been a humbling experience.

No reflection on such a long span of time would be completed without some acknowledgements; however, there are too many to list in such a short space! To all of my colleagues in the community, past and present, with whom I have shared in many endeavours, capacities, and experiences, thank you for your camaraderie and counsel, it remains very much valued and appreciated.

Adammic PM fails to achieve clear win

The annual election day for prime minister in Adammia has yielded no clear winner, as both candidates remain tied in the overall vote count as the micronation anxiously awaits tomorrow’s votes from two remaining citizens in the colonies of El Grandens and Kappania.

It is a particularly discouraging result for the incumbent Moderate Party Prime Minister, Jayne Belcher, whose share of the total vote has steadily declined since her first term in 2013, when she took 78.5% of the popular vote. Meanwhile, her competitor, Labour Party leader Paul McKenna, saw his share of the vote jump from 42.8% in last year’s election.

Total Vote Breakdown

Speaking with the local newspaper of record, the Adammic Express, yesterday, Ms Belcher expressed her opinion that her government had allowed the micronation to function well during the course of her third term in office. Yet it was evident in her speech that her government was tired and uninspired. “Adammia should continue as it has done,” she vaguely stated when asked of her intentions for a fourth term. Her proposals to raise the price of a bottle of wine and to procure a pulpit for the Emperor’s speeches were arguably superficial.

For Mr McKenna’s part, he came across as more enthused than Ms Belcher, though his interview with the Adammic Express yesterday offered equally little detail for readers. “Becoming ever more professionally run,” he said in response to a question regarding what he hopes Adammia can become over the course of the next year. He also suggested that revenues would be used for a belated Foundation Day celebration (which was cancelled this year) and to hold more barbeques for the citizenry.

While the reign and popularity of the Moderate Party and Ms Belcher may be ebbing after a strong multi-term period of success, as the Emperor’s mother and Mr McKenna’s partner, she will remain a central figure even if ultimately defeated in the final vote count.

This year’s election, meanwhile, will be historic for Adammia, as the citizens have voiced their desire to impose a narrow mandate to govern for the ultimate victor.

Alexandria expected to legalize marijuana

A bill presently being voted on by the Alexandrian Imperial Parliament is soon expected to pass, resulting in the legalization of marijuana in the micronation.

The Marijuana Legalization Bill, tabled by First Consul Antonio Verini’s Liberal Alliance government to meet a June election commitment, aims to regulate the production and sale of the drug. If the Bill receives Royal Assent as expected, all individuals, aged 18 or greater, would be lawfully permitted to consume marijuana and to purchase it from licensed vendors, who would in-turn be supplied through licensed cultivators.

Alexandrians will not have carte blanche to smoke marijuana without consequence, however. The Bill criminalizes the operation of any motor vehicle, industrial equipment, aircraft or watercraft while under the influence of the drug, imposing penalties similar to drunk driving. Those who contravene the provisions of the Bill governing underage sales and unlicensed production will also be subject to a stiff range of fines – up to $20,000 – or a term of imprisonment of up to 16 months.

Consistent enforcement of the Bill’s provisions may nonetheless be difficult, as the Imperial Parliament will download licensing powers to each of the provincial governments. This may serve to create differing local enforcement regimes, leading to confusion amongst travelling Alexandrians or those involved in interprovincial trade.

That complication was seen as a trade-off for the Imperial Government as it attempts to meet another campaign commitment to empower local government and allow for greater revenue opportunities for them. “[Provincial and local governments] will be able to levy an excise tax to fund programs that they deem important for their unique needs,” said Mr Verini during parliamentary debate.

Any such local excise tax on marijuana would range up to 50% under the provisions of the Bill, and would be in on top of a 50% national excise tax to benefit Imperial coffers. Neither tax would apply to medical marijuana, suggesting that the Imperial Government is hoping to create a beneficial revenue stream through taxation of marijuana use as a vice. Of the taxes collected, at least 5% would be directed to addiction treatment programmes. With the economy slowing last month, it is unclear how much revenue will be realized from the legalization of marijuana, and no such estimate was provided by the government during debate.

Perhaps more definitively for government finances will be the retroactive decriminalization provision included with the Bill. That provision will commute the sentence of individuals previous convicted of most marijuana-related offences, potentially reducing the nationwide prison population considerably. The Bill will also expunge most convictions from individual criminal records, allowing many Alexandrians to regain access to the job market.

Voting on the Bill is continuing as of press time. The Liberal Alliance and the Socialist Party, which dominate parliament, are both in favour of the Bill, suggesting that its passage is a foregone conclusion. The vote will formally conclude on August 8, with Royal Assent expected to follow soon thereafter.