As the primary cartographic organization for the Simulationist Internet Micronational Community, the Micronational Cartography Society (‘the Society’) has played a key role in the depiction of micronational territory since December 2000 through its Micras world map projection.
The popularity of the Micras world map amongst Simulationist micronations has often resulted in politically-charged accusations of misconduct and favouritism on the part of the Society’s executive, even resulting in the founding of rival cartographic organizations, such as the Geographical Standards Organisation. Often such accusations were a result of the Society’s leadership being perceived as insensitive to the requirements of certain member micronations or otherwise favouring others. These accusations resulted from the autocratic structure of the Society in its first six years. As a means of standardizing its treatment of all member micronations, in order to eliminate such accusations, starting with the leadership of former Administrator-General V.C. Vehendi, the Society began to implement reforms from 2007 onward to address concerns over the democratic-deficit within the organization.1
Vehendi’s reforms would soon be followed in subsequent years by policies designed to alleviate concerns over favouritism playing into the allocation of territory on the Society’s primary political map projection, which it calls the “Claims Map”. This map displays the amount of territory held by individual member micronations. The amount of territory held is often in flux as a means of assigned a level of relative diplomatic power to each micronation, based on the micronation’s performance across several indicators: cultural development, population, and activity levels1. The latter of these indicators is often the most referenced, and forms the basis for the analysis undertaken in this article.
The authority for the acceptance and modification of all territorial claims on the Claims Map lies with the Administrative Council (“the Council”) that Vehendi originally founded. The Council has since 2009 adopted a systematic approach to the granting of territory that is directly-correlated to the active presence of the applicant or member micronation. A micronation must provide evidence that it is an active online community to support its initial territorial claim on the map. The Council accepts evidence such as the existence of a forum, bulletin board, or mailing list, and a website.2
The active and regular use of a forum, or other similar social platform, is critical in the administration of territorial claims by the Society, forming the basis of a system that must cater to the demand for limited territorial land. Aside from intensively-detailed cultural projects, such as exploration narratives, the easiest – and most commonly utilized – method by which a member micronation acquires further territory on the Claims Map is by demonstrating a heightened level of activity (which may or may not reflect the micronation experiencing a population gain).2
NEW KIRRIE (CS) | The Coprieta Standard sat down with economist and founder of Hamland, Lord Lewis, for a question and answer session yesterday to pick his mind on the topic of micronational economics and the state of the Commonwealth. Continue reading “One-on-One with Lord Lewis of Hamland”→
DIRECTUS (CS) – Just over two weeks ago, Michael Dervin, one of Ocia’s well-established politicians and former government leaders, announced his decision to return to the political scene, noting his interest in becoming the next prime minister of the often-controversial micronation.
Dervin’s announcement provided new life to the Ocian political scene, triggering the first national parliamentary elections since an abortive attempt in May 2012 ended with no individuals or political parties announcing candidacy. Those elections, held from September 27 to 29, had Dervin and his Liberal Democracy of Ocia party as the sole candidate, with Dervin winning the single vote cast to become the new Prime Minister of Ocia, where he will serve under long-time President of Ocia, Matt Kovac.
It now falls on Dervin to develop his government’s agenda for the next sitting of the Federal Assembly by October 7.
While Dervin has provided no indication on his political agenda to date, having not announced one prior or during the election, he has previously expressed concern about Ocia’s slowing activity and its corresponding decrease in intermicronational influence and it is expected that his government will seek to reverse Ocia’s recent misfortunes. Said Dervin on September 15, “we … are ready for the challenging times and formidable tasks that lie ahead, we are ready to do what has to be done ….”
BASTION UNION (CS) – Several Micras micronations are seeking to further develop the level of simulation within the fictional Micras world mapping project by meeting in an attempt to author and adopt a Convention of the Law of the Sea. The initiative, led by the Micras Treaty Organization, was originally focused on resolving a developing territorial waters dispute involving the micronations of Batavië, Stormark, and Alexandria; however, several other micronations have since expressed their interest, thereby expanding the conference’s mandate.
The Micras Treaty Organization’s Deputy Secretary-General, Nathan Shepard of Natopia, has outlined five key requirements by which the success, or failure, of the conference is to be measured. First, the conference must gain agreement on the number of pixels of the Micras world map that will be used to determine each micronation’s territorial waters. Second, the conference must determine a universally accepted limit to each micronation’s maritime boundary, to which Shepard has suggested mirroring the macronational United Nations standards of having territorial waters as well as a contiguous zone and a defined exclusive economic zone. Third, the universal adoption of a practice to permit transit passage through exclusive economic zones and innocent passage through territorial waters. Fourth, the development of a list of international waterways that all signatory micronations on Micras must recognize. Finally, Shepard seeks agreement on a definition or description of international water.
Orion Ilios of Apollantis has further proposed that the conference include discussion on the continental shelf protocols aspect of international maritime law.
The conference remains in its infancy; however, so far eight Micras micronations have signed up to participate in the proceedings, including: Alexandria, Apollantis, Batavië, Cräitland, Elwynn, Ocia, Shireroth, and Stormark.
President Matt Kovac, the President of the Ocian Federation, yesterday suspended the Ocian Constitution. Ocia had previously been gearing up for its federal elections but the registration of “virtually no political parties” to contest them led to Dr. Kovac’s bold decision.
The news followed the rather bizarre and provocative step of setting up a Ministry of Luthorian Reintegration. In a Presidential Decree, Kovac repeatedly insulted the Emperor, Mssr Alejandro Castillo, the Prime Consul of Luthoria, and the Empire as a whole was referred to as a kleptocracy. Alexandrian officials have yet to respond to the comments but it appears to be a retaliatory measure from the Ocian Leader after the Imperial Assembly passed the Monovia Resolution, mandating the Imperial Government to restrict all non-Alexandrian goods into Monovia. Sources in the Ashkenatzan Foreign Ministry, long time experts in observing the Ocian Federation, have privately expressed their amazement at Kovac’s latest move. The suspension of the Constitution, the bastion against Fascism, has virtually installed Kovac as a fascist Dictator in the Federation. It remains to be seen what next the unpredictable Ocian President, who revels in his own personality cult, will do next. The threat of unconventional retaliation hangs heavily in the air in Geneva tonight.
Matt Kovac, the Federal Returning Officer of Ocia, has announced that the micronation will hold its first parliamentary elections in over two years this week on May 5. The last parliamentary elections, held in March 2010, returned a sweeping victory for the Ocian National Patriotism Party.
In his announcement for this week’s election, Kovac emphasized the need for fair and free elections and he put forward a strict timeline for political parties to register their intention to seek election no later than May 2, with campaigning proceeding until May 4. The election will use a Proportional Representation voting system and, if necessary, the Federal Returning Officer would mediate an agreement to form a coalition government if no party wins a clear majority.
As of publication, the deadline for political parties to register has passed without any applications put forward, possibly due to the short notice on which the elections were called. The effects of this on the current election plan remain unclear; however, it appears that the current timeframe for the elections is jeopardized.