If I’m elected there will be a lot of continuity from Caracasus’s term. Forest should be governed by all its residents rather than a single leader, and my role would be to appoint some regional officers and act as a chairperson for conversations on how the region should be run. I will encourage proposals and opinions from everyone, both on the RMB and in the committee threads on the forum. Weekly government updates on the RMB will continue so that everyone’s in the loop and most major decisions will be taken by a regional poll.
While I’m known for being opinionated on some subjects I am committed to Forest’s status as a tolerant region that welcomes all nations. I will absolutely not try to turn Forest into a left wing region or otherwise compromise its independence. I’ll do my utmost to manage the region’s interactions (and the friction that sometimes happens) with patience, tolerance and unconditional positive regard rather than a rule book and a big stick.
Having a working forum, ably administered by Mount Seymour, really helps us out. I’m committed to the principle, however, that Forest resides primarily on the NationStates site. All voting and essential information will remain there.
I hope I’ve demonstrated during my tenure as Foreign Affairs Minister and my recent role leading discussions on the General Assembly that I’m conscientious and that I get things done. As many of you know, I’m affected by depression, and I’m very aware that earlier this year I had a bit of a meltdown and abruptly resigned from everything I was doing. That was a mistake, and one I’m fairly confident I won’t repeat. As a precaution, however, if I’m elected I will appoint Turbeaux as deputy Forest Keeper to step in and provide continuity if I ask them to.
Being Forest Keeper would be my sole NationStates commitment. I have some puppets that I answer issues on but the regions they live in don’t even have governments. If elected I won’t take on major roleplay or World Assembly projects during my term.
As a region, we’ve burnt out a number of government members and had others feeling they don’t have the time to continue. I believe we need to work towards a situation where that happens less because government is more collective and less reliant on individuals. Doing that will help us to get the benefit of the best that everyone has to contribute. And damn it, if depression didn’t stop Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill leading their actual nations through actual wars it really shouldn’t be a barrier to a post in an online game.
I intend to ask Ransium to remain as delegate and Mozworld to remain as civil servant, so long as they’re willing to stay on. I will also ask Caracasus to return to the position of Roleplay Minister in order to support some low key, low pressure in character stuff on the RMB – I know he’s also already working on a full scale roleplay for the more ambitious.
The Cypher Nine and Ruinenlust have done sterling work as Culture Minister and Foreign Minister respectively (especially given the real life pressures on the latter). I think we need to have a broader conversation about where we want to go in terms of culture and foreign policy. I won’t be rushing to appointment a Culture Minister. If Ruinenlust or another volunteer wants to administer incoming embassy applications while we discuss longer term foreign policy then I’m open to appointing an Embassy Minister. If not I don’t mind doing it myself.
Being Culture Minister must be a pretty lonely and frustrating job. The Cypher Nine has started the Grow a Plant event, a mafia game and a favourite tree survey but has inevitably been disappointed by the level of response. I think we need to take more collective responsibility for culture rather than appointing a minister and thinking “that’s culture dealt with.” For that reason, I’ll be having a big push in the culture committee on the forum and trying to hear from more people. Let’s have the events that people actually want to be involved in and not feel that we have to have more than that for the sake of looking busy.
Personally I’d love to see Forest publish a collection of articles written by residents, and I think we already have much of what we need. In our embassy regions we’ve seen similar things done by The Federation of Anarchist Communes and The Leftist Assembly, though ours obviously wouldn’t be overtly political. We have multiple creative writers, I’ve put out some mathematical dispatches, we’ve had travel writing on the forum and we have lots of photography. A first rate article could be made out of Frieden-und Freudenland's extensive posts about life under Erdogan if she was up for it and surely we can come up with some environmental stuff. We also have people with extensive knowledge of NS gameplay that could be the basis for interesting writing. There’s probably a lot of other material out there I’m not currently aware of.
I’d also really like to see the photography contest run again this year and I’ll be looking for someone willing to coordinate that. These are just my ideas, however, and it’s open to everyone.
During Palos Heights’ term as Forest Keeper we established embassies and treaties with some of the game’s foremost regions, meaning we’re now linked to the North and South Pacifics, the Rejected Realms and Ten Thousand Islands among many others, and we were serious contenders for hosts of the NS World Fair. Things have quietened down since then, and the question that now arises is how we want to relate to the rest of the NS World in future. Do we want to take our place among the A-list of regions or be a peaceful haven away from the egos and the drama? I plan to have a referendum to judge where the whole region (as opposed to the most vocal group) is on that question so that we can plan the way forward.
Another question is whether we should be putting out a regular bulletin as many larger regions do, to post in embassy regions and perhaps in the gameplay forum. What should it include and who would write it?
The World Assembly
We have a growing presence in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, and for a long time we’ve been a region that has lively discussions about the issues at vote. Not everyone wants to brave the festering snake pit on their own, but loads of people came forward when Ransium asked for advice on his current proposal. I’d like us to collectively draft a proposal and submit it via a regional puppet called Forest Issues Committee or something like that, and if elected I’ll be setting up a way of doing that on the Forest forum. Environmental legislation is getting passed at the moment – why shouldn't it be us doing it?
This has been a major step forward and we owe huge gratitude to Areulder and Calenmor. If elected I’ll try to do/organise anything they say they need to keep the project moving forwards.
I'd love to see Exceptionally Green Nations in Forest and Ransium's Greenness Index continue to be updated if there's anyone out there willing to take it on - I freely admit I don't have the technical skills to do it myself.
We’re aware that there’s a small error in the constitution, with the section in embassy applications still talking about a 12 month electoral cycle even though that’s now been reduced to 6. If elected I’ll be calling for an early vote to correct that. Other than that I’m happy with the constitution as it stands and extremely reluctant to support further changes without a very good reason.
N-day and Z-day
If N-day (or a new event that we’d participate in as a region) should come to pass I’d stick to the previous plan of appointing Mount Seymour as commander. I know that Errinundera takes a particular interest in the zombie apocalypse and likes to lead from the front, and I’m aware that they’re the person with the all-important passwords, so on all questions of Z-day strategy I’ll be deferring to the founder to decide what happens.