Hello TNP. Today I come before you once again to ask for your vote, this time for the position of Delegate. I imagine that for many of you, this may come as a surprise, since I am relatively new to the region. However, during my time in TNP, I have served I both the executive and legislative branches, and I would not be running if I did not feel prepared to take on this new role. There are times when a fresh perspective, something new, is not only beneficial but necessary, and I believe now is one of those times. My experience in TNP thus far has given me a well-rounded view of how the region operates, and I want to share my vision for our future with all of you.
TNP today is in great shape. We efficiently process new citizens on a regular basis, our Discord is active and engaging, the RMB bursts with posts on a daily basis, the ministries are running like clockwork, and we are blessed with a wealth of both veteran experience and new energy and ideas. We didnít rack up all of these accomplishments by sticking with what works and copying what others have done. We took risks, we developed new tools and tricks that, over time, made this region a powerhouse, inside and outside the WA. Our last two delegates have broken endorsement records, first by reaching 1,000 endorsements and, more recently, exceeding 1,300 endorsements. During this time, NS in general has expanded and contracted, but our growth has continued unabated.
I have been in The North Pacific for 8 months now. From almost the first moment I joined, I have been active in her government. Plembobria took an early chance on me, and accepted my application to be the Minister of World Assembly Affairs. Under my oversight, the ministry recruited a more engaged and active executive staff than it has had since r3n was its minister, resumed regular dispatches of official MoWA recommendations, and worked hard to post WA voting threads prior to the start of the voting period. The practices we developed, the technical improvements to our communications, and the deputies I trained have continued to serve the ministry well. Of course, the project I am most proud of was the revitalization of the World Assembly Legislative League. The participating regions have refined the process of drafting recommendations and responding to new and pending resolutions, and our relationships have grown stronger and deeper as a result. In short, the ministry was in bad shape, and thanks to the hard work of myself and others, today it is as solid and reliable as any of the other ministries. This is an example of the kind of drive and leadership I will bring as your delegate.
In January I decided to run for Speaker, in order to get more involved in the broader TNP community and gain more legislative experience. Even though one of my opponents was the sitting Deputy Speaker, who also happened to be an outspoken RA legislator and frequent flier in our Discord, I won that race - and have served as Speaker of the Regional Assembly for the last 4 months. I am proud to say that with the help of some fantastic deputies, the office has continued to run very smoothly. We have processed citizenship applications, and we maintain and update the spreadsheet on a daily basis. Zyvetskistaahnís ongoing project to fully update the residency list was also realized, as was my pledge to regularly publish digests summarizing RA activity to the region, which had fallen by the wayside in Zyvetís last term. Hoping to use what I learned in MoWA, I even established a staff to help the Speakerís office accomplish its tasks and look toward other projects that we could contribute to the region. That part has been harder to manage well and consistently, but the Speakerís staff thus far has been an excellent training ground for new deputies, two of whom serve currently.
This wouldnít be my first time as delegate, either - though, of course, no region can compare to TNP in size or scale. I have played this game for just over 4 years now and I have been involved in half a dozen regions during that time. I have been a part of almost every ministry in TNP, even serving briefly as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and currently as a forum mentor. I have written for The Northern Light, and I have posted those issues to other regions as an ambassador to Spiritus and then to Lazarus. I have offered advice in Cultural Affairs and to Communications when they worked on the weekly radio broadcasts. Whether I was managing MoWA or the Speakerís office, or just served as part of another ministerís team, I had help and guidance from veterans, I was influenced by my existing NS experience and by the people I worked with, and I always brought my own ideas to share. This combination allowed us to find a way forward. A lot of what we did came from how the ministries and the Speakerís office operated in the past, but my teams put our own spin on it and we found success in new ways. In the case of my ministry and tenure as Speaker, we went from having one or two voices, to having half a dozen, with varying skills and levels of experience. I will approach the delegacy just as I have approached the Speakerís office and the WA Affairs ministry, and I hope you all will give me a chance to serve this region once again.
As to specifics, I offer the following:
This is one of the most crucial ministries we have, and itís always in need of greater attention. I have noticed that while we have participated in several festivals since I have been in the region, there are a lot of unsung embassies that could use a little love. Not every event that involves other regions has to be a big thing, sometimes we can have smaller, shorter get togethers, maybe a game or two that allows people from all regions involved to mingle. This should involve Discord, as it did with the most recent events, as well as greater use of gameside activities. Now while focusing on our smaller friends and allies is a goal of mine, it I simply the case that many regions in NS simply donít lend themselves to regular discourse and shared activity. I can understand how some of them may slip through the cracks, but less understandable is how we can get complacent with our larger allies like Europeia, Balder, even The East Pacific. We have history, we have collaborated, we have shared talent and citizens. I see what a few solid projects have yielded with a little bit of investment (just look at WALL). Thereís plenty of room for our allies in the other areas of government, and I want TNP to lead the way to getting them more involved with the things we do (and I will expand on this in a bit).
There is more to FA than posting the latest issue of TNL on the forums of our embassy regions. We have seasoned diplomats who can help handle sensitive incidents, of course, but we have many new and aspiring people on staff who can begin to learn the art of diplomacy, and I believe a great way to do that is by encouraging and increasing opportunities for them to meet and get to know people in other regions. I know firsthand that the dispatching of ambassadors yields mixed results. We expect them to make regular reports of what happens in other regions, but this can be accomplished through cold, passive observation as much as friendly engagement. I enjoyed my posting as ambassador to Spiritus and because of some of the people I met there, I decided to get to know the people I met there a little better and through them get a better understanding of the region. These relationships allow TNP to put its best foot forward with other regions. It is important to have traditional, responsible, knowledgeable diplomats making deals and forging treaties, but does any of it matter if the people in our regions donít have much of a stake in the relationship? Ambassadors should have some skin in the game, and then these relationships will matter more.
There is one huge FA project that even as we speak is getting more attention among TNPers and dividing our opinion as it does other regions in the game. The Coalition Against the Ideology of Nazism has re-entered the spotlight and we will have to reckon with it in the coming term. Thereís no doubt that it could use a lot of work, but this presents a huge opportunity for TNP to be a leader and in the process enhance relations with some of one of strongest allies, Europeia. There is no reason we cannot harness the vibrant interest in CAIN many of our regionmates have and put it to good use making CAIN a stronger, more effective tool in an effort that most people agree is worth the time and energy. We should not turn away, or be discouraged by setbacks, but strive to hold our friends to account were they stray and to insist upon reform wherever it is needed, especially when it will bring focus back to the core mission and purpose of this coalition. I am not ready to give up on this and I know a lot of you arenít either. The same influence we have in NPA missions and in the WA should be put to use in diplomacy as well, because I know TNP has a lot of good things to say and can lead the way in coming up with a framework for CAIN that will work better for all the regions involved and put to rest the unease that has been creeping over so many in the months since CAIN was formed.
I will admit, this is the one area I have not been actively engaged in. In all my years in NS I have never been involved in the R/D game. I didnít even have a puppet until I made the nation I use here. So much of this game is driven by the R/D side of things, of course, so I am not blind to it. I have studied it on my own, I have discussed it with other players, and TNP has been crucial to broadening my understanding of it. I have enormous respect for what the NPA does and as Delegate I would continue to follow the course laid out by our Minister of Defense. We will continue to run training operations to keep the NPA sharp and ready for operations, we will come to the aid of our allies and fulfill our treaty obligations. We will not pursue a course that explicitly favors one side or the other in the R/D game and will continue to be independent. We can make a big difference in R/D operations when we get involved, but we donít throw that power around willy nilly. I intend for TNP to continue to be a smart power.
One thing I have observed is that the NPAís size and reliability means that we are frequently asked to participate and assist in the operations of other regions and groups in the game. Of course I intend for the NPA to be as ready as possible when this time comes, but a key part of succeeding in these joint operations is building rapport and communicating effectively with the regions we support. To this end, I hope that when we have our training operations, we can run them with our allies by our side, so that we can be that much better when called to act. It is also my hope that these operations will also enhance diplomacy by building the kinds of relationships I outlined earlier as being necessary to have meaningful alliances. Our players can bond through this experience perhaps even better than they could through a cultural festival or a Discord game night.
The work done by HA is crucial to the success of the region. This is one ministry that we can never afford to let slip into complacency. I have seen firsthand how fast, dedicated staff can rapidly bolster the number of citizens and the staffs of other ministries. I have aided in that effort. When the telegrams that get sent out are delayed even a day, a lot of potential players can be lost. For the largest feeder in the game, constant engagement with the region is a must. Communication, when done swiftly and efficiently, is something we have down. What still needs work is the Forum Mentor and RMB Guardian programs. The lists prepared for the forum mentors are well-made and like the telegrams HA sends everyone does hear from the mentors. However, retention of the mentees is very low. One thing I hope to accomplish with HA is coming up with a more effective strategy for the mentoring program. I believe this can be achieved by focusing on new players who are online or already posting. Assigning several people to a forum mentor can overwhelm them or reduce the personal connection to the mentee, so I hope the forum mentors of the future will identify good prospects and engage with that person in the best way suited for that individual. They may not reach out to as many people, but the ones they do contact will be more likely to respond and they can spend more time on them. As part of that effort, I want HA to attempt to reach out to applicants for citizenship who failed to pass checks or who have not posted since posting their app. With HAís help I hope we improve retention of new players who may be lost in the application process, or who may miss how close they were to getting approved.
As for the RMB guardians, more of the same should be a good start. It is important for every part of our region to feel valued and attended to, and the guardians serve as a crucial bridge between the two sides of our community. Similar to my notion of the forum mentors, I hope the guardians will build rapport with specific active posters on the RMB and hopefully coax them into the forum. Even if they wonít join there, I hope they can get them on the Discord. When residents stop by they really liven up the place and create a new dynamic that breaks up the patterns that develop among the Discord regulars. A good RMB guardian will obviously post in the RMB, but they will also be seasoned forum mentors and familiar faces in Discord. As HA Minister, Tomb has made a point to encourage his staff to post in every introduction thread, and this is a basic requirement I would expect of any member of HA. My vision for HA is one that is in constant motion, in all areas of the region, with all hands trying on various hats to fit the moment. These tasks are all distinct and some people do one or more of them depending on how they feel. I hope that the lines between them blur so that we have a ministry of Swiss army knives who can seamlessly juggle these tasks. Outsiders looking in should never think there isnít something to do, or people to meet.
I was very pleased to see a Ministry of Communication that had 2 releases of The Northern Light in a single term. I was even more pleased when the ministry began weekly radio broadcasts, and dismayed when this fell apart. Bringing back the radio broadcasts is my main priority for the ministry. I know that we can generate regular TNL releases because I saw it done. I expect this will continue, with an eye to forever putting behind us the days when we could barely muster one in a term. The Northern Light is more than just announcing who won an election. This is an opportunity to peek into the minds of some talented and interesting people. One release we did in the last term featured an article from Nasania explaining his analysis of the ideology of NS players. The term before that, Kasch explored his popular RP sports tournament. In years past we had humorous features from frequent contributors. I want to show more continuity between issues and encourage more pieces like this in addition to the traditional news recap and interview segments that have long dominated in TNL releases. I want to see a similar formula in the radio broadcast, which I would not lock into a Saturday-only schedule but would have released as frequently as possible, ideally weekly but on whatever day enough contributors could devote time to record it. Thereís a lot of staff members who could write, and a lot who are willing to sit in front of a mic and speak. Variety is the spice of life and I want to see Communications use more than one means of communicating with the region and the NS world at large.
To that end, I would like to be so ambitious as to throw one more task on the ministryís plate: Discord-exclusive voice chat events. This term the ministry has had some well-versed individuals set up and operate the radio broadcasts through Discord and Mixlr. I hope they can offer their guidance to assist Culture in handling any part of an event involving Discord or in running TNP-only events in the Discord. We have this awesome communication tool but so few people actually use that part of it. In my experience communities that actually use the voice chat function of a server that has that feature tend to have more fun and can simply do more, such as play a game or watch a movie, than they could otherwise if they were forced just to engage in text conversations. People would learn a lot more about each other and would get along in entirely new ways. When this has happened, seemingly at random, it has increased Discord activity and regional participation a great deal, and I have never heard anyone say they wish we wouldnít do it again. This would also be another great selling point for HA wen reaching out to new players and would make them more likely to stick around.
I have observed that finding consistency in Cultural Affairs is rather difficult. A lot of interesting and potentially fun activities are planned every term, but few come to fruition. This is an area that depends a lot on the energy and imagination of the individuals who make up the staff. To a greater extent than any of the other ministries, this is one where I am all ears and willing to indulge the thoughts and suggestions of anyone who is genuinely interested in putting something together. Can any of us really say what the definitive culture of TNP is? Roleplay is strong and I see no reason to mess with a good thing. I havenít engaged in the RP side of TNP, so I will defer to those who have done such a good job organizing it for us.
Often the RP world mingles with the non-RP world, and adds a little flavor to our conversations and posting outside of the RP sections. Sometimes itís the family names that so many of us use, other times itís the self-identifying dragons. This entices players and pulls them into an RP frame of mind, and I hope that we can find a way to utilize that as a gateway to RP. One idea I had along those lines was to encourage some sort of an RMB Guardian-type duty to some of our Discord regulars, to guide players to RP or just to certain forum-side games or activities that might interest them. We recruit from within to fill our executive staff, so why not try the same with our games and activities? I hope we can try the same with foreign guests and regular non-citizens, who may just need that extra push to become full-fledged members of our community.
In addition to that, I would like to see regular theme changes on the WFE and if possible, maybe once in a while on the forum. For special occasions, I would like to see more group themes on the Discord, where people change nicknames and pictures to fit a specific theme. If we could bring in some of that to the next cultural events we host, instead of just utilize it for the odd little event we put on for ourselves, I think that could add our own TNP flavor the joint cultural events that tend to dominate FA and Culture. TNP has some of the most creative people I have seen in this game. If we add in participation from our friends in the other Pacifics, Balder or Europeia I think we can brainstorm and come up with even better versions of the events I mentioned earlier. All of the work our various ministries put into making TNP more vibrant and interesting can also be used in the joint events we schedule with other regions, from the Discord voice events to the greater focus on engaging gameside. We have embassy posting, letís give them a reason to use it.
World Assembly Affairs:
Obviously, as the previous MoWA I have an excellent idea of how to run this ministry and what ground we have yet to cover. Over the course of my time in TNP, I have seen WALL flourish and cooperation between its signatories grow and become something very special. When I ran the ministry one of my main goals was to make TNP a destination for WA authors to draft resolutions and receive feedback on those drafts. While we had a few dip their toes in the water, this side of WALL never really took off. Instead, TNP hosts the staging ground for discussion and editing of WALL recommendation drafts. I am proud we play such a vital role in the agreement, but going forward I want to utilize that cooperation to advance resolutions we work on, so that we can contribute to the WA in a way other than affecting the outcome of specific votes. I hope to continue the pattern that developed during my tenure of having voting threads ready ahead of update so that we can cast informed votes for a resolution as quickly as possible. I also hope to consistently utilize the tools at our disposal, from the dispatches and telegrams to the informative graphs that display the breakdown of voters by region and by nations in TNP, for every vote that occurs. Sil Dorsett has made it his mission to get more out of the WA voters than a simple For or Against. Itís been tough, but we have seen more substantive discussion and explanations for votes compared to the last year. I aim for a day when the discussion in the voting threads resembles the discussions of old, and the WA vote cast by the delegate is more than adding the total number of For and Against votes, but is the result of a well-fought and argued case for each vote. I also plan to continue the policy of previous delegates and cast WA votes that reflect the will of the WA voters in the region based on the results of the voting thread. To the extent that I would have the opportunity to cast a vote based on my own volition, I would still make sure to hear out as many people as I can and would consult with the ministry as well as my cabinet. This is especially and largely true of SC votes, which come with so many considerations and foreign policy implications.
WALL is not just the biggest development in this ministry, or even the most promising collaboration with our allies. It is a case study in how successful and beneficial our alliances can be in furthering our own interests. WALL has brought us closer to Europeia, Balder, and International Democratic Union. TNP plays the biggest role in it, so it tends to dominate the discussion, but we have seen the valuable contributions these regions have made and in some cases we have found ourselves in total agreement on how to proceed. I would like to encourage us to act as a unit more often, as we all benefit when we pool our resources. To make that easier, I hope to establish an embassy in the forum just for WALL, so that its dispatches can pull in the thoughts of all our regions at once rather than rely on scattered reports of how each region responded to whatever is in the GA or SC. This also has the benefit of enhancing the transparency of WALL, which I hope will bring greater interest to its work. This will hopefully extend to the joint drafting process. Ideally by the time the term ends, we will see an increase in WA resolution drafts and regular collaboration on the Information for Voters dispatches that we send out. One day, those IFVs will be one voice: that of WALL, and not just what one specific member region happened to write up for a specific vote. We can also bring our allies, not just the WALL signatories but The East Pacific as well, closer to the effort by sharing our successful World Assembly Development Program tools and tricks as well as the regular telegramming that comes from our efforts. TNP is so influential in the WA in part because we mastered these tools, and it could only benefit us to offer this knowledge to our friends and in the process make our collaborations in the WA that much stronger and more effective.
If I could sum up this campaign in a few words, itís this: I want TNP to be the leaders of the future. TNP is in many areas a leader of the present, but itís going to take more innovation and work to keep that going as we move forward. The common thread throughout my platform is not only that the ministries have a lot of synergy if you know where to look, but that TNP has the capacity to lead the way in new developments and ideas in all of these areas. We have so much in human resources at our disposal - we can create or popularize a new activity or practice, implement a successful collaborative organization, or design new tools and share our knowledge with others. It hasnít been that long since I walked through The Docks along with all the other new players, and there are a lot of them who have joined us during the last year. I donít claim to be able to speak for them; rather, I mention that because while I am still learning and growing more comfortable as a part of TNP, I am still cognizant of that introductory period Ė I can still compare where I started to where I am now. I can only see this as an asset when aiming to create policies that continue to challenge and engage our players (new and old) and continue the growth that we have become accustomed to. I hope that you will vote for me to be your new delegate, and that together we can make TNP an even brighter place and a shining example to all.