Minutes from the session (24 March 2020)

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The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

Discussions on the future of the nation
Debate on updating the citizenship regulations and application form
Discussion of Mercia’s place in the GUM
Review of cabinet appointments and potential updates
Any other business

The meeting is transcripted verbatim with no changes.

MEETING TRANSCRIPT

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Hello. Apologies for my tardiness, I’m present.

By the Lord Temporal’s request, I will be chairing this session of the Mercian Parliament until we appoint a permanent presiding officer. Who’s present?

Count Belcher

Present

Executor-Viceroy Eden

We’ll give it five minutes

Karl Friedrich

Present. I am not sure what the presence requirements are currently, with the abandonment of the PDA.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

True.

Count Frisch

Present

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Excellent. With four people I think we can get started. The first step is to appoint a presiding officer. Would anyone like to offer a nomination?

Karl Friedrich

I do not wish to push anyone into the position, but we have only one possible candidate with experience.

Count Frisch

hi

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Agreed. I nominate James Frisch to be Speaker of the Mercian Parliament House.

Marquis Cassidy

Present

Count Frisch

I accept the nomination.

Karl Friedrich

Seconded.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Seeing no other nominations, I will push the question save any objections. The question before the House is on the election of James Frisch as Speaker of the Mercian Parliament House. All those in favour, please say aye now. Aye

Karl Friedrich

Aye

Count Belcher

Aye

Count Frisch

Abstain

Executor-Viceroy Eden

The vote will remain open until all present have voted or until three minutes passes, whichever comes sooner.

Marquis Cassidy

Aye

Executor-Viceroy Eden

The motion carires.

  • carries

James Frisch is the Speaker of the Mercian Parliament House.

Karl Friedrich

Hahu!

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Hahu

Marquis Cassidy

Can we drag him to the Chair? Hahu!

Executor-Viceroy Eden

We absolutely can Mr. Speaker, at your permission, I would like to propose the agenda for this meeting.

Count Frisch

drag me first

Executor-Viceroy Eden

alright drags

Count Belcher

Hahu

Count Frisch

I would like to thank the members of this house for returning me to the Speakership. I aim to cause fewer constitutional crises this time.

Marquis Cassidy

Hahu! Hahu!

Count Frisch

Now, I call on the First Minister to propose the agenda of this session.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The agenda is as follows: 1) Discussions on the future of the nation; 2) Debate on updating the citizenship regulations and application form; 3) Discussion of Mercia’s place in the GUM; 4) Review of cabinet apportionments and potential updates; 5) Any other business. Are there any requests for addition to this agenda.

Newton

Present

Karl Friedrich

The list seems exhaustive, we have further things to discuss, but these can take place outside of this meeting. For example, our national (and God forbid, regional) symbols.

Count Frisch

It seems there are no additions and I am happy to move forward with the current agenda. First Minister.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Very well. The first matter is to do with the future of the nation. We are in a particularly unstable moment in Mercian history now and we need a strategy for moving forward.

Karl Friedrich

Is the floor ceded?

Executor-Viceroy Eden

My internet went down, I’m almost done.

Karl Friedrich

Apologies.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

No no, that’s on me. I was merely going to ask if anyone had any thoughts about how best to motivate new activity. Regular, legally mandated parliamentary sessions would be I think a good start but if anyone has any thoughts I’m interested to hear them. I recognise not everyone is going to have an interest in federal politics so some way to include a wider scope of interest would be excellent. I cede the floor.

Count Frisch

The floor is open.

Count Belcher

If I may, Count Frisch?

Count Frisch

Count Belcher.

Count Belcher

I would posit that traditionally there are four prongs of micronational development: political, cultural, economic and diplomatic. The focus in Mercia has always been almost entirely on the political aspect at the expense of the other areas.

Naturally, at this present time we find ourselves with a number of constraints: a very limited number of active citizens, and a lack of real-world activity which is exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We must find a way around these constraints.

The priorities, as I see it, should be: The growth of citizenship numbers; The return of proper executive governance; Development of the legislative base – this Parliament has traditionally focussed on administrative law, but there should also be a renewed focus on civil and criminal law; Rebuilding Mercia’s diplomatic influence; And developing Mercia’s culture.

One thing that I can personally bring to the table is an extensive catalogue of legislation from my home nation of Adammia, which can potentially be adapted and reformed as needed for Mercia. I cede

Count Frisch

The floor is open. In fact, I first would like to make a comment. As I see it, the most immediate priority is not to focus on revival, but a clarification of the current situation. The Act of Union created some ambiguities, and while the Mercian Legislation Bill has made the various amendments needed for large parts of the law, I think the status of Clyro, Lurk and the various Dominions needs to be clarified before any attempt to rebuild. I cede.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Hahu to that.

Karl Friedrich

If I may – the status of Lurk was one of my legislative priorities, I welcome any input on it, but I would personally prefer to have the most control over that particular topic.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

I would be amenable to that.

Count Frisch

Of course.

Karl Friedrich

And I thank Count Belcher for the excellent input. I agree with it completely.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

I agree that civil and criminal law has been underdeveloped in the course of Mercian history. I think the development and expansion of the Mercian judiciary would help to bring in people who happen to have a legal interest.

Count Frisch

I would note that the Mercian judiciary remained underdeveloped previously had two major reasons: first, the treaty outsourcing the judiciary to Nolland, leaving Mercia without its own judiciary, and secondly, when Mercia did regain its judiciary, it was placed in the hands of the Lord Praetor – and we saw how that went.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Imagine having a Lord Praetor

Karl Friedrich

I am not an expert on judicial law, so I would rather not comment. On a completely unrelated note, it should also be our top priority to document the proceedings of this Parliament as much as we can, ideally on the official Mercian website, the Wiki and possibly a “third party” micronational news site.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Agreed. A hansard system would be an excellent addition.

Karl Friedrich

Ah, I have some ideas for this. I can expand upon them later.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

We can maybe go to that in AOB?

Karl Friedrich

Of course.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Excellent.

Karl Friedrich

I personally believe that is a great way to bring politically inclined citizens to Mercia. Also a potential bill to introduce to the Parliament House. Shall we move onto the next point from Count Belcher’s list?

Executor-Viceroy Eden

That seems like a good plan. So that would be the growth of citizenship numbers?

Karl Friedrich

I suppose, possibly covering parts of the legislative base too.

Count Belcher

Citizens will come as long as we can demonstrate our activity and development in other areas publicly on MicroWiki and elsewhere. Communication is the key.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Interesting. Perhaps the Office of the First Minister should hire a press secretary.

Count Frisch

Indeed. Far many times I’ve seen micronations, including Mercia, declare a vague “recruitment drive” with no success. The easiest way to recruit is simply to build it, and they will come.

Karl Friedrich

I suppose we are in agreement on this, then.

Marquis Cassidy

I agree with the points stated, Nolland has also fallen victin to the “drive” Count Frisch mentions

Count Frisch

I’m going to take a temporary absence. Later in this session, I will discuss the appointment of a Deputy Speaker. (I refer the House to the relevant Acts), but for now I ask the First Minister to preside. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1U4zuLqA7SCebGg-rtwrnVkOE8ULFOmBkr27iaHJ_E2E/edit https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QmVB2uINxnnSb4AGMe92Z5ePlaXihkp8lDlGVdHK7zk/edit


Executor-Viceroy Eden

Very well. Moving forward, I think it’s clear that the strategy should be to develop the nation and assume that this development will lead new people here. This strategy seems to have worked for Abelden so let’s hope it works here. That would be a plan going forward, then. In that vein we should discuss citizenship laws. The form for applications is woefully out of date and needs clarification. I would like to task the Internal Affairs Minister with establishing a new form for applications, but in the long term this application should be backed by naturalisation law. This brief section of the agenda is to discuss what, if any, restrictions should be placed on attaining Mercian citizenship. Does anyone have particularly strong views on this subject?

Count Belcher

My main concern would be having a 13+ age requirement.

Karl Friedrich

Well, beyond the obvious limitation of “not having their citizenship removed previously”, I have no objections.

Count Belcher

Both for data protection purposes, and for complying with Discord’s ToS The exception would of course be anybody born in Mercian territory

Karl Friedrich

Ah yes, naturally. Should we do any verification, or would a simple declaration from the applicant be enough?

Marquis Cassidy

I’m in favour of having loose restrictions, the most obvious ones have been stated. I’d perhaps suggest allowing the Minister to reject an application, with the ability for the applicant to appeal to Mercian Courts?

Count Belcher

There shouldn’t be a need for age verification. Just having the requirement should avoid the attention of Discord’s management As long as we can kick out anybody who later turns out to have lied on their application. That would naturally be considered fraud

Karl Friedrich

Ah yes, further agenda for our courts.

Newton

Perhaps we could have an under 16 version of citizenship which does not grant those the right to join in Mercia’s politics (where is mostly the purpose of the discord). But they could still vote and have other political rights.

Count Belcher

Micronationalists in the range of 13-15 have historically contributed much, and there is no legal reason to bar them

Karl Friedrich

I am not sure what the average age on MicroWiki is, perhaps that would limit our political pool too much? We can always consider it, if they prove to be detrimental. Is there a similar law in Abelden?

Newton

Abelden has a restriction on under 13s. I’m personally not too troubled by the Discord ToS claims. So obviously those between 13-16 are freely able to come onto the server and participate.

Karl Friedrich

I would also like to note – several applicants asked me what they should declare their intended activity to be – perhaps that should not be in the next form, if participants get stuck on it? At least not as a mandatory field. Nearly all of them did.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Sorry, I’m back. I had to connect a Nintendo Switch to my wifi.

Newton

I know that suffering, hahu.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

But yes, I think a 13+ restriction is logical. I think that’s sensible. Do we want to have any restirctions vis criminal records in other micronations?

Marquis Cassidy

Require any unspent ones to be declared?

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Yes.

Marquis Cassidy

And defer to the Minister, minor drug related offences would be fine, murder not so fine? With the right to appeal, of course

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Yes.

Marquis Cassidy

Hahu!

Newton

hahu

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Hahu!

Karl Friedrich

Hahu.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

We can draft a legislative package to do with all of this. Going forward, in any case.

Count Frisch

I can now return to the chair. I will note that legally, I’m not Count Frisch until appointment by the Lord Temporal.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

That’s true That being said, who’s going to stop you?

Newton

All hail Count Frisch.

Count Frisch

The chair is mine by right.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Yes.

Karl Friedrich

Perhaps it should become a hereditary title.

Newton

Are you a ham?

Count Frisch

Newton’s getting shadowed.

Newton

Just taste my peach tho ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Count Frisch

ahem ORDER

Newton

He bac

Count Frisch

Continuing with the discussion.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Indeed. I think we’ve covered all the bases of immigration law we need to cover for now. Count Frisch, shall we move on?

Count Frisch

I think so.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Discussion of Mercia’s place in the GUM.

Count Frisch

@Count Belcher, does the GUM consider us as members?

Executor-Viceroy Eden

We have been official members of the Grand Unified Micronational for some time.

Count Belcher

Indeed it does

Executor-Viceroy Eden

I’m representing us there in my official capacity. Do we want to continue that? As in our membership./

Karl Friedrich

I see no reason to quit, it requires very minimal input. But perhaps we should try different strategy of being proactive.

Count Frisch

Indeed, I see no reason why not to continue.

Count Belcher

I would argue very strongly in favour of retaining GUM membership. It is one of the few aspects of our diplomatic influence that we have left.

Newton

I concur.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Fair enough. We’ll operate on the assumption that we will be continuing membership. Cabinet apportionments. I have made broad strokes as far as cabinet duties, but if anyone has any thoughts about what policy areas could do with being represented in my cabinet, I would be interested in hearing them. For reference, the cabinet is currently divided between the Office of the First Minister, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, Commerce and Charity, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Ministry of State, and an individual minister without portfolio.

Karl Friedrich

Personally, I would prefer some areas to be discussed in (inter-departmental?) ad-hoc committees.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

What did you have in mind?

Karl Friedrich

Our national symbols, most importantly; as I mentioned previously. Perhaps the administrative changes (status of our provinces) as well. Not necessarily of course, but it might be more fruitful. Also, I might have a question regarding the duties of the individual cabinet ministries; under which ministry does the conservation of nature fall?

Count Belcher

I don’t think there’s enough people to have committees Conservation of nature would be internal I think At least in terms of implementing environmental laws

Karl Friedrich

Ah, there might be some Lurkish laws I would like to carry over, concerning our national parks.

Count Frisch

Lurkish law would be continued in Lurk, as I understand it, so it remains to implement laws that affect Clyro and whatever constituent countries there are. As Minister of State, I would be interested in naming a Deputy from our Czech citizens, to aid communication with the Czech sector (as I myself cannot speak Czech).

Executor-Viceroy Eden

That would be an excellent idea.

Karl Friedrich

I have a possible nominee in mind.

Count Frisch

I’m happy to hear nominees.

Karl Friedrich

Either myself or @AtomCZ might be of use. Ideally not me, therefore @AtomCZ.

Count Frisch

If he accepts, I am happy to make the appointment.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Sounds like a plan. We’ll await his reply.

Karl Friedrich

He excused himself from this session earlier today, it may not come in the span of minutes.

Count Frisch

We’ll move forward then.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

What was the next item? Any other business. Was there any other business?

Count Frisch

AOB.

Karl Friedrich

I brought up the idea for hansards outside of the Parliament, I am not sure if it needs to be discussed here.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

If we want to discuss it further, we can probably do so informally, to be fair.

Karl Friedrich

I have one legislative idea, but that can be discussed informally too.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

What was the idea?

Karl Friedrich

Concerning archival of vital documents. Or rather, all documents. It is unforunate that most of our past works need to be dug through Google Drives of five people.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

Agreed.

Karl Friedrich

A gorsedh with one person tasked to archive all documents might be sufficient. Even some of our cultural works, such as posters or the play, might be difficult to find. And it can be easily avoided in the future.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

That sounds like a plan. We can work out what that gorsedh would look like informally, yeah.

Karl Friedrich

I hope we can work out how to pronounce that word too.

Executor-Viceroy Eden

gore-said?

Marquis Cassidy

Gord-esh? I’ve been reading it wrong all these years

Count Frisch

gor-sedh duh

Karl Friedrich

Gross eh? I may have strayed too far from the original topic. I supose that is all about archival.

Earl Clark

yep

Executor-Viceroy Eden

In any case, that covers the broad strokes. I would ask that people begin arranging themselves into parties so that we can be on the best footing for the election on May 1. Unless there is any other business, I suppose I would invite the Speaker to end the session.

Count Frisch

This session is adjourned.

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