Wednesday, May 2, 2018
By Bixyl Shuftan
I had a few words with two of the region's prominent residents, Museum curator Hannah Marie Bloodtempestwolf (Han Held), and the CDS Chancellor Rosie Gray. I met up with Hannah first. "We're self-governed," she told me, "We have a representative assembly that makes and oversees our policies, a chancellor who assists with that, works to publicize the CDS and sets policies in a more autonomous way, and the "scientific council" which is our judiciary which makes sure the other two branches act within our constitution, basically settling disputes. Right now we're setting up for the 29th election of the RA and Chancellor. Folks will be campaigning for office from may 5th until the 12th. Then the polls open on the 12th and close on the 19th, and the next term (the 29th) begins on May 19th. The cool thing is that anyone can walk in, become a citizen and end up in the government. Heck, I did."
She handed me a copy of the card, which had information for the next Representative Assembly election, the 29th, and the election of the Chancellor. The qualifications for who could run for office and vote were determined on April 2nd and April 12th by a census of the landowners at the time. The deadline to declare running for office was May 2. The date for posting the official list of candidates by the dean was listed as May 4, though inworld group notice and on their Internet forum, with the stast of the campaign on May 5. The election campaign will last a week, and the polls open at Noon SL time on May 12. To give time for the citizens to vote, the polls will be open for a week when they finally close at Noon SL time on May 19. On May 26, the dean will announce the names of the new Representative Assembly and Chancellor.
"As you can see from that," Hannah told me, "there's a period **before** campaigning where folks can declare themselves to the SC. It's after May 5th that the debating, etc., starts up." I asked what were the issues for this election. She answered, "At this point we've hashed out a lot of issues, and we're going over some of the old laws and trying to make things run more efficiently. We have a couple of bills before the RA that address how we handle buying and selling regions, for instance. ... basically seeing if we need to change things. There's some ambiguity about dates and things like that. It's all kinda arcane. There isn't huge over-arching issues at the moment, though there have been historically. At this point, citizens have their pet concerns that they run on. We won't know until the campaigning starts and people say 'I'm Joe Candidate, vote for me because X.'"
Asking about more recent elections, Hannah told me they weren't nearly as heated, "Not since Feb 2015. *grins* At this point, most of us have known each other several years and most things have been hashed out. We have differences of opinion, but nothing terribly radical, as far as I can see."
That was about all Hannah had to say, wanting to give Chancellor Rosie Gray a chance to speak. The three of us would meet later, the details in the next article.
To be continued,
Correction: Al Andalus, which was named after the Muslim kingdom in what is now Spain, was originally misspelled as Al Andus.