[PRESS RELEASE] Free Democrats name Shadow Attorney-General; Cabinet of Talents complete

Free Democrats Party Leader/President Miestrâ Schiva is pleased to announce that Senator Eovart Grischün has graciously agreed to serve as Shadow Attorney-General in the event of a Free Democrat victory in the 49th Cosâ.

The Free Democrats have campaigned in this election on the platform of a “Cabinet of Talents”, including non-Free Democrats chosen on the basis of merit and activity alone, and revealed to the voters before the election.

Dame Miestrâ said: “A terrible miscommunication between the Senator and myself led to a premature announcement of his acceptance of this role. We have both apologised for our respective roles in this, and have vowed to let bygones be bygones and work together to get Talossa back on track.”

The stipulations for Senator Grischün to participate in the Shadow Cabinet are as follows:

1. No endorsement of the Free Democrats by non-FreeDems listed in the Shadow Cabinet is implied. That is, Senator Grischün is not calling for a vote for the Free Democrats and remains a member in good standing of the RUMP.

2. Senator Grischün would participate in a Free Democrat cabinet on the basis of participation in and respect for collective Cabinet decisions, but will not be bound to support any Free Democrat initiative or policy beyond that.

Dame Miestra says: “The Attorney-General’s role is vital in any Government. As Senator Grischün has said himself, someone needs to keep up to date on all the legislative requirements, and not all Cabinet members can or should have the capacity for that.

“However, we have also made a deliberate decision to name a non-lawyer to the role of Attorney-General. This will act as a safety valve to make sure Talossan law remains accessible to non-professionals.”

[PRESS RELEASE] Free Democrats name Shadow Culture Minister

Free Democrats Party Leader/President Miestrâ Schiva is pleased to announce that Sir Cresti M. Siervicül has graciously agreed to serve as Shadow Culture Minister in the event of a Free Democrat victory in the 49th Cosâ.

The Free Democrats have campaigned in this election on the platform of a “Cabinet of Talents”, including non-Free Democrats chosen on the basis of merit and activity alone, and revealed to the voters before the election.

Dame Miestrâ said: “We have seen many missteps in the campaign so far in lining up the terms on which members of competing parties might be able to participate in a FreeDem-led Shadow Cabinet. I take responsibility for those. But we have stuck with the plan, because the plan is a good one.”

The stipulations for Sir Cresti to participate are as follows:

1. No endorsement of the Free Democrats by non-FreeDems listed in the Shadow Cabinet is implied. That is, Sir Cresti is not calling for a vote for the Free Democrats and remains a member in good standing of the RUMP.

2. Sir Cresti would participate in a Free Democrat cabinet on the basis of participation in and respect for collective Cabinet decisions, but will not be bound to support any Free Democrat initiative or policy beyond that.

3. If an MC in the next Cosâ, he would resign from a Free Democrat cabinet if he felt he could not vote ÜC on the Vote of Confidence.

Dame Miestra says: “With the Free Democrats adoption of a Civil Service & Civil Society plank, the Culture Minister in our administration would be vital for helping provincial governments and non-governmental organisations organise space for Talossans to build ‘civil society’ – non-political Talossanity, in other words. We need a figure from outside our political tradition who has a deep understanding for Talossan culture and how to foster it. Sir Cresti is that man.”

“Ocså, noi sînt tréi gläts tirë el Ladîntsch Naziunál dîn ár governamaintsch uua. Ár glheþ naziunál sera ‘n äspects impirtînt da società citanal.”

Dr Txec dal Nordselvâ: from RUMP to Republicanism

A speech made by Dr Txec dal Nordselvâ, Free Democrats Deputy Leader, Shadow Interior Minister and new Secretary-Convenor of the ZRT (the republican caucus of the Free Democrats) to the ZRT General Meeting.

txec and cesli
Dr Txec and Chelli dal Nordselvâ

When I first arrived in Talossa, I was ecstatic at the prospect of monarchy and all the trappings that brings. I loved the idea of nobility, gentry, etc. Every word spoken by our king was almost magical and I joined the RUMP out of pure, blind excitement. I quickly rose through the ranks of the RUMP to become first the party whip and then party leader. It was during my term as Seneschal that I began to see behind the curtain at the real Wizard of Talossa. I began to see how the king would only act upon being prodded. I saw how the RUMP in our private discussions, our conclave, would do anything at all to destroy the Zefençadéirs del Repúblicanismeu Talossán. For a time, I drank the cool-aid, a la Jim Jones style. Then something changed. I had a conversation with the evil queen of the ZRT and she turned out to be a real person. Her ideas were not revolutionary, they were common-sense. I started to look at the monarchy differently and to analyze how Talossa was governed. I began, slowly, to realize that our monarchy is not the benevolent overlord we were told it was. No, our monarchy exists for one thing – to keep itself alive and in charge.

When I first approached Dame Miestrâ about the ZRT and my disillusionment with the RUMP, she did the unthinkable. She invited me to join. I resisted and for a time went to the Progs. Just leaving the RUMP was a huge deal, but my transition to a republican had begun. When I finally accepted the invitation by Dame Miestrâ to join the ZRT, my transition was complete. I like King John as a person. I’ve met him and had a nice dinner with him. Baron Hooligan is an interesting guy (so is Trotxa!). I’ve met them all. However, they are wrong about one thing. One very, very important thing. Monarchy without limits is wrong. Monarchy without accountability is wrong. Talossa can be far more republican and retain a king but that king must be purely symbolic. Any nation that exists where one man and his family have the right to control everyone else is wrong and should be abolished.

I stand with my fellow brothers and sisters in the ZRT when I declare that I will not rest until the throne in Colorado is vacant or reduced to a symbol. Democratic power should be and must be vested in the people, not one family.

49th Cosâ Candidates List Released

A statement from Free Democrat Leader/President M. A. Schivâ

It is the policy of the Free Democrats of Talossa (that’s FreeDems, not an acronym, thanks) that the people who will fill the seats we win the Cosâ will be named before the election, so that (a) the people know who they’re voting for, (b) other parties may be influenced not to dole out seats to people who publicly vote for them, a corrupt practice which was rife in pre-Reunision days.

For the 49th Cosâ election, as Party Leader, I decided to go one step further, and specify how many seats each candidate will get. This means that the people lower down the list, if we don’t get a huge vote, will simply not make it into the Cosâ, unless a higher-ranked person quits or disappears. This adds another factor to the election, the fact that by voting for the Free Democrats, you get to influence which individuals get in the Cosâ.

My original plan was to give each candidate 10 seats. So, for example, if we won 57 seats, the top 5 candidates would get 10 seats; the 6th candidate, 7 seats; and everyone else nothing. However, this was not feasible due to the different abilities of various candidates to commit. Therefore, I took the unusual step of dividing the list into A and B Teams – the first being assigned 15 seats each, the latter 5 seats each.

According to FreeDems Constitution XIV, this list was drawn up by the Party Officers of the Free Democrats and ratified by a referendum of all party members. The vote was 10-0 out of the 18 FreeDem members. The successful candidates will be whipped (i.e. held to vote according to Free Democrat policy), as explained in FreeDems Constitution XV.

So, without further ado:

Free Democrats Candidate List for the 49th Cosâ

A Team (15 seats each)

1. Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN
2. Dr. Txec dal Nordselvă
3. Adm. T.M. Asmourescu, O. Ben.
4. C. Carlüs Xheraltescù ***
5. T. A. Zilect

B Team (5 seats each)

6. Munditenens Tresplet ***
7. Gödafrïeu Válcadác’h
8. Óïn Ursüm
9. Chirbi Scherpa-Carriedo
10. Iason Bitxichë Taiwos

Note that candidates marked with *** are both running for Senäts this time, and thus will get no Cosâ seats if they win those races, and will vanish off the list. If by the grace of Allà we happen to exhaust our party list, we will go back to the top and give everyone an additional 5 seats. And, of course, any sitting MC who quits or vanishes during the term will be replaced by the next person down on the list.

Shadow Cabinet released

Announcement from Free Democrats President/Leader M. A. Schivâ

First, I’d like to ask for a moment’s silence for the passing of three musical heroes: Natalie Cole, David Bowie, and Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. Thank you.

It is now finally time for the announcement of the long-awaited Free Democrats Shadow Cabinet for the 49th Cosâ. I direct you to our party’s electoral strategy for this election:

The Leader, in consultation with the rest of the party, will draw up a preferred Shadow Cabinet lineup before the election, based on “best person for the job”, with no thought to party affiliation. This lineup will be promoted as the centerpiece of our campaign.

A few preliminary remarks before I make the list. The press aligned to the opposition RUMP party have been persistent with their questioning about how the “cabinet of all the talents” model is acceptable now when I opposed it strongly when the RUMP governments professed to use it in the past. Some partial answers include:

 

    • The RUMP combined their “government of all the talents” with a “free Cosâ seats if you vote for us” policy. This was a corrupt combination which led to the assimilation of political opposition, giving perverse incentives for enthusiastic new Talossans to just join the ruling party. In contrast, the Free Democrats not only will only give Cosâ seats to the members of our party list – hopefully to be announced in a day or two – but make an explicit rule that non-FreeDem ministers are not expected to support the Free Democrat party or programme. They will be expected to respect Cabinet collective decision-making, and, if MCs, will be expected to vote ÜC on the VoC. That’s it.

 

    • The RUMP hand-picked cabinet members after the election, from their defeated opponents – I remember being offered a cabinet role by Count Hooligan about ten seconds after I was first elected to the Cosâ. In contrast, the Free Democrats are releasing their list now, so the voters can judge it.

 

    • The RUMP ruled unchallenged for 8 terms. This will be the first term of Free Democrat single-party government, oc’halà. The “pressures of assimilation” are different.

 

In summary, the Free Democrats are releasing their government of all the talents now, so the people can vote on it, rather than winning an election first and then doling out the spoils of victory later. I think this is a crucial distinction. I do find it funny that the BT editor who pesters me with tough questions by PM is also the RUMP leader who refuses to debate me. Never mind.

Anyway, here is the list. I am sorry to say it is not a complete list, for reasons I will explain shortly.

Free Democrats Shadow Cabinet for the 49th Cosâ

Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN : Seneschál candidate, Shadow Deputy Minister for Culture and Shadow Deputy Attorney-General
Adm. T.M. Asmourescu, O. Ben. : Distáin candidate, Shadow Minister of STUFF
Dr. Txec dal Nordselvă : Shadow Interior Minister
Eðo Grischun : Shadow Attorney-General <— non-FreeDem member
C. Carlüs Xheraltescù : Shadow Finance Minister
Iustì Tíçhern Corneir : Shadow Foreign Minister

The role of Culture Minister has been offered to a senior and respected Talossan who is not a member of the Free Democrats. S/he expressed strong interest in the role but has not given final agreement yet. Unfortunately, we could not get this agreement before announcement time. If s/he cannot accept, then obviously we will have to find an alternative, either in or out of the Free Democrats; but, obviously, the sooner we know one way or another, the better.

Note that Txec dal Nordselvâ, as an Uppermost Cort Justice, would not be eligible to become Seneschál. Thus, while he remains Deputy FreeDems Leader, we had to give the role of Shadow Distáin to Admiral Asmourescù, the #3 on our Cosâ list.

There is one final announcement to make, an “Associate Shadow Cabinet role”, if you will. Iason Bitxichë Taiwos will be our Shadow Talossaware Czar. If we win the election, cxhn. Taiwos will be given a special “outside Cabinet” responsibility, responsible simultaneously to STUFF and Finance, to be in charge of producing “Talossaware” – all kinds of physical “swag” promoting and representing our beloved Kingdom. This will include responsibility for the Coins project.

The following citizens were approached to be part of the Shadow Cabinet, but declined for various reasons: Breneir Itravilatx , M.T. Patritz da Biondeu , Ián B. Anglatzarâ , Magniloqueu Épiqeu da Lhiun .

No private email databases! FreeDems take a stand for citizen privacy

Free Democrats make a stand for citizen privacy
Reject use of private email databases
Call on all other parties to do the same

A statement by M. A. Schivâ, President/Leader

The Free Democrats are serious about citizen privacy. We have shown this by defending the new “opt-in” regime for the provision of citizen emails to party leaders in elections, and by Planks 4 and 13 of our Programme.

Last night, while conducting maintenance on some files on my computer unrelated to Talossa, I came upon an unlabelled file named addresses.csv. Opening it, I was kind of surprised to find out it was a complete database of the emails of Talossan citizens, dated August 2014, as shown in the following partial screenshot:

lostarchive.png

I must have misfiled it and forgotten about it. This would be very handy, despite the fact that it is somewhat out of date, for campaigning/canvassing purposes in this election. However, that would be massive hypocrisy from the Free Democrats.

I have therefore deleted this old database, without trace. We will only work through the Chancery to advertise our electoral campaign in this election.

We know for a fact – from ex-members – that the RUMP owns a very similar database, of similar vintage. We have no idea whether they are updating theirs, or whether they plan to use it in this election. As our Deputy Leader Dr. Txec dal Nordselvă puts it: “the point would not necessarily be “hey they have this list” but rather “hey, if they have this list, who else might have one?”

Privacy matters. It is not just frivolous ideology. The Free Democrats will push on to complete the nationalisation of Wittenberg and the Database, to make sure all citizen info is in public and therefore accountable hands. We challenge every other party in this race to renounce the use of any private email databases, and to delete any that they have in their possession.

Please contact myself or Dr. Nordselvâ if you have any questions about this statement.

Congratulations to Lüc da Schir on his re-election as ModRad leader

by M. A. Schivâ, Party President/Leader, Free Democrats of Talossa

I would like to expresse my sincere congratulations to Senator Lüc da Schir  on his re-election as leader of the Moderate Radical Party of Talossa.

While sadly our political relationship broke down in the last months of the outgoing Coalition, I have great respect and personal affection for the Senator from Benito. I also heartily endorse his statement, as reported in El Tamlált Talossán, that:

“if re-elected he would not seek to enter in coalition deals with any other party, and that a  “lay-low crossbench term” would be healthy for the ModRads.”

Given that basis, and if the numbers fall properly, I look forward to working very productively with the Senator from Benito and his ModRad colleagues in the next Ziu, and hope to persuade them that supporting a Free Democrat-led government on the Vote of Confidence is the best move for all Talossans.

Election announced: Free Democrat candidates and Shadow Cabinet

With the Secretary of State’s declaration that the election of the 49th Cosâ will begin on February 15th, the Free Democrats of Talossa are moving into the final phases of putting together their list of Cosâ candidates and Shadow Cabinet for the upcoming election.

Free Democrat policy is that all parties should be required to pre-publish a list of candidates who will take up their Cosâ seats. We lead by example on this: those named on our list are those who will take seats in the 49th Cosâ, and no others. This way, the voters know what they’re getting for a FreeDem vote.

A draft Party List will be agreed by the officers (Leader, Secretary and Provincial Branch Chairs) of the FreeDems today and subsequently submitted to the party as a whole for a secret ballot YES/NO vote, which will close a week from now.

One week from now, the final Party List will be announced, along with our draft Shadow Cabinet. The FreeDems note that we have approached several talented Talossans from opposing parties and non-political Talossans to serve in such a Cabinet, without any endorsement of FreeDems policy or legislation required. We hope to get positive replies from several quite soon.

The Party List and Shadow Cabinet will be announced on our delightful new website.

Party Leader/President Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN and Party Secretary C. Carlüs Xheraltescù are available for comment on this release. Deputy Leader Dr. Txec dal Nordselvă is currently taking a short vacation.