The Penguin Court

After last rounds criticisms to the International Court, the High Council has hired bell_1996 to be the new Chairman of this court. bell_1996 is a experienced trader, known for his penguins liking’s. Many of his requests made to the Federal Government have always included penguin references and this round he has referred to the IC as the “International (Penguin) Court”.

In the evaluation made public by the High Council of trading period 128 the International Court “lacked professionalism on both the part of the Chairman and certain Judges”. To help him with this new task of returning the professionalism to the International Court, the new team of judges selected by bell_1996 are YAN, WhutWhut, riemer_1990, ikenco and Dr. Strangelove.

Three of this judges don’t possess a lawyers degree, which although not being a requirements is regarded as a great commodity to be a IC Judge.
Criticism to this selection has already been made, most noticeable from Giulio Alvarez which said the International Court is “really is a penguin court”.
This will probably not be the last time we will hear of this Penguin Court, especially if bell_1996 needs to refer it the IC anywhere.

Conservative Talks with OCMan101

Welcome friends to Conservative Talks, where I, OCMan101, expose what is wrong with our Virtua today.

So first off, once again the Virtuan Government has illegally ignored the Virtuan Court ruling of round 126 stating VL 1.1.2b be changed.

So once again, innocent Virtuan citizens are robbed of their candidacy because of a few bureaucrats who just want to keep their positions secure.

Not only that, but the Virtuan Court has been inactive all round. Why? Because of a lazy Consul of Justice and Safety.

And it took the government all damn round long to hire a new one. Come on! Alright this has been Conservative Talks, I’m out.

vNews thanks OCMan101 for his sent article!

The Federal Union: A stillborn child

Quite some trading periods ago, the Council of Veterans (CoV) was abolished and replaced by two new institutions: the High Council (HC) and the Federal Union (FU). They took over the tasks the old Veterans had but in completely different composition. Where the Veterans were chosen by the Federals and the CoV, the High Council and Federal Union are fully composed of players. The High Council chooses its members themselves and the Federal Union is made up by the government leaders and a second person to aid them in the discussion. The HC has to check on law changes proposed by National Governments and advises on improvements. The Federal Union concerns itself with the International Law and other matters that require international discussion. Both the FU and the HC were and are not undisputed. In this article, I will focus on the Federal Union and what is fundamentally wrong with it.

The changes regarding crime are perhaps the most infamous example why this institution is doomed to fail. As most probably know, the discussion about the lowering of fines for criminal acts is going on for many trading periods now. Fruitless, without any notable result. To cut many trading periods worth of discussion down to the core, the stalemate that lasts so long now is due to the radically different opinions between those that want the fines lowered (mainly Digitalia, for obvious reasons), and those that aren’t that eager (most fanatical on this part is Cyberia). The trouble in this debate is that those opposed to just lowering the fines as asked by the Federal Government demand game changes that make active crime fighting possible and actually worth it. Which side is right or wrong doesn’t matter now, as it is irrelevant to the core of my argument. This case shows that the Federal Union is dysfunctional in every sense of the word.

The fundamental problem of the FU is simply that it consists of government leaders. As is common knowledge, the governments of Virtua and Cyberia are democratic. Or at least were, as I’m not well aware what changed in Cyberia during the last trading period. The point however is, government leaders change. Not so often in Digitalia or Ibisha perhaps, but they change nonetheless. This means opinions of those with the right to vote can change very sudden. Which makes discussing this matter very frustrating, especially for those leaders who are part of the Federal Union for multiple trading periods. This is the first problem with this construction.
The second fundamental problem is that these leaders, although it cannot be expected very much otherwise, are talking mainly on behalf of the interests of their country. They have a mandate given by their own people and this obliges them to defend the interests of these people on all levels. Here lies the crucial point why the Federal Union cannot function to reach balanced results. Any result will be a compromise between the interests of the four countries in our Federation, if a compromise is reached at all, and not a balanced compromise in the best interest of the Federation itself.

So, how can we solve this undesirable situation? A restoration of the Council of Veterans would seem the obvious choice, but let’s not linger too long with nostalgia and try looking for other paths. We can’t deny the Federal Union offers good opportunities to make diplomacy far more interesting than it has been before. Certainly, quite some discussions about the International Law or International Treaties can be done there without many problems. But when it comes to truly far-reaching things like the situation with criminality, it utterly fails to do what it’s supposed to do.
One solution could be to move this discussion from the Federal Union to the High Council. This institution is far more stable than the FU and allows to ask the people who are most useful in this case, not depending on the grills of the national politics. In this case though, the High Council should be allowed to either expand to more members, or create some kind of commissions to come with a balanced proposal to the High Council.
Another solution is to reinforce the Federal Union with people chosen by the High Council as ‘Veterans’ and are allowed to vote as well. This cancels out a part of the second problem, but would make the Federal Union less interesting for less difficult matters.
These are only some ideas that sprang to mind, there are many other possibilities probably. I don’t pretend to hold the answer to this problem. Nonetheless, I hope I can throw a spark to enkindle a fruitful and decent discussion about these frustrating and demotivating issues.

Views from candidates for Virtuan President on actual topics

I have written some question about actual topics for candidates for Virtuan president. Here are their responses. Andoversr unfortunately didn’t provide me with answers before new edition was published.

National politics

What do you think about current council and what would you do differently?

Theovenman:
I was on the council as CoF and I thought we did a pretty good job this round overall. Crime was low, we passed a few laws (nothing major though), we opened the harbour for the first time since I have been playing the game and it worked out for the best, and I have not seen the player rankings yet, but I imagine Virtua did quite well overall. I am not sure if I would have done too much differently, but as CoF I learnt that it is very important that money is being spent wisely. If I could do this round over again I would have a much tougher stance on not giving out mass subsidies.

White Queen:
There are a couple of things I would do differently. Most important of all, I would focus on communication between Council and Local Government. Otherwise, I think the executive tasks have been done pretty well. I will participate actively in the debates in the Federal Union as well.

(Brendan):
Ultimately, I think that even though the Council have made a few changes, there has been a serious lack of communication. This breakdown of communication has not only been between certain Council members but also the failure to address the Virtuan nation on subjects that would have serious effects on them. I would improve this by the use of surveys and plenty of public topics that I have used in the past, to allow all citizens to have their input.

Some candidates are saying that Virtuan lawbook needs to be revised, what do you think about that? What particular law would you changed and why?

Theovenman:
No particular laws come to mind, but as President I would be very open minded to any changes that players or consul members might suggest.

White Queen:
The law book still contains some flaws, errors and other small things. I don’t have any specific law in sight that might be the most important. As my Council would use the first week of the trading period to check the law book, I cannot give more details yet. But a quick survey made clear to me there are some things to improve.

(Brendan):
The law book, like any, is never perfect. Even if one person, or a group of people though it was (near) perfect, there would always be the opposition since we all have different views on how society should be ruled. I think most of the laws work well, and if I thought otherwise I would have already said so. What does need to be done is to go over the laws and see how we can make them shorter and more precise since I often think the laws are quite clumsily written. This is a large task. There are often grammar mistakes in laws too, this needs to be amended.

International relationships

How do rate current relationship with other countries?

Theovenman:
I think there is a lot of room for growth as far as international relations are concerned. I played a big role in having the harbours opened in Virtua this past round and for the most part I think things went well. There was no serious influx of crime and as far as I am aware Virtuans did a very good job selling their products overseas. One issue I had was with Ibisha, where I had to sell my shop with having sold only one item, because my shop was continually being bombed. One of the reasons I wanted to open the harbours in the first place was because Ibishans kept buying Virtuan lots as a sort of protest for keeping the harbours closed and I thought they were making a valid point and should be given a chance. In my view, Ibishans responded poorly to the opportunity of having an open trade with Virtua, and I would like to work with leaders in Ibisha to help make trade between us more tolerable. On the bright side trade with Cyberie went very well and I think there is a bright future for future trade between us.

White Queen:
I think relations with other countries have been stable this trading period and this is something I would try to keep the same. Of course, I don’t know how the private communication between government leaders has been, but regular talks are the basis for good relations in my opinion, so that is something I would certainly do if I become president.

(Brendan):
I’m not certain what political relationships have been like this round, but during my last round as President, things went well. I know the current Virtuan politicians are cooperating in the Federal Union although I haven’t seen this myself. I think it is important that Virtua isn’t too easily swayed by other countries interests and we treat each nation with equality in order to remain neutral. Only when Virtuan interests are at stake we should intervene in any dispute.

What is your opinion about federal union, high council and international court?

Theovenman:
I am still relatively new to the game, but my experience until now have been satisfactory. If I am elected President, I will be very eager to learn everything I need to about these establishments in order to do my job as well as I possibly can.

White Queen:
The Federal Union has disappointed me, not in the least the Virtuan delegation, who seems to have fallen for easy promises that simply cannot be kept regarding the discussion on crime. The Federal Union has to fix the gaping holes in the legal framework supporting it, together with the Federals. Otherwise I think the Federal Union has a lot of potential for improvements, but to get to this we need to finish the episode of the new criminal laws decently. And the current ‘solution’ isn’t decent. I don’t have specific remarks on the International Court.

(Brendan):
Well the roles they play are necessary. The Federal Union is a central hub for international politics and it is imperative that it remains neutral in order for a common ground between each of the nations to be found. With the problems in there at the moment, I think it is necessary that disputes are resolved internally and the only way we can tackle the ongoing problems is through discussions. When a country is willing to not cooperate, it causes serious problems as we have experienced over the past few rounds. Remaining friendly where possible helps Virtua in many ways.

Crime

There is new IL that limit maximum fines, do you agree and why (not)?

Theovenman:
I am very opposed to these new laws. I expect these new laws to play a big role in increasing the crime in Virtua and around the rest of Miniconomy.

White Queen:
In principle I agree with the limiting of maximum fines, but not under the circumstances that we cannot do more for safety in return. I will expect them to drop, but if I become president and there are no improved security options I make the fines as high as possible.

(Brendan):
Something had to be done, and I agree with the proposal put forward. The way the proposal was agreed on is something I don’t agree on and there should have been more consultation with the Virtuan people. However I find it quite catastrophic that we are not promised some further protection immediately. This was one the crucial factors that Virtua would negotiate a proposal with, so I think that needs to be spurred on. Further discussions between the Virtuan government, people and other governments are still needed as I’m not sure everyone is at least somewhat content/had the chance to air their views.

Some candidates are saying that that fines will drop significantly with new IL, can you explain how much will they drop?

Theovenman:
Since there is no longer a net worth component to the fines, I expect that fines will drop dramatically for most criminals. Obviously it depends on the net worth of the criminal as to how much they will drop, but one thing is for sure, we can expect there to be a lot more crime.

(Brendan):
We have the chance to still have high fines and there is the option to add a percentage still. The aim of the law was to drop fines, so I think that was inevitable. But while the fines will decrease (not too much), there should have been other options put in place to allow us to protect ourselves further to lower the chance of more attacks. Again, this is something that needs serious discussion. Ultimately, we shouldn’t be affected too much and if we are then the Virtuan government must work towards a solution, both long term and short term.

Finance

Previous and even more this round Virtua have problems with budget, how would you like to solve this problem?

Theovenman:
I was CoF this past round, so I might have had the best idea of what was going on. First and foremost, we need to get rid of mass subsidies. The amount of money given to each player is not very significant, and a lot of players receiving subsidies are only active the first few days of the round. Another issue I think was that the mayors this round were less active than in previous rounds as far as selling tourist items go. That is not something that would be in my control, but I would definitely express this view to the mayors. Also, this past round was unique in the sense that a few players had a very large majority of the ISH in circulation, and that might have contributed to the problem.

White Queen:
I will see to it that the communication between mayors and Council will be good, so there will be sensible spending by the cities. Virtua will be central to the policy, not the cities. This sounds very harsh, but in order to get the best results for Virtuan traders we have to think collectively about our nation. This means partially a policy that keeps track the specific needs of cities and partially a policy which restricts cities from completely doing whatever they wish.
On another note we might have to slow the auction price risings down again during the trading period. Ibisha has shown this can be requested from the Federal Government, this is a measure that can safe us a lot of money as well.

(Brendan):
I think communication is the key. From the outset, we must be aware of possible risks that we will face at the end of the round and this must be addressed especially by the Consul of Finance with the Virtuan mayors. It was a terrible state we were in at the end of this round, with no exports or VAT return in the last week. We perhaps need to be more conservative with our budget and question whether certain expenditures are needed and change the culture of giving money out on unnecessary causes. We have lots of ideas floating around on this, a big discussion could consolidate our views on how to accomplish this.

Do you agree with new national subsidy policy that was implemented this round?

Theovenman:
At first I was not entirely sure what I thought about, but after seeing how the round played out I think it was a good chance. From my understanding, in previous rounds players were able to get off to get very big starts in ways that were not fair to other players. With the new policy, all players are on more equal ground. I also think it makes the game more challenging, which is always welcome.

White Queen:
On national subsidies, I think the common line is good, although there might be more trade-enhancing actions supported by the National Government. Of course, this has to be seen in the light of the available budget.

(Brendan):
Yes, I agree with further regulations on how national governments can give subsidies out. It is important that all countries are equal on giving money from their treasury and this ensures that certain countries cannot financially aid their citizens straight away in the round hence giving them a greater advantage. Government intervention like this isn’t just if all countries cannot do so I do agree with it. The first couple of days are crucial in players building their empires so the (wealthier) governments shouldn’t be able to influence how players start.

Progress on Crimes and Fines

In the Federal Union progress has been being made on Crimes and Fines, with a proposal being ready to receive votes from the Federal Union this weekend or next week.

At this moment this is the proposal in its current shape:

IL Article 8: Criminal Activities

Paragraph 4
Maximum static fine per crime:
Bombing: 1500 ISH
Shooting: 1250 ISH
Hitting: 200 ISH
Robbery: 1000 ISH
Theft: 750 ISH
Bank Robbery: 1000 ISH

Paragraph 5
Maximum portions of fine that include Net Worth:
-Shooting: 0%
-Hitting with a plank: 0%
-Bombing: 0%
-Theft of products: 0%
-Robbing a player: 0%
-Robbing a bank: 5%

Paragraph 6
A fine is limited to the static fines mentioned in Article 8, Paragraph 4 alone, or together with a Net Worth fine if allowed by Article 8, Paragraph 5. Each country is allowed to have lower fines than those stated in these Paragraphs, but they may not exceed them.

Paragraph 7
All countries are allowed to instantly put a Net Worth fine with a maximum of 5% on all crimes for the remainder of the round, without the approval of the International Court, if they meet the following requirements:
– An Emergency Situation has been declared.
– The Country is in serious danger from criminals.

Governments also may request a higher raise of Net Worth fines up to a total of 15% in the International Court as long as they can prove that the former raise had no effect.

Paragraph 8
The change of Net Worth fines can be challenged in the International Court, and it will be the Country’s responsibility to prove that there is a serious danger from criminals. If the International Court decides that the current situation does not meet the criteria stated in Paragraph 7, the Net Worth changes will be declared invalid and the fine will be restricted once more to the Net Worth fines stated in Paragraph 5 until the criteria stated in Paragraph 7 are met.

Paragraph 9
Article 8 Paragraph 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are declared invalid at the end of round 127, if the Federal Government does not meet deadline, The Federal Government have to come with a solution, that improve the protection against crimes.

Credit for the hard work on this can be given to Andoversr on working out an early agreement before rounds start on Networth and Moonpoker formulating the wording and working with all countries to get an acceptable proposal.

President Cyberië Resigned

This afternoon the president of Cyberië Le Vainqueur resigned. 

The president can’t be active anymore due to real life reasons as he posted in the parliament:

I  hereby declare that I renounce the presidency. Due to the death of a friend of mine, I am emotionally unable to lead Cyberië and to play.

His successor, the vice president of Cyberië, is Jaap Eerlijk (better known as Joep Eerlijk).

Cogito will take over the party of Le Vainqueur, CCP.

Will the cabinet stay stable now the big leader is gone?

Virtuan Elections 11/15

This round the elections saw a low number of candidates, with only Rokta and Andoversr running.

Some speculate that this race will be close, Andoversr has the advantage of experience in helping run the Virtuan Government and being involved over the last several rounds off and on in the discussions of the Federal Union, whereas Rokta has the advantage of being a very popular mayor of Nasdaqar, having won the mayoral elections several rounds in a row, potentially making him popular with voters already, which cannot be said for Andoversr over the last rounds looking at his vote results.

Either way they will be President and Vice President together as they were the only two who ran, and will need to work together next round to work on Federal Union issues and run the Virtuan Government along with those they select as Consuls.

We at vNews wish the best of luck for these two.

Conferences, the new way of politics!

Dear Delegations,

I think we have something good here. Not only our education will greatly benefit from this. No, our image and cooperation will too. We do not throw mud, we remove it together. We do not shout at each other, no, we talk to each other. We will not sit down, no we stand up and build.

Together, we have found a new way of doing politics. A way that is civilized and intellectual. A way that men and women a hundred years did for us, and I again wish to enter.

It is a step forward, a step in the right direction. Conferences are, in my opinion, the new way of politics enter a new way to create tires. Nothing is mandatory, everything is optional, that is the recipe that I have presented to you. And we all have it cooked!

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for attendance at this historic moment,

It was a real pleasure!

– Le Vainqueur, Conference leader

International Headlines Week 2

In this weeks edition of The Miniconomistthe newspaper decided to continue to reveal the insides of the private clubs of the Federation, after last week publishing an article about Recruiters Private this week their victim was the private club of the Cyberische Centrumpartij or  Cyber ​​Tunisian Centre Party (CCP) as best translated to English. The Article can be found at The Miniconomist

Continuing with Cyberian theme a controversy erupted in the Fed Request club over the Cyberie Response Team and how this group is allegedly getting  16,000 I-Shells in combined salaries and are allowed to still get more if need be. Cheeseo challenged this that such a law should be allowed in other countries or limited more strictly to not allow such spending.

The High Council also made some moves this week; naming CIT as chairman and advising the Federal Union to change a law regarding the International Court, specifically on order in the court, advising the Federal Union to force the International Court chair to publish an Order Procedure and allow the High Council to “override” this procedure.

Speaking of the International Court, its chair, Joep Eerlijk was bankrupted this week, the cause of his demise is uncertain but we send our condolences to his friends and family.

In Digitalie the EPISC or El Peso International Shooting Contest is now under way, however with the lack of Virtuan Harbors it is unsure how any Virtuans will be able to participate in the contest.

In a move of determination His Majesty DROP TABLE Players of Digitalia announced this week he and his other Digitalian delegate, has left the Federal Union. This comes in response to lack of action on lowering the punishments for crime across the Federation.

Lastly, the latest Miniconomeeting, took place this week, allowing players in Europe to meet for socializing, fun, and the Miniconomy Quiz.

 

 

The Story of Cyberian Politics

As of this round, Cyberia has a completely new government, under the leadership of the CCP (Cyb. Centrum Partij, or Cyberian Central Party).

In this article, I will deliver a comprehensive update on the current politics in Cyberia for the English players who are interested.

It all started in round 118 when the party Sterk Cyberië (Strong Cyberia) led by Rednax won the elections and received 5 seats at the Cyberian parliament. This means they had a full majority and didn’t have to work together with another party.

Sterk Cyberië changed some laws. For example: they allowed criminals to become a government functionary like officer or minister. Some Cyberian players called the laws the beginning of a dictatorship.

Some players that would stop the coming ‘dictatorship’ started a new party called ‘Cyb. Centrum Partij’. The party was founded by Le Vainqueur, Hubinho1 and Cogito. The CCP was created to remove the dictatorship. Through a combination of a public club, advertisements, a website and experienced politicians, the CCP received 5 seats at the elections of round 118.

Immediately after this awesome result the chairman of the CCP Le Vainqueur posted a speech, with things like:

We will fight with words, we will fight with laws and we will fight with speeches. We will fight in parliament, fighting in the courts and fight in the ministries. We will never surrender, and if it occurs, which we do not support, allies will continue the battle, until the dictatorship is removed!

Or:

If we look at our politics, we are all ashamed of how this works, because our politics suffered from inactivity of corrupt and inefficient parties.

People were enthusiastic and were looking forward to the ideas of the CCP.

After a week calmness the CCP announced their cabinet for round 119:

Ralgon – President

Joep Eerlijk – Vice President

Le Vainqueur – Minister of Education

Hubinho1 – Minister of Finances

Cogito – Minister of Justice

With these people in charge,  Cyberia should have worked optimally in the upcoming round. But, in practise,  it seemingly hasn’t risen up to the expectations in place.

The CCP president Ralgon did only requested the parliament seats of the CCP member of the parliament at Fed Requests, with the excuse that he did not know who to appoint on behalf of Sterk Cyberië. But that argument was just bullshit. The 1st blunder of the CCP.

When the Minister of Education Le Vainqueur presented his ideas about the ‘University of Kronenburg’.  The only appointed member of Sterk Cyberië, Cesare former Minister of Education, had some critism about the plans, instead of listening and responding to the questions that were asked, the minister gave him a post ban at his department. The 2nd blunder of the CCP.

A while ago a Digitalian shooted the Cyberian President once. The reaction of the countryleader at the embassy:

I hereby announce the emergency situation.

Everyone found it a weird action. But this action had a reason.

The Minister of Justice Cogito appointed the following people at the responseteam to protect Cyberia: Ralgon, Cogito, Joep Eerlijk and Le Vainqueur. By coincidence these people were ALL member of the CCP and had a political function.

The members of the responseteam ar only allowed to operate and earn salary at an emergency situation. The member earn lots of Ishells for their job. But ONLY Joep Eerlijk shot! We all know Ralgon would never accept losing his COI. And Cogito and LVQ won’t shot. So these people would earn loads of Ishells in salary for being in the response team. For doing NOTHING. Nepotism? The 3rd blunder of the CCP.

Slowly, some people began to realize they were fooled. And began posting complaints about the CCP at the club ‘Achterkamertje’ what is intended for this. Someone who said what they thought of it received the following reaction of Ralgon:

I don’t see any reason for me to interfere with your grizzle.

And this is in the victory speech of the CCP:

The people will keep asking questions, and we will continue to respond!

Breaking a promise, then cutting down and humiliating a citizen who was just giving his opinion. The 4th blunder of the CCP.

4 blunders in 12 days…

There is one thing became clear in these 12 days.

The CCP promises, but does nothing.

The CCP is fair according to their speech, but offers nepotism in reality.

The CCP is open to criticism and will respond nicely, but cuts people off and gives post bans to anyone who does not agree with them.

The CCP is always happy to discuss things in the parliament, but does only appoint the members of the parliament of the CCP.

I am curious about the blunders which will come up in the remaining days of the round.

And I wonder whether this is the democracy or the dictatorship.