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NDA Unity Island - Building an Island Paradise

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]

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Treznor
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Treznor » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:43 pm

Treznor winks at Nathicana before keying his microphone once more.

"As a founding member, I would remind my friends here that this alliance was formed during more...chaotic times. GDODAD was a collection of dictatorships thirsting for war above all, and while GOD was formed as a more peaceful response to GDODAD it allowed itself to be absorbed by that same body. The founding members and I saw a need to protect ourselves from the fallout of GDODAD's efforts, as it seemed every well-meaning champion of democracy was looking for any excuse to invade and install their idea of liberty at gunpoint. We were active in our recruitment and common defense because there was a clear need for it. We needed to show strength as well as a commitment to peace, and we succeeded.

"My friends, this alliance has been quiet for some time. The reason for this is because we accomplished what we set out to do. The champions of liberty and democracy no longer charge at windmills because we've offered them no provocation, and we bloodied the noses of those who charged anyway. International affairs were already winding down when I surrendered my seat on the Ruling Council, so it was no longer necessary for me to impose my vision for direction.

"The Dread Lady has been exemplary in her vigilance on our behalf, but when was the last time it was necessary for the Council to invoke the common defense clause? When did our Joint Forces act except in exercise? What threats do we now face?

"We want to remain relevant. Stagnation is an ugly fate for powerful nations such as ours. Perhaps, if we're worried about becoming stale, we should focus less on our leadership and more on our membership. When have any of us sponsored a new nation to join our ranks? We are an alliance of individual nations, each of us sovereign in our own rights and abilities. If we want to avoid becoming irrelevant, there are things each of us can do to help."
Last edited by Treznor on Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:52 pm

“First, let me say I have appreciated the participation and service of everyone here, in whatever capacities they have been able to. Its true, we have been less visible, and less active than we have in the past. As the Emperor has stated, that isn’t so much cause for concern as a testament to our success. That being said, there hasn’t been much for the Council to do. And to compare me to any of the rest of you, does us all a disservice – especially considering we all know what a damned meddler I’ve always been, and continue to be,” she added, hoping to bring some well-intentioned humor to the situation. “Were I able to mind my own business and keep my fingers out of as many pies as I can, there likely wouldn’t be any such comparisons, as complimentary and appreciated as they are.”

Arkhora, we have known one another for a very long time, and you have always been a stalwart member of the alliance, a capable leader of your nation, and I would like to think, a good friend,” she continued, offering Rene a warm smile. “Your voice here will be sorely missed when the time comes.”

“It seems many of us have plans for the future, whether sooner or later, that will affect not only our nations, but our alliance. His Majesty has a very good point in noting that the strength of youth ought be tempered with the voice of experience. Most of what we’re talking of is for the future. It’s a great opportunity to share that experience with those some of us are intending to pass our legacies on to. Whether a sitting member, or a former member wishing to offer input, I would hope our respective nations would be amenable to utilizing our experienced people to continuing in participation on some level or other as needed.”

“As for the council positions, I agree that we need not rush into filling any with a green staff, however well-qualified we may feel them to be. All in good time, and hopefully, all for the better. Perhaps its time for a reorganization of sorts. The council after all was begun by the three founders. There was a desire to maintain a specific drive, a specific agenda, a specific image. A lot of the need for that seems to have passed. We haven’t had any new members for a long while. We haven’t had the occasion to be involved as an alliance anywhere but Mars, and even then, on a limited basis. If we no longer function as we have, perhaps our internal organization ought to reflect that, and changes should be implemented to serve the alliance and its members more successfully.”

Nathicana paused and looked around the room at the various people present. “Are there any suggestions, or comments, or criticisms to that end?”

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:28 pm

Glasses were quietly refilled, any empty plates removed, and requests filled as efficiently and without interruption as possible while the delegates were given time to formulate any responses they wished to reply with.

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Kaenei
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Kaenei » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:53 am

"I fully support the intentions of the Tsarainese in their advancement," Sophia replied after a time. "This alliance, while it has served us well, has grown old and hard. I believe it is time to prune away the weeds, scrub away the moss and restore a faded, weathered wall to its previous gleaming brilliance."

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:29 pm

“Well, I suppose that is … one way of looking at it,” Nathicana offered, trying to soften the response somewhat. “But to the point, does anyone have any nations in mind that we might pursue at this time? Have there been any promising contacts, or have things truly settled in that regard?”

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Kaenei
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Kaenei » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:38 am

"We have enjoyed some beneficial relations with The Commonwealth of the Freethinkers," Sophia answered a moment's consideration. Both the Serene Union and Menelmacar enjoy extensive military holdings there, without incidence. They may be the fresh impetus needed for this alliance."

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Treznor
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Treznor » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:43 am

Treznor's fingers become a blur at his datapad, and he glances at the result. "I regret that The Freethinkers are a highly democratic society. Imperial Intelligence gives them a low threat rating and high commerce value, but they are not suitable as members to the NDA. The best I could suggest for them would be favored trade status on an individual basis.

"I regret that my Empire has not been branching out in its contact to potential new members."

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Hope this isn't as rambling as it feels.

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:03 am

"We've had comfortable dealings there as well," Nathicana notes. "Most appreciably, in the protectorate territory we now hold on Mars, requested on their behalf no less. I've had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of some involved in leadership there. If not a member, at least a good potential friendly. They have their difficulties and concerns, a good many some of us might have a harder time relating to, given some of the racial differences there. Their Midlonian ties could be problematic, depending on how relations sit with any one of our members in relation to them, and by nature, any Concordat concerns. I'm fairly certain we've bumped heads in the past over relatively minor issues."

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Northrop-Grumman
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:36 pm

“As what seems to be the norm thus far with others present here, our relations with the Commonwealth have been largely pleasant through our dealings with them via the Concordat of Phoenix,” Siri added into the general conversation. “Though, I have to admit that we haven’t been as close as several of our member states have been, but considering that I have personally heard nothing particularly untoward about them in recent times or as far back as I can recall, the Corporation would not be fussed if the alliance decided to extend a degree of closer friendship with them.”

Several moments were then taken as the Chairwoman jotted a few notations down upon a readily available datapad, thinking through everything carefully that she had in mind, making sure that the suggestion she was going to make wouldn’t come across as either derogatory to several members or overly demanding of anyone in attendance here. But of course, considering the variations in thought and of cultures here in this room, both were entirely possible and would be dealt with as soon as they appeared.

“Reverting back to what the Imperatrice had asked before…” she began, glancing downward at the scribbles. “First, on behalf of myself and of Northrop-Grumman, I must commend Arkhora Rene Seingult, Empress Gehenna of Tartarus, and Imperatrice Nathicana D’Aquisto for their admirable and selfless efforts in guiding our alliance and for effectively governing over it in a manner which has neither brought harm nor dishonor to the NDA and its membership. In addition, the Corporation has found that through these efforts, the alliance has been a stable, peaceful presence within the galaxy, unlike boundless others out there, and we have been privileged to be associated with it and the members there in…

But…” came that dreadful word, containing just about as much emphasis one could possibly place upon it. “…as the Imperatrice has stated, the council has not had the need to do anything notable in these times, which in itself can be attributed to our success in our mission statement and…well…these are the relatively peaceful times we live in. In light of that, I wish to bring forth a thought to the table for consideration, perhaps for some future implementation or to provide a means to be a foundation for another’s ideas.

“Essentially, we could dismantle the ruling council entirely and delegate all the powers there of to the full membership of the alliance, but recognizing that there needs to be a consistent unified voice for the varying cultures and personalities assembled here, we could designate one member as a spokesperson for those times the NDA needs to make a statement to a petitioning nation, another alliance, or the galaxy as a whole. That member would be not vacate their position unless called upon by the alliance body so there largely remains consistency throughout everything that needs to be said.” She now gazed outward toward the other leaders, her hands resting nearly upon the armrests of her seat. “Thoughts?”

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Kaenei
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Kaenei » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:45 pm

Sophia considered the position of the Grumman representative, her words striking a particular chord with the Governor-General. Perhaps a simple change in Council Leadership was insufficient; perhaps root-and-branch-and-tree reform was necessary. Ironically, bringing an element of democracy to the Non-Democratic Alliance. Still while some members of the alliance might maintain control of their people through fear, or violence or simply a mixture of two the Serene Union found its mandate in the common consent of the people in having sufficient freedom to lead their personal lives while entrusting in the State to provide for them, and to ensure their safety. Democracy, as ever a dirty word as could be uttered on Unity Island, in this case seemed a plausible and noble idea.

"I second the position and suggestion of the Chairwoman," The Governor-General said finally. "I move that the Council of the NDA be dissolved and all matters pertaining to the alliance carried out by a simple vote of the majority of member nations active in the alliance at any one time. I further move that a spokesperson, by the same simple majority, be installed and through rotation, replaced or recalled as required."

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Gehenna Tartarus
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Gehenna Tartarus » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:30 pm

Having listened with interest as the proceedings unfolded, Gehenna was not overly surprised that they had reached the point that they had. It was to be expected that a group of equals would expect and deserve an equal say in the running of their alliance.

“I can see the need for the Non-Democratic Alliance to change,” she began, as her gaze flicked between each of the leaders present. “Nothing is static and although the alliance has worked very well in its current format, a change is possibly the best way to ensure that the alliance continues to go from strength to strength.

“We are equals and we all have the abilities to make the decisions necessary to carry the NDA forward. If dissolving the council is the path we choose to take, it is not going to be a simple task of everyone merely stepping down and we all have a vote. We need to establish a firm set of procedures.”

She paused a moment, putting her thoughts in order. “Personally I am not sure that simple majority voting is our best option. It would allow for decisions to be made that are not always the right option for the whole alliance by a few, which is similar to how the alliance is already run. Of course, this is something that will need to be decided upon if this course of action becomes final, but it is something that should be considered.”

That was one of the points covered that was raised by the Chairwoman, now for the other. “As for the spokesperson if the abolition of the council goes ahead, I agree that this is an essential part of the outward face of the NDA. I believe that this should be on a rotational basis, as stated by the Governor-General. This would ensure that the status of all members remained equal. Each would have the opportunity of being the voice of the NDA.”

Having covered all that she felt she needed to at that point in the meeting, she fell silent and sat back in her seat, indicating that she had finished. She took a sip of water as she waited for the next person to take the floor.
Nation name: The Empire of Tartarus
Nationality: Tartarian

Ruler: Her Imperial Majesty, Gehenna, Empress of Tartarus

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Britmattia
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Re: NDA Unity Island (Building an Island Paradise - from Jolt)

Postby Britmattia » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:15 am

"With all due respect to your viewpoints, ladies, gentlemen, I can't agree that any sort of democratic agreement is ideal for establishing leadership at a council level. As it stands..an unwillingness to engage at a national level is already prevalent, I cannot see how adding an additional level of discussion to our actions would help."
Owen pauses, thoughtful for a moment.

"It is a lack of both responsiveness and interest that troubles us at the highest levels. Essentially our alliance is wedded to the premise of sovereignty so firmly that we are incapable as being as pro-active as some of us would perhaps prefer, due to both a desire not to be seen as meddlers, and in some other cases a lack of desire to meddle in the first place."
He smiles briefly, the expression flicking on and off like neon lighting.
"Myself, personally, I always appreciate the opportunity, but in our alliance I'm an outlier, not the norm."

The King-Emperor taps his fingertips together.
"Thus it is my conclusion that whilst the leadership council should perhaps be less...static, it is window-dressing, not to offend, but we very seldom act as an alliance, thus we do not need any sort of formalised leadership at a council level. I would argue instead of having an elected council we dispense with it entirely and that the representative be tasked with what is essentially an ambassadorial role. Promotion of alliance interests rather than national ones, though quite how that would work out I don't pretend to know. What I am firm on is that the N.D.A., due to our...placid, shall I say, position in international affairs, does not require anything more responsive than its own heads of government. We may continue to meet and operate together but our decision-making is virtually never undertaken in light of alliance concerns. And if it is, it's not this alliance that is foremost."

He smiles again, the expression lingering this time.
"Indeed, there wouldn't be much reason for it to be. What's the point of being the sovereign mighty lord if you have to be responsive to the concerns of half a dozen other sole autocrats?"
Owen turns up his hands and shrugs.

"So. I don't think the council should continue in its present form. I don't think its hierarchy is necessary. I certainly wouldn't be in favour of democratising it. I am in favour of the alliance continuing, but until the situation changes radically there's no need for any top-level coordination. Certainly we should remain aware of each others' concerns, pay attention to the stipulations of the alliance treaty, that sort of thing, but I'm sure we can manage that without reminders from on high."
An other pleasant smile.
"After all, we have, haven't we?"
A Paladin is no more sane than a man who decides that up is down, and dedicates himself to the preservation of balloons and the destruction of bricks. Nonetheless, there is no breed of man whom I would rather have beside me when the moon is black and the wolves are about. If the Paladin is wrong, then the world is mad, and in an insane world, there is no better police than an army of madmen.

Political Compass:
Economic Left/Right: -3.00 & Social Libertarian: -2.77

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S-14
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Postby S-14 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:56 pm

The administrative OverCoordinator of the panNorm hives, characteristically unimaginatively known as AdminCoordinator, allows her antennae to wander while she listens silently to her 'peers' speak. She's not exactly their peers; the peer for, say, the King-Emperor would be the Overmind, but the Overmind is an emergent and non-sentient construct of the combined intelligences, needs, and capabilities of the panNorm. She, as administrative Overcoordinator, has the widest range of authority and expertise and is therefore the closest spacedy ant analog to all the various endoskeletal autocrats surrounding her. The panNorm have always been a special case in the NDA; if the Britmattians were an outlier due to their relatively aggressive preferences, then the panNorm are an outlier because they're not really autocratic beyond the demands of the Overmind, which are less imperial demands and more the solution to the perfect information paradox necessary to run an effective command economy. One could even argue that the panNorm, since the end of the Succession Wars, are on some levels a perfect direct democracy since each individual gets a perfectly weighted say in her immediate affairs. Each individual, however, is not what would be considered 'free' by endoskeletal standards, as she is constrained by the needs of the Overmind that dictate her purpose. The Overcoordinators are like autocrats, but their 'title' is more accurate: they coordinate rather than rule. They give direction to that which would otherwise be direction-less beyond day-to-day survival. One of those directions was joining the Non-Democratic Alliance.

The current situation highlights, in the AdminCoordinator's mind at least, the species-intrinsic advantage of the panNorm over her allies: that of leadership. The panNorm, through evolution, have solved issues of leadership. A single controlling entity with true 'authority'--the capability to make individuals do what they would otherwise prefer not to--is neither requested nor required. The panNorm do as the Overmind requires. The Overmind, lacking direction, is given direction by Coordinators; while the Coordinators establish strategies which to some degree determine that with the Overmind requires, they are also influenced by the Overmind and fully cognizant of the capabilities and needs of the panNorm and are therefore incapable to force policy beyond those means and needs. This makes the panNorm extremely stable socioeconomically, at the opportunity cost of not being prone to revolutionary ideas or surges of progress. This also makes the discussion of the need for the NDA to have a representative council or not somewhat alien to the AdminCoordinator.

Which is as it should be, she muses. The endoskeletals are, after all, aliens.

Nevertheless she is bred, programmed, and optimized to understand instinctively on an intellectual level how endoskeletals work and how to deal with them, and inside the copious amounts of neurological matter underneath her bulbous blue chitin braincase decorated with the complex yellow paint patterns of her office, her mind runs through an analysis of the situation. Lacking any sort of human face, the only way this is readable is through the seemingly Brownian motion of her antennae, as her golden segmented eyes are as motionless as her closed mandibles and relaxed maxillae. Coming to a conclusion, her antennae settle into more gentle wanderings; she reaches into a webbed pocket on the loose equipment vest over her thorax and retrieves her steel translation cube in chitinous fingers of fat bone. Opening her mandibles, she sets the cube against her maxillae, then steeples her manipulators underneath what could be creatively called her chin, her elbows (or the closest analog thereto, the joint one down from her wrists) resting on the table. An affectation, of course, but most cross-cultural communications are.

"The Council of the Non-Democratic Alliance has served us well over the years that have defined our cooperation," she begins. While surely capable of fluent praise when the diplomatic situation demands it, her peers probably know her as a business-like bug and the respect is understood. Thus she moves on to the meat of the matter: "It has served its purpose well; indeed, it has accomplished its purpose. Now its form seeks another function but, as the EngCoordinator of Alpha Hive would say, form follows function. If the Council has accomplished its purpose, what would seemingly be most logical is to determine what the new purpose of the alliance is and what structures are necessary to accomplish this alliance.

"Defending non-democratic ideologies against democratic crusading is complete. We all appear agreed on this." She nods to the other leaders in turn with practiced rhetoric. "The purpose that continues is the mutual assistance and benefit of the members whilst respecting their sovereignty. What do we need to accomplish this? It is primarily a diplomatic concern since it is not, and by the definition of the mission it can not be, commanded by some sort of supreme authority. Being a diplomatic concern, it requires a neutral place for meeting and establishing a cordial atmosphere." The spacedy ant raises her manipulators in a subdued broad gesture to indicate the general environment of the meeting room. "This is accomplished." She returns her fingers to their previous steepling. "We have joint military forces under an independent chain of command determined by standardized communications protocols and some standardization in the logistical tail. Since this is a military structure that operates on defined doctrine that has not and probably will not act aggressively, its current standing orders are determined on an alliance-wide level and do not for the most part require immediate decision-making capacity on a Council level. Indeed, I doubt that the Alliance would survive such authority being exercised too much; historically the joint forces have been administered by consensus rather than Council diktat.

"The likelihood of rapid consensus is a function of the ideological disparity of a group and the size of a group; it is inversely proportional to both. The broader the ideological disparity, obviously the wider the range of opinions and positions which must be appeased or compromised. The larger the group, the more likely that there will be an individual or small bloc which will, forgive the pun, block progress on collective decision-making." She pauses for a moment, turning her head rhetorically around the table (with eyes like hers, it's not as though she can't see everyone anyway). "The purpose of a first-among-equals or otherwise presidential structure is to provide some degree of autocratic control to a debate through the coordination of discussion, the enforcement of parliamentary procedure, and the authority to close lines of discussion that are not profitable. The need for such a structure is directly proportional to ideological disparity and size.

"I would posit that as the Non-Democratic Alliance is at its root an ideological organization centered around a certain class of national-level determination structures, it is somewhat unlikely that our individual ideologies would diverge very much inside the narrow domain of discussions that the Non-Democratic Alliance have any authority over. It is also intuitively obvious that, for the time being, the Non-Democratic Alliance qua a meeting of the various heads of the member nations is small. Therefore, as ideological disparity within the delegation body of the Alliance is small and the size of the delegation body is small the likelihood of rapid consensus is high and the need of a presiding body low.

"Based on this, I concur with King-Emperor Owen Warwick's statement that, for the time being and considering the status of the Alliance as what it is, we do not need a Council. Our ability to collectively quickly come to agreement on issues, both theoretical and demonstrated, indicates that functionally the Council is somewhat redundant. I understand that maintaining the Council for some sort of traditional purpose may be desirable from some viewpoints; however, maintaining structures based solely on traditional desire for connection with the past does not adhere to form following function and may indeed inhibit more effective adaptation at need to some unexpected future event where some form of leadership would be beneficial but the Council as it currently stands would be non-optimal."

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Treznor
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Postby Treznor » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:07 am

Dear gods, this is not what I hoped for. Treznor rubs his temples briefly as he contemplates the ramifications of the proposals so far. Consensus appears to be in favor of dismantling the Council, and not even Nathicana's diplomatic skills can force their peers to accept alliance rule by fiat. Perhaps a compromise would be acceptable.

"The world is quiet, for the moment, and as my good friend AdminCoordinator points out, the crusading hordes for democracy have subsided. However, I don't believe that this peace is -- or can ever be -- permanent. I recall the Great Wall of China was built over the course of several generations not because of a single assault but because of repeated waves of Mongol incursions along their borders. For the moment, the Mongols are resting in their tents, but I don't believe for a moment they aren't eyeing our borders waiting for another opportunity to bring enlightenment to us at gunpoint.

"I seem to have a reputation for paranoia, what with there being only two types. But when we wrote the Mandate we allowed for peaceful cooperation as well as military support. We can amend the Mandate to focus more on the peaceful operations than the military ones, but I think it would be unwise to leave our joint forces to committee decisions. I wouldn't wish that hell on anyone.

"Perhaps, instead, we can form new councils to handle specific divisions of labor. We can have a War Council that handles the maintenance and disposition of our joint forces. We can have a Diplomatic Council for dealing with outsiders at an alliance level. Perhaps we can have a Trade Council for existing trade members, and more as such needs are identified. This will remove the need for a ruling council without putting our functions at the mercy of an overall committee. These smaller councils would issue reports to the Alliance on a quarterly basis.

"Should we choose to accept my proposal, our Mandate would need to be modified accordingly."

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S-14
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Postby S-14 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:48 am

The AdminCoordinator gently raises one antennae in a passable imitation of the gesture more commonly associated with eyebrows as she turns her head to 'look' at Devon. "The joint forces, I am made to understand, are currently organized under their own military chain of command operating on general orders based on our collective agreement rather than Council fiat, thus it does not appear that the fear of 'rule by committee' imposing upon joint forces operation is a logical one. Historically the joint forces have been fully capable of pursuing their defensive mission based on their own initiative in response to local situations. I doubt very few of us are strategic masterminds of any caliber and so having the authority for individuals to make military decisions would probably end up to be counter-productive. We merely establish political ends to achieve by the military means, and those ends we generally have already established through collective action, making the Council responsible for them essentially irrelevant.

"If the utility of a single broad council is being questioned then the utility of several small councils can only be questioned moreso. Analysis of the psychological and social functioning of small groups indicates that taking a small group and dividing it into smaller spheres of overlapping political power only tends to multiply the tendency to 'play politics' as individuals attempt to optimize their power in the precarious balance of scales. It also seems to follow the logic of putting form before function; we do not generally use the Alliance diplomatically with outsiders on an alliance level, so what purpose a council when a case-by-case designated individual will do? The same argument applies to trade and most other functions; these statements can be devolved to the best-suited party in any circumstance, especially considering that outside our meetings here and the joint forces the Alliance generally lacks independent Alliance-only diplomats, spokespersons, and mercantile interests that would require leadership from such subCouncils.

"I perhaps was not clear earlier, and for that I apologize. I have a tendency, as you all know, to be rather verbose. To explain, I believe our capacity for rapid collective agreement precludes the need for a Council at this time. Should a situation in the future demand it, Councils or their equivalent can be developed ad hoc or, should the Alliance expand to an extent where a presidential body is required, a Council can be reinstated. For the time being, any argument about who should be on the Council seems irrelevant because, as it has been noted, only one current Council seat has used that seat to any effect. This would tend to suggest that a tripartite council is not necessary. Historical and contextual analysis further indicates that this council seat has applied its authority primarily in the seat-holder's sphere of influence, which I do not intend as a slight--merely an observation. As members in good standing it seems reasonable to expect any of us to be capable of doing exactly the same thing with the best interests of the Alliance in mind. Not all groups require a selected leader; the smaller the group and the less ambitious the goals, the less likely such a designated leader is required. Our group is small and our goal is simple. The realities of modern warfare indicate that if the joint forces are incapable of acting effectively on their defensive general orders for the short period of time a small group such as ours can make a decision, then the circumstance is one where even having a hypothetical clear-eyed decisive leader would be of no benefit. The realities of the psychologies involved in our generally autocratic structures and personalities also tends to indicate that if such a leader or presidential group had to make a decision in contravention of the collective consensus, the Alliance would be likely to shatter. We are too small for 'personal' slights to be lost in the inertia of the group and we are too emphatic on our own sovereignty that such a use of authority would appear to contravene the stated purpose of the Alliance.

"In any case, it currently appears that our minimalistic alliance structure even now has excess structure when its intended purpose is taken into account. I do not see how adding further structure and bureaucracy on top of that will be helpful unless it is our intent to make the Alliance more encompassing and directive, or at the very least more of an entity independent of its individual membership."

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:01 am

For the first time in quite some time, Nathicana felt like things were quickly spiraling out of control. Out of her control in any case. And while there were concepts she could agree with in much of what had been said, the fact remained that if she were honest, relinquishing any control over a project she’d put so much effort into working once she’d gotten behind it, chafed more than a little.

Not that she cared to openly admit that.

Still, no one had a problem with a Ruling Council at the time they were accepted, so why the need to change things now?

“So we agree that we’ve been successful. And we’ve been successful doing things the way we’ve done them, with the structure we began with. There can be some common sense to the saying ‘if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ now and then. And while I respect the input of each and every member here, as our past dealings I would hope reflect, the idea of introducing increasingly democratic processes to an alliance that was founded and run as a decidedly non-democratic entity seems somewhat laughable, to be blunt.”

“True, we haven’t inducted any new members of late, but that doesn’t mean we cannot. Though there is not an immediate need for alliance projection, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be needed, and likely in a more timely manner than can be achieved by quorum. Our charter outlines our methods in those regards and others. Are you proposing we change most of the basics the NDA was founded on, then? We have all managed, even in times of difficulty and disagreement to work through it all together, and I’ve enough faith in our members that should something arise, we will continue to work it out between us, regardless of how the alliance is organized. I suppose what I’m asking in essence, is whether or not change is actually necessary to begin with, or just something that’s being suggested because we haven’t been as active as in the past and people are needing something different to feel like we’re doing something other than sitting and waiting for something to do as a group?”

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S-14
Secretary
 
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Founded: Antiquity
New York Times Democracy

Postby S-14 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:09 pm

The AdminCoordinator swaps antennae for raising, her translator taking on a bemused tone. "If collective action were purely and only democratic, then I would not be here, Imperatrice Nathicana D'Aquisto. My proposal merely increases the size of the executive oligarchy... on that thought, certainly there was some discussion between Council members before coming to collective decisions? That clearly was not offensively democratic, no?

"There seems to be some confusion in arguments at this point. We do agree that we have been successful with what we have had so far. The question is are we trending towards continued success? It has been noted we have not been as active as we once were? I doubt anyone will say that we are broken; what seems more likely is that we are sub-optimal. How do we, therefore, optimize the system for what can reasonably be expected? Saying that this is simply how we have always done is an argument from tradition and precludes the possibility that with change can come improvement. There is also statement that we need a Council for rapid decision-making with the apparent intimation that we also need it for unity, and yet there is also the statement that our members can work things out between them regardless of how the alliance is organized. I simply argue for the latter: our organization, given its size and its clarity, should be sufficiently fluid to adapt to given situations. Should we be at war, there will be a war council. Should we have alliance-wide diplomatic targets, there will be a diplomacy council. Should we develop alliance-wide trade targets, there will be a trade council. Should we not need them at any given time, we should not have them.

"Hence, in this slice of time, as there are no initiatives requiring a rapid-response executive there should be no rapid-response executive." The Blue raises her arms and lowers her head, approximating a shrug despite having solid, immobile shoulders. "On the one hand, we could nominate such councils-in-waiting to remain on standby until they are individually needed--although they would have no authority until activated--if this would alleviate fears that we would not be sufficiently flexible or fast enough. On the other hand, we could now establish goals and missions that would require the continuance of the Council in its current form if absolutely no change is desired. Do not take my argument as one of dissent or trouble-making--it is simply a philosophy that needs to be expressed. I, as representative of the panNorm, are of course extremely flexible whatever happens to be the outcome of our deliberations."

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Dread Lady Nathicana
Retired Moderator
 
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Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:29 pm

“My apologies if my words offended – that was not my intention, Admin-Coordinator; not to anyone. I suppose I’ve become accustomed to the way things have been since the inception, and have been somewhat reluctant to make changes that affect the organization’s foundations. The concept of creating more complexity, in my mind, doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then we each have our methods of taking care of things, and hence the differing opinions on what may or may not serve us best in the end,” Nathi offers, then sighs quietly.

“I suppose the nature of things is to grow, change, and move forward. I have no desire to put myself at odds with any of you. I have valued not only your support and contributions to our alliance as a whole, but the various leaders and representatives themselves for their guidance, input, and reliability in times of peace and conflict. If change is truly what the group as a whole desires …”

She shrugs slightly, settling back in her seat and taking up her glass, her expression resigned. “Then I shan’t stand in the way of it. Whatever else, we have been effective as a whole, and are stronger on account of it. I would rather change things than run the risk of losing what we’ve had entirely.”

LOS Communications - Devon {
>>Well then. This certainly would up the timeframe on retirement, I suppose. It isn’t exactly how I’d thought to handle it, but then again, life seldom does go to plan. As much as I hate to admit it, it would give the children the opportunity to play to their strengths while taking advantage of the support of alliance heads as a whole, who would no doubt help prevent any potential missteps.

You’ve seen this for some time, haven’t you? And I’ve simply been too stubborn to see it. We seem to have had our time, and the world as we know it has passed us by somehow. <<
}

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Kaenei
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 198
Founded: Antiquity
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kaenei » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:21 am

Sophia found herself nodding every so often to the strange words of the AdminCoordinator - though they were still words nonetheless. "I cannot help but agree with the spirit and tone of the AdminCoordinator and therefore the opinion of S-14 at large. With the current geopolitical situation as it is, I cannot see a reason for the need to continue the ruling Council in its current state."

Turning her head first towards Devon, and then Nathicana, the Governor-General dipped her head slightly. "Unless there is another option to be explored the position of the Serene Union, through me, remains the dissolution of the Ruling Council of the Non-Democratic Alliance until such time as a coordinated Alliance response to a threat or oppertunity is required."

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Dread Lady Nathicana
Retired Moderator
 
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Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:21 pm

The general consensus had been made fairly clear, and in truth, her fellow leaders did have a point: The NDA had been operating loosely, and successfully, for many years without the ruling council truly having to step in, make decisions, or do much of anything but figurehead the organization. Like it or not, times had changed, and the need for such methods had fallen by the wayside. As her husband pointed out in the last meeting, it was a testament to their success. It was just hard for her to accept that this was the end result.

Letting go was not something Nathicana ever did easily, if ever when she could manage it. Having fought and worked so hard and so long for the things she had, it simply wasn't in her nature. And it was also part of the problem with moving on as they had discussed.

The children had been doing well. They were surrounded by excellent support, good friends, knowledgable leaders and staff to assist, had good minds, and had everything they should need to do what they had been raised to do at their disposal. This was one of the last steps to take.

After refilling her glass, and taking a long, slow drink of the wine she'd started on earlier, Nathicana let out a quiet sigh, and began to type out what she had been fighting typing for weeks now.

To my Esteemed Friends and Fellow NDA Members,

In order to reaffirm the opinions and preferences aired at our last meeting, that we might carry on in the manner we have with the mutual respect and cooperation we have enjoyed, I hereby announce the formal dissolution of the Non-Democratic Alliance Ruling Council. As the last serving founder who has carried the role, let me again state my gratitude for the dedication, the service, and the support we have all received from one another over the years, and to congratulate us as a group for the success of our alliance.

As agreed, there are absolutely no plans to disband the alliance, or to change the comfortable relationships we have worked to cultivate. Ironic as it may seem to have our organization adapt officially to one of a more democratic bent insofar as alliance-wide decisions go, having thought long and hard over the discussions we have had, it does seem to be in our best interests.

I hope that we will be able to continue to work together in this and other ventures, and that as needs arise, that we will again turn to one another for aid and support as needed. We will deal with situations as they arise, and will leave the checks, balances, and infrastructure we have established in place.

We will of course continue to staff our embassy on Unity Island, and all that should change is the release of the Ruling Council mantel under which I have been honored to have your support. In hopes that our nations will continue to grow and prosper, I humbly step down and turn my eyes to the future, and a new chapter in our organization's storied history.

With Sincere Respect,

--Nathicana D'Aquisto, Dread Lady and First Imperatrice of the Dominion - Proud NDA Member
Last edited by Dread Lady Nathicana on Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Treznor
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7343
Founded: Antiquity
Democratic Socialists

Postby Treznor » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:11 pm

Treznor looks over the missive pensively, unsuccessfully trying to ignore his son's unrestrained glee over Nathicana's news.

"You'll see, Papa! This is a fantastic step forward, not just for our Empire but our allies as well!" Marcus is practically bubbling over, which draws Treznor's attention once again. "More participation means stronger alliances and greater attachment to the NDA's principles! Who knows what potential members had been holding back because they were afraid of being left out?"

Treznor favors his son with a frown, and then pauses. There's more to Marcus' glee than just victory. There's also a hint of...anticipation. The frown turns into a glare.

"Stop tweaking me," he orders vainly. He knows better. He really does. But his temper is already foul and Marcus' teasing isn't helping any.

"Oh, Papa. Always so stodgy. Come on, let's go to dinner. You'll feel better with a steak inside you."

Treznor stabs the power button to his terminal hard enough to make it creak in protest. Although petty, that minor threat of violence makes him feel fractionally better. "Fine. Just stop gloating."

"Of course, Papa," Marcus replies demurely. Again, it's just a facade. Treznor knows it, and he knows Marcus is aware of his knowledge. But the display of submission is sufficient.

When the hell did the boy learn to manipulate me so well?

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Dread Lady Nathicana
Retired Moderator
 
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Founded: Antiquity
Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:54 am

Fabian Mancuso had to admit - he had enjoyed a decidedly easy job, for the most part. Here on Unity Island, the weather was warm and inviting, the scenery had only grown more beautiful as the years passed, and he'd never taken any issue with his fellow delegates, nor the staff that circulated through depending on the individual member's needs.

He'd chosen to remain here in residence for a number of reasons, not the least of which among them was the opportunity for peace and quiet and contemplation.

The NDA had indeed become more successful than he had imagined initially. Most of the day to day business passed so seamlessly as to almost be rote. What few hiccups existed on occasion, were limited to the upper echelons, and he couldn't recall, since the decision to disband the council, when there had been another worth noting.

Reports from di Medici's office noted trade was lively, and indeed, assisted through the Trade Network Association's ongoing, quiet efforts. Machiavelli station remained a hub of activity, again, quietly going about its business of entertaining, hosting, and serving as a port for travel and trade. The joint forces who rotated in and out from the island were organized, precise, and prepared, in spite of the fact that no one had seen fit to offer them a challenge since some of the unfortunate issues up on Mars.

However, recent concerns from the home office had him reviewing the status of Unity overall, checking up on the security, the state of the shields that had quietly been put in place to cover key points on the island if called for, the ability of the joint forces to deploy at a moment's notice, and other such matters.

So far, everything seemed to be in acceptable order. Supplies were stocked, as always, to withstand a prolonged siege in their underground network connecting the embassies and other strategic points. He was currently going down through his checklist of remaining items as he sat out on the balcony of the Dominion embassy overlooking the central circle where the other buildings were situated.

There was a soft breeze blowing through the warm, humid air, stirring the palms that stood on either side. The gardens below brought a pleasing blend of exotic scents to his attention, and he made a note to visit them later to select a bloom or two for his office, as was his habit. As a courtesy, he prepared a quick report and notification for his fellow delegates and their offices as to status, ongoing efforts, and the gentle reminder from his own home office for continued vigilance in spite of their comfortable position here.

To my esteemed friends and allies,

As many of you are aware, outside our island paradise, there continues to be a measure of strife and conflict. In the grand arena, there are wars, rumors of wars, and concerns that may directly or tangentially come to affect us.

To that end, we have begun a more in-depth assessment of our status here - of our defenses, the readiness of our joint forces, our supplies, and other key points. I have taken it upon myself to ensure that there are ample supplies, as always, but would encourage everyone to take stock of their personal lists and methods to be sure we are prepared for a worst-case scenario, should it ever come to that.

Thus far, no problems have been reported, and as usual, things appear to have been maintained appropriately, as intended. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as we continue our assessment, and if we can in any way be of service.

Sincerely,

-- Fabian Mancuso, Dominion Representative to the NDA

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Treznor
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7343
Founded: Antiquity
Democratic Socialists

The wheel turns.

Postby Treznor » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:48 am

Devon Treznor scowled as he looked over the latest intelligence reports. The self-styled International Coalition for Expansion wasn't threatening any Imperial interests, but they were rattling their sabers against smaller, easier targets. It was precisely against this sort of behavior that the NDA had been formed in the first place.

The dossier on the ICE's member nations indicated that they were mostly small fry trying to be big fish in a small pond. Unfortunately, even small fry could have a destabilizing influence on a region. Plus, their aggressive stance just plain irked him. Treznor was never fond of bullies. That's why he carried a big stick.

He attached a note to the reports and flagged them for diplomatic review. This needed to be presented at Unity Island for discussion. It had been a while since the members had needed to stir themselves, but he was a firm believer in nipping problems in the bud.

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Gehenna Tartarus
Minister
 
Posts: 3282
Founded: Antiquity
Corporate Police State

Postby Gehenna Tartarus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:19 am

There were some things that were brought to Gehenna’s attention, while there were other things that were normally dealt with by her staff. Letters or missives from fellow rulers always made it to her desk, especially if one of them was a member of the NDA. The Empire of Tartarus was not a member of many alliances, in fact the NDA was the only one that was an organisation of sorts, mostly it made alliances on a nation by nation basis.

The young woman looked over the note that had been attached and then scanned through the dossier. While ICE seemed like it would be an important and maybe threatening alliance, from what she had heard of them, she could not say she was overly impressed. A large part of their problem was most of the members seemed more interested being in an alliance than actually doing anything with said alliance. And while she was in no way concerned with the implications of the alliance, it had been a long time since a meeting was called on Unity Island. If a meeting was to take place, she let it be known that she would be there if needed, or a representative depending on the level of the audience required.
Nation name: The Empire of Tartarus
Nationality: Tartarian

Ruler: Her Imperial Majesty, Gehenna, Empress of Tartarus

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