Following the live Prime Minister debate that I hosted on Discord between candidates Em and ProfessorHenn, I decided to host an interview for Delegate candidate Griffindor (known on the NationStates site as Ebonhand.
Griffindor sat down with me the evening of Thursday July 20 for about an hour on Discord to talk about their campaign. The transcript (lightly edited for clarity) is provided below. Feel free to share your comments on the forum thread, on the RMB, or ask the candidate questions in their campaign thread.
Please also upvote the Dispatch version
HS (interviewer): Welcome @Griffindor, and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me to talk about your platform for Delegate. I figured after last night’s PM debate that it would be good to talk about the other position on the ballot this July, which is Delegate.
First, I want to offer you a chance to give an opening statement.
Griffindor: Well, first of all, I would like to thank you for extending an invitation to me to be here this evening. This is my first debate within these hallowed halls. I have seen these debates several times over the years and look forward to the friendly (
or not-so-friendly) banter that we have tonight.
I think with 45 minutes we will be able to dive pretty deep into my campaign and what I plan to do for the next six months if elected.
HS: Heh, that’s fair, let’s get started.
Many of our recent successful Delegates have brought with them a depth of history for RMB interaction and/or advanced technical skills, graphic design, Dispatch writing, etc. One could say you’re a candidate from a less technical era of NS. How do you think your skills and personality will work in the Delegacy?
Griffindor: Excellent first question.
I will be the first to admit that I do not have the depth of skills as it pertains to graphics, dispatch writing, etc. The skills have always been a desire of mine to learn, but as I said in my campaign thread, it is just something RL me never needed to learn. I hope, as time goes on here, I will continue to learn more about the process and take baby steps in using it.
As for my RMB interaction, I too, will admit that I am not very active on there. I generally find the RMB to be a noisy place and not very conducive to debate. But I plan on making it a point to be much more active there throughout the term.
I have tended to follow the conversation on the RMB, particularly the drama filled portions
HS: In the Great Council, I recall you being supportive of the abolition of the Local Council (I believe you wrote one of the proposals for it). This move had ample backlash from many RMB regulars. How will you work with them and serve as a stable, uniting representative for the region given that history?
Griffindor: Another good one, this is gonna be good!!
Yes, I will definitely admit to being a proponent of Local Council abolishment. However, I also was one of the legislators that voted for the resolution urging the LC to address its errors. Further still, I was a LC member a million years ago. Back when I was LC, we had agendas that we wanted to see accomplished during our terms, projects we wanted to do, and partnerships with the forums we wanted to pursue. Moderation of the RMB was a back burner item back then. Yes, we still did it, but it wasnt with a fancy set of rules and an appeals process. It was just common sense.
When the LC failed to make changes to itself the Great Council took that as a mandate to make changes
I think the PM and cabinet will have to do a lot of work to do integration efforts but that is the delegates job too
be a cheerleader for the forums while making the RMB a place to hangout and have fun!
HS: Let’s talk about integration efforts. I think your mentorship program has had, well, mixed results. A huge pro being its sustainability and a huge con being that it’s had relatively low uptake. What approach will you apply to the RMB to have better results and how will you work with the PM?
Griffindor: A big error that I (and we) and the PM and everyone seemed to identify was its overly bureaucratic nature. Changing the way I approached it led to a decline in raw mentee/mentor pairings, but at least for my own mentees, I noticed a much deeper working relationship than before.
When I come to the RMB, I plan to just be the face that everyone knows and comes to respect as that person that knows what they are doing*
Personalized telegrams, and using the TG system to allow people to ask questions, get guidance and just have someone to talk to will help them get comfortable enough to take that leap offsite and begin working there, and guess what! I’ll be waiting for them on the other side too.
HS: Thanks for that response. I want to shift gears for a bit with this audience question
As Delegate, you would be the Head of State, which in TSP is a rather ceremonial role. Most Delegates haven’t made much of the ceremonial aspect of their role. What is your opinion on that in general, do you think that’s a reflection of South Pacifican culture, and how do you plan on embracing (or not embracing) the ceremonial parts of being Head of State?
Griffindor: As far as working with the PM goes, whoever wins the election I plan on working in tandem with them to ensure that their message gets across (almost forgot that question haha)
I totally plan on being head of state. I have some ceremony stuff in mind and its gonna be lit.
The South Pacific made a very wise decision in separating the head of state and head of government in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt and Great Council. The legal order was made clear that if you want to make decisions for the region, you’ll need to do so through the PM, not the delegacy. It also serves as a great check against a potentially mad PM that perhaps lost their reelection bid and does not want to leave just yet. We have seen countless examples of this across NS and I am glad that TSP made that step to reduce that option.
HS: Specifically, you will use the word “lit” in ceremonies.
Griffindor: If it is required. Yes.
HS: Can you elaborate on what “ceremony stuff”?
Griffindor: Speaking a little bit more on my ceremonial stuff, I envision some delegate addresses to the Assembly. Perhaps maybe set up a tradition (with our first solely elected PM) to have the freshly elected PM be presented to the Assembly by the delegate. Who knows? Maybe I have more up my sleeve as time moves forward?
HS: An interesting idea.
How will you approach conflict in the Assembly as the head of state? Will you be more cautious in your role as a Legislator?
Griffindor: This is something I have actually debated in my internal monologue.
I think it is important for the Delegate to not be overly partisan in their debates within the Assembly. However, for the appearance of activity sake, the delegate must also be debating with their fellow legislators.
If we move to a citizen/legislator split, we might have a non-legislator delegate and the issue would be moot, but until then, my above answer is the guide I intend to follow.
HS: Thanks for sharing. A slightly different pace of question now. Who is the Delegate in the modern era of the office (i.e. post-2016 Great Council) who you most admire and why? How will you strive to follow their example (or not)?
Griffindor: I would honestly have to say Tsu. They became delegate immediately after the coup attempt and served through the GC and then a time after that. For me, I had just returned to TSP from a couple of years of inactivity and was basically starting over in terms of my knowledge of NS. I immediately saw Tsu as a hero and the guiding light for the region while we rebuilt after the coup. So ya, props to @tsunamy for being what I want to strive to be.
HS: An interesting choice. As Delegate, you hold a role in the World Assembly representation of the region. Besides deferring to the PM and OWL or MoWAA (under a Em Premiership), how will you exercise that power responsibly? Would you be willing to help with the OWL/MoWAA’s activities?
Griffindor: As you said, I will follow the PM/their minister’s guidance on voting. Where there is no recommendation I will try to make the decision I feel is best based on my reading of the resolution, how our region feels, and what the “experts” in NSGP are saying, (and our allies, cant forget them!). I would most certainly be willing (and plan to) to get involved in OWL/MoWAA since that would give me advance notice of pending resolutions. Who knows, someone might wanna draft a commend resolution about me
HS: There’s been a lot of criticism in the region lately about the role of “experts” in NSGP or their “consensus”, especially after recent events. Why would you value their input?
Griffindor: The “experts” (party why I quoted that) are very knowledgeable about WA matters. They know the twists and turns of the process and understand the diplomatic scene better than most, even if their rose-tinted classes are crooked from time to time. So with that, you always hear what they have to say then look for evidence to support and ultimately build your own conclusions.
HS: If you were to coup TSP, how would you do it?
Griffindor: I think I would just get to fudgetopia levels of tenure and then just abolish elections at that point. Seems the easiest way to do it… and the least likely way to hurt (at least half) of the regions feelings.
HS: Is that even a coup at that point? But fair enough.
Griffindor: Yes, because I abolished the election outside the Assembly
HS: Now, you have already spoken on my last question, which is cake or pie. I support your cakeitalism. However, I am curious, how will you make sure we don’t have a cake vs pie schism in the region after so many consecutive cake-egates?
Griffindor: Well, it seems that either way, we will have a Pietator as PM, so I will work in tandem with them.
Of course, there may not be a pie/cake schism much longer… glances at banhammer hanging on the wall behind the delegates desk
HS: Alright, let’s wrap up now, I wanted to give you an opportunity to give a closing statement if you’d like
Griffindor: In just a few short days, the first round of the Delegate election will begin. I believe that I have built a strong platform consisting of items that a Delegate should be doing while in office. Should I be elected, I will be this region’s biggest cheerleader and will do my utmost to ensure that we continue to be a beacon of freedom for the less free regions in this game. Working with whoever emerges as PM will also be a central part of my job and I look forward to working very closely with them over the coming term. It is my hope that should I come to you in six months asking for a second term; you can answer the question I will place before you.
Do you think the region is better off now or before I took office? My hope is that the answer will be an obvious yes.
So vote for me in a few days, and then again on the RMB after that!!
HS: My sincerest thanks to you for showing up to participate, Griffindor! I invite everyone to continue the conversation in Griffindor’s campaign thread, I’ll also try to have a transcript of this interview posted before bed tonight. And, no matter what, don’t forget to vote!
Griffindor: Thank you for having me! Its been a pleasure.