Statement from the Chief Justice on the 20th Anniversary of the Coalition
Twenty years ago Killer Monkeys, the creator of our first forum, announced elections for the first ever government of the region. Our region, barely five months old, thus took its first steps towards democratic governance.
This journey began with uncertainty as the election was suspended first due to a coup d’état and then when Killer Monkeys disappeared, prompting Tsunamy to create our second forum. It was here that the election was finally held and by 14 July 2003 we had our first Cabinet: Bistmath as Vice President, Tsunamy as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, KISS FANS as Secretary of the State, and Desert Rose as Secretary of Justice.
The fledging Coalition faced a second test later in the year when the government was criticised for its decision to operate offsite and for its democratic credentials. It would have been easy to ignore the criticism or expel those who spoke, but Justice Secretary Slackervania listened and engaged them, and eventually they announced the first ever Great Council of the South Pacific, where all South Pacificans would be invited to discuss the governance of the region.
These two events are perfect reminders that the Coalition was born democratic and even when challenged it held even tighter to that democratic conviction, listening instead of suppressing and reforming instead of mindlessly preserving. It is this conviction that sustained us when challenged in subsequent years, as happened in three separate instances. There came those who pretended to know better than the people, who claimed that they had the authority to do away with all the laws and implement a new system, yet the people spoke, with their words and their endorsements, and the Coalition endured.
This is also a fine time to remember that the Coalition owes itself not only to those who have held power over the years, or even those who first created the government, but most fundamentally to the regular citizens who call the South Pacific their home; to those who partied with lampshades, who rode drama llamas, who ate both cake and pie, and who drank copious amounts of South Pacific Iced Tea. It is thanks to the legislator, to the staffer, to the roleplayer, and to even to those who are content to socialise without any further involvement, that we have a community worth our while.
As we celebrate the twenty years of our government let us recommit to our ideals of democracy and openness, but let us also celebrate our citizens, past and present, who have spent time and effort to build the Coalition into what it is today.
Chief Justice of the South Pacific