Reelect Griffindor for MoE!

Greetings, everyone!

I trust we all found the new forums to our liking? Because I sure have!

I came to you four months ago seeking to win my first election (despite being in TSP on and off for a decade). To my humbling surprise, you delivered to me a substantial electoral mandate to serve as the Minister of Engagement. I hope you feel your votes last time were worth it (as I believe they were).

I want to recap what my Ministry and I did over the last term and how these actions compared to the platform I ran on.

The platform I ran on back in June laid out the mandates that the Minister of Engagement has; they are:

  • Recruiting and integrating new players

  • Maintaining public infrastructure

  • Setting unified presentation standards

  • Providing graphics

I am pleased to say that on the latter three mandates, the Ministry of Engagement does not need to actively work on a daily basis. That might seem weird to say, but the Ministry of Engagement essentially runs itself. The Ministry of Engagement has a vast infrastructure of dispatches, graphics, and bots that allow the Ministry to function pretty much independently of Ministerial or member input. There have been rumors that the “MoE is dead” and that nothing goes on; this is effectively true because it is that way by its very design.

Circling back to the first of the mandates, recruiting and integrating new players, I must admit that this part of the Ministry cannot be automated. When I entered office, the extent of the recruiting and integration of new members was almost exclusively a DM to a new user of the South Pacific Discord server explaining how they could get involved. Since then, my Ministry sent out a regionwide TG with a survey that sought to analyze what citizens of the South Pacific thought about the forums (if at all). This survey concluded nearly two months ago, and I am saddened to admit that the results analysis phase fell on the back burner. That is why, should I be reelected, I will make analyzing the results of this survey, and implementing its feedback a central part of the next term. We have a brand new forum and a vast untapped region that can use it.

Moving to the last of my original campaign, I said I would aid the Cabinet in collaborating and collectively running the government. I think my fellow Cabinet members and I did a good job running the region the last few months, not making bad press, and generally staying out of the way of the Great Council’s actions.

As I near the end of this (rather long) campaign, I want to recap what I’ve said and lay out my objectives for the upcoming term.

First, the current lack of activity is by design and not directly attributable to whoever is in charge at the time (though they can minimize its appearance).

Second, I will reform and implement the recruitment and integration of new citizens into the forums using the results of the survey I sent out to the RMB.

Third, I will work much more closely with the next Minister of Culture to coordinate these goals.

Fourth, talks of remerging the Ministry of Engagement and Ministry of Culture are in the air again; we might as well look into it and determine what, if any merits, there might be.

Fifth, I intend to, rather quickly, finish the last bits of the internal reforms that I have begun, which resulted from the forum move.

Link to my past campaign: Griffindor as your MoE? I'll take it!

Conflict of Interest Disclosure:


-Current Roles/Positions
-Legislator 2/24/20-
-High Court Justice 6/7/20-
-South Pacific Coral Guard 11/17/20-
-Minister of Engagement 6/17/22 -

-Past Roles/Positions
-Legislator 7/3/16-4/10/18
-Secretary of State 4/3/20-2/24/21
-Chair of the APC 9/24/16-5/31/17
-Vice-Chair of the APC 6/1/17-4/10/18
-Local Council Member 7/1/17-11/17/17
-Citizen 5/2012-12/2014 and 2/26/16-7/3/2016

As far as being abroad, from 2018-2020, I spent time in Balder, was Minister of World Assembly Affairs there for over a year, and also spent my latter months there as Lawspeaker/Talman (Chair) of the Balder Storting/Odelsting (Assembly) before being banned for “attempting to overthrow the King” (really it was democratizing the region, but they didn’t like that either). Since then, some slow progress has been made there, so that is a good step.

Thus concludes my long-winded campaign (and summary of my current term). I will now take any questions that anyone might have.

1 Like

Name one thing that actually was successful or even tried to be that you did during your first term.

What prevents you from accomplishing this currently?

While I’m not going to doubt your experience, but why should the ordinary voter choose you over your opponent(s) or Re-Open Nominations?

Sure, I’ll even give a list.

  1. I said that I would let inform the RMB of the Great Council and how citizens could take part if they desired. This notification happened, and it was later decided internally that it might not be best to continually get newer players to participate in a process they don’t know about yet.

  2. After entering office, I began, independent of my campaign platform, a recruitment reform that sought to bring more active users onto the forums. A survey was developed and conducted. It was around this time that I learned of the forum move, and it was internally decided that we should wait for the forum move to complete so we weren’t advocating for a soon-to-be gone forum. Now that the forum transfer has happened, implementation can happen.

  3. I said that I would be hands-off during my term to allow the heads of each project to function independently, to get away from the idea that the Minister needs to be knowledgeable about each program. I achieved this (perhaps too) well. The next term will see myself getting slightly more hands-on.

  4. The card program: Upon entering office, I initially marked the card program for termination, but kept it alive based on the recommendation of Vietnam. Since then, we have actually seen a couple of new people show interest in the card program, which I hope will give the program a fresh breath in the upcoming term. Similarly, we did use the card program a few times this term, with the MoC and Delegate both making use of our stores of Golden/Legendary cards, so we have the capability to operate as needed.

Much of the background is addressed in point 2 above. However, as to why it can’t be completed now, there isn’t enough time left in the term to effectively roll out a new recruitment strategy that can work long-term.

Well, for starters, if RON wins, I’ll just run again :stuck_out_tongue:

As for my opponent, I am confident that they can do a good job, but I am wary of their overarching campaign focusing on the Card program, which has seen a NationStates-wide decline in use because of changes made by NS. If I secure reelection, I will coordinate closely with them and give them the mandate to do what they can to revive the card program.

As for why specifically you should vote for me over the alternatives; why change horses mid race?

1 Like

Good point; but some people (not me) could be unhappy with the incumbent.

That is definitely a possibility! And I would encourage them to reply to my campaign so that I might remedy their reservations. A candidate cannot grow and be better if they never find out what specific grievances made their constituents unhappy in the first place!

1 Like

Let’s go point by point.

Sure, I seem to recall the Great Council Chair @KrisKringle doing most of the notifying.

Okay but did it? That’s all of your RMB posts on your main nation and there’s not a single one notifying people about the GC. What it done on a different nation? Even if you made a few posts, I don’t consider that a meaningful accomplishment.

I even checked the Coalition of the South Pacific account for good measure.

Fair enough, although interesting we have a first instance of “we could have done something but ended up deciding not to”. In isolation, that would be fine, but this seems to be a trend…

I’ll just be honest: this survey is going to be useless. On-site users either will use an off-site forum because they understand it’s a way to interact with the region and its politics or they won’t because they find the forum too confusing or not worth their time. We can reach out to them more, but a survey won’t help us identify how to reach out to them or what messaging to use. We’ve done surveys like this in the past. They don’t get us anywhere.

Also, let’s note the pattern, “oh, we were going to move forums, so let’s just not do something”. Arguably, fair, but also everyone in the planning process knew it would take a while, and registrants would possibly have transferred (and MoE could help reach out to ensure they transfer!). Not to mention, what kind of outreach program would you have done if you were able to?

Yeah, based on work output this very clearly did not work.

Again, “I had originally decided a direction but didn’t follow through on it”. Again, if this was the only instance where this happened, it’d be reasonable: it’s good to be open to changing your mind. However, when it’s this repeated of a pattern, it represents a lack of determination, leadership ability, and follow through.

We’ve seen this before. Let’s think about how many times we’ve heard this with the card program. “Well, there’s not enough interest, but maybe eventually, and hey look two new people said maybe they would do something!”. I’m not even saying you need to close it, but let’s not act like this is progress or an actual accomplishment, much less progress or an accomplishment that can be attributed to your leadership as Minister. This would have happened even if a rock was Minister.

Okay, but clearly you don’t understand how to make the program sustainable or what needs to happen for that. Those cards are left over from when W&S was in MoE and active in the cards community and farming and donating boat loads of cards. Sure, doling them out for an event is a good thing, but it’s not actual evidence of the program’s ability to operate. Rather, it’s resting on what was already there.

Can you elaborate in a paragraph on the TLDR of what the new recruitment strategy might be?

Summarized: “NS Cards is in general a mess but hey why not I’ll work with someone who wants to revive the program”.

Those two ideas are inconsistent with one another.

Idunno, the current horse doesn’t do much.

You make incredibly valid points. There is much more I could have done and didn’t.

I want to specifically address your point on my decision not to act as being a trend. Prior to my election, I was not in the executive branch. I did not interact with the Ministries and had my preconceived notions about what the MoE does going in. I wisely appointed a fabulous and dedicated deputy (Vietnam) that knew what they were doing and how the Ministry ran, and they greatly tempered my preconceived notions on what the department did and could realistically do.

Be that as it may, I find it incredibly disheartening that you are a Cabinet Advisor (in addition to MoFA) and did nothing to advise me (A first-time cabinet member) on problems you perceived to be happening within the Ministry. The only problem that I heard of was a lack of activity within the ministry, and that was only as the election process was about to begin, a bit too late to change course at that point. If you had reservations about a pointless survey, I would have greatly appreciated your input at that moment. Rather, I am told they don’t work long after the fact. I want to be clear, I am not blaming you for any of my potential failures, but merely expressing dissatisfaction that you, or any other more experienced member of the government, did not attempt to provide input.

Often problems are not readily seen by less experienced members of government until they are pointed out to them. Obviously, learning to identify potential problems is a skill that needs refinement, but I don’t quite see how I can refine them if we change horses.

There is a reason that out of our 40+ legislators, only 5-8 people (at best) run in the elections. We place far too high a bar and unreasonable expectations on our ministers, and they don’t want to scorn for failing. The region is not any worse off by my tenure as Minister of Engagement, and I’d argue it was a net positive, because at least some progress was made.

I hope this doesn’t come across as me blaming “everyone but myself” for the Ministry’s perceived problems, as I accept full responsibility for whatever did, or most importantly, did not take place during my term. All I can say is that I will do better in the next term.

1 Like

Given this, do you intend to adjust your approach to the ministry and its mission so as to make it more accessible and easily manageable?

Most definitely!

Some work is already underway (as our global moderators on discord have seen) to consolidate the Ministry and simplify the structure. All ministry members will be able to work on any project they wish since there are no more masking differences. In turn, the ministry also has instituted activity requirements to maintain membership. These requirements are not burdensome and are adaptable as times change.

I still intend to be a general supervisor and stay hands-off on the day-to-day affairs, but the crucial difference is that I won’t hold back and will be more hands-on when the need arises. What can generally be moderated by bots or a single person (or two) will be left to those who know how to use them. The remaining aspects (writing dispatches, engaging with new players, etc.) will be more hands-on.

I do not expect a brand-new (or heck, even an experienced) NS player to be able to know how to code and run bots. However, they should not be dissuaded from being in the Ministry or even becoming ministers themselves one day just because they don’t quite know the highly technical side of the ministry.

Over the long term (I alluded to this in my campaign), I can see a “recreation” of the MoRA and allowing anything that does not require a high degree of skill to be included within it. Programs that require know-how can be spun off into private projects and called upon as needed.

1 Like

Do you think the ministry currently handles too many jobs and some of the jobs themselves are too difficult? If yes, do you have any legislative or executive solutions in mind?

1 Like

Thank you for the question! It looks like it will be the last one before the election begins.

With the current amount of active projects that are idle (because of automation), the job is much more manageable than it would be otherwise. At this time, the job, as long as the teams (or just persons) that handle the automated tasks are actively maintaining it, the remaining jobs are manageable. However, if we attempt to hold our ministers accountable for the action/inactions of what they cannot do (such as coding a bot to do a task) that is unfair.

I have alluded to possible legislative solutions (spinning off more complex projects into independent units and merging the rest with MoC). As far as executive functions go, I do not envision the collective executive needing to take on further tasks, but perhaps the next PM would assist as they perceive a need.

I thank you for the question, and I hope I answered it to your satisfaction.

As voting will be starting in about 40 minutes, it does not appear that any more questions will be asked (but ask away if they come!).

I want to thank everyone for electing me to serve as Minister of Engagement for this past term. I was beyond humbled that I finally achieved election to an office within the region. I am confident in the hope that I will be reelected to Minister of Engagement.

I made mistakes during my term, and I can only say that I will do better in the coming term, should you allow me the chance.

I wish my opponent the best in the election, and, win or lose, I look forward to working with them in the upcoming term.

Thank you.

Apologies for a delayed response - it’s a busy time IRL for me.

For starters, I’m not a Cabinet Advisor–I held that role in the previous Cabinet and simply haven’t been unmasked on Discord. There are no Cabinet Advisors this term as none were appointed by the new Cabinet.

For another, I’m the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is not my job or primary responsibility to oversee or direct other Ministers. In fact, if I did such a thing too much outside of my portfolio, it would risk undermining the coherency of the Cabinet because it would undermine the authority and role of the Prime Minister in leading the Cabinet. While I participate in group discussions, it would not be (and is not) my place to micromanage other Ministers.

This talking point of “why didn’t you say it sooner” would also make more sense if I was privy to more of what was going on in MoE. I wasn’t, as I’m not a member of MoE staff. Furthermore, Legislators have every right to criticize the job performance of Ministers in their roles. The role of providing guidance and leadership to the Ministers lies with the Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister were running for re-election, I could raise an issue with the PM as well, but they’re not. Ideally Ministers receive support, but ultimately they’re responsible for their own direction and the success of their Ministry, and you don’t have to have seven terms in Cabinet to know that “ah, yes, actually accomplishing something is a thing I’m supposed to do during my term!”.

All righty:

Except, by virtue of your cabinet advisor masking (whether it be by mistake or not), you still had access to all the MoE areas. I (as MoE) do not have access to the MoFA areas or any other insular ministry areas. You then can’t claim later in your post that you were not privy to the information in those channels.

Yet, you put on the hat of a legislator to lay critique on me. Don’t get me wrong, I think that is perfectly fine, and criticism should come from all sources. However, I still view you as a minister too, so it could be argued that the cabinet’s coherency is now publicly called into question, rather than in a private area.

I don’t think it rises nearly to that level, but a simple PM to me saying, “Hey Griff, I’m acting as an (experienced) legislator right now, and not a minister, and I think you should work more to work on XYZ.” (To which I would have responded, “Hey, HS, good to hear from you. Thank you for your feedback, and I will work on implementing that!”) would have gone a long way to see an improvement to the work and results of this past term.

This is plainly false. I have gained access after the roles being slightly scrambled after Discord moderation redid the roles. I did not have access prior to that.

It is one thing for me to avoid doing things that undermine the Cabinet’s coherency - especially in terms of the structure of Prime Minister directives being issued and then followed - during the bulk of the term of the Cabinet. However, the current Cabinet (which we are both members of) is about to enter the transition period, thus the risk of undermining Cabinet coherency is limited to null.

With all due respect, experienced Cabinet members can provide useful advice on how to implement proposals. They should not be required to comment on the very necessity that you demonstrate actual accomplishments during your term. No matter how inexperienced a Minister is (and I will note, you are not as “green” in NS as you imply, as you have Cabinet experience in another region and extensive non-executive government experience in TSP), they should understand the importance of making meaningful progress on a project and communicating that to the public, even if they want help or advice on how to do that.

I kid you not, the extent of my executive experience in Balder was copying a GA or SC resolution to another thread, make it look formatted, and post it to the forums. From there, I posted a poll where 2-3 people (on a good day) voted, and I told NES to vote a certain way (which he then didn’t :roll_eyes:).

Being MoE is leaps and bounds more in-depth and engaging that any past executive experience I had, and I am grateful for the shock of it. :stuck_out_tongue:

In reality, I do appreciate your feedback and will work hard to learn from it in the coming term, should I be given a second chance.