Off-topic and Chatter: The Jolly Boar Inn => Fandom Discussion - The Secret Garden => General Chatter - The Boozer => Tolkien & LOTR => Topic started by: Jubal on April 08, 2015, 08:51:59 PM

Title: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 08, 2015, 08:51:59 PM
OK, the Election Campaign now begins truly in earnest.

The results of the hustings round were that Green Arda, MACHO, MEAD, and the WTA are all major parties in the election, with the SSS as a minor party.


This is your chance to really hammer the politicians on what YOUR constituency wants. They've argued with one another a fair bit, now it's a case of them having to answer lots of questions from around Middle-earth (though I imagine we'll still argue amongst ourselves a fair bit)...

From HanSolo's SSS, I need your choices of where to stand. You get to either pick five constituences where you think you'll do best, or one broad region (the regions as shown in the main thread). You should ideally declare these as soon as possible so people know where they can vote for you!

From everyone, I need details of your election operation. You must publicly declare your leader's seat and your deputy leader's seat; you will get decent sized boosts in both of these. You can also "deploy" four other smaller Get Out the Vote operations, which you do not have to publicly reveal, though you can do (if you want to keep them secret, message me with your choices). You can only put one GOTV operation in a constituency, but you can double them up with a leader's seat, and as it's STV your leader and deputy leader can stand in the same seat.

Also, obviously, there are questions to be answered. Please try and stick to the questions asked, in this round. Go go go!

This round continues until April 25 or thereabouts (I've slipped the time forward a bit from the original timetable), at which point people can start sending in voting choices.

Best of luck!
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 08, 2015, 08:56:54 PM
Right, as my first MEAD post in this round, I will confirm my own target seats and selections, as I'm running things it's only fair to ensure I don't get influenced by any secret choices anyone else makes.

Our party leader, Alatar, will stand in Dorwinion
Our deputy, Pallando, will stand in Umbar
Our four additional targets (I'm not doubling up at all) will be Harad & Harondor, Dunland, Arthedain, Angmar and Forochel, and Cardolan.

Vote for MEAD! Vote for YOUR area! Vote for YOUR freedom!
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 08, 2015, 09:24:38 PM
Also, a PSA to ensure equal access to information:

The models mentioned in the previous thread suggest the following areas of potential strength. Whether the model (which I cobbled together in excel) means anything at all is anyone's guess (it's probably meaningless, I would not advise taking these into account except where they correlate with common sense), but so candidates can see the predictions given:
- MEAD will do best in Umbar, Harad, Luin & Lindon, Evendim, and Arthedain.
- MACHO will do best in the Riverlands, Erebor & Dale, the Iron Hills, and Rhovanion
- The WTA will have its strongest results in Dol Amroth, the Vales, West Gondor, Rohan, and Ithilien
- Green Arda will have a fairly evenly distributed vote, but will do best in Cardolan, Upper Anduin, Mirkwood & Lorien, and Rhudaur & Eregion
- The SSS will likely do best in Umbar, Harad, Angmar, and Nurnen.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: HanSolo on April 08, 2015, 11:43:29 PM

We shall claim Nurnen, Angmar, Rhudar, Upper Anduin and Minas Tirith

(Do not mock Shagrat's choices but applaud his bold claim on the people of the Original Capital City - he and his supporters may stage a Glorious March there)

Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 09, 2015, 12:38:15 AM
Just to let you all know, what we're doing would probably look like this:

Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on April 09, 2015, 05:24:12 PM
As a party that believes in transparency, MACHO shall publicly declare all their choices here:

Leader (Elladan): Rhudaur and Eregion
Deputy Leader (Elrohir): The Iron Hills

Our other targets: The Riverlands, Central Rhovanion, Emnet and Entwash, Dunland and the Isen

Vote MACHO. Make the right choice for a fairer, more prosperous Middle-earth for everyone.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Meneldur on April 10, 2015, 01:47:08 PM
The WTA's leader, Prince Imrahil, shall stand for election in his home constituency of Dol Amroth and the Coasts. His deputy, Angbor of Lamedon, shall stand in the Vales of Gondor.

Our special target constituencies shall be Minas Tirith, Erebor & Dale, The Riverlands, and the Iron Hills.

Vote WTA for a stable society and economy, for equality, justice and freedom, for strong infrastructure and free trade, and for good sense and moderation in all decisions. Long live the King!
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on April 13, 2015, 08:46:15 PM
In an attempt to get a debate going....

MACHO feel there has been an excessive focus on economic matters so far and that voters would prefer to hear about another area of policy. As such, we thought we would take this opportunity to lay out our education policy in more detail and invite the other parties to do the same:

Vote MACHO for a fairer, more inclusive Middle-earth!
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Eowyn on April 14, 2015, 08:39:53 PM
Green Arda roughly agrees with MACHO's proposals for education. As mentioned before, education is an important issue for us, as we believe it is key to improving things for all. Everyone needs to have access to high quality, free education and curriculums should be set by experts, not politicians. A topic-based approach to learning, rather than separate subjects would be favoured. Both vocational and academic tertiary education will be subsidised and of high standard, for the benefit of society as a whole.
Within education there needs to be an emphasis through everything on harmony, respect, care and awareness - be this of other ethnicities, species or gender (in the broadest sense of the word) or nature. The purpose of education is to provide the information with which individuals can become caring citizens in a harmonious society.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tiffmeister on April 15, 2015, 11:34:34 PM
From the elves of Mirkwood I say to these education plans:
"I'd rather die than letting my children go to school with some dwarves."
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 16, 2015, 12:28:07 AM
MEAD roughly concurs with the above parties, but emphasises the need for locally sensitive curricula to provide people with the skills they need for their local economy. Beyond a basis in core subjects (primarily mathematics, natural philosophy, history, geography, and westron), which we agree is needed to give local communities and people the skills to build their businesses and stand up for themselves on a national stage, we would give significant power to local education boards to direct funds and training in local vocational skills. We also recognise that some more scattered areas may have difficulty conforming to a national fixed schooling model, and would create mobile schooling units (provisionally known as "book-wains") to serve sparsely populated or semi-nomadic areas such as Harondor, central Rhovanion, or northern Eriador. We would also look at a similar mobile-unit system to create low-cost but high-impact library services that could be used over a wide area. MEAD will make an education system that is genuinely accessible to all, sensitive to local circumstances to give local people what they need.

The MEAD manifesto will also include strong promises on adult education: additional federal funds will be allocated to areas with low adult literacy rates, to give people the skills they need. We are concerned that other parties, whilst rightly stressing the importance of primary education, are failing to realise the very immediate problem that many of our low-paid and low-skilled workers are being held back by educational difficulties.

We also wish to query MACHO/Green Arda plans for a teaching board. Whilst an idea we are amenable to, we are concerned that the idea of "depoliticised" education would prove to be a fallacy in practice. How would such a board be appointed, if not politically? Would the aim be to ensure political balance within it, and if such aspects get ignored could it not end up with its own serious institutional biases? In the setting of some curriculum areas these details could prove crucial.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on April 16, 2015, 07:50:07 AM
MACHO recognise MEAD's concerns regarding the teaching board. We agree that there is no way to avoid any large consultative assembly becoming political; but that is a failure of the nature of sentient species, not the policy. To endeavour to mitigate the risk, MACHO would ensure that all headteachers have an automatic place on the Board, with representatives of the teaching unions (which we imagine will form) included too. This wider body would then appoint a smaller leadership council to run the Board. We feel this would provide sufficient protection against domination by the political elite.

We also wish to reject the claim that we are not concerned with the problem of adult education - we merely wished to set out our vision for the future. Of course, widespread adult education will be required, and MACHO will ensure that basic skills courses are available for free in all population centres, from rural villages to the largest cities, by correspondence if necessary.

We are concerned that MEAD's policies will lead to differing educational standards across Middle-earth, consigning some areas to perpetual second-class status.

To the voter from Mirkwood: whilst we respect your right to hold such views, it is these very views that have held Middle-earth back for uncounted ages. We would plead with you to give rapprochement a chance, to create a more prosperous, fairer and more tolerant Middle-earth for all. Our Dwarven brethren have been invaluable allies through the years and, as shown by Gimli, they can be altogether admirable. Admittedly, some Dwarves are less sympathetic, but I challenge you to point to any race which does not have members of a more unpleasant disposition. We feel that by working and living together, the races of Middle-earth can finally achieve equality and live in peace. Is that not a goal worth striving for? We therefore urge you to give toleration a chance.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: HanSolo on April 19, 2015, 10:03:15 PM
GARN! The SSS and Shagrat take offense at MACHO's implied slur against the "more unpleasant" Orcish race >:( This proves what we claimed before: the Elves are evil under their pretty demean. Shagrat actually agrees with Elf of Mirkwood - the Elves should be left to educate themselves, segregated from the rest of the peoples of Middle Earth. They've done that for ages past, hoarding knowledge and sneering at us "lesser folk". Let them educate themselves still, while Shagrat and the SSS build a better, brighter, shinier education system for everyone else!

Firstly, Shagrat supports equal education for women and men and is confused as to how this is an issue for the rest of Middle Earth. For centuries Orcs have not discriminated on this basis: our clothes, our duties, even our names are non-gender specific! Shagrat wishes to share this equality with other races, even suggesting identical uniforms to promote the idea that 'male' and 'female' only exist in the loins not the mind.

In terms of what should be taught, while Shagrat unfortunately may not, in this election, spread his wisdom throughout Middle Earth, his curriculum would certainly include lessons on himself and the ideals of the SSS. Regaining what is Yours and Never Surrendering are important life lessons, as is the historical lessons on the Importance of Shinyness. Military training should also be encouraged, even compulsory to defend against the weakness this land suffered during the last days of the Last War. Would Saruman have conquered the Shire in a few months if the Hobbits had had compulsory military training? No. Would Minas Tirith have had so few defenders in its walls if it's farmers and women had been trained in arms instead of evacuated? No. Would the Men of Umbar have drowned themselves at the sight of a ghost army if they'd had proper military training not just naval? Possibly not. Either way, military training is an essential part of the upcoming educational system.

As you can see, Shagrat is a brilliant educationalist, better than those Elvish sneaks, and the SSS is not afraid to put pressure on others to change their way of thinking, to educate them to the right way of thinking.

Vote SSS, Vote Shagrat!  :orc:
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on April 20, 2015, 07:40:54 AM
MACHO are confused - we have not, as SSS so stridently claim, slurred the Orcs in any way, and wonder where the SSS got this impression from. Let us reiterate: MACHO believes in the equality of all races and will enshrine this in legislation.

Whilst we applaud the SSS's commitment to gender equality, we are concerned their educational policies veer dangerously towards the cultic and will simply reinforce the sectarianism, factionalism and inter-race mistrust that have dogged Middle-earh for so long. The last thing the peoples of Middle-earth need is a vast reserve of armed, trained and radicalised militia(wo)men, all of whom mistrust each other. The First Age shows us the perils of mistrust between members of the same race, let alone those of different race....
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Eowyn on April 20, 2015, 09:14:29 PM
Hear, hear
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 21, 2015, 01:27:46 AM
Far from creating different educational standards, MEAD believes that it is only by allowing local areas to decide what is right for them that we can get an education system that genuinely serves the needs of Middle-Earth's people. We will ensure that no area is left behind financially through our federal wealth taxation, and we will ensure that local regions are not trapped in a central "one size fits all" model.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Meneldur on April 21, 2015, 12:54:18 PM
The WTA broadly agrees with the goals for education set out by MACHO. We will institute universal free primary and secondary education, with free further education available to the most academically able, and a wide programme of apprenticeships and training schemes avilable to the rest, preserving the knowledge of our skilled tradesmen and cratsmen.

We too hope that the young of all races will learn together in harmony, although we acknowledge this might be difficult at first. All species will attend the same schools, however we will ensure that all schools have at least one teacher of every race present among the student body, in order to ensure that no minorities feel misrepresented.

The WTA emphatically agrees that educators are the most qualified to determine the structure and practices of education in Middle-Earth, however we agree with MEAD's concerns over the feasibility of any "apolitical" system. Unlike MACHO, we seek to achieve this by ensuring that a proportion of the new appointments to the Upper House are of some of the land's most able educators. These Lords Educational will form the majority of any committees formed to advise the King and Cabinet on educational issues. Additionally, the Minister for Education shall usually be drawn from this group. This is an example of the approach we hope to take towards many areas of governance where expertise is necessary: thus there shall be Lords Environmental, Lords Economic, and Lords Military, drawn from among the leading individuals in the relevant fields, who shall give Parliament, the Government and the Crown supremely valuable guidance on their areas of expertise. This will also ensure that many ministers in His Majesty's Cabinet will be specialists and experts in their fields, rather than politicians with no specific knowledge.

We must criticise MACHO's statement that the failure of an apolitical teaching board will simply be due to "a failure of the nature of sentient species, not the policy". If a policy fails because the people of Middle-Earth cannot function with it, then it is a failure and should not be considered. The WTA does not believe that such excuses for the failure of government are in any way acceptable.

The WTA too must strongly condemn the educational policies of the SSS as strongly divisive and a significant barrier to the progression of our society.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on April 21, 2015, 04:47:07 PM
MACHO would like to make the point that a more apolitical educational system should be at least tried, rather than abandoning all efforts and instituting a political one. If it becomes political, nothing is lost; if it works, much is gained.

We would like to ask the WTA who will control the specialist appointments to their proposed upper chamber? Could this process not be open to abuse?
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Eowyn on April 21, 2015, 08:36:38 PM
Needless to say, Green Arda does not condone of the divisive and discriminatory policies suggested by SSS.

While we like the idea of expert panels for more areas of governance, we also query how the suggested specialist sectoral commission would be elected?

Furthermore, we oppose the male-orientated nomenclature that is suggested for this. This shows the WTA's automatic assumption of a patriarchal way of running Middle Earth. This goes against our beliefs in equality of genders, and Green Arda would strongly oppose this nomenclature. We would suggest names suggest as "specialist group" or "expert commission".

 WTA also refer to His Majesty, but these elections are being held precisely because His Majesty is deceased...
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on April 25, 2015, 01:47:42 AM

People may cast their ballots whenever :)
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Eadfrith on May 03, 2015, 08:57:59 PM
Voting in both Ithilien and Gorgoroth & Dol Amroth and the Coast has now finished, but a significant part of my Gondorian constituents (10-15%), many of whom are ex-service men wish it to be know that they find the entire idea of voting for rulership farcical.
Rule comes not from a mandate from the masses but divine judgement made clear through military victory. They favour a return to the Stewardship as the natural successor to the hereditary kingship of Numenor, and will fight to make it so.

unfortunately, without an elected government, this popular opposition has nothing to oppose... They are therefore going round beating up Orcs, Ubarians and Haradrim as the natural fallback.

What will the new government do to relieve these social tensions?
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Glaurung on May 03, 2015, 09:41:32 PM
Voting is now complete in the Cardolan, Dorwinion & Near Rhun, and Dunland & the Isen constituencies.
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on May 04, 2015, 09:17:35 AM
To relieve social tensions in the lands of Gondor, MACHO will endeavour to create jobs and set up social initiatives to promote harmony and tolerance. As many of the restive constituents are ex-servicemen, we feel they would be ideally suited to joining MACHO's proposed (small) central police and defence forces, where their undoubted skills can be put to use for the good of all of Middle-earth.

MACHO would also like to make the argument that, if a mandate for rule comes from divine judgement, both the Stewardship and the monarchy have evidently incurred divine displeasure, so should not a new democratic form of government be tried? Eru's mind is unknowable to those of us in the Mortal Lands - it may be that democracy is part of his plan for Arda. By joining the central defence and police forces, these ex-servicemen will have the perfect opportunity to find out. They cannot expect a new government to have military success if all the trained military personnel withhold their service to find out if it will be militarily-successful.

Vote MACHO for a fairer government for all!
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Eadfrith on May 04, 2015, 09:49:54 AM
By your own logic, the masses cannot provide judgement on the will of Eru, so cannot decide who holds power!
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Jubal on May 04, 2015, 05:24:41 PM
We of MEAD feel that appeasement is not always the answer when faced with bloodthirst and religious fanaticism. This mentality - the idea of right to rule - is exactly what the free peoples of Middle-Earth have suffered and fought against for so long. It was this mentality that bound together the servants of all autocrats, and it is the antithesis of what MEAD stands for. The idea of binding religiously motivated rabblerousers into the central police force proposed by MACHO will, we think, be of great concern to many residents of Middle-Earth. How will people in Harad or Rhun find it when their central police forces are formed of fanatics who believe in military conquest and the divine right of kings? These ill-thought proposals must be withdrawn; they are only a recipe for further tension and unrest.

We will give local people the powers they need to deal with these problems; given how vast Middle-Earth is, it could be days or weeks before significant central help arrives to deal with unrest, and it is clear that these things need to be dealt with locally. We call upon all involved in such violent movements, and community leaders in their area, to encourage immediate disarmament. Given the high level of tension at this difficult time, we may consider an amnesty should we enter government, but it would be a betrayal of both the specific victims of attacks and the wider communities the attacks have disrupted to indicate that we consider these people anything but criminals. The fires of Gondorian nationalism must not be allowed to consume Middle-Earth; a vote for MEAD will be a vote for standing firm against those who would seek power and domination over others.

As the election moves on, it seems to be becoming clear that it is unlikely any party will be able to form a majority government. We wish to make our first pledges known on this front:
Title: Re: The Middle Earth General Election: THE ELECTION DEBATE
Post by: Tar-Palantir on May 04, 2015, 06:09:55 PM
The point MACHO were making is that no one can know the mind of Eru, therefore who is to say whether a government has his favour? The government must be given a chance and judged on its actions and achievements, rather than condemned for purely ideological reasons. The masses should therefore withhold their opprobrium at this stage.

We disagree with MEAD that we are appeasing one particular section of society. We certainly do not envisage that the defence forces will be made up exclusively of Gondorians (or any other group), but were pointing out that this may be a way that militarily-able members of society could put their skills to better use, rather than fomenting rebellion at home. Any factionalism in any central institution will have a very dim view taken of it by the government. We anticipate the military and the police to be a visible standard bearer for the united society MACHO strives for. Initially, we concede that some areas may feel more comfortable not being policed by representatives of those they have fought so long with, but we hope the high level of training and courteousness of all members and representatives of a MACHO-led government would rapidly overcome such obstacles.

We feel MEAD's proposals to create what are effectively local militias at what they themselves acknowledge is a time of great tension will greatly increase the chances of ethnic cleansing in some areas. Needless to say, this would be disastrous.

With regards to initial pledges, MACHO: