Poll

Which two parties would you most like to see in the final round?

Green Arda
5 (25%)
MACHO (Minor Ancillary Character Hagiography Organisation)
4 (20%)
MEAD (Middle Earth Alliance for Democracy)
4 (20%)
SSS - Shiny Shirt Society
3 (15%)
The White Tree Alliance
4 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Voting closed: April 08, 2015, 12:30:24 AM

Author Topic: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!  (Read 6532 times)

Tar-Palantir

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2015, 04:57:57 PM »
MACHO remain unconvinced about Shagrat's self-proclaimed mental fortitude. We are also concerned about his and the SSS's apparent enthusiasm for wanton violence and militarism. The last thing Middle-earth needs is to be plunged back into the maelstrom of war that has dogged it for millennia. We would also like to dissociate our RRF policy (an elite police unit) from the pervasive militarisation advocated by the SSS.

We concur with the draconic spokesman - what other policies do the SSS believe in and where will they channel their energies should the polls turn out to be an accurate reflection of their electoral fortunes?
Definitely not Ar-Pharazôn.

Eowyn

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2015, 06:02:09 PM »
Is there anyone who doesn't have socialism at the core?
Of the three parties that are actively participating, no - but are you surprised, given Exilian's known political bias?

Looking at the other two parties, Green Arda looks pretty socialist too, though their manifesto sets out a series of very specific policies rather than setting out their principles. I'm less certain about the Shiny Shirt Society - I'm not sure what its political principles are, or indeed whether it has any beyond "what is shiny is best, especially if it belongs to you!". I guess that counts as fairly capitalist...

I would like to hear more from Green Arda and the SSS on the various issues raised in discussion so far, not least because if they don't participate at this stage they are likely to be eliminated from the candidate list.

Hi,
Eowyn here. Green Arda is also a party that seeks to make Middle Earth more accessible. Unfortunately this forum is not very accessible to me, and so posts are likely to be limited. Urgent questions can be posed via Facebook if needed.

To reply to some of the concerns, the manifesto was not written to be a manifesto (no editing occurred), but was more a "pouring forth" of ideas that the party feels strongly about. However, you have correctly deduced from these points that Green Arda has a strong Socialist base with a heady dose of environmentalism on top. Green and red, like a political tomato, you might say. To give more of an idea of principles, I will give a list of words/concepts below.

Socialism
Fairness in society
Protection of our Earth and its resources
A voice for the oppressed and minorities
Equality and diversity at the heart of everything in society
Accessability
Prioritising education and raising of awareness of a variety of issues in society (rather than punishing later on)
Those who can do, those who can't won't be left behind
Recognising different strengths and skills to those usually rewarded in a capitalist society
High welfare standards for our companion and work animals
Intensive agriculture in a land-sparing way, to leave more space for wilderness and biodiveristy
Improve the public transport network, so all parts of Middle Earth can be reached by zero carbon transportation
Restoration of roads and public buildings that have fallen into disrepair but are of cultural significance.

Whatever needs doing in our society, it should be kind to people, shared equally and with the protection of Arda in mind.

Tar-Meneldur

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2015, 10:48:47 PM »
To the SSS:
The WTA certainly shares MACHO's concerns about SSS's apparent tendencies towards violence and racism. Despite the SSS's assertion that such issues are "boring", we must ask what Shagrat's government intends to do about the wide range of challenges facing Middle-Earth. Their proclamation that nationalised Mithril mining will fund the State leaves us unconvinced: for how long can the price of Mithril stay as high as it is now with mass mining flooding the market? While we sympathise with Shagrat for Sauron's cruel use of him, we fail to see how this demonstrates his qualites as a suitable leader. Experience as the leader of a small warband does not make a political leader. How will Middle-Earth be governed by the SSS? A monarchy under Shagrat? A democracy? An oligarchy of all those wearing Mithril shirts?

To Green Arda:
your proclamation of the aread that concern you is of course all very well, but the WTA must request details of your specific policies. How do you propose to manage the economy? Maintain law and order? Do you have any specific environmental legislation you intend to enact? How will you ensure racial equality?

To MACHO:
While it is true that Middle-Earth's existing nobility have experience only of rule during a non-peaceful period, this does not mean that war is their only area of expertise. During war, the economy and commerce must still be managed effectively, law must still be maintained and civilian issues judged upon. We reject that experience of governance only during times of war implies an unfitness to govern during peacetime. It is still the case that experience in managing nations and regions exists only with the present nobility (with only very few exceptions), and to overlook this experience when setting up our new order would be a colossal waste of expertise.

Eowyn

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2015, 03:06:35 PM »
"your proclamation of the aread that concern you is of course all very well, but the WTA must request details of your specific policies. How do you propose to manage the economy? Maintain law and order? Do you have any specific environmental legislation you intend to enact? How will you ensure racial equality?"

I thought I had mentioned it in the "manifesto", but perhaps it's a case of "it's so clear to me, I may have forgottento communicate it clearly to others"  :D

Economy: everyone will be taxed, according to their ability, but at a fairly high rate, because most services will be provided for by the state for free. Like normal Socialism. The services provided (transport, education, healthcare, etc) will be free and of a quality that exceeds that than if people paid for them individually, precisely because there is one big pot of federal money from which to provide for all. Everyone contributes to their ability, and everyone benefits, more than they could privately.

Law and order: providing good education which includes good citizenship classes. Explain to everyone from a young age what the benefits are of working together and being considerate, and the disadvantages of crime and anti-social behaviours. I do appreciate this will not keep everyone automatically on the straight and narrow, but it does help. Law enforcement is to be done at the smallest level wherever possible. For example, anti-social behaviour in a neighbourhood by (say) teenagers is to be dealt with by their elders explaining to them the ramifications of their actions, getting the culprits to apologise to those they grieved and take action to rectify it. Depending on the severity of the case, some community help may be required.
At the far graver end of the spectrum, and when affecting more people (defrauding the communal honey pot of taxes or murder) will require trial and punishment in level with the crime. So the enforcement force would range from watchful neighbourhood elders, to more traditional officers of the law with the power to arrest.

Racial equality: this again (like most things) comes back to education. I proposed that Equality and Diversity and appreciation of different cultures are part of the curriculum. This could included school exchange schemes. If you have learned about differences in society, know people from different cultures/races/ethnicities and understand them, you are far less likely to oppress them! Equal access to government services for all is core to what I have expounded so far, so that obviously includes racial equality as well. And any breaches of this are to be dealt with in accordance of the law&order proposals above.

Environmental legislation:
Restoration of any destroyed lands (such as Mordor)
Protection of the resources through various principles: reduce, re-use, recycle
Land-sparing agriculture legislation
Personal and corporate carbon budgets legislation
Subsidies for particularly good biodiversity initiatives and heavy taxes on projects that are resource-intensive
Education of environmental issues for all in school and continued awareness through public announcements and engagement

Education, education...

Jubal

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2015, 03:36:35 PM »
Whilst we clearly have a lot in common with Green Arda in stressing the vital importance of education, we must reiterate - once again - that we appear to be the only party that sees clearly the intense dangers of having too much spending power in the hands of an over-centralised state.

We would like to take this opportunity to lay down our five core social policy pledges:
- Full and equal citizenship for all, regardless of gender, sex, and sexuality. This pledge will include marriage equality between any and all consenting adults, a commitment to a federal ban on gender discrimination in the workplace, and the inclusion of third-gender options on all official forms.
- No state surveillance; strict laws on use of the remaining palantiri, with records of use being made publicly available. There will be, by law, no secret policing or spying on citizens.
- A community-first, rehabilitative policing approach, with all communities having wide control over police recruitment, within broad federally set guidelines. Police will be formally separated from defensive militias, and may not be armed with bladed weaponry. Whilst local community law enforcement will largely administer prison services, we will encourage locally appropriate rehabilitative programmes as normal sentences for all non-violent crime. This will in turn give communities necessary manpower for improvement projects rather than leaving people locked up for years at the expense of local taxpayers.
- A Sentient Beings' Rights Bill that commits the whole of middle-Earth to basic standards of human dignity, the right to education, citizenship and a family, and voting rights for all adults. This bill would also end the death penalty; Middle-earth has seen more than enough killing, much of it at the bloodied hands of different states, and it is an absolute red line for any MEAD participation in government that we do not wish to preside over any more.
- We will federally legalise abortion (up to a period defined separately by species, with advice from medical experts) and, within certain strict limits, euthanasia as an option for the terminally ill as long as they are mentally sound enough to choose it. We believe that whilst any death is tragic, it is not the place of the state to order the hour of someone's death and seek to give people the right to end the most horrific levels of suffering that some species can endure.

We challenge all other parties to join our commitments in this area, which will help prevent the state gaining too much control over ordinary citizens' lives.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Tar-Palantir

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2015, 05:17:18 PM »
To the WTA: We do not seek to totally exclude the nobility from government, but merely take issue with the WTA's belief that said government should reside exclusively with the said nobility. MACHO advocates a more inclusive political system.

To GAP: We welcome another party's commitment to the environment, though we do feel that carbon budget legislation may be a little premature - given Middle-earth's current lack of industry and, largely, science, this would seem excessively difficult and costly to set up in the short-term, though we applaud the principle.

To MEAD: We feel your pledges are laudable in their spirit and generally agree with them, but a few issues spring to mind:
  • The Palantiri would be virtually impossible to use for all remaining beings in Middle-earth, save perhaps Galadriel and Elrond, as none now live who have the right to them and few have the mental strength. We think they should become museum exhibits or, at worst, rolled down Anduin into the Sea
  • We feel that, as Death is the gift of Ilúvatar, the state should not in any way legislate to allow people to take their own lives before their appointed time. Equally, we condemn capital punishment, but we would sanction euthanasia, no matter how well-intentioned
  • We also do not think police forces should be communally-recruited, due to the risk of forming ethnic militias, and would deal with such matters centrally
Definitely not Ar-Pharazôn.

Eowyn

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2015, 06:13:40 PM »
In reply to carbon budget being costly and unnecessary - you are probably right. But it can be there as a principle, should industrialisation become more wide-spread.

More science in education, obviously!

I seem to not officially things which are blindingly obvious to me. Therefore I will reproduce the parts that I agree with and Green Arda stands for, from others who have typed them out.

"- Full and equal citizenship for all, regardless of gender, sex, and sexuality. This pledge will include marriage equality between any and all consenting adults, a commitment to a federal ban on gender discrimination in the workplace, and the inclusion of third-gender options on all official forms."

To me this was inherently part of what I meant when I say things like "fairness in society", "equality and diversity", "no one left behind". But it's good to state I whole-heartedly agree and also stand for this.

"- A community-first, rehabilitative policing approach, with all communities having wide control over police recruitment, within broad federally set guidelines. Police will be formally separated from defensive militias, and may not be armed with bladed weaponry. Whilst local community law enforcement will largely administer prison services, we will encourage locally appropriate rehabilitative programmes as normal sentences for all non-violent crime. This will in turn give communities necessary manpower for improvement projects rather than leaving people locked up for years at the expense of local taxpayers."

I agree, this is what I was talking about earlier in law&order.


"- A Sentient Beings' Rights Bill that commits the whole of middle-Earth to basic standards of human dignity, the right to education, citizenship and a family, and voting rights for all adults. This bill would also end the death penalty..."

Again, the idea embodied in the Sentients Beings' Rights Bill seemed inherently implied to me when saying "fairness for all", so I would definitely agree to that. Green Arda also does not condone the death penalty.


"- We will federally legalise abortion (up to a period defined separately by species, with advice from medical experts) and, within certain strict limits, euthanasia as an option for the terminally ill as long as they are mentally sound enough to choose it. We believe that whilst any death is tragic, it is not the place of the state to order the hour of someone's death and seek to give people the right to end the most horrific levels of suffering that some species can endure."

Agreed, again I felt this was inherently part of what I have proposed so far, but clearly I should be more detailed!


Tar-Meneldur

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2015, 06:39:27 PM »
To MACHO:
The WTA apologises if we have given the impression that those outside the nobility will have no place in government: the existing hereditary nobility will form the initial upper house of Parliament, whose composition will be become more varied as honours are bestowed upon meritocratically successful members of our society. The lower house will be entirely elected. Both houses will be able to introduce legislation and both will have to debate any new legislation before the King passes his final judgement.

To GAP:
Thank you for the clarification. While there are many areas where we disagree the WTA feels that our views on many of those issues have been adequately covered in previous posts. We wholeheartedly agree with you on the importance of education, and feel that most of your desires are ours as well, however we doubt that the implementation of your ideas will work in the short- to medium-term. Education can only show its benefits when the new generation comes to hold power and lead communities, and we feel there are many issues in Middle-Earth, especially equalities issues, which need to be tackled far more quickly. We believe that your proposal of citizen-level encouragement taking the place of many of the functions of law and order would be very difficult to implement, especially since many elders will hold different views to the government. In many cases, the prejudices we hope to combat will be views held by many local people, and thus any action your policy succeeds in producing will not occur for many generations.

To MEAD:
The WTA too admires the sentiment behind most of your five pledges, however we cannot agree with them in their specifics. Your pledges on marriage equality and discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sex and sexuality we wholeheartedly agree with, as well as those on abortion and euthanasia. Unlike MACHO, we feel that allowing those in pain to choose to end their own lives in no way contradicts Death's holy status as Eru's gift.

While we agree with the sentiment behind your Bill of Rights, we would prefer to set down the rights of the peoples of Middle-Earth in a non-legally-binding fashion, to allow these principles to guide the actions of government without placing it under the power of the judiciary to interpret this Bill. We emphatically agree with the abolishment of the death penalty.

The WTA certainly would not like to see our citizens under strict surveillance, however we would not like to entirely outlaw such practices. We would rather pass legislation to ensure that personal surveillance is carried out only by the national secret service,, and only in cases where significant evidence already exists to support a clear suspicion of illicit activity on a large scale - for example drug-smuggling operations and large-scale fraud. We would ensure that approval is needed from a variety of high-level figures for surveillance to proceed, and ensure that personal surveillance information, where it exists, is kept under strict security. We feel that strict controls on surveillance would be a better policy than an outright ban.

We have previously articulated our doubts about giving local communities too much power; we must disagree with allowing them power over policing, which we feel would leave this important public service too open to corruption. This is especially worrying in policing, due to how easily the police could become percieved as intimidating rather than approachable. We also share MACHO's concerns about the possibility of ethnic militias.


HanSolo

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2015, 08:51:30 PM »
Shagrat and the SSS have read all your comments and questions, but question your hostility. When asked about the possibility of failing to win this election, Shagrat scoffs: if we believe in losing we cannot win. Isn't that how Denethor died, he stopped thinking of winning? Shagrat is not greater than that once great Steward though, and he and the SSS will continue fighting even if all others are against them.

Next, we still believe Mithril mining can work. There would be other mines as well: Mordor has vast seams of coal, iron and other minerals that the Dark Lord used for His war and the SSS would re-open them. We even believe we could increase production as it would no longer be disheartened slaves toiling but hardy paid labourers. Anyone working for the government will be paid well, either in currency or bonuses such as top healthcare or free alcohol. If you support Shagrat, he will support you!

The Hippies/Communists may at this point complain about wanting to re-garden Mordor. That's all well and good but would you rather we started mining in a more 'picturesque' location and make that an eyesore? No. Shagrat will mine places which are already eyesores, though if Mount Doom is properly spent and extinct maybe an agricultural project may be set up on its slopes to provide food for the nation. Shagrat is not a farmer himself but the SSS has some of the top (if only because they're the closest thing this side of alchemy) scientists who could turn barren places like Mordor and the Misty Mountains into Positive Production Zones.

Finally just because the War of the Rings is over doesn't mean all wars are at an end: it is foolish to think Peace is a lasting thing. King Elessar may have sent negotiators to Harad and Khand etc BUT that doesn't mean diddly now he's dead. Easterners and Southerners could be rebuilding their armies as we debate the finer details of who can die - we could all DIE! So Shagrat says we should be prepared. And, as stated earlier, most of the population of Middle Earth, although tired of a long drawn out war, are still socially geared towards it with small boys celebrating fighting fathers. GAP wants to brainwash them otherwise but Shagrat says we should use what we have and delight in it!

You never know - some of those Elves travelling to Sea may actually be travelling to plot with our neighbouring enemies!

Protect yourselves then, and VOTE SHAGRAT, VOTE SSS! :orc:


Glaurung

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2015, 10:15:41 PM »
This be a voter from Dunland. I can't understand all these complicated words you use, and I can't keep up with these long speeches. We just want to be left alone to live our lives in peace and quiet. We can look after ourselves well enough; we don't need no "government" telling us what we can and can't do. So which of you should I vote for?

Jubal

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2015, 11:03:05 PM »
People like you should absolutely vote for MEAD. 5 good reasons:
  • We won't make a big central government with huge powers - we want to keep government local.
  • We'll let you take decisions over how you run most things locally, with the government providing a positive safeguard to check you're getting services that are as good as other areas.
  • We will secure your freedom by making snooping and prying into your business illegal
  • We'll make sure you can sell things freely and don't get bought out by big landlords or bosses, with no sales tax for small businesses
  • A MEAD force in government would ensure everyone has access to education if they want it, to help people help themselves and ensure education isn't just something for the rich and powerful.

A vote for MEAD is a vote for freedom!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 11:12:02 PM by Jubal »
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

HanSolo

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2015, 11:38:46 PM »
Dunlander

The simple message is:
SHAGRAT IS THE BEST
He will give you a free SHINY SHIRT of MITHRIL even before he reclaims his own that was stolen by a wizard...
SHAGRAT WILL LOOK AFTER YOU
Shagrat only hurts his enemies, but ALWAYS HELPS his friends - make sure you're a friend!
SHAGRAT WILL GET HIS MISTY MOUNTAIN COUSINS TO STOP ATTACKING YOUR PEOPLE
Or if you're into Orc ladies/men as some near Isengard must have been to make Uruk-hai babies, Shagrat will get his cousins to "get to know you"

Simple enough?
VOTE SHAGRAT!!!  :orc:

Glaurung

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2015, 01:24:55 PM »
It be the Dunlander here again, replying to that Shiny Shirt person.

Did I hear you right? If we're not Shagrat's friends, we're his enemies, is that it? And he hurts his enemies, you say. I think we've heard that before - are you sure you don't have that Saruman tucked away there somewhere, whispering in your ear?

And a shiny shirt? What would we do with that? We can't eat it; we can't all wear it.

And you others, white and green and macho, we haven't heard from you yet.

Tar-Palantir

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2015, 05:20:49 PM »
Dear Dunlander

We apologise for the delay in getting back to you - we merely wanted to formulate the best-possible answer to your question. You should vote MACHO because:

  • We would ensure you are no longer marginalised by the Rohirrim, whom you call Forgoil, and would become equal citizens of the community of Middle-earth, with effective representation in government
  • We would set up a caring state that would ensure effective education, healthcare, benefits, security and services for all communities, rather than leaving them to fend for themselves
  • We would not impose development on you, but would leave you to choose your own path within the wider framework of a MACHO state
  • We would help you open up new markets for your local industries and products, allowing you to develop and prosper

Vote MACHO for a brighter, equal future!
Definitely not Ar-Pharazôn.

Eowyn

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Re: Middle-earth General Election: Hustings Round!
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2015, 07:15:13 PM »
Dear Dunlander,
 You say "We just want to be left alone to live our lives in peace and quiet". A great reason to vote for the Green Arda party. Pristine wilderness and biodiversity are excellent sources of "peace and quiet". Anti-war outlook will avoid conflict at all cost, keeping your peace. Well-educated citizens will get on with their lives in a variety of ways that are considerate and kind to all, giving you quiet.
You love your beautiful Dunland and way of life - vote Green Arda.