[At Home In Europeia] Getting to Know Europeians- Lloenflys: Soaring High

Getting to Know Europeians- Lloenflys: Soaring High
An insight into Lloenflys, Europeia's resident birb

Written by Forilian

In an effort to let everyday Europeians know more about their fellow citizens, Getting to Know Europeians is an interview project that asks Europeians casual questions about themselves. This is the third issue of this project, and you can expect more of these in the coming days and weeks!

Lloenflys, our current attorney general, has been in Europeia since December 2018. Joining around Christmas, one could say that he is our Christmas present for 2018: once he joined our region, he has been a force for nothing but good. From humble beginnings, he quickly rose through the ranks of Europeian government; within two months of joining, he had been appointed as minister of culture by President Kuramia. Later, he would be re-nominated by First Minister Rand, before defeating him in a first minister election and claiming the top job in May 2019. After this, Lloenflys served many terms in the Senate, eventually becoming speaker for two consecutive terms. After the June 2020 election, he took a hiatus from the Senate and was nominated to become attorney general, where he has been serving since.

Like all of us, however, Lloenflys started from the ground up: right after joining Europeia and applying for citizenship, he joined our discord and "said hello to people." After this, he then read through our forums to try to "get an idea about what was happening here." He also tried to engage where he could to "increase [his] visibility," but he "found within a week that [he] didn't have to try [to engage with people] since [he] was naturally talking to lots of people." While starting out, Lloenflys talked to some old hands to find out more about the region. When asked, he stated JayDee as "the first person I reached out to in order to find out about the region, but I also found myself talking a lot to Prim and [Aexnidaral] early on and both gave me advice and encouraged me in my early days."

After less than two months in the region, Lloenflys was raised to the position of minister of culture by President Kuramia (whom you can read about here). As minister of culture, he learned that managing a ministry was "difficult but fun." According to him, "it was a good opportunity for me to dive into a leadership position in the region," and it "gave me a lot of information about how Europeia responds to successes, failures, [and] calls to action." Lloenflys described the term as "kind of experimental," and although the ministry did weekend games, it was "not an innovative term for those because it was a lull period for participation." However, the ministry did try some other things, including weekly roleplays, unusual forum games such as "Where in the World is Min Cult Lloenflys?", and the Ovation of Aexnidaral, which Lloenflys had an opportunity to plan. “Overall, I view this term as a success.”

While he didn't originally plan to run for first minister, he ultimately did, and won. During Rand's term, Lloenflys had been approached by a few people who wanted to run with him for first minister, but Lloenflys rejected all of them, and even indicated that he would not run in the May election. However, according to Lloenflys, as the end of Rand's term loomed over Europeia, there were people who wanted a force of change in the region, who felt that Europeia was in trouble and needed someone to get Europeia out. Rand, whose relationship with the Senate was already strained, found himself further at odds with the Senate after a nomination controversy. "I was again was approached by a number of people who simply felt that Rand was no longer an effective leader of the region and that change was necessary." Eventually, peer pressure reached Lloenflys, who decided to run and take on Rand, which was something he felt bad about. "I had specifically told [Rand] not long before that I had had no plans to run. Nonetheless, I think it was the right thing to do, and Rand and I remain close."

Lloenflys "enjoyed [his] time as First Minister for the majority of the time," but said that two events emerged that made his term "less enjoyable." First, towards the end of his term, Lloenflys got busier in real life than he anticipated, which made the end of his term a weaker finish than he'd have liked. Second of all, shufordbrian, Lloenflys' minister of culture, had to resign, which plunged the ministry of culture "into a tough period." To further muddle things, shufordbrian's handpicked deputy "never really got involved with things," and "no one else seemed particularly interested in taking the position [of minister of culture]." As a result, Lloenflys "somewhat foolishly [thought] that as a former minister of culture [he] could just handle the role myself, but that just spread [him out] even thinner." He says that he does not recommend anyone try what he did, "unless they have a strong deputy system already available in the department that can help with the work," or otherwise it would just be "asking for trouble."

As to what he learned during his term, Lloenflys learned that he needed to ask people if he wanted something done specifically- "people aren't going to figure out you need something from them unless you actually ask." Furthermore, he believes that communication is key to success in the region, and that people should "just tell people what's going on and it goes a long way towards satisfying people. Keep them in the dark and eventually it catches up to you!"

Throughout his Europeian career, Lloenflys has been heavily involved with the Senate. When asked why he keeps returning to the Senate, he gave the following answer:

"I like the deliberative nature of the Senate. I like that you get a chance to think through problems that confront the region, consider opportunities to fix those things, and come to agreements on the best approach. Perhaps surprisingly given my background, I'm not a big legislative drafter - I don't generally write bills myself to introduce, and unless I need to I don't usually propose new language to provide to the Senate. That's not because I can't do that - I'm capable of it and believe I do it well, but it's not what I enjoy doing. I enjoy debating issues, and I enjoy considering legislation drafted by others and thinking through its implications, suggesting tweaks where necessary or outright opposing legislation that I think is not drafted in a way that will be beneficial for the region. I just don't find the level of consistent engagement doing stuff that I really enjoy anywhere other than the Senate, generally. It's got the perfect mix of what I like to do!"

Lloenflys was speaker of the Senate for two terms from December 2019 to June 2020. When asked, he described his terms as "controlled chaos." "The first term was very different from the second. The first Senate I led had multiple former Speakers in it, and in many respects ran itself. There were very few things that I had to do that were all that controversial or challenging, so it was a good learning environment for me. The second Senate was very different - I was one of the more experienced Senators in that Senate, but it had a huge amount of kinetic energy bouncing around from the start." Furthermore, in his second term, the executive re-merge was being debated on, and right away Lloenflys knew that he was on the minority side of this discussion. “As a result, I needed to take a step back, focus on the necessary parts of the job such as maintaining fairness, keeping discussion going, making sure no one was pushing the Senate around (unintentionally - I don’t think any Senator was trying to do this on purpose) and just keeping things running smoothly."

Lloenflys doesn't believe that the position of Senate Speaker is comparable to the position of first minister or minister of culture. "As the senate speaker you are first among equals, as the saying goes. You aren't the "Leader" in the sense that you set the agenda - the body sets the agenda, and you just control some procedural elements. I did stick up for the Senate when I felt it was appropriate to do so in the Grand Hall or elsewhere when I felt it was being unfairly criticized, but it otherwise really is a very different experience being Senate Speaker than serving in an executive role."

Looking towards the future, Lloenflys has no plans to retire. He recently announced that he would be running for president in Europeia's first post-merge election, and he will likely be the top of the ticket, barring a request from his running mate, who remains undiscovered and mysterious. "I feel like it is time to step up and take another crack at executive office, having the additional experience that I now have under my belt." Lloenflys believes that it will be an interesting election, and he remains curious to see who else will take this chance to run for the office of president. He also believes that his hiatus from the Senate will not last long, assuming the people want him back in the Senate. He says that he enjoys the Senate too much to stay away for too long.

In real life, Lloenflys is involved with the legal sector and went to law school. While he says that it definitely helped him in Europeia, it's "perhaps not in the way you'd expect." Though "it's absolutely true that I am more comfortable in the Senate and working with Europeian laws because I am familiar with doing that kind of thing," he is not sure whether "that that in itself gives me any leg up in Europeia." He thinks that "it's actually more helpful in that it gives me something that I can talk about passionately, that I write about, and that people identify me with." Furthermore, Lloenflys believes that the legal profession is naturally adversarial in nature, as is Europeian politics, and that as a result "I do have work experience that helps me stay grounded when things get a little crazy. That doesn't mean I always stay calm, cool, and collected but typically I get back there pretty quickly when I get worked up." Therefore, Lloenflys thinks that while "my real life experience in the legal field has helped me in a number of ways [in Europeia]," some of these were not what he'd have expected coming in to the region.

One of the hobbies that Lloenflys is well-known for is bird-watching. If he had to choose a bird to represent Europeia, he would choose the albatross, specifically a wandering albatross. "First off, this bird has a giant wingspan and soars magnificently over the ocean. It is nearly always moving - some travel as much as 75,000 miles in a year. Europeia is similarly a large region that is always moving, always seeking something, always wandering about - not in a bad way, just in a constant search for something indescribable. That search is part of what makes Europeia worth being in - it never feels stale because it is always moving, always changing, always innovating."

In terms of advice to newcomers, Lloenflys offers the following:

"Don't be afraid to participate and build a name for yourself, and don't be too proud to ask people for help if you need it or to ask for advice. Also, trust your judgment - don't listen to all of the advice that you get, determine for yourself if it makes sense for YOU. Finally, don't let setbacks get you down. We all screw up, just own your mistake and move on. You'll get past it!"

Lloenflys also wanted the EBC to include the following message in the article:

"I think I'm proudest of my Modern Ornithological Proposal series of articles because they seem to have been some of the most enjoyed things I've done in Europeia, and they are fun and quirky. Bringing joy to people with something creative like that brings a smile to my face, so I'm glad they've been well [received]."

Thank you, Lloenflys, for your service to our region. Soar high, dear Lloenflys, and we wish to continue to see you being active and involved in our region!

It's an interesting article for me to read, because Lloen was actually a big inspiration in my early political career. Though I first joined Euro about Aug 2018, I never got citizenship until March 2019, by which time Lloen was already rocking in the cabinet and later in the Senate. He clearly was new, but well-regarded and successful, which helped dispel my anxiety about being too new for a position and made me run for the Senate myself. Any newcomers reading this interview should realise that too; don't let your inexperience be a barrier for you to participate in the region 😄