The following article is part of a series on the Chief of State election in collaboration with the Organization of Independent Media.
To continue this paper's coverage of the ongoing Chief of State election, I spoke with JayDee, current Councillor of World Assembly and Senator, one of the candidates running. There will be more coverage in the form of some polling, so watch this space for future developments. And now, here is the interview!
I'd love to say yes so I can spice things up, but the truth is I don't know. I don't know if I will approach the office differently because I have no idea how my predecessor approached the office. Our foreign portfolios have always been plagued with the issue of visibility to the general public. This was an issue before the split and it has now persisted through it as well. What I can tell you for sure is that I plan on making the office much more visible to the general public. Our current Chief of State has already started down that path, with a midterm speech and some good discussions with the Senate on increasing accountability. However, I know there is still more to be done to make the office and portfolio as a whole more visible to everyone.
Well I hope HEM won't sue me for plagiarism, but it's not
Looking at general trends, I wouldn't say Independence is on a rise or a decline, but I do think that the internationally accepted term for Independent is beginning to shift. When we first declared ourself an Independent region, we drafted a manifesto which clearly outlined what being Independent meant. Now, however, I believe Independence has taken on very diverse meanings to every region. Just to evident this, KoGB identifies itself as Independent but recently accepted a referendum to change the meaning of being Independent. You can make the argument that that makes them "no longer Independent," but the truth is its a trend that has been ongoing for a while now.
We have slowly seen the Independent camp split into factions as some gravitate towards the Raider or Defender sphere. Some regions are evenly blatantly raider focused but tag the Independent ideology as a political tool. I'm not saying we need a new manifesto, but I do think it is prudent that, at some level, we have a frank discussion on what exactly Independence means to us. How does Europeia want to shape this ideology and where are we going with it.
We don't need numbers to be strong, that's not what Independence is about. This ideology is about using the military to primarily serve our political interests, not going on raiding sprees (though those are certainly fun). It doesn't matter if we have thousands of Independent regions behind our backs, the only Independent region our Navy serves is Europeia. THAT BEING SAID, there is still strength in numbers, which was evidenced by our rapid and large response to the TEP coups.
The nature of Independence is not about getting with a group of fellow Independents and ransacking regions, it's about finding regions with like-minded ideals, be they Raider, Defender, or anything in between, and pushing our foreign policy to the global stage. Often times that is met with resistance, and having a strong network of allies to bolster a large and active Navy gives us the advantage in any fight.
Brutally honest questions deserve brutally honest answers, and the brutally honest answer is I don't reasonably expect much. This term is much more about breaking the ice, getting things moving in a positive direction so the next Councillor is ready to pick up the reigns and help bring the council out just a little bit further, and then a little bit further, and then...
However, down the road, I am very optimistic that we will see a much more diverse and engaging WA office that offers more opportunity and maintains a constant presence even when the WA is working slow. Too often the activity of the WA office is contingent on activity in the WA itself, that is a plague I'd like us to move away from. Bringing more opportunity to the office that will keep members engaged and excited about the WA. This will require some discussion, but I am excited about the results of these expansions. Already we have seen some of the fruits of these efforts and I can't wait to lay the groundwork for even more progression through the council.
It is a bit of an enigma isn't it? I mean, we do have HEM as our Founder
When I interviewed HEM about the early days in Europeia, he accounted about the struggles of nurturing a region that was very much in its infancy. When I asked him who exactly is most responsible for this region's success, he reluctantly answered that he believed PLX held the most credit. However, I believe HEM forgot one person, himself. HEM's infectious and undeniable spirit attracted a lot of people to our region. Not only did it attract them to the region, it drove them to get involved. People WANTED to be here they WANTED Europeia to succeed, and succeed it did. This region has survived on the backs of generations of dedicated leaders, both celebrated and uncelebrated.
I'm not doing this to kiss up to my opponent, I'm well aware that I'm supposed to be bashing HEM right now, but facts are facts and the fact is our region really wouldn't be anything if it weren't for HEM's energy, drive, and will to succeed.
As for a successful future, it's really about broadening our horizon and strengthening our ties. That's largely what the external communications project is about, getting our message out to a wider audience to strengthen our base of allies who we can rely upon. People like seeing content, and giving them content will make us more attractive to the general public. We need to be willing to take bold but calculated initiatives, getting our name out there and keeping Europeia at the forefront of interregional discussion. I want our allies to love us and our enemies to hate us because Europeia comes with strength and it comes with backup. That means we have to keep a constant presence on the international stage and make sure that we're putting our name out there ahead of those whose interests run against our own.
Right now, Europeia's presence in the world stage is negligible at best, this term will be about changing that. It will be about raising our voice, increasing our presence, and getting ourselves out there in the middle of the field ready to swing hard.