Culture Nominee Hezekon Faces Senate and Public Backlash Over Inactivity and Inequity






Culture Nominee Hezekon Faces Senate and Public Backlash Over Inactivity and Inequity

Written by Deepest House
(Europeia – January 24, 2023) Minister of Culture nominee Hezekon faced immediate backlash from both the Senate and the public after President Lloenflys nominated him in a surprise move. In nominating Hezekon, President Lloenflys passed over experienced and dedicated Ministry of Culture former ministers and staffers who had contributed significantly to its recent operations and successes. Criticism of the nomination remains centered on two key points: Hezekon’s regional inactivity prior to the nomination and the message his nomination sends to current successful members of the Ministry of Culture.

“I have some serious concerns when someone is nominated for a role less than 2 weeks after reapplying for citizenship,” Senator Monkey said at the opening of the confirmation hearing. “Unless I see significant evidence that helps me make sense of this nomination, I will not be approving the nominee.”

Senator Lime also questioned the nomination. “I don’t really understand this nomination,” he said. “Hezekon has only just become a citizen eight days ago after losing citizenship due to inactivity. I don’t think it’s appropriate for an individual to be elevated to such a high office after not being active or contributing much to the region at large after such a spell of inactivity, let alone contributing to the ministry they hope to lead.”

Hezekon did not make an appearance at the nomination hearing until nearly 24 hours after it began, leaving President Lloenflys to vigorously defend the nomination before the Senate.

“One of the appeals to me of nominating Hezekon was that he is not your average Euro player,” President Lloenflys said in defense of the nomination. “I am looking for innovation and experimentation from Culture during this term.”

Within the Senate, amid the questions and backlash, Senator shufordbrian did offer unequivocal support of the nomination.

“Thank you for this (completely and unquestionably appropriate) nomination, Mr. President,” the senator said. “I've seen Hez excel in many executive positions over the years and have no doubt he would be a great Culture Minister.”

In the Grand Hall, discussion over the potential Cabinet immediately focused on Hezekon’s nomination.

Sopo acknowledged the difficult message such a nomination sends to active and engaged players at a time when Europeia is struggling to attract and retain an active player base.

“I understand that activity is low in Europeia, but should we be rewarding someone who is more a part of the problem than a part of the solution,” Sopo asked in the Grand Hall. “This does not send a good message to the folks who are routinely involved or newer members looking to move up.”

Other prominent citizens also questioned the nomination.

“Concerning Culture, I think whether you support Hezekon's nomination or not, it's at the very least understandable that there are concerns about the message this sends to other players,” said former president and honored citizen Pichtonia. “Generally speaking, if I was a Senator, concerns about sending a discouraging message to engaged players would be enough reason for me to potentially vote against a nomination.”

Writinglegend, arguably the greatest president in Europeian history, weighed in heavily on the nomination. “ … I think it sends the wrong signal to the community to pass up on many qualified (and some new) nominees who engaged with the Ministry of Culture for the last few months for someone who has had their citizenship lapse twice since October,” he said. “I can see how this nomination might be incredibly demotivating for staffers who helped the ministry (or even the Executive in general) over the last few months.”

President Lloenflys, however, made an appearance in the Grand Hall to defend his nomination, while the region waited to hear from Hezekon himself. The president also explained that the timing of Hezekon’s citizenship lapse and the ministerial offer were coincidence, as there was only a short period in which the nominee’s citizenship had expired.

“The Senate may well decide that innovation and creativity, the features I was primarily looking for, are not enough to justify this selection,” the newly elected president said. “But this is not a case where I went and dug up some long lost citizen from the dregs of Euro’s past and plopped them in with them having not been around at all, and I want to make sure people understand that timeline.”

More than 24 hours after the nomination hearing began, Hezekon appeared before the Senate to address the concerns raised there and in the Grand Hall. Hezekon had been unavailable previously due to outside commitments.

“ … I do understand the fear that I'm somehow unworthy of the nomination because I haven't given enough to the region, and in one person's opinion, "contributing to the problem" of inactivity,” Hezekon said, acknowledging the problematic nature of his nomination for many. “I stand by my track record when it comes to activity in public roles.”

Hezekon went on to explain some of his plans for the region, including an event for the anniversary of Europeia’s founding and a regional talent show, an upcoming Ovation for recently nominated PhDre, and a Valentine’s Day event. After Hezekon offered his defense of his nomination, Senator Monkey remained unimpressed.

“I am willing to approach this nomination with more of an open-mind, but I'm not fully satisfied with the answers provided. I think they are fine -- but the administration has framed this nominee as someone who seems to rise above the other options … ,” Senator Monkey said on the floor during the confirmation hearing. “However, from the answers provided -- listing things like talent shows, continuing short stories and reading them on radio, weekly prompts -- these have all been done or at least suggested by other culture ministers in the past. So I don't know if I agree with the executive that this nominee is necessarily groundbreaking and extraordinary, as it seems to be portrayed to us.”

After Senator Monkey requested additional information, President Lloenflys pushed back that there would be a limit to how much he would allow Hezekon to continue answering questions from the Senate, citing concerns that Hezekon is being asked to demonstrate creativity in a few hours that which would otherwise be demonstrated over the course of a term or that the ideas hadn’t been vetted for quality prior to being discussed.

“Because of these concerns, at some point I will probably ask Hez not to continue giving more ideas or trying to keep demonstrate creativity,” President Lloenflys stated. “Again, this wouldn't be out of a desire to be contentious. At some point we will just need to have a decision made on the evidence presented.”

President Lloenflys’ declaration that he would limit Hezekon’s time spent responding to questions caught the attention of Europeia’s founder, HEM.

“This whole nomination rests on the proposition that Hezekon provides a level of creativity and innovation that cannot be provided by any other potential Minister quite the same. So it's befuddling to see the President push back on efforts from the Senate to get evidence of this,” HEM said. “Now, I understand the President may be saying...at some point we may need to make a decision and move on here. I agree with that. But I feel like Senators like Monkey are really trying to dig deep here, and hitting rocks.”

For his part, President Lloenflys did clarify that at some point, it is time to move the nomination to a vote and that additional questioning wouldn’t add value to the discussion. However, the president did reiterate that he wasn’t yet at the point of cutting his nominee off from further questions by the Senate.

Outside of the Senate and the Grand Hall, a poll by E-News Network found a majority of non-senator respondents against the nomination, with 53.6% indicating they would vote against, with 35.7% indicating they would vote in favor, with the remaining 10.7% indicating they would abstain.

As the Senate continues to evaluate the nomination, the lines have become clear: many citizens feel that the nomination is not just a surprise given Hezekon’s lack of meaningful involvement in governmental activities, but also that it is not equitable to those who have contributed to the Ministry of Culture over the past several terms, including the former incumbent Turbiatop, or rising stars and newcomers to the ministry such as Spagtop: Tokyo Drift. President Lloenflys has vigorously defended the nomination, while Hezekon has also attempted to assuage the doubters in the Senate.

In a comment to the EBC, Sopo summed up the feelings of many with a single line. “There are about a dozen or so names that could have come out of Lloen’s mouth that would have made more sense,” he remarked. Time will tell if President Lloenflys’ expenditure of significant political capital so early in his term will be enough to get the Senate to confirm. As of press that is not assured, but President Lloenflys remains tireless in defense of his nominee.

The EBC reached out to President Lloenflys for comment prior to publication, however the president declined the opportunity, citing statements already made in the Senate and Grand Hall.
 

PhDre

Cabinet
Citizen
A comprehensive play by play, DH!

I think (and hope) we will a resolution here over the next few days. I have few sopo bucks left to my name but I wouldn't want to wager on the outcome either way at the moment.
 

Sopo

venerable joe
Forum Administrator
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Very thorough piece. My only qualm is Pichto's quote being a bit out of context, as though he did question the nomination, he said he ultimately would support it.
 

HEM

ruled europeia before most our citizens were born
Forum Administrator
Jorts Connoisseur
Honoured Citizen
This article does trigger a question for me for Senator @shufordbrian. What is your philosophy on executive nominations? Absent corruption or obvious incompetence, do you believe the Senate should approve every nominee? What type of nominations would you want to give more strict scrutiny on before approving instantaneously?
 

Hezekon

Right Hono(u)rable Minister of Music
Cabinet
Citizen
A very thorough summation, and while I believe that someone reading may get the impression that I was summoned from the air, it is also clear the journalist has done well to provide some context for my work-related absence. I have done what I can to address the concerns of the Senate, and I'm confident, regardless of their final vote, that they will take mine as a serious nomination worthy of their consideration.
 

shufordbrian

brb turning euro into a bitcoin mine
Senator
Citizen
This article does trigger a question for me for Senator @shufordbrian. What is your philosophy on executive nominations? Absent corruption or obvious incompetence, do you believe the Senate should approve every nominee? What type of nominations would you want to give more strict scrutiny on before approving instantaneously?
I believe that each nominee should be viewed by the Senate on a case-by-case basis for determining whether or not someone should serve as Minister. No, I don't believe every nominee should be confirmed solely because they were nominated by the President. The Senate remains an effective check on the executive in this fashion.

Personally, I look at their history doing executive work with a preferential eye towards duties that correspond or fit closely with the ministry they're being nominated to lead.

If a nomination is made and the nominee's history of executive work doesn't make them seem like a good fit for the spot (or if there's really no history of executive work to look at), then I believe a more scrutinous look is warranted.
 

Lethen

Nissan: electric cars for electric drivers
Forum Administrator
Supreme Chancellor
Honoured Citizen
Citizen
Really interesting read and very informative; I do wonder how many people were really available to take on the role but Hez is such an odd choice
 

Pland Adanna

cracking the oyster
Deputy Minister
Citizen
Wow, this was a great piece! I don’t have much more to comment on the topic but excellent work.
 
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