Opinion: Split Executive Shell Game


Opinion: The Split Executive Shell Game
By Deepest House


(Europeia - December 27, 2018) - As proposals for reform have floated about the region in recent months, the Lazarus Project has promoted an image of Europeia whereby a split-executive would oversee regional affairs and improve executive performance. Specifically, Europeia would have a president who oversees foreign affairs and a prime minister who oversees domestic affairs.

As a former president and vice president with a solid grasp of executive functions, roles, and responsibilities, it is my opinion that such a proposal would do nothing to increase executive bandwidth, capabilities, or performance. While it is true that presidency is a time-consuming job, in both a unified and split executive, success will depend on teamwork more than anything else.

An important part of governance is identifying challenges and opportunities for improvement and the best strategy to correct those deficiencies. In this case, the purported challenge is the presidency is so large that one person simply can’t handle both domestic and international affairs alone.

Fortunately, the president doesn’t work alone. The citizens of Europeia concurrently elect a vice president when they elect the president. While the exact role of the vice president is left to the discretion of the president, many administrations have successfully used the vice president to divvy up the functional areas of the executive branch in much the same manner as proposed in the Lazarus Project.

Indeed, if the goal of the Lazarus Project’s split executive proposal is to improve executive performance by making the domestic and international portfolios easier to manage by sharing the workload, one must point out that by splitting the executive and making the vice president a collateral duty as opposed to its own position, the Lazarus Proposal reduces the president’s resources and his or her ability to accomplish administration objectives.

The vice president is indispensable to the president, an agile resource to provide additional support and leadership. Simply put, without the vice president as a standalone position the president will have less flexibility to assign additional resources where needed, potentially resulting in a slower and less responsive government. It is also a position of prestige, and one in which the citizens must also put forth their full faith and confidence to serve as president should the need arise. We should not marginalize this position by demoting it to a collateral duty associated with service in the cabinet.

The president works as part of a large team on behalf of the entire population. That team works together to advance Europeian values and administration objectives. Rather than adding capacity to the executive branch’s overall ability to accomplish priorities, The Lazarus Project’s split executive reduces the resources available to the president, it demotes to the sidelines one of the most important positions of our government, and potentially fosters competition rather than collaboration between the domestic and international leadership. I’m not a smart man, but I don’t see how this will improve executive branch performance. It will, however, diminish the role and prestige of not just the vice president, but also the president.

That isn’t the answer to current challenges facing the executive branch. For the executive to fully succeed, it requires all members of the executive team to work together … as a team. Any inefficiencies within the executive branch usually come down to effort and/or bandwidth. Either the effort on the part of an individual isn’t there, or the effort is there but the bandwidth to get the job done isn’t. Neither of these problems is solved by splitting the executive.

With the president and vice president focusing on their respective priorities in full partnership and collaboration with their trusted and empowered ministers, the unified government can achieve greater results for the republic than a split executive, which has additional weaknesses of its own.

The proposal to split the executive, consolidate positions, and rename it all amounts to a shell game – a sleight of hand in which we move pieces around to distract and confuse, and at the end we have to guess and hope we’ve made the right decision going forward. It provides no new resources for the government and creates additional administrative burdens without the promise of proportional benefit. It is change for change’s sake.
 
The posted procedure was 2/3rds, 66%. Not 57.7, not 34.8. 66%. I didn't write the rules, I didn't write the procedure.
And we did have a post vote discussion on how to proceed with the proposals. I don't think that it would have been justified to simply stop all reform efforts simply because no single concept proposal reached the 2/3 number. There was a clear favorite among the proposals, I thought we should have moved forward with that one alone, honestly. It was the only one to receive more than 50% support.

http://europeians.com/forum/index.php?threads/discussion-next-steps.10044972/

I answered this above -- we discussed how to proceed in the Constitutional Convention. Stopping the whole reforms discussion simply because one concept proposal didn't reach 66% is absurd.
 
The decision was made by the convention chair to move forward with the two highest voted proposals as there had been a LOT of debate as to whether getting a 66% vote was even possible in a multiple choice poll such as this. That is what has been done.


Okay, I want to thank everyone who weighed in here. My sense is the majority consensus is that we move forward with the two proposals, and drop the rest for now. This seems to be a good way forward without creating a situation that, frankly, would be unrealistic (trying to create full drafts of all proposals).

As I said in the voting thread, this doesn't mean that the top two proposals can't still be altered. If there are bits and pieces from the dropped proposals that people like, we can incorporate those.

I will confer with Speaker Aexnidaral and we'll determine the process for drafting these proposals up shortly.
 
I answered this above -- we discussed how to proceed in the Constitutional Convention. Stopping the whole reforms discussion simply because one concept proposal didn't reach 66% is absurd.

According to HEM in his manifesto he states "I forged compromise and brought people together, always ensuring that our reform effort was representative of the citizenry and fair. The rules that were posted said that no procedure would go through to the Senate without 2/3rds approval. I didn't write the rules, I didn't agree to the rules, I played within those specific rules. If you have a problem, go to the author of the rules.
 
The decision was made by the convention chair to move forward with the two highest voted proposals as there had been a LOT of debate as to whether getting a 66% vote was even possible in a multiple choice poll such as this. That is what has been done.

Again, the rules as posted stated 2/3rds. Neither proposal gained that 2/3rds. That's not my problem, I didn't write the rules. However now its time to see whether the reform bloc will adhere to the rules they wrote.
 
Again, the rules as posted stated 2/3rds. Neither proposal gained that 2/3rds. That's not my problem, I didn't write the rules. However now its time to see whether the reform bloc will adhere to the rules they wrote.

If this sort thing happened in US politics I wonder what their response would be?
 
Holy semantics, Batman.

A good and interesting read, definitely. Can't say I agree with everything in the OP or the proceeding posts, but I do agree that we definitely need to see a culture change as has been emphasized by Hy, Darc, etc. There's also a very sizable contingent of the populace that supports some sort of reform, and - to echo HEM - the two go hand-in-hand: shaking up our institutions and norms will inherently lead to a re-evaluation of our regional culture and behavior.

The biggest take-away for me over the past...year and a half? Two years? (Whenever Discord rose into prominence across NS) We need to adapt to our player-base. In many ways, we have. We've changed our culture to better-emphasize institutional memory on the forums and not in private Discord servers, and we've adapted Discord into a tool to be used for the Government (e.g. Weekend Games). On the other hand, we've seen limited success turning social-side players into regional politicians, and we've done a poor job adjusting our regional expectations of politicians when factoring in not only the new type of player but also most of us simply getting older and busier IRL.
 
From my brief wandering around the place, if Discord has become more of a challenge it might be because of how we use the tool. There's alread been already a few pretty good, slightly spicy, Europeian-related chats on the Discord which pretty quickly spike then fizzle. Previously if someone wanted to challenge the Executive, or a Senator, decision - they'd make a post on the Grand Hall and we'd have at it. The Senate would challenge the Executive - hell I remember @Aexnidaral Seymour once almost threatening to no confidence the Vice President over a lack of presence here. Now? Seems the legislative powers of check, balance and recall have loosened and this creates less flashpoint conflicts.

Anyway, going back to Discord. A good example of an interesting chat we'd previously have on the forum was over the World Assembly Ministry's decision to abstain on the upcoming vote. Attempted a few times to get people to move onto the forums, eventually a few posts did, but the main cut and thrust of the argument was made there. Was gone.

Basically. Is how we using Discord working for the political side of the game? Or is it now taking away from the political aspect?

Are we welcoming, helping and guiding new citizens (especially members of the forum) through what we are. What we do. Or do we point them to a handbook and expect people to read rather than interact.
 
From my brief wandering around the place, if Discord has become more of a challenge it might be because of how we use the tool. There's alread been already a few pretty good, slightly spicy, Europeian-related chats on the Discord which pretty quickly spike then fizzle. Previously if someone wanted to challenge the Executive, or a Senator, decision - they'd make a post on the Grand Hall and we'd have at it. The Senate would challenge the Executive - hell I remember @Aexnidaral Seymour once almost threatening to no confidence the Vice President over a lack of presence here. Now? Seems the legislative powers of check, balance and recall have loosened and this creates less flashpoint conflicts.

Anyway, going back to Discord. A good example of an interesting chat we'd previously have on the forum was over the World Assembly Ministry's decision to abstain on the upcoming vote. Attempted a few times to get people to move onto the forums, eventually a few posts did, but the main cut and thrust of the argument was made there. Was gone.

Basically. Is how we using Discord working for the political side of the game? Or is it now taking away from the political aspect?

Are we welcoming, helping and guiding new citizens (especially members of the forum) through what we are. What we do. Or do we point them to a handbook and expect people to read rather than interact.
The Ministry of Interior is working on a new integration program through discord to try to more directly engage with newcomers instead of just pointing them to a handbook.
 
The Ministry of Interior is working on a new integration program through discord to try to more directly engage with newcomers instead of just pointing them to a handbook.

Tbf the Interior Ministry has been doing that since I got back. What would be better is creating a welcome Squad, specifically masked Discord greeters that can intercept new people in the lobby and in the main chat and specifically masked on the forums with the sole job of greeting and messaging new residents.

You know on top of that whole integration thing
 
The Ministry of Interior is working on a new integration program through discord to try to more directly engage with newcomers instead of just pointing them to a handbook.

Sounds great! :D

Although don't new people on Discord have to first find the link, generally, via the forums and applying for citizenship?
 
Tbf the Interior Ministry has been doing that since I got back. What would be better is creating a welcome Squad, specifically masked Discord greeters that can intercept new people in the lobby and in the main chat and specifically masked on the forums with the sole job of greeting and messaging new residents.

You know on top of that whole integration thing
This is a brand new program that has rolled out in the past week or so. We're still working on the details, but your idea is part of it.
 
Tbf the Interior Ministry has been doing that since I got back. What would be better is creating a welcome Squad, specifically masked Discord greeters that can intercept new people in the lobby and in the main chat and specifically masked on the forums with the sole job of greeting and messaging new residents.

You know on top of that whole integration thing
This has already been extensively discussed and is currently ongoing in a trial fashion.
 
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