Hi everyone —
I’m Somyrion — also known as Aumeltopia on gameside — and I’m your current Minister of Foreign Affairs. I’ve also held the position of Minister of Military Affairs, as well as Local Councillor, and I’m an active participant in the Ministry of Regional Affairs, so I know almost all aspects of this region quite well! I’ve endeavoured to serve the South Pacific as well as possible in this past term, and I’d like to ask for your support for another term. My tenure as Minister these past three months has taught me quite a bit, though, and I’m excited at the prospect of being able to put some new ideas and tweaks into practice and pursue some new goals!
I’m going to start right now with the concrete goals that I have and plan to accomplish with the Ministry. I believe that the best way to ensure that things in one’s campaign are actually carried out is to set specific steps to achieve, rather than drifting aimlessly on twenty paragraphs of ideology. I will, however, follow these goals with a bit of an explanation on my foreign affairs outlook, as that is certainly important in its own right.
First, here’s a summary of some of what’s been accomplished in the Ministry this past term:
Replacement of the dysfunctional MoFA Team system with a Committee system, enabling newer members to be involved in Ministry management positions and organizing all Ministry functions into purpose-built channels. There are currently nine active committees, all established since the start of the term, including ones on Embassy Auditing, Foreign Update-writing, a WA project, and more.
A new gameside embassy with Europe
Debate on new embassies with Wintreath and South Pacific
Closure of an inactive gameside embassy with Kennan
The publication of a Guide to Being an Ambassador
Assignment of at least nine new Ambassadors
The institution of game-side polling on opening or closing embassies game-side, allowing those who prefer the RMB to discord or the forums to have a say in Foreign Affairs changes which directly affect them
All in all, the MoFA is quite a bit more organized and functional than it was at the start of last term. Now that the last term has laid the groundwork, it is time to move even further upward towards a FA ministry which can use that basis to produce content, further increase engagement, and handle diplomatic situations even more efficiently and appropriately.
I’d like to incorporate some operational changes into the Ministry’s planning:
Planning for repeated events or duties to occur every week. I’ve found that setting a standard that specific duties must be carried out at specific intervals, instead of just “whenever we get to them”, aids in making sure that those duties are done. I have several ideas for weekly or near-weekly events.
An increase in the use of polls. Amerion’s January Assembly poll was quite helpful in letting me know what regions people wanted more relations with — and in fact many of them were ones I was already thinking about! I immediately fast-tracked the pursuit of those embassies, and now we have Wintreath and South Pacific on the table in the Assembly. In hindsight, I should have done this more often all term long. While the Ministry can’t always reveal the nature of sensitive diplomatic discussions while they are happening, we can make sure that in those discussions we are always acting on the real interests of TSPers as expressed by themselves in polls, Overall ministry policy will be decided by South Pacificans’ votes all term long, not just in this cabinet election. So prepare for me to use polls like the Chair uses pings!
Should I be reelected, I intend to accomplish the following:
Right now the Ministry is right in the middle of working on several projects, including one with our new embassy region Europe, one more gameplay-related which I’d like to present to the Assembly as soon as possible, and the potential WA project which Glen-Rhodes alluded to. Felis and I have already discussed some ideas for the Europe event— we were actually planning on proposing it for this week, if cabinet elections had not gotten in the way! :P We were thinking of doing trivia on each region’s RMB, music-sharing on discord, and so on. I’d love to work with whomever is elected Minister of Regional Affairs on this.
Starting with Europe the week after cabinet elections conclude, and then Wintreath and South Pacific should they be accepted by gamesiders in weeks 2-4 of the term, I’d like to instate a tradition of a “new embassy party” in which we and each new embassy share our regional traditions with each other on discord and the RMB. (Spreading Geoguessr around the world, anyone? :P )
The Europe event would also kick off a weekly “RMB cultural exchange” program. One day a week, the Ministry would encourage RMBers to introduce themselves and chat with members of a specific embassy region on their RMB. (Of course, fair warning would need to be given to that region to ensure they’re prepared!)
A further-down-the line idea would be to do a WA/endorsement event with TNP and Europe, to tie in with SWAN. The three of us are all top WA regions, and I think we’d each be able to contribute a lot and gain a lot. Prarie also mentioned this, but a potential agreement between the three of us might be a long-term goal to work towards if these first events turn out well. :)
I’d like to experiment with a program of “RMB Ambassadors” for the gameside community, if the Local Council and RMBers as a whole showed interest. RMB Ambassadors would be active TSP RMBers — preferably people who aren’t on discord— assigned by the Ministry to one of our in-game embassy regions, to watch and take part in that region’s RMB very much like Ambassadors do for the whole region. They would then report back not to the Ministry on discord, but to the TSP RMB as a whole, and we might be able to collate a publication for RMBers with a list of what’s going on in all the embassies. I am imagining this to be quite a bit less formal than an actual Ambassador position, sort of like the Reserves in the SPSF.
I will endeavour to carry out a weekly AMA simultaneously on discord and the RMB.
Among larger regions, I’d like to look at restoring relations with Lazarus, the West Pacific, further relations with 10000 Islands and Forest, and continuing strong relations with all our allies, as well as the current new embassies Europe, Wintreath, and South Pacific. A couple other regions that South Pacificans have mentioned an interest in are The Internationale, Pacifica, and The Western Isles, and I’d like to open a poll on those to gauge interest.
Unless unexpected events come up, I have no plan to decrease the number of our allies.
At present, several of the FA committees include only the Cabinet and whatever representative is present from another region. In order to help train enthusiastic new Ministry members, I will rework those “closed” committees so that each one includes a newer person, and will make a point of encouraging that person to take part in the discussion going on in the committee.
Although I can claim no credit for it, I fully support the idea Roavin put forth in his campaign of making Ambassador reports more public and accessible. (Any legislator who is in the MoFA server currently has full permission to view the #foreign-affairs-updates channel where Ambassador reports are made, but creating a collated dispatch and forum post with the reports would help as well.)
I will restructure the forumside Ministry application process. Right now, there is only an application for Ambassador, so someone who wants to participate in FA committees but doesn’t have the time or interest in being an Ambassador has no place to apply. Instead of the current thread, I will set up a new application to join the Ministry as a Member (which is already a distinct masking on discord), with the ability to select interest in being an Ambassador — or in any committee — which can then be used by the MoFA Management Committee to find the appropriate place for the applicant.
There will certainly be more along the way. If you have any questions, please, please ask them! :)
(I’ll put up a Part II on my FA / gameplay outlook in a bit, bear with me! 🐻)