Election MMDCCLXIV (Nova Roma)/Gnaeus Iulius Caesar

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CIV-Gnaeus Iulius Caesar.jpg Gnaeus Iulius Caesar

Candidate for Consul.
Album Civium

Cn. Iulius Caesar omnibus sal.

I have already announced my intention to stand for the consulship in the coming elections. I want to elaborate on what I see as the seven main initial challenges facing whoever is successful, and indeed the challenges facing Nova Roma. This will be a long post, but then the issues are long. Before I attend to them I will spend a few moments covering, for the benefit of those who are not already aware, the positions I have held within Nova Roma.

I became a citizen on 29th March 2004. In respect of provincial positions, I was appointed as scribe to the governor of my province, then legate, and then governor. I have held and still hold a variety of positions within both Sodalitas Militarium and Sodalitas Egressus. In the central government of the res publica I have been scribe to a Curule Aedile, a Praetor and a Censor. I have also served as Accensus to three Consuls and am a Lictor. In respect of magistracies held, I have been Questor, Curule Aedile and currently serve as Praetor. I am also a member of the Senate. More details on my positions held can be found here.

My macronational experience lies in, among other areas, the fields of law enforcement, provincial government, team and unit management, project design and management, budgeting, and court order interpretation and legislative drafting.

I have committed time, energy and money to Nova Roma ever since 2004. This res publica of ours is not just some idle hobby for me. This bid for the consulship is undertaken knowing it will not be an easy year given the scope of my proposed activities below, but I consider the issues of vital importance to resolve. Equally after nearly eight years, I have no illusions about Nova Roma. It faces many problems, many of which are actually structural. They are utterly unrelated to personality divisions, or feuds, or ill-feeling. So what are some of those problems?

Firstly, our Constitution needs work, to fix many of the gaping holes and inconsistencies that have been highlighted over the years. This structural flaw has been the root cause of many issues, and the Constitution also suffers from a lack of an interpretation methodology. Consequently when divergent opinions arise as to its meaning, there is no definitive method of resolving them. This has led to a chaotic lurching from one side of the spectrum of meaning and interpretation to another, depending on the outlook of the Consuls in office. This can be corrected and in pursuit of this if elected, I will sponsor the introduction to the Senate of a proposed new Constitution. Only once the Senate has reviewed and debated this will I present it to the people. That is a departure from recent norms, where critical legislation was introduced without any attempt to ensure that if passed in comitia, it would receive the necessary support in the Senate. This in turn led to ill-feeling and ultimately to the failed attempt to install a dictatorship, one of the aims of which was to override the requirement to obtain a clear 2/3rds majority in the Senate. Negotiation before introducing it to the vote might well have achieved far more than simply trying to push it through the Senate with no prior consultation. The objective of the new Constitution will be to preserve what has worked, repair that which has not, strengthen that which has failed and innovate to cure the problems of the last seven years which the Constitution did not predict and thus prevent.

Secondly, solve the dichotomy between macronational law and Nova Roman law. For many years the requirements of the law of our incorporation state has proven itself at odds with our internal laws. Now of course the argument sometimes was to ignore the macronational law and only acknowledge Nova Roman law. That is simply untenable. Unless we propose to relocate our incorporated status to a failed state where there is no rule of law, then wherever we go there will be regulations to govern the activities of a non-profit corporation. If we fail to abide by such regulations then Nova Roma could be liable to prosecution and/or attendant fines. We also need that non-profit status to gain taxation advantages, as well as to add extra security to those wishing to donate money. Consistently and wilfully breaking the laws of any macronational state is the first way to lose that status. If elected it is my intention to end the continuing systemic structural failure in our res publica that has led to many such contradictions and open differences. Nova Roma must become a true res publica, looking to Roman based law and Roman legal principles, free from the seemingly endless clashes with Maine state law. Again, I will first introduce to the Senate the methodology to do so.

Thirdly, bring the webpage/wiki back to a US based provider. It is my position that assets of Nova Roma Inc. must be within the jurisdiction of the national state that it is incorporated in. In the event of disputes with providers of IT services the corporate arm of Nova Roma must be able to easily access the US judicial system, and such providers must be subject to such law. In the event of a dispute it would be expensive for a non-profit based in one country to pursue legal action against a web provider in another.

Fourthly, gain full control of our existing webpage and censorial tools. This has not been completed and is a top priority, whoever is successful in the election. It is utterly unacceptable that certain aspects of control of our tools still lie outside of Nova Roma. Efforts have been made this year to secure these, with varying degrees of success. This must be resolved as soon as possible. Our former CIO departed with much of the information necessary to exert full control over these tools and has apparently only been willing to deal with certain individuals. If negotiation is unsuccessful in short order, if elected I will be examining what options are available to Nova Roma to compel release of these or alternatively to pursue the matter through that individuals home legal system and within a court of competent jurisdiction. As I said of the webpage above, this might be costly and is another reason why we should never again allow the website outside of the jurisdiction of the nation where our incorporation state lies.

Fifthly, institute a review of our IT needs. This must be based on a recognition of our current population numbers, our limited streams of revenue, and must not focus on an all encompassing "made for Nova Roma" system, but rather one that is fiscally responsible, as cheap as possible and functional. The tools that we use behind the scenes need not cost thousands of dollars. All that matters is that they do the tasks they are required to. We must not drain the Treasury in pursuit of grandiose technological solutions. Nova Roma is an idea, an ideal, not a webpage or a database. The ideal must be built of shining marble, while the behind-the-scenes tools can be brick, just so long as they work. In other words our webpage should be as optimally professional and attractive as possible, but the mechanisms behind that only the Censors see must be functional, but need not necessarily be wildly expensive to design and impossible to maintain.

The failed attempt at the dictatorship was also partly tied to the obdurate refusal to even consider anything other than a uniquely designed IT system, replete with all the trimmings. This would have cost a minimum of $10,000 USD. That approach of refusing to examine alternative strategies and solutions is absurd given our population numbers. We need to look for solutions that combine cost-effectiveness with the flexibility for growth when required. If elected I will sponsor such discussions, within the Senate and outside, with the objective of producing a comprehensive series of directions enshrined in a senatus consultum. This form of legal authority to the plan is appropriate given the fiscal side being the domain of the Senate and it not being wise to enshrine fiscal policy that might need to be quickly adapted into a lex, which can take time to alter.

Sixthly, provide incentives for citizens to become engaged in Nova Roman life. A sense of purpose must be returned to citizens and a belief in the future of Nova Roma. Individual aspirations to excel in areas of endeavor inside our res publica must be structurally supported and encouraged. The Senate needs to be re-energized and start investigating and supporting projects. Not the sort of projects that are wildly fanciful and expensive. Clearly Nova Roma has neither yet the expertise nor finances to fund such complex projects. Project management is a science and the larger the project the more precise the science needed. If we cannot manage our own legislative calendar, and cannot yet fill all elected positions, then clearly now is far from the time to embark on another complex project that is doomed to failure. We need to pursue small inexpensive, or revenue neutral, projects that can garner us goodwill and positive publicity.

Seventhly, support for the collegia. Naturally I will fully support any genuine effort to advance the religio romana, as opposed to past efforts to use the religio in pursuit of a political agenda. I would hope, if elected, to work cooperatively with the collegia, to provide whatever support I can, be it space on the legislative calendar or advocacy, in support of their work.

So those are the seven initial areas as I see them that the consuls must contend with. These will not be the only issues, of that we can be sure. Others will arise. Such is life in Nova Roma, but I will endeavor to deal with all issues in an atmosphere of negotiation, calmly and in a planned, orderly and logical manner. Next year must be the year when the Senate rouses itself to provide some leadership and input, and when long-standing problems are cured, effectively, efficiently and permanently. We can tinker with the surface problems, paint over the cracks, or we can go as deep as is necessary into the foundations of Nova Roma to cure the systemic rot. The issues, the real issues, that hold us back are structural, not personality based.

The latter is a position I have held since 2009 and which also found cross-political support. When the structure is flawed or has failed and when our yearly focus is always on the same issues, then clearly something needs to change. We don't all come here to only and solely debate the Constitution, or the meaning of this lex or that, but if as a res publica the law is to mean anything then one cannot simply abandon the law to rapacious designs and interpretations. One cannot simply allow the Constitution to be trampled. Much of this can be cured however, thus allowing Nova Roma to pursue its original goals. A concentration on developing our collective Romanitas is a far better, more noble and productive use of our time than dealing with the same tired old issues. I say let us cure them once and for all and move on.

As I have stated earlier, I intend to bring matters to the Senate first for debate. That to me is far logical and healthier than cooking up legislative proposals in private, then dropping them on one of the comita with little or no warning and no real time for debate. This approach will also afford the Tribunes the opportunity to, through their reports to the people, work constitutionally and in a responsible manner by initiating debates within the Forum on proposed legislation, debates that I will be happy to participate in and answer questions on. My objective is to allow plenty of time for debate, even before a contio, but at the same time to keep the legislative calendar moving and on track. Debates have to end and cannot drag on interminably. Proposals will have to eventually simply be put to the vote to let the people decide. The Tribunes have an important role in Nova Roma, and keeping them informed prior to actions, wherever possible, will create less drama, less surprises and thus less knee jerk reactions all round and allow them to discharge their duty of looking at actions and parsing them against the Constitution and the law. It will also ensure they have ample opportunity to review legislative proposals to ensure that the rights of the plebeians are protected and preserved.

For all the fanfare about Nova Roma being a state, underpinning that we are a volunteer group and as such, especially in a small group, are prone to personality based discord. My objective however is to ensure that the structures and skeleton of Nova Roma are repaired, so that the sense of purpose, the ideal, the vision, has a realistic chance to take root again and grow. If the structure of the body politic is broken then how can its vital organs and flesh survive? However much goodwill that may, or may not, abound in Nova Roma, if the mechanisms and structures of the res publica are consistently breaking, or found at odds with macronational law, thus creating crisis and dilemmas, then despondency sets in. My objective is to cure as many of those structural flaws as I can in twelve months, to prevent the issues arising that lead to the debates that lead to the discord, that leads to the schisms, that lead to such events as we saw in 2010. Then certainly by 2013 we should be in a healthier position and able to devote much more time to debating our collective vision and embarking on consistent projects that bring substantive gains to Nova Roma.

However 2012 must be the year that the repair to the structure of the res publica is undertaken. In pursuit of that goal I ask for your support in my bid for the consulship.

Optime valete.
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