Q&A in the Gov Hours session 14 May 2023

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Moon Adamant
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Q&A in the Gov Hours session 14 May 2023

Post by Moon Adamant »

Hello everyone,
This is a summary of the Gov Hours held last 14 May 2023.
The procedure is that only questions from the public, and the replies by CDS officers from the three branches of Government are transcribed.
If possible, a more concise answer will be transcribed, but sometimes answers are given in a flowing conversation (conversation detours removed!), so the transcript will reflect that.

Answering questions: Moon Adamant, Kyoko Barzane and Tor Karlsvalt (Executive Branch); Almut Brunswick, Gwyneth Llewelyn and Jerry McNally (RA)

[12:14] Moon Adamant: ok, we have the three branches of government here, so let's start.
[12:15] Moon Adamant: welcome everyone to the GOV Hours of the CDS
[12:15] Moon Adamant: this is a participative event in which you can ask the CDS Gov officers questions about the CDS and its governance.
[12:16] Moon Adamant: a transcript will be taken of ONLY the questions made (no names! and the full answers of the CDS gov officers
[12:16] Moon Adamant: and will be published at our forums... getting the link.
[12:17] Moon Adamant: https://cdsdemocracy.org/ is our website, with all the info about the CDS, which as you know, is the oldest democracy in SL.
[12:18] Moon Adamant: we have been here since 2004... stay tuned because there's a BIG anniversary coming soon #CDS20B
[12:18] Moon Adamant: and now, I'll shut up at last! everyone ask away!

QUESTION: The devil's advocate in me is dying to ask -- how do we know *we're* the oldest democracy in SL? Who's the second oldest, for example?
[12:19] Gwyneth Llewelyn: it's mostly because we don't say "the oldest & only"
[12:20] Gwyneth Llewelyn: More to the point — we were the FIRST community in Second Life which ran democratically and proudly stated that in public with LL's full knowledge.
[12:21] Gwyneth Llewelyn: And... we're still the same community, (almost) 20 years later, so...

QUESTION: Have there been many others that have tried things this way?
[12:21] Gwyneth Llewelyn: .... we're the 'oldest' in that regard.
[12:21] Gwyneth Llewelyn: There were a few to my knowledge
[12:21] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): well we got the Anzere sim based on an application outlining our plans
[12:21] Moon Adamant: if we make it to SL20B this year, we'll have a timeline of all the CDS moments ㋡
[12:21] Gwyneth Llewelyn: *mostly* role-playing communities
[12:21] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): they were trying to fill the snow sims
[12:22] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): we sure ain't roleplayinng
[12:22] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Indeed, Kyoko, we don't
[12:22] Gwyneth Llewelyn: There was an intriguing Polish experiment, ages ago
[12:23] Moon Adamant: ah yes, very important: we are NOT a RP community
[12:23] Moon Adamant: we manage our regions and our community for real
[12:24] Gwyneth Llewelyn: aye, also, we were almost certainly the first community to manage common land on a *private* island
[12:27] Jerry McNally: (Don't worry about that.) I think the whole notion of a community-led group like this is interesting, given the attention on metaverse things earlier
[12:27] Jerry McNally: The models in the press have either been top-down like Meta or completely empty like Decentraland
[12:28] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Jerry, exactly. Actually, we *do* have a secret trick for our longevity...
[12:29] Gwyneth Llewelyn: It's called *representative* democracy (as opposed to everybody in the group voting on everything and deciding everything)
[12:30] Moon Adamant: yes, we elect the Legislative Branch and the Chancellor

QUESTION: Are there arguments about issues?
[12:30] Gwyneth Llewelyn: oh of course, and we debate them freely :)
[12:30] Gwyneth Llewelyn: That's the point!
[12:30] Gwyneth Llewelyn: No groupthink in the CDS
[12:31] Gwyneth Llewelyn: You bring up your ideas,
[12:31] Gwyneth Llewelyn: then either vote for someone who supports them
[12:31] Gwyneth Llewelyn: or get elected yourself!
[12:32] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well I wouldn't generalise
[12:34] Gwyneth Llewelyn: the point here being having checks and balances. The Representative Assembly does the laws and approves the budget, but doens't run the daily tasks
[12:34] Gwyneth Llewelyn: While the Chancellor seems super-powerful with their team —
[12:34] Gwyneth Llewelyn: but they will only remain in office for one term (two if re-elected)
[12:34] Gwyneth Llewelyn: one term = 6 months
[12:35] Gwyneth Llewelyn: There is also the third branch, a mix of judiciary & ethics, which
[12:36] Gwyneth Llewelyn: we call it the Scientific Council (there is a reason for that!)
[12:38] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Our model of government is not inspired *directly* on any particular real-life government model
[12:38] Gwyneth Llewelyn: However, it's true that we did agree on a model based mostly on common law — it's easier that way
[12:39] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): well originally wasn't it based on the German system?
[12:39] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): CDS
[12:39] Gwyneth Llewelyn: No, not really
[12:39] Gwyneth Llewelyn: It was *discussed* but no
[12:40] Gwyneth Llewelyn: *originally* there weren't even any Chancellors :)
[12:41] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Then we had a mixed model, similar to the Westminster one: the RA was organised in factions (= political parties) and the faction with the most votes would appoint a Chancellor
[12:42] Gwyneth Llewelyn: That was a short time
[12:42] Moon Adamant: it didn't last much, i recall
[12:42] Jerry McNally: That's interesting about the RA parties voting for the Chancellor
[12:42] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): I forgot that as I wasn't around then
[12:42] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Since factions were dropped as a requirement for getting elected to the Representative Assembly, the Chancellor became elected as a third branch directly, by universal sufrage
[12:42] Tor Karlsvalt: Actually I was the first elected chancellor.
[12:42] Gwyneth Llewelyn: *suffrage even
[12:42] Almut Brunswick: We have simply not enough active citizens to form real factions
[12:43] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Underline the word "ACTIVE" (in terms of political activity, that is)
[12:43] Moon Adamant: but granted, the Social-Democracts are the only extant faction
[12:43] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): but you are an information group now rather than an active party as I understand it
[12:43] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Because, you know, the original group that started the CDS in Anzere was... 80 people
[12:43] Gwyneth Llewelyn: 20 years later — and we're still around 80
[12:43] Almut Brunswick: Currently, we have one, the Social Democrats. But having just one faction creates another problem: It could be seen as the evidence that the CDS is probably a one-party dictatorship.
[12:44] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Of course, not the same ones, hehe
[12:44] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): they do not act politically as group now as I understand it
[12:44] Gwyneth Llewelyn: The *lowest* number of citizens at one time was... four
[12:44] Tor Karlsvalt: I think 80 is about the minimum target.
[12:44] Jerry McNally: Four?!
[12:44] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Kyoko, exactly! They're more fond of parties than of being a party, so to speak ;)
[12:45] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Jerry: yeppers. And a full region to pay tier for!

[13:05] Moon Adamant: this is a democratic event, we're the oldest democratic community in SL
[13:05] Moon Adamant: our citizens come and roast us once a month ㋡
[13:07] Moon Adamant: but now really, the purpose of the event is that people ask us about our community and its governance ㋡
[13:08] Gwyneth Llewelyn: There are still a few prims back from 2004 I think....
[13:09] Tor Karlsvalt: Well there is the Heritage rock up in Neufreistadt.
[13:09] Tor Karlsvalt: yup, that rock is almost Precambrian.
[13:10] Gwyneth Llewelyn: BTW, Neufreistadt is the highest continuously-inhabited city in the whole of the SL Grid (source: Second Life Geography Institute)
[13:10] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Also, according to the very same institute, Neufreistadt stands on the tallest mountain of all private islands
[13:11] Gwyneth Llewelyn: There are three taller mountains on the mainland

QUESTION: Do you have lots of parties and social events?
[13:11] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): yesssssssssss
[13:11] Moon Adamant: we run a schedule of events
[13:11] Gwyneth Llewelyn: A few per week for sure
[13:12] Kyoko Barzane (samara.barzane): that a PIO function also I help curate our museum and we have parties for each exhibit
[13:12] Moon Adamant: https://cdsdemocracy.org/cds-events/
[13:12] Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right — we have major events spread throughout the year; then at least one non-governance-related event per month; and then a few more every week, some are parties, some are governance-related, some are merely discussions
[13:13] Moon Adamant: next upcoming events
[13:13] Moon Adamant: regular ones: Swingin' CDS with DJ Bea McMahon on Tuesdays
[13:13] Moon Adamant: and CDS Equestrians Weekly ride on Thursdays
[13:17] Moon Adamant: then, we have on the 21st too a concert by Joaquin Gustav, who is our artist in Residency, and the opening of the Tarot art exhibition on the 27th
[13:19] Moon Adamant: for the art show please ask the curator, Kyoko!
[13:24] Moon Adamant: we'll have a new website soon but same link https://cdsdemocracy.org/
[13:24] Moon Adamant: we're also on FB, Twitter and Flickr

Eudaimonia now!
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