Manifesto for the April 2008 Special Elections

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Gwyneth Llewelyn
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Manifesto for the April 2008 Special Elections

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CSDF believes in:

1. Devolving government to directly democratic NGOs like the New Guild that involve citizens directly in decisions about their everyday lives.

2. A focus on activities that involve participation and learning, so citizens can take what they learned and apply it to their own life goals, in business, the arts, and government. The CDS as a way to empower citizens. And by investing in citizens, making the CDS stronger and more economically successful.

3. The civil and political rights of citizens based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights protected by the SC.

4. Full deliberative and creative participation applied to planning the future of our space and our islands rather than the non-committed one-time referenda vote or critical decisions made via power struggles in the RA.

Sustainability and Community

* Green Sims program
We will make the CDS 'carbon neutral' by purchasing carbon offsets to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the CDS sims. We will make sure that any such scheme is environmentally and economically sound before investing in it. The CDS will support the lobby effort to persuade Linden Labs to switch to renewable energy.

* Cooperation
The CSDF has, since its beginning, been a cooperative party. More important than "pushing" the vote on our agenda, we encourage others — even the opposition — to work with us on compromise. The legislative work of the CSDF will, as usual, focus on working together with all factions, all groups and NGOs, all citizens, and forge common ideas towards the same goal: advancing the CDS.

* Culture
The CDS has remarkable public buildings and a history as one of the longest-running projects in Second Life. We will promote culture in the CDS by developing innovative, interactive content for our public buildings which celebrates the history, life and culture of the CDS and which acts as a permanent 'attraction' giving people a good reason to come to the CDS and to keep coming back.

Education and culture are an important and valuable part of the virtual worlds. They are very attractive and bring people in sims . The CSDF support cultural and educational activities. It encourages citizen to develop their own skill to create contents. It supports initiatives that bring in our sims talented designers to present their works. A part of cultural activities may concern CDS: our culture, our history are interesting enough to be presented.


* Support our Volunteers!

* Give citizens a chance to learn a new skill

* Democracy promotion
Several of our citizens have manifested the desire to set up new events, where issues like negotiation, moderation, arbitration, conflict resolution, and learning to compromise, be taught in the CDS — both for the citizens and to visitors. All promotional events that also raise our skill levels in democratic procedures should be encouraged.


* Sims: Quality not Quantity
The CSDF supports various models of private development of our territory, as long as the necessary checks and balances on the process are duly defined, applied and respected. The CSDF aims at the continuity of the quality of our territory, and stands against wild, unchecked expansion. It is the CSDF's opinion that all the structures needed for this correctness of procedure are already in place. We support that citizens and non-citizens be welcome to propose models for expansion - these too are avenues for participation!

* Commerce
We support measures to build business in the CDS, to support CDS artisans and promote their high quality goods. We want to see a voluntary, independent 'Chamber of Commerce' come into being which addresses issues such as advertising and building a reputation for quality. We utterly reject the draconian conclusions of the recent Commerce Commission which threatens CDS shopkeepers with being thrown out of their shops and stripped of citizenship without due process.


* "Progress, not Process"
The CSDF was always a faction that focused on actions. Discussing process is fundamental for the well-being of the CDS, but we propose to move the discussion on processes to specialised committees. We should encourage "getting things done" at the RA level, where time is of the essence, and let committees, with due faction representation - as well as participation from the citizens - promote the ongoing discussion on the several aspects that need fleshing out. The RA needs to be an efficient body that passes legislation to ensure our ongoing success. The committee work would also allow closer participation by the citizens — especially newer ones — interested in participating more closely in the decision process.

* A forum pledge: our candidates will read the forums regularly as it may be a good tool for citizen input, but our candidates will not engage in acrimonious debate there.

* Financial helper
The CSDF believes the CDS has been very lucky to have responsible people in charge of our finances and sim management. We need to take greater responsibility as a community for these functions and plan for maintaining them as we grow and in the future. We will work closely with the Executive Branch and the Treasurer to develop proposals that would help us accomplish this.

* RA and SC Archivist NOW
Due to a certain amount of "hurry" in passing out new legislation, new laws and amendments tend to partially supercede, contradict, or omit to override earlier legislation. As the CDS evolves, the task of maintaining accurate reports and amendments on which laws are effectively still valid, becomes a huge effort. We now are in the very silly position of having not one, but two Constitutions posted on the Wiki, and the two are out of alignment. The Constitution and the CDS Code of Law are the vital elements in our micronation; we have to ensure that all are properly updated and that someone is responsible to keep the records correctly. This is the job of the RA Archivist, which we will insist to be filled, as well as the vacant job for the SC Archivist, making sure that no further neglect occurs.

Both these roles need to be fully operational before the term finishes, and both should also advise the RA whenever a new bill is going to supercede, change, or invalidate previously approved legislation.

* Code of Conduct
Politeness never hurt freedom of speech. We wish that our elected representatives, as well as members on other elected or appointed bodies, become role models of the CDS, and ideals to be followed and respected by the community. We will ask all political roles to remember their sworn duties and to remain civil and refrain from personal attacks which lead to nowhere but hurting people's feelings instead of promoting engaging discussion on differing point of view.

* No Conflict of Interests
The CSDF wishes to encourage and reinforce that officials in the CDS — elected or appointed — should never be accused of conflicting interests. The community is small, and we accept that it is actually impossible to make sure that everybody is "neutral" and "unbiased". The CSDF understands that this utopian ideal cannot be reached; what we propose is to support, encourage, and propose legislation that will reduce the risk of overlapping and conflicting interests.

The same legislation should also be very supportive and encouraging of opening up new avenues of participation for the newer citizens, by promoting their efforts as candidates for the several official bodies and branches of government in the CDS.

We also wish to suggest that the RA refuses to pass any legislation affecting the elections during or immediately before an election is called. Former RAs tended to take a pause in their legislative efforts during the campaigning and voting phases. Legislative discussions should not stop, but they shouldn't address sensitive issues when an election is impending. Instead the RA candidates should be encouraged to bring up the issues during their campaigning, and let these be decided after a new RA is empowered to legislate.

"I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country."
  -- Philip "Linden" Rosedale, interview to Wired, 2004-05-08

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