What is CDS?

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Arria Perreault
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What is CDS?

Post by Arria Perreault »

I am a CDS citizen since December 2006. At that time, I have bought a house in Colonia Nova where I have opened my first exhibition. There are many amazing places in Second Life, but I think that CDS is a very special place. What makes it so special? I see three caracteristics:

CDS is a democracy

It was a surprise for me to realize that I became a citizen of a virtual democracy. I wasn't aware of that when I bought my land, but the electoral campaign few after my arrival. At that time, all factions were present on the forum and it was possible to talk with candidates. I have slowly understood how work all these branches together. It is not perfect, but it exists. We have debates, we have discussions. We elect people.

CDS is beautiful

I have choosen to live in CDS because I was fallen in love with Colonia Nova. All our sims are beautiful, because we take time to build them. We have a General Master Plan, we have themes and cluster. Orography, hydrography, road, all is coherent. We have skilled people who are able to create amazing landscapes or wonderful buildings. Our public places and buildings are great. There are also nice private houses. It is a big pleasure to visit the sims.

People make CDS

CDS is first people. I have met wonderful, interesting, strong, valuable people in this community. It is not possible to be friend with every one, but together we learn a lot. Yes, we have conflicts. Yes, we argue. But we have also wonderful parties and fests. We know also to have fun together. CDS is a picture of our world. I would hate to live in a smooth community, far from the reality. I did not come to Seconf Life to escape real life. Not every moment in CDS is nice and I had some bad periods, like many of us. But I have learned a lot, being with you all.

If I had to summarize, I would say that CDS is a place where your dreams can become true. You will have to fight for them. You will have to work for them too. You will have to adapt them and maybe improve them. But if you strongly believe in them, you will succeed. Noboby has told that dreams come true easely, here or elsewhere.

I am running for a sit in the RA as CSDF member, because I am ready to engage myself for the community. My wish is to help other people to build projects for CDS. I strongly believe that we have to involve more our citizen in the community and to encourage them to build small and big projects. So CDS will life and grow.
I have a high interest for cultural life in Second Life, especially in museums and exhibitions. CDS has already great place for exhibitions, museums, places of interest and places for events. I think also that CDS could play a role in education, which is a growing activity in Second Life. By such activities, we can attract new citizen.
Economy is a known issue in Second Life and it has been often discussed in our community. Since the beginning of Second Life, commerce has evolved a lot and now. The future is not anymore in little shops, but in malls (like Limani in Locus Amoenus) and even more through the platform Xstreet. We should request a Xstreet terminal somewhere in CDS, when Xstreet will install new ones (now it is temporarily stopped). We should encourage people to sell their stuff with this platform too.
We need to expand and I am in favour all projects of expansion, inclusive merging with other communities. Our own name says that: Confederation of Democratic Simulators.

I cannot talk here about all issues. If citizen have questions to adress me, they can ask directly through this forum or through my campaign blog where I have copied this message too.

http://arriaperreault.posterous.com/what-is-cds

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Sonja Strom
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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Sonja Strom »

I want to acknowledge Arria Perreault for being a wonderful contribution to the Confederation of Democratic Sims and the Second Life world.

Arria has been a constant promoter of authenticity in the CDS, in terms of its government, its institutions, its society, its buildings, and much more. She has worked hard to create and maintain the Monastery, which has brought visitors from all over Second Life and resulted in good publicity for the CDS. Not only is this structure well-made and interesting, and continually offering interesting exhibits, it is also in a very picturesque location - all because of Arria's efforts. She has also made beautiful music with Alexicon, has served in the Representative Assembly and the Guild, and has participated in nearly every event I can remember in the CDS.

At times when I really needed a friend, Arria was there. She is one of the main reasons why I am still living in the CDS and active in SL. My adorable Arria. She and I do not always agree on everything, and we even belong to different political factions within the CDS, but it would be dishonest for me to not give her this credit. Arria, thank you.

Ranma Tardis

Not a true democracy

Post by Ranma Tardis »

Sorry to break the "Love feast" but not everyone loves the CDS. It is not a democracy in the normal sense and the size of the government is overblown and bloated for its size. Rudy Rummel would call it an "electoral" democracy since the elections are not competitive. I hear the differences in "fraction" politics but do not see any real difference on what they do and say once in office. True there was Michael and the Princess but they were treated poorly and it appears they were prodded into their "misdeeds". The Soviet Union was very good at provoking non desirable s into committing crimes so they could be dealt with.
The CDS has a very bad track record of minority rights. The ease of changing the constitution makes it a rather sick joke. There is a dislike shown by the governing body towards anything American in nature and that extends to when the vote is held. After the coup of 06 the governing body had an ideal of what they wanted the German theme sim to become. At once it brought in the Mediterranean theme that was out of line with the founding concepts but it was backed by the leaders of the revolt against the founders and the new owner of the sim. She is the true force behind whatever happens in the CDS. She has done a GREAT job as administrator but also made her ideals policy. I still remember how she blocked me from the guild for her own reasons. Kendra at that time allowed me into the Neaultenberg Guild without reservation. I am the last active member of that guild. I really miss Kendra and still feel lost with her absence.
I usually do not go off like this but the CDS is not a GREAT success at all. It is a success at the few forcing itself over the majority. Seems like most residents of the CDS are now "renters" and not citizens. Please remember all of the people that were forced out or call it quits. You can call me names like before including being a racists since my preference was toward German theme. I want to capture and understand my German ancestry. Neaultenburg got "waterdown" by the immersion of colonia nova and the Mediterranean sims. My question is how many people left or were forced out? What percentage of those that left to the current population and PLEASE leave out the obvious alts!

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Sonja Strom
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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Sonja Strom »

Ranma, do you have suggestions for how this could be made better?

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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Rose Springvale »

Ranma, with all due respect, you are not talking about the CDS that i am a member of. I do not agree with anything you've written here. I was NOT one of the founders of CDS, am an American Citizen, and while i've certainly had my share of disagreements with people, i've never felt that minority rights were not being protected as best they could be. I will credit Jamie with over reaching sensitivity to that particular issue... even when he doesn't have popular support.

I'm sorry that you find diversity of sim theme and the interest of the people in CDS to be so disappointing, but for me, it keeps it vibrant and interesting. We have grown dramatically in the past two years, and include people from all over the world. I know you opposed that too, and so while no one made you leave, it probably made sense for you to do so. Why spend your leisure time doing things you don't enjoy?

The fact that the constitution CAN be changed easily has never led to anyone taking such changes lightly. Two constitutional amendments were turned down just this summer. With an RA that seems truly representative of the citizens of CDS, i doubt we will ever pass an amendment that isn't well considered, and i for one respect the time of my colleagues, both opponents and proponents because that is exactly what protects minority rights, and exactly what does make CDS a true democracy.

The government is too big? where in the world can you not say that about??

Thanks for reminding me of the things that make me proud to call CDS home, and happy to share it with others. It is fine that you don't love CDS, but who is this majority of renters for whom you purport to speak? I get around fairly well, and have never heard this complaint from a citizen.

We are not stagnant, single themed, or frankly, bitter. We don't always get along, and we don't even all like each other. Thank goodness.

Ranma Tardis

Re: What is CDS?

Post by Ranma Tardis »

Rose you really need to read the transcripts of the RA meeting and then Claude Desmoulins writing "(a bit frighteningly American :)" This is not the first time this sentiment has been expressed by the "leaders" of the CDS. Reading something like this really pisses me off like there is something wrong about being an American and the country I fought for in Iraq. I sort of like the American system and its checks and balances. I know very little about the european union but do understand there is a lot of resistance by the member states to give up their state powers.
I would like to see a constitutional convention by all parties in the CDS. Really the country is too small to just allow the few to make all of the decisions. There was never a poll done to see if the different populations actually wanted to make the union.
Like to think I am in good company with those who left the CDS. A bloody stupid name if there ever was one. Well enjoy yourself s in what became a very small group of people. I am proud to be part of Caledon, all hail Desmond Shang and his court! It is just as responsive to the needs of its subjects as the CDS is of their "citizens". There is something very wrong with the CDS and will use it as a model of how things go wrong. I will soon have more time available and will be setting up my own version of Neaultenberg a tribute to my friend and mentor Kendra Bancroft.
Well enjoy yourselves and good luck!

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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Rose Springvale »

i have read them all. Thanks for your input. Let's agree that we disagree :)

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Sonja Strom
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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Sonja Strom »

Ranma Tardis wrote:

I am proud to be part of Caledon, all hail Desmond Shang and his court!

All the best to you, Ranma.

Ranma Tardis

sensitive spot

Post by Ranma Tardis »

Think I touched a sensitive spot though only a few of those in power in the CDS have responded. The RA has too much power in the government and does not have any effective checks to its power. If the SC rules about the constitutionality of a issue and the RA disagrees they change the constitution. The guild has been rendered impotent.
My humble suggestion is to redo the Guild and to make it the lower house of the assembly. All residents can be members. It is used when major changes are needed such as changing the constitution. It will also able able to send bills up to the Senate to consider. It will give everyone a chance to participate in government. At this time they have to beg the RA members to sponsor their ideals and I believe only RA members can speak during meetings. It would take a 75 percent vote to pass an amendment to the constitution.
The RA will be converted to a Senate with one member per sim elected by the citizens of that sim. Citizens can only vote in a single sim. This will be the upper chamber which will do ordinary business like today. They have to vote 75 percent to approve any constitutional amendment.
The head of the executive branch the President Vice President would be elected by direct vote. This branch overseas the operation of the government. The ministers are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. It will be given a budget from the Senate and will spend these funds. Certain funds will be allocated to specific project while other funds can be spent at the discretion of the branch.
The Science council will act as the Judicial branch of the government. They will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
I am going to hear it is too "American" though with the exception of the executive branch it is modeled after a lot of countries including the UK. I get offended when the leaders crow about anything that resembles America.
I was asked how to make the CDS better. This is my response. You wonder why most of the population has become renters, there is no meaningful way they can partipate. Do not tell me about the forums as one of the RA has told me they do not read the forums.

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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Hi Ranma. It's nice to run into you in Caledon occasionally, even though we don't see you in CDS anymore. You're right that there aren't a lot of Forum responses here from "management" (which I guess includes me), to posts which say that everything in CDS sucks. That's probably because most of us do not think it sucks :)

More of our people like the multiple themes ... which, in a democracy, means they get to stay. Our residents actually are our owners, not renters: a majority of them could fire me, and yes, the evil vizier Sudane, too if they wanted. Did you think that Caledon citizens could fire Des? Your fellow CDS alumni, the Dread Lord Shang, is a great landlord, and a customer service wizard, but that's a different goal than citizen ownership. And they play favorites over there, too, sometimes ... as you know. (Hang on: vizier? vizieress? vizierette? oh, never mind.)

Everyone's human and flawed. When I arrived in CDS a few years ago, I didn't like the air of putsches and junior-high-school-student-council character attacks I saw, either. So I tried to change it. (When I first ran for office, I even got a nice note from D.L.S. warning, wisely, that CDS needed a better primary export than character assassination.) It's 2009 now; we try for a different tone, and I'm pleased to see that creators and constructive critics routinely seem to win more votes and get more support here, in CDS, than a lynch mob approach.

You weren't run off, you're welcome anytime, as you and I discussed at length when you were living here in Alpine Meadows. You're probably right that the CDS government model is not a completely American one. It's a hybrid, and changes as we experiment with it. We'll continue to do so, influenced primarily by what our current citizens want. Come back anytime you like.

Or, since this is a democracy, feel free to just keep posting here that we suck. Let's see Des fund a bulletin board that encourages people to slag him :) Regards Jamie

== My Second Life home is CDS. Retired after three terms
== as chancellor of the oldest self-governing sims in SL.
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Re: sensitive spot

Post by Sonja Strom »

Thank you for your suggestions Ranma. I want you to know I will consider them carefully.

With the best of intentions, I would like to say a few things about what you wrote here:

Ranma Tardis wrote:

At this time they have to beg the RA members to sponsor their ideals and I believe only RA members can speak during meetings.

It is true that a bill to change a law or to amend the Constitution can only be introduced for a vote in the Representative Assembly by an elected member of the RA. This said, I think it would be an extremely unusual situation for a citizen who wanted a bill to find it really hard to get a member of the RA to sponsor it. At this time we have 13 RA members and three political parties. If not one RA member would be willing to sponsor a particular bill in the RA, it seems clear to me the bill would not pass a vote in the RA anyway. With regard to the second part of your sentence, in every RA meeting I have attended all citizens present have been allowed to speak on any topic. Sometimes they have had to follow the protocol of the meeting, which at times has meant they needed to wait a few minutes before being allowed to talk, but that has happened to me too as a member of the RA.

Ranma Tardis

suggestions

Post by Ranma Tardis »

Jamie, I never used the word "sucks" it is just that the CDS has not fulfilled its potential. Sudane is doing a GREAT job of being the estate manager. I just pointed out that it is possible for her to abusive her office. Part of my job with the government is to look for the "possible".
Oh I do visit the CDS from time to time but usually find it so empty. This happens often in Second Life so please do not look at this as a slight.
I have to run am at my parents house and since both of them are in the nursing home have things to do.
kind regards
Ranma

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Re: sensitive spot

Post by Cindy Ecksol »

Ranma Tardis wrote:

Think I touched a sensitive spot though only a few of those in power in the CDS have responded.

Actually I was away the 18th and 19th so am just now catching up on this thread. It's always interesting to hear alternative perspectives. On the other hand, what you write is so different from the reality that i experience that I'm not sure I have anything at all to say in response. This is especially true since the last time I responded, you eventually posted this: http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php? ... 561#p13589 . If the posting at that reference is REALLY how you feel, then I'm inclined to just read your latest and avoid answering and getting into a fight.

Ranma Tardis wrote:

Do not tell me about the forums as one of the RA has told me they do not read the forums.

Now this is an interesting (and troubling) issue. I too have noticed that RA members are not reading the forums. That's unfortunate as the forums have the potential to allow us to work out a great deal of the detail of our legislative agenda outside of meetings yet in the public eye and save valuable meeting time for fine-tuning and voting. What I'm hoping is that as we move a little deeper into the term RA members will be eager to participate in discussions and use the forums for that very purpose. If that happens, everything they work out will be right out there in public for everyone else to see too, and I can't help but think that that wouldn't be good for the democratic process.

In the meantime, I plan to bring this up at the RA meeting on Sunday and see where it goes. Communications are very important even in a small community like ours.

Cindy

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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Soro Dagostino »

I, for one, do read the forums. Sometimes a little late, and sometimes when I am in a bad mood. Most of the time they offer constructive critiques of what RA does.

Some times they don't.

Somewhere in my life, I learned not to abide quitters who complain. They rarely, ever, bring anything constructive to the table. As for those who want to contribute, I bend over backward to be sure they are heard.

And tonight, I am in a bad mood. . . I so admit.

Soro

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Re: What is CDS?

Post by Sudane Erato »

I am in a perpetual bad mood; hence my label below; and therefore I'm in complete agreement with Soro's comments...

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