Reforming the Guild

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Jon Seattle
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Reforming the Guild

Post by Jon Seattle »

Since Beathan brought this up in the SP forum, I do want to begin to bring up this topic here. In November I and Moon Adamant proposed two bills to reform the Guild. The model we used is the SPC, the group that designed and built Colonia Nova. The proposed bill and amendment are here:


The second bill is something that even a member of the simplicity party might appreciate. As I understand it, the CSDF's main disagreement with Pel and the DPU is on what to do about the current Guild. He wants to retain it as an organization but without its technical or design responsibilities.

Our proposal makes the new Guild a publicly chartered organization and removes it as a branch of government. It remains public because it retains several critical responsibilities to the CDS:

1. To continue to organize the process of planning and implementing new themed sims with widespread citizen participation.

2. To provide technical advice and help to the Chancellor.

3. To provide a means for CDS citizens to gain design skills and education in exchange for their work on CDS public projects. This does not preclude additional programs for attracting citizens with critical skills.

The Guild does not need to be an official branch of government to carry out these duties, and in fact, like the SPC, it can do a better job if it functions as a voluntary agency apart from the politics of the RA and the executive.

Moon and I, CSDF members of the RA, identify ourselves primarily as builders and designers. (Moon is successful at making her RL living designing and building in SL.) Unfortunately with Colonia Nova now up and running, the CDS does not provide a space or resources that is comfortable or attractive for building and design. We need to make it a priority to change this.

PS. In case you are wondering my own builds in CN include the bridge, the aqueduct, four roofs for larger structures, four "domas" homes along the cardo (across from the amphitheater), and a villa. The whole team did a wonderful job. But there is still more to do in both NFS and CN.

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Post by Beathan »

Jon --

I cannot speak for the whole Simplicity Party, but I like your proposal a lot -- and agree that the Guild has much to contribute if it maintains its technical and design responsibilities.

Also, in light of the Civil Service Act, I don't see a critical need to maintain the A.C. in its historical or Constitutional form.

However, I think we need to flesh out and set the role of the Civil Service in our Constitutional structure. Right now, as I see it, we have a conceptual, but not actual, civil service. In concept, the Civil Service is checked by several Constitutional branches of government (positions set by RA; appointed and dismissed by Executive; dismissal appeals heard by the S.C.), but the Civil Service is neither its own branch of government, nor is it explicitly subordinated to or made part of another branch of government.

I think that the Civil Service can and should be its own branch of government, administering the governmental involvement in sim expansion and improvement, administering the school, administering and advertising public events, arranging for use of CDS facilities by SL groups, advertising the CDS and providing for diplomacy and naturalization of new citizens. I think all these are governmental functions -- and in my original proposal, I favored combining these functions with the construction functions of a Guild by making the Guild a branch of government with this expansive portfolio.

However, I am not committed to this combination. Longtime citizens seem to believe, based on the history of the A.C. and Guild, that the Guild, as conceived as a vehicle of private commerce which can fund the CDS, has not worked -- and that private commerce should be left a matter of essentially private concern. Therefore, the Guild should be a NGO.

We have the Civil Service (in principle and concept at least) to serve the governmental functions I have in mind. It can work in partnership with the Guild, but it should be be the Guild. The problem is that we do not have the Civil Service in fact, and we have not yet determined whether it is part of another branch of government (probably the Executive) or is its own branch. I think we need to answer these questions, and to actually institute the civil service, before we get rid of the A.C. Therefore, I think any proposal to change the Constitution to removed the A.C. should be considered alongside and passed long with legislation clarifying the civil service and creating civil service positions.

With regard to what positions we should have, I suggest that we start with existing SL professions, and hire a person with skills in each profession to perform the professional work on behalf of the CDS. We can start with existing skilled citizens or we can bring in skilled foreigners as new citizens. What I have in mind is a laureate model of the civil service -- at least to start with -- with one professional in each category. Thus, we could have a CDS scripter laureate; a CDS builder laureate; a CDS promoter laureate; a CDS host/hostess laureate; etc. If the requirements of the position are too much for one person, we can expand that agency in the civil service, or flesh out the agency through volunteer work or otherwise. (We should use our successful sim construction groups as models.) If the position proves unnecessary, we can eliminate the position.

So -- to get back to topic, I very much like your legislation to create a reformed Guild, and like the scope of authority you give that Guild. I also acknowledge the wisdom of eliminating the A.C., but only if we have actually constituted our Civil Service and have clarified the position of the Civil Service in our state.


Let's keep things simple enough to be fair, substantive enough to be effective, and insightful enough to be good.
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