Election Platform July 2008 - "Avenues for Participation"

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Moon Adamant
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Election Platform July 2008 - "Avenues for Participation"

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CSDF believes in:

* Building upon constructive criticism, reasonable planning, and common sense to forge our society ahead; discarding personal and emotional issues in favour of the common good that unites all citizens in their struggle to push the democratic ideals of the CDS.
* Devolving government to directly democratic NGOs like the New Guild that involve citizens directly in decisions about their everyday lives.
* 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.
* The civil and political rights of citizens based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights protected by the SC. This includes theÊguarantee of political equality and the principal of "one person, one vote".
* 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.


A. Building Democratic Institutions


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 Ñ both for the citizens and to visitors. All promotional events that also raise our skill levels in democratic procedures should be encouraged.
Cooperation

The CSDF has, since its beginning, been a cooperative party. More important than "pushing" the vote on our agenda, we encourage others Ñ even the opposition Ñ 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.
Electoral Reform

The CSDF proposes to tackle once more the issue of the Electoral Reform, that due to several conflicting lobbies has been pushed into the far future. We will bring the Electoral Reform back to the Representative Assembly's agenda, having as priorities a more fair representative system where the majority of votes in the RA actually elects the majority of seats (unlike the current system). The roles of the election of the Leader of the Representative Assembly or the election of the Executive and its Chancellor should also be clarified. We feel that the current political climate in the CDS has been settling down and allows once more to start a thorough discussion of the Electoral Reform that congregates the majority of opinions of the citizens through the several mechanisms of citizen participation that we have proposed, and that all these concepts, ideas, and projects are pulled into a legislative framework allowing us to clarify the whole electoral procedures.
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 always filled, as well as the 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.

Transparency In Processes

There has been unneeded drama in this term due to the lack of transparency in decision processes, namely regarding the Executive Branch decisions. We support that requests and agreements with the Executive Branch be made public in the forums, as also the Executive replies.


B. Investing In Our Citizens


Education

The CSDF will promote a model of "education through practice". Under it, we expect citizens to learn by example, in the field, by assuming political roles, heading the several organisations in CDS, helping to build new sims and rebuild the existing ones, but having the ability to draw from the know-how and experience of existing citizens, who will collaborate in this process. Through this process, citizens acquire skills and techniques that will be more useful not only in the context of the CDS, but overall for them in SL, and, in some cases, even for their real lives.
Avenues of Participation For New Citizens

New citizens have new ideas, new demands, new needs that were unforeseen in the past. With the same enthusiasm that we will preserve the rich history of the CDS, we will fully embrace the new citizens and promote their taking on decision making roles. The success of the CDS has always depended on new citizens successfully introducing new ideas and taking the lead in changing our society and government.ÊThe CSDF will not shy away from encouraging new and old citizens in becoming the leaders and agents for change in the next term.
Participation

In the past, small communities were able to meet in the same place to debate and vote. In big democratic countries, this is not possible anymore. The technologies of information give us again the opportunity to involve as many people as possible in public debates. We encourage participation through forums, surveys, polls, and other similar methods to aid and assist government in their work. We are in favour of a Citizen Assembly Ñ regular "Town Hall meetings" where each and every citizen can come to discuss and vote on priorities for their government to implement.
The CDS Portal

Lack of information and confusing, overlapping websites have been the ban of the legislative branch and of the citizens in need of information. We fully support the efforts in congregating all existing information under a single "CDS portal", removing redundancy, providing a single account for all areas, and keep the information up to date for everyone to consult.


C. Developing our Economy

The CSDF supports and will promote citizen's enterprise, both for and non-profit, as both can attract business, both service and crafts.
High Quality Expansion

Building new sims is one of the most important activity of the CDS community. It is the opportunity to develop new skills, to maintain knowledge and to transfer it to a new generation of builder. We encourage a expansion with a high quality of building. We consider that a certain percentage of the sims must be built by the community to maintain an average level of skill. We hope also to develop a certified Faculty of Design and Building.

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.
Long tail market

Virtual world's market are under the rule of the long tail. This favours specialized commerce. We encourage a high level of knowledge. We hope to have skilled people who will be able to develop their own commercial activities, and will encourage the funding of organisations to raise the skill level of our citizens.

Promotion and Tourism


As the CDS slowly grows mostly by "word-of-mouth", we feel that it's time we organise the promotional material, both web-side and with an in-world Tourism Office, to reach out to new potential citizens who might consider living in the CDS as an alternative. This initiative should receive adequate funding and a new member of the Executive ("Foreign Relations") to oversee the process and implement it, via a "prospectus" for the CDS (available on a website and in-world) and a location in the CDS where visitors can ask questions and get tours of the territory Ñ preferably accompanied by avatars and not just automated services.


D. Preserving and Developing Our Land


The CSDF will work to find resources to help the New Guild develop new sims and maintain the quality and land values of existing sims as SL grows and changes.

Sustainability and Community


Content is what makes up Second Life: education turns us from being just consumers of content into having some control over what our SL environment looks like.ÊThe CSDF supports educational and cultural activities to encourages citizen to develop their own skills to create content. It supports initiatives that bring in our sims talented designers to present their works. Our culture as developers of high-quality content and our history as we forge ahead in our democratic community are interesting enough and worthwhile to be presented to the wider SL audience.
Development of Cultural and Educational Content

Virtual worlds are very adapted to cultural and educational contents. We understand cultural as a very large concept and not a elitist culture. We understand educational as all process of transferring knowledge, from very basic level (help for newbies) to very high (virtual universities). We encourage the development of cultural and educational contents, the use of virtual world as education tool and as a place where people can enjoy the culture. We especially favour programmes of education and museum activities.
Events

The virtual life must also give some fun. We encourage people to organize events. We consider that CDS is responsible for the organization of some traditional events. We also encourage welcoming programmes for newbies. We consider in-world events and also Internet tools (for example, the portal) to inform and encourage participation. We understand that the cost of running those events can be high and will push for an adequate budget for them, as well as mechanisms to guarantee that event hosters receive the funds for their expenses in hiring performers, hosts, and promotion costs.

History of CDS

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.
Green Sims

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.
The wise man occupies himself with the unspoken and acts without effort.
Teaching without verbosity, producing without possessing, creating without regard to result, claiming nothing...

- Laozi, Tao Te Ching

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