Rather than waiting for Awenbunny to introduce the topic, I thought that I would re-introduce this agonizing issue. If any doubt my use of the word “agonizing”, let them do a simple search of “+citizenship +definition” in our forums to see the immense volume of ink that has been spilled over the years agonizing over this issue. Here are only two of the more recent, useful threads.*5. Citizen Concerns
Awenbunny said that she doesn't like how the citizenship requirements for land work for partners since she has to have a parcel and tierbox in her name to be a citizen, but she doesn't use the parcel since the prims can't be shared with her partner's other parcel. It was explained that this is how the law works for citizenship. She would like the question to be revisited. Rosie advised her to bring it up for discussion on the forums.
I bring this up myself because I too have long been torn about the issue. As I note in one of the threads there, the policy IS arbitrary… and it IS awkward. (In reading those posts, please substitute the name Casper for the name Hippo, as we have changed the tierbox system since those posts were written. However, procedures remain the same.) And despite our adoption of the system, it is totally true that it can still be gamed… explained in one of the threads.
At one point you’ll read Pat Murakami make a fervent case for using ONLY tierbox status to define citizenship… if your name is on the tierbox, and you are current in your tier, you are a citizen. This completely drops the “land ownership” requirement. It would be hugely simpler, and would enable renters to be citizens as well as owners. I myself have a large sympathy for this POV, but that said, I have a profound understanding of what that would lose us as a unique community of landowning citizens, each with a STAKE in our land.
And then following Pat’s proposal, and found throughout the entire and massive discussion stretching back probably to 2004, are the fervent arguments for landowning.
And coupled with concluding that “landowning” should be a part of any citizenship definition, the huge concern of how to administer the census. WHO is a citizen??
I can list a whole array of interesting ideas on how to define citizenship in ways that would make huge more sense than the system we have now. And explain the obstacles. Here are a few.
1) Simply require that citizens be current in tier on the parcel that they actually own! Sounds elementary, but as explained in the first link, “Census Procedure”, our current scanning system doesn’t allow for that. Please… where are you scripting geniuses when we need you?? This could be a solvable problem.
2) Assuming that we are committed to the idea of land ownership being a core requirement for citizenship, perhaps we COULD allow the idea of more than one person owning a parcel of land. The SL system allows a parcel to be owned by ONE individual or by a group. So the first problem here is how we can read the names of who owns each parcel. Our current scanner tells us names of owners, and it tells us that some of the parcels on a sim are owned by groups… but that’s it. Utterly no way of probing (with a script that we have anyway) into the group, naming the members, counting the members.
3) Further. If we decided that being a member of a group that owns land qualifies you to be a citizen, surely we would also want to define the number of people in the group. A person could set up a group and invite all their 10 friends. The group could own 10 parcels, with each tierbox in the name of a different member of the group. Is that something we would welcome? Or should the group be limited to only 2 persons, i.e. a relationship partnership (leaving aside families and polyamory for the moment…). Again, while the idea offers wonderful speculation, we have no tools at our disposal (at the moment) to administer this.
I could go on and on. There really are lots of ideas which would be much more fair and make a lot more sense than the current system… and perhaps attract more citizens to join us. But we are severely constrained by what we can do with the tools we have. Please think about soliciting the help of those genius scripters you know!
Consider supporting the step of losing landowning as a citizenship requirement. For this citizen, at least, I am completely torn.