Imperial Sun Party
Writing to you from Imperial Sun Party Headquarters in Neo-Tokyo, Kanto Region
How do you want your government run?
I will attempt to match in substance Reiji Mitsurugi's article in the Ashigaru Taisho what I lack in his rhetorical flourish! Not that his articles are not substantial--they are!--but on the eve of congressional elections, I bring to the reader and electorate of eJapan a text on how this government is run.
Many of you are familiar with the intricacies of the government mechanics in eRepublik, but many of you are not. Among their duties, congress makes laws that do things like set tax rates, donate money from the treasury to organizations or citizens, and vote to declare war. The President can declare wars and form alliances, but the congress must approve them. In eJapan, our government passed a constitution that delegated most powers to the congress. Cabinet members, usually appointed by the president, help the president run the country. The Defense Minister runs the military orgs and uses funding donated by the treasury to purchase weapons and equipment, the National Bank of Japan uses funding to control the price of the JPY on the Monetary Markets, the Japanese Interior Service operates the training companies and gifts citizens who have low wellness. There is no way the President could do it all! However, there is no "in-game mechanic" for removing cabinet members, only for impeaching the president which requires a YES vote of 66% of congress. Thus, the unelected members of the cabinet wield considerable power. They have the passwords to the organizations and control the money.
The National Bank of eJapan, located in Nihonbashi, the heart of Neo-Tokyo
Take the example of the Theocrats and their totalitarian grip on eSouth Korea, enforced through one of the most repressive tax structures in eRepublik. Income and VAT tax rates of 50% in all major industries ensures that the government gets HALF OF EVERY TRANSACTION. How would you like to run a business there? You wouldn't, of course, unless you were a Theocrat, receiving donations directly from the national treasury:
All massive donations to the Theocratic Holy Pantheon, an organization that turns around and donates that money on to other organizations in the sprawling Theocratic monolith. A perfect little totalitarian cabal.
Just ask any of the eSouth Koreans--Yonai Keiko, Spade, etc.--what life in eSouth Korea meant for them as non-Theocrats.
Of course, we eJapanese reject this, choosing a more democratic form of government. Our elected officials agree to hold public debates (http://nipponblog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=884) about how the money is spent. Congress even votes on it, and you--the voter--get to decide who represents you in congress, that is, who makes that vote. In fact, a lot of elections are won by a single vote or even ties, meaning your one vote can have a lot of influence. Since gold in the National Treasury can only be used to print money, declare war, or form alliances and JPY not at all, money and Gold in the National Treasury is basically useless until congress votes to move it. Each month, we do propose real donations (not to be confused with those at the end of the month for gaining experience points) so we can use the money. And before we vote, we always discuss where the money is to go before proposing the in-game vote in order to prevent any sneaky proposals from going to a rogue organiation like the Nationa1 Bank of Japan (it has happened before many times in other countries).
Now I am not suggesting that this donation proposal from two weeks ago--shortly after President Oraizan's election--was anything sinister or Theocratic in nature. If I had believed so, the eJapanese electorate can be certain that I would have made a big deal about it right away. But the member of congress who proposed the donation (You won't need three guesses to figure out who it was...) has a history of making unannounced proposals, ironically a practice decried by the same proposer months earlier.
As explanation to the congress for the proposal, Director of the Board of Economics (established by the new President Oraizan), Lauri Mursu, posted this in the national forums:
It basically indicated AFTER the in-game proposal was made and 24 hour vote clock clicking away that the donation would be made available to the various cabinet organizations "as necessary." Since the proposal was for 30000JPY (about 1000 gold at current exchage rates), an amount unprecedented in the history of eJapan, it emptied out the treasury, rendering all further congressional funding proposals impotent without the consent of the whoever holds the National Bank of Japan organization's password. So the military has to wait for bankers to come and bring the money instead of receiving it from congressional donation proposals.
I trust Lauri Mursu and Oraizan, of course, and when I asked for the money that congress unanimously approved in its Defense Spending VOTE (http://nipponblog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=906), they agreed to provide some of it, indicating that more could be donated as necessary. Receiving the funding necessary to run the JIA and not wishing to raise a controversy early in a new president's term, I let the issue drop. However, as far as I know, the Japanese Imperial Navy has still not received the funding that the congress approved two weeks ago.
The writer notes that Congress did vote to approve the donation 27-9, but I suspect that a pre-vote discussion would have changed many of their minds. I hope that congress will consider proposals--and their proposers--more carefully before casting their vote. All in all, there is no great threat here as long as scrutiny remains high, but we must ensure that we remain vigilant.
Remember that annoying political party van blaring slogans that woke you up at 8am?
So why bring this up NOW? If you're still reading all this and have not yet fallen asleep, I will write it clearly for you, so you can vote this article up and get the national debate going! On the eve of congressional elections, I ask that voters consider this executive v. legislative balance of power issue. While a bit more subtle than a "THEOCRATS BAD" campaign (I fired the campaign marketing advisor who recommended that slogan ha ha), this is a very important issue. Congress should retain the right of determining donations which can be discussed before proposed. I advocated this long before the Imperial Sun Party became the strongest party in the eJapanese Diet, and I would advocate this even if we were no longer the strongest. These checks and balances are good for our eRepublik.
Imperial Sun Party President