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Making a Better Haystack

Day 1,950, 03:58 Published in USA USA by Clint Carmel

Good day loyal subscribers and new readers. Today I would like to address the latest discussion floating around the eRepublik newspapers: the awesome philosophy of Fingerguns about the congressional roster.

To get you up to speed, I will explain. Fingerguns wrote an article in which she expressed the belief that if you want a seat in Congress on the Federalist platform, you should be in the Federalist Party. This is not rocket science.

Even in real life, if you get elected, you are expected to respond to the needs of your constituents.

Today, Mercurius100 wrote an article blasting this idea. His article is here: The gist of his article is that Fingerguns is limiting herself by not allowing a member of his party to run for Congress under the Federalist banner, because this will somehow eliminate the unique voice of the other parties.

There are at least five things wrong with Mercurius's theory. The first one is that being in Congress has anything to do with where ideas come from. Wrong. These blogs and newspapers that you are reading are where new ideas come from. And of course, from the people behind them. New players like myself. I am over halfway to 1,000 subscribers, and I have that circulation mostly due to the fact that I have a new and unique voice, and have something to say. Often things that no one else has the courage to say, such as how the game is doing a terrible job of doing the #1 thing any game should do: get you to buy it. (Or in this case, buy gold in it.)

The second flaw in his theory is that one deserves anything for just existing. In life and on the Internet, no one deserves anything for just existing. Be born into the wrong family, and your only reward for being born is to slowly die of starvation and neglect. Be born into another family and you might have all the money you want, but end up emotionally crippled. Or you might end up paralyzed in a car accident. Life is its own reward, both in game and outside the game.

I earned my seat in Congress: I posted in the forums, joined #IRC, worked for Hale, helped Mazzy with her interparty spreadsheet, created the WTP wiki page, and created a pro-WTP web page. (I left WTP for differences of military ideology, but I have honored my obligations to them and voted faithfully according to the WTP whip.) When my first presentation was considered a bit anemic, I rewrote it and presented it again.

A third flaw in his article is the most major one, that Fingerguns is not listening to those with ideas different from her own. This is nonsense and balderdash. A simple glance at the Federalist forums will show that Fingerguns is the exact opposite of a dictator who won't listen to people. She has poll after poll wanting to know where people stand on particular issues. There are Feds who are polling the entire country: Astraeus II is a good example.

I may have covered this earlier, but another flaw in Merc's argument is that there is any correlation between simply being in Congress and having some idea (be it from a party large or small) change anything. Because of the AFA/PTO situation, and game mechanics, every single vote has two choice: Yes, and No. One votes the Unity way, or one votes the AFA way. There is just not a third option inside the game.

Let me now use a real-world example: Shane McCoy. While technically a Fed Congressman, Shane let it be known that he had his own ideas about the economy and made a few proposals that went contrary to anything Unity wanted, such as a proposal 21 days ago to change the minimum wage. This proposal was shot down, 14-35, meaning that AFA voted for it and the others did not. There are no third options in a yes/no vote.

And now for the biggest flaw in the article: that not being in Congress means that somehow you are forbidden from expressing your ideas. The eusaforums are filled with posts from people who aren't in Congress but who have strong opinions on the game and various ATO and eUSA policies. People are free to join #Congress at any time up on the #IRC channels. Newspapers like this one are filled with ideas.

Congress is not.

I will now share a state secret: there is a board called "Senators only." You don't have access to it. You are not missing anything. No one posts ideas there. It's bookkeeping threads. There's another place called "Private Congressional Proceedings." This is mostly threads started by Vanek26 and the Speaker, perhaps a Whip or two. Again, it's mostly bookkeeping.

So where do new ideas come from, as far as Congress is concerned?

I will now share another secret, but this one about political parties. I served in Congress this term and was in two different top-5 parties. It is inside those parties where new ideas are hashed out and debated.

Consider these parties as sort of like subcommittees. A WTP Congressman like Ichabod Addams will propose an idea, and various WTP people will chime in and consider the pros and the cons. The Fed party works the same way, and I have no reason to doubt that AMP and USWP work the same way, or at least in a similar way. It is not being-in-Congress that matters: if you want to truly influence the way a top-5 party votes in Congress, you need access to their inner forums. Because a consensus is built a few votes at a time.

All that aside, if you are reading this and you are not in a top-5 party, but you have an idea that you want debated in Congress, then send it to me or a fellow representative. As listeners of the various blog chats now, I always respond to questions raised in the feed.

Because I'm just a P/H kind of guy!



One Sky
One Sky Day 1,950, 04:31


Clint Carmel
Clint Carmel Day 1,950, 05:28


crashthompson. Day 1,950, 07:34


PeVall Day 1,950, 08:12

Liked it a bit better when your articles weren't so p/h


fingerguns Day 1,950, 09:32

The p/h is infectious.

We are the 13%

olivermellors Day 1,950, 10:37

clint: your article provides a superb example of what mercurious warns against.

Synesi Day 1,950, 19:28


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