Prior to delineating a potential eSupreme Court, it must be acknowledged that the admins of eRepublik have not accounted for any such thing. eRepulik is clearly built on an attempted balance of power between a “Congress” (a body of representatives elected from a popular vote from among Parties) and an “Executive” (either a CP or a D, depending on how the nation in question is so inclined).
Yet over and over again, when a good (and possible) idea is presented that is not accomodated by the ingame structures, eUSA Congresses have overwhelmingly voted in favor of creating systems by which wise meta government might enhance ingame systems. One example of this is the so-called “Blacklist” laws - laws which do not exist ingame, but which are on the off-game books and enable the so-called “meta” to keep order according to off-gamedly-defined principles.
An “eSupreme Court” would be such an enhancement.
If properly devised, an eSupreme Court would improve the functioning of government when government is faced with the proper distinguishing between the powers of Congress and the powers of the Executive.
Now before anyone decries the utterly “meta” nature of such a proposition, it should be recognized that powerful precedents have been already established in addition to the aforementioned Blacklist.
One example of a powerful governing system which exists strictly in “meta” is the Select Committee on Intelligence, or “SCI”. The SCI exists entirely independant of any ordinary eRepublik codification. In other words, Congress and the CP have already conceded that, when wisdom so dictates, we should submit to systems created that do not otherwise exist within the ordinary eRepublik laws. SCI is uniquely fashioned to exercise authority over both the CP and Congress. It is a balancing force in our Government.
And so unless you blanketly oppose the existance of the SCI, you should not blanketly oppose the existance of other wisely conceived systems which enable a more efficient and well-balanced government.
I ask all eAmericans to open-mindedly consider the following proposal for an eUSA Supreme Court.
1: Both Congress and the CP are in need of a third system for the proper balancing of powers.
The wise thinkers from among the founding fathers of Real Life United States of America recognized that a system of two competing political powers was not a sufficient balance.
They foresaw that a system wherein each of three powerful systems had equal influence over the others so that even if two systems agreed, the third could still potentially interfere. This has been understood as a favorable balance of power which preserves the liberty of individual citizens in Real Life.
There should be nothing wrong with pursuing this same ideal in eUSA.
Do not be surprised if Congress (and/or past/future Presidents) oppose this notion at the start. Why wouldn’t they oppose it? The creation of a Supreme Court would rob both branches of our Government of some power. So watch the comments below this article and see how many Congressmen speak out against it! Congress will seek to protect what powers it has.
But as we have seen recently, Congress and the Executive can butt heads with extremity on a matter and when that happens Congress will always wield greater power. In other words, Congress’ power is not actually held in check at all by the existance of the Executive Branch.
A very recent example of Congress wielding ultimate power is the situation which emerged as the dust was settling from the Bear Cavalry Revolution which was spurred on by the popular election of a CP (me) who ran on a platform of removing Dictatorship for a month. BC defied Congress by launching the Revolution that ended the Dictatorship - a Dictatorship that is two days away from being re-established as I write these words.
But in the aftermath of that Revolution, as Congress quickly acted to Blacklist all of the citizens who participated in that Revolution, Congress then threatened to Impeach the CP unless he also removed from his Cabinet any Blacklisted citizens.
There existed no law against Blacklisted citizens serving in a Cabinet position. But as Congress has stated in her Constitution and Code, Congress may do whatever Congress sees fit to do. The exact phrase in the Code is, “ Congress shall organize itself as it sees fit.” And so it should. But there currently exists nothing to keep that power in check. Nothing.
And so the CP was essentially forced by a Congress who wanted to extend its powers of Control beyond the “halls” of Congress right into the “White House”. Congress can, Congress will, Congress did. And yes, game mechanics allow it.
Of course Game Mechanics also allow a Dictator to steal the treasury. He’ll face a Congressionally-led Revolution against his Dictatorship if he does, but that’s also a winnable battle, and once Congress’ Reserves are depleted the Dictator has the steady flow of cash he’d need to retain his Dictatorship until the Determination overwhelms him. Game Mechanics.
But my point is that we’ve governed around certain Game Mechanics. The entire Defensive Dictatorship is a system governed offsite as a means of manipulating the Game Mechanics to our best advantage.
A Supreme Court would exist to adjudicate such conflicts as the one between Congress and the CP with respect to who the CP wants to serve as his Chief of Staff as well as many others. But both the CP and Congress would have to submit to the authority of such a Court. I think we should give it a try.
2. The eRepublik system of elections does not do an adequate job of truly representing the Citizens.
This also is a matter of Game Mechanics.
The way Plato has designed Congressional Elections does not insure a Congress that is “representative”. The old Congressional Election system did a better job of that. If I learned that a particular Congressman has made a promise to raise a particular legislation if he were elected to Congress, I could vote for him and campaign for him. On election day I could cast my vote directly in favor of his Candidacy. But the new system forces me to rely on that Candidate’s Party President (or primary system) to ensure that he has a place on the slate of Candidates. Then, aside from the Candidates who appear near the top of each slate, my vote does very little to affect the election of a particular Candidate.
So it is not a far stretch to say that the eRepublik Congress is NOT a Representative body. This is not a controversial statement to make. Congress simply is what Plato has made it.
Now it would be controversial if I were to say that Congress routinely steps all over the rights of the people. It does not. The eUSA Congress has done an admirable job of governing, and in most cases has done what most would consider fine work. But surely you can believe that Congress does not have a perfect record of always deciding well. It is an established fact that many Congresspeople - and this tends to be more the case with new members of Congress - simply vote party lines. So on an important decision, it is reasonable to say that certain senior Congressmen have an enormous influence over the most powerful governing body in our Nation. I suppose I would fit into the category of “Senior Congressman”, so I am talking about myself here too. I have influenced many votes. And I suppose that’s mostly a good thing.
But if there exists no power to keep Congress in check, and if Congress itself can be described as being greatly under the influence of that portion of its membership which exerts the greatest influence, it can be seen how important it might be to devise some type of Supreme Court system.
In effect, a Supreme Court would be fashioned to “make up for” the lack of “representativeness” that Plato’s Congress suffers from. The Supreme Court would be, much like it is in Real Life, a place where one individual voice - if that voice is right - could find justice where currently no justice would be possible.
To review the points made so far:
eUSA excels by creating “meta” systems which enable us to take maximum advantage of Game Mechanics.
eUSA has occasssionaly experienced what some consider injustice due to the unchecked power of Congress.
RL USA uses a three-branch government to ensure proper checks and balances.
eUSA is at liberty to institute a third branch of government.
As Country President, I hereby announce the creation of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Creating an eSupreme Court in eUSA charged with the task of recommending an Amended Constitution reflecting the creation of a third branch of Government.
In order for an eSupreme Court to function according to the pretext of establishing justice and balancing the powers of our Government, it will need to be carefully codified.
The following questions will need to be answered with specific code.
1: What is the scope of an eSupreme Court’s voice? What types of questions should an eSupreme Court NOT adjudicate? What types of questions should it hear?
2: How must the Constitution be amended? In order for an eSupreme Court to actually balance power, it must have a place in the Constitution and Code.
3: How will an eSupreme Court be populated? Real Life procedures authorize the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government to work together in populating the Supreme Court. Should this be our model?
4: What should be the term of office for a Supreme Court Justice? In Real Life, a Justice serves for life. eDeath is sometimes harder to define than (non-e)Death. An eSupreme Court Justice must therefore have some kind of defined Term - perhaps a recurring confirmation process which assures an active eSupreme Court.
5: Who may and may not serve as an eSupreme Court Justice? It should be obvious that an eSupreme Court Justice should not sit in Congress nor the Executive Office. Are there any additional strictures that should bear on membership?
These will be the first questions that the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Creating an eSupreme Court in eUSA will be charged to answer. I expect that they will uncover more questions.
A few last points:
I am aware that this has been discussed before. Don’t let that be the reason not to discuss it now. We have never more needed a BIG ISSUE to stir activity, re-enfranchise citizens who feel under-represented, and drive players toward our Forum.
The creation of an eSupreme Court will stir activity. I am certainly proposing a controversial idea. Controversy stirs activity. That’s why I love it.
The creation of an eSupreme Court will enfranchise a base of players who currently may feel powerless because Plato’s Congress is insufficient to represent them. The actions of Bear Cavalry were certainly “illegal”, but they point to an undercurrent within our populace of deeply engaged citizens who feel disenfranchised by our current systems. Regardless of how you feel about the opinions of the disenfranchised, disenfranchisement is never a good thing.
The creation of an eSupreme Court will drive players toward our Forum. There is almost no greater success for our community than a vibrant Forum. I wish every citizen of eUSA would find a reason to participate there. An eSupreme Court would create additional reasons for our Citizenry to participate in the Forum community. If this would happen, it would be nothing short of a complete “win” for eUSA.
As the bastion of perfected game mechanics, eUSA is more perfectly suited to accomplish this than any other eRepublik community. In the coming days I will be interviewing candidates to serve on this Blue Ribbon Task Force. I intend to populate the Task Force with one individual who is opposed to the idea of an eSupreme Court, because I think it is important to include that voice in the conversation. I intend to populate the remainder of the Task Force with individuals who are familiar enough with the Constitution and Code and Game Mechanics that what the Task Force submits as its findings will be able to be considered by Congress and hopefully brought to a vote.
If you think you belong on the Task Force, or if you want to recommend someone, send me a Personal Message.
Meanwhile I invite you to imagine an eUSA that is blessed with a branch of Government whose voice will be anticipated with fevered pitch, whose activity will itself spur additional activity, and whose presence will further increase the lead eUSA enjoys over every other eRepublik community in terms of expert gaming and fun.