Advisory Question on Titles

The Concordat states the following:

Would this make “Hussar of the East Pacific” an illegal title to give, seeing as it itself gives the user no practical responsibility in government but still mandates someone to maintain specific actions to keep the status?

Would this introduce a contradiction with the term “Registered Voter”, itself theoretically a title that grants no individual any responsibility beyond the responsibility to maintain said title/status if they still wish to keep it?

And in a more theoretical sense (this is just an idea I’ve had for EPSA) - would it be illegal to grant individuals an epithet once they reach a certain EPSA rank and kept that title after retiring? What about if the epithet was granted for only the duration of said soldier’s service at that rank or higher?

Here is my take on the existing titles

“Hussar of the East” today is a title used to effectively recruit staffers into the Ministry of World Assembly Affairs, particularly with a primary selling point being allowed to vote with the ministry to recommend a stance the Delegate’s WA votes. Additionally, I observe new TEPers who initially endorsed the Delegate and Viziers for the title want to keep it by continuing to endorse our security backbone.

Thus, the “Hussar’s” responsibility is to be ever-vigilant in endorsing and the equivalent responsibilities of a WAA staffer. In my opinion, this is practical to TEP’s government.

Concordat Article F Section 5 conditions that Citizens may only vote if they have registered to vote. Technically not all Citizens, thus, have the right to vote.

But the question isn’t “what rights do you get with this title”, as Lordship too gives the right of land ownership, but what practical responsibility does this role have? I suppose it has a self-fulfilling prophecy that those who want it have a responsibility to maintain their application for it. This does assist with securing the voting integrity of the region.

I may leave this for further elaboration from the others.

The two above demonstrate at least a current right or responsibility - the right to vote, the responsibility to maintain ones records and represent the region in representative polling, and the responsibility to maintain regional security, at least as I perceive it. A decorative epithet in the EPSA, however, is not as utilitarian. The EPSA Soldier has the rights and responsibilities of our military might, and is categorized with a title used to grant additional privileges within the organization.

A decorative title doesn’t confer any such right or responsibility. Instead it recognizes work previously completed, similar as to how an offering of title “Delegate Emeritus” was previously defeated. I recall the previous opinions of the court here, noting that as an AQ that these views do not hold precedence: [ADVISORY QUESTION] Titles and Honors As Arbiter Wallenburg shares within, this and the subject title allowed official reference to a Citizen with a title of a potentially former responsibility.

Mind “official reference” - the Delegate nicknames come to mind. In all cases the Delegate’s title never changed in office, and all former Delegates are known only as Citizen for all records, except are unofficially conversationally known as “The Deledark” or “The Delechama” or “The Delegatlae Emeritus”. TEP does not recognize these titles, but those friendly to their alleged holders do - the Conclave does not seek to go 1984 on regional memes that have no official and practical standing.

That’s an idea. But an assuredly legally safe route is realizing TEP does have methods to recognize exemplary soldiers even beyond their military careers with the Orders of Valor, Merit, and the Golden Ocelot.

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Before addressing this particular question, I do want to point out that my opinion as stated here, still remains largely unchanged. With that context out of the way, this AQ.

  1. No, the title of Hussar is used for Ministry of World Assembly Affairs (or whatever it is called now). This would immediately render it constitutional, in my opinion.

  2. Signing up to be a Registered Voter still wouldn’t be unconstitutional, maybe by the fact that voting in of it self is a responsibility. In addition, there are several roles you can only hold if you are a Registered Voter (ie Delegate). I think there was even an initiative that in order to be in government at all you had to be a Registered Voter, so there is more than just A Random Title Hereby Granted To Someone:tm:

  3. While they are a soldier, sure. Give them whatever title you want as long as it is tied to them being a Solider or maintaining X requirements to have such an epithet. On the other hand, after retirement, that would enter a grayer area, unless it’s an Award for Service like we already have for Valor or for Merit or even Golden Ocelot. It would depend on it’s context

I stand by my previously established belief that awarding honorifics to individuals who have retired from their government office is without question a violation of the Concordat. Such titles are exactly what the prohibition was made to target.

As to Hussars, I am not so confident that they actually have “practical responsibility in government”. Yes, they have the slightest facade of executive authority painted over them in that they can vote up or down on World Assembly resolutions in order to guide the delegate vote, but they do not actually have a responsibility to do so. The majority of Hussars exhibit no government activity whatsoever, and only a handful of them engage enough to even pretend at being “WAA staffers”. An argument for Hussar legality based on a claim of them holding practical responsibility is, at best, self-deceptive. The only colorable argument I can see for Hussar recognition being legal is that it is not a title but a medal, much like other recognitions awarded by previous governments.

Registered Voters, on the other hand, cannot violate the Concordat, as it is the Concordat itself that establishes this category/title. Since the Concordat establishes absolute legal truth, we must adopt an interpretation of the Concordat that either (1) Registered Voter is not a title or (2) it confers some sort of practical governmental responsibility despite no evidence to that effect, as to avoid self-contradiction.

Petitioner presents three (3) questions:

  • Would ‘Hussar of the East Pacific’ be an illegal title, given that it grants no practical responsibility in government (but still mandates someone to maintain specific actions to keep the status)?
  • Would this introduce a contradiction with the term ‘Registered Voter’?
  • Would it be illegal to grant individuals an epithet once they reach a certain EPSA rank, if they keep the title in retirement, or if they only keep it for the duration of their service?

The relevant section of TEP law is Article F, Section 6 of the Concordat, which stipulates:

No title shall be granted which does not confer upon the holder practical responsibility in government, other than that of Citizen.

The original version of this Section of the Concordat read:

‘(…) no nation shall be granted a title of nobility by the government of the East Pacific and no citizen shall accept a title of nobility from a foreign government.’ (Article F, Section 8 of the 2009 version of the Concordat,

As far as I can tell, in August 2014, Section F.6 was amended to:

‘(…) no nation shall be granted a title of nobility by the government of the East Pacific, nor will such titles granted outside the East Pacific be favored above that of Citizen of the East Pacific.

(The Concordat of The East Pacific)

It was removed by the February 2020 rewrite of the Concordat (The Concordat of The East Pacific).

By amendment of October 24th, 2020, it was added again, but rewritten to:

‘Section 5) No title shall be granted which does not confer upon the holder practical responsibility in government, other than that of Citizen of the East Pacific.’

(The Concordat of The East Pacific)

By amendment of December 30th, 2020, it was shortened to:

‘Section 5) No title shall be granted which does not confer upon the holder practical responsibility in government, other than that of Citizen.’

(The Concordat of The East Pacific)

The Section in question was originally meant to prohibit the use of titles of nobility in The East Pacific, following the 2008 Rahl-coup (see also Request for an Advisory Opinion on Concordat Article F, Section 8, August 2013, at Request for an Advisory Opinion on Concordat Article F, Section 8).

Interestingly enough, when this section was re-added to the Concordat in 2020 the thread discussing the change made clear that the purpose of the section as rewritten was both to (1) prohibit the use of (useless) titles, as was historically the case; but (2) clarify that this did not include (not-useless) government positions.

The wording as it currently stands was created based on a proposal by Arbiter Wallenburg (Article F changes - Page 2 - The East Pacific - Tapatalk).

And, as Philville2 wrote, the ‘definition of title needs to distinguish between bad ‘nobility’ titles and acceptable ‘position/role’ titles.’ (Article F changes - Page 3 - The East Pacific - Tapatalk).

The October 2021 AQ ‘Titles and Honors’ again had the Conclave’s Arbiters publishing their opinions on this section ([ADVISORY QUESTION] Titles and Honors).

It specifically addressed whether the use of an emeritus title could be granted to a former government official.

At that time, the consensus seemed to be that any title in an honorific sense would run afoul of Section F.6, but insofar it would be an award and not a title, it would be legal.

Given the above, the Petitioners questions’ must be answered as follows:

  • Insofar a ‘title’ within TEP’s government requires someone to maintain specific actions or responsibilities, it is not (exclusively) honorary (or ‘useless’), and therefore legal.
  • It seems to me ‘Registered Voter’ is a defined term of a (legal) category of TEP resident, rather than a title. Therefore, I see no contradiction. Even if it were a title, I see no contradiction as it is equally not exclusively honorary (or ‘useless’).
  • It would indeed be illegal for EPSA-members to keep their title after retirement. It would be legal during their service, if tied to a rank and conditioned on certain responsibilities.