Todd for Del

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Hello all. I’m Todd McCloud. I’ve been in TEP since 2008 and have served as a delegate to this region several times. My WA nation has remained in TEP since The Empire took root here. I’ve served the region when it has asked me to do so, or when I felt I had the capabilities to make it better in some capacity, be it in the Conclave, Magisterium, or Executive. We’ve had our good times. If I can compile a list of what made those good times great, I would, but there are so many external factors and chemistries that shape a region - it’s really hard to duplicate past respect in that regard. However, one can certainly catalyze a good time and foster it, and that’s what I plan to do. I say plan because well, I want to be careful with what I promise. At the end of my term I want all of us to be able to revisit this thread and truly analyze where I was able to deliver. To be frank, I’ve seen delegacies work and delegacies stumble. I think we have the team and the tools to make this a great term.

To be fair, we’ve also had our hard times. They were pretty tough to endure, because we as a region are very close to one another. I stood by the region during those hard times and did what I could to lessen the sting, defend it when necessary, and keep folks together. I don’t run from challenges - I face them and push back. It is my opinion that a delegate absolutely must have that mindset. A delegate must be compassionate, creative, and motivating, but a delegate must also be tough, courageous, and loyal.

I’ve seen good nations come and good nations go. Luckily, we have a great crowd here now. I’m going to tell you how I think we can best work together as we get through the holidays and emerge in 2016 as a region of greatness.

On Government
I really do believe our system of government is a good one - it’s remained more or less the same since 2009 and that’s accredit to the people who currently serve and have served in its capacity. But you and I both notice that activity levels have been a bit low. Though, in my opinion, there is plenty to do. I believe this new Regional Officers needs to be included in an amendment. As a vizier, I have the ability to boot a troublesome nation from our region, but I do not have the powers granted to me by our government, for instance. That power is reserved for the delegate as it states in our Concordat. Furthermore, what powers should a Regional Officer (I believe they should be the Viziers) have? We need to look into that and outline it as it fits into our Concordat. What about other stuff? Alright, I’ll go ahead and address an elephant in the room, what about http://theeastpacific.com/single/?p=8052077&t=5226129? Do we need a policy on forum destroyers becoming citizens? Administration has discussed the issue several times, but was unable to reach a consensus. But we deal with forum-side security and generally ensure the person is who they say they are. Should we develop a policy on how to deal with those who compromise other regional forums? I think it’s more case-by-case than a cut-and-dry kind of policy, but it would certainly help us to have a policy and keep us streamlined.

What about Executive? Conclave? They’re important too. I like Raven as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, to be honest. But we need help with our Media Office, Immigration, and Culture. I’ll be addressing those in the next section! As for the EPSA and EPPS, I don’t know how effective the EPPS is or could be at this point. The EPSA is indeed very important to folks here, and I intend to keep it that way. I like how we’ve fought over the years to keep it acting on the whims and philosophies of the region instead of just a “raider” group or a “defender” group. That’s important to me. I want to see this group used when the ends justify the means.

Conclave, in my opinion, should maintain the course but should watch us as we legislate and I sign legislative bills into law. I want to ensure that my beliefs or the desires of the Magisterium always fall in line with the Concordat.

On Culture
I told you I’d address the other Executive offices here, didn’t I? I’m going to work rather closely with these offices to give us some fire that we’ve been missing for a while. For one, I want to get us a newspaper back. There’s plenty to talk about in TEP these days. I think newspapers do one of two things. First, they announce to the NSverse where we are and how active we are, which is attractive to those looking for a new home. Second, they promote comradely and get us closer in the region. If Bach wants to serve up that department again, I would honestly love to have him aboard. As for Immigration, I want us to utilize our regional TG system and pull folks back from the RMB and the gameside of things over to the forum and government side of things. Starting day one of my delegacy, all Viziers will serve concurrently as Ministers of Immigration. They’ll have the ability to send out region-wide TG’s. We’re going to hold regular meetings, brainstorm, and send out telegrams to our nations in an attempt to get us stronger connectivity with the masses in TEP.

Culture. I’m going to shy away from promoting an officer of Culture and Education at first, because I want us to have a plan going forward on this. Let’s think about this for a moment. We know the Holidays are coming. We know that there’s usually a big lull in activity between mid-December to mid-January. We also know there has been an NS World Fair typically held around that time as well. I can tell you an NS World Fair is in the works and will probably be held sometime during the next delegate term. Those are major issues to deal with. But we can still make this about TEP. We need an event that pulls people in. In the past, we had very successful debate contests, complete with judges, trophies, and all around good feelings. Topics were NS-themed and real-world themed, but folks typically had a good time with it and it attracted us a lot of attention. So, I would like us to host another contest, especially considering NS is full of self-proclaimed good debaters. I’ll address roleplay in the next section, but I’d like us to connect with that as well. In addition, let’s have some fun holiday activities that pull us together. I do in fact like what BGP did during his tenure of MoCE, because sometimes the little events are what pulls us together the best. Things like holiday contests, Jeopardy-like tournaments, etc. That way we prevent drama from festering and keep NS fun.

Some of those events I’d like to host on the RMB to better connect us with the masses in the region. I understand the importance of Skype, but I also understand it represents a very small portion of our populace, even our citizenship. I’d like for us to utilize Skype as a tool, in addition to IRC and the RMB. It’s like this: Skype is typically allocated to a small base of our citizens. IRC reaches out to some citizens and some folks from other regions. RMB reaches out to our entire region and passer-bys. Folks have asked me to pull in those RP’ers on the RMB, and I’ve reached out to them. But they still remain “at an arm’s length” because they don’t quite know the region all that well. The best way we can reach out to them and others like them would be to host events on the RMB, foster their creativity with some good themes or heck even join in on their roleplays and see what we can do for them.

As for the World Factbook Entry, you can bet I’ll keep it both informative and creative. I’d also like to have a “design a WFE contest” that will happen probably after the Holidays. Regional polls will be numerous and will rely on the region. Our regional flag will return and we’re going to be TEP-centered. We can have themes, the likes, but we’re going to be TEP-centered.

On Roleplay
I and others have worked hard to get roleplay up to speed. In the hottest months of summer, we had issues with our roleplay system in that it was disorganized, outdated, and heck many of the “helpful” links followed pages that have recently been deleted, such as the old NSwiki. So, we asked around and asked on the forums where we should go in fixing roleplay. Some ideas were put forth and we moved on them. I can say we’re doing much better in roleplay, but as with anything, it could be better.

Historically, we’ve been a region that has been known for roleplaying. That doesn’t mean we will always be known for roleplaying, but I want to see it succeed, mostly because it takes a lot of strain and pressure off of dealing with the drama that is NS gameplay and turns it into something that’s fun, creative, and if it works out right, inspiring. As I said earlier, I want us to connect with other regions. Perhaps it’s time for us to connect with other roleplaying regions and do some mutual roleplays that enrich both us and them. One more thing. The map is our property and will be updated regularly. Anyone who cares to fight me on that will lose that debate.

In Conclusion
With all those points considered, I hope I can count on your vote. I’d like to open the floor for any questions, comments, or critiques, and will be available to answer with the best of my abilities.

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Todd, you have experience, that much is obvious. But you may have too much experience. Your ideas, when compared to the other candidates, seem too archaic and ancient: a return to “the good old days”. Do you think that it’s time to step to the side and let the younger generation lead?

Additionally, speaking as someone who was either on the cabinet or lead it, your performance was, at best, lackluster and uninspiring. You either did nothing or had to be repeatedly told to do your most basic duties. Is that what TEP will get if they elect you: someone who is too busy (admittedly, real life comes first, but you are running for a position that requires an enormous amount of activity) to do their most basic duties without being repeatedly prodded?

Well, during my term as a member of that cabinet, in some capacity, I had a number of issues going on with my life, namely, moving and purchasing a home, graduating and defending my thesis, getting and training a dog, completing a 90 day review process in order to maintain my new job, keeping a few close family members at my house due to those individuals coming down on some hard times, and various adjustments and important events that kept me from focusing my time here. Heck, I have just returned home from a conference. Things for me have thankfully settled down much more and I feel like I’m finally able to serve the region on a consistent basis. Honestly, I can’t speak for anyone here, but if it were me, I’d be more worried if someone had all of that going on and yet seemed to put a lot of attention on a game. As I’ve said before and as it has been for others, real life must come first. Long story short, I’d be doing both myself and the region a disservice if I had any doubts about my ability or time required to spend as a delegate here.

As for serving on the cabinet, I must express my gratitude for letting me be a part of it despite all the stuff going on in my life. I didn’t really know you were angry or upset - when I am on I’m approachable and of course willing to talk or make adjustments.

And that’s actually segues into my campaign. I want to work with individuals in my cabinet who are capable but who also have the ability and the time constraints to handle the work load. Because, let’s be frank, it is work, but it shouldn’t take precedence over real-life or if one is struggling with an issue that’s much greater than NS itself. The bottom line here is this is a game, and we should be having fun with it. If someone’s not doing that or has explained several times they’ve got a lot of stuff going on in their lives, I want to help them into a role they can handle instead of making no changes and potentially hanging them out to dry.

As for running, I believe I have just as much a right to run as the other three (so far) candidates. I know you don’t mean that by what you wrote, but as a region it’s funner to me at least when we get a diverse list of candidates. And actually, the amount of candidates this time around is pretty thrilling to me. I know going into this I really can’t predict who would win and who wouldn’t: all four candidates are capable and have proven themselves to be passionate about this region in one way or another. The fact that we have four diverse candidates running is accredit to our region.

Yes, I have served as a delegate before to this region, so I know the amount of workload and time it requires. It was fun, and the region seemed to do pretty good. The last time I was elected was juuust about 3 years ago. In those three years I’ve taken on some new opinions, changed a little bit, and perhaps become a bit wiser. Sitting on the sidelines has given me the chance to think things through and look at some good and some bad. A lot of what I learned I can’t really put on paper - it’s kind of situational-dependant, if you will.

I’m willing to field any further questions from anyone. I’d like to hear your input as well, because a delegate should serve the people and not the other way around. If there’s one thing past campaigns have taught me, it’s that typically what’s outlined in the plan doesn’t always come to fruition, either from the game changing, the region changing, or the delegate himself or herself changing. I can’t stop the game from changing. I, along with all of us, can change the region, hopefully for the best. As for myself, I’ve changed a bit over the years, but my loyalty to TEP, capability, and responsibility to the position remains steadfast. I’m committed to guiding TEP to good times.

I’m so glad I’m not the only one wanting more questions. And possibly a serious one.

What do you intend to do about this lack of questions as delegate?

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I’m so glad I’m not the only one wanting more questions. And possibly a serious one.

What do you intend to do about this lack of questions as delegate?

— End quote

Good question! I’ve been wondering if maybe we could do an informal debate on IRC. I don’t really know how it’d be set up, but I figure an impartial moderator would ask questions to us via the audience. But in the past that’s kind of resulted in a lot of ‘me too’ answers, so I’m not sure how it’d really differentiate one another, unless we all answer separately and our answers are all posted at once. Of course, there are issues with that, however.

Todd, I hope you appreciate that I am one of your biggest fans. You’ve done great things for TEP.

People can look at your record and have a good sense of what you will bring as Delegate. (And it is all good.)

What do you want to do that is outside of the box? How will you stretch yourself (or challenge yourself) to take TEP to a higher level?

What will you do different this time if you are elected to be Delegate?

Who is in your ideal cabinet next term?

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Who is in your ideal cabinet next term?

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My ideal cabinet is as follows:

MoFA: Raven. He’s done an excellent job during his term and has a strong grasp on NS foreign politics. I see no reason not to include him here. I’d like someone who has an ear to the scope of gameplay in my cabinet, and he’s definitely got those credentials.

MoI: All viziers will become Ministers of Immigration the first day I’m elected. They will have the ability to send regional TG’s to all nations of TEP and will be used to pull nations from gameside into the forums. We will have regular meetings and brainstorm on how to be creative and what events we could do that will push folks here. We also need to shore up our embassies and insure good communication exists between them.

MoCE: I am not sure at this point. While this won’t win my points, I want to keep this open, mostly to see if there’s anyone who is willing to step up and take the reigns. I have a few ideas as to how we can boost activity and fun here, but it would be better if another individual with the vigor and spark needed for the position can also bounce ideas off me and help with its implimentation. Furthermore, if they themselves have a creative idea, I’m all for it. It may best to have two folks serve in that capacity, just so we can divide up the workload and/or have another brain in on it.

MoRP (Minister of Roleplay): While I have strong beliefs about keeping RP and government separate, I do think we can stand to have someone lead the various changes we’ve been discussing among the RP community. Free Pacific States has the history, the experience, and the fairness needed for such a position. This position should not attempt to indoctrinate our government into RP, or use it to regulate RP, and I think FPS understands that. The RP community has discussed several options at this point, and I think his inclusion will be key to its success. As I said earlier, we in much better shape than a few months ago, and that puts us at a crossroads: we can either build on it or let it falter. For the sake of the region itself, I’d like for us to build on it.

EPSA: Tano, provided he is willing to continue with it. I cannot stress enough that the army must follow the whims and desires of the region and not be swayed by changes in R/D. We’re TEP-loyal, and not Raider-loyal or Defender-loyal, in other words. Tano understands that, and others here do as well, but if he does not want to serve, then I’ll have to pick someone else who I view as a competent leader in that regard.

EPNS: Bach, provided he accepts. He did an excellent job with it a while ago, and I’d like for him to continue it. DRL, if she accepts, would be the deputy editor. I’d also like to help out with this and insure we have an active and fun newspaper to distribute.

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What do you want to do that is outside of the box? How will you stretch yourself (or challenge yourself) to take TEP to a higher level?

— End quote

Well, historically I’ve been a guy who likes creative WFE, creative events, and creative drives to bring folks back into the forums and the government. We’ve got a lot of WA members and they’re endorsing the delegate, and they’re great and all, but I want that to correlate to activity. I want to see their numbers move here. That will definitely be a challenge and will be something that will push both myself and the region to see our numbers expand as we try to get more folks here. The more, the merrier as the old saying goes.

But there’s more to this. I’d like to kick off a drive to bring back some of the old TEP faithful. We can do this a number of ways, but administration does have their old emails. Perhaps we do as other regions have done and send out a regular email to both entice those to come back and help pull folks who may be considering leaving us.

Even if these programs are partial successes, if we can increase our base during my term, I will condsider it a success. After all, the region’s funner when there’s more folks here.

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What will you do different this time if you are elected to be Delegate?

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To be honest, the last time I served as delegate here in an official capacity (not as a vizier used to boot a bad dude or help with a transition) was about three years ago. The game and its politics have changed a lot over those years. So my changes will reflect the changed landscape around us.

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But there’s more to this. I’d like to kick off a drive to bring back some of the old TEP faithful. We can do this a number of ways, but administration does have their old emails. Perhaps we do as other regions have done and send out a regular email to both entice those to come back and help pull folks who may be considering leaving us.

— End quote

People leave for a variety of different reasons, Todd. What makes you think that bringing people back to TEP – people who were once active but left due to a variety of circumstances (probably RL-related) – will bring substantive results? They left for a reason. Perhaps it would be better to simply let them live their life instead of resorting to desperate measures in a vain attempt to increase activity within an online-browser-game that they clearly don’t have the time or desire to play?

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-Snip-

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Why should I or anyone here be the judge of that? TEP is good and has plenty of resources to share with others. If it increases our numbers and brings back even a tiny portion of the faithful who know the ins and outs of a GCR back to our forums, why would it be considered a bad idea? We can even break down the message to both citizens and former citizens to prevent it from getting into the hands of riff-raff.

It wouldn’t shock me if many folks left TEP for RL-reasons. Most do anyway. But it also wouldn’t shock me if a number of folks left TEP because they simply lost interest in the place. I’d like to re-kindle that interest and at least see if anyone is willing to follow that direction.

— Begin quote from ____

But there’s more to this. I’d like to kick off a drive to bring back some of the old TEP faithful. We can do this a number of ways, but administration does have their old emails. Perhaps we do as other regions have done and send out a regular email to both entice those to come back and help pull folks who may be considering leaving us.

— End quote

Todd…speaking more as a moderator than an Arbiter, it’s a little unethical to track people down by the emails they used to register. If I left and suddenly the email that is supposed to be a private forum entry is being used to contact me despite assurances of email security, that’s a breach of privacy, imo.

— Begin quote from ____

— Begin quote from ____

But there’s more to this. I’d like to kick off a drive to bring back some of the old TEP faithful. We can do this a number of ways, but administration does have their old emails. Perhaps we do as other regions have done and send out a regular email to both entice those to come back and help pull folks who may be considering leaving us.

— End quote

Todd…speaking more as a moderator than an Arbiter, it’s a little unethical to track people down by the emails they used to register. If I left and suddenly the email that is supposed to be a private forum entry is being used to contact me despite assurances of email security, that’s a breach of privacy, imo.

— End quote

Speaking directly to the issue, Zetaboards and other forum hosting services allow for a member of administration to send a “bulk email” to users. Specifically, Zeta states the following before sending an email out: “The email will be sent to users with valid email addresses that have opted to receive emails from your board.”

Users may at any time opt out of this feature by un-selecting options located http://theeastpacific.com/home/?c=2. Many regions do indeed use this as a means of staying in touch with their userbase based on the emails I sometimes get from other regions via their forum team.

If we as a region wish to discuss the implimentation of this or, conversely, the prevention of this, I am of course open to the wills and desires of the region.

What is it about some of the old TEP faithful that you feel the need to try and call them back?

What is it they can do that the current residents cannot?

I sense that all four candidates are trying to grasp something a little nebulous. You all seem to want more activity and more fun, but what if the good old days are simply behind us?

(I may believe that there is always the possibility of a brighter, better future, but belief is not a strategy.)

You’ve been in this forum for almost 8 years. I think that exceeds the total of all three of your opponents membership time, by a couple of years. Of all that time, what was your favorite time period in TEP and why?

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What is it about some of the old TEP faithful that you feel the need to try and call them back?

What is it they can do that the current residents cannot?

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Well to be fair, I like the folks who are here currently. But I also miss the folks who were here. That’s natural for anyone - I challenge anyone here to be in this region for several years and not miss a few folks who retired or simply left. Perhaps they really did retire. Perhaps they just got bored and left. Or maybe they had a busy spell and forgot about coming back. Either way, if the government is for it, I’d at least like to try and get them back. They, being the older crowd, have the experience but lack the present knowledge of our region, i.e., where we stand today and how we’ve grown with respect to changing game and foreign policies. But they showed interest in the past. They decided to join the forums, check out our region, maybe join our government. Perhaps they’d have an interest today. They just might need a little nudge. Hey, the more the merrier, right?

— Begin quote from ____

I sense that all four candidates are trying to grasp something a little nebulous. You all seem to want more activity and more fun, but what if the good old days are simply behind us?

(I may believe that there is always the possibility of a brighter, better future, but belief is not a strategy.)

— End quote

I don’t know what could be considered the ‘good ol’ days’ so to speak. Not to disagree, but each “era” of TEP had its strengths as well as its challenges. When we were first freed from The Empire, for instance, we had the vigor and the “flavor of the month” label and that attracted a lot of folks from the region and abroad, but a lot of our policies were shots in the dark. Heck, you all elected a delegate with a strong track record towards raiderdom as your first delegate after we were liberated. We just didn’t know how the region would react or how secure it would be. Electing a former Empire member, DFD, was probably the next big hurdle, but we did well with it. Some positive, some negatives. Today, there are different challenges. But there are challenges out there I’m willing to get us through.

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You’ve been in this forum for almost 8 years. I think that exceeds the total of all three of your opponents membership time, by a couple of years. Of all that time, what was your favorite time period in TEP and why?

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Probably the time we were first liberated because everyone was excited, we were very dynamic, and we needed to think fast while applying quick changes when needed. That, and any Winter Holiday shin-digs. I love that time of the year. I’ll let - YouTube!

Good luck Todd!

Good luck, Fox McCloud!

Thanks to all who voted in this election. For those who voted for me, I am sorry I will be unable to fulfill my promises outlined in my campaign, and I apologize for being unable to secure any decent voting margin via the thirteen who decided to cast a vote in our election. But the show will go on, and I will definitely honor the results moving forward.

I wish the next delegate all the best.