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1551  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Federal Amendment Amendment 2 (Final Vote) on: May 16, 2013, 02:41:16 pm
Aye
1552  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: ZuWo and Cathcon: Experience and Leadership on: May 16, 2013, 02:30:27 pm
Voting has started! I'd like to encourage all Mideast citizens to cast their ballots. In order to keep things as straightforward and easy for the voting booth administrator (i.e. the Governor in this case), please do not follow the example of Bacon King and only vote in this election if you are a citizen of this region. Wink
1553  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: ZuWo and Cathcon: Experience and Leadership on: May 15, 2013, 02:56:09 pm
Tomorrow is election day and the Mideast is about to elect a new Assembly on the one hand and a new Governor and Lt. Governor on the other hand. This has been a long campaign and I hope it has helped you to get a better impression of the two (or three? Wink) gubernatorial tickets and to figure out who, in your opinion, will be the best leaders of the Mideast during the next four months.
 
If you are an undecideded voter, I encourage you to have a look at this as well as our opponents' campaign threads. Additionally, the Governor's debate can help you to make up your mind.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this campaign. We are looking forward to an exciting election weekend! Smiley
1554  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Federal Amendment Amendment 2 (Debating) on: May 14, 2013, 01:14:39 pm
Honestly, I am almost certain that a 2/3rds clause will not get the necessary level of support in a popular vote since there is so much opposition against it. Also, I think that most of the people who abstained when we voted on it for the first time will vote "nay" when push comes to shove (myself included). Thus, we need to find a compromise that can attract broad support, and I think a ratification process which is very similar to the status quo is a proposal most people can live with. 
1555  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mideast Governor's Debate on: May 14, 2013, 01:07:23 pm
I think that the way the Mideast ratifies federal amendments should be decided on the constitutional rather than the legislative level, just like most other procedural matters.
I am confident that we will eventually find common ground on this issue. As far as I see, a clause which would mandate that 2/3rds of the Mideast electorate must approve of a federal amendment for it to be ratified will not get majority support in our region. Thus, we will ultimately be compelled to settle on a proposal which only mandates a simple majority, which is essentially the status quo.

I admit that I have flip-flopped on this issue. While I initially supported the 2/3rds clause, I now believe that a simple-majority solution is better.
1556  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship (Sweden and Finland) on: May 14, 2013, 09:05:35 am
And the unthinkable has happened! Switzerland finishes first in group Stockholm after the seventh straight win (4-1 against Belarus). They will face either the Czech Republic or Norway in the quarter final. Meanwhile, Slovenia and Austria will be relegated. That must be particularly bitter for Austria because they played quite well in some of their games.
1557  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: Federal Amendment Amendment 2 (Debating) on: May 13, 2013, 07:47:45 am
I hope that extending the voting period to seven days will convince some of the people who voted against the previous proposals to vote for the amendment. By establishing a 7-day voting period we can make sure that more people have the chance to participate in the amendment ratification process, which is a way to increase turnout and involve more Mideasterners in the game.
1558  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: MA: T-G-I-T-Z-L Mideast High Speed Rail Act of 2013 (Final Vote) on: May 13, 2013, 02:49:58 am
Aye
1559  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: Mideast Assembly Thread on: May 13, 2013, 02:36:27 am
Federal Amendment Amendment 2

1. Any federal constitutional amendment sent to the Mideast Region shall be voted on by a public referendum.
2. Voting shall begin between midnight Eastern Standard Time on the following Thursday and 0001 Eastern Standard Time on the first Friday thereafter, and shall conclude exactly 7 days (168 hours) after beginning.
3. An amendment shall be passed when ratified by a majority of Mideast citizens voting.
4. In order for an amendment to be voted on subsequent times, it must attain public signatures from at least twenty-five percent of Mideast citizens each time.
1560  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: ZuWo and Cathcon: Experience and Leadership on: May 13, 2013, 02:35:17 am
On the regional and federal amendments

First of all, I'm very glad that Mideasterners have voted in favor of the Wiki clarification amendment. From now on, Governors and Lt. Governors of the Mideast will know much better what their concrete duties are when it comes to the regional Wiki.

Secondly, it looks like we have to put forward yet another proposal which specifies the regional ratification process for federal amendments. Indeed, I think we should amend Section 2 of the failed proposal and extend the voting period from three to seven days, so I am going to introduce another constitutional amendment.
1561  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Mideast Voting Booth: We Need More Political Parties Amendment on: May 13, 2013, 02:25:01 am
Aye
1562  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship (Sweden and Finland) on: May 12, 2013, 03:38:54 pm
3-1 win against Norway, great! The result may suggest otherwise, but Norway was weaker than Denmark. If the Swiss manage to beat Belarus they will finish first in the group and could face Norway again in the quarter-final. The match between Norway and the Czech Republic on Tuesday will decide which of the two teams reaches the next round. Coach Sean Simpson implied that he would rather avoid Canada and Sweden in the quarter-final so the Swiss will obviously do everything they can to win their last match.
1563  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mideast Governor's Debate on: May 12, 2013, 07:57:52 am
This is a question PM'ed from the audience:

Would you support the return to the old system of voting the region had?

No, I wouldn't. I think the system we currently have is fair and represents the will of the electorate in the best way. I have nothing against Mideastern exceptionalism when it makes sense, but in this particular case I think it was a good decision to choose a system which has been tried and tested in other Atlasian regions.
1564  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Census Bureau of Atlasia: Homelycooking, Registrar General on: May 12, 2013, 05:18:34 am
What's with the jump in Federalists?

Go read the "New Register Thread" and you'll see it's previous obvious they're doing recruitment on other sites.

No, that's not true. All of the people who joined the Federalist Party had already been members of the Atlas Forum before we recruited them. 
1565  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship (Sweden and Finland) on: May 11, 2013, 07:40:51 am
And a 4-1 win against Denmark! The result suggests that the game was more one-sided than it was in reality, though. The Danish players are very strong physically and if the team were more efficient they could have won this and other close games in the tournament.
1566  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: ZuWo and Cathcon: Experience and Leadership on: May 11, 2013, 03:54:14 am
Mideast Governor's Debate

For those who haven't noticed, there is a debate going on between Clinton1996 and myself. You can send any questions you have to Gass, who is the moderator.

On an unrelated note, I welcome drj101 to the campaign. I'm sure the campaign will no longer be boring with her in the race. Wink
1567  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship (Sweden and Finland) on: May 10, 2013, 12:27:46 pm
The Helsinki group continues to surprise us. After going down to Latvia yesterday the Slovaks also lost against Austria, 1-2 after a penalty shootout.
1568  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Happy Victory Day, everyone! on: May 10, 2013, 01:55:57 am
I read an article about the accidental bombings of Switzerland during the Second World War, which led to several dozen casualties and caused the US government to pay roughly $20 million in restitution.

Apart from that, I also watched parts of the Russian victory celebrations that took place yesterday.
1569  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Mideast Voting Booth: Constitutional Amendments on: May 09, 2013, 03:10:41 pm
Aye

Aye
1570  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mideast Governor's Debate on: May 09, 2013, 03:03:06 pm
Okie dokie!

Question 2: If you were Governor during the Balanced Budget Amendment debate/votes, how would have you handled the situation?   

The entire budget amendment process was a tough nut to crack but I am glad we eventually managed to pass a compromise proposal.

In debates like these where more than a simple majority is needed to get something done it is of great importance to seek cooperation with as many people as possible at a very early stage. The more people feel left out when you try to pass an amendment, the higher the risk that there will be vocal opposition and your plans will fail. Thus, it will be one of my priorities as Governor to reach out to the right, the left and to the center on as many pieces of legislation as possible. I think I have demonstrated that I am able to find comon ground with people of different ideologies when I introduced the "2nd Amendment to the Mideast Abortion Statute" and everyone in the Assembly backed the final version of the bill. This way we managed to settle an issue which has been extremely divisive in the Mideast for several months.
1571  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Mideast Governor's Debate on: May 09, 2013, 07:44:36 am
Thank you candidates, now the first question!

You have been elected Governor and you just swore in, what would be the first piece of legislation that you would propose to the Assembly?

If elected Governor, I will concentrate on the budget right from the start. With the recently passed budget amendment, the budget has a superior status over all other pieces of legislation so this is where our main focus should be.

Apart from the budget, I will introduce several amendments to already existing statutes, such as the "Mideast Vital Civic Information Information Act" or the "Questioning the Power Act". Taking up shua's suggestion I would like the Mideast Civic Information Thread to contain a list of all passed pieces of legislation. Indeed, this goes hand in hand with the monthly guvernatorial newsletter which I wish to reintroduce. Additionally, Mideasterners should not only be able to ask the Governor questions but they should also get the opportunity to do the same with the Lt. Governor if they want to. Finally, since this issue came up in the debate of the "Keeping the Voting Booths Clean Act", I want to propose a constitutional amendment or bill to the Assembly which clarifies the status of English and other languages in the Mideast. I don't think that English should be declared the official language of the region, but it might be a good idea to debate language issues in general.
1572  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: NEW FEATURE, BITCHEZ! on: May 09, 2013, 06:53:19 am
Thanks a lot, that's a great and very useful addition to the Wiki! I think the tables are easy to read so there's nothing significant you should change in terms of formatting.
1573  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: possible Pre-Tower of Babel language discovered on: May 09, 2013, 03:48:45 am
You rang?

I hate how this story has gotten so much press attention - not because I'm inherently predisposed against historical linguistics,

I sure hope so! Wink Historical linguistics is a lot of fun and studies in this field are still relevant. However, as a historical linguist you should be aware of the limitations of this field. Reconstructing older stages of a language group makes sense up to a certain point (when it comes to most of our Western and some Asian languages that point is "Proto-Indo-Germanic"), but everything which goes beyond that point is, to a large extent, pure speculation. 
1574  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: possible Pre-Tower of Babel language discovered on: May 08, 2013, 03:15:50 pm
In fact, languages evolved like species. Something became something that's no longer present, and which is usually more efficient / adaptable than what was before it.

That's a view of language change which resembles the Stammbaumtheorie, which was put forward by August Schleicher in the 19th century. Schleicher tried to apply scientific insights from biology, more specifically the field of botany, to linguistics. While his model is still considered influential, language change is much more complex than that. In fact, most of the changes that occur in languages have nothing to do with "efficiency" or "adaptibility". For example, the fact that the early speakers of Germanic began to realize Proto-Indo-Germanic plosives as fricatives cannot be explained by these terms at all. To put it in other words, we know that all languages change over time but we usually have no clue why this happens.
1575  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship (Sweden and Finland) on: May 08, 2013, 01:13:16 pm
7-1 against Slovenia today. This is a very important win because the Swiss often play quite well against strong teams while they usually struggle against weaker squads. As a consequence, it looks like Slovenia will be relegated now.
In the Helsinki group, Germany beat Austria. Latvia is still waiting for the first win.
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