Preparing for less activity? Sandus concludes its 2012 November Party Congress
‘Expand’, you say…
You could picture it; a conference of robe-wearing socialists rambling on about their micronation, but silly stereotypes aside, Sandus and its citizens are preparing for something; through the medium of a meeting, of course. It is preparing its strategies for the next 6 months – does Philia ring a bell?
Yesterday night, the CCPS (the party which controls the State) had its Congress which outlined how much work was to be done in the next half-year or so. Basically, it’s a get-together of some sort to make sure that everything is okay, and that a few things can be tweaked in the process. But don’t bash it! It is these events which perhaps keep any micronation in good check – modifying policies, electing new people, sorting out bureaucracy – it’s a sign of a functioning, organised collective. Perhaps there are some nations outside of the micronational sphere who could actually benefit from a bit more of this.
And so I had a quick peek and interviewed Sôgmô Soergel after the conference had finished about this politically important event in the Sandum micronation.
James Puchowski (JP): So I think the first thing to ask is what role exactly does the CCPS play in Sandus and what is the significance of yesterday’s event?
Sôgmô Will Sörgel (S): The Party acts as a form of direct democratic parliament in Sandus, and yesterday is one of two times throughout the course of the year that the “parliament” comes together and is in session.
JP: And do you look forward to these events when they come, would you say?
S: Oh, yes! They take place during important holidays and they always result in some great changes, but yesterday was especially true of that.
JP: Why is that?
S: Because the Party approved several cultural policies of the government, to lay the basis for a Cultural Authority in Sandus, and laid the cornerstone for a bureaucracy in Sandus and further democratisation of our State. Mind, all in two hours — so the spirit of the event was fantastic!
JP: And on a personal note, why is that important for Sandus?
S: Because it shows that Sandus is not simply an autocracy. We have a democratic element to our State and these cultural policies, created by the People, will help to further democratise the State. And, furthermore, since I will leave for university next year, it shall ensure our continued longevity.
JP: And the best of luck for that! But with one major party and a “Sôgmo”, surely you are more autocratic in the eye of the micronationalist? How can the reader of this article be assured that Sandus is truly democratic in its nature?
S: By tradition, Sandus has only ever had one major party. It isn’t that we restrict our citizens to just one, it simply that they have only ever wanted or needed one.
Now, if we fast-forward to the creation of the State of Sandus, the Party was slowly cooperativised and, as a result, transformed into a parliament in practice, if not in name. We also have many factions within the Party — hard-line Communists, Social Democrats, and so on.
By law, all power rests with me as Sôgmô; however, I seldom act without the advice of my advisors – the People – and the Sandum citizen has the right to petition my office for a redress of any policy we may have. By nature, this means that all Sandum citizens become involved in government policy. And, finally, my position is also elected.
So, all power in Sandus is elected and the political calendar of Sandus is scattered with various expressions of this democracy.
JP: That is very interesting. You also mentioned last night the “Sandum Value”; tell me, what is that and well, why does a nation require a value that its citizens can subscribe to?
[18:18:05] Sôgmô Will Sörgel: The Sandum Value is essentially a cultural value that means that Sandus shall always be a philosophically Buddhist nation and be concerned with suffering. We require it because Sandus has always been comprised of like-minded people and we need a uniting, “main” cultural value.
JP: Could this Value change and adapt?
S: It can if the Party, the Office of the Sôgmô, and the soon-to-be-created Cultural Authority approve it to be changed or adapted. It most likely will have different ideas, values, and virtues attached to it, but it will most likely remain the same.
JP: OK, well then, could you explain the Philia politic in one sentence?
S: Haha. Its purpose is to expand Sandum culture so that we can remain a nation even when I may be busy at university.
JP: And how useful it shall be! Are you open to the idea of new political organisations and parties if they are created in Sandus? Could that happen if Sandus is to grow?
S: It could, yes, but it’s very unlikely since our culture, history, and nature has always been about Socialism and our philosophy.
JP: And how important are these conferences to your party and to Sandus when protecting these values?
S: Very important, because Sandus is about Democracy and Socialism and these congresses serve Democracy in our government and also work to expand our Socialism.
JP: Expand? Elaborate on that for me.
S: Well, the Congresses are the main event of the Sandum democratic “calendar”, I suppose you could say.
It is the day where all citizens and the Sôgmô sit down and discuss policy, where we can do better, what we can expand, and so on. This democratic function thus serves to expand and strengthen our Socialist state.
JP: Ah, I could not help but feel that you were proposing to invade another micronation. But dreams aside, what are your aspirations for the next half year based on this conference?
S: Haha, coincidentally, the Congress served to reduce Libera’s self-defence requirement.
Over the next half-year, which is the term of the Party, I hope to see a greater involvement of all Sandum citizens, a strengthened culture, and the power of the Office of the Sôgmô maintained but working more with all Sandum citizens.
JP: Well, I would like to wish you the best of luck with all of your plans.
S: Thank you! And happy 95th Anniversary of the October Revolution!
JP: Ah yes, I hope the celebrations are a success.
S: Thank you.
The highlights of the CCPS Novembro Congress:
- A reduction of the “Libera” defence policy
- An approval of the ‘Sandum Value’
- An approval of the “Philia” policy (as mentioned above)
- Discussion of cultural and social policy and events
- Discussion of the Party’s role as Sandus’ ‘parliament’
- Election of James Thompson as Party Secretary