The Unity Party/January 2010 Manifesto
- 1 Manifesto for a New Britain
- 1.1 Preamble
- 1.2 A New Political Economy
- 1.3 Contract Tenders for the eUK Government Companies
- 1.4 Newspaper Tutorial
- 1.5 Merging of Government Papers
- 1.6 Improving player retention
- 1.7 Business Advisor to the Navy
- 1.8 Navy Congress Liaison
- 1.9 Party President advisory committee
- 1.10 Qualifications and Study
- 1.11 Conclusion of Manifesto
Manifesto for a New Britain
This document represents ideas drawn from the Unity Party conference and also our manifesto pledge for this coming congressional term
Over the last few months, Britain has lost its way. We have stopped looking at what we want to do and started agonising about what people want us to do. We have stopped looking out for each other and started looking out for ourselves.
This may sound shocking coming from a socialist, but government can't solve everything. In the time since Hassan and then Mr Woldy government has expanded to cover all aspects of life. From the military to the newspapers to politics to business- people have reduced their input into society. This manifesto lays out not only what we believe we as a political party should be calling for from the government, but also what we would like to see you do, as citizens of the new UK, to enlarge and develop our society into one of equals that we can be proud of.
"We know that government can't solve all our problems - and we don't want it to. But we also know that there are some things we can't do on our own. We know that there are some things we do better together." - Barack Obama (sorry to use this, but it is an apt quote methinks)
This pertinent quote from the American President for me sums up The Unity Party's long term position on government. We see government as a facilitator. It is not there to do the job of running the country, it is there to make it possible for people to do that themselves. If you are feeling like your voice isn't being heard, we are there to make it heard. If you feel like you have a great idea about how to make the military more efficient or make us more money, we want to hear about it.
Because ultimately what makes us great is not the single man in the President's seat but the hundreds of others who contribute on a daily basis to the sound running of the country. But being President is a complex job, not one lightly undertaken. A President must be equipped not only with a wit, activity and ability to perform but also a mission: a driving ideologically sound set of goals around which a successful Presidency can be formed. Our most successful Presidents all had this.
Kumnaa- reform our international relations and foster links with PEACE Hassan- rebuild us as a military power Mr Woldy- reposition us internationally as a first rate diplomatic power in PHOENIX
But for a new year we need a new dream, a new manifesto. We need to make this not only an achievement for our party and our candidates but also for ordinary Britons. In these dark days we need to forge a path which all of us can walk, regardless of political affiliation. Putting aside the old animosity of the past we need a year of the great bridge-building citizens. Old dinosaurs can be put out to rest and new, enthusiastic citizens can take the lead.
The world has become a dark place of war and destruction. In the words of Lloyd George it has become "like a lunatic asylum run by lunatics". The strength of small countries like ours will be measured in how we marshal our limited resources to conquer our weaknesses. Our greatest strength, our people, are undeveloped. During this manifesto, we shall seek to right that, and give UK citizens something they can believe in. Social projects that involve every citizen, put an end to petty disunity and usher in a new dawn of political unity and solidarity.
When reading, remember this manifesto wasn’t made by political elites. We welcomed suggestions from all backgrounds, and all the ideas contained within this manifesto were posted, whole, by citizens aging from one year to one month old. This is the first step towards a better Britain.
A New Political Economy
The strength of a country is, as ever, based on its economy. In eRepublik this is even truer than in real life. The variable forms of political organisation available in the real world are not available here. We can't organise a national health service because that is simply not how this game works. Tax income and income from monetary trading is basically funnelled directly into the military. A country making 200 gold a day generally has the capacity to field a force four times as strong as one making 50 gold a day.
In the UK our military has faced a lot of reforms and now works almost fully on a company based system of working for weapons. This is efficient, but means we often run short of weapons because our collective productivity as an armed force does not exceed our collective maximum theoretical consumption. When weapons companies are upgraded beyond Q1 this problem is exacerbated. So as we can see we need to move beyond the simple socialism of nationalised companies and approach the problem from an entirely different perspective. We need to jack up our national income by expanding and deepening our income from areas other than taxation.
Exports are King
A truer thing has never been seen. Let's look at a few national incomes: Hungary- 500+ gold a day Serbia- 200+ gold a day This is the perfect illustration of my point. In Indonesia, which has high-resource regions, they make more income in a day than Serbia, which has a larger population.
Why is this?
Simple. This is because Hungary exports huge amounts of iron and other high resources each day. The companies which export then end up with large amounts of foreign currency. Say they export to the UK and end up with GBP. They then have to go to the UK monetary market and buy gold with GBP so they can buy HUF for their company wages etc. Now this essentially means GOLD leaves the UK and is sold in Hungary. This has 2 effects. Firstly, the Hungarian market always has lots of gold for sale, secondly Indonesian currency slowly rises in value all the time as demand for it increases. This means to regulate their currency Indonesia issue money, and then buy the gold from the market to restore equilibrium. This means that they always have lots of gold and their currency is always strong. This is purely from exports. Similar economic methods can be found in Russia, Spain, Brazil, and other high-resource countries in the e-World.
So what do you want to do to fix this?
Well there are two main solutions to this problem. The first (long term) is to either seize control of high-iron or wait for the admins to give us some. Many would say this is impossible, but a baby boom, if we got one, would bring this within our reach. Secondly, and more realistically, we need to export products which we can make easily- manufacturing and constructions.
Most companies in the UK are Q1 and Q2 and do not export goods. Most countries with no exportable raw materials have high import taxes. Changing these two things would be a main goal of a government and President, combining the twin roles of commander-in-chief and head diplomat. We would do this in two ways- firstly by opening higher Q companies with export licences and running them at cost. What would this do? Simple. It would allow us to buy gold from foreign markets with their own money, thus increasing our gold supply at no risk to our market. Secondly we would negotiate killing import taxes slowly, especially in smaller countries. What really benefits us is low domestic prices and high foreign prices (remember this is at high Q). Black market does some of the work but low taxes are essential really. In addition a 10% import tax for the UK for example is annoying for foreign investors but doable. A 99% tax just makes them give up any thought of exporting. So the government makes more money with a 10% tax than a 99% tax by a long way.
More money to invest in the Navy and SF.
Sounds good, but why has nobody done it before?
The prohibitive cost of Q5s (400 gold) stops all but the richest citizens doing it. The government has only just finished paying for enough companies for all our soldiers to work in, so it hasn't been viable. Now however we can consider it. Q4 companies are only 190 gold and have a really good value turnaround for many players, especially in weapons. Q4 weapons are almost half the price of Q5 weapons yet they do 90% of the damage. Thus for armed forces they provide a good value gun for elite troops at half the price, with Q5s being a tanking weapon where cost is irrelevant due to the price of wellness packs overshadowing gun cost.
As you can see exports should drive our economy. At first these will be government run, but I am open to the idea of selling of companies to conglomerates when they become profitable, provided they keep up the general method described above. This way we create a way to turn currency (of which we have too much) into gold without destroying our markets. Large scale government ownership of business is the only reasonable way to quickly increase our exports. Private citizens cannot acquire the level of gold required easily enough for this to work.
Contract Tenders for the eUK Government Companies
Military/Domestic Companies system to allow traders to respond to government offers for purchase of new Raw Materials (Put Tender Contracts into google if you don't know what they are)
At this time, some government companies buy most materials off the open market on a regular basis: Iron, Oil, Diamonds, Grain (Possibly Wood). The UK Government should create a gogle document based system of tender agreements whereby businesses can sell their goods to the government in bulk in return for a keen price for both sets. It gives the businessman who undertakes it a guaranteed income and the government cheaper goods than market price for buying in bulk at an agreed rate. It could also allow the government to weigh the advantages of paying in Gold or currency thereby possibly earning more of a profit in weaker\stronger markets.
System could be ran by a Minister/uM in the MoF/MoT using Google Docs, and purchases made at agreed times with both parties.
The concept behind this idea is to create a newspaper that would be run by MoHA, that has a comprehensive database of tutorials, starting from a basic guide to wellness (and a day-by-day guide until level 5) which leads on through successive articles to more complicated issues like the way taxes work (people get this wrong all the time, even congressmen), an introduction to Political Parties (perhaps written by Party Presidents?) and finally moving onto the complicated stuff, like Dillthedogs' tutorials on Economic Warfare.
Many new players don't bother to check out the wiki, or find it difficult to get to the tutorial page. By giving them an ingame resource that they can trawl through at their own rate, after being linked to it from the Welcoming Message we make help more accessible and available from an earlier date.
The basic principle would be a nest of increasingly complex articles following a kind of ‘career’ tree from basic economics to horribly complex economics; basic politics to full histories and theoretical documents.
Instead of being a spontaneous resource like a MoHA tutorial, which is not read by many and is only part of MoHA's publications, this would be a much better way, in our opinion, to help retain players in eRepublik than by using the wiki. We already have many of the tutorials we need to write: all that's left is to get a newspaper up, which is only a 2G investment.
Merging of Government Papers
One issue we frequently face is government papers competing with each other. We suggest merging all government papers except the Ministry of Defence paper into one, and then having the cabinet secretary set a schedule of regular articles out for each month. This way people can subscribe to one paper, it is more likely to reach the top 5, won’t be competing with other papers and we can have regular articles from all departments, not just a few.
Improving player retention
Using the Department for New Players and Eddie's excellent MoHA hub, we could help to improve player retention. One way is to the welcome message to include the newly created new player guide. The current message is good but I think it can be made better (assuming the current MoHA agrees). In addition, I think the same department should message people again at level 5 when they are more game aware and able to take it all in. This is the ideal time to link them to guides about fighting, wellness, politics, etc.
By making our new players more aware, directing them to the forums, giving them a point of contact, etc. we can help to improve player retention. We naturally get people joining the game (as much as we'd like more) - keeping them past the first few levels is the hard part. The nation can only grow stronger through new player recruitment and retention. This is one step to help towards that goal.
A while ago the Navy had a problem where their manufacturing companies couldn't be stocked due to an eRep bug. In order to fix this, the Navy ordered workers in those companies who had run out of raw materials to find a job in the private sector so as not to lose their hard worker medals. It was suggested afterwards (By Dan Moir, and maybe by others) that a better decision would have been to spend 20-30 gold stocking up the Navy companies by buying iron off the market. If there had been a business brain in the Navy command, they may have been able to number crunch and work out that buying iron off the private market would have been cheaper in the long term than losing 2-3 days' worth of labour, and this situation could have been avoided.
I know parties aren't supposed to get overly involved in the Military, but this idea struck me at the time and I thought a party manifesto would be a good time to get it known. Such a position probably wouldn't be required in the SF, since many SF people own their own companies, but for the Navy it may be worthwhile.
A single person could act as an advisor to the Navy or, if a single person wouldn't be active enough, a small team. This team could also be used to run Navy Raffles and other fund-raising methods. Perhaps the team could be organised by the MoE.
We have a large number of navy personnel in the UK now- and are deployed frequently both within and without the UK. This means they have no direct point of contact with a local congressman in the same way a normal constituent would do.
We propose a very simple solution to this. One MP would volunteer to liaise with Navy personnel on duty and would fulfil the role of MP for those citizens. This would involve discussing any problems the navy (both soldiers and commanders) have, relaying those concerns to congress and the government, explaining political issues if necessary, and generally learning from the navy the demands and issues that they face. This would be hugely beneficial to both the armed forces and congress, as both have a lot they could learn from each other.
Party President advisory committee
The role of Party Presidents is largely ignored in government. Yet Party Presidents by their nature lead the huge groups of people who essentially choose the government, by supporting candidates in elections and by providing leadership to their members. Keeping party presidents informed of certain issues allows them to in turn keep their parties happy. A lot of issues get out of hand simply because of a lack of communication between the government and the general public, resulting in parties refusing to work with or help the government due to what is essentially a misunderstanding.
Closer communication and two way support between the President and Parties would mean that issues get resolved privately, or at least issues are attempted to be resolved.
Qualifications and Study
This proposal centres around the principle that the current ‘apprenticeship’ model where young players apprentice to Ministers isn’t always practical for recruiting the large numbers of players which are needed to operate government apparatus. Thus we would have a central ‘university’ where students would be given access to materials and eventually would be tested by means of a verbal questioning session with an expert. Passing would essentially qualify you for entry level into a ministry.
This would be particularly good for Ministries where specific knowledge of game mechanics is needed. A general qualification would also be quite useful for young players to put on their CV, showing they understand the basics of the game, and could easily be assessed by google doc submission.
We are aware this has been tried before, we think it mainly failed because of a lack of organised manpower and ‘big government’ which is fortunately not an issue in today’s Britain.
Conclusion of Manifesto
This manifesto is the first part of what will be a series of articles coming from TUP with suggestions on how the UK can improve its economic position and social cohesion. It is also a platform upon which all of our candidates stand. Voting for a TUP candidate is voting for this document, and the ideas in it. But it is also voting for what this represents- open government, free flow of ideas, new concepts bubbling up from grassroots activists.
If you want to join us in our quest, join us here
Thank you for reading,
Iain Keers TUP Leader