Sandum citizens today are busier than ever before. There are more citizens who are active and engaged in the work of the Sandum government, from the Sôgmô to other workers in the Central People’s Government of the State of Sandus. Sandus, however, does not simply affect their micronational lives: it is also integrated with their quotidien and personal lives.
This Solstice has always marked one of the more important seasons for the State of Sandus. During the Autumn season, citizens take part in the nation’s most important cultural holiday, the Armilustrium, and engage in one of the most important democratic assemblies in our country: the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. Moreover, it sees significant political and state holidays like the National Day of Socialism, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Athena’s Day. But most significant of all administrative days is today, when the Sovereign People conclude their annual national referendum—the sixth, in today’s case—and vote on the legitimacy of the Sôgmô’s reign.
But, because of the tripartite Sandum Philosophy, Sandus lays claim to the spirit and message behind the peaceful and joyous winter holidays. We celebrate the social equality of the Saturnalia and we go beyond the progenitors of the holiday of yore in social equality—even striving to further and further than them. We remain mindful of the Christian message of the sort found in the venerated Victorian Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas:
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessings.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Io Saturnalia!
Sôgmô C. Soergel Publicola
Annual Charity Taxes Up, 2017 Most Philanthropic Year Yet
One of Sandus’s most notable administrative features, and one which is always reported on the quarter-days between the different seasons, is the report on charity taxes. Since March 2012, Sandum citizens have been required to donate to charitable foundations or volunteer for philanthropic causes. Each one has to report the charity which they do as private citizens, and this report always includes the work which they do in the past three months since the previous solstice or equinox.
The past season’s monetary donations are down from those reported during the Autumn Equinox, but the hours of volunteer work have more than doubled. In the past season, we have donated $929.26 USD to charity, compared to the Summer’s $1,462.41. But, on the other hand, 190 volunteering hours were completed since 22 September, compared to the average 94.5 hours in the history of Sandus accepting charity taxes in the form of volunteer work. Sandum citizens have volunteered at houses of worship, animal shelters, and environmental programs—amongst others.
Charity taxes in 2017 are up to the highest they have ever been. While part of this increase is due to the rise in the population of Sandum citizens, it is also due to the fact that most Sandum citizens have grown older and have begun accepting higher paying jobs or are more financially secure. More and more Sandum citizens are working toward or have attained a higher education than secondary education.
Election 2017: Participation Up, Sôgmô’s Reign Unanimously Legitimate
Polls were open from 10 to 20 December 2017, with participation low for the first half and picking up significantly in the second half of the voting duration. By 15 December, only one vote had been submitted, representing a participation of 12.5%. By 20 December, six votes had been cast, or 75% of eligible voters.
Of Sandus’s population of 12 citizens, 11 are technically eligible, while three members of the Royal Family refuse to vote though the Sôgmô does submit a ballot. Sandum citizens have three voting options when voting on the Sôgmô’s legitimacy: yes, no, and abstain.
Of the six ballots cast, all voted in favour of þess legitimate reign. Five ballots were written in English, while one was in French; there were no extraordinary Latin ballots cast.
In the last section, the ballot turns to easement of the right to petition and to the election process itself.
What policies or concerns do you wish the Sôgmô to enact and conduct?
- I think the government is addressing issues in a healthy, productive manner. Further, the government seems to be handling the chaos caused by America’s current government very well. Sandus is weathering the storm well.
- Continued expansion to new members. Good job with that!
— Two petitions submitted in the 2017 Election
Sandum citizens are always given space, as well, to petition the Sôgmô confidentially and privately. Two petitions were given, one which was congratulatory and another which suggested that Sandus should continue expansion of citizenship. When asked how the voting process went, three ballots commended the electoral process for its ease.
The Sôgmô expressed a desire to expand Sandum citizenship to more people at the 2017 CPS Party Congress, so it is expected that Sandus will work to explain the naturalisation process for non-citizens, ease the citizenship process, and to approach others who share the values of the Sandum Philosophy.
Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus: One New Membership Awarded, Four Upgraded
The Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has awarded membership to one person, updated the citation for several current members, and has upgraded three members to the rank of Commander and one Commander to the rank of Elder.
The recipient of membership in the Order has run a micronation since 2001 which, in 2014, became an official nonprofit public benefit corporation in California in the United States. His micronation’s primary political mission is ecological and environmental. Their friendship with the State of Sandus was demonstrated in this past year with this new member meeting with the Sôgmô and becoming close friends with other members of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. His reign, moreover, has seen thoughtful developments in the arts and an implicit dedication to LGBTQ+ micronationalists, while his government maintains three ecological campaigns, two of which are focused on Antarctica: Global Ecocide Prevention, Preserving and Monitoring the Ice Sheet, and Advocacy through Occupation. The Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has awarded the rank of Member in the order to Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica.
For their roles in developing the Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has instructed that the citations for four current members to include language “for the Declaration on Ecological Stewardship” in recognition of their service to micronational environmentalism:
Adam von Friedeck EOTS
Jean Pierre d’Aigues-Mortes COTS
Niels von Flandrensis MOTS
Thomas Harris MOTS
In recognition for their close friendship with the State of Sandus and for their role in the successful and diplomatic governance of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie (OMF), the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following Members of the Order to the rank of Commander:
Dominic DeSaintes-Bellemare COTS
Jean Pierre d’Aigues-Mortes COTS
Olivier d’Angyalistan COTS
In recognition of his role as Facilitator of the Council and the former leader of another Social State, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following Commander of the Order to the rank of Elder:
Hatsu Ryuho EOTS
Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea: Party Secretary Promoted
The Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea is a recently established order of honour in the State of Sandus, established to laud and to recognise the high academic achievements of Sandum citizens in a country inspired by intellectualism and scholarship.
One Associate of the Order has recently graduated with a Bachelors of Arts cum laude in History and Political Science. In recognition of his venerable academic achievement and the honour bestowed upon him for this accomplishment, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following member to the rank of Member of the Order:
Adam Camillus von Friedeck MΑθΠ