While so far only four respondents have declared their charity tax contributions for Spring 2022, Sandum citizens have so far declared that they have donated $1,799.28 USD to such things as: food drives, refugee relief, religious organisations, political campaigns, Wikipedia, indigenous services, and private gifts. In all so far, 142 hours have been volunteered for charity.
These numbers are sure to increase with more respondents.
Secretary Prepares Draft of New Party Constitution
Secretary Adam Camillus von Friedeck, advised by a committee of Party volunteers, has completed the draft of a new constitution for the Citizens’ Party of Sandus and will soon call a general meeting to ratify it.
The process of preparing a new constitution began at the 2020 Party Congress, when members decided the existing one, adopted in 2016, was no longer suitable as the Party’s constitutional role continued to develop. A committee developed an outline of the new constitution’s substance, which the Party unanimously approved at the 2021 Congress. This summer, Secretary von Friedeck will invite all Party members to attend a special meeting to ratify the new constitution proposed by his office.
The proposed constitution makes several important changes to Party governance, including:
- Requiring new Party members to complete political education prescribed by the Central Committee
- Establishing a system of formal discipline to promote active participation of Party members and adherence to official policy
- Codifying the roles of the Congress, Central Committee, and Secretary in more detail, including their relationships with each other and the Sandum state
- Changing the composition of the Central Committee from the Secretary and two people they appoint to the Secretary, the S8gm8, and a commissioner elected by the Congress
- Creating regional chapters of the Party to organize local activity
Social System Leaders Meet, Discuss New Treaty & Admissions
In May, the leaders of the Social System—the Sôgmô, King Adam of Überstadt, and the Secretary General of the system—held their first meeting of the year to discuss possible developments in the organisation. Discussions centred on a possible new treaty for the organisation that will both create a new status for micronations associated with the system (hence “associates”) and also constitute new political organs within the Social System. After the meeting, all three met with Erik Jóhannes-Baptistesbur who is exploring the possibility of creating a new micronation, and Premier Brooklyn Hewitt of the New Richmond Republic was invited to attend. The new treaty will also clarify the status of the affiliated and subsidiary organisations within the organisation, such as the Common Economy and the members’ current plans for greater security coöperation.
The new proposed changes have come about because of the Sôgmô’s and the King’s reflection on the exceedingly close relationship between Sandus and Überstadt and on the nature of coöperation in the Social System. For years, the organisation has put the brakes on micronations wanting greater integration with the system, since to date the system only allows for membership in the organisation that comes with complete integration with member-states. This includes the right of members to share social citizenship in common with other members, forming an exclusive block of micronations that otherwise do not share citizenship. Dual citizenship is, as a matter of law and treaty, forbidden in member-states—except for social citizenship shared between Social System members. This has led to significant hurdles for micronations that have previously or historically allowed dual citizenship, meaning that their laws and policies would have to change.
While that remains the case, the new status afforded to associates will prepare other micronations for greater coöperation and integration with the Social System, leading to exceptionally close relations because of their common association and also to greater closeness between members and associates if they should want to apply for candidacy to become members. The new status of associate, too, may be the ultimate goal that they desire, striving for greater political and social proximity with the member-states of the Social System and possible greater integration in the future.
As part of the plan to create a new status, all three system leaders also discussed the possible creation of a formal council for members and an assembly of both associates and members of the system. Since the system currently works by treaty, the new organs could potentially shake-up and regularise the work that the system does by drafting and enacting significant policy decisions for the system, without having to go through the onerous work of drafting treaties for every policy. Already the system leaders work by drafting and agreeing to a series of MOUs (memoranda of understanding) that clarify a wide range of issues that arise from policy and interpretation of the system’s treaties. While the MOUs currently possess a great deal of significance for the governance of the system, the proposed council could take on a larger role as a kind of secretariat for the organisation to perform necessary administrative functions and to make decisions regarding the system’s relationship with and work through its subsidiary organisations and programs, such as the Common Economy.
Great Progress Made on Consultative Days
At the start of the year, the Sôgmô announced a new program of “consultative days,” so-called for the fact that they are meetings for workers and government officials to consult each other to draft the basic documents for a variety of coöperatives and state enterprises. To date, we have held four consultative days for two coöperatives and two sodalities of the Collegium Sacerdotum, Sandus’s state enterprise for culture and religion, and have come to a definitive conclusion about what to do with one additional sodality.
These consultative days have filled in the gaps for many of our organs, whether by writing their basic laws as organs or by setting into motion an administrative plan. For years, most coöperatives have largely been left to figure out their own constitutions and how they would like to organise themselves, all to the detriment of the organs themselves. Since each organ would be created often in name only or with a royal charter but with no additional administrative work, each tended to falter and exist in name alone. Now that the State of Sandus and the Kingdom of Überstadt have created the Common Economy between them, the time has come to fill in those gaps.
Tellus Horticultural Coöperative and Sangha Sandus were the first two organs to hold consultative days in January, while the Sandum Church had a meeting planned later on in February that was eventually cancelled. Tellus Horticultural Coöperative, which has a royal charter from 2020 before the Common Economy redefined the legal status of coöperatives, met to set in motion basic administrative work, including determining who were members and what the coöperative’s constituent gardens were. Sangha Sandus drafted a basic document to serve as the sodality’s basic law, enshrining into the sodality its goal to meet regularly but every so often to have meditation sessions, teachings on the Buddhist Dharma, and even retreats.
In February, a meeting with Christians in Sandus was scheduled but never ended up happening. The Sandum Church has existed for more than five years but has never held services, remaining altogether inactive. The Flamen Minervalis, the leader of the Collegium Sacerdotum, plans to put forward to a vote at this year’s Collegium convocation a vote to disband the church, preferring to have one flamen lead services for Sandum Christians, a majority of whom will also be served by an expected Überstadti church.
Even if the church will be disbanded, Sandum Christians will still be served through an elaborate plan hatched by the Flamen Minervalis as the leader of the Sodalitas Sanctis Faciundis, the sodality responsible for Sancta culture. Defined as both the pluralistic yet independent culture that represents all Sandum citizens, Sancta culture has for years been a key program of our micronation, seeking to create an independent culture for Sandus. The sodality in particular exists as an umbrella organisation that advances Sancta culture and organises services for religious and cultural communities in Sandus not served by any other sodality. This change effectively reorganises the independent flamines in the Collegium Sacerdotum and gives them a larger organ to fit under.
Lastly, Erganê Artisanal Coöperative recently had a consultative day meeting, though it was held asynchronously. Since Erganê has long represented artisanal crafts in Sandus, all artisans throughout Sandus and Überstadt were invited to take part. A robust organisation is planned for the coöperative that will reflect something of a guild, with member artisans and recognised masters in particular crafts. The coöperative will perform a variety of functions, including providing material and educational resources, quality controls, and other additional benefits for members. Many of these are still being defined.
Several organs still need consultative days, including Sandus’s State Media Enterprise and the Überstadti-based Occidental Chronicle, a worker’s coöperative.
Sandus & Uberstadt: Two Fraternal Nations
Between the Sandum royal wedding last September and the Überstadti royal wedding on 6 August, the State of Sandus and the Kingdom of Überstadt have much cause to rejoice. Both monarchs, longtime friends and companions, have set out to make new lives for themselves together with their spouses, and both royal weddings mark a year of momentous royal occasions for the two countries. Our closest friend and ally, the Kingdom of Überstadt, our longtime partner in the Social System, now has even more cause to rejoice this year. His Majesty King Adam I will move with his wife, the Countess McAleer, later in August to their new home across the continent, in Boston, where both will pursue their education.
The relationship between both countries has endured long since before July 2014, when Überstadt became a social partner. It has weathered political controversy and both monarchs’ momentary disagreements, but has always come around in good faith while seeing the good will each country has. Sandus and Überstadt, more than any other country, have an exceedingly close relationship and borders not only on a political kinship between both countries, but even a close kinship and affinity between both their heads of state.
In the years ahead, both Sandus and Überstadt will surely deepen their relationship ever more. In only two years, both countries will celebrate a decade of their exceedingly close political relationship and the strong personal affinity shared between Sandum and Überstadti citizens.
Central Google Drive Goes Live
All Sandum citizens were recently given access to a whole new swathe of documents as part of the Central People’s Government’s new initiative to augment transparency and activity in our country. This Spring, the Sôgmô created a new Google Drive for all Sandum citizens to use where they will have access to all laws, important forms and documents, and other information. Citizens have long had access to the Tabulae Sandae, the name of the government’s roll of citizens and their publicly accessible (that is, not sensitive) information. But now citizens will have access to all important documents, visual media and symbols (except those with restricted use), and even a welcome packet.
Citizens have been automatically been given access with the email address that is on file with the Central People’s Government. Any concerns about accessibility can be raised directly with the Sôgmô, especially if you do not have access to the Google Drive!
Roll of Honours: Developing the Recognition of Merit in Sandus
The summertime is upon us, and this is especially the time during which we focus on honours in our country. This solstice, we are especially interested in two big changes to our system of honours in Sandus, one focused on our orders of merit and another on Sandum nobility.
In the future, news about the honours will likely come out at the Summer solstice in a special instalment, called the “Roll of Honours.” While news about honours can in fact come out at any time, as is often the case with noble grants, the Summer solstice has often marked the time when news about orders has come out and changes have been made to them. As with election news at the Winter solstice (for the Sôgmô) and the Spring equinox (for the Speaker), this will now make a special segment of the solstice report.
Orders of Merit
Visual Identities, Regalia to be developed
With the development of the Sandum Google Drive and new changes to Sandus’s online presence, especially with the creation of more websites for Sandum organs, Sandum orders of merit are especially getting a facelift this year. In the new Google Drive, citizens can now find information about Sandus’s three orders, our system of nobility, and additional honours, such as tax titles, commendations, and ovations. With the Sôgmô receiving a new website, too, each order will also receive its own webpage dedicated to it, just as happens now on Sandus.org. Under the current plans, Sandus.org will be significantly slimmed down, focusing more exclusively on information and necessary public forms.
In addition to the new public information, the Sôgmô this summer will focus on creating new visual identities for each order, especially online. This will entail creating a coat of arms and a standard medal shape or design for all three orders: the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus (MHOTS), the Honourable Order of Athena Pronœa, and the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl. For the MHOTS, a nine-ringed or nine-pointed star is one option for a medal shape, since this represents the Sandum practice of multiplying an auspicious number (in this case, the number 3) by its own power (33). For the Order of Athena Pronœa, emphasis may be placed on a papyrus shape (e.g., 𓇊) with special attention paid to sacred ibis (𓅝) and scroll (𓏛) glyphs since the order has long drawn on connections with writing and knowledge, such as with the order’s eponymous Athena of Forethought. Finally, for the Order of the Wooden Bowl, technically a personal fraternal chivalric order, not a state order of merit, a lotus shape may be used while specially commissioned wooden bowl may actually be used for physical representations of the order.
In terms of physical regalia, preference will be given to domestic members, given financial constraints, and then for recipients of each order who remain active and close friends of the State of Sandus.
Each set of regalia would have the motto of each of their order on them, too:
- Most Honourable Throne of Sandus: “Fides in Patria” or “Faith in the Fatherland”
- Honourable Order of Athena Pronœa: ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι or “that I do not think I know what I do not know” (a quotation from Plato’s Apology)
- Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl: अवेरेन सम्मन्ति (averena sammanti) or “they are calmed by loving-kindness” (a quotation from the Dhammapada)
Finally, each order now has its own holiday. The first order to have a holiday was the Order of the Wooden Bowl, which has had Chökhor Düchen as its holiday since its foundation. This year, Chökhor Düchen is on 1 August. The next order to receive a holiday was the MHOTS, which has its “Throne Day” on 21 July. Finally, this year the Sôgmô will announce that the Order of Athena Pronœa will have its own holiday on the Festival of Zeus Metieta, or 13 June.
New Baronies, Baronetcy & Royals Receive Noble Ranks
Earlier in the season, the Honourable Sôgmô issued letters patent for a new barony, the Barony of Patapsco, that was given to His Majesty King Adam I of Überstadt. Named for the river that marks the northern boundary of Kremlum Sandus Province, the historic heartland of Sandus, the grant was issued in recognition of the king’s longtime friendship and companionship both with the Honourable Sôgmô and with the State of Sandus. At its creation, the fiefdom also become autonomous, meaning that the barony forms its own separate ceremonial jurisdiction within the State of Sandus and its noble system.
Now, the Honourable Sôgmô will issue letters patent for two new royal grants of nobility to themself. On 4 July, letters patent will come into effect for a new royal baronetcy given to the Sôgmô, called the Baronetcy of Trénois. The name comes from an earlier predecessor micronation that existed in 2007-2008, before the establishment of Sandefreistikhan, the earliest polity of Sandus. Trénois Day (4 July) will mark the predecessor country’s history and heritage and will celebrate the contemporary baronetcy.
On 6 July, another set of letters patent will be published for another new royal barony, the Barony of Patuxent. This new royal barony, named for both the most culturally important river for Sandus in its early days and for Trénois, and also for the river that forms the southern border of Kremlum Sandus, will mirror the Barony of Patapsco. Both baronies will, in a sense, form a whole that encompasses the majority of Sandus’s founding province. Like the Barony of Patapsco, both the baronetcy and the barony will also be autonomous, meaning that they will have their own identities and symbolism.
For all three fiefdoms, as well as for all such fiefdoms in Sandus (e.g., the Baronetcy of Eliot and the Barony of Maumee), each can establish its own identity as well as rules, though they must conform to the laws of the State of Sandus and to the popular sovereignty of the Sandum People. In other words, they must not violate the immunity of the State of Sandus and apply only in their own ceremonial jurisdictions, but the rules themselves are also restricted in their efficacy. Like much of the noble system as a whole, any rules effective within noble fiefdoms are merely courtesies: they are largely not enforceable, only norm-setting.
Apart from the two new baronies and the new baronetcy, the Honourable Sôgmô has also granted noble ranks (but not noble titles) to immediate members of the royal family, such as the Royal Parents and the Phanem Sister. Each have been given the rank, style, and address of barons, while the Phanem Sister’s husband has received the those of a baronet. The Honourable Sôgmô’s heir, the Homard C. Flavius Ithacus, may also request that his family receive noble ranks, too.
In addition to the ranks given to royalty, the Honourable Sôgmô in the following season will also make a review of noble titles and ranks, seeing which citizens are deserving of promotion up the Table of Noble Ranks. A handful of citizens have long been slated to receive new noble titles and ranks, and the Sôgmô will address that list this summer.