Internal Affairs Debate, June 2021

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    Touker Karlov: Good evening! I'm Touker Karlov, and welcome to the Internal Affairs Commissioner debate.

    Europe is at a crossroads. That's not a big secret, we all know that at this point. Ordinary people from Fremet to the Duxburian Union, from Spain to Vayinaod, have a big decision to make. What path do we go down as a region? What will keep us together, keep us united as a region? What could tear us apart?

    That's a real possibility right now. I don't know if you know that, but it's true. More than one country, some important countries, have spoken about breaking the region apart. We've gone from exits to Super Unions, and it can get worse, or it can get better. That relies on your decision in this election, and it relies on these candidates - their plans, their priorities, and what they'll do if they're elected.

    We have five candidates vying for your support tonight. They are:

    JOSEPHINE AREAI, from Istkalen. Areai brings with her a controversial past. Her name has echoed through the halls of Europolis for some time, in connection with more than one person. But is her future bright, and is Europe's future bright with her? Tonight, you can find out.

    JOE BIDEN, from Reitzmag. Joe Biden is a political veteran. Politics is what he does. He's been in three parties, and now he's in none. He's charting his own path, but is it a path you want Europe to follow?

    PIANE DAGGOTT, from Czech Slavia. Piane Daggott is Nicoleizian. She is, for all intents and purposes, a UNSR candidate. That might be OK with you, that might not. You might think she's wide awake, you might find her fast asleep. Tonight, she gets to make her case for your vote.

    EMMA GRANGER, from Montenbourg. Emma quit the EPA leadership to stand for this role. Committed, or over-confident? Globalist, or just compassionate? You get to be the judge.

    PETER LEESON, from the United Duchies. You may remember Leeson from a former Commission election. He didn't get elected this time; now we get to hear why he thinks he should get this position, this time.

    Before I invite the candidates to give their opening statements, I'll start with a few ground rules. For their opening statements, candidates will have 2 minutes to respond ((OOC: 300 words)). That will be followed by an open debate period ((OOC: 24 hours)), in which time candidates can have 1 minute each to respond to each other ((OOC: 150 words)).

    The same goes for the questions that follow - 2 minutes initial response, followed by free debate with a time limit of 1 minute.

    With that cleared up, let's go to our first candidate. Start the clock, let's go!

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    Peter Leeson:Europe tonight you have a choice over the future of the EU. You can vote the ultra-liberal progressive elite in candidates like Granger and threaten the unions existence, you can support ideological extremists on the far left and drive out the capitalist states or you can vote a centrist with a track record of delivering compromise and power to the people in me. I have successfully governed a country often described as two societies in one country by leaving power to the Duchies, I would do the same for Europe reform EU into a sovereignty focused organisation.
    No more would nations pay for projects that do not benefit them, no more would the EU dictate their social policy and nations would have a voice whether Conservative or Liberal, Capitalist or Left Wing. You’d have an EU that would value every member for what they bring. I plan to reform the EU by popular sovereignty, don’t like a law start a petition and if you get 15 million of so signatures you can get it changed by referendum if 55%+! Of countries and the total population vote in favour of the change.
    I want a Europe that isn’t run by EPA or any other Eurogroup or the political elite but you the people. We’ve had enough of politicians deciding what is best for the people, it’s time Euro politicians and the EU recognised their role as EU servants. You certainly don’t want hypocrites who pretend to be green but then fly and yacht around Europe like the EPA do in both Juncker and Granger. Vote Leeson and Koline for a Europe that works for all people, respects sovereignty and that isn’t run by corporatist Eurocrats who have no idea how real people live.

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    EMMA GRANGER: Well, thank you, Touker, and thanks to Pravoslaviya for hosting us.

    The central question in this election is really what kind of Europe we want to be and what kind of future we'll build together. Not pin-pointing based on hate but talking based on truths. Some candidates say you're either on one side of his ledger because of this, or you’re on the other side of his ledger if you don't. That's not the Europe that we know. I love our Union. And I know we can go past hate and go forward together.

    Tonight, we're going to have a debate where we are talking about the important issues facing our Union. You the people, have to judge us, who can shoulder the immense, awesome responsibilities of the Internal Affairs Office, who can put into action the plans that will make your life better.

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    Our Europe is torn and broken. We must let it die peacefully and happily, so that a new Union, made on the basis of consensus between the nations, may be created - a Union made on the basis of solidarity.

    That is my simple message.

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    Europe needs a shakeup, not a death sentence.

    There are a lot of crazy ideas from all of these candidates. The Referendum policy from Leeson is barmy – it will simply never work. Granger’s Council propositions have often not been successful and step on nations’ toes. Areai is actively seeking to destroy the Union. And Joe Biden has no policies, other than repeating incessantly, ‘No Malarkey’.

    My policies are sensible and popular. I will defund the ESA and return your money to you. I will make it pay to make the right decisions on worker rights. I will fight for peace.

    All the candidates here will bring about the death of the European Union. One, as we have just seen, will actively seek to destroy it. The others, with their stagnant, old, ideas will kill it slowly and, at least from what they have said, not on purpose. I stand for a cooperative Union, one where we make sensible spending decisions, where all peoples and nations can be included, and cherished. I think I am unfortunately unique in this desire.

    But it is not worth keeping the EU alive for the sake of it. Evidently, not enough has been done under the EPA hegemony to keep the benefits of the EU at the forefront of our discussions. I think the benefits to cooperation, peace, and understanding between nations are great things that we shouldn’t throw away because of the whims of Areai, Granger, Leeson or Biden.

    The EPA and others have taken your sovereignty and told you your nation cannot sanction who it wants. They take your money and spend it on frivolity. I will be respectful of your money, your sovereignty, and your cultures, in a framework of respect and tolerance. Enough is enough. Vote for a real change.

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    Good day ladies and gentlemen. My dear fellow Europeans, we have come to a point where we exercise the power provided as a privilege of a democratic association of nations. The European Union at this point is at the verge of collapse. If we keep electing officials that are to do nothing but destroy our beloved union, the work of all our founding fathers will be wasted. It's time that we change to save our union, to reform it in a way that would fit to the current situation. And I guarantee all of you that we could achieve all of this if we work together. Malarkey deserves no place in this union, and we could achieve this if you vote for someone who doesn't simply make promises but acts as he speaks.

    Enough of words, we need more actions. Candidates who bring malarkey only bring words but do nothing when they're elected, they only want to be elected for the position and power. But for me, my goal is to rid of these nonsense euraucracies and make our union better and our member-states more free and sovereign. I'm not aiming for the position, nor the power, but rather to reduce the burden caused by the EU and give the member-states the true privileges that we could provide.

    The people of Europe should not pay for something that doesn't benefit them that much. They who pay for the European budget deserve to get benefits instead of regulate them like a boss. You the Europeans are the real boss, you are the ones who make up the EU. You all deserve the right to a true representation of your interests. And all of this, we can achieve if we join hands for the betterment of our union. Thank you very much.

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    I'd like to thank the candidates for their opening statements.

    Our first question tonight will get to the heart of the disagreements in this campaign. All elections are a war of words, but this is a whole new arms race.

    Peter Leeson, you've called Emma Granger a 'hypocrite' who wants a 'European monoculture'. You've also launched multiple broadsides at Jean-Claude Juncker, who isn't even running for this position.

    Piane Daggott, your campaign has called Joe Biden 'shifty'.

    Emma Granger, you've called some of your opponents 'architects of fear' and accused them of using 'conspiracy theories'.

    Josephine Areai, you've said Peter Leeson is 'one step from insane'.

    Joe Biden, you've dismissed many of your opponents' policies as 'malarkey'.

    So my question is this: do you stand by all the statements you've made during this campaign so far; and do you believe the rhetoric in this campaign is helping to bring the EU back together?

    You each have two minutes to respond ((OOC: 300 words)). You can then debate with each other, in turns of one minute each ((OOC: 150 words)).

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    Peter Leeson:I stand by all my words about the EPA. They have shown in both how they've acted in the council and in this campaign with their promises and policies they have no interest in sovereignty, no interest in taking into account any culture that’s not liberal and no interest in representing any other voice than the so called “progressive” voice.
    If you are conservative and believe gay marriage should not be called that but a civil union well under the EPA #ShutUp . If one believes that in any conservative social policy #ShutUp . If one is not a hardcore feminist again #ShutUp under them. This is not how the EU should be and its leaders should be , we need a leader who can listen to both liberals and conservatives and come to a consensus something I have experience in doing having been prime minister of the Duchies where its an essential quality if you want to even be a successful party leader never mind a prime minister. This is why I am the best person to vote for to unite Europe it doesn’t matter your economic or social creed I will work with all to achieve a consensus that pleases all or at least not everyone hates.I will offer sovereignty and the freedom to choose exactly how much money and where EU nations put money in no more Eurorail funded by all but only benefitting some members. I stand by all my words , EPA stands for Globalism, Euro-Diktats and politician power and believe its crazy to give real European people a voice in referendums. Frankly if you want an EU of sovereignty you should vote anyone but the EPA dictators.

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    EMMA GRANGER: Thank you Touker! I stand by my words. But I believe that a divisive rethoric is leading us astray, as some candidates stand in a place of hate and not of hope.

    Those are the architects of fear, who fuel Europeans under the disguise of words such as "Euro-Diktats", a false understanding of globalism and calling others to shut up.

    That is not who we are Europe, we are more than that.

    And now, here I am, out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language - language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as europeans trying to be caring, respectful of our ideals, and as Europeans who think that our Union leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.

    We are not seeing conservatives, liberals or socialists we are seeing reactionaries. And that is hurting our Union. Remember that courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; but courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

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    I will say this - we have to look simply into his obsession with matters that absolutely no one else cares about to the same extent. I have never seen a candidate, or even a politician, who obsesses this much about gay marriage and feminism. Never. The same, of course, goes for his inane repeating of "globalist Eurocrats," his constant attacks on people who are not even running against him, and his bizarre referendum policy, which will never work, if it is even ever passed.

    In short - the obsessiveness and the sheer vitriol contained in his words leads me to believe this. I stand by my words. How does this unite the European Union? We cannot have people like this, who seek to create a division between us and them, running, especially if they have this level of obsession.

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    Thanks Touker.

    I think my critique of Joe Biden, unfortunately stands. He has been in 3 parties over his long political life, and is now running as an independent. What does he truly stand for ? You tell me. I think Europe deserves a candidate with a bit more consistency than that.

    As for the tone of the debate, I will always call out the EU's elite. They have endangered what is, at its essence, a good, moral project. The people around me want to destroy the Union. I want to reform it and make it work. I will do anything to keep Europe kicking, for the people - not for billionaires or for gravy train politicians.

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    Our Union can only last with consent from nations, and taking away nations' right to have their own foreign policy and trade policy with the Sanctions Act will destroy the Union. And so I would like to take issue with what my friend Emma Granger has said about me, that I am hurting the Union.

    Could you point out why or which of my policies hurt Europe ?

    On the other hand, your party's policies and Premier Cocx's policies (that you have expressed approval for) have taken away power from nation-states to formulate their own foreign policy and trade policy.

    Ms. Granger, should nations in the EU have the right to conduct their own foreign policy and trade policy ?

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    Ms. Daggot, what is with your obsessions with sanctions? They are hardly the most pressing issue in these times regarding sovereignty. Do you hold an ulterior motive in speaking about them and almost exclusively them when speaking about soveriegnty?

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    EMMA GRANGER: Look, nations policies should always be respected under the guidance of what we as Union have agreed upon. Because we are a community of nations, not of little individualistic islands.

    When we see situations like Istkalen, Copala City and the dispute in the Caspian Sea I say we need to held accountable those who bring disunion to our union, and act together. Repealing the Sanctioning Powers Act would be a huge mistake and, moreover, it could risk the whole European Union range of action. And that’s dangerous because anarchy is not the way, unity is.

    Amendments, yes! It takes all the Councillors to propose, but not when a crisis happens, that is my big critic on this issue.

    Because we say "ok we agree" and then we put the Act into action and we later say "well I will repeal"; that's not the way.

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    I think I am entitled to discuss a thing that has such a damaging effect on peoples' lives.

    You are seem to be implying that I only care about this issue because I am Nicoleizian, or left wing, but even if there were sanctions put on Inquista, or on Fremet, on the European level, I would not be in favour of that Act.

    The EU dictating sanctions and trade policy is an assault on sovereignty, among many others committed recently. The likely outcome of a repeal would still mean nations would be sanctioning the UNSR - but only the ones who choose to themselves.

    Far from being obsessed about sanctions, I have been incredibly vocal about my other policies to improve our Union, such as investment in nations' economies, worker representation on boards, and an effort from the Internal Affairs department to mitigate some of the negative effects of globalisation.

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    Peter Leeson:Granger you are lying and twisting my words. I'm not telling Conservatives to shut up its you and your party with their hyper-liberal policies that are killing the EU.Also I ask you what gives the EPA and Europe the right to dictate nations social policies in Europe? Surely the best placed to create their own social policies is the nationstate itself and the people of that nation?

    And to AREAI and all the others who have called the referendum policy mad or crazy or insane, are we saying sovereignty and democracy are crazy now? What is crazy about people having a say over the laws and constitutional changes that affect their nation with the political class and Eurocrat Elites dictating them? Are you scared that the people may actually say something you don't like or do you think the European people are idiots who don't know about politics Which is it?

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    EMMA GRANGER: Piane, my friend, Yes! you are entitled to your opinion.

    You’re say is that globalization is the big opium; I don’t agree with you, and that’s ok.

    And look, we know they are challenges but that doesn’t mean is bad. It means we need to do better on what we have. And tackle it together, by going forward.

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    EMMA GRANGER: Leeson, there was a little girl in Montenbourg who had a brother whom she loved so much. He was gay, and some bullies ones said that loving a guy was and is the most disgusting thing. And every day he cried, until depression came in and took him. That was my brother, Drake Granger.

    There are moments in history where we as member states fail to preserve the civil rights of all people. And promote a culture based on hate and not love. I do not agree with that vision.

    That’s not promoting any “hyper-liberal” policies, they are human rights. And as a human is common sense.

    Surely the best placed to create their own social policies is the nationstate itself and the people of that nation; again based on what we as Union have always agreed upon and defended always.

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    Peter Leeson:So you are telling countries people what they should define as marriage? Why is civil unions with equivalent rights not enough? You have only proved you don't care about Conservatives and the views of many religious people and want to tell them what to do. I certainly hope they don't vote you!

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    Thank you, Emma. I hope that whoever wins we can work together, despite fundamental differences.

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