One of the freshest faces to Europeia and now a newly elected Senator, Luna Nation is a potential rising star in the region. To better understand him and his policies, the EBC sat down with him to discuss how he arrived here, the small controversy he first dealt with, his hopes for this Senate term and his future in the region.
Punchwood: How did you discover Europeia and what made you stay?
Luna-Nation: I had just started playing NationStates again after about a two year hiatus. My telegram inbox was flooded with recruitment telegrams from various regions. Europeia immediately stood out to me. I had never seen such a well structured region, and I was intrigued so I decided to move here. As far as what made me stay, it’d have to be just how accessible everything and everyone is. It’s easy to get involved and stay involved, and I love it.
Punchwood: What were some of the first things you got involved in?
Luna-Nation: I spent the first day or two just getting a feel for things. Soon after I had grown accustomed I applied within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was assigned as our region’s ambassador to Pacifica. It wasn’t much, but it felt pretty cool to be doing something for the region in an official capacity.
Punchwood: You caused some controversy when you decided to endorse a Presidential candidate in the previous Presidential Election and sent a region-wide TG encouraging people to support that candidate. Why did you decide to send that TG and were you expecting the response you received?
Luna-Nation: I didn’t think there was anything controversial about the nature of my telegram. I was still pretty fresh at that time, so I didn’t really know what the norm was as far as campaigning for candidates. I was pretty shocked and a little disappointed by some of the responses that I had received, one in particular. With that being said, there were more people that defended my right to campaign for whoever I wanted than there were people discouraging me.
Punchwood: Do you think that you should have received the reaction that you got?
Luna-Nation: No. I don't believe that anyone in Europeia should be criticized for expressing an opinion, or support for a particular candidate. Instead I believe that we should be encouraging such activity as it is an indication of a healthy and productive political environment.
Punchwood: You have just recently taken a large step in advancing in that political environment, being elected to the Senate? What made you decided to run?
Luna-Nation: To be completely honest with you, I made my decision to run for Senate the night that the telegram incident took place. As a newcomer it was difficult to be subjected to such harsh criticism. I thought that if there was anyway that I could encourage other newcomers to make their voices heard without worrying about any unforeseen repercussions then I would be doing a great service to the region. It just so happens that I felt that the Senate was the best place to do that at the time. Especially during this hectic reform period where we're trying to do everything we can to encourage new member interactivity within our government.
Punchwood: Can you describe the moment when you realised that you would be elected to the Senate?
Luna-Nation: There was some concern in the beginning that maybe I would not be seated because 5 seats was narrowly leading in the Senate size poll, and I was in 6th place in the Senate vote. But once 6 seats managed to pull ahead I remember being overcome with joy, and optimism. Exhaustion, as well. It was around 3 in the morning at this point, so once I saw that victory was all but inevitable, I decided it was time for some rest.
Punchwood: The region elected 4 of the same Senators and voted in just 2 new faces. Despite being a very fresh face to the region , voters elected you over a current Minister, a former CA Chair and a former MoFA and Presidential aspirant. How does that vote of trust feel to you, knowing you beat far more well established players?
Luna-Nation: Obviously we should take nothing away from Izzy, Johnny, and cuddles. All three of them were great candidates who ran fantastic campaigns with great ideas for our region. The fact that they were willing to run and serve when the Senate is taking on the all-consuming issue of reform shows their passion and dedication to Europeia, and is commendable in my book. I am honored to have earned the support of Europeians, and want all of them to know that their trust in me was not misplaced. Whether you voted for me or not, your interests are my priority.
Punchwood: What do you hope to achieve in the Senate this term? Both the Senate as a whole and you personally as a Senator?
Luna-Nation: The obvious answer for the Senate as a whole is reform. That is our primary focus for this term and I don't think any of us are going to let up until we have a finalized reform package that we can pass before the end of the term. As far as me personally, I'm really looking forward to authoring and proposing my own piece of legislation. That's something that's been on the bucket-list for quite some time and now that I'm a Senator I'll be able to cross it off.
Punchwood: Can you give us a taste or a hint of what that piece of legislation might be?
Luna-Nation: I can tell you that I am committed to promoting forum activity, particularly the ability for our newer members to move through our ranks easily. Anyone who wants to positively contribute to the Europeian government should be able to do so, and my legislation will reflect that.
Punchwood: What reform package do you want to see the Senate pass? Do you support the Lazarus package, support it with reservations or would you rather see something completely different proposed?
Luna-Nation: I am a strong supporter of bicameralism, so the Lazarus Project is my preferred proposal. Of course I have reservations, not everything in the proposal is perfect. Just yesterday I opened up a poll in the Convention regarding executive Senate appointments. I'll be looking at all proposals with a critical eye, and listening to the concerns of the Europeian public. I am my own person with my own ideas and visions, but ultimately I was elected to serve the people of Europeia. I will follow the will of the Europeian people, as long as it does not erode the institutions of democracy or fair and inclusive government.
Punchwood: You are very elegant and composed in your manner of speech, and this has been noted by some, especially in your handling of criticism. You certainly look like a potential rising star in the region and so could we see you engage more in the Executive side of politics in the near future?
Luna-Nation: This is a tricky question, as I certainly cannot speak to the future. Nothing is out of the question. When my time in the Senate has come to an end, if the people of Europeia would like to see me continue to serve in some capacity then we will go from there.
Punchwood: So you are likely to do some work in Ministries as a Junior Minister?
Luna-Nation: I hate to use the phrase "we'll see" in a formal interview, but we'll see. I am focused entirely on the task before me here and now. I haven't given much thought to what I'll do after the Senate.
Punchwood: I may force you to use that hated "we'll see" phrase once again. Could we see a President Luna one day?
Luna-Nation: Well, since I've already used "we'll see" this time I'll say who knows? I could never have expected when I first arrived in Europeia that I would be elected to the Senate in less than 2 months of my being here. So yeah, who knows?
Punchwood: Looking down this hypothetical path do you think the reforms will pass before the next Presidential elections? If so, who do you expect to see run for the position of President and Prime Minister? If not, do you think we could be looking at a third term for President Sopo?
Luna-Nation: I do believe that reform will pass before the Presidential elections, but I don't know how eager President Sopo is to seek a third term. The Presidency as it is now is an exhausting job. For potential President and Prime Minister candidates, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw someone who is currently in the Senate such as Kari run. Perhaps someone who has previously ran for President but came up short will take a crack at running for Prime Minister.
Punchwood: And just before we conclude this interview, do you believe that Europeia is on the right track?
Luna-Nation: Absolutely. I think that the ability to look at ourselves introspectively and say "okay, here is an issue that needs to be addressed" and then engage in healthy discourse about how we go about addressing the issue is a testament to our collective need to be better as a region. I think that this sort of introspection is at the heart of our reform efforts. So yes, I believe that Europeia is on the right track.
Punchwood: Senator Luna. Thank you for your time.