My views on Second Life politics

Sometimes the forums are down, so here is a short list of my own views on the (eventual) future government of SL:

– Linden Government as “permanent” benevolent demitheocracy as the Executive Branch (eventually with Linden staff rotating posts)
– a Second Life Parliament with representatives of all SL citizens (land-owners or not), with mandates which would be held for at most 2 or 3 terms in a row
– Government has several branches, two of which could be partially staffed by residents: an “institutionalisation” of the Mentors/Liaisons, and a “conflict moderation” authority (with policemen, even if just passive ones, who just take notice of events and report them or not), both reporting to the Lindens and with no executive powers
– Parliament organized into factions – basically groups specifically created for Parliament and where members would discuss their views with their (elected) officers
– Parliament acts as advisory board to the Government, passes legislation, etc. through Working Committees – one for each “area of interest” in SL. Working Committees should have at least 1 member for each major faction. They present proposals from the residents (and the faction members) on an agenda to be voted upon at parliamentary sessions
– Parliament with 50-60 members (or probably more…) but only a few (say, up to 10 or so – the Faction Leaders) would be “in session” at any time due to SL constrains. The rest (and the community at large) would listen to Parliament sessions by some broadcasting/repeater mechanism, and interact through IM with the faction leaders)
– Final proposals, after being voted, are submitted to the Linden Government for execution. They may approve it or not (ie. absolute veto power on legislation).

Also: THE REST OF THE CURRENT STRUCTURE IS MANTAINED IN PLACE (ie. interacting with Lindens directly, reporting bugs and abuse directly, discussing in forums, etc). However, the purpose of the resident-elected Parliament is to try to prioritize “important” issues as LL employees’ time & resources are limited. As the game grows, Linden employees will have less and less time to keep up with things and we should be helping them out. Let Lindens be the “last court of appeal” on each and every case, but try to sort it out by the residents whenever possible.

In the future (or not): for some sims, organize local government with an oversimplified structure, allowing elected local representants to decide upon local taxation level, general management of funds, land use, etc. Sims’ residents would decide on the level of local government (and their representation at the federation level). They could have no local government at all, or complete dictatorships (as in the case of one resident owning the whole land). Note that this COULD be done today with the available tools provided that the Lindens acknowledge some sort of local authority. You don’t need special “superpowers” for that.

You’re scared? Don’t be. Please note that in the forums, we have 250 active members of about 10,000 residents, ie. most people don’t care about what’s going on, they just want to have fun and go on with their (second) lifes. Of those 250, 98% are anarchists. So there is just a tiny tiny minority which has proposed some concrete plans for some form of government. Although the original proposals came from the Lindens themselves, they seem now somewhat reluctant in “imposing” it on the anarchists, as probably they didn’t expect such a strong, negative reaction to this idea.

I’m currently a member of one of the factions, the Social Democratic Faction, which encourages capitalism but assumes that wealth earned by speculation (and not by applying skills to create a product, ie. a building, objects, scripts, clothes, animations, etc.) should be taxed in order to provide funds for the common good (I’m oversimplifying). Like other factions, this is a group (a tiny one!) of politically active residents who want to participate in establishing the foundations of some sort of government in SL (even if they don’t mean to get elected lol).

About Gwyneth Llewelyn

I'm just a virtual girl in a virtual world...