Willemstan Government Reform - Willemstan 1.1
This article was last updated on: October 16th of 2021
Yet another great example of foreshadowing, this time by Andrew Meyer.
"There will be changes. The people will be content. We will give no other option."
- Sean Kavanagh at the start of the reforms, 05/03/20.
"The 1.1 reforms made the wiki much more interesting at least."
- Charlie Nolan's retrospective opinion on the Willemstan 1.1 Reforms, 12/07/20.
The change from "Willemstan" to "Willemstan 1.1" began on May 3rd of 2020, and concluded on May 5th of 2020. The government reform completely overhauled and changed the government system of Willemstan, replacing the Willemstan Commandments with the new Willemstan Amendments. In short, Willemstan moved away from its original divided and corrupt government to a more central, but representative government (President and "no admins"). The "Dictator" was referred to as the "President", just like how Vladimir Putin is a President in name only.
When then President Sean Kavanagh was asked about the reasoning behind the changes, he said that Willemstan had fallen from grace, and that the "division of power away from the central government" was to blame (the numerous admins that existed alongside the Dictator at the time). He also claimed that the server was dying/dead, and needed strong reforms in order to keep it alive. Sean's solution was simple, as he put it: "Kill Willemstan, make new Willemstan on ashes of old." Most of the changes were proposed by Dawson Morgan. Dawson also took the changes in a representative democracy direction that was not entirely approved of by the Dictator, but he gambled (and lost) on citizen approval of those changes. He then told Charlie Nolan and asked him if he was interested in joining in on some radical reform. As such, the 3 main people behind the reforms were Sean Kavanagh, Dawson Morgan, and Charlie Nolan.
The following is a complete list of the changes:
- All of the text channels in Willemstan were deleted. This occurred in front of dozens of Willemstan citizens, who were alerted by the announcements. #notifications was renamed, but saved through citizen protests. It was the only original channel that survived the purge, and eventually served as a main reference for the Timeline of Willemstan. As of recently, due to SuS Premium, some message data from April of 2020 and earlier was restored. Only time will tell if this information is valuable to the Wiki, as SuS Premium was not operational between April and July.
- The citizens were thrown into a new text channel, #chat. This had heavy restrictions and only permitted text.
- The server name was changed to "Willemstan 1.1", and then "United States of Willemstan 1.1". The government finally settled on naming the server just "Willemstan" once again, and the icon was changed to the HD Willemstan logo.
- New channels were created to replace the old ones. #media was created as a replacement for the old #memes, #animals, #cursed-images, and #ytp-in-the-plural. #t3ch-5upp0rt was a reincarnation of the old #tech-support. A new #gaming channel replaced the old #gaming channel, they are not one of the same. There was no replacement for channels like #market, which implied that the Willemstan economy had gone under for good.
- #current-events and #announcements were created, dedicated to politics/Willemstan propaganda and server related information, respectively. After this, more channels such as #quality-media, #tweets, and #youtube emerged.
- The Willemstan Military Ranks system, which had been in place since the early months of Willemstan, was deleted.
- The government system and election system were completely overhauled from the ground-up, favoring a less corrupt system that relied on elected representatives.
- On May 4th, it was announced that the Willemstan Commandments would be replaced by a new constitution. Surprisingly, the Willemstan public was completely fine with this change, even though it meant replacing the government that had guided Willemstan for years, as well as erasing all of the work done by previous Dictators.
- The Willemstan Amendments were introduced on May 5th.
Initial Response and Reception by Members of Willemstan
At first, the changes were met with general confusion and speculation from the Willemstan public. Panic increased when it was confirmed that the old channels were deleted, and not just hidden. Once it became apparent that Willemstan was transforming, the citizens began to chant "Order, Calm" in the new chat, in a cult like fashion. The administrators of Willemstan lost anywhere from all to most of their power, which sparked some outrage and petty drama. The abolishing of the ranks system was met with high approval, as the system had degraded into a purely cosmetic system with dozens of roles. Any citizens which expressed displeasure of the new reforms were suppressed both by the Willemstan Government and the general public. On May 4th of 2020, when the changes were mostly completed, the citizens seemed content with the new system.
A screenshot of when the Dictator/President Sean and Charlie issued one of many threats to the Willemstan public during May 3rd.
Collapse of Willemstan 1.1
Shortly after the creation of the state system, while governors were being elected, there was some drama in Willemstan. There was a petty argument between Dawson Morgan, versus Ian H, Charlie Nolan, and a few citizens about current politics of the United States and science. The argument evidently struck some nerves, and Dawson Morgan left the Willemstan server and still has not returned to date. With the main proponent behind the reforms abandoning ship, this was the first nail in the coffin so to speak.
The second issue that arose was the stall of the Summer 2020 Election. In a typical election, there would be only one poll for the entire election. However, the new process broke up the popular vote into a state system. Each state was supposed to come up with a name and a representative called a Governor. Members of the server were equally divided into states. The problem was that most states were full of inactive members, because most of Willemstan was full of inactive members at the time that would maybe come out and vote for an election, but that was it. These inactive members had no interest in state names and representatives. To make things worse, the active members at the time were very split. As a result, you only had two or three people actually voting in each state, just for the state name. Many states never made it to electing a Governor., who were needed because they were supposed to run for President In fact, it was even worse for State 1 and State 2, who had no active members at all. As a result, the election was stalled by these states, as well as general disinterest. After almost a month, Charlie stepped in a picked a name for them, but the damage was already done. This was the second nail in the coffin for the reforms.
The third problem arose in the later weeks of May. You see, as the weeks went on the citizens of Willemstan became more and more dissatisfied with the new election process. No Governors were announced, and so the election was no closer to beginning on May 30th than it was on May 3rd. Citizens began suggesting ways to fix the election system to get around the slowdown dividing the popular vote had caused. The main citizens pushing for change were Andrew B, a citizen who ran in the previous Winter 2019 Election, and Ian H, who had provided advice on reforming Willemstan in the months prior to the Willemstan 1.1 Reforms. Their concerns were met with dismissal and reassurance that the election would begin soon, if they were addressed at all. Confidence in the new election system was falling, and those in power were unable to restore it. This was the third nail in the coffin.
The fourth issue was mainly a lack of transparency. In late May, Charlie and Sean decided that they needed to overhaul the new system after all, and put the old unified system, or some version of it back into place. hey planned to undo the creation of the state system, and restore Willemstan's old ways, but with a more simple and well-composed law system. They would also keep the channel-condensing that occurred in Willemstan 1.1. The problem was that these initiatives were kept secret and done outside of the server. They were also concerned that it would cast a glow of disorganization and chaos if the reformists quickly undid their recent changes after saying they were a great idea. The admins also wanted to still conduct the Willemstan elections without as much corruption, as Charlie Nolan felt he owed the citizens a more fair election than literally every past election. Since all of this went on behind the scenes, the citizens thought that the team were intentionally trying to hide the prospect of the approaching election, and grew restless. The election stalled for over a month, creating unrest and suspicion of a power grab. Instead of properly addressing the situation, the administration suppressed these outcries as they tried to create a better system. Just as the new election process was finally gathering enough planning to be announced, the citizens had been pushed past the breaking point. This was the fourth nail in the coffin.
Sean and Charlie retrospectively discussing the Willemstan 1.1 plans
The final nail in the coffin was the demotion of the former admins. As previously mentioned, they were not pleased and wanted their positions back. The administration had put off their concerns by telling them that they would get them back after things were "sorted out". Sean's Administration continued to put off the issue for weeks, and so this only added to the power grab theory. However, no member of Willemstan, not even President Sean Kavanagh himself, knew how bad things actually were. A couple of months ago, Malcolm H had obtained the President's Discord token, which granted him full access to the account. Already annoyed with Willemstan, his demotion was the final straw. After temporarly forgetting his newfound power, Malcolm approached a certain Ex-Dictator with a proposal to shake things up. Considering this information, one could make the argument that the Willemstan 1.1 Reforms were doomed from the start. A few days later, the chaos would reach its climax, and the administration would never have the chance to redeem themselves.