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This article is about Theodian law; legislation that has been passed and the legislative system itself.
This article was current as of 2015, August.
Under the old constitution
The Kingdom of Theodia began as an absolute monarchy on 2010's April 22, and originally planned to become a constitutional monarchy. It ratified its first constitution on 2011's June 20. This implemented a quasi-parliamentarian system, in which there were a limited number of parties, each only allowed to have a predefined number of representatives in the Senate at any one time. This predefined number was based on the current economic situation of the country, with poor economic times ramping up capitalism, and good economic times ramping up socialism. Representatives were to be demarchially sortited per a series of mertocratic qualifications, with relatively short terms, staggered selections, and required breaks between terms. Although citizens were not able to elect their representatives, they were allowed to de-elect them in a referendum. A lot of legislation required a 2/3 majority, although basic things required only 1/2. Only people in the middle class and of the majority religion were allowed to be selected into office, for fear of unrest due to cultural differences.
After the constitution
Talk of a rewrite began in November 2011 upon the conception of the GOV programming language, and was going to use a system of parent and child codices, which would be organized by subject. Although the parent-codex was comparable to a constitution in the sense that it set up the legality of subsequent legislation (the child-codices), all the real legislation was moved into the childs. The invention of modlevels (tags used to assign editing rights) in addition to the codex system, offered a flexible alternative to a constitution. The idea was for these codices to be open sourced, and developed in a software release cycle. In the Spring of 2012, Quing Sweyn78 voided the constitution. The country has operated without a formal code of laws since then, though it for a time attempted to implement a repositocratic system of legislation.
The beginning of the republic
The codex system gradually gave way to repositocracy. Originally, this consisted of a number of repositories for legislation, a number of drafting juries (juries which could write legislation), and a number of assembly juries (juries which could pick legislation from the repositories which they liked, and have them go into law). Citizens were intended to be able to vote for or against legislation in repos, and the assembly juries were not allowed to pick legislation that was disapproved by the public. Originally, this was handled by moving legislation into one of two repos (accepted and accepted) from the starting repo, proposed; but this eventually gave way to simply having all legislation properly written per Theodian standards being placed into proposed regardless of their vote, and then having the vote itself, rather than the repo, determine a bill's suitability for enactment. As well, over time, the drafting and assembly juries were condensed and simplified, though never truly formalized. Juries were subject-specific, and were only allowed to work with legislation relevant to their fields of focus. Jurers were randomly selected from qualified populations (with "qualification" generally being defined as an accredited degree or extensive professional experience in the field); and later-on, it was decided to make achieving necessary qualifications possible by passing certain tests, whose contents would be determined by recent previous jurers. Jurers had many limits on when and how long they could hold a position, and their overall selection was essentially a gradual refinement on the systems originally proposed in the first constitution. Bills that were selected by an assembly jury were originally passed on to a secondary assembly jury, which would consolidate the chosen bills of lower assembly juries. This would continue, until all the bills had been merged into one whole, termed 'Pangea', which would then be broken up into many simple components. This was done to prevent conflicts between bills selected by different juries; but the whole process was later reduced to a single jury which checked for conflicts but left the legislation divided into its various subject-areas.
Citizens' votes on legislation were always weighted per their qualifications in the relevant field(s) and their potential conflicting interests. The voting system originally was not very robust, however, as long-term and forked projects could be screwed by long-irrelevant evaluations; so it was decided that, although votes would still carry over into forked projects, they would decay over time, gradually losing strength as time went on, with a vote becoming fully irrelevant after 2 Thirds. Originally, votes were on a balanced 7-point scale (so, from -3 to 3), but due to the many issues with this kind of system, the voting was eventually changed to be a simple ternary approval vote (-1 to 1). In addition to voting on / evaluating potential bills, the Theodian population could also, regardless of qualification, submit bug-reports on any existing legislation, and the source of every single proposed bill was to be made publicly available. In addition, any citizen could propose a bill.
As a hold-over from the previous legislative period, it was attempted to create a legislative programming-language named 'GOV'. All legislation was to be written in it, and the language changed considerably from its original form, which had been developed during the previous period. A lighter-weight version was also soon developed, called 'GOVscript', but this was eventually replaced with just standard GOV, which, as the years went on, began more and more to just be a fancy name for bash. And despite the encouragement of GOV, since the language was so amorphous and incomplete, the vast majority of legislation written during this period was just plaintext. There was also a fourth repository, portage, which was to contain interesting bits of legislation from other jurisdictions, which hadn't yet been converted into a form usable by the Theodian government.
This whole system was supposed to function according to a regular software release cycle. Half of each jury was replaced every two Thirds, new legislation went into effect after having been approved for at least a Third, etc.
The system was never fully implemented. Even so, this legislative tradition forms the backbone of Theodia's current end-game government.
During the interim period
This is the current phase of Theodian legislation. There are two governments, only one of which is active: the interim government, and the end-game government. The former is a temporary government designed to develop Theodian society, and the latter is the government eventually intended to be had by the society.
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The Kingdom of Theodia claims to have the most liberal laws in the world regarding gender and sexuality, with its laws not even drawing the slightest distinction between any kinds of genders, but instead considering all Theodians people, regardless of physical sex, mental gender, & cetera. The Theodian language and dialect of English are generally non-gendered and the Theodian culture does not have gender-roles, which further makes Theodia a safe-haven for GSM folk (Gender and Sexual Minorities). Transsexualism/Transgenderism/etc. are totally legal here and seen as legitimate medical conditions, not psychological disorders. Before the new constitution, Harry Benjamin's Standards of Care was the recommended treatment-plan (but not the only one allowed). On the 29th of September 2012, Theodia adopted the WPATH's SoC as the recommended standards of care for transgendered individuals living in Theodia. This is essentially the modern version of Harry Benjamin's SoC and something the government of Theodia was not aware of at the time it wrote its first constitution. This newer version is much more trans*-friendly, which is important when one considers one estimation of the prevalence of transgenderism globally (between 1/1000 and 1/200 people). As of 2013's first third, there were two people who considered themselves transgendered, one who would be considered gay by gendered societies, and 2-4 who are bi/pan.
For a cultural perspective on this topic, please see this.
The modern policy is largely a simplification of the early modern policy, and was designed on 2016-1-4. The characteristics and reasoning behind the various components of this policy are:
- No surnames (in response to the decline in importance of one's dynasty in the modern age, and to resolve the confusion caused by surnames in marriage and childbearing);
- Unchangeable ID's (to allow easier design of name-related code in government software and to allow for unambiguous reference in the absence of fixed names);
- Handles (to accommodate the culture of the internet), roughly equivalent to given names;
- Nicks (to humanize handles and allow one to have power over how ser name is to appear in various languages), roughly equivalent to conventional nicknames;
- Changeable handles and nicks (to allow greater freedom of self-expression); and
- A limit on how often one can change ser handle (to reduce load on government systems).
In more detail: each citizen is assigned a numerically unique ID which cannot be changed, and are allowed to select a "handle" (username) unique among living Theodians (the dead lose their handles, and are referred to by either (1) the nick they had at some particular point in time, (2) the nick they were best known for, or (3) their ID). This handle can be changed once per season. Handles need not be pronounceable. Handles may not be a valid ID. Citizens may log into government services using their handles rather than their ID's, but may still log in using their ID's if desired. Citizens may also select a single "nick" for any number of languages, and each nick must be fully linguistic. It is proper to sign documents in your handle and to be addressed by your nick.
Theodia is not the only society in which name-changing is a normal part of existence; the Pirahã, as well as several other societies, are known to practice this as well.
- Early modern
The "early modern" period of Thedian naming practices refers to the time after the naming reform of 2013, which occurred on 2013-07-19 per Founder Swena's will. It was relatively similar to the modern system, but was a little more convoluted.
Under this system, each Theodian had three names: a handle, a nick, and a short. More, each had to have both a native (Theodian) and a romanized form.
The handle had to be a two-syllable Theodian lexeme. Typically, a Theodian citizen would pick a name se liked, and then Theodianize it (like Saiygo from Zaccheo). This handle had two forms: a native version, and a romanized version. Since there was not yet a standard for romanizing Theodian, all romanizations were performed ad-hoc by Swena. Handles had to be unique, and were usually followed by a number. This number could be chosen at will, so long as it didn't conflict with another handle. An example romanized handle was 'Swena78'. Typically, the nick was used instead of the handle, especially in romanizations; but the handle was always used for usernames. The handle was simply a unique way to identify someone without having to memorize ser ID. Theodians that received a nick which had never been used before did not have to postpend it with numbers. In this case, ser nick and ser handle were identical.
The nick was one's commonly used name, and was simply the handle without its numbers.
The 'short' was the Theodian equivalent to initials, and was always the first three characters of a Theodian's handle.
Theodians were entitled to change their name once per Third.
There is a special protocol for the names of deceased Theodians who lived under different naming practices. For the purposes of easy communication, their name is Theodianized for native, like other names. However, their romanization and short remain the same as they were in the historical period. For example, Axel-Nielson/Axel/AxN would in the modern period be 'Aksyl/'Aksyl/'Ak in native, and Axel Nielson/Axel/AxN when romanized.
The historical period of Theodian naming practices refers to the time between sometime in the Golden Era and the naming reform of 2013.
Historically, every Theodian had three names: their Handle, their Nick, and their Short. A handle was like one's given name, a nick was an easily usable version of that handle, and the short was a 3-character abbreviation of that handle. Theodians did not have surnames.
For example, the handle of the first quing of Theodia was Sweyn78. The first Minister of Foreign Affairs was Axel-Nielson. Various other examples of Theodian handles are Javier, Naropa, and Moose. One's handle had to be unique across the country, and was essentially the full version of one's name.
A Theodian's nick was a shortened version of their handle, and had to be a comfortably spoken one, as it was the commonly used version of one's name. For example, Quing Sweyn78's nick was 'Sweyn', and Axel-Nielson's was 'Axel'. For many, their nick was the same as their handle, like 'Moose'.
The short was simply an abbreviated form of the handle, to have a maximum of three characters. The short of Quing Sweyn78 was 'S78'. Axel-Nielson's was AxN. It was required that the short's first letter be the same as the handle's, for alphabetical-organizational purposes. This was the version of one's name which was used to initial things like documents.
Theodians were free to change their names throughout their lives, as in the modern period. In contrast to it, however, Theodians in the historical period were able to change their names an unlimited number of times per Third.
Earlier in the historical period, Theodians occasionally used names that no longer complied with more recent naming standards. In some cases, particularly when trying to be respectful to a deceased person, it was preferable to use the historical forms, but sometimes the name was modernized. In the case of Axel Nielson, the historical forms ware often kept out of respect, but the modernized forms 'Axel-Nielson' and 'AxN' were allowable.
- Everett, Daniel L. (2008) Don't Sleep, there are Snakes, Pantheon Books ISBN 978-0-375-42502-8