15 September 2014

A STROLL WITH QUEEN CAROLYN I OF LADONIA (For International Day of Democracy)

"Let us not forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country" ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

What can 'big' nations learn from micronations?

My guest today is Her Majesty, Queen Carolyn of Ladonia; a micronation with over 15 thousand citizens from more than 50 countries, and she shares with me how she has been able to discharge her duties as an elected monarch, and why she thinks the UN should recognize more micronations.

Here's my stroll with her majesty;

Ebenezar: It's a pleasure having you on the stroll your majesty

Queen Carolyn: Thank you for inviting me, it's a pleasure.

Ebenezar: Ladonia was born out of legal battles to protect structures Nimis and Arx, and on June 2nd, 1996 Ladonia declared independence from Sweden. Can you tell us some more about the formation process of this micronation?

Queen Carolyn: I suspect our formation process was much like that of most new states. Once a group of like minded people came together and decided to declare independence, they proceeded to create or decide upon the things that allow a state to function. They recruited new citizens, defined and voted on a constitution, designed a flag and other symbols of the State, elected a parliament and president, and since there was no existing royal family, they elected the first queen.
Ebenezar: How did you get involved with Ladonia? Are you Swedish?

Queen Carolyn: I am not Swedish, actually. I am American with some Swedish/Scandinavian ancestry. I become involved in the Ladonian government around 1999/2000. I was a political science major in school and was very interested in helping build a new state from the ground up. I became a citizen and later wrote a proposal for ways to expand our territory. I was offered a position in the Cabinet and accepted.

Ebenezar: As a little girl did you ever have any dreams of growing up to become the monarch of a micronation?

Queen Carolyn: Hah! As a little girl, I had no idea what a micronation was; however, I have always tried to invent things or start new businesses. Running a business and being a monarch are quite similar ☺

Ebenezar: So, what was growing up like for you? Can you just give us a 'peep' into your early years?

Queen Carolyn: I had a fairly standard American childhood. I had a sister, and we had pets.. a hamster and a dog, and then later I had a cat. I was in spelling bees and collected baseball cards, and I played the oboe in the school band. My parents divorced when I was 9 (which happens to many families), so my sister and I grew up in different houses.
Tourists visiting Ladonia (Source: Wikipedia)

Ebenezar: Who is Queen Carolyn when she's not carrying out her Royal duties? Or if I can rephrase that, what's your day job? Because I guess your crown doesn't come with a salary, yet, right?

Queen Carolyn: I work for a news publishing company doing search engine optimization.

Ebenezar: Come to think of it, what exactly are your duties as Queen of Ladonia?

Queen Carolyn: My duties as Queen are to: Participate in Cabinet matters (proposing legislation, voting on proposals, etc.), attend conferences and meetings as the representative of Ladonia, and be "the public face" of the Ladonian people to the rest of the world. It's a fairly broad job description ☺

Ebenezar: Since independence from Sweden in 1996, Ladonia has gained recognition from many other micronations and even Denmark! That's really great considering the fact that recognition is the major challenge of micronations. But I'll love to know, what exactly is hindering Ladonia from getting international recognition?

Queen Carolyn: I think perhaps we are not considered serious enough for recognition. We have been working to put together some plans that I think will help us advance our goals of recognition and ultimately move us out of the "micronation" category.
(Source: World Traveling Images)
Ebenezar: Let's do some acting now. Let's just imagine, Queen Carolyn I of Ladonia is invited by the UN to address the UN General assembly on "Why micronations should be recognized"; the stakes are high, and the world is listening. What will you say to that assembly?

Queen Carolyn: People have a right to self-determination. If a group of people can coalesce around an idea or cause and create a government and build a place that they want to make their home, they should be not only free to do so, but supported and encouraged by other, larger states... not marginalized.

While many countries voice their support of self-determination, I think their support is hollow and they are secretly afraid of losing territory or power. To that I say, support these efforts and work together with us, the new states, to be our allies and friends. We can be partners and work together toward mutually beneficial goals.

Ebenezar: Okay, September 15th is International Democracy Day and it's a day set aside to remind leaders to hearken to the voice of the people they are leading. Looking at democracy from a Global perspective, with the Arab uprising still fresh in our minds, will you say the world is 'democratic' enough?

Queen Carolyn: I do not think the world is democratic enough, no. I think there are still too many places where the people are afraid to vote their conscience or are deliberately kept uninformed or ill-informed in order to push through agendas. Globally, I think we have a long road to true democracy everywhere and for everyone.

Ebenezar: Many organized and internationally recognized nations around the world seem to be facing a lot of challenges with leadership, and from what I gathered, you were elected as monarch by a cabinet of ministers right?

Queen Carolyn: Yes, I was elected. There was a constitutional crisis, I suppose you could say, surrounding the previous queen, so the Cabinet exercised its constitutional right to vote her off the throne (and her heirs), which created a vacancy. In the event of a true vacancy (meaning there were no eligible female heirs available), we hold an election for a new queen.

Ebenezar: Wow, that's real organization. What's your advice to these 'macronations' as regards fixing their leadership problems, seeing how organized micronations can be?

Queen Carolyn: My advice would be to try to find people for your government that are passionate and involved, but be tolerant when they sometimes seem to lose interest. I think too many groups expect 100% dedication and attention from all of their members and that is simply not feasible. No one is 100% passionate about a single thing ALL of the time. If you allow people to be "people", their interest level will ebb and flow but they will stay involved and participate. If you make them feel bad for being less active sometimes, they will become angry or resentful and quit.

So in short, be understanding and do not alienate your citizens because their level of involvement or passion does not match your own.

Ebenezar: Seeing how much the internet has grown and expanded over the years, do you think we'll have the birth of more and more micronations or virtual nations?

Queen Carolyn: I think so... I think it is appealing to more and more people.

Ebenezar: On a final note, is the citizenship of Ladonia open to any and everyone?

Queen Carolyn: Of course. We do not have room for physical residents, but anyone may apply for citizenship to show their support.

Ebenezar: How can people apply for citizenship?

Queen Carolyn: On our website, http://www.ladonia.org/citizenship/

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for your time your majesty. It was indeed a royal honour strolling with you. I wish you and the all people of Ladonia all the very best.

Queen Carolyn: Thank you so much

Follow the Queen on twitter @Queen_Ladonia, or visit Ladonia.org to know more about this micro nation.

Elected officers should all begin to see Leadership positions as an opportunity to serve rather than a job appointment to earn a salary from.In developing countries, the voters need to be educated and sensitized thoroughly because, if in this 21st Century, votes can still be bought for a quarter bag of rice or cassava flour, then we have a long way to go--my Nigerian Brethren will understand this better.

Till my next stroll, Jesus Loves you.

"Our LORD and God, victory doesn't come from the east or the west or from the desert. You are the one who judges. You can take away power and give it to others." (Psalm 75v6-7, CEV)

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