Editorial: The Army Board, A Bedeviled Experiment in Democratic Governance

Seasoned league administrator LuciferStar weighs in on the ongoing ‘army league board’ debate. 

ALASKA, CP Army Hub Headquarters – Get ready for a trip down memory lane, folks, because this article starts with a blast from the past: “-Headquarters”. I know it’s not something you see every day, but trust me, it used to be all the rage. Now, full disclosure, it’s been a hot minute since I last posted something on Club Penguin media, so please bear with me if this one falls flat. Nevertheless, I’m determined to share my thoughts on a topic that truly makes my heart aflutter. So sit back, relax, and get ready to waddle down this rabbit hole.

Hold onto your hats, readers, for I don’t want this editorial to disappear into the abyss like a forgotten sock merely because my name now sounds rather unknown. So to add some street cred to my words, allow me to introduce myself, I’m LuciferStar, I was formerly a Board Director at Club Penguin Online Army League and Club Penguin Army League, the Chief Executive Officer at CPAL and Club Penguin Army Hub, and I also had a short-lived stint as Chief Executive Producer at Club Penguin Armies. Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s get down to brass tacks and dive into the meaty bits of this editorial.

We’ve had more failed experiments than a mad scientist on Club Penguin Armies, like CPAC5 to Club Penguin Army Media (if you know, you know), but why is it that I’ve put the limelight on democracy in CPA today? Simply put, it’s still alive and kicking. Sure, we can all pat ourselves on the back for giving everyone a say but let’s be real – it’s like a snowstorm in your igloo. You think it’s nice and cozy but before you know it, you’re buried in snowdrifts. We’re so caught up in the idea of democracy that we forget one crucial fact – too many cooks spoil the broth. When everyone has a say, it’s like a never-ending argument that leads nowhere. The truth is, you’re not actually in love with democracy, you don’t want your nemesis alliance thwarting your mastermind plan by tweaking the rules arbitrarily, in fact, you’re in love with the idea of a democracy – the Board system.

I’ve personally conducted Board meetings and man, army leaders are one competitive bunch, and when you put them all together in one room, it’s like watching a game of hot potato with a ticking time bomb. One minute everything is fine, and the next, the whole thing blows up in our faces. Giving all army leaders a say in the Board system is like giving them carte blanche to cause chaos and destruction. It’s like watching a bunch of toddlers playing with explosives – you know it’s going to end badly, but you can’t look away.

This post is not intended as a reproach to the army leaders. In truth, the imperfections that mar our current system of governance stem from a democracy that is, by its very nature, subject to flaws and can be easily swayed by vested interests. It would be unjust to lay blame at the feet of those who are simply looking out for the well-being of their respective armies. However, when it comes to reaching decisions that impact the community at large, our current democratic system falls short.

Democracy – The Board System

Let’s dissect the most important argument of this editorial. Why do I shame democracy so? Why is it that the perfect ideal system of governance has been mocked so in this editorial? You might think “It works perfectly alright in countries around the world, why is this old geezer on Club Penguin telling me otherwise?”. That’s because we’ve misunderstood our democracy. You see there are different types of democracy, what we have in countries that are “working perfectly fine” (I disagree but that’s a whole other editorial topic), is a representative democracy. What we have in our community in the Board system is a direct democracy. You could theoretically argue that what we have is a representative democracy because we have army representatives but that argument falls flat because the unit of representation is the army itself. The entire army community is not the unit of population, it’s the different armies themselves. This means one army is one unit of population, the people within the army are irrelevant to this quantification. So armies thereby are representing themselves which means every unit of the population has a say in the drafting of policy that impacts all armies as a whole. Thereby postulating a Direct Democracy. A Representative Democracy by a stretch of an argument is an oligarchy wrapped in a democratic package. You allow the units of the population to elect representatives, who then represent the interests of the population as a whole.

That dear reader is the democracy that we need. A logical fallacy that precludes our understanding of the Board system is that every representative represents the interests of the army community as a whole. No, no by no stretch of the imagination. And for that we cannot even fault the representatives, why would they not represent their own self-interest? Move over, Adam Smith – Club Penguin Armies have nailed the concept of homo economicus! Who needs invisible hands when you’ve got flippers?

Apt representation of the Army Board

A direct democracy now leads us to multiple roadblocks. The first is that of the Majority fallacy or argumentum ad populum, it’s a logical fallacy that assumes something is true or right simply because the majority of people believe it so. That’s what every direct democracy eventually leads to. This is worse in Club Penguin Armies, and particularly more so, in the current community, as now a single large coalition of armies can arbitrarily create, alter, and malign League provisions which were made in good faith and based on principles of equity and fairness. Of course, I understand this might be too pessimistic a view, but let’s also look at an arguendo.

What if the Board cannot come to a consensus? What then? In essence, an impasse has the capacity to inflict far more damage upon a community than a corrupt alliance could ever hope to achieve. Only dead fish go with the flow.

The Need of the Hour

As I pen these words, dear reader, a sense of unease grips me. It is not just the creaking bones of an ageing scribe, but a foreboding of a community in decline. For it is plain to see that the Club Penguin army scene has hit rock bottom. Let us not beat around the bush, my friends. The community has grown stagnant, and a lack of excitement has drained the life out of the game we once loved. Each day blends into the next, and our eyes grow heavy with the monotony of it all. It is a toxic quagmire, dear reader, mired in the muck of past grudges and historic beef. The Board system, once a beacon of hope for our community, now stands helpless, unable to function as those involved fail to put the best interests of the community above their own narrow aims. Truly, we stand at a crossroads. The future of the Club Penguin army scene is in the balance, and only by coming together and looking beyond our petty squabbles can we hope to restore the vibrancy and joy of this beloved game.

After years of democratic experimentation, we find ourselves mired in a pit of stagnation. Perhaps it’s time to consider alternative forms of governance. Even the storied city of Rome, the ancient symbol of democracy, would suspend its democratic processes in times of crisis, appointing a single leader to defend the city from its enemies. This was not a coveted honor, but rather a solemn duty, a public service. In our current times, we cannot afford to cling to convention. It’s time to appoint our own Cincinnatus, our own heroic general who will suspend democracy to save our besieged community. To this end, I offer my humble solution.

Army Board fanatics, this is probably your reaction at this point in the post, but hear me out

The Way Ahead

It’s time to appoint an oligarchy of seasoned League veterans who look beyond army-centric interests, and rather at the interests of the community as a whole. Appointing a single individual, I agree, might come with repercussions of possible bias and inefficiency, so rather I promise an oligarch of three individuals or five individuals (contingent on what the Selection Committee decides) who are appointed on the basis of experience. I propose that we first create a Selection Committee of fifteen seasoned veterans who have their fair share of League and Army Leader experience who will select a list of seven individuals, who will then be put to vote on the current Board Representative channel where each army would receive three votes. The elected oligarchy would run for a fixed tenure of three months, following which if the Selection Committee were to repose their faith in the individuals, they can extend the tenure of the elected oligarchy for another period of three months. The same will continue until the Selection Committee loses confidence in the oligarch, following which there will be a fresh list created and the same voting process would be repeated.
The Selection Committee will have no higher say once the oligarchy is elected, their roles are merely restricted to list creation and extension of tenure of the oligarchy. They are virtually nonexistent during the tenure of the oligarchy. The first Selection Committee will be decided by the CPA Admins in consultation with the Advisors and the Legends Board. Following this if any Selection Committee member were to resign or retire from their post, the remaining Selection Committee members themselves will decide upon another individual to take their spot.  This elected oligarchy will work in consonance with the current CPA Admins in ensuring that the League and Media work in harmony exclusively at Club Penguin Armies.

Though my notion may not be welcomed with open arms by the current Board or Army Leaders, pray tell, are you relishing the current state of affairs? Alas, we have become so engrossed in our virtual trophies, war records, and Top Ten rankings that we have forgotten the true essence of our digital existence. Who we are in this game does not and shall not ever define us. Your past glories and accolades may have brought fleeting moments of satisfaction, but they are as fleeting as a snowflake on a hot stove. So I ask you, dear reader, did you truly enjoy your victories? Did you relish the thrill of battle, or did you find yourself caught in a web of loopholes and rule-bending in order to gain an edge over your opponents? Let go of your grudges, relinquish your grip on a defective Board system that only benefits the majority, and allow an oligarchy to bring back the fun in Club Penguin Armies. I understand your initial skepticism with a newer system being brought in and your earlier rights curtailed, but the universe is not conspiring against you, it is just a penguin game where we evolved from hurling snowballs to hurling insults on an online chatting platform, the Oligarch will not conspire against you, they’ll want to make things interesting again, and they’re only appointed for a short duration so they’ll want to do their best to get re-elected.

I’ve heard multiple people say CPA will not last forever because nothing lasts forever, but I dispute that, it’s not that nothing lasts forever, you’re just afraid that it’ll last longer than you can love it. So, let us cast aside such apprehensions and revel in the enduring passion and dedication that the CPA community has shown time and time again. For as long as there are those who hold fast to the spirit of the game and the bonds that it forges, the future of Club Penguin Armies remains a bright and boundless horizon.

CPAH Hall of Famer

thanking all the people who have reached this far into the post

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  1. […] this week featuring: a multilogging scandal, a captivating Head Judge editorial, a proposition to fix the board, and yet another Top Ten reshuffling, alongside other subjects. A massive thank you to BEASTO for […]

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