Election MMDCCLXII (Nova Roma)/Gnaeus Iulius Caesar
I am a candidate for the office of praetor. I won't endorse any candidate for the office of praetor this year as if I am elected I stand for myself, yet fully prepared to work with any other successful candidate and any other magistrate. Currently as curule aedile I have appointed and worked with people from different sides of the "political" arena, in an atmosphere in my joint cohors free from political rancor or bickering.
The office of praetor requires the ability to analyze situations, apply the Constitution and laws of Nova Roma, as they are written and only as they are written, to situations and issues that frequently raise emotions on all sides. Many people will make their case, as I have done, to the praetors and other magistrates for their own interpretation to be held to be the correct and logical one.
A successful praetor should be able to apply the law. examine these positions from all persons, in a logical and non-emotional manner, free from lapses into emotional chest beating as praetor about the "need to save the republic", or the "needs of the state" having priority over the individual.
A praetor needs to work collegiately, yet retain his or her own independence of mind to pursue the course he or she believes to be correct. A successful praetor needs to have attention to detail, to be able to parse laws and edicts and understand the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, effect that one word alone can have. The law must be applied consistently, free from fear or favour.
A successful praetor needs to be able to exert control over the Main List when absolutely required, but not stifle debate and disagreement. Nova Roma is a community, a living breathing and growing entity that is constantly evolving. It is not an exhibit in a museum, pristine and clean, carefully guarded from anyone examining it or challenging it. It can even survive the occasional jab or two to its structure. It is not some pusillanimous, weakly sick child. The continuing assertions that Nova Roma is about to sink beneath the waves, collapse, implode, be destroyed or the many other claims of impending doom are simply erroneous at best and deliberately exaggerated at worst. I do not support the use of these claims to justify harsher praetorial measures.
The calls for more censorship of the Main List are a mistake, and the justification that people may leave Nova Roma unless "something is done" about the quality of life on this list, is no justification. People leave Nova Roma for all sorts of reasons, and we are all masters of our own decisions. No one is indispensible to an organization like Nova Roma. If we succumb to the urge to engage in social engineering, an exercise in using the praetorship as some form of nanny service to scold and chastise those who post on issues some deem not to their taste, then we are digging the grave of free expression and undermining a key tenet of any civilized society, namely that it is mature enough to handle and manage dissent.
There are certain basic rules of conduct that must and will be enforced, but it is entirely possible to castigate your opponents while remaining within the praetorial guidelines. I should know, having done so regularly in this forum since 2004. The positions I maintained in this forum will not be the positions of Caesar Praetor, for when one takes office, especially this one, one must be prepared to keep the scales of justice balanced, If elected I will ensure that there will be no discrimination of ANY sort allowed to flourish or fester unchecked in this forum.
No praetor can create an atmosphere of friendship on this list, as they only have twelve months to achieve this gargantuan task and they cannot force people to like each other, so all that is left to those that try to engineer this "friendship" is the heavy hand of moderation, censorship and worse. It is a noble goal, but simply impractical and bound inevitably to take us on the path to yet more restrictions on expression. It is not the job of a praetor to facilitate the flow of magisterial propaganda in the name of promoting collegiate relationships with other magistrates, nor to reinforce partisan policies, nor squash political opponents or the opponents of friends. That is not "friendship" but broadcasting by the state on behalf of the state.
What I bring to you is the promise to firstly ensure that those from any side of the spectrum, my own friends included, that wish to pursue prosecutions face a rigorous examination of the evidence, that they should be prepared to be challenged and made to prove every single point of any petitio. I also bring the promise that the benefit of the doubt, be in fact or law, will ALWAYS be accorded to the defendant in any such court action.
Laws that are found to be weak and wanting, where gaps exist, will not be plugged by dredging up Ancient Roman laws and ramming them into our legal code, with no vote of the people to justify that. If a petitio rests on such flaws laws, it will be dismissed. The law is the law, as it is written, no more and no less. That promise extends to everyone in front of my tribunal, regardless of whether they are political friend or opponent, for if our law is to be seen as credible and fair then that process must start with that benefit of the doubt not only being applied to any defendant, but being seen to be applied.
I promise even-handed commons sense moderation, and giving people the chance to recover from emotional outbursts before immediately reaching for the praetorial hammer to strike them down and silence them.
What do I bring to this office from outside of Nova Roma? Twenty four years in law enforcement, within a policing and justice department setting, training in legal interpretation, the regular interpretation of court orders, experience of dealing with prosecutors and defense lawyers, of completing case papers for trial review, the proper handling of evidence, training and experience in statement analysis, experience in conducting in the order of at least 3,500 interviews of suspects in the course of my career, giving evidence in court, expert witness testimony, experience in drafting and reviewing proposed legislation, working with Central Government in policing and managerial projects, setting and administering budgets in the million of dollars range, complaint review management and the supervision of teams of staff, investigators, peace officers and police officers.
What do I bring to this office from inside Nova Roma? Citizen since 2004, senator, legate and then and still governor of my province, quaestor and currently curule aedile, as well as having been appointed accensus to three consuls as well as various scribe positions. I have served on the cohors of curule aediles and praetors.
Finally some have called for you, the citizens, to choose a candidate from each of the two main "political" divides. I would ask you choose for this position of praetor the two candidates that you judge to be the most capable, stable, rational, experienced and exhibiting the most common sense.