GENEVA (CS) | The Coprieta Standard sat down earlier this week with Primo de Aguilar to discussed his now-aborted coup d’état against the Alexandrian Emperor, Edgard Portela.
CS: Can you explain to our readers what factors led to the coup d’état and why you chose to proceed now as opposed to some months ago when it was clear that Alexandria was failing?
PA: Discontent and dissent is almost always expressed in some form in any human organization. In a constitutional democracy, there are the freedoms of speech, expression, and the press, as well as the important, guaranteed right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
The Imperial Decree of May 13, 2013 recognized a state of emergency, and rightfully restructured the government to fit the needs of the current situation. The pivotal Article 15 set the expectation that this was a transitional phase of the Alexandrian democracy, and that a return to normalcy would be forthcoming.
The simplification of dialogue without need for adherence to parliamentary rules of order did well to surface creative recommendations. None were finalized nor implemented, but that was all right. Papers were on the table, as it were, and we were hoping the Imperial Court or Government would give some indication on a preferred plan of action, or open a national conversation on the future iteration of the Empire.
With the looming arrival of the holiday season, activity is expected to drop. Before that took place, however, we issued the Santander Manifesto on September 9, to which there was no public response.
His Imperial Majesty privately communicated his concerns to me, explaining that there was no Government, and expressing his support. I had hoped that by starting some sort of Occupy movement, some activity would be generated, but this was not forthcoming.
A Humble Petition, detailing the end of the term of office of the Chamber of Citizens and praying for Imperial action, was laid before the foot of the Imperial Throne on September 16.
There was still no public response.
Gauging the public opinion, I considered that this lack of activity was due to the upcoming holidays. Since there was no point in governing a two-person nation, I decided to let the status quo remain.
The Micronational Cartography Society decision was the breaking point. Inactivity (or in macronational terms, ‘public apathy’) is something every nation of every size experiences once in a while. So long as this has minimal effects, this remains an internal political issue. When it started to affect the integrity of the national territory, it ceased to be a ‘mere’ internal political issue and became a serious concern impacting national security.
Someone had to act.
CS: You’ve announced the end of the coup d’état with the return of Emperor Edgard Portela. Was this just a stunt to precipitate his return or would we have seen a working revolutionary government for Alexandria if the Emperor did not respond?
PA: A working revolutionary government would have been evident. The National Convention would have proceeded, a new constitution would have been ratified, and a new civil government, in the form willed by the people, would have been established.
There was simply no lawful means, under the Articles of Emergency Governance, to proceed any further. With the Chamber of Citizens suppressed by law, and all further authority flowing from the Emperor, and the extended absence of His Imperial Majesty, there was stasis.
In effect, there was a constitutional crisis.
Since there was no lawful means to resolve the situation, extra-constitutional means were utilized. There was no other way – only by declaring a revolutionary government would one be rid of the procedural chains of a regime whose time had passed.
I had done my civic duty. If that is state treason, does that mean that continued civic apathy is a virtue? How is this so?
That being said, no treason was committed, for there was no treason law in effect. For the sake of argument, there was also no Court to rule on such a hypothetical issue, were it to reach that far.
CS: In your opinion, what does Alexandria need to do in the immediate term to fix its activity and governance problems?
PA: A nation is only as strong as its people. Without a vision, the people perish. The choice ultimately falls to the people. No amount of legislating – no kind of constitutional structure – will matter if the expression of the popular will (or lack of it) decrees otherwise.
CS: Do you have any particular long-term plans as you move forward in your continued attempt to revive Alexandria?
PA: We have seen the effects of a unitary, authoritarian fundamental law. As the Emperor may check the excesses of the government, so must the people check the excesses of the government, and if need be, the Crown as well. Under the current legal dispensation, what recourse did the people possess if there was no Crown, nor Regent, nor Government?
History teaches us the example of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, of the French Revolution, and of the Alexandrian Revolution of 1702.
Authority does not flow from the Crown because it is a mystical object imbued with arcane power. Authority flows from the Crown because the people will it.
Once that is lost, so is the nation.