Talk:Gardiners Island

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I would like to propose a suggestion that Gardiners is the ideal territory for the Extraterritorial Lands Bureau, overworked as it otherwise is, to have a relationship with. Gardiners is practically the archetype of an extraterritorial territory -- not exacly an independent country, not a province and yet not exactly an integral part of the NAL. It is tied to American territory by only the most tenuous of links. It's essentially a feudal state directly dependent on the English monarch. It shares a lot in common with several territories in the UT vis a vis its tenuous connexion to the rest of the NAL.

The Bureau's mandate anymore is to provide "general territorial oversight", which largely involves reminding the local government that they have to "recognise the NAL's sovereignty over all matters of national import". Given Gardiners's status as a Charter Territory (from the English monarch) rather than a provincial entity, the Bureau would be the natural and ideal bridge with Philadelphia, especially in handling any legal issues or provincial threats that might arise from time to time.

It wouldn't have to have a resident Minister (Ministers rarely "reside" in their territories); the Minister's duties would largely involve a tour of the territory and an inspection of the State Papers, to make sure they're minding their Ps and Qs. In other words, the Minister would be the government official responsible for the National Trust when it comes around to "monitor the island's governance, finances, and the care of the land".

That said, I agree that Gardiners was attached to the NAL before the Bureau was created, but that doesn't mean it should never have a relationship with that Bureau. Keep in mind that Beaver Island did not exist until the 1860s, and it would be at that time that it became attached to the NAL and the Bureau. After all, it is through the Bureau that all non-provincial and irregular territories interact with Philadelphia. I would also state that the Bureau has not ever ruled or administered Gardiners, the way Ministers might rule an otherwise insufficiently governed territory (like the Dry Tortugas). After all, Gardiners has its proper rulers in just sequence. All those functions that the Minister might do, would here be done by the local government. Elemtilas 02:35, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Reading your response on the message board, this makes sense. I think I was misled by the fact that the Unincorporated Territories' appointee is nicknamed the "Lord Governor" - I had thought there was an actual supposition of authority (even if there was little actual power to the position). If Ministers are more like diplomats than governors, then it makes sense for Gardiners to have one.
There's no way it could be a full-time job, though. The place has a bit of a grandiose streak, but it's still small as can be. Benkarnell 04:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, "Lord Governor" is not exactly an official title! Bureau ministers have authority regarding the relationship between their appointed territory and the NAL and the amount of their authority is determined by treaty. So, if the NAL decided to impose a tax on the residents of the UT, the minister could check that, since the Convention doesn't have that authority without the consent of the Territories. If the Territories consented, the Minister could not stop them.
As for the position being full time, you bet your sweet Long Island Sound the position is full time! Just because most of the time is spent away from Gardiners doesn't mean the Minister isn't always on call. Chances are good the Minister would only visit the Island once a year to make sure everything is copacetic. Otherwise, he'd probably be engaged elsewhere in the Bureau or teaching history in some posh New England college. Possibly in Connecticut or Massachusetts.
Practically speaking, the role of the Ministers vis-a-vis their territories is governed by treaties made between the NAL proper and the territories they govern. In the UT, the "Lord Governor" has some limited real power: he is the Commissioner of the Unincorporated Territories and serves as its de jure "supreme executive". In reality, various treaties limit his authority within the UT and his assent to acts of the UT's parliament amount to rubber stamps. THe UT has the right to expand or contract his authority and scope of duty. The only way he could really countermand an act of the UT's parliament is if they tried to do something counter to national security.
In the Dry Tortugas, the Minister has almost limitless authority, there being no local government at all. She could levy an income tax of 88 1/3% on all lobsters if she wanted to. There are also no permanent residents, so no harm, no foul. Up in New Zandam, the Minister there has essentially no authority at all except the "national security" veto, since the territory is privately owned and administered.
How much authority the Minister to Gardiners would have would largely be up to the negotiating skills of the Lord Gardiner in charge back in the early 1800s. I suspect that the Minister to Gardiners would have very little real authority indeed. Mostly because he wouldn't need any -- like New Zandam, Gardiners is privately owned and administered, and his only concerns would be the maintenance of national security, historical and scientific research. Elemtilas 23:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
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