The Republic of Saint James

The Republic of St. James, or ROSJ (pronounced "RAJ") was originally invented by three college students at Michigan Tech in 1990 as a simple game in which the one initial rule of the game was to make up the rules for the game. It has since evolved into a complex and growing system of government similar to other "micronations" on the web. There are no legal obligations required of any participant; the ROSJ is run simply for fun.

The following is an example piece of legislation that has been proposed. It is much longer than most bills, but it gives you a good idea of what goes on inside the Republic.

Proposal 7.19

[It is] proposed that the executive powers of the Republic of St. James shall be those necessary to carry into operation the legally passed proposals of the Room of Representatives or to assure the peace, order, or good government of the ROSJ. These powers shall be vested in three classes of executive officers as follows: 1) The Speaker of the Room of Representatives (Speaker); 2) Ministers of the ROSJ (Ministers); and 3) Deputy Ministers of the ROSJ (Deputies). The offices of Bishop of St. James, Member of the Room of Representatives, and Judicious Judge of James are not considered to be executive in nature and are therefore not defined by this proposal.


7.19.1: The Speaker shall chair the meetings of the Room of Representatives and is responsible for assuring that the legally passed proposals of the Room of Representatives are carried out. He shall also have such other responsibilities as the Room of Representatives shall see fit to give him. Additionally, the Speaker shall have all executive powers not vested in any other executive officer.

7.19.2: The Speaker shall be selected by the Bishop according to the provisions of [Proposal] 7.4.

7.19.3: The Speaker shall cease to hold office if he resigns, ceases to be a citizen of the ROSJ, or loses a vote of confidence in the Room. A Speaker who loses his office in any of these ways may not succeed himself. The Speaker may also lose his office by being replaced by an incoming Bishop under 7.4.

7.19.4: The Speaker may not hold any Ministry.

7.19.5: The positions of Ministers (Ministries) shall be created by legally passed proposals of the Room of Representatives, and they shall have such powers as the Room shall see fit to vest in them.

7.19.6: The currently extant ministries are the Ministry of Media, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and the Ministry of Agriculture. All offices suspended by Proposal 6.2 and not otherwise dealt with are abolished, without prejudice to the ability of the Room to re-create them.

7.19.7: The Minister of Media shall be, in general, responsible for the archiving and record-keeping of the ROSJ, and for official ROSJ websites. He shall also be responsible for selecting, in some fair, random, and public way, the people to serve as Judges, and to preside over the Room in the absence of the Speaker, unless other arrangements have been made. In addition, the Minister of Media may conduct votes of confidence on the Speaker. [Otherwise the Speaker could avoid a vote of confidence by the simple expedient of refusing to conduct it.]

7.19.8: Ministers shall be selected by vote of all citizens of the ROSJ. This election shall take place on the request of any citizen; however, a Ministry election may not take place within six months of the last election for that office unless the office is vacant.

7.19.9: The election shall be conducted by the Speaker. As soon as practicible after receiving the request for election, the Speaker shall publish a call for nominations. This call shall clearly state the office being elected, the name of the person requesting the election, and the deadline for nominations, which shall be one week from the day of publication.
    When the period of nominations is closed, the Speaker shall distribute a ballot to each citizen. The ballot shall list all the nominees for the office in proposing order, and at the end of the list shall appear an option to leave the office vacant. The ballot must also clearly state the procedure for voting, the office being elected, and the deadline for voting, which shall be one week from the day of publication.
    The voters shall vote by ranking the candidates (including "None of these") in the order of their preference, assigning 1 to their first choice, 2 to their second choice, and so forth. They are not required to rank all the choices given, but they may not assign the same number to two different candidates.
    When the voting period closes, the Speaker shall assign all ballots to their respective first-preference candidates. If a candidate has a majority of all the votes cast, the Speaker shall declare them elected. Otherwise the Speaker shall declare the candidate with the fewest votes to be eliminated from the race, and re-assign that candidates ballots to the remaining candidates according to the stated preferences on the ballots. The Speaker shall continue eliminating candidates in this manner until one has a majority of the ballots and is elected.
    If it is not possible to tell which of the remaining candidates is preferred on a particular ballot, that ballot is not considered part of the total aggregate of ballots cast for purposes of determining a majority.     If a candidate must be eliminated, and two or more are tied for the lowest number of ballots, the Speaker may freely choose which of them to eliminate, unless one of the tied options is "None of these", in which case "None of these" shall be the one eliminated.

7.19.10: A Minister shall cease to hold office if he resigns, ceases to be a citizen of the ROSJ, loses a vote of confidence in the Room, or loses an election. The Speaker may also remove from office any Minister except the Minister of Media.

7.19.11: The holder of any executive office may create Deputy Ministries and devolve to them whatever powers and duties of his office that he wishes.

7.19.12: The Deputy is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, his immediate superior.

7.19.13: A Deputy shall cease to hold office if he resigns, ceases to be a citizen of the ROSJ, or is removed by his immediate superior. The Room may hold a vote of confidence on a Deputy, but it shall have advisory force only.

7.19.14: If an office is abolished or suspended, all the Deputy Ministries under that office are abolished or suspended also.

7.19.15: The Room of Representatives has the final authority over all executive powers.

7.19.16: Only citizens of the ROSJ may hold executive offices in the ROSJ.

7.19.17: If, for 15 or more days in a calender month, a person holds the Speakership and/or a Ministry, they may receive credit for a maximum of two selections when earning Crowns. Otherwise, the maximum is three. This supercedes the provisions of 7.10.6.

7.19.18: A citizen may formally submit questions to any executive officer on matters within their sphere of competance. The officer has a duty to respond to these. The responses shall be published by the Speaker and archived by the Minister of Media.

How to join

The Republic of Saint James is open to anyone in any part of the world who has consistent access to Email. The only major requirement is that you conduct yourself according to Christian rules of conduct, but you don't have to be a Christian to join. We'll be happy to send you additional information via Email -- with no obligation whatsoever, of course. If you apply for citizenship and are accepted, you can participate as much or as little as you wish -- but you can expect to spend about two hours a week on average, mostly in reading, writing and debating proposals.

Contact person: Mr. Ian Kabell --

Document last modified 03 Jan 99. (C) 1999 by Kevin Jay North; see also full copyright notice & disclaimers..

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