As Chair of Parliament for Asgardia, the space nation, Lembit Öpik is centrally involved in working to fully establish all the elements of its operational digital democracy. In this account, he shares developments from the closing stages of the year, including a Digital Sitting of Parliament that was the subject of dramatic adaptation in the light of global events - and the approval of a new Asgardian Prime Minister.
The year 2020 hasn’t been an easy one for many people - and almost all nations. The spread of the aggressive and sometimes lethal Covid-19 infection has left the global economy battered and bruised. The disease has affected many millions, with over 1.5 million succumbing. I myself contracted Covid-19 and it was so serious that I was nearly admitted to hospital. One member of my family had to be hospitalised and almost died; only the selfless care of Britain’s National Health Service saved her. My family came through it but the trauma of Coronavirus will remain with us for a long time.
Throughout these harrowing challenges, Asgardia - the first dedicated space nation - has managed to continue in its mission to create a sustainable, peaceful and inclusive society in space. The structure of Asgardia’s political system means we’ve been able to do our work by travelling only through the medium of the Internet. In this way, Asgardian Members of Parliament (AMPs) can interface digitally and safely despite national ‘lockdowns’.