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Goodbye Offsite forum government - A revolution


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TWP has always (mostly always) maintained that the in-game mechanics are supreme. A delegate is master and commander unless they are no longer delegate. It's simple, we're consistent, and it works, imo, far better than other ethos in other regions.

 

My proposal is that we take it to the next level - dissolve offsite forum government entirely. 

 

My proposal would list a factbook entry on the main TWP page listing how government works. 

 

The overall idea is that all votes take place in-game. The polling option truly helps in this. So when we have legislation we're going to vote on, we vote in game. If we're having elections, we vote in-game. Etc. 

 

If we wish to have discussions on topics here and/or campaigns here, that's fine, but the game is where things truly happen. I don't know of any large region that is doing this. I think we could be a trailblazer in that regard and do something completely non-traditional but use some of the new NS tools. 

 

Why try this? Like i said, TWP is about the supremacy of the in-game mechanics. We can support that idea by getting the in-game more involved and reducing the decision making that takes place off-site. That gives more of the in-gamers ability to direct the path of the region they've been in for a while. 

 

I can take a stab of writing a draft of the proposal if there is any interest in something like this.

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I have some concerns, though I'm not necessarily opposed.

 

First, where would we discuss legislation and other matters to vote on? Hosting those discussions on the RMB will disrupt the flow of casual discussions, discouraging them completely. There is only one RMB and trying to cram government onto it is, I fear, going to push everything else off of it.

 

Second, how do we prevent the massive potential for abuse? The on-site polls are not abuse-proof. These are the criteria you can select for on-site polls:

  • Residents: Nations in the region.
  • Natives: Nations that possess more Regional Influence here than in any other region.
  • WA Members: Members of the World Assembly.
  • Large Nations: Nations with a population of at least 1 billion.
  • Influential Nations: Nations possessing Regional Influence equivalent to having spent 1,000 unendorsed days in the region.

The most secure option is obviously to select all of these criteria, but in doing so you will also be preventing a large number of legitimate residents from voting. If you start knocking off options, you open up the potential for malicious outsiders to try to influence the West Pacific through our on-site poll system. Specifically, the WA Members option is a must in order to prevent one person from voting with fifty (or more!) puppets. But even that is open to manipulation by outsiders because someone can just switch their WA status here temporarily; the only thing this option would prevent is multiple votes per person.

 

Finally, where would the executive government be run? Where would the cabinet coordinate, where would the military coordinate? Would we even have these things anymore?

 

This needs a lot of fleshing out before it can even start to look practical.

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No. I earlier proposed on-site votes and still support this, but that should not be confused with dissolving the forum in its entirety. The forum offers multiple advantages over in-game votes, including ease of administration, flexibility, improved communications, and the fact that it does not move in real time as the RMB does, so you can't miss something just because you weren't on at the right time. Strengthening democracy in TWP is certainly a noble goal, but that's not what this would do.

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I am not saying we need to dissolve the offsite forum. In the title it says "goodbye offsite forum government" and what that means is that the voting occurs onsite.

 

I plan to provide more explanation, specifically around Cormac's questions, later on. But contextually, picture a world where discussions can take place here but the voting occurs onsite. This is no different than say us discussing a WA proposal. We can use this forum for the discussion, but ultimately votes are cast onsite.

 

Conceptually, this would work similarly. 

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My problem with that is that, by having the discussion here, and voting in the site, we basically made all voting null. People who can vote simply votes without coming to the discussion unless the discussion is moved over to the RMB which is undesirable... Plus, the obvious puppet bleeding: anyone who want to influence a vote in-game simply needs to create any number of puppets and either keep them dormant until the vote, or keep them eternally semi-active to vote anytime several times :/

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I don't consider that aspect particularly negative given that our delegate voting system could be manipulated similarly. It hasn't been for years so I do think we have a track record of ensuring in-game votes are primarily of residents. Not to say this introduction wouldn't alter that, but we're not starting without a precedent.

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I don't consider that aspect particularly negative given that our delegate voting system could be manipulated similarly. think we have a track record of ensuring in-game votes are primarily of residents. Not to say this introduction wouldn't alter that, but we're not starting without a precedent.

Except this is not the case, as puppets of a single user can't have WA status unless he goes through a very very complex system of proxies that would surely not be worth the effort. While polls are universally open, as far as I remember

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Although I appreciate the concerns about puppets and possible vote - rigging with them I cannot help feeling this is a red herring in a region the size of a feeder

 

Dependent on the buy-in and participation of the region, the quantity of puppets needed to sway a vote could be prohibative - not perhaps impossible, but a lot of work for very little return in terms of influence

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Can they be restricted anyway?

It seems that they can be by these criteria (as noted by Cormac above):

 

 

  • Residents: Nations in the region.
  • Natives: Nations that possess more Regional Influence here than in any other region.
  • WA Members: Members of the World Assembly.
  • Large Nations: Nations with a population of at least 1 billion.
  • Influential Nations: Nations possessing Regional Influence equivalent to having spent 1,000 unendorsed days in the region.
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I'm actually not opposed to this.

 

If we wanted this path though I'd go full way and dispose of the offsite government entirely -- so all authority would be with the Delegate and they would appoint ministers etc themselves.

 

Idk. That doesnt seem so go now that I write it.

 

Still not opposed. Would be interested in seeing more to the proposal!

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I  suppose it is. If a delegate was opposed to holding polls onsite, then they are legally within their right to do so. 

 

We'd need to ask Dark and subsequent delegates if they mind holding such polls. But if they do, then this would fail.

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You know, I've actually thought through this a bit more, and I believe that with some work it could certainly become not only practical, but highly desirable for TWP. Notably, a few of the details go just a bit too far. Here's how I'd propose changing this to get it to function.

 

1. First, for this to work, we need to ensure that the in-game population is sufficiently informed to make an informed decision on this matter. For this, I believe that we should establish the official newspaper that has been in discussion for so long to act as an unbiased, accurate, and balanced source of information. By having the Ministry of Home Affairs write informational pieces along with opinion articles for both sides, we can ensure that voters know and understand what they are voting on. Combine this with promotion of the articles by mass TG, pinned dispatch, and WFE, and we'll have the largest and most envied base of informed voters in all of NS.

 

2. Furthermore, let's remember that we cannot force the Delegate to do anything. As such, what I would recommend is that our new constitution ask that the Delegate put all proposals to vote, and should they refuse, then we will use the forums to hold the vote. This way, we do not infringe upon the Delegate's in-game power, but can still keep the greater participation of democratic polls with their consent.

 

3. Finally, we'll need to balance out the handful of drawbacks to this idea by ensuring that at least a handful of the more active/experienced members of our region get to actually draft the bill, revise it, and check it for problems. This could be done by changing the process for drafting a bill so that instead of the anarchic free-for-all we've been having on the forums for the past few months, with everyone editing bills as it suits them and both disorder and inactivity being rampant, we'll have a much simpler process handled mostly by the Executive Council. The Executive Council would draft a law and put it on the forums for a period of about a week, in which any citizen can make recommendations as to how to improve the bill. After this has ended, the Executive Council will select a single draft to send to a vote before the region's WA population, ensuring that the draft has been thoroughly checked for any major problems. Of course, this could be open to abuse by an Executive Council seeking to completely control the legislative process; as such, I'd recommend that any citizen be allowed to create a petition on the forums, and should it receive a certain number of signatures, it will be put to a vote. Taken together, these powers give the forums an important advisory role to help protect TWP from mob rule while still making us NationStates' first true GCR democracy.

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I am opposed to making it the duty of the executive council to write the legislation--I think any TWP resident should be able to write legislation and have it discussed. Your compromise--getting signatures on petitions to send it to a vote--is really just re-naming our rules of procedure in the HGA--getting seconds on drafts to move them to a vote.

 

There are also other reasons I think the government should stay on the forum--it gives the forum purpose, and streamlines government a lot, not only when it comes to voting, but mainly communication in general--besides factbooks, TGs, and the RMB, there's not really anywhere well adapted to the kind of discussion needed for writing or debating legislation.

 

Finally, the forum government is completely separate from the in-game government, as has been said many times. That being the case, if what is currently the forum government migrated in-game, as per this proposal, there would be absolutely nothing from stopping me, and others who think like-wise, from setting up an entirely new forum government with exactly the same powers as the old one. (In fact, as has been mentioned a couple times recently, we could do that right now and have multiple forum governments. It makes sense to me, however, to keep a single forum government.) We could run the in-forum embassies and be self-governing, which is pretty much all we can do now anyways. I realize this may sound like a threat ("Leave the forums and I'll start a splinter group!") but it's not supposed to be. I'm just trying to say that I think the forums are best adapted to running a government, and would like to stay here.

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