View Full Version : Polling Standards: Should we allow binding private polls?


ravensfire
Aug 15, 2006, 09:38 AM
I know that many of our remaining citizens hate this topic, and want to see it go away. Here's your chance. Voting in this poll (and successive ones if needed) and helping in the discussion, we can get this fixed and make it go away.

This is the first poll on this subject, and asks simply if we should allow private polls to be used on polls that require in-game actions to be take. Currently, these types of polls include Referendums (polls posted by officials on subjects within their area) and Initiatives (polls posted by citizens marked as initiatives). Opinion polls by either citizens or officials are exempted from this as these polls do not require in-game actions to be taken.

A public polls means that someone looking at the poll can determine how you voted.
A private poll means that someone looking at the pool cannot determine how you voted.

If you want to allow citizens to post polls marked as Private, vote "YES" in this poll.
If you want to allow officials to post polls marked as Private, vote "YES" in this poll.
If you want all polls that require action to be marked as Public, vote "NO" in this poll.

The results of this poll will determine the next steps - if more people vote "YES" than "NO", we'll see exactly what polls we should allow to be private. If more people vote "NO" than "YES", we'll work on revising the laws.

Link to discussion thread (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=4409177#post4409177)

This poll will run for 4 days, and is marked as private.

-- Ravensfire

robboo
Aug 15, 2006, 09:46 AM
why does it matter...or people so afraid to be unpopular tehy hav eto see where teh "cool kids" voted or are you incapabel of making a desiocn so you need help by looking where others vote.

I wont change my vote whether its private or public...I vote like I want. Therefore..I abstain and I invite all who really dont see this as a issue to vote abstain also. How a poll is made has no bearing on the game...only the outcome of the poll maters.

Eklektikos
Aug 15, 2006, 11:41 AM
With all due respect, from what you've posted above it would seem that it would have been more logical for you to have voted "yes".

That aside, I feel that abstaining in this vote ultimately works against your interest in making what you consider an unnecessary distraction go away. I do not believe that this debate has a hope of being ended until a conclusive decision is reached one way or the other.

Eklektikos
Aug 15, 2006, 11:55 AM
I myself have voted in favour of allowing binding polls to be posted as private if the poll starter so wishes.

I firmly believe that freedom of choice should be upheld unless a convincing case for the restriction of that freedom can be made, and I have seen no such thing proffered in the discussion so far.

donsig
Aug 15, 2006, 12:34 PM
I have voted yes but I'm curious as to the satus of this poll. Is it an opinion poll, referendum or initiative? We've already had a recent opinion poll on this...

DaveShack
Aug 15, 2006, 08:31 PM
Looks like an opinion poll to me. No action is called for, and the related discussion has not been open the normal amount of time before a poll is binding. Officially I will delay a decision on what kind of poll this is to allow the poster to offer a statement on what it is intended to be.

I am happy to see that the scope of this question is restricted to polls which are requiring an in-game action. This is a much better way to classify my disagreement with Donsig's attempts to use binding polls for out of game actions. Both initiatives and referendums were intended to cover in-game decision making -- the Judiciary JR and CC procedures and the Amendment procedures were intended to be the out of game decision making processes.

I will happily and openly reiterate my stance on private binding polls. I vote yes to the question asked in this poll, which restricts itself to in-game issues. Being private or not should not, by itself, determine the validity of a binding poll on in-game issues.

Nobody
Aug 15, 2006, 08:32 PM
I voted yes, not that i really care but when ever it is a issue of Allowing someone to choose between two options verus forceing a option, although really its just a forum no decisions we make on here should be so important that people need to hide their forum identitys.

Donovan Zoi
Aug 17, 2006, 02:03 AM
I voted No.

We are all representatives of an imaginary constituency. We owe it to those people to keep our votes public.

Everyone is asking for the proponents of public polling to justify their reasons for wishing to maintain the status quo. Yet, what are the reasons being forwarded for adopting private polls at the whim of the poll sponsor?

1. The voting with the in-crowd ploy: this is a smoke screen, people. I don't know anyone currently active that would stoop to such a level. In fact, the only one I can think of that may do such a thing has not been active for quite some time. ;)

2. This is boring so let's end the debate: many seem willing to compromise the integrity of our Assembly by giving in to allow certain pollsters to sponsor their votes via the smoke filled room. The problem here is two-fold --- private polling invites deception ("I voted for the war before I told everyone I voted against it....") and the casual allowance of it with no guidelines attached foments a culture of inconsistency from our representatives.

3. It's not in our Constitution: Bingo! This has been the problem for the entire duration of this debate, and is how donsig has managed to captivate the masses on its behalf for nearly three terms. Yet it's more fun to argue than to draft a new constitutional amendment, isn't it?


Why is this still an issue today? When are we going to clarify the difference between "official" and "binding," if there even is such a difference? What of the muddled rock-paper-scissors handling of initiatives and referendums? Why even have leaders when a)all they have to do is show up to get a position and b)have no real power over their position once they have it?

OK, I am starting to ramble. The bottom line is that the only way that private polling should be considered is if there is a set criteria for allowing it. I am totally against pollsters just doing whatever the hell they feel like when the matter suits them, especially for polls of national importance. Set it in stone of what can be allowed and what cannot, or the future of private polling can end up in tatters on the assembly floor --- where it belongs.

donsig
Aug 18, 2006, 12:36 AM
We are all representatives of an imaginary constituency. We owe it to those people to keep our votes public.

So we have to vote publicly because of our imaginary constitutency? C'mon DZ, what's that all about? True, we are the citizen's assembly but there is no one else but us. There's no one outside of us that we have to declare our votes to. You have to do better than that to convince me that private polling is dastardly.

Everyone is asking for the proponents of public polling to justify their reasons for wishing to maintain the status quo. Yet, what are the reasons being forwarded for adopting private polls at the whim of the poll sponsor?

The reason is that private polls are legal. The status quo that you speak of is based on the faulty assumption that private polls are illegal according to our laws. It is only due to Censorial procedures that the idea of outlawed private polls has gained credence.

3. It's not in our Constitution: Bingo! This has been the problem for the entire duration of this debate, and is how donsig has managed to captivate the masses on its behalf for nearly three terms. Yet it's more fun to argue than to draft a new constitutional amendment, isn't it?

Yes, there is nothing in our constitution that says we can have private iniative polls. But there is nothing that says we can't have them either. I will say it one more time: Since private polls are not banned by the constitution there is no reason to write an amendment saying they are ok to use.

Why is this still an issue today? When are we going to clarify the difference between "official" and "binding," if there even is such a difference? What of the muddled rock-paper-scissors handling of initiatives and referendums? Why even have leaders when a)all they have to do is show up to get a position and b)have no real power over their position once they have it?

The muddled rock-paper-scissors handling of initiatives and referendums stems directly from the misguided attempt to use the wording of the current constitution to try to justify banning private initiative polls. That can only be accomplished by maintaining that initiatives are official polls thereby removing the difference between initiatives and referendums. With no distinction between the two things are naturally muddled.

Donovan Zoi
Aug 18, 2006, 08:00 AM
So we have to vote publicly because of our imaginary constitutency? C'mon DZ, what's that all about? True, we are the citizen's assembly but there is no one else but us. There's no one outside of us that we have to declare our votes to. You have to do better than that to convince me that private polling is dastardly.

Hate to bring up John Kerry again, but it seems to provide a fitting example. How much fun would the US election of 2004 been for the Republicans if they were not allowed to grill him on his voting record about the war? With private senatorial polling, he could have easily stated that he never voted for any stinkin' war, before or after, and could have gone on with the simple task of proving the ineptitude of Team Bush. Not that he would have compromised his integrity in such a fashion, but he could have.

It holds that way for us here as well. If an iniative wins support and later is proven to be a failure, every citizen should have a right to hold accountable those who voted for it. Private polling does away with affording that respect to the citizens.


The reason is that private polls are legal. The status quo that you speak of is based on the faulty assumption that private polls are illegal according to our laws. It is only due to Censorial procedures that the idea of outlawed private polls has gained credence.

I'll grant you this point. I just think we really need to take a step back before we decide to continue with such an anarchic polling procedure where anyone can pretty much do whatever they want.


Yes, there is nothing in our constitution that says we can have private iniative polls. But there is nothing that says we can't have them either. I will say it one more time: Since private polls are not banned by the constitution there is no reason to write an amendment saying they are ok to use.

If you'll read closely, you'll see that I actually agree with you on the current constitutionality of private polls. The amendment I want to write is either one to lock 'em out entirely, or one to at least determine how they should be used. I think that the idea of using them randomly at the whim of the pollster is a bad idea......


The muddled rock-paper-scissors handling of initiatives and referendums stems directly from the misguided attempt to use the wording of the current constitution to try to justify banning private initiative polls. That can only be accomplished by maintaining that initiatives are official polls thereby removing the difference between initiatives and referendums. With no distinction between the two things are naturally muddled.

As long as initiative trumps referendum and as long as a citizen can try to undermine the work of an elected leader, then I feel these polls should be public. Frankly, I feel that this whole section of the Constitution is in dire need of a rewrite since I have witnessed nothing but confusion and misery from the populace since its inception. How can the poll that holds the most weight in our land not be considered "official?" Why do we even have elected leaders anyway when the populace can just come in and vote away their plans for office with a poll that holds no one accountable for the results? If someone ever did that to me, I would want to see who the votes are coming from.

donsig
Aug 20, 2006, 11:08 AM
If an iniative wins support and later is proven to be a failure, every citizen should have a right to hold accountable those who voted for it. Private polling does away with affording that respect to the citizens.

If we make a decision that turns out to be a *failure* why do we have to point fingers at each other and hold anyone accountable? Why can't we just buck up, admit we made a mistake and go on to the next choice we need to make? I still think the decision to build a cathedral in Memphis in DGIII was wrong (it cost us our chance to complete Copernicus's Observatory). We went on an won anyway and there was no need to hold anyone accountable.

I just think we really need to take a step back before we decide to continue with such an anarchic polling procedure where anyone can pretty much do whatever they want.

I have never advocated that we all start posting a plethora of private (or public) polls. I've got no problem participating in a duscussion about where each type of poll would be appropriate or inappropriate. All I've been trying to point out is that private polls are 1) legal under our system and 2) not automatically evil and dstardly things - and therefore have a place in our decision making process. For at least three terms they have been essentially banned by the Censor.

If you'll read closely, you'll see that I actually agree with you on the current constitutionality of private polls. The amendment I want to write is either one to lock 'em out entirely, or one to at least determine how they should be used. I think that the idea of using them randomly at the whim of the pollster is a bad idea......

I'd have to say that public polls can be just as bad if used randomly at the whim of the pollster. I would certainly be against an amendment to lock private polls out. I think writing an amendment to specify when they can be used is a bad idea. We should have learned by now that no matter who much time we spend on something like this we will most likely not be able to forsee all scenarios. Why spend our time trying to go through all the hoops of the amendment process when we can first try an informal discussion to see if a consensus can be reached? The original idea of polling standards was of an agency outside the government who would promulgate guidelines for what makes a fair and good poll. Can't we try something like that for private versus public polls?

We already have a law that all official polls (those posted by an official within the area of his or her responsibility) must be public unless about a specific individual. We seem to all agree that informative (so called opinion polls) can be private. There has been a call that all in-game polls should be public. I personally don't agree with this but it does suggest that private polls about non-in-game stuff are not so offensive. Just what constitutes in-game and non-in-game stuff is not so clear but at least this is a start towards defining the occassions when private polling would be acceptable. If would be nice if we could get the discussion going along these lines. Perhaps such a discussion would help us to refine the decision making clauses of our constitution. (BTW, I think the decision hierarchy part of our constitution was a tremendous addition to the constitution. But it needs work. If we discuss it now I think we can have a much better document for the next DG.)


As long as initiative trumps referendum and as long as a citizen can try to undermine the work of an elected leader, then I feel these polls should be public. Frankly, I feel that this whole section of the Constitution is in dire need of a rewrite since I have witnessed nothing but confusion and misery from the populace since its inception. How can the poll that holds the most weight in our land not be considered "official?" Why do we even have elected leaders anyway when the populace can just come in and vote away their plans for office with a poll that holds no one accountable for the results? If someone ever did that to me, I would want to see who the votes are coming from.[/QUOTE]

ravensfire
Aug 21, 2006, 08:58 AM
The results here are pretty clear - people want to have at least some private polling options for polls requiring in-game action.

I'll get the next poll to try to nail down what those options are later today - see the main discussion thread.

Thanks!
-- Ravensfire