View Full Version : Public Investigation#3: Term3-Elections - Spice Traders


disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 02:06 PM
A anonymous citizen stated that the Spice-Traders Guild started a PM to all members which urged them to vote for their members.

The citizen noted that this was like the action of a political party, as votes to others were condemned by the PM.

Since political parties are NOT allowed by the constitution, this would be a major violation of the constitution.

The discussion is started here.

If there is no negative post in this thread about the incident, this thread is closed and no poll is held. If there is a minimum of one negative post, a poll will be held.

Chieftess
May 30, 2002, 02:19 PM
The Spice Trader's Guild is not a political party, and those PMs were suggestions on who to support. The PMs did not in any way, shape or form say "Vote for these canidates", it said "Support them" - which doesn't imply voting. You can support more than one canidate, but you can only vote for one. If you notice, some where in the same polls, which would defeat the purpose of a vote.

Personally, I don't know a lot about how politcal parties work (I'm politically-illiterate) :)... So, it wasn't meant as anything political.

Falcon02
May 30, 2002, 02:20 PM
I feel it violates the Constitution, BUT......

I feel that it is a forgivable offense, so long as it doesn't happen again.

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 02:22 PM
so i interpret your post right as a proposal for a warning-letter to the spice-traders guild, in person chieftess? or more like a "first and final warning"?

Bill_in_PDX
May 30, 2002, 02:27 PM
I am guessing that many citizens exchanged emails regarding whom they would support and why. I think it would be bad to stifle such discussion.

However, it may do us well to view a copy of this email if it was a "bulk" variety message.

Bill
...in PDX

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 02:30 PM
Quotes for the pms of another anonymous citizen:


1st pm:
The founder of The Spice Trader's Guild has been nominated for the Trade Department for a 2nd term, and for President. Please show your support by voting for Chieftess in the elections. Also show your support for Zur in the councilmember position.

2nd pm:
Please show your support for the following canidates that are members of the Spice Trader's Guild:

Chieftess President and Trade Department
Zur Councilmember At-Large
SKILORD Domestic Department and New Cormyr
Eklektikos Governor of Asphinxia
Strider Science Department and Trade Department
crabapple Governor of Normandy


It seems clear to me that the minimum should be a "First and Final Warning!".
Only because i believe chieftess if she sais she did not intend to act as a political party and i believe she only wanted to do some campaigning for herself. If i would not believe so, i would also propose harder punishment.

donsig
May 30, 2002, 02:33 PM
Personally I think the 'no political parties' clause of the constitution should be removed.
As for the Spice Traders Guild, it is one of our oldest citizen's organizations and there has been no hint of it being a political party before now.
Finally, I do not think the constitution even implies that candidates cannot ask for votes.
No matter what angle I look at this from I do not see an infraction.

Bill_in_PDX
May 30, 2002, 02:34 PM
I agree with your interpretation disorganizer.

Bill
...in PDX

Duke of Marlbrough
May 30, 2002, 02:35 PM
My concerns with this:

1) If it said to actually not support certain people.

2) If it said to support only people in the Spice Traders Guild.

Falcon02
May 30, 2002, 02:39 PM
I say First and Final warning (the intent of my original post)

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 02:40 PM
DOM: i posted the relevant parts of it here. i have a edited copy from [anonymous].
i think no mod action is required at the moment, though. do you want the pm anyway? i only have an edited copy of the original, but i can pm the citizen who initialized the investigation.
i will not forward the pm without the citizen giving me his ok for it.

Chieftess
May 30, 2002, 02:49 PM
I also thought that since the STG was non-political, you could do that, just like emailing your friends or something... And, I was going to ask for support for people outside of the STG. Again, I think this should be made clear in the const. (I'm not 100% familar with all of the rules yet).

Duke of Marlbrough
May 30, 2002, 03:01 PM
Hmmm, I obviously type too slow.

PM 1:
I don't see this as an issue. People can ask for others support all they want. There is nothing in there about not supporting others.

PM 2:
The only thing of any concern is that only members of the Spice Traders Guild are being given support. Do they all have a common goal in the game? In other words, are they working as a team in the game? Or will each of them be doing their jobs as separate individuals?

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 03:09 PM
PM1:
i think what brought this to public was the fact that in PM1 it was assumed that if you support the STG you should vote for CT. this was seen as political-partylike acting.

PM2:
they do their job as individuals, i assume. but nevertheless we should write a warning to decline the rise of parties in our nation from the start. all parties started as loose groups of individuals, but then got organized to parties.

DOM: as you see, this will be no mod-forcing thing.

donsig
May 30, 2002, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by Duke of Marlbrough
PM 2:
The only thing of any concern is that only members of the Spice Traders Guild are being given support. Do they all have a common goal in the game? In other words, are they working as a team in the game? Or will each of them be doing their jobs as separate individuals?

It seems only natural that a pm from the founder of the Spice Trader's Guild to members of the Spice Trader's Guild about candidates who are also members of the Spice Trader's Guild
would only include members of the Spice Trader's Guild.

Issuing an official warning in this case sends the message that citizen's groups cannot endorse candidates, especially those that belong to the group.

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 03:38 PM
so you are pro warning-letter (or final-warning letter)?

Duke of Marlbrough
May 30, 2002, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by disorganizer
PM1:
i think what brought this to public was the fact that in PM1 it was assumed that if you support the STG you should vote for CT. this was seen as political-partylike acting.

Well, it sounds like a resume type endorsement. You can't read assumptions into it.

PM2:
they do their job as individuals, i assume. but nevertheless we should write a warning to decline the rise of parties in our nation from the start. all parties started as loose groups of individuals, but then got organized to parties.

Whether this was starting to 'act' as a political party is what I'm trying to find out.

DOM: as you see, this will be no mod-forcing thing.

Thanks, but I'll decide that. Since it doesn't seem like they were trying to organize a group to run the game as a 'team' then I won't be taking any 'official' action.

You guys can still do your element of it, but anytime the rules are possibly violated I may take action on my own. :)

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 03:48 PM
i just want to make clear here that most of my posts do not come from my mind. i just wanted to enable this thread for anonymous investigation.

DOM: of course

Cyc
May 30, 2002, 03:56 PM
I'm with Donsig here. I see no major problem (especially not a Constitutional violation). I don't really want to see political parties in Phoenatica either, although it seems there are underground political groups that don't PM people under a citizen's organization heading. I see plenty of people looking for support or endorsing candidates. I believe I did it under the heading of the Cultural Dept. I wasn't running for office, but so what? Have the person who was offended tell the STG that they no longer wish to receive junk mail from them. Problem solved.

Duke of Marlbrough
May 30, 2002, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by donsig
It seems only natural that a pm from the founder of the Spice Trader's Guild to members of the Spice Trader's Guild about candidates who are also members of the Spice Trader's Guild
would only include members of the Spice Trader's Guild.

Thanks. I think we established that.

Issuing an official warning in this case sends the message that citizen's groups cannot endorse candidates, especially those that belong to the group.

Like I said, you guys can do your element of it. People, as individuals, can endorse whomever they want. They just should not be 'representing' anyone (or anything).

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 04:03 PM
i interpret you, cyc, as a not-guilty, right?

so i see 3 positions here:
warning letter
final warning
no punishment

any demands for a higher punishment?
the action would be as follows:
i would leave open this thread for discussion for 3 more days (sunday night). then i will post a "punish, dont punish, abstain" poll.
this will also be open for 3 days. if dont punish is the result, all is ok and the investigation is closed. if not, then i will post a punishment-type-poll. at the moment, this will be "warning-letter, first and final warning-letter, abstain". also up for 3 days. the result will then be the punishment.
would this be ok (as it is the first time to do this)?

Rain
May 30, 2002, 04:17 PM
What you have here is an example of a lobby in my opinion. A lobby is not a polical party but it is a political influence group. In fact businesses or trade organizations commonly form lobby groups to achieve the goals of the organization to use only one example. They are not parties per se since they do not have a broad spectrum of interest in the political arena. Now the next step from a lobby is a political party. In a democratic arena it will be impossible to prevent the exsitence of lobbies or psuedo political parties. The distinction i assuem you are trying to make is that we wish to avoid rigid party voting. This in itself is difficult to achieve if you wish to permit the esistence of lobbies since any political body is going to try to act in a unified fashion either on a specific goal or goals.

The key point is do the individuals elected owe their position to the party primarily or to their individual merit. Bascially if support derives from being a member of the guild they are de facto a party. What differnce does this make in the end? It is only significant insofar as individuals are obligated to vote on party lines. In real situations such voting is enforced by moral suasion, internal organizational mechanisms and the difficulty of being re-elected on one's own individual merits. The first two exist only in a very weak sense if at all in this game. The 3rd is a real possiblity. However, I do not on the face of the situation see how it can be avoided. The implementation of regualtions to prohibit such parties/lobbies will only drive them underground, not eradicate their existence. Further such groups consist of citizens who have the right to choose how they shall vote and represent themselves.

I understand the objective of the desire to avoid party politics/lobbies but i do not see how you can fully eliminate political cooperation among citizens nor is that necessarily a desirable goal in my opinion.

Chieftess
May 30, 2002, 04:29 PM
The one confusion that I have is that accepted/unaccepted actions are not specific, or specified cleary in the const.

So, it's up to the individual to guess at what's acceptable and what's not. If they're not politacally adept (like me), then they have no idea if what they're doing is ok or not.

disorganizer
May 30, 2002, 04:35 PM
thats what we have the warning-letters for.

philippe
May 30, 2002, 04:41 PM
look i got a pm from them BUT i dont think that is bad.
i see no problem.
its like to say:hey that guy wants to get minister show your support IF you want to.you are NOT forced to do it.its just a suggestion.
no punishment

Shaitan
May 30, 2002, 05:33 PM
I agree with Donsig's analysis. I also agree with Chieftess - this is not clear in the Constitution. Parties are not allowed. What are parties? You can't find any definition whatsoever in our official document.

I say no punishment, for two reasons. First, I don't think there was any intent or colusion. Second, I don't think you can break a rule that isn't there and that rule is too vague to enforce.

punkbass2000
May 30, 2002, 06:13 PM
So, the rule that isn't there is too vague? :confused:

Plexus
May 30, 2002, 06:19 PM
I really don't get why we can't have parties, is it because of the possible rift it would create between rival factions? Sounds kinda Marxist/Leninist to me.

donsig
May 30, 2002, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Plexus
I really don't get why we can't have parties, is it because of the possible rift it would create between rival factions? Sounds kinda Marxist/Leninist to me.

Well, the DuckofFlanders is known as the *Marxistic Demo game Mod*!;)

Dragoten
May 30, 2002, 07:01 PM
I say no punishment...

This law is not specific and must be changed

Eklektikos
May 31, 2002, 05:15 AM
I don't think Chieftess should be punished for those PMs. I saw them more as a reminder that those candidates shared my inclination towards promoting trade, than as a political party style "These are our candidates, it is your duty to vote for them" communication. They didn't influence my voting beyond raising my awareness of those candidates. I voted for only two of them, and in only one case for the position mentioned in the PM. If we punish Chieftess for this, then what exactly are Citizen's Groups for? :confused:

disorganizer
Jun 02, 2002, 03:25 PM
Since i still have negative voice for this issue, the citizen poll is posted here (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=23933).

eyrei
Jun 03, 2002, 09:30 AM
The only problem I have with those PMs (hmmm, I wonder why I didn't receive one?) is that they imply that the other candidates for those positions do not support aggressive trade with our neighbors. While this does not cause a problem when sent to a very active and informed citizen, when sent to someone who does not have the time to peruse the entire forum, they may be taken in a way that effectively libels the other candidates.

If the Spice Traders Guild wishes to promote it's members, it needs to find a difference between it's members and the other candidates other than membership to this citizens group. I suggest a carefully worded warning letter.