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DG4 Discussion -- Constitutional Covention

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Demo Game III: Citizens' started by FionnMcCumhall, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. FionnMcCumhall

    FionnMcCumhall Emperor

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    A great idea was posed and that was should we discuss ruleset changes for the new democracy game now. I beleive we should. We get a jumpstart on a discussion i think should at least take up til the rime we win the game and maybe a bit past it. I also think we should not start the new DG until a clearly defined ruleset is contructed.

    With that in mind, me personally would love to see the general crux of the old DG2 constitution put in with this new ruleset with changes to it of course :), and we should make a CoL and CoS or a variant such as bill of rights as our CoL and as our CoS procedures such as PI's, Judicial Reviews, Turn Chats, Polls and everything else i may have left out.
     
  2. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Blood Elven Ghost Agent

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    Well, I am planning to draw up the Ruleset onto a HTML page when things are all finalized :).
     
  3. Fier Canadien

    Fier Canadien Citizen

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    I'd suggest that we transfer the DG2 complete ruleset. Then, before the game begins, we should have the time to modify the parts of it that have been judged too complex or redundant for this game. We must do this if we don't want another "donsig"-style presidency.
     
  4. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I would prefer it if we didn't target individuals... ;) You can say "term 3" or "our recently troubled past"... j/k there is free speech, but to Donsig's credit, he talks like he wants a ruleset which would avoid that type of difficulty, by explicitly handling how more kinds of decisions should be made, one way or the other.

    As for transferring the old DG2 ruleset, another idea would be to start from scratch with the express purpose of avoiding references to old games. As a new player the beginning of this game I was dazed and confused because everything was going by custom. We need to have the courage to forget times past, and define the new game according to the preferences of the current players.
     
  5. zorven

    zorven 12,000 Suns

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    One aspect of this game that many people enjoy is the legal and political activities. One thing we could do to provide more gameplay in these areas is to continue with our current system into DG4 and work within the game to make the changes we think should be made. It is easy to see that this would be the more difficult route, but I think could also be the most enjoyable. I like to think that while the actual Civ game we are playing changes, our government is a continuous operation, much like real life. Changes may be slow and difficult (as in real life), but our current system works and is not in need of emergency surgery. It could also be that some of the apathy seen when changes are proposed is due to the fact that people feel "why bother making changes when we will start from scratch in a short period of time when DG? starts". Keeping our current system from game to game would eliminate that sentiment and could encourage participation in the process.
     
  6. FionnMcCumhall

    FionnMcCumhall Emperor

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    i dont think that will happen. We didnt make any new laws this game. and we more than likely will not make any at all. This current system does not work im sorry to say. Term 3 dictated that as its constitution was exploited.

    @zorven: Changes do not have to be slow and difficult in this game. It is lack of participation that will make changes slow and difficult. This ruleset in my beleif only further muddies the water between particpation and such. We did not define leaders roles in this ruleset, we played off of our knowledge of the old games. And if we should keep this ruleset why didnt we just keep the old one we had and keep modifying it? Because a majority of citizens did not like the old ruleset and decided to toss it away in favor of a different direction with the purposes as donsig described and that was to make new laws and define others clearly. We didnt do that.

    @DaveShack: I completely agree that we should forget the past but sometimes we cannot do so. Things went by custom because we are so used to a certain style of play, that is why i think so many players either do not participate (aside from RL issues) or have left the game some have deemed to be fun. The fun part wasnt the game itself, it was the interaction of the players, the role play storytelling that went on, first in the citizens threads and later into its own during the second game and finally dying here in this. We should be reviving an old custom of opening up threads for things like Theory of Evolution has opened up, Come check it out. Cyc did great things with his gorina thread that made it one of the more enjoyable government threads. But i go way out into a tangent. All im saying is, aside from developing a completely different ruleset for this new democracy game we should also devise new ways to get players to participate and stay in the game. We should make it fun again.


    I am of the opinion that melding the two aspects of this current constitution and elements from the previous games constitition's that will will create a hybrid style ruleset that in theory should do well in DG4.
     
  7. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    I received the PM's by ravensfire on a structure for our new rules and was impressed. I think we should use a combination of the old DG2 ruleset and ravensfire's proposal and then talk about amending them as needed until we had a good, complete ruleset with a minimum of loopholes.
     
  8. FionnMcCumhall

    FionnMcCumhall Emperor

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    thats what i said boots ;). By the way guys i would appreciate it if ravensfire would please post his suggestions here on the ruleset so that the rest of the DG players can see it and offer ideas to improve upon it, or add to it
     
  9. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Okay, okay - I'll post them in the morning. It's not a proposal, but an outline of an idea. This makes it seem longer than it will be. There are three different frameworks, or "books", so I will probably start three different threads to keep the chaos to a minimum.

    As a brief introduction to them, I started by examing where some of the issues of this, and past games came from. These problems ranged from confusion over the laws, confusion over duties, and lack of execution of duties. I was prompted to do this because of the recent "Vote of No Confidence" discussion, of which my opinion is pretty obvious.

    I wanted a framework that spelled out the rights of citizens, the structure of the game, the requirements of each position, and the basic procedures that need to be clarified.

    The Constitution is fairly similar to what we have now, just a bit more generalized. The idea is that this is a document that defines our structure in broad, general strokes - who we are; what are the rights of citizens; how is our government set up; our prime law (Thou shalt not play the save unless thou art the DP); how to amend the Constitution.

    The Code of Law is the main reference point. It details each office, and most importantly, the duties and responsibilities of each office.

    The Code of Procedures covers procedures for each branch of the government, citizen procedures and game play session procedures.

    It not about saying what you can't do, but saying this is what each office is responsible for doing. If everyone knows exactly what each official is responsible for doing, there is less chance for confusion, chaos and the resulting madness.

    So there's a tease, look for the post sometime in the morning.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  10. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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  11. FortyJ

    FortyJ Deity

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    I've got something to add to the party.

    Proposed Constitution

    This is something I wrote for the MSDG, but I believe it would be better suited for DG4. So I tweaked it a bit and here ya go.
     
  12. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    After a brief read, I like parts, and dislike parts. I'll try to read more tonight.

    I like the changes in the structure - especially the Senate. Very cool idea!

    I dislike the presumption of on-line session. I strongly dislike spot votes, or anything that disenfranchises the citizens of our country. I extremely dislike the no-confidence foolishness for reasons I have detailed at length elsewhere.

    I'll try to post more tonight.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  13. FortyJ

    FortyJ Deity

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    Thanks. I think that could prove to be an exciting addition to the DG.
    I'm not sure what you mean by the presumption of on-line session. Surely you're not suggesting closed turn chats? Because, that above all else, disenfranchises the citizens.

    Furthermore, citizen spot votes and spot council votes have been an excellent source of assistance to the DP, especially where instructions are lacking. They can also keep the flow of the game from slowing to a crawl.
    This was something I came up with as an alternative to the PI process. Whereas the PI process can be long and drawn out, and potentially incendiary, this offers a quick resolution to any issue, and doesn't interfere with the flow of the game.

    However, it was just a proposal. I'd like to hear your suggestion for handling the mid-term removal of officers that fail to live up to their responsibilities.
     
  14. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    I like 95% or more of FortyJ's proposal. The only item I did not like was requiring a 2/3 vote of the Senate to amend the constitution. My opinion is that if a majority of the citizens and a majority of the senate approve, then the change should be adopted.

    My preference would be a simple majority of citizens, and no senate vote. Here is why:

    With a minimum sized senate (21 citizens and 3 senators), and the proposed rule as written, the popular vote could be 19-2 for a change, and the senate vote 2-1 against. Even with the current rule (supermajority of citizens, majority of senate), the vote could be 13-8 in favor and 2-1 in the senate against, so that 61.9% of the people want a change, but two individuals (9.5%) can keep it from happening.

    additional modification
    We might want the size of the senate to vary based on a combination of RL population (citizens) and number of cities in the game. For example, use

    MAX(ceil(census / k), ceil(cities / p)) where k is the number of citizens per senator, p is the number if cities per senator, ceil means round up to an integer, and max means take the larger of the two numbers.
     
  15. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Behold my much more considered opinion.

    40J - I apologize for my earlier hasty review. I completely misread the spot vote thing. Overall - I do like it. We are at three proposals right now - I like this!

    Overall impressions
    - Nicely organized
    - Well thought out

    Article 1
    - Overall - I like it.
    - "citizen found guilty of a crime" such an action does
    not appear in the Con. I'm guessing you mean the
    no-confidence thing, but that doesn't really make
    sense here.
    - Don't like political parties - too many potential issues.
    I do understand that some do like them, I just don't
    think the potential benefits outweigh the potential problems
    - F - again the trial thing is mentioned - but nowhere else
    that I could find.

    Article 2
    - Nice!
    - I like the mid-term replacement, keeps the game moving
    - I like the minister setup - nicely thought out and divided
    - I don't really like the override ability. If the minister
    feels that an override is needed, they should use their
    persuasive abilities and convince the Governor of the need.
    I can see some abuse of this.

    Article 3
    - Really like the Senate idea!
    - "Full Census" mentioned in II, where is the Full Census defined?
    - Ahh, Article VII. Hmm, in general I don't like it when things
    are defined well after they are first mentioned. It makes the
    document harder to read
    - Not sure about the local elections - I just don't think we have
    enough active citizens. I also like the idea of one mayor keeping
    an eye on the city for the life of that city.

    Article 4
    - Again - I like the idea of the free-form elections
    - "Review" - process is very undefined. Mention "resulting poll",
    what the heck is that?
    - Judiciary immune from votes of no-confidence? While I am strongly
    opposed to the concept, you ought to apply it to all offices.

    Article 5
    - Looks good.
    - Ought to mention off-line prep for chat
    - Would like to see references to "game play sessions". While
    unlikely, I don't think we should absolutely restrict this to
    an on-line format only. Other DG's use off-line, and work
    extremely well.
    - I would stop the CoC after Executive branch. Odds are, if that
    many people are missing, we probably should be running the session.
    At the minimum, remove Citizens from CoC
    - II.A. Very possible situation to happen, especially if we actually
    schedule a game play session for our non-US citizens. I think this
    ought to be removed.
    - I like how you did spot votes. Informative only!

    Article 6
    - Nice
    - Like the restrictions on number of elections that can be entered
    - If person removed for no-confidence, why allow them to re-run?

    Article 7
    - Nice
    - Would like to see census moved to Article 1.
    - "Will of the People" - nebulous concept - would like to see this defined
    - What happens if an official is considered absent?
    - Would change III to read "...post demogame forum OR fails to appear..."
    It is entirely possible that an official cannot attend multiple sessions.
    The way it is worded, should that happen, they are considered absent.

    -- Ravensire
     
  16. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    That's a very good question - because that has happened. No offence to DZ, but RL interfered with his responsibilities as Domestic during the latter part of my term. Fortunately, Rik stepped in and did a magnificent job.

    But that's more of an abscence - how to you handle an official that is present, but is not fulfilling the duties of their office, or is doing a poor job of it.

    I'm going to start with the second part of that question - the doing a poor job. My first response is to the voters - you elected them, now you're stuck with them. Decisions have consequences, this is one. Citizens can poke and prod by posting discussions and polls to make up the slack - but the citizens elected that person. Yeah, it's harsh - but it will make people think harder about who they elect.

    The first part of the question. Initially, the citizens and the President need to poke and prod. If that doesn't help, hold a PI.
    Remember, the time frame on a PI is somewhat variable. Realistically, a PI will take a week. Remember, we are talking about removing a person from office. We should not do so lightly, or quickly.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  17. FortyJ

    FortyJ Deity

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    Remember, this was initially written for the MSDG where the opportunity for "crime" is a little more prevalent (sharing info with another team, etc.), so it may not be 100% appropriate for DG4. However, and perhaps it should be defined more carefully later in the document, citizen crimes could be anything from unlawful banning from a chat room during a chat, to unlawful playing of the save, to double-logins, etc. I left this provision in because there should be some form of handling improper actions taken by citizens that do not hold office. Of course, it can be removed or modified as we see fit.

    With respect to political parties, I accept that I may be in the minority on that subject, but I still feel that they could be an improvement to the DG experience. We are all looking for ways to "spice up" DG4 so that citizens don't look elsewhere for their entertainment. This could be an answer to that problem. I have heard that other sites have incorporated them into their DGs successfully. Finally, I'd much rather try to find a way to deal with any potential problems a party system might bring, than simply discard it without ever giving it a try.
    Valid point. This was a carryover from DG2, and can easily be removed.
    The revised Senate is one of my favorite parts of this proposal. I'm glad you liked it. And, you're right - the definition of the census should be included in this section.

    As far as the local elections go, I see no harm in it. Even if the numbers aren't there for a "real" election, there's no real harm. Perhaps the only thing we should add is what to do in the event of a hopeless deadlock (ie. 2 people in the town and each wants to be mayor).

    The Legal Review section should be re-addressed. It was originally intended to cover ammendments to the law and the judiciary's oversight of such changes. However, it would probably be better if it were modified to cover challenges to the law and whether an existing law or new law is just and fair.

    I believe that it is imperative that the Judiciary be immune to a vote of no-confidence. Otherwise, they may not be able to rule fairly on issues involving popular citizens out of fear of retribution. Furthermore, I originally considered making the Judiciary term last 2 months, and I would like to put that back on the table for consideration.

    Conducting the pre-turn before the official turn chat begins has been an acceptable practice since the middle of DG2. It was inadvertently ommitted from this document and should be added. Good catch.

    The debate between Open and Closed turn chats has been raging since before I joined the DG community. Personally, I think closed chats should be forbidden. Disruptive citizens can be devoiced in the chat room, even banned if necessary, so there is no real reason to deny access to the playing of the game to our citizens.

    The chain of command can be modified in any fashion as dictated by the will of our citizens - even if they wish to place the Speaker of the Senate or the Chief Justice right below the President.

    With respect to section IIIA, I don't know why this should be removed. It's non-obligational and advisory in nature.

    Informational Spot Votes - thank Cyc. It was his idea. ;)
    Why deny them the opportunity? The citizens may be upset enough to remove him/her from office, only to find nobody better willing to run for the office.
    I'd like to see "Will of the People" defined as well. :)

    Article II, II-A should be modified to allow the president to fill a position left vacant due to an official's absence.

    If he/she is unable to post in the forum "or" unable to attend a chat, then he/she can be considered absent for failing either of the two criteria. Using "and" requires the official to fail both.
     
  18. donsig

    donsig Low level intermediary

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    Not another constitution to read! argghhh!!!!

    Article 1: TOO MUCH DETAIL. What is wrong with a simple guarantee of the right to free speech and free assembly subject of course to forum rules? I do like the idea of a trial by peers but, once again, why not a simple guarantee of the right? I also like the part about allowing political parties but, once again, why not just remove the current constitutional restriction? I also completely abhor the proposed constitutional institutionalization of the *chat*.

    Article 2: TOO MUCH DETAIL. I am also against basing terms on the calender month. By putting that in the constitution it makes the process of changing to turn based terms that much more difficult. What is wrong with the general *fixed term* phrasing of the current constitution? It is flexible enough to allow either calender or turn based terms. An oath of office? Is that needed? Presidential appointments? What no deputies? Changing to three leaders concentrates power rather than diffusing it. I am especially dubious of combining FA and military. The vote of no confidence system will function no better than the old PI process.

    Article 3: TOO MUCH DETAIL. I do not like the proposed system of governing the provinces. It looks as though the Senate as a whole makes build queues based upon the recomendations of mayors. It has been difficult enough to get individual governors to post build queues. I shudder to think what will happen should we try making build queues by committee. Let's give mayors real power and let them set build queues. Governors can collect them from their mayors, post them and do build queues for cities with no mayors. In any event, the constitution is not the place to detail all of this. Local elections are something we need but the mechanics of local politics should not be laid out in a national constitution.

    Article 4: TOO MUCH DETAIL!

    Article 5: TOO MUCH DETAIL! I am opposed to any constitution that institutionalizes not only the chat but Spot votes as well. What is the need of a chain of command if the president has the power to schedule play sessions at his or her convenience? A CoC only makes sense if there is a rigid play schedule posted in advance. A ten minute grace period is way too short for a disconnect during an on-line play session. Should I go on?

    Article 6: TOO MUCH DETAIL.

    Article 7: I think the fact that *the will of the people* is relegated to *miscellaneous* is rather funny.

    Overall: Did I mention there is too much detail in this constitutional proposal? This document is similar to the monter constitution of DG1. It is basically a code of laws written into a constitution.

    My suggestion is to keep the general framework embodied in the DG3 constitution. Try playing DG4 by making the code of laws as you go.
     
  19. FionnMcCumhall

    FionnMcCumhall Emperor

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    we didnt do it in this past game donsig. at all
     
  20. donsig

    donsig Low level intermediary

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    Didn't do what Fionn? Didn't make a code of laws? I know that. That's why I suggested trying it in DG4! ;)
     

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