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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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    If we didnt do it in our current game (aside from defining PI procedures) what makes you think players will do it in the upcoming game. It seemed to me that they prefered to whine and complain and say the ruleset was perfect then get their hands dirty and make new laws. Shoot even leaders dont want to post intructions half the time. I do remember a failed attempt to amend the constitution during your presidential run that failed to only produce the aforementioned PI procedures. I prefer a more clearly defined ruleset, considering the track record of this past demogame. I dont think a new law has been passed since the end of DG 1 anyways. Please correct me if i am wrong
     
  2. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    I find myself agreeing with donsig for the most part here.

    This constitution does go too much into detail on many issues. We should make the constitution only a framework, and incorporate most of the specific laws into a Code of Laws or a Code of Standards or Procedures. I would rather we go under ravensfire's framework, and we can incorporate some of Forty's proposals in this constitution into the new CoL and CoP. Though I do like institutionalizing the chat, it should definately not be in the constitution.

    @Fionn - We do have a CoL in this game, but it deals almost entirely with PI's. The current PI procedure was passed at the end of Term 3.
     
  3. Cyc

    Cyc Looking for the door...

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    Well, I going to have to interject here, as I believe we are chasing our tail.

    First of all, regardless of the outcome of this discussion as far as any changes to which Constitution that's finally chosen, I believe the format FortyJ has used with his is what our final product should look like. With it's point and click ease, it's certainly a much better way to scan the Con.

    I also agree with donsig about there being to much detail in this proposed Con. He had me rolling on the floor as I read his review.

    I also agree with Fionn McCumhall that our process for improving our laws creeps along at a snails pace.

    So now we have a new game coming up and we're not sure what to do about the Constitution or our Books to support it. This game we had a bland Constitution and promised ourselves we would build on it. Last game we had an appropriately vague Constitution with supporting books that were knee deep in rules and regulations, which many say bogged the game down. Obviously the DG citizens ae not happy with either choice.

    I'm one of those people that like to see a vague Constitution and well defined supporting books for it. Tearing down a proposal to be vague would be the easy part. Putting together the supporting books so that we didn't have the same problem we have in this game would be difficult (depending on which timeframe you wanted to start DG4). If you leave youself 6 - 8 weeks, you may be able to secure all three documents along with the approval of, let's say 2/3 of the voters.

    Do you have that much time to devote? Do you have that much energy? Putting together the DG2 documents put some serious time constraints on donsig, disorganiser, Shaitan, and myself. We had Shaitan, for pete's sake, and it was still an over-burdening process.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that we have a proposal on the table that is fairly well laid out in covering the major ideas of the game and the people playing. it. If you don't like certain parts of it change it now. If you don't understand certain parts of it, talk about it now. This is a start point based on prior experiences and current guidlines. You have nothing now and you want to build Rome. Try working with a detailed Constitution and as time goes by, break parts of it down into supporting books.

    Jeez, I have got to stop drinking coffee. :) Anyway, just a few thoughts.
     
  4. FortyJ

    FortyJ Deity

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    I've never fully understood the reasoning behind having 3 books of laws for the demogame. It only complicates things when you have to look in 3 different places for some rules that could very easily be combined into 1 document. Thus my use of "too much detail". ;)

    Let me also address a few more of your critiques (all of which are appreciated by the way):
    1. I could very easily have consolidated alot of what I wrote into an alphanumeric outline of simple statements, but where is the fun in that? Donsig, you yourself spoke at great length in another thread about the enjoyment of the game coming not from within the Civ program, but from without. What we do as citizens to enhance the enjoyment of the game is critical to its success. In my opinion, laws and posts that are more than a simple "You can do this" are equally important to that mission.
    2. Changing from a calender based term to a turn-based term is easy enough to accomplish. I have no preference on that either way. Adding Deputies is easy to do. Remember, this was originally written for the MSDG where the number of active participants is considerably smaller. I also respectfully disagree with your interpretation of the effects of reducing the size of the Executive branch. Under this proposal, the Senate could easily become the largest branch of government and wield more power than any other (including the provincial border design, build queues, etc.). Finally, I think the No-Confidence system I have outlined will resolve issues much faster and easier than the current PI system that has, at times, come very close to ripping the demogame apart at the seams.
    3. The Governors/Senators wouldn't be submitting build queues by committee. They would be responsible for establishing the provincial borders (something previously done by the Domestic Dept) and dividing up the provinces amongst themselves. Thereafter, they are responsible for submitting instructions for their provinces before each chat. If you wish to allow Mayors ultimate control over their individual cities, fine with me. Of course, this whole system could be scrapped, but I think it makes for a very interesting wrinkle for the demogame.
    4. I firmly believe that play sessions should be held in public. That was the way it was done when I was president and in my opinion, it is the way it should always be done. A good leader that acts in accordance with the will of the people should have nothing to fear from an open chat session for playing the game. Even if you're there donsig. ;) Everything else in that section can be modified to fit what the citizens want: 10 minutes not enough time, make it 15, etc....
    I never wrote this with the intention of imposing on the demogame players. I am merely offering a proposal that I think will make the game more enjoyable, which, when all is said and done, is the primary objective of the demogame. If the people don't want to use this, fine. If you wish to use only parts of it, fine. I only wish to help make the demogame better.

    <><><><>

    I'd be willing, if there is sufficient interest in me doing so, to rewrite a significant portion of this proposal and attempt to factor in much of the criticisms posted in this thread.
     
  5. donsig

    donsig Low level intermediary

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    The whole point behind the 3 *books* is the idea that some things should be set in stone (i.e., very difficult to change) while other things should be flexible (i.e., easy to change).

    By making one set of *rules* we give each clause equal weight and make each clause as easy or as difficult to change as any other clause. When I originally proposed three levels (way back in DG1) I had in mind the broad *constitutional level* (difficult to amend), a more specific *laws level* wherein changes could be made relatively easy, and a very specific *procedures level*. This final level was to include *rules* our government officials could make and change at will.
    Examples of things that I would put into the *procedures* category are the formatting of the game play instruction thread, scheduling of the game play sessions, and the drawing of provincial borders.
    The *laws* level would be used to do such things as define what is and is not a legal instruction in the game play instruction thread, specify the maximum numbers of turns that can be played per session, or make changes in provincial borders to over-ride those set at the *procedures* level.
     
  6. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    The multi-book approach with different thresholds to accomplish changes is a good concept. Generally, there should be very little in the topmost "Constitution" document which anyone would want to change, and making it very difficult to change is quite natural.

    The "Laws" level should cover exactly the things mentioned by Donsig. It should be quite easy to change, with maybe just a simple majority of the current census. (a term which itself needs to be defined)

    I've never seen a need for the "procedures" level, but I just joined in the DG3 and never saw the preceeding games in operation.

    Getting back to what should be improved:

    • Precise definition of the role of each official
    • Precise definition of what is an instruction
    • Precise definition of what is "legal"
    • An escape route if we get into a runaway leader situation, which at the same time avoids personal conflicts
    • A way to force pauses in play so that the populace can be informed and make decisions
    • More fun, less internal bickering

    Some suggested solutions

    • Too much to be described here
    • Any public communication
    • Anything not obviously illegal (all instructions presumed legal if not obvious)
    • Complicated
    • Allow spot instructions to stop
    • Stories, unofficial appointed offices, etc.
      [/list=a]
     
  7. FortyJ

    FortyJ Deity

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    I am not so naive to not appreciate the benefit of having three tiers of laws, but I do believe that for the demogame, it is a bit overkill. I just fail to see the benefit of such a system for our purposes.

    I do, however, agree that there should be a set of procedures for how certain things are done (polling, etc.) in the game. In my opinion, these procedures should not be laws per se and should likely be listed outside the constitution. They should also be considered guidelines for leaders that are unfamiliar with the "proper" way of doing things, and as such, these procedures should be quite easy to change.

    Nonetheless, I'm not about to attempt to dictate the structure of our laws. It's certainly not my place. Please consider my proposal for what it was originally intended: some ideas to improve the enjoyment of the game. Take whatever parts you wish and incorporate them into whatever framework you desire. All I have ever hoped to accomplish was to enhance the experience of the demogame, and I hope that some of my suggestions will help accomplish that.
     
  8. Donovan Zoi

    Donovan Zoi The Return

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    I am going to have to sift through both of these proposals, as well as the entire DG2 ruleset. Admittedly, the law has never been my strong point in this game and my calendar always seems to fill up when these discussions are started. :mischief:

    Some general respones to the ideas being thrown about so far:

    1. I would like to get the majority of our ruleset in place now. Let's do it between games when we can make it our sole focus, rather than scramble for reactionary solutions to unforseen problems during an actual game. Like Fionn said about our current game, it probably won't happen.

    2. While I have somewhat distanced myself from my Vote of No Confidence proposal, that doesn't change the fact that we need to have some kind of system in place to remove leaders that cannot do their jobs. Ravensfire's best example of this was my own mid-term exodus of the Domestic post last term(none taken, BTW, RF ;) ), which was equal parts RL priorities, DG burnout and a curiosity to see what if anything would be done to punish me for my absence. Thanks to the overly-capable Rik Meleet(my deputy), I was never taken to task for abandoning my post.

    Of all the ideas thrown about so far, I like the PI solution the best. If it bothers someone enough, it can be taken to the Judiciary. I also see nothing wrong with a 7 day rule. If certain criteria is not met over 7 consecutive days(not posting in Department thread, failure to post instructions, absence from forum), the President has a right to vacate the position. To make this more fair, the President can announce the beginning of the 7-day trial period.

    3. I too agree that the turnchat should not be part of any DemoGame constitution. And I am still unconvinced about the trashing of Spot Votes. Let me gather my thoughts on this matter before you take me to task on this.

    4. I am not in favor of turn-based terms at all. The game will be easier to follow for everyone if we base our election cycles around the calendar month.


    My apologies if I have stated anything here that is already addressed by either of the proposals. There is quite a bit to take in here, and I will look at each proposal in depth as soon as I can.
     
  9. donsig

    donsig Low level intermediary

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    @DZ: What good is a seven day rule if we are to continue on with the 30 day terms? Seven days is almost 25% of a term. Is someone automatically *out* after the seven days or is there still more to the process of removing an official? If there is more then pretty soon you're at 50% of the term just to oust an official. What's the point - just wait a few more days and it'll be time to nominate and elect someone new! In three demogames we've never had a situation where were we an elected official went around willy-nilly breaking the rules so we've never had a legitimate reason to remove anyone from office. There have certainly been times when elected officials did not or could not perform their duties but ever since DG1 we've had deputies. If deputies are not stepping in when they should be to take up their leader's slack then perhaps we'd be better off spending time and energy looking into that question instead of debating how to remove a leader from office. It is quite possible that deputies are uncertain as to when and how they are supposed to step in. Clarify that and see if things get better.
     
  10. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    @donsig:

    Great, GREAT comment about the Deputies. :goodjob:

    Generally, we run a game session about every 3 -4 days. That means that leaders really need to start any needed discussions a day or so after the session ends, and start polls shortly after the discussion starts (48 hour poll) or after a day of discussion (24 hour poll). That's not always easy to do, and does actually point out a weakness in the system.

    We really run into problems when the leader either misses those 3-4 days, or doesn't start a discussion in time. Allowing a deputy to at least start these needed discussions would drastically help.

    I propose that we explicitly state that if an office has not posted instructions in the instruction thread 24 hours prior to the posted start of the session without an Official Absence post, the deputy is empowered to start any needed discussions on an abbreviated basis and post the instructions for that position. The Chief Justice is responsible for notifying the absent official via a PM when this happens.

    Should such an absence happen twice in succession in the same term, or three times in the same turn, the office is deemed vacant.

    At this point, the normal chain of succession rules come into play, with the deputy becoming the leader and the 3rd place person becoming the deputy, etc.

    This makes sure instructions are posted, allows fairly quick remove of absent OR unreliable leaders and states when things happen.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  11. zorven

    zorven 12,000 Suns

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    I generally like that proposal ravensire. However, why should the CJ PM a leader when the deputy is stepping in? It would be defined in law that if the leader has not posted instructions by 24 hours before the start that the deputy takes over, period. No need to add more duties to other leaders. And when the office is deemed vacant, I think that perhaps the Judiciary should decree the vacancy and announce the new office holders.
     
  12. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    If we're going to remove a person from office, they should be warned before that happens. I feel that the best person to give that warning in the CJ. Hopefully, they won't have much to do! I do agree with the CJ also stating the office is vacant and who the new holders are.

    My personal viewpoint on the role of the Judiciary is that, as much as possible, it should not be noticed. As new laws are discussed, the Judiciary should comment on the proposals before they are polled. When the Judiciary is forced to act (PI, JR, etc), the process should be very defined, so everyone knows what will happen, and when.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  13. zorven

    zorven 12,000 Suns

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    ravensfire - I don't think that if a leader misses an instruction cycle and the deputy steps in is considered removing them from office, which is what I was referring to. However, if in you proposal the leader misses 2 consecutive or 3 during a term, they are removed and the Judiciary ( should be the ones to confirm this. (I suppose it could be someone other than the Judiciary to confirm this.)
     
  14. Donovan Zoi

    Donovan Zoi The Return

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    I am sorry for not acknowledging the importance of deputies. That is of course implied. However, why not still have a system in place to remove an absent leader so that the deserving deputy could get a chance to run the office? We can't ignore one aspect of this because we are depending on the other.

    And the number 3 vote-getter advancement under these conditions still gets to me and it always has. I don't see why we can't give Leaders freedom to appoint their own deputies and Presidents the right to appoint vacancies. Sometimes this works to the advantage of a new citizen. donsig, do you remember DG2, when you appointed a young upstart to become deputy of the Southwest Province, which was then approved by a vote from the citizenry? You had a deputy two days faster than you would have under our current nomination process. Plus, that deputy went on take over the province when you stepped down next term, and has gone on to even greater things since.

    I don't know if I ever truly thanked you for giving me my start. So thanks. :)

    To me, it would mean so much more to be recognized by a veteran than to be thrown into yet another election. I actually miss the appointment process. I know that donsig feels that leaders should be trusted to lead, and his decisions should not be subject to an endless barrage of polls. Why should this aspect be any different?
     
  15. Donovan Zoi

    Donovan Zoi The Return

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    Actually, here is a link to a text file of the DG2 Three Books. I left it untouched in all its glory, so you will see plenty of things that need changing. If you haven't taken a gander, please do so with an open mind. I put this on a text file so you can print it for easy access if you'd like. I have printed out the previous two proposals(RFs and 40Js) for myself as well so that I can follow along.

    If possible, I would like to stick to the DG2 outline as much as possible. That doesn't mean we can't alter plenty of it; it's just that alot of the framework is in place. I think that it may end up being less work.

    Please let me know what you think.

    DG2 Three Books
     
  16. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    You are correct - I do not consider that removing the official from their office, just the deputy stepping up. At this point, I would like the CJ to warn the official that there are consequences for their actions should they miss another cycle.

    My vision of the Judiciary is that they are body not above the law, but of the law, beholden to the citizens of Fanatica and the concept of Justice. As such, they are the ideal group to both indicate that an office as been vacated, and who the replacement is.

    DZ, given I put my proposal together with a JR on this issue fresh in my mind, that's where I brought it from. I don't really care how we appoint a new deputy, just that it is done in a timely manner. Having the President appoint the new deputy with a confirm poll sounds fine to me.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  17. bluice

    bluice Warlord

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    Could you please direct me in the way of Political Parties and take note in the new DGAME #4 that I don't have PTW like other people and it may stop me and new others participating in the DGAME #4
     
  18. Donovan Zoi

    Donovan Zoi The Return

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    Welcome, bluice. :)

    We are deciding what to include in the next game right now, so stay tuned and feel free to offer any ideas you may have. We will be asking everyone very soon if they have PTW or not, and see if we should even pursue that route. My goal is to include as many people in this game as possible.

    Please PM me if you have any other questions.
     
  19. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    I heard mention about a small-claims court earlier and I have a rough idea for how we should go about it.

    A small claims charge may be filed in case of a violation of the code of procedures (assuming we go the Three Books route) or a minor Code of Laws or Constitutional violation. The process would be roughly as follows:

    The citizen filing the small claims charge will present it publicly in the Judicial thread or privately through the JA or a mod. The Judiciary then determines, by majority vote, whether the charge has merit and if it should be bumped up to PI status. Additionally, the Judicary can commute a PI over something minor to a small claims charge. If the small claims charge is found to have merit, the JA posts a discussion thread on the issue. The discussion will not be as structured as a PI discussion thread and anybody can post in the thread in any order, though the PD is expected to defend the defendant if he so requests. After 48 hours of discussion, the JA will post a poll with the charge outlined and the options Guilty, Innocent, and Abstain. This poll will be open for 48 hours. If the defendant is found guilty, he/she will receive an Official Reprimand by the Judiciary. If that citizen commits a repeat or similar offense of the same violation that he/she received an Official Reprimand on, or has received two Official Reprimands in the past, the charge is automatically bumped up to PI status.

    How does this proposal look as a way to lessen the number of PI charges for minor offenses but still give the defendant some punishment for them?
     
  20. Donovan Zoi

    Donovan Zoi The Return

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    Boots, I would be willing to discuss this matter further, but I am hoping that we can stay focused here long enough so that we can devise a ruleset with clear boundaries of right and wrong.

    To this end, we would then be able to have a citizen post a complaint after which the judiciary can determine the severity of the charge based on clearly defined parameters which could be found in our new CoL.

    Of course, this will take alot of work on our part to put into law which missteps are more worthy of punishment than others. I think it can be done, but we would need to construct the rest of our ruleset first to even see what those issues would be.

    Please let me know if the above makes sense. I think your idea is worth revisiting when the time is right.
     

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