1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Judicial Discussion - Decision Making

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Demo Game: Citizens' started by ravensfire, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,281
    Location:
    Gateway to the West
    Fellow citizens,

    In several recent discussions on Judicial Reviews, questions about the Decision Making article of the Constitution were raised. Rather than have multiple Judicial Reviews, I'd like to see us, the citizens, take an active role and clarify this matter. No offense to my fellow Justices, but this is a darn important issue, I'd rather see the citizens discuss, decide and amend as needed to make things clear to them.

    For now, please focus soley on the Constitution, not on the Code of Laws. Let's keep this discussion on what should be, not what it. This Article is a drastic rewrite designed to clear up one of the most confusing articles of the previous DemoGames (The WOtP clause). Let's work together to decide, as a group, how this should work, and then make sure that's how everyone will interpret it.

    To start things off, here are a few questions to consider:
    1) What is the difference between an Initiative and a Referendum?
    2) In a poll, how can a reader quickly and clearly determine the decision type?
    3) Can a discussion thread with no poll result in a decision type?

    This is only a start. If YOU have a question, please add it to the list!

    Thanks,
    -- Ravensfire
     
  2. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,281
    Location:
    Gateway to the West
    Questions Raised:

    1) What is the difference between an Initiative and a Referendum?
    2) In a poll, how can a reader quickly and clearly determine the decision type?
    3) Can a discussion thread with no poll result in a decision type?
    4) If a citizen starts a informative poll, then the relevant official comes in and recognize it as official, does it make the poll a Referendum then? Would it matter if there has or has not been votes before the official annouces his adoption of the poll?
    5) Can an official charge a citizen (who is not his deputy) with the task of posting a Referendum for him (in case of his forseeable absence, for example)?


    This post will be updated to maintain a list of all questions raised.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  3. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,281
    Location:
    Gateway to the West
    I'll toss in my viewpoints on the various poll types.

    Mandate - This is pretty easy. During elections, candidates express various views, ideas, goals. The person that is elected has a mandate to accomplish those specific goals. Placing this at the bottom of the list is correct. Situations change, people alter their views and better ideas can always come along.

    Constituency - This is also called "Citizen Input". This is the combined voice of the Citizens, speaking in a thread. While often the views are split, at times, there is a unanimous or near-unanimous consensus. Also, some decisions have to be made based soley on the discussions. This would often be from unexpected situations. This type of decision making can be made by a leader, or by the Designated Player, trying to determine how to respond to some events.

    Constituency is second from the bottom, superceding only Mandate. As not all citizens post in discussions, but will vote in polls, it's important to keep the higher priority on the polls.

    Opinion Poll - Opinion polls are described as "the results of a non-binding poll". By it's name, Opinions polls are any polls that seeks to determine, informally, how the citizens feel about certain issues. So how do you determine what they are?

    I think you've got to have two critera - one for elected or appointed officials, and one for regular citizens. Here's how I would set it up:
    -- Any poll posted by a Citizen, or an official acting outside their area, is an Opinion Poll unless labled as an Initiative.
    -- Any poll posted by an official acting in their area specifically labeled as an Opinion poll.

    As this is a poll, Opinion polls should trump all non-polled decisions. Many citizens do not participate except as voters. Here, they make their voice heard.

    Referendum - Now we're getting into the binding stuff. This is also where the Judiciary struggled during some of our discussions - how to differentiate between Referendums and Initiatives. My view is based on the phrase "initiated by the citizenry" in the Initiative clause.

    A referendum is a poll that is posted (or recognized as such) by an official in their area that is not marked as being an Opinion Poll. This makes referendums easy to spot - if it's an official posting the poll, and they don't say otherwise, it's a referendum.

    Initiative - An Initiative is the strongest form of decision making in the Article. The only thing that can change an Initiative is another Initiative. This a new idea, powerful and can be both good, and bad. After all, if an Initiative passes to "Build 6 cities as quickly as possible", that's the approach that leaders must take, even if there's a better plan for long-term development.

    As I noted above, the key phrase is "initiated by the citizenry" in the clause. This strongly suggests, and I agree, that Initiatives are only those decisions started by regular citizens, not by officials. During a judicial discussion, it was pointed out that officials are also citizens. This is true, except when they are acting in areas their office controls. When that's the case, they are ALWAYS an official, and cannot use Initiatives. Officials posting polls in their area are Referendums.

    Initiatives are the ultimate check of an officials power - the ability to demand certain things from an official, and have that demand backed by the ruleset. That's why Officials should only be able to post Referendums in areas they control - so that their decisions must be guided by and follow any Initiative. Should officials be allowed to post Initiatives in areas they control, the power of the people is greatly lessened.

    Recall - I believe this is a type of an Initiative poll, but is mentioned for emphasis.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  4. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    860
    Question: If a citizen starts a informative poll, then the relevant official comes in and recognize it as official, does it make the poll a Referendum then? Would it matter if there has or has not been votes before the official annouces his adoption of the poll? If we decide it does matter, and an informative poll by a citizen can only be turned into a Referendum by an official if the adoption happens before any vote is casted, how do we determinen if this is the case for a particular poll (since non-admins cannot see when a certain vote is casted)?

    Another relevant question: Can an official charge a citizen (who is not his deputy) with the task of posting a Referendum for him (in case of his forseeable absence, for example)?
     
  5. von_Clausewitz

    von_Clausewitz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    334
    1) What is the difference between an Initiative and a Referendum?
    an intitiative is started by a citizen and a referendum is started by the relevant official. a decision by initiative carries more weight then one by referendum
    2) In a poll, how can a reader quickly and clearly determine the decision type?
    unless it is clearly stated by the starter of the poll, there is no quick and clear way.
    3) Can a discussion thread with no poll result in a decision type?
    yes, it is called Constituency and it carries more weight then Mandate (relevant officials opinion) and less weight then polling types.

    an informative poll by a citizen should not be converted into a binding poll of any type, let alone adopted by an official to supplement their policy. if the citizen wanted the poll to be binding, the citizen would make it an initiative poll. if anyone could change a nonbinding poll into a binding poll, before any votes or not, it should only be the creator of the poll.
    an official that wishes to use the informative poll as a basis for directing policy should just accept the results and not create a referendum. unless there is an intiative, then the informative poll would be the highest form of decision making.
     
  6. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    5,281
    Location:
    Gateway to the West
    Good comments.

    I that depends on whether the citizen specified the poll is an Initiative or not. If the poll is an Initiative, the official cannot try to recognize it as "official" and change it to a referendum. The poll is already official - it's an Initiative. A leader should NOT be able to subvert the superior status of an Initiative poll.

    Now, if it's an Opinion Poll, the leader should be able to recognize that poll and say "I'll follow the results of this poll as if I posted it.", so long as that poll would otherwise meet the requirements of a Referendum. That's just common sense - why have a leader post a second poll if there's one in progress over the same thing.

    The second part of that question is a "maybe". I'd say that if it was recognized prior to an unreasonable amount of time after closing, it's good. Reasonsable would be while the poll was open, or within a day or two of it closing and no other poll on that subject was opened.

    Absolutely. Leaders should be able to delegate their power as needed to help them do their job. This can be in times of absence (a posted absence would be implied permission to due their job) or when the leader explicitly tells the deputy "Do X for me."

    -- Ravensfire

    EDIT: Embarrassing typo fixed - thanks DS!
     
  7. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Messages:
    13,108
    Location:
    Arizona, USA (it's a dry heat)
    And to reinforce the typo fixed above, the whole point of a separate citizens' initiative capability is so a leader can't use a narrowly defined referendum to justify ignoring the people, e.g. by selecting certain options to present while ignoring other options which had significant but not overwhelming support in discussions.
    1. Leader asks what should we do
    2. Citizens give answers A, B, C
    3. Leader doesn't like option C, so polls A vs B as referendum
    4. Citizens don't like being ignored, post an initiative with options A, B, C
    In previous games, a small minority of officials had a tendency to call step 4 above non-binding because it wasn't posted by the official. The change in rules is that step 4 is binding and even prevents the official from posting yet another referendum in step 5 to try to overturn the people's choice.

    It should be obvious (but we'd better change the rules to say it) that when circumstances change significantly, decisions based on those circumstances should be considered as expired. For example if the citizens had an initiative which says refuse all demands, and then we get into big trades with a major trading partner, we might want to be nice to that partner on some kinds of demands. Circumstances have changed and we need a mechanism to set the blanket instruction aside.
     

Share This Page