GA Proposals are attempts to introduce new legislation to member nations. By submitting a proposal, you are stating that you have found something in the NS world that needs to be addressed and you are attempting to do so by forcing a change to all members. For this reason, GA Proposals must be more than just rhetoric. While they need not be written like real world international treaties, they do need to be more than just your opinion. Essays belong in the General Forum, not the WA floor.
WA members also need to be aware that being in queue is not proof against action. Just because enough Delegates support a proposal to lift it to the queue does not mean it won't be deleted for being illegal. The WA Gnomes are not swayed by appeals to popularity.
Proposals have a character limit. This limit is approximately 3500 characters, including formatting marks, spaces and line breaks. If you're using MS Word to count characters, you may find yourself a little off, as it appears to count line breaks differently than the game's parser does.
With background information out of the way, let's move to discussing the various categories that lead to proposal deletion.
Types Of Violations
- Game Mechanics
Game Mechanics violations are attempts to change how either the World Assembly or NationStates work. Generally, these are proposals that should be threads in Technical. Anything that requires and adjustment to how the game does things, or requires a change of code falls into this category.
Examples of game mechanics violations:
- Requiring "proper" spelling and/or grammar
- Adjusting the number of votes needed for queue
- Creating a universal WA currency
- Forming a secondary WA, or forcing the current WA to dissolve
- Requiring that nations are ejected for non-compliance with any resolution
Resolutions cannot be "repeal-proof" or prohibit types of legislation.
To summarize regarding blockers: being a blocker isn't illegal. It's being a blocker and nothing else that gets a proposal dinged. That, or closing off an entire area of WA legislation -- say, "RESERVES to nations the power to make all decisions on all matters concerning the human rights of their citizens and residents" -- or trying to write the "unrepealable" resolution: "RESOLVES that the WA shall never speak of this again".
- Creating Military or Police Force
The WA cannot have or form a military, peace keeping force, the World Police or any other such variation. This is pretty clear: don't do it.
- Ideological Bans
Okay, so you hate capitalism. That's nice, but you can't ban it. Proposals cannot outlaw, whether through direct or indirect language, religious, political or economic ideologies. e.g. A proposal can mandate that elections are transparent and fair. In this way no ideology has been outlawed as this would affect nations that have elections while not forcing it on nations without an election system. You may consider the banning of slavery an oppression of your "economic ideology", we do not.
Meta-gaming is a difficult to understand category at times, especially since it often shares jurisdiction with Game Mechanics violations. Essentially, a MetaGaming violation is one that breaks "the fourth wall", or attempts to force events outside of the WA itself.
Examples of meta-gaming:
- Requiring the Security Council to take certain action
- Forcing WA legislation on non-member nations
- Mandating actions to be taken by regions
- Requiring Moderators to perform specific actions
- Mandating actions on the forums
Committees (tribunals, agencies, organizations, bodies etc) are designed to carry out specific duties related to the proposals. Committees are additions to Proposals; they shouldn't be all the Proposal does.
- Membership on the committee is reserved for mystical WA gnomes who spring into existence after the proposal becomes law
For this reason a proposal cannot define:
- Who can and cannot sit on the committee
- How members are chosen
- Term limits for the members
- Committees are bound by the "meta-gaming" rules
- Acronyms for committees must not be used to brand a proposal
- A committee continues to exist when its Resolution is repealed if it has been used in another Resolution
- A single-use committee that died when its Resolution was repealed may be resurrected for a relevant new proposal
- Membership on the committee is reserved for mystical WA gnomes who spring into existence after the proposal becomes law
GA Proposals are not optional. Don't try to make one that is. Many 'Mild' Proposals will have phrases such as "RECOMMENDS" or "URGES", which is just fine. The optionality ban refers to language such as "Nations can ignore this Resolution if they want," which is right out.
Proposals need to be more than just empty rhetoric. This includes repeals with no argument, one-liners, proposals that are questions ("Don't you think we should...?"), and proposals that are just too incomprehensible to make sense of.
- Proposal language
Not everybody speaks English as a first language (or at all, for that matter). Unfortunately, NS is a game in English. If you cannot compose in proper English, seek the help of somebody (hint-hint, run it through an online translator and post here for clean-up). A Proposal won't be nuked for the occasional typo, but if players and Mods have to spend a good chunk of time trying to figure out what's going on, it'll be nuked.
Proposals written entirely in other languages are out, too.
- Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing/Bloggish
Also know as a blogposal, this violation usually results from a proposal not actually doing anything due to lack of an operational clause. Remember, proposals must be more than just your idea and why it's great but must also give directions to the WA or member states in what to do. Operational (or directive) clauses would be words such as 'Requires', 'Urges', 'Demands', 'Mandates', etc. If your proposal reads more like a blog post about how it'd be great if the WA did this, it'll get chucked.
- Real World Violations
George Bush, Barack Obama, Hammas, France, The Michigan Compiled Laws (Annotated), Earth, Milky Way, and Smith & Wesson do not exist in the NationStates world. Don't bring them up in Proposals. This includes references to real world documents, movies, and books. This is really easy to grasp and is a "bright line" violation. A Proposal that is wonderfully written, but mentions "the Great Wall of China" will be deleted. Also, while it acceptable to use real world laws and UN resolutions as a starting point, don't plagiarize.
Category violations are pretty simple things, and often happens with 'Social Justice'. If your Social Justice proposal doesn't deal with "reduc[ing] income inequality and increas[ing] basic welfare", you've got the wrong category. This also includes proposals to ban guns forever being labelled as "Gun Control: Relax". This also includes Medical Marijuana Proposals under Human Rights, by the way.
Yes, you can Repeal, provided you use the Repeal function. If you make your own Proposal in some other category and calling it a 'Repeal', it's going to be deleted. Remember, Repeals can only repeal the existing resolution. You can provide reasons for repeal, but not any new provisions or laws.
Furthermore, simply stating "National Sovereignty" (i.e.: "this law prevents my nation from doing Y, X, and Z", or "this legislation will destroy the moral fabric of our society") is not sufficient grounds for a repeal. Since such a stance could be used on every single Resolution, it is little more than saying "I don't like it." Religious, cultural and ethnic sovereignty also falls under the umbrella of 'NatSov'.
Also, Repealing on the grounds of an old Resolution violating the current rules is not sufficient. On a more practical side, Repealing because a Resolution violates the rules is itself a MetaGaming violation: the laws do not "exist" from an In Character standpoint.
You can't amend Resolutions. Period. You can't add on, you can't adjust, you can't edit. If you want to change an existing Resolution, you have to Repeal it first.
- House of Cards
"RECALLING Resolutions #48, #80, #92, and #103..."
If those Resolutions are repealed, you've gutted the base of your own Resolution. A Proposal must be able to stand on its own even if all referenced Resolutions were struck from existence; however, you may assign duties to an existing committee. Should the Resolution that creates the committee be Repealed, the committee will continue to exist, but in a reduced capacity. If your Proposal "builds on" an existing Resolution, you're amending that resolution. Excessive back referencing is not acceptable either. Create a new Proposal, don't just parrot existing ones. (see: Duplication)
- Strength Violation
This is very rare, but has been used in extreme cases. If your Proposal calls for the immediate destruction of all nuclear weapons and forbids their construction, and you list it as 'mild', it'll probably be deleted, so you should take a look at how Strength is decided.
Strong - Proposals that affect a very broad area of policy and/or use very strong language and possibly detailed clauses to affect a policy area in a dramatic way.
Significant - Proposals that affect a fair-sized area of policy and/or use fairly strong language to affect a policy area.
Mild - Proposals that affect a very limited area of policy and/or use fairly mild language to affect only that policy area, or broader policy areas in a very minor way.
- Joke/Silly Proposals
These are proposals which serve no other purpose than to be humorous. If you really want to share your amusing proposal then post it in the GA forum.
- Grossly Offensive
If you want to execute left-handed men named "Earl" in your country, that's fine. Don't go yammering about it in a Proposal. Yes, this includes screwing with a 'majority' group. Killing all whites is just as bad as killing all Jews. Or blacks. Or poor people. Things such as eliminating "all rights for $group", forced deportation of said group and the like fall under this too.
- Bloody Stupid
Every now and then a Proposal crops up that, for lack of a more tactful description, is stupid. This is clearly a judgment call, but if you're going to mandate that all cars be pink, you're gonna have a dead proposal on your hands. This includes things that are unworthy of WA consideration (such as mandating allowances for children who eat their vegetables).
- Honest Mistakes
This usually happens with Repeals. Someone will misread the Resolution and submit a Repeal that supports the Resolution, or tries to undo a Resolution because they think it does something it doesn't (Freedom of Marriage Act comes to mind...)
If the majority of your Proposal is covered by an existing Resolution, your Proposal is toast. We've got enough of these things already, we don't need to double up (i.e. the WA has already banned landmines, we don't need to do it again). As an aside, since the WA has already banned biological weapons, you don't need to include it in your Proposal to ban nuclear and chemical ones. (see: House of Cards)
Diametric opposite to Duplication. The WA has already mandated Gay Marriage. You can't ban it without at least one Repeal.
Limited branding is allowed. "Limited" means that you may list your co-author by nation name only. Example:
"Co-authored by The Most Glorious Hack"
Further branding will result in the Proposal being deleted. Don't list everyone who posted in the thread for your draft, don't list yourself, don't list your Minister Of Making Proposals, and don't post the 'pre-title' of the co-author (ie: "The Republic Of..."). This includes creating nations that have the same name as your region or group and using them to promote your region or group. It also includes using the name of a nation, region or group as an acronym in a proposal. If you are using the [nation] tag to list your co-author make sure you are using the short version ([nation=short] or [nation=short+noflag]).
Illicit Activity Outside of Proposals
- Excessive Pimping
<Cogitation> Proposals will be removed if their authors are covered in too much Bling Bling!
No, Lil' Cog, what I'm talking about is the insane spamming of Regional Message Boards with your Proposal. Irritating your regionmates about it is fine, but don't go on a world tour hawking it. While this doesn't deal with the Proposal itself, excessive hustling will still result in the Proposal being deleted, and the person pushing it may face WA ejection.
- Proposal Stealing
If it can be proven that you've simply copy and pasted somebody else's Proposal and submitted it as your own, it'll be deleted, and you will be ejected from the WA as well. Using dictionary definitions: PARAPHRASE! Using proposal by author/nation that has Ceased To Exist (CTEd): DON'T!
Schedule of Offences
In general, you get two "freebies" before you're chucked. Usually, after your second deleted Proposal, you'll get a little note letting you know you're on your last chance (but if you don't, don't come crying to the Mods, ignorance of the law and all...). After the third deleted Proposal, you're out.
Exceptions to the Above
Exceptionally minor infractions will not receive a warning. Also, if you've accidentally posted your Proposal three times you probably won't be warned. Same if you realise your error and ask for it to be deleted before a Mod sweeps the list. The definition of "minor" is up to the Mod doing the sweep, of course.
Exceptionally severe infractions will earn you an instant kick. Usually these are Proposals that fall under the 'Grossly Offensive' group or have been plagiarised. Also, you may be ejected for a second infraction if you submit the exact same Proposal after having it be deleted by the Mods. Unless we expressly told you it was okay to repost, don't.
While these rules are binding, we don't want players to feel like they will be hunted down in the middle of the night if they violate the rules. The hope is that players will continue to post drafts in this forum so that others can make sure a Proposal is legal. Also, remember that warnings for illegal Proposals do not count towards being deleted or anything like that. They're simply to keep people from flooding the queue with bad or improperly written proposals.
Passed World Assembly Resolutions
Passed Resolutions (sorted by category)
The global conspiracy is friendly! A guide to the GA
GA Proposal Q&A
Silly and/or Illegal GA Proposals. zOMG!
Historical Resolutions (NS UN) -- searchable, forumside.
Rulings Repository -- not mod-finalised, Work In Progress.
GA Committees List (incl boards, etc)
The World Assembly Reference Guide (from Jolt)
The Modern Natsov: Freedom to Govern
Improving the World, One Blocker At A Time
Originally posted by Enodia, reworked by The Most Glorious Hack, and polished by the NationStates moderation team. May 3, 2014: Added dictionary definitions, CTEd nation proposals, to Proposal Stealing -- Ard. May 9, 2014: Added Past Resolutions, temporary Rulings Repository, to Helpful Links -- Ard. May 13, 2014: added committees list -- Ard. August 7, 2014: added link to World Assembly Reference Guide -- Ard. August 12, 2014: Added NatSov, Blockers and Repeals commentaries -- Ard. August 15, 2014: Added 'resurrecting dead committees' note -- Ard. August 19, 2014: spoilered this list -- Ard.