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[Passed] Repeal "Against Corruption"

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The Dourian Embassy
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[Passed] Repeal "Against Corruption"

Postby The Dourian Embassy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:44 am

A week or so ago myself and Cormac were discussing this proposal, I came up with this draft and since there's a proposal up already, I thought I'd go ahead and put this up for discussion here as well.

The World Assembly,

Understanding the inherent problems of bribery and corruption,

Respecting the intent of "Against Corruption"(GA #248),

Noting, however, that the clause on the subject of individuals and organizations contains an error which was acknowledged after GA #248 was already at vote,

Further noting that the error(using the word "nation" rather than "organization") creates a severe flaw in the resolution, forcing organizations to be responsible for the independent actions of every employee, rather than protecting them from rogue actions as intended,

Believing that the appropriateness of gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation,

Hereby repeals "Against Corruption"(GA #248).

Co-Authored by Cormac A Stark.


Criticism is not only welcome, it's encouraged. Just make sure you're pointing out flaws with the proposal, not just saying "I won't support this".
Last edited by The Dourian Embassy on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:44 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Weed
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Postby Weed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:37 pm

The Dourian Embassy wrote:The World Assembly,

Understanding the inherent problems of bribery and corruption,

Respecting the intent of the "Against Corruption"(WA #248),

Disbelieving, however, that the issue of corruption and bribery are issues of international import,

Noting that the clause on the subject of individuals and organizations contains a typo which was acknowledged yet never corrected,

Further noting that the typo of using the word "nation" rather than "organization" creates a severe flaw in the resolution, forcing organizations to be responsible for the independent actions of every employee, rather than protecting them from rogue actions as intended,

Believing that the definitions of bribery are overly broad, encompassing a wide variety of actions which are normal and reasonable in a political system, including, but not limited to: campaign donations, gifts of any kind, and monetary compensation.

Cognizant of the fact that these broad but mandatory restrictions force court systems to decide both the intent of the giver, and both the intent of and the value a receiver places on a gift.

Believing that the appropriateness of a gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation.

Hereby repeals "Against Corruption"(WA #248).
Not 100% certain, but I would assume saying something is a "typo" is not good form around here. Makes it sound as if this were some kind of game to me!

Your cognizant line is fundamentally flawed because courts are forced to decide intent on a daily basis. That's a common aspect of both civil and criminal courts.

And finally, you cannot base an argument for repeal on NatSov reasons alone, so "Believing that the appropriateness of a gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation." would surely fall afoul that rule.

I'm not totally opposed to a repeal, though. Though if I did, of course, saying "I won't support this." would be totally acceptable. ;)
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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:45 pm

Weed wrote:Not 100% certain, but I would assume saying something is a "typo" is not good form around here. Makes it sound as if this were some kind of game to me!

Your cognizant line is fundamentally flawed because courts are forced to decide intent on a daily basis. That's a common aspect of both civil and criminal courts.

And finally, you cannot base an argument for repeal on NatSov reasons alone, so "Believing that the appropriateness of a gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation." would surely fall afoul that rule.

I'm not totally opposed to a repeal, though. Though if I did, of course, saying "I won't support this." would be totally acceptable. ;)


I'm using the term error there, Typo was a placeholder. It's a flaw in the text, and the word "typo" is the most appropriate descriptor, but I agree that it sounds jarring.

I've made the cognizant line a bit more clear, since the point is that it places an undue burden on those court systems.

Finally, you can base an argument IN a repeal on NatSov reasons alone. The repeal itself cannot soley be about natsov, and the Secretariat might nuke one that's primarily about NatSov, but I've included those kinds of lines in many of my repeals in the past with no problem(in fact that one is very similar to another line in one I passed).

Thanks for the help.
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Postby Three Weasels » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:50 pm

Before we say anything either in support or opposition, we'd like clarification on two points.

a) Can you elaborate on your typo concern? Where is this typo or textual flaw?

b) On what grounds is the definition of bribery too broad?

Defining, for the purposes of this resolution, bribery as the act of offering a gift to any public official, officer, agent, or employee with the expectation the gift will motivate the person to decide to take or not take a specific action, when that action or inaction conflicts with a good faith performance or fulfillment of the officials duties, responsibilities, or privileges of the person's job or positions,


We find it fairly specific. Please elaborate on how it would affect: campaign donations, gifts of any kind, and monetary compensation.
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Postby Auralia » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:53 pm

Three Weasels wrote:a) Can you elaborate on your typo concern? Where is this typo or textual flaw?


Against Corruption wrote:Clarifying there shall be no difference legally between a person or organization directly offering a bribe, and contracting a person or entity which engages in bribery, unless the contracting nation clearly indicated bribery was not acceptable,


In my opinion, this issue alone is sufficient grounds for repeal.
Last edited by Auralia on Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Weed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:04 pm

It is not an undue burden, because finding the intent behind the crime or tort is very very frequently a significant part of any litigation. It would be more odd for intent to play no role.

Further, I've been really somewhat saddened by how sloppily these are being put together. Another quick factual correction is that the "error" was found, I fixed it in the first drafting stage. I submitted the proposal (without the error) but decided to pull it to change something else in the proposal. More drafting occurred, and somewhere along the line somehow the old version of that was put back in. I really have no idea how that happened, and was greatly frustrated when I found out that it had happened after it was at vote. So I must request that "typo which was acknowledged yet never corrected" be removed. I would have happily corrected it if I had found it in time, but alas once something is at vote there is nothing that can be done (well, there wasn't at the time as far as I know, I have heard that it has indeed happened some other time).
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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:56 pm

I changed the wording a bit. I had read the thread and saw you saying you'd corrected it, but saw it was still present in the piece. The wording reflects the reality of the situation better now. It's not sloppy to do your research, it's sloppy not to correct any mistakes you make after they've been pointed out to you. Though I accept that sometimes things slip through the cracks.

It is an undue burden because it subjects every gift given in the context of the resolution to a determination of intent and personal value.
Last edited by The Dourian Embassy on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Weed
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Postby Weed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:16 pm

Well, now that you've removed that the noting line has no value, it could be removed and the other one stand alone (if 'the' is changed to 'an').

No, that's a very silly reading of the legislation. It in no way mandates every gift be investigated. If a nation chose to investigate every single gift for some very stupid reason, they yes... But one would assume just like every single other criminal activity, investigations will occur after there is there is some suspicion or allegations from someone that something has occurred. And on top of that, one would also assume unless a nation has an extremely bad designed court system that there will be a minimum threshold of evidence for this to not be thrown out at or before the disposition stage.

And it is pretty easy to determine if something has personal value or not. It would be very very hard to come up with something that doesn't.

Your argument from that point is that it is too difficult for courts to regulate the actions of their government. Very few governments don't do this, and I just do not buy that the courts are just too burdened to investigate to see if unethical behaviour is occurring in the government. That's one of the fundamental purposes a judiciary serves, holding the other branches accountable for abuses of power or neglect of responsibilities.
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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:58 pm

Weed wrote:*snip*


My argument here, isn't that courts are unable to do this. Of course they can. But the law does what the laws says. This resolution governs gifts based on intent and personal value. So either you're right, and the law has no value(because the courts would need more evidence than intent or personal value to make a case... which is the only real metric by which this resolution measures corruption), or I'm right and the law is overly strict

By my reading, all the courts need is intent and personal value, the ease at which prosecutors can allege malfeasance will take up a courts time and resources. It is not a simple matter to determine those factors, once the allegations are made. It will also ensure that innocent parties are caught up in lengthy and frivolous prosecutions. We have enough of that without adding to it.

To say nothing of the fact that the typo in the text of the piece is a critical flaw, as outlined in my repeal text. Even if we agree to disagree on the rest of the details, that is an inescapable point.
Last edited by The Dourian Embassy on Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Weed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:12 pm

I haven't disputed any repeal attempt based on the typo. I've simply disputed repeals that use bad logic. I'd vote for it if it was free of any untrue clauses.
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The Akashic Records
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Postby The Akashic Records » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:12 pm

Coleman produced a part of the target resolution's debate transcript, "I'm disinclined to believe that this isn't an international issue, because I found myself agreeing with the author's sentiments."
Weed wrote:
I'm sorry you feel that way, I don't agree. The international issue this addresses is rich, developed nations taking advantage of a under-developed nation's resources against its people's will. This is something that happens not-so-rarely. Big-business interests move in to smaller or poorer nations where they can throw money in the direction of anyone that notices their illegalities and take control out of the hands of the people. That kind of conflict between nations, is an international issue. The system through which rich nations take advantage of the resources of poor nations, is an international issue.
There's a bit of a technicality here. I'm not one to say it is the World Assembly's place to say that corporations cannot contribute to a campaign of a political leader. If that's what you were looking for, I cannot be that radical. Sorry. That's something a future resolution authored by someone else will have to accomplish.

The only way this effects a donation to a political campaign is if the donation is made to bring about a "specific action or result". In other words, a large insurance firm donating money to a candidate for President to create general good-will between the candidate (future president) and the firm is fine. If the donation was made in order to make the candidate generally friendly to the interests of the insurance industry that is fine. If it was made with the intent of convincing or persuading the future president into supporting and signing a law that would require people to buy the service the firm supplies, no matter what they charge, THAT is required to be illegal, because they are trying to get him/her to do something specific. So, in summary: you could't give donations in order to get specific results.

Also, when I say "is fine" in the above paragraph I don't mean those actions are legal. I mean it is up to member nations if they are legal. You can choose to allow it or ban it, either one.

Finally, I have considered adding a requirement that all political donations be disclosed, then if a candidate is being bought the people have an opportunity to know. Oddly enough, I don't see that requirement already made by the WA. I'm sure I missed it though, so I did not include this requirement.
See the political donations section above. The definition means that a lobbyist could not give a gift in exchange for a specific result. Giving a congressman a coat to make him friendly toward your industry, does not violate this resolution. Giving a congressman a coat in order to have him vote against a regulation on your industry, violates this resolution.

I have considered, and would be open to strengthening this aspect of the proposal. I am much less gun-ho about leaving all lobbying laws up to member nations as I am about political donations.
A good question!

This resolution, in the most simple terms, is meant to see that big corporations find it more difficult to get out of the laws a nation passes. It is about, primarily, the stopping of bribes of guards/inspectors/officers/etc. (the little guys). Political donations and lobbying are issues about how a nation makes law, and is about the bribing of presidents/governors/senators/etc. (the big guys). It seems odd that I intend to regulate the little fish more than the big fish, so let me explain:

The two issues are separate. This is about seeing that laws are enforced with integrity. A proposal on lobbying/political donations is about seeing that laws are created with integrity. As I have said, I am open to this proposal expanding into the second issue slightly, but on a basic level how a nation chooses to create law is a much more sacred and controversial thing for the WA to interfere with. It is also true that voters are capable of watching their few congressmen and chief executives easier than every guard and inspector in the nation. And the people generally have means through referendum or sheer political (potentially violent) pressure of instituting regulations on what a leader can and cannot do. If the leader breachs it, it is a whole lot easier to spot than if a random inspector that few people know, looks past a violation.

To make a long statement short: I believe the World Assembly's role is much more clearly to interfere in the enforcement side of law, rather than the creation. That side is also the side the people have much less of an ability to act on their own.
I can already hear dozens of ambassadors from militaristic states screaming that this would destroy their ability to bribe enemy agents or members of some cell for information. The same concern could be made about bribes to bring down drug cartels or such.

The only regulation on bribes from a government is that they cannot be made for monetary or economic gain. In order to advance your military, intelligence, or anti-criminal interests would still be completely legal uses of bribes.

Coleman took out his dusty blue pen, and scribbled away at the draft. Most of what he wrote is probably nonsense, but that never stopped him before.
The Dourian Embassy wrote:Believing that the definitions of bribery are overly broad, encompassing a wide variety of actions which are normal and reasonable in a political system, including, but not limited to: campaign donations, gifts of any kind, and monetary compensation.
I'm disinclined to believe that this point of contention is valid, given that the definition specifically mentioned that a bribe must have intent and result, that conflicts with a good faith performance. Now, if you're trying to argue about "good faith", then I would point you to GAR #2.

Cognizant of the fact that these broad but mandatory restrictions place an undue burden on court systems to decide both the intent of the giver, and both the intent of and the value a receiver places on a gift,
There's a reason that the definition is specific.

Believing that the appropriateness of a gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation.
The resolution already have enough leeways for you to do this, so I can't really understand why, you would actually bring this up.


The Dourian Embassy wrote:all the courts need is intent and personal value,

"False. The court needs intent, personal value, and a breach of good faith performance, or a breach of good faith performance in the absence of a bribe."

The Dourian Embassy wrote:To say nothing of the fact that the typo in the text of the piece is a critical flaw, as outlined in my repeal text. Even if we agree to disagree on the rest of the details, that is an inescapable point.

"That, in my opinion is the only strong case that can be made against the resolution." Coleman returned to snipping papers in the Strangers' Bar, while his droid deactivates itself for the moment.
Last edited by The Akashic Records on Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sciongrad » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Weed wrote:And finally, you cannot base an argument for repeal on NatSov reasons alone, so "Believing that the appropriateness of a gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation." would surely fall afoul that rule.


An argument based only on national sovereignty is legal as long as it's not the only argument the author uses. So the clause, as currently used, seems pretty legal to me. Anyways, we offer his Excellency of Douria the best of luck in this endeavor, and offer our tentative support.
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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:49 am

You know what? Meh. I still believe in the other clauses, but I'll go ahead and take them out. It's supposed to be built around the core of the typo clause anyway.
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Postby Chester Pearson » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:16 am

Remaining neutral on this at this time, as it doesn't seem like it makes that huge of a difference on way or the other. If and WHEN this gets to vote, will follow the regional line on this one. Such as that I have nothing to add to the draft at this time.

Best of luck Douria.

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Postby Weed » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:52 pm

The only purpose "was acknowledged" serves is to portray the issue as if I lazily chose to leave the mistake in after I found out it was there. It was not "acknowledged" until far too late. Plus, I did in fact pull it once and do the campaign all over again just to improve the proposal. Those are the facts. That has been pointed out to you at a point when you have an opportunity to change it.
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Postby Lobbyists » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:56 pm

We support The Dourian Embassy's leadership in this regard. Badly written, broad-sweeping laws have no place in international legislation, especially when they can interfere with a nation's ability to govern themselves.
Unless they are laws that create massive loophole which our associates can exploit. Then, it's all good...

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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:11 am

Weed wrote:The only purpose "was acknowledged" serves is to portray the issue as if I lazily chose to leave the mistake in after I found out it was there. It was not "acknowledged" until far too late. Plus, I did in fact pull it once and do the campaign all over again just to improve the proposal. Those are the facts. That has been pointed out to you at a point when you have an opportunity to change it.


Actually the point of that line is to indicate that the original author doesn't dispute the error exists(without running afoul of a branding violation), which isn't an unimportant piece of information to include. Can you think of a better way to word it?
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Postby Lobbyists » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:45 am

Might I suggest including the fact that the term "nation's interests" as used in GA 248 is very subjective and can be interpreted differently by different people in a nation, or even by different individuals or offices in the nation's government structure?
Last edited by Lobbyists on Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Akashic Records » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:11 am

Lobbyists wrote:Might I suggest including the fact that the term "nation's interests" as used in GA 248 is very subjective and can be interpreted differently by different people in a nation, or even by different individuals or offices in the nation's government structure?

You can say that about every single resolution that passed these hallowed halls. Different nations have different interests, and however they bring about the law into effect is of their own sovereign designs.
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Postby Lobbyists » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:35 am

The Akashic Records wrote:
Lobbyists wrote:Might I suggest including the fact that the term "nation's interests" as used in GA 248 is very subjective and can be interpreted differently by different people in a nation, or even by different individuals or offices in the nation's government structure?

You can say that about every single resolution that passed these hallowed halls. Different nations have different interests, and however they bring about the law into effect is of their own sovereign designs.


I agree on the general front. But, I'm talking about different parts of the same government.

My Industry and Defense ministries, for example, might have different opinions of "nation's interests"... If my Industry Minister proposed that the Defense Minister move the army barracks away from areas that have industrial complexes, and offered to subsidize the army's uniforms in exchange, it might be construed as bribery. There is a gift (the resolution doesn't mention it has to be a personal gift) which can motivate the official to change his course of action. Action (or inaction) being in "good faith" is rather open to interpretation here. My generals will feel one way, my economic advisers the other.

Yes, either my leader or the courts have to make the call. But, why not let my leader/parliament/courts/whatever make the laws for what is an entirely internal affair for my government, instead of being WA-sanctioned.

Oh, wait, I'm not a WA nation, so I can do things my way. But, why should WA member nations' governments' internal affairs be an issue for the WA to legislate, especially when the subjective definitions have to be interpreted by that very government, again?
Last edited by Lobbyists on Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:39 am

After some further discussion with Cormac on this, I went ahead and added a couple of bits. I think it's pretty solid as is, especially with the error clause as the backbone.

Any further suggestions?
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Mosktopia
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Postby Mosktopia » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:01 pm

The Dourian Embassy wrote:Disbelieving, however, that the issue of corruption and bribery are issues of international import,

I don't know if I agree with this: certainly corruption and bribery are issues of international importance. I mean, isn't it worth international attention if Nation A is paying the leaders of Nation Z so that Nation Z will take action against journalists critical of Nation A?

I'd be just as happy with this repeal without that line.

The Dourian Embassy wrote:Noting that the clause on the subject of individuals and organizations contains an error which was acknowledged yet is still present in GA #248,

Further noting that the error of using the word "nation" rather than "organization" creates a severe flaw in the resolution, forcing organizations to be responsible for the independent actions of every employee, rather than protecting them from rogue actions as intended,

This is a very good argument. The use of the word "nation" was clearly a mistake and changes the whole meaning of that provision.

The Dourian Embassy wrote:Cognizant that wage compensation falls into the category of gifts as defined in this resolution,

Observing that this broad definition of gifts may lead member nations to prohibit government employees from expecting wage compensation for their services,

Eh, but not really. The resolution pretty clearly only outlaws "gift giving" where the gift is intended to motivate a person to act contrary to a good faith performance of their duties. Wage compensation is obviously intended to do exactly the opposite: to motive a person to act in accordance with a good faith performance of their duties.

I think this argument is not particularly truthful, and the repeal could do without it.

The Dourian Embassy wrote:Believing that the appropriateness of a gift giving is much easier to ascertain on a local level than through international legislation.

This Nat Sov principle is really the best reason to repeal Against Corruption. Coupled with the textual flaw mentioned above, I really don't think you need much else.

Hope that helps :)

Edit: spelling mistakes
Last edited by Mosktopia on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The Dourian Embassy
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Postby The Dourian Embassy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:32 pm

Mosktopia wrote:\
Eh, but not really. The resolution pretty clearly only outlaws "gift giving" where the gift is intended to motivate a person to act contrary to a good faith performance of their duties. Wage compensation is obviously intended to do exactly the opposite: to motive a person to act in accordance with a good faith performance of their duties.

I think this argument is not particularly truthful, and the repeal could do without it.


I had that exact thought until Cormac pointed this out to me:

Further forbids government agents from making a good faith performance of their duties contingent on the receipt of a gift,


Whereas monetary compensation is explicitly under the heading of "gift" for the resolution.
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Postby Mosktopia » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:02 pm

The Dourian Embassy wrote:
Mosktopia wrote:*snip*


I had that exact thought until Cormac pointed this out to me:

Further forbids government agents from making a good faith performance of their duties contingent on the receipt of a gift,


Whereas monetary compensation is explicitly under the heading of "gift" for the resolution.

Good point. I stand corrected on that issue.

Lithonia wrote:Although I am sad to see this proposal doing so well, I admit that its current success is proof of the great diplomatic ability of the Cowardly Pacifists.

The Eternal Kawaii wrote:With all due respect to the ambassador from Cowardly Pacifists, this has to be one of the most pointless proposals ever brought before this assembly.

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The Akashic Records
Diplomat
 
Posts: 803
Founded: May 21, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby The Akashic Records » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:21 pm

Lobbyists wrote:I agree on the general front. But, I'm talking about different parts of the same government.

My Industry and Defense ministries, for example, might have different opinions of "nation's interests"... If my Industry Minister proposed that the Defense Minister move the army barracks away from areas that have industrial complexes, and offered to subsidize the army's uniforms in exchange, it might be construed as bribery. There is a gift (the resolution doesn't mention it has to be a personal gift) which can motivate the official to change his course of action. Action (or inaction) being in "good faith" is rather open to interpretation here. My generals will feel one way, my economic advisers the other.

I'm not entirely sure what it is you're trying to argue here. If you're talking about what constitutes good faith and legality of the action, or, just good faith in general, I'm afraid that you're not making a convincing argument, at all.

Lobbyists wrote:Yes, either my leader or the courts have to make the call. But, why not let my leader/parliament/courts/whatever make the laws for what is an entirely internal affair for my government, instead of being WA-sanctioned.

Oh, wait, I'm not a WA nation, so I can do things my way. But, why should WA member nations' governments' internal affairs be an issue for the WA to legislate, especially when the subjective definitions have to be interpreted by that very government, again?

Since you're not in the WA, you must definitely have not read or even tried to understand the Rights and Duties of WA States.
About my posts:
Unless otherwise stated, everything I say is in character.
Coleman T. Harrison,
WA Ambassador for The Akashic Records
On Sanity - Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine.
No, the idea behind it (free will) is that one has the option to be Good (tm) and the option to be Bad (tm). God is rather pro-choice. - The Alma Mater -

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