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Balder - State Opening of 19th Storting

Talk about regional management and politics, raider/defender gameplay, and other game-related matters.
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Solorni
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Postby Solorni » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:32 am

At 2PM EST (about 1.5 hours away). Balder is hosting an IRC quiz contest: http://client00.chat.mibbit.com/?server ... =%23balder

It will consist of 12 questions about history and news.
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The Iron Rebel
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Postby The Iron Rebel » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:23 pm

Friends of Balder Please Read and Attend: http://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=427833
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Of Goats and Men
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Chess Tournament

Postby Of Goats and Men » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:55 pm

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Regional Application (For regions who do not have an embassy with Balder)

Code: Select all
[b]Region Name:[/b]
[b]Population:[/b]

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Of Goats and Men
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Postby Of Goats and Men » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:02 pm

Image

Queen - Rach Eriksen
Crown Prince - North East Somerset

Statsminister - Zander Cerebella
Statsraadet - Kajan 2.0 (foreign affairs), Shin (war), Helle Thorning-Schmidt (culture)

Lawspeaker - Arastaoir
Storting - Ninja Kittens, Zander Cerebella, Kajan 2.0, Helle Thorning-Schmidt

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Delegate Endorsements - 178 ~ Endorsement Cap - 15 ~ Forum Post Count - 100,795




This New Day
Image
Sunrise over one of Balder's many forests.


Between the months of February and September the citizens of Balder were deliberating major changes to Balders laws. These changes would see yet another structural change in how Balder would be governed. After months of discussion and a number of delays these changes were finally implemented in September and passed with a majority vote of approval from the public(10-1). Below is a list of the main changes;
- The monarch now serves a life long term unless they are either removed by a vote of no confidence or retire and call for an election to replace them.
- Balder's parliament is now called the Storting which has a minimum of 5 elected seats and a maximum of 7. The Lawspeaker is elected by the members of the Storting.
- The Statsminister is now elected by members of the Storting and can appoint ministers if they have been citizens of Balder for at least 1 month.
- Both Storting and Statsminister terms are 2 months in length, the shortest in Balder's history.
- Citizenship is now granted by the monarch rather than the government.

Balder is currently in it's second term since the new laws were introduced with Theoden Sebastian being elected as Statsminister and Zander Cerebella elected Lawspeaker. Below are the results of both Storting elections so far.

Term 1
Theoden Sebastian (14.5%) - Elected Statsminister
Helle Thorning-Schmidt (13%) - Minister of Culture
mcmasterdonia (13%)
Andrew (13%) - Minister of Intergration/Civil Service
Arastaoir (11.6%)
Zander Cerebella (10.1%) - Elected Lawspeaker, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Madline (10.1%)
Unstofam (4.3%)
Illand (4.3%)
------------------
Ivo (2.9%)
Alichakal (2.9%)

Term 2
Zander Cerebella (22.4%) - Elected Statsminister
Ninja Kittens (20.4%)
Helle Thorning-Schmidt (18.4%) - Minister of Culture
Arastaoir (18.4%) - Elected Lawspeaker
*Kajan 2.0 (10.2%) - Minister of Foreign Affairs
------------------
Old Sandman (10.2%)

*Kajan 2.0 elected after winning runoff by 4 votes to 2

Since term 1 Balder has given an opportunity to newcommers with 3 new faces as ministers and a new Lawspeaker, prior to which all Lawspeakers had been citizens who had been in Balder since the early days. The Statsminister hopes to create further opportunities for new faces to become more involved in the community over the coming months. Among these opportunities will be a change on foreign affairs as the Statsminister has plans both policy and style wise for the ministry and hopes to implement these in the coming weeks.

With activity back on the rise and recent military success Balder is on the road to recovery and it is Zander's hope that the foundations can be laid by the end of term 2 for Balder to push forward and regain the activity levels of late 2012 and 2013.



The Almighty Jearl
Image
Zander and his new title


At the end of october titles of gentry were introduced for those who reached a certain post count.
- Marquess (Female: Marchioness): 5000 Posts
- Earl (Female: Countess): 2500 Posts
- Viscount (Female: Viscountess): 1000 Posts
- Baron (Female: Baroness): 500 Posts
- Baronet (Female: Baronetess): 100 Posts
At the time of these new titles Zander Cerebella fell into the Earl post count range, however under King Charles Cerebella he was given the title of Jarl. These two titles were seen as conflicting with one another so a new title was created, Jearl. 50% Jarl, 50% Earl, 100% awesome!




Thank you for reading and Balder wishes you a very happy 2016!


Author - Zander Cerebella
Last edited by Of Goats and Men on Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Of Goats and Men
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Postby Of Goats and Men » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:47 pm

Storting Elections See Seventeen People Run

Balder which has seen a huge amount of growth recently, as expressed by the fact that activity in the sinker has increased to over 100 posts per day, the military is one of the largest if not the largest in the Sinkers and seventeen people are running for legislature. The elections for the Storting which will choose the Statsminister are the largest Balder has ever seen, and an extreme improvement from the days in which there was no elected legislature. Currently being debated on the election trail are the time limits before one can become a member of certain levels of the government. As well, there is talk about taming the Wild West that has been the Balder Skype chat with some proposing to legislate it. Furthermore there has been talk about the way to proceed on the flag contest as well as an idea for a new version of COPs for Balder to use.

This great influx of people has led to some such as the Queen proposing that the region find ways to expand the opportunities within the region proper. It already appears to be set that a Ministry will specifically handle the Civil Service and thus grow that program. Also suggested has been the creation of a type of "City Council" that also would do roleplay type things like choose a budget. The concern is that it resembles a Europeian idea, but honestly, it's so good. So if it is done, Balder will work hard to differentiate it from the Europeian version. The key thing is that Balder must be able to retain its members in order to improve further and become an even greater region.

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Cormac Stark
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Postby Cormac Stark » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:54 pm

I don't at all understand why this system is producing more activity, but congratulations nonetheless!

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Belschaft
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Postby Belschaft » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:56 pm

It produces more activity because Rach assigns each player a post-count quota for the week, and if they don't meet there are serious consequences :P
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:01 pm

What does activity matter if the activity is only between the few people in the elected legislature?

Surely activity isn't about how much is contributed but how many people are contributing and by how much. Elected legislatures just put a cap on activity. :roll:
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
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Solorni
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Postby Solorni » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:13 pm

Belschaft wrote:It produces more activity because Rach assigns each player a post-count quota for the week, and if they don't meet there are serious consequences :P

There once was a member of Balder called Alexey Stakhanovite who greatly exceeded his quota! (Kidding of course, Balder is not a communist region).

Cormac Stark wrote:I don't at all understand why this system is producing more activity, but congratulations nonetheless!
Unibot III wrote:What does activity matter if the activity is only between the few people in the elected legislature?

Surely activity isn't about how much is contributed but how many people are contributing and by how much. Elected legislatures just put a cap on activity.

I think the reason it is superior is that, just like in the Politics if you own the ladder you will take better care of it rather than if no one owned it! Also there is no cap really, since Balder has areas for ordinary people (like me!) to comment on the legislature. This ensures that everyone can contribute to the conversation even if they are not part of the Storting. Instead, those members who marvel at the Storting will be more likely to work harder to get into the legislature and thus be less prone to corruption when they are elected since they achieved a great reward already. It also increases accountability, since members who are inactive would likely not be elected in the next cycle.

Thus in actuality and in accordance to human nature, elected legislatures can be the best of both worlds!

EDIT: This is why all regions should have a Philosopher Queen! :hug:
Last edited by Solorni on Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Consular
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Postby Consular » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:28 pm

I actually completely agree with Rach about elected legislatures. When elected individuals feel responsible and are accountable, so are significantly more likely to work at their job than individuals who have a default right a seat and therefore no real incentive to contribute. It's human nature really.

Fantastic to see The Baldar doing well!!

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Cormac Stark
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Postby Cormac Stark » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:54 pm

Unibot III wrote:What does activity matter if the activity is only between the few people in the elected legislature?

Surely activity isn't about how much is contributed but how many people are contributing and by how much. Elected legislatures just put a cap on activity. :roll:

I'm not a fan of elected legislatures either -- I haven't been since 2013, when I (among several others) worked to replace the elected Sepatarchy of Osiris with the Deshret assembly -- but you're making a number of assumptions here without anything to back them up.

1. The only activity in Balder is coming from the few elected. That may be true or it may not be true. Can you back that up? Perhaps someone from Balder who actually knows where the activity is coming from could shed more light on this, since neither you nor I are citizens of Balder or have any real idea where their activity is concentrated.

2. The only worthwhile regional activity for people to participate in is legislative activity. This is false. One of the few benefits of elected legislatures is that they encourage residents and citizens of a region to participate in activity other than legislative debates, which are often contentious and can have a less than unifying effect on the regional community.

3. Citizens can't participate in legislative activity unless they are voting members of the legislature. Again, this is false. When elected legislatures are done right, they provide incentive to know what's going on in the legislature and to be engaged as a citizen, even if you aren't in the legislature yourself. Elections provide incentive for being informed and engaged, in that you're more likely to be elected in the future if you remain informed and engaged.

4. Enabling the maximum number of people equal participation is always the best course of action. This may not be true in every region. It does not appear to have been true in Balder, where they had an assembly legislature for about two years, and participation in that legislature was pretty much dead the entire time. Are you better off with an elected legislature that doesn't ensure equal participation but does increase regional participation overall, or an assembly legislature that ensures equal participation but in which no one is actually interested in participating? Seventeen people are interested in participating in the elected legislature but no one was participating in the assembly.

As usual, the problem here is you're approaching this ideologically and assuming that the solution you believe is best must be best for every region and their particular circumstances. As it turns out, Unibot, it is possible, and likely, that you may not know better than the people who actually reside in and contribute to regions you haven't set foot in for years and only mention when you want to attack them or those residing in them. I rarely think moving to an elected legislature is a good idea, and I wouldn't be likely to support that in a region to which I contribute, but Balder isn't one of those regions for either of us -- so it's really up to them, isn't it? Regional sovereignty, self-determination, and all that jazz.
Last edited by Cormac Stark on Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:22 pm

Cormac Stark wrote:*snip*


All fine points, but you're reading too much into what I said. If anything I'd just clarify I meant "elected legislatures just put a cap on legislative activity." But your fourth point is on the money; I do believe that maximizing legislative participation (participants x activity) is more important for the health of a region's democracy than solely increasing activity if it comes at the expense of concentrating decision-making to a handful officials and establishing greater barriers for participation - you're correct in identifying this as an "ideological" position because it's about priorities - to me, democracy is more about participation than just activity.

It basically defeats the point of trying to achieve more democratic activity if you're sacrificing democracy to save the activity.

EDIT: As for the differences between regions, the reason why some legislatures are more successful (productive? prolific?) in some GCRs than others has been a question of comparative politics that's always puzzled me. My working hypothesis is that different GCRs have different regional cultures that have developed over time; these cultures come from local regional personalities but spiral into a region's own self-image as they're perpetuated. They're extremely persistent, reinforced self-images and they only change slowly through "shocks" to the region. You know, like, I got thinking the other day about how much of TRR's values were just Sedgistan and Crazygirl's (e.g., anti-roleplay, anti-courts - for example)? Or in TNP, Eluvatar and Grosse's? Or in TSP, Tsunamy's values versus Hileville and Belschaft's? Or TEP without Todd? etc. I suspect that individual people are for more pivotal in reshaping what the entire regional community thinks about governing said region, then we sometimes give credit for. I would group regional cultures in NS into three main groups: legal, social, political - these mark what the "end" is to be achieved with a region. Whether a region should strive to build a robust legal architecture, or if this architecture is simply a means to another end, political supremacy? Or whether laws really matter much at all? These cultures undermine or propel legislative activity. Strategies for coping with legislative inactivity like "elected legislatures" and forced voting often are an attempt, not simply to increase activity, but reshape what kind of activities a region values.

Part of what came to inspire this working hypothesis is a lovely series called "State of the Feeders" by Sir Paul - in it, Sir Paul reviewed the South Pacific and what struck me as interesting what just how bloody similar TSP as he described it in 2005 is to TSP's 2016, despite very few people being around from 2005 - as if the region has some kind of "DNA" that replicates itself. In that article, Fudgetopia laments the "party image" of TSP and how she wishes the region could shake it off so the region would take matters more seriously. Sir Paul comes to call TSPers, quite aptly "Bleeding Heart Partying Isolationists (with lampshades)."
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:54 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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with the best of intentions.
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RiderSyl
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Postby RiderSyl » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:33 pm

Political commentary on situations in a political simulation will always baffle me.
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Postby Almonaster Nuevo » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:36 pm

Personally, I blame it on the lampshades.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:51 am

Ridersyl wrote:Political commentary on situations in a political simulation will always baffle me.


My degree is in Political Science. It doesn't turn off. :blush:
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but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
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Kyorgia
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Postby Kyorgia » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:02 am

As the current lawspeaker in Balder (At Least until after the election :P) I can tell you Unibot that not all the activity is coming from the legislature. We have tons off post everyday in the spam are and general discussion are, from both MPs, citizens and the queen. Our laws make sure that even if you are not elected to the legislature you can contribute your own drafts to the MPs for discussion and voting. The RMB is getting a lot of posts everyday from people both on the forums and people only in the region. The Skype chat is very active with 1000s of posts everyday from citizens and others. So no there is not a cap on activity by Balder having an elected legislature.
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RiderSyl
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Postby RiderSyl » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:08 am

Unibot III wrote:
Ridersyl wrote:Political commentary on situations in a political simulation will always baffle me.


My degree is in Political Science. It doesn't turn off. :blush:


So much of you explained in one comment. :p
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:27 am

Kyorgia wrote:As the current lawspeaker in Balder (At Least until after the election :P) I can tell you Unibot that not all the activity is coming from the legislature. We have tons off post everyday in the spam are and general discussion are, from both MPs, citizens and the queen. Our laws make sure that even if you are not elected to the legislature you can contribute your own drafts to the MPs for discussion and voting. The RMB is getting a lot of posts everyday from people both on the forums and people only in the region. The Skype chat is very active with 1000s of posts everyday from citizens and others. So no there is not a cap on activity by Balder having an elected legislature.


I'll take your word for it, Ky, then. Sounds fun. :)

Ridersyl wrote:
Unibot III wrote:
My degree is in Political Science. It doesn't turn off. :blush:


So much of you explained in one comment. :p


True, I'm afraid.
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but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
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with the best of intentions.
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Alvalero
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Postby Alvalero » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:10 am

Cormac Stark wrote:
Unibot III wrote:What does activity matter if the activity is only between the few people in the elected legislature?

Surely activity isn't about how much is contributed but how many people are contributing and by how much. Elected legislatures just put a cap on activity. :roll:

3. Citizens can't participate in legislative activity unless they are voting members of the legislature. Again, this is false. When elected legislatures are done right, they provide incentive to know what's going on in the legislature and to be engaged as a citizen, even if you aren't in the legislature yourself. Elections provide incentive for being informed and engaged, in that you're more likely to be elected in the future if you remain informed and engaged.


Just to clarify this point. Citizens are elected as MP's to the Storting yes, however we still require a citizens vote in order for new basic laws to be introduced and for current basic laws to be amended.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:09 am

Alvalero wrote:
Cormac Stark wrote:3. Citizens can't participate in legislative activity unless they are voting members of the legislature. Again, this is false. When elected legislatures are done right, they provide incentive to know what's going on in the legislature and to be engaged as a citizen, even if you aren't in the legislature yourself. Elections provide incentive for being informed and engaged, in that you're more likely to be elected in the future if you remain informed and engaged.


Just to clarify this point. Citizens are elected as MP's to the Storting yes, however we still require a citizens vote in order for new basic laws to be introduced and for current basic laws to be amended.


So the purpose of the elected legislature is to draft and introduce legislation to be voted on, then? And what about constitutional amendments? Genuinely curious, Balder's laws aren't typically available to the public.
Last edited by Unibot III on Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
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Solorni
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Postby Solorni » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:07 am

I will explain it when I get home if no one does first. But Balder does not have a constitution!! It has a set of Basic Laws that function in a similar manner though.
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Zaolat
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Postby Zaolat » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:21 am

Solorni wrote:I will explain it when I get home if no one does first. But Balder does not have a constitution!! It has a set of Basic Laws that function in a similar manner though.

A charter then.
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Belschaft
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Postby Belschaft » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:16 pm

Unibot III wrote:Part of what came to inspire this working hypothesis is a lovely series called "State of the Feeders" by Sir Paul - in it, Sir Paul reviewed the South Pacific and what struck me as interesting what just how bloody similar TSP as he described it in 2005 is to TSP's 2016, despite very few people being around from 2005 - as if the region has some kind of "DNA" that replicates itself. In that article, Fudgetopia laments the "party image" of TSP and how she wishes the region could shake it off so the region would take matters more seriously. Sir Paul comes to call TSPers, quite aptly "Bleeding Heart Partying Isolationists (with lampshades)."

Interesting article by Sir Paul; it's notable that as far back as 2005 TSP was acknowledged as the birth place of GCR "civilisation", in regards to having an organised forum, government and community. It's a claim that TSP still makes today - "NS' oldest democracy" is the version most used these days - but one that is sometimes challenged. It's nice to be able to point to this as confirmation the next time the argument occurs.
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Alvalero
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Posts: 227
Founded: Jun 05, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alvalero » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:56 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Alvalero wrote:
Just to clarify this point. Citizens are elected as MP's to the Storting yes, however we still require a citizens vote in order for new basic laws to be introduced and for current basic laws to be amended.


So the purpose of the elected legislature is to draft and introduce legislation to be voted on, then? And what about constitutional amendments? Genuinely curious, Balder's laws aren't typically available to the public.

No constitution or charter. We've used what we called basic laws which have acted as our law book since June/July 2012 and the concept of which was devised by the Vice Delegate at the time By Night with the assistance of myself. How to put it, for example a constition or charter will be posted for people to see in a single thread, while each of our basic laws get their own thread. Basic laws act pretty much the same as a constituion.

As for the function of the Storting, the storting appoints the Statsminister from one of the elected MP's. The Storting can also vote on treaties and declarations of war without a public vote along with minor laws that don't conflict with basic laws.
Example, we have a basic law regarding citizenship. If the Storting wants to change it it must first pass a vote in the Storting and then pass a citizen vote in order to become law. If it fails the Storting vote it wont go to a citizen vote.
However the Storting can pass a law on something like the regulation of political parties without a citizen vote, as long as it doesn't conflict with any basic law.
The Storting also has the power to remove the Statsminister and ministers.
Zander Cerebella
Prince of Aarhus
Minister for Development of Balder

Duke of New Hyperion(Wintreath)
Autarch of New Hyperion

Former Delegate, Vice Delegate & Statsminister of Balder

User avatar
Solorni
Minister
 
Posts: 3024
Founded: Sep 04, 2007
Ex-Nation

Postby Solorni » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Ridersyl wrote:Political commentary on situations in a political simulation will always baffle me.


My degree is in Political Science. It doesn't turn off. :blush:

I would never take another Pol Sci class again. I did a second year one which covered Socrates, Plato, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes & Locke. My first essay I got like 64%. So I worked twice as hard on my next essay, and got 66%. I loved the material, but the TA just hated my writing. I likely should have talked to her about it but instead I ended up with like a 71% which was my worst grade that year. So yeah, never again.

Thus I'm glad though no one noticed I quoted Aristotle in my defense of of elected government, and then called myself a Philosopher King which is a Plato concept. Locke though definitely influences me the most when it comes to NS though.
Lovely Queen of Balder
Proud Delegate of WALL

Lucky Number 13

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