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Secretary General Role Expansion

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Flanderlion
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Secretary General Role Expansion

Postby Flanderlion » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:42 pm

Currently the Secretary General position is elected, but has no teeth. Along with that there are certain allegations of puppets of a player getting the current SG into his role (bar the last round which was WA only).

Obviously we'd hold another election for the position, but WA nations only as suggested prior by mods (and I believe admin, haven't checked that), so don't focus on critiquing Misley.

To make the role more strived after, here are a few suggestions.

Give SG the ability to reorder proposals in the queue, so authors don't have to withdraw their proposals and campaign to get it to quorum.

Give the SG the ability to approve proposals and move them directly to vote.

Give the SG a stamp of approval to put on proposals and resolutions (purely cosmetic, so not this option by itself)

Give the SG a certain amount of votes equal to X percentage (small) of total WA nations, like delegate votes.

I'm unsure whether the SG should have to remain in the WA or not, if so resigning from WA triggers election. If the SG CTEs (hopefully not likely, but mod deletions are more) an election is held for the new SG. If the SG makes it to the end of his term without incident an election is also held.

If the terms are a year (throwing out figure here) and the second election is held tomorrow, the next election would be a year and one day from now etc. If the SG CTEd on New Years Day, all elections would be held then until the next event which disqualified the SG from his/her role.

This is just throwing ideas out there, I'm not fixed on any of this.
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Christian Democrats
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Postby Christian Democrats » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:39 pm

In the General Assembly forum, almost all players have pooh-poohed this idea. I suppose you think you'll have better luck here?

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Sciongrad
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Postby Sciongrad » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:52 pm

Why? Why is this necessary? Why weren't the opinions of GA regulars sufficient for you? Why do you expect to get different results in this forum? Seeing as your only posts in the GA seem to be about giving the SG power, why do you care what happens in the GA?
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Nay-O-Bi
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Postby Nay-O-Bi » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:12 pm

Though this idea may not be popular, the representatives of Caspian Settlement believe that the expansion of the roles for the World Assembly Secretary General would be well welcomed. Currently, the World Assembly Secretary General looks like an out-of-place figurehead with absolutely no responsiblities: it's nothing more than an April Fool's Day relic. I think we should change this.

Also, stemming from another idea I had earlier, I believe that the Secretary General should have all of the responsibilities suggested by Flanderlion but also only be able to be put into office by an idea I had earlier, where all region's WA Delegates would have 2 votes to vote <most likely> five candidates, who would be chosen by a "General Election" voted on by the general populace. This would allow for the representatives of the World Assembly to intervene and subject their own thoughts on who should become Secretary General along with the general World Assembly members.

An additional rule could be that a Secretary General can only rule for a maximum of two terms, and that the two terms count for ALL of their nations. Therefore, through this system, the current Secretary General would not be able to run for Secretary General at all, even from any other puppet nation, since she has gone far beyond how long we would probably judge for two terms to be.

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Omigodtheykilledkenny
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Postby Omigodtheykilledkenny » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:17 pm

You realize the secretary-general badge is just a relic of an April Fools' joke and that Caelapes is not actually secretary-general of anything?
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Flanderlion
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Postby Flanderlion » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:56 pm

Regarding the GA thing, yep, I wanted to have the election happen again and mean something rather than just being a fancy title. With the council, it was more because of the similar name, and I thought it needed a breath of fresh air. Mods disagreed.

Initially it was a kind of 'this could fit here' but through mine and other arguments for it I got convinced on the idea. I do still think that having someone seperate from the GA to give a fresh opinion would have been a good idea, but what's done is done, and hopefully the council works out without it.

Literally this whole post was intended for the WA, this is unrelated to the GA council thing which endeared me to 3 of the 4 posters here, so calm the pitchforks please.

Zombies were an April Fool's joke, but now our populations are ravaged every year. Secretary General is a role (look at Misley's nation), just because it doesn't do anything doesn't mean it shouldn't.

And just to be clear, wasn't suggesting that all the ideas I said would be placed upon one nation, more like a couple. Despite the description of the role, it wouldn't be good to have a single nation having complete control over the WA. An influence yes, but control no.

Also adding onto the brainstorm, if the WA dispatch thing that was talked about was implemented the SG could choose another to appear beside (preferably limited somehow so it wouldn't be every resolution).
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Gruenberg
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Postby Gruenberg » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:23 am

Other than "it'd be cool", why should one player be given so much enormous power over our part of the game?
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Wordy
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Postby Wordy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:43 am

I tend to think of the Secretary General Role as a complaints box. One that no one opens :P
I see no reason to give powers to the role but perhaps they can have a seal of approval once a resolution is passed. Make it look all official like.
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Excidium Planetis
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Postby Excidium Planetis » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:26 am

Flanderlion wrote:Give SG the ability to reorder proposals in the queue, so authors don't have to withdraw their proposals...

Like the ability to remove proposals from queue? HELL. NO. Only mods are allowed to remove my proposals, and only for rules violations. Ain't no elected nobody removing my proposals.

Give the SG the ability to approve proposals and move them directly to vote.

This would be barely bearable. Sure, if decent proposals get fast tracked without campaigns, that would be nice. But what if we get flooded with garbage? That would suck.

Give the SG a stamp of approval to put on proposals and resolutions (purely cosmetic, so not this option by itself)

Harmless enough. Please, this option by itself.

Give the SG a certain amount of votes equal to X percentage (small) of total WA nations, like delegate votes.

And what if the SG is also a Delegate? What then? Do we dump even more votes on them, or does one override the other? Just imagine if they got 1% of all WA members' votes. Then if the North Pacific's delegate got the SG position and the votes were added, they would have, at the time of this post 1221+263 votes, or 1484 votes, for a potential vote shift of 2968 votes if they change their vote. That's more than enough to decide many resolutions passing or failing, single handedly. Nobody should have that kind of power.
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The Blaatschapen
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:54 am

Why should nobody have that kind of power?
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Enfaru
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Postby Enfaru » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:52 am

It's a matter of totalitarianism Blaat, once someone attains that level of power then they can just start bankrolling and printing money for themselves so to speak. It should be possible if a large proportion of voters disagree, to over-turn or over-rule the Secretary General's power.

I'm more of a mind that they should get no extra votes as a Secretary General, but possibly the deciding vote if such a thing ever happened. I do think they should be able to "return" a proposal for re-drafting if the author of the draft requests it (unless a Mod gets to it first). But no veto powers...please >.>
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Gruenberg
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Postby Gruenberg » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:09 am

Enfaru wrote:I'm more of a mind that they should get no extra votes as a Secretary General, but possibly the deciding vote if such a thing ever happened.

There has never been a tied vote in 13 years and what must now be over a thousand proposal votes.
Enfaru wrote:I do think they should be able to "return" a proposal for re-drafting if the author of the draft requests it (unless a Mod gets to it first).

A user can already redraft their proposal, and send in a GHR requesting it be removed.
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:20 am

What exactly are the problems that you think this would solve; or barring that, how exactly would this make the game better/more fun for nations that do not happen to be elected to the position?

These aren't hostile questions; I believe you honestly think this idea would improve the game, but I have yet to see any arguments to support that beyond the generalized "this is a New Feature, therefore we should pursue it, c'mon guys it'll be awesome!"
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Enfaru
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Postby Enfaru » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:36 am

Gruenberg wrote:
Enfaru wrote:I'm more of a mind that they should get no extra votes as a Secretary General, but possibly the deciding vote if such a thing ever happened.

There has never been a tied vote in 13 years and what must now be over a thousand proposal votes.
Enfaru wrote:I do think they should be able to "return" a proposal for re-drafting if the author of the draft requests it (unless a Mod gets to it first).

A user can already redraft their proposal, and send in a GHR requesting it be removed.


Oh I'm not arguing that it would be often used, I'm just saying that's usually the duty given to such individuals.

I did say that "unless a mod gets to it first". Everyone seems to think that the Secretary General should be all powerful. I happen to disagree, but I also disagree they should be powerless/useless.
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Gruenberg
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Postby Gruenberg » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:45 am

Enfaru wrote:Oh I'm not arguing that it would be often used, I'm just saying that's usually the duty given to such individuals.

You're suggesting recoding the entire voting mechanism to account for a possibility that hasn't occurred in 13 years. Mkay.
Enfaru wrote:I did say that "unless a mod gets to it first". Everyone seems to think that the Secretary General should be all powerful. I happen to disagree, but I also disagree they should be powerless/useless.

Why should they not be "powerless/useless"? The WA's Secretary General had always been a light-hearted little RP conceit and nothing more, until the admins decided that was altogether too much like players having fun and, of course, bulldozed it with their own creation, promptly and entirely expectedly immediately overtaken by gameplayers. Having a lack of "power/use" is exactly appropriate for that situation.
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Enfaru
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Postby Enfaru » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:26 am

Recoding? It's basically adding one line of code before the result is published.

while (Vote_yes == Vote_no) { bool sg_vote = get_WA_SecGen_Vote(); if( sg_vote == 1) { Vote_yes++; } else { Vote_no++; } } //Assuming C.

Getting the SecGen vote would take just a few seconds of very slightly customizing existing code (to get votes from users). It's really not as complex as you imagine (though probably a touch more complex than I envision due to the code possibly not working the way I think it does). (I also didn't check for errors so ho hum).

The reason I don't think they should be is because the WA was initially modelled on the UN. (Which is why its page is still to this day: page=un and not page=wa) such things typically have a Chair who get to maintain some kind of order. Like for example, the Secretary General and they are typically not entirely powerless. It further more adds a dynamic to the WA that hasn't been seen.

NationStates is not a role-playing site. It's a Political simulator. The fact that we're allowed to role-play here is a privilege, but the forums could as easily be banished tomorrow. Making the game more interesting is much more beneficial, I believe that this is the reason why Max chose to support the R&D game, because it *added* to the simulator rather than detracted from it.
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World Dissembly
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Postby World Dissembly » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:37 am

How about giving the Secretary General one specific power?

If I had to suggest one, it would be the ability to temporarily suspend Security Council resolutions (with a maximum of x suspensions at a time).

Suspending Commendations or condemnations would have no effect, it would merely be a political/ideological point.
Suspending a Liberation resolution could have immense impact on R/D gameplay.

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Gruenberg
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Postby Gruenberg » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:29 am

Enfaru wrote:Recoding? It's basically adding one line of code before the result is published.

while (Vote_yes == Vote_no) { bool sg_vote = get_WA_SecGen_Vote(); if( sg_vote == 1) { Vote_yes++; } else { Vote_no++; } } //Assuming C.

As far as I know, NS is written in Perl.
Enfaru wrote:The reason I don't think they should be is because the WA was initially modelled on the UN.

The WA has almost no resemblance to the UN. Its powers are vastly more sweeping. It's more like some kind of international federation.
Enfaru wrote:such things typically have a Chair who get to maintain some kind of order.

Yes, and we have moderators to maintain some kind of order in the WA forum.
Enfaru wrote:It further more adds a dynamic to the WA that hasn't been seen.

I agree. Randomly deleting nations would also add a dynamic to the WA that hasn't been seen. Not altogether sure that makes it an automatically great idea, though.
Enfaru wrote:NationStates is not a role-playing site. It's a Political simulator. The fact that we're allowed to role-play here is a privilege, but the forums could as easily be banished tomorrow. Making the game more interesting is much more beneficial, I believe that this is the reason why Max chose to support the R&D game, because it *added* to the simulator rather than detracted from it.

Always a pleasure when people with so much knowledge of how we play our game weigh in. And, if experience is any guide, actually a pretty good indication of what'll end up being listened to.
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Flanderlion
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Postby Flanderlion » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:57 am

Excidium Planetis wrote:
Flanderlion wrote:Give SG the ability to reorder proposals in the queue, so authors don't have to withdraw their proposals...

Like the ability to remove proposals from queue? HELL. NO. Only mods are allowed to remove my proposals, and only for rules violations. Ain't no elected nobody removing my proposals.

Give the SG the ability to approve proposals and move them directly to vote.

This would be barely bearable. Sure, if decent proposals get fast tracked without campaigns, that would be nice. But what if we get flooded with garbage? That would suck.

Give the SG a stamp of approval to put on proposals and resolutions (purely cosmetic, so not this option by itself)

Harmless enough. Please, this option by itself.

Give the SG a certain amount of votes equal to X percentage (small) of total WA nations, like delegate votes.

And what if the SG is also a Delegate? What then? Do we dump even more votes on them, or does one override the other? Just imagine if they got 1% of all WA members' votes. Then if the North Pacific's delegate got the SG position and the votes were added, they would have, at the time of this post 1221+263 votes, or 1484 votes, for a potential vote shift of 2968 votes if they change their vote. That's more than enough to decide many resolutions passing or failing, single handedly. Nobody should have that kind of power.

Not remove proposals, mods do that for SC, and I wasn't 100% on whether the council or mods did it for blatant illegalities. A player could just be a dick about it, and that wouldn't improve things for anyone. Reorder, so if proposal A, B and C attained quorum within a short timeframe, leading to proposal A being at vote. Proposal B is a worthy option, but not as urgent as Proposal C (such as the case of a SC liberation recently). Proposal B had to be withdrawn from the queue to get Proposal C to vote in time.

But while it could be good, it could be bad (for authors) if there are two repeals of the resolution. Bitely has re-enacted WSA 2.0 and it is winning slightly at vote. Repeal proposal A is in queue, and proposal B comes along with a slightly better repeal of WSA. The initial author could get shafted if the second proposal was moved in front of it.

Regarding quorum, I was a bit worried about that as I wrote this (which reminds me, I'm not seeing whatever PMs etc. anyone has sent me about this unless they're a TG), exactly because of the rubbish proposal thing.

I thought about having the proposal to need to gain quorum to be enacted, but go immediately to vote, or need a certain number of votes (30/40%) or they lose the power.

With the number of votes, that was my easy way of requiring less work but still giving the SG something. That was my meh option, because they'd just be a big delegate with a fancy title, but better than nothing.

Personally, I'd prefer the Approval Stamp and the proposal re-ordering. The re-ordering is actual unique power, the stamp is for the average WA nation to see that the office means something, and the prestige is in the name. But that said, if this happens at all, it'll be others more WA involved who sway the admins for or against.
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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:23 am

Flanderlion wrote:Personally, I'd prefer the Approval Stamp and the proposal re-ordering. The re-ordering is actual unique power, the stamp is for the average WA nation to see that the office means something, and the prestige is in the name. But that said, if this happens at all, it'll be others more WA involved who sway the admins for or against.

IF such a thing were to become reality (and I still remain unconvinced that they should), I would hope that they would be limited in their usage. i.e. A dozen proposals can be re-ordered over the course of a year-long term (i.e. 1 per month on average), and maybe 2 can be auto-approved.

If anyone has this sort of power - whenever they want, as often as they want - I can see it ruining some of the fun of the game. However, I could see how adding limits could add some intrigue to the game, and another layer of political maneuvering.

As a GA example, there were 2 Educational proposals that were drafted up and quorate back-to-back ... years ago. (I think they were written by GR and by Unibot, submitted individually, if memory serves.) I know that Unibot's proposal was the one that ended up passing into law, but I forget the other details, unfortunately. Having a Sec Gen that could "promote" one over the other (i.e. move the one they preferred to quorum/vote before the other reached quorum, or push the second proposal ahead of the first if they were both at quorum waiting to go to a vote) could add another dynamic to it.

A similar (but different) thing happened back during the Habeas Corpus debacle. I repealed a few ... problematic Habeas Corpus related proposals (Double Jeopardy Prohibition and Habeas Corpus Act), and then the original author resubmitted barely edited versions of the now-repealed proposals and campaigned them to quorum. Both of the "redos" were soundly defeated at vote, but as replacements for both were prepared and ready to submit/pass, it delayed things further ... which felt like a very important deal at the time. :P

I can also definitely see the arguments that it's not "fair" to whomever doesn't have the "preferred proposal" - when they play by the rules, and get their proposal submitted first/to quorum first ... why shouldn't they get to have their proposal go to vote first? It adds another layer of politics, which for some may be appealing, but I can also see it turning off some players as well.
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Unified district of Lancaster
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Postby Unified district of Lancaster » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:38 am

The Secretary General position should have more powers but with a check and balance system in place. This would be in the following form.

Secretary General would not have a vote on resolutions but be able to introduce them. Also not benefit specific nation or region

Also be able to fast tack resolutions and be able to reorder them at their discretion but not be able to block them indefinitely. This would mean if they reach the necessary votes for quorum then the resolution proceeds as they always have.

Also the Secretary General should be able to be recalled and stand for election by world assembly delegates only.
First should be a resolution of no confidence which the Secretary General cannot block or reorder by delagates. Once that receives a majority vote. Then that triggers an election. The Secretary General can only be recalled once during their term to prevent harassment or misuse

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Drasnia
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Postby Drasnia » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:09 am

If we're going to give the SG any power (which I am against, btw), I would prefer if we voted in a new one when we now know what they're able to do before those powers go into effect.
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Topid
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Postby Topid » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:19 am

A "promotion" feature might be a good thing to have...

Mouse provided some examples of how this could have helped in the past from a GA history prospective, but the SC has submission races far more often than the GA. Some type of power like this would be useful for that. Last year's Liberate St Abbaddon proposal narrowly beat a raider version to vote. The same thing just happened with Liberate Social Liberal Union too, except the raiders beat the natives to the draw on that one. It's not something that happens rarely, it is what the raiders are going to do every time a region they're occupying is going to be liberated. It is now to the point that the WA axiom of ALWAYS draft a proposal before submission should be abandoned for SC Liberations. Instead just put whatever first draft you have in line ASAP because when the raiders get wind you're trying it, they are going to try to beat you to it.

Also, think back to the first Liberate St Abbaddon which was an offensive Liberation passed against native wishes when the then-Delegate (were it not for the current raid) Hawkswind wanted to keep a password on the region. Knowing their offensive Liberation wouldn't hold up to a native authored repeal they flooded the queue with other proposals to prevent a repeal vote for as long as possible. It should be noted for historic accuracy they abandoned that move and pulled the flooded proposals from the queue eventually. But the "flood the queue" method of preventing a repeal has been tried before, and given current game mechanics could easily be used again to delay a repeal vote or a Liberation of a low-influence region long enough to pull off a refound. Only 10 resolutions would hold up the WA for > 1 month, and I guarantee I could crap out ten commendations and condemnations and have them in queue within 24 hours from now if it was in my interests to have the WA not talking about something for a month.

A third, and this will be my last I promise, problem with the current queue system occurred more often in the pre-Rule IV days when the Securitjy council was actually active and used by anyone. There would be a couple or more "legitimate" proposals in queue when the need for a Liberation to save a region appeared suddenly. We can vote on a C&C of some player anytime, but some Liberations are very time sensitive. So defenders or natives such as myself would pressure the authors of those "legitimate" proposals ahead of us to drop their proposal and resubmit (meaning campaign all over again). If I recall correctly, I actually ran the campaign for a resubmitted proposal at one point in exchange for the author letting me jump the line. Someone with a better memory might remember more. (This seems less like a "problem" than the other two cases because the interactions between authors in these cases were actually quite fun, but it is another example of how submission time being unusually important in the WA.)

I have suggested before we should let the proposal in queue with the most approvals go to vote next, instead of which proposal was arbitrarily submitted first. This allows for a race based on quality, urgency of the issue, or other factors relating to the text itself instead of, again, an arbitrary submission time. I still prefer that to letting the SG interfere if said person is still active and wants to, but it could in theory still help prevent these things.
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:24 am

Drasnia wrote:If we're going to give the SG any power (which I am against, btw), I would prefer if we voted in a new one when we now know what they're able to do before those powers go into effect.


Second paragraph of the OP.
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Gruenberg
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Postby Gruenberg » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:36 am

Topid wrote:Mouse provided some examples of how this could have helped in the past from a GA history prospective

Her examples didn't show it would have "helped" at all. They simply pointed out examples of where one person submitted a resolution after another, and then hinted that for some reason allowing the system of submission first to be upset would have been "political" and thus good. There are (as usual) some fairly glaring defects in basic reasoning there.
Topid wrote:but the SC has submission races far more often than the GA.

OK, so have an SG for the SC only.
"Do you mean "coming out"...as a Guardian reader would understand the term?"

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