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Suggested Modification of WA Endorsement System

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.

What should the WA endorsement system be?

v = 1 + e (current system)
17
34%
v = 1 + e until v=100 (endorsement cap)
2
4%
v = 1 + e/2 (non-discriminatory reduction)
2
4%
v = 1 + e^(1/2) (square root system)
2
4%
v = 1 + e^(3/4) (Nilla system)
1
2%
Banbury System (see OP)
21
42%
v = 1 (get rid of endorsements)
5
10%
 
Total votes : 50

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Nilla Wayfarers
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Suggested Modification of WA Endorsement System

Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:22 am

Looking at how much power some delegates of the World Assembly have, it makes the collective vote of individual nations tiny in comparison. I wanted to suggest a change to the endorsement system that would make the WA more democratic:
The currently standing method by which endorsements increase the voting power of WA delegates is revoked.
Instead, under a new endorsement system, the number of extra votes a WA delegate receives is equal to the fourth root, cubed, of its endorsements.
That is,
v = 1 + (e)^(3/4)
where e is the number of endorsements a delegate has received,
and v is the number of votes he/she has, rounded to the nearest integer.

Note this alternate suggestion.

Since I've changed the poll a couple times, I figured the results from then might be useful:
In favor of the Nilla system: 37.3% (75 votes)
In favor of the current system: 39.8% (80 votes)
Other: 22.9% (46 votes)

As of 3 days, 11 hours, and 45 minutes before voting closed on “Rights of the Quarantined,”
9225 votes had been cast.
4105 nations had cast their vote.
5377 of those votes, 58.3% were cast by 257 regional delegates.
The other 3848 votes, 41.7% were cast by 3848 individual nations.
The 10 delegates with the highest votes on this Resolution cast a total of 2963 votes, 32.1% of the vote.
So a non-delegate WA member has 1 vote.
The average WA delegate has 20.92 votes.
The average one of the top 10 delegates has 296.30 votes.

Under the system I suggest in my OP, the data would be as follows:

6128 votes had been cast.
4105 nations had cast their vote.
2280 of those votes, 37.2%, were cast by 257 regional delegates.
The other 3848 votes, 62.8% were cast by 3848 individual nations.
The 10 delegates with the highest votes on this Resolution cast a total of 698 votes, 11.4% of the vote.
So a non-delegate WA member has 1 vote.
The average WA delegate has 8.87 votes.
The average one of the top 10 delegates has 69.80 votes.


CURRENT SYSTEMPROPOSED SYSTEM
Total votes92256128
Average delegate vote20.928.87
% of votes for delegates58.337.2
Average vote of top delegates296.3069.80
% of votes for top delegates32.111.4


1. The WA isn't intended to be democratic, so there's no need to try to make it so.

The WA legislates for a body of member nations based on those nations's votes on proposed resolutions. If the WA weren't meant to be democratic, we ought not to have regular member nations vote at all.
Furthermore, why would we have a category of legislation, "Furtherment of Democracy", if we didn't intend to be democratic?

2. Participation in the WA would decrease because large regions wouldn't have as much power as before. Influential regional communities would wither.

Under the system proposed, the most powerful regions from before would still be the most powerful regions afterward. WA members would still be drawn to those powerful nations. And those prominent regional communities are maintained by the effort of regional authorities. It is up to them to promote the WA as they wish.
Furthermore, as data over the past several years suggests, there is a continual increase in the percentage of voter participation in the WA.

3. Legislation would no longer be nuanced or relevant, and would have to resort to broadbrush "feel-good" resolutions in order to pass anything.

For the most part, WA legislation is logical and sensible. And for those resolutions which are found not to be so, they are often repealed/replaced. That's because the WA community as a whole is logical and sensible. There aren't enough idiots here to have any devastating impact on the status quo.

Just putting it out there.
Last edited by Nilla Wayfarers on Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:14 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Nonononononononono
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Postby Nonononononononono » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:48 pm

I think this would be a great idea, but the problem of implementing this change might be overwhelming for the moderators...
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Nilla Wayfarers
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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:54 pm

Nonononononononono wrote:I think this would be a great idea, but the problem of implementing this change might be overwhelming for the moderators...

Why would it be that hard? You should see the crazy pie chart they have for delegate votes. That looks hard. This is just math.
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Postby Phydios » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:22 pm

This game is a parody of real-life politics. I may be wrong, but I believe that the current endorsement system parodies how certain people can get an abnormal amount of influence in real-life politics simply by having enough support, to the point where they might as well be casting multiple votes. In typical NS fashion, the site reflects that concept by actually giving you an additional vote for every endorsement. It's not meant to be balanced, though the admins would certainly change it if it became too much of an impediment to enjoyment of the game.
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Nilla Wayfarers
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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:00 pm

Phydios wrote:This game is a parody of real-life politics. I may be wrong, but I believe that the current endorsement system parodies how certain people can get an abnormal amount of influence in real-life politics simply by having enough support, to the point where they might as well be casting multiple votes. In typical NS fashion, the site reflects that concept by actually giving you an additional vote for every endorsement. It's not meant to be balanced, though the admins would certainly change it if it became too much of an impediment to enjoyment of the game.

I would believe that, and it would certainly be in the nature of NationStates... if the World Assembly didn't take itself so seriously.
There's some serious debating going on there, and I find it a serious enough institution to warrant a proper system of representation.
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:15 pm

Nonononononononono wrote:the problem of implementing this change might be overwhelming for the moderators...

Impossible, actually. Admins make code changes, not mods. It doesn't look like a particularly difficult mathematical formula, though. Instead of 1+ endos, you're calling for 1 + half-endos. Given that all odd endo numbers would necessarily end in .5, you'd have to specify whether they all round up or all round down.

There have been a number of pro/con discussions about fairness or lack there of in WA elections. I imagine there would be significant support, and opposition, for this idea. It'd need a whole lot more buy-in before [violet] committed to it.

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Nilla Wayfarers
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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:27 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Nonononononononono wrote:the problem of implementing this change might be overwhelming for the moderators...

Impossible, actually. Admins make code changes, not mods.

Good to know. Cool.
It doesn't look like a particularly difficult mathematical formula, though. Instead of 1+ endos, you're calling for 1 + half-endos.

1 + sqrt(endos), actually. That's a caret, not an asterisk.
Given that all odd endo numbers would necessarily end in .5, you'd have to specify whether they all round up or all round down.

In all cases, they round to the nearest integer.
There have been a number of pro/con discussions about fairness or lack there of in WA elections. I imagine there would be significant support, and opposition, for this idea. It'd need a whole lot more buy-in before [violet] committed to it.

I'm hoping this thread draws some eyes.
Last edited by Nilla Wayfarers on Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Aclion » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:24 pm

From a game-play perspective I support this wholeheartedly, A diminishing return on votes might give a bit more incentive to create and grow our own regions rather then consolidate power in existing ones.

And I don't think it would be all that difficult to code, it's a simple equation.

It could be fun from a roleplay perspective as well, it would be possible for delegates with a minority of the endorsements to still pass a resolution. It's like the US electoral collage, exept fun instead of... I'm gonna stop here before I get dragged to the general page
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Postby Reploid Productions » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:42 pm

I think this is actually a pretty decent idea. The current system of 1 vote + 1 per endo for delegates is a holdover from the early days when the site was a lot smaller and a time where those superpower voting blocks hadn't yet formed. The formula could certainly well benefit from some examination and possibly tweaking after all these years, and thus far this seems one of the more reasonable and well-thought out suggestions I've seen in regards to that.
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Postby Nessie » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:57 pm

It seems like a really radical jump to me if we use the square root method suggested.. A delegate with 100 endorsements only gets 11 votes? That's a big delegate, there aren't many that large.

I like the politics of worrying about how certain delegates vote, and that a vote can swing on a dime if a game created region delegate switches their vote. There is much more strategy going on and it is fun to watch. Gutting the strength of delegates would make things less interesting and strategic. More democratic but less fun.

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Postby Reploid Productions » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:03 pm

Nessie wrote:It seems like a really radical jump to me if we use the square root method suggested.. A delegate with 100 endorsements only gets 11 votes? That's a big delegate, there aren't many that large.

I like the politics of worrying about how certain delegates vote, and that a vote can swing on a dime if a game created region delegate switches their vote. There is much more strategy going on and it is fun to watch. Gutting the strength of delegates would make things less interesting and strategic. More democratic but less fun.

On the other hand, it also makes the voting process basically a game that maybe only ten people have any truly meaningful say in. The square root method proposed still gives those superdelegates more clout than the small delegates, but also changes the game to one that a lot more players can meaningfully participate in. It could also encourage the building up of multi-region voting coalitions and court a greater degree of politicking than the current system, which puts pretty much the entire focus just on those handful of superdelegates without ever involving smaller regions.
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Postby Glen-Rhodes » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:16 pm

Reploid Productions wrote:On the other hand, it also makes the voting process basically a game that maybe only ten people have any truly meaningful say in.

Fewer than 10, really. TNP's Delegate alone can easily take a resolution that's passing by 1,000 votes and make it fail by 200. With the advent of coordinated 'stomping' via Gameplay treaties, the influence a very small handful of Delegates has is pretty much unprecedented in the 8+ years I've been playing. There is very little "strategy" involved, as these large delegates tend to dislike being lobbied, vote based on personal animosities, or the process is controlled by a handful of elected/appointed officials in their region. There's not a lot WA authors can do to rally these Delegates either way.

I would definitely support a change in the formula.
Last edited by Glen-Rhodes on Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Drasnia » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:32 pm

The square root method would definitely change the paradigm - maybe a bit too much, IMO. I might try my hand later tonight in developing another formula that would definitely cut back delegate power, but not to such an extent.
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:36 pm

Drasnia wrote:The square root method would definitely change the paradigm - maybe a bit too much, IMO. I might try my hand later tonight in developing another formula that would definitely cut back delegate power, but not to such an extent.


Just a note, that people from all across the spectrum will have their opinion on what the formula should be, based on their own worldview of how things should be.

In other words, the formula just might become political tool (which is perhaps not bad per se; but definitely something to consider whether it's wanted)
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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:53 pm

Nessie wrote:It seems like a really radical jump to me if we use the square root method suggested.. A delegate with 100 endorsements only gets 11 votes? That's a big delegate, there aren't many that large.

I like the politics of worrying about how certain delegates vote, and that a vote can swing on a dime if a game created region delegate switches their vote. There is much more strategy going on and it is fun to watch. Gutting the strength of delegates would make things less interesting and strategic. More democratic but less fun.

Except it's not really fun strategy if only a handful of people get to strategize.
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Postby New Tuva SSR » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:57 pm

I can't help but agree. The current system is corrupt and can sway elections way too easily. With multiple mods approving of it, I think this could take over and finally replace the current system!
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:20 pm

Why a square root and not something that involves less rounding, out of curiosity? Seems somewhat arbitrary, and if we're doing arbitrary, why not decimate the delegate vote? *.1. Or nuke the delegate vote entirely?

Just trying to figure out why a square root.

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Postby Topid » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:29 pm

Nilla Wayfarers wrote:
Nessie wrote:It seems like a really radical jump to me if we use the square root method suggested.. A delegate with 100 endorsements only gets 11 votes? That's a big delegate, there aren't many that large.

I like the politics of worrying about how certain delegates vote, and that a vote can swing on a dime if a game created region delegate switches their vote. There is much more strategy going on and it is fun to watch. Gutting the strength of delegates would make things less interesting and strategic. More democratic but less fun.

Except it's not really fun strategy if only a handful of people get to strategize.

[Still me (Nessie) just switching to a more WA-known account.]
All WA authors strategize every time their proposal is going to go to vote - or at least they are paying attention to how certain delegates are voting. Also very few of these huge delegates that vote are doing so unilaterally. If you want to play the strategy game join one of their regions and get involved in their WA discussions.

Totally gutting large delegates seems really, really extreme. Changing the system where the largest delegate in NS history has something below 40 votes just seems bonkers. As someone who has written about two dozen resolutions that went to vote across numerous accounts and over 6ish years I just can't imagine how that system would be interesting. All of the shenanigans and unpredictability were a big part of why I put hundreds if not thousands of posts into the WA. To me it feels similar to watching the results / making predictions in a US President election. You can make arguments about which system is more fair, but it seems obvious which system is more fun to watch because there's so many moving pieces.

Don't get me wrong: I think we agree to a large extent. It's not that exciting when one delegate drops over a thousand votes in the first hours of a vote and pretty much locks it up. But I'd rather the solution to that problem be about limiting the power of really big delegates while keeping medium or larger delegates power intact. I cannot picture moving us basically to a one nation - one vote system.
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Nilla Wayfarers
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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:44 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:Why a square root and not something that involves less rounding, out of curiosity? Seems somewhat arbitrary, and if we're doing arbitrary, why not decimate the delegate vote? *.1. Or nuke the delegate vote entirely?

Just trying to figure out why a square root.

I wanted to go with a root function so that small delegates aren't limited as severely, while delegates with hundreds of votes have their power checked.
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Postby Soyuzistan » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:46 pm

Nah, Too electoral college-y.
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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:48 pm

Topid wrote:
Nilla Wayfarers wrote:Except it's not really fun strategy if only a handful of people get to strategize.

[Still me (Nessie) just switching to a more WA-known account.]
All WA authors strategize every time their proposal is going to go to vote - or at least they are paying attention to how certain delegates are voting. Also very few of these huge delegates that vote are doing so unilaterally. If you want to play the strategy game join one of their regions and get involved in their WA discussions.

Totally gutting large delegates seems really, really extreme. Changing the system where the largest delegate in NS history has something below 40 votes just seems bonkers. As someone who has written about two dozen resolutions that went to vote across numerous accounts and over 6ish years I just can't imagine how that system would be interesting. All of the shenanigans and unpredictability were a big part of why I put hundreds if not thousands of posts into the WA. To me it feels similar to watching the results / making predictions in a US President election. You can make arguments about which system is more fair, but it seems obvious which system is more fun to watch because there's so many moving pieces.

Don't get me wrong: I think we agree to a large extent. It's not that exciting when one delegate drops over a thousand votes in the first hours of a vote and pretty much locks it up. But I'd rather the solution to that problem be about limiting the power of really big delegates while keeping medium or larger delegates power intact. I cannot picture moving us basically to a one nation - one vote system.

Except it's not a one nation-one vote system. Delegates are still at least twice as powerful, often more.
I get that having very powerful delegates is interesting.
But it's not fair.
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Want to make the WA more democratic? Show your support here.
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Nessie
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Postby Nessie » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:17 pm

Nilla Wayfarers wrote:Except it's not a one nation-one vote system. Delegates are still at least twice as powerful, often more.
Having two votes or three votes is functionally the same as having one vote. It is very close to a one nation-one vote system, the average of nations voting to vote count would be basically 1. There is no meaningful difference between the two. Regions have no meaningful impact at all in either.
Nilla Wayfarers wrote:I get that having very powerful delegates is interesting.
But it's not fair.
I agree 100%. I would just prefer it be more fun than fair.

Anyway, if we're writing our ideal formulas mine would go something like...
If e ≤ 74:
votes = 1+e
If e > 74:
votes = 75 + [(e - 74) * .15]
Conventional rounding

Or in laymans terms, a delegate gets an extra vote for each endorsement he has until that reaches a certain number of votes (here 75) beyond which each new endorsement is only worth a fraction of an extra vote (here 15%).

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Postby Nilla Wayfarers » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:42 pm

Nessie wrote:
Nilla Wayfarers wrote:Except it's not a one nation-one vote system. Delegates are still at least twice as powerful, often more.
Having two votes or three votes is functionally the same as having one vote. It is very close to a one nation-one vote system, the average of nations voting to vote count would be basically 1. There is no meaningful difference between the two. Regions have no meaningful impact at all in either.

Larger regions's delegates would have votes in the double digits, on top of the votes of the individual nations that endorse them. They'll still have considerable power.
Nilla Wayfarers wrote:I get that having very powerful delegates is interesting.
But it's not fair.
I agree 100%. I would just prefer it be more fun than fair.

Then I guess we disagree on our priorities.

Anyway, if we're writing our ideal formulas mine would go something like...
If e ≤ 74:
votes = 1+e
If e > 74:
votes = 75 + [(e - 74) * .15]
Conventional rounding

Or in laymans terms, a delegate gets an extra vote for each endorsement he has until that reaches a certain number of votes (here 75) beyond which each new endorsement is only worth a fraction of an extra vote (here 15%).

Then delegates would be looking to get exactly 75 endorsements, so their extra votes are as powerful as possible.
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Want to make the WA more democratic? Show your support here.
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Postby [violet] » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:30 pm

Nilla Wayfarers wrote:
Nonononononononono wrote:I think this would be a great idea, but the problem of implementing this change might be overwhelming for the moderators...

Why would it be that hard? You should see the crazy pie chart they have for delegate votes. That looks hard. This is just math.

*likes post*

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Ransium
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Posts: 6778
Founded: Oct 17, 2006
Democratic Socialists

Postby Ransium » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:44 pm

I would note some in my region have expressed disgust and even renounced their WA membership based on the current precieved unfairness of the current system and the power so few delegates hold. As the delegate of a moderately large user created region I would support a change which decreases the power of delegates, even if it decreased my power as well.

Commended by SC 236,
WA Delegate of Forest from March 20th, 2007 to August 19, 2020.
Author of WA Resolutions: SC 221, SC 224, SC 233, SC 243, SC 265, GA 403, GA 439, GA 445,GA 463,GA 465,
Issues Editor since January 20th, 2017 with some down time.
Author of 27 issues. First editor of 44.
Moderator since November 10th 2017 with some down time.

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