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Security Council category: Declarations

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Sedgistan
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Security Council category: Declarations

Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:55 am

We have a shiny new Security Council category coded and ready to go. Fittingly, the (hoped) first GP/SC change following the introduction of Development Managers does precisely nothing! Yes, this is a category which has no effect at all - not even a shiny badge. There's been some discussion around this concept both here (under the name "Document") and here, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some earlier threads too.

Before we go live on this, I'd like input on some aspects of this:

  1. Do we actually want a Declaration category?
  2. Is "Declaration" the best name for it? It's been discussed before as "Document".
  3. What description do we want for the category - I currently have "A resolution to express a position on international affairs."
  4. Do we want subcategories for it? In Unibot's thread, he suggested subcategories of "Memorandum", "Agreement", "Convention".
  5. What rules changes do we need?
Answering some of these:

  1. Yes. It's a super-easy change (I've coded it already). There's demand for it, and no clear downsides have been raised yet. There aren't the wider GP implications that we normally have to consider with SC categories that have in-game effects.
  2. I'm happy with Declaration. In my view, this category is for the SC to express an opinion, with reasons for holding that opinion. Nothing binding goes in here.
  3. Open to alternatives here.
  4. No. I don't see the need. Subcategories exist in the GA for differing statistical effects on nations. There are none for Declarations. I also don't want players or mods to have to deal with category violations - i.e. pull someone's proposal because it's a "Memorandum" not a "Convention". Better to keep things simple.
  5. I've got thoughts around this, but for the most part the existing ruleset works fine with Declarations. I'm interested both in thoughts on specific rules but also on how we handle changing the rules for Declarations - we could make changes now in anticipation of how we think these should work, or wait and see, introducing rules tweaks when circumstances demand them (a bit trickier for players who might write something they thought was legal only for it to be decided it isn't, but allows for more organic development of the SC).

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Wallenburg
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Postby Wallenburg » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:00 am

So, um, what is it that you are actually proposing? Because I see absolutely nothing of substance, let alone actual value, in this OP.
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Cormactopia Prime
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:07 am

Sedgistan wrote:Do we actually want a Declaration category?

Yes! I don't see a downside and it should contribute to Security Council activity at least by virtue of being new, and it's nice that the Security Council will now be able to express a collective point of view without commendation or condemnation, or symbolic liberations, etc. Makes for more politics.

Sedgistan wrote:Is "Declaration" the best name for it? It's been discussed before as "Document".

I like Declaration. It's a little less bland than Document.

Sedgistan wrote:What description do we want for the category - I currently have "A resolution to express a position on international affairs."

I think maybe "A resolution to express the sense of the Security Council on international affairs"? That may be too wordy. Yours is probably fine.

Sedgistan wrote:Do we want subcategories for it? In Unibot's thread, he suggested subcategories of "Memorandum", "Agreement", "Convention".

I don't think we should have subcategories for one of the reasons you already mentioned, category violations tripping up proposals. I think one of the reasons the Security Council sees a somewhat broader selection of authors than the General Assembly is because its rules are so much more straightforward, and I wouldn't want to see categories make authorship less accessible. The title could make clear what type of declaration it is, assuming it can be titled anything the author wants?

Sedgistan wrote:What rules changes do we need?

Nothing is springing immediately to mind in terms of rule changes. Just kidding! A few things sprang to mind after I posted.

1. Might need to address duplication. I think I would err on the side of letting Declarations duplicate other resolutions, because I think it would be ideal if a Declaration could be passed to approve/disapprove of a specific thing (i.e., a coup), while for example a Commendation or Condemnation could still be passed to address the totality of a nation's/region's history which would include the coup already approved or disapproved of in the Declaration. I realize, currently, there is nothing in the rules saying that different categories of resolutions can't duplicate each other, but with this new category we may want to make it explicit.

2. I feel like requiring an operative clause for these might be limiting. These are meant to allow more free-style documents, and given they're non-binding, a Declaration wouldn't actually do anything. On the other hand, if you did want to keep an operative clause, it could be formatted with the first portion being background/summary and then the second portion being "The Security Council hereby declares..." and then the actual opinion being expressed. Similar to how most non-binding resolutions work in real life legislatures. So it could work either way, but may be simpler and allow more flexibility to not require operative clauses.

3. Maybe ease up on branding for these? I can see how it might be beneficial to allow, for example, a list of regions that support a proposal at the time of submission. The potential drawback could be regions falsely listed, miscommunication in which someone thought a region should be listed and they shouldn't, etc., so maybe Moderation would rather not have to deal with claims of false listings. But I feel like it's something worth considering.

Beyond that, I'd favor a more organic rules development process over time instead of adding a bunch of rules when we don't know quite how players will want to make use of the new category yet. I feel like over time it will become a lot clearer what rules need to be established for these without being too limiting.
Last edited by Cormactopia Prime on Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:39 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Postby Moonfungus » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:37 am

Sedgistan wrote:Do we actually want a Declaration category?

Yes please. There are certain events that doesn't exactly warrant a full commendation/condemnation of its initiator, but feels like the Security Council should express a collective opinion of it, like the multiple coups of major regions throughout GP history or someone's efforts to restore those regions back to shape after the said coups happened (Marrabuk and Imki comes to my mind immediately). While we can see signs of these special events through C/Cs, it still doesn't express a full picture of it. This category will help to do exactly that and also free up the voting queue of those rushed C/Cs each time something remotely interesting happens :p

Sedgistan wrote:Is "Declaration" the best name for it? It's been discussed before as "Document".

Declaration seems like the best name for it, no problem with it here.

Sedgistan wrote:What description do we want for the category - I currently have "A resolution to express a position on international affairs."

Yours look fine to me, got nothing better on me.

Sedgistan wrote:Do we want subcategories for it? In Unibot's thread, he suggested subcategories of "Memorandum", "Agreement", "Convention".

I don't think there's a need for it, Declarations should be a blank slate with the only thing constraining it is the proposer's ability to present logical arguments and creativity.

Sedgistan wrote:What rules changes do we need?

I say we go for an organic rules development approach, planning is for nerds anyway :p
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Cormactopia Prime
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Postby Cormactopia Prime » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:45 am

Wallenburg wrote:So, um, what is it that you are actually proposing? Because I see absolutely nothing of substance, let alone actual value, in this OP.

If you look back at the links Sedge posted in the OP, you'll see suggestions for what these types of resolutions could cover. But basically, they're supposed to be resolutions that express the position of the Security Council, similar to resolutions passed by RL legislatures, the UN, etc. The idea behind them has essentially been to increase the use of the SC for interregional diplomacy and politicking by addressing specific events, causes, etc., and not having to commend or condemn the totality of a nation's or region's history, or pass a symbolic liberation of a region to express disapproval or hostility.

The fact this proposal wouldn't carry a badge with it would also reduce some "badge of honor" concerns so we could actually express interregional perspective on things without worrying quite as much about whether a nation or region is proud of a badge. Some will probably still make badge of honor arguments in the absence of a badge, but that argument would have far less merit when there isn't a visible symbol on a nation or region page drawing attention to the resolution.
Last edited by Cormactopia Prime on Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Hazar Amisnery
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Postby The Hazar Amisnery » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:47 am

What is a Declaration? How would I write it?
I believe condemnations/commendations are like the UNSC's sanctions but what is a Declaration?
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Wallenburg
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Postby Wallenburg » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:51 am

Given how extremely broad this is, I figure it could use some better definitions (how it's meant to be used, how rules would be enforced on it). I think the idea is intriguing in that it could be a way to bring roleplay back to the SC after so many years of stagnation.
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:02 am

Wallenburg wrote:Given how extremely broad this is, I figure it could use some better definitions (how it's meant to be used, how rules would be enforced on it). I think the idea is intriguing in that it could be a way to bring roleplay back to the SC after so many years of stagnation.

Are definitions the right way to go with that? Because if it's deliberately left open, it allows more freedom for people to use the category in ways we couldn't anticipate, and by different communities.

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Wallenburg
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Postby Wallenburg » Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:04 am

Sedgistan wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:Given how extremely broad this is, I figure it could use some better definitions (how it's meant to be used, how rules would be enforced on it). I think the idea is intriguing in that it could be a way to bring roleplay back to the SC after so many years of stagnation.

Are definitions the right way to go with that? Because if it's deliberately left open, it allows more freedom for people to use the category in ways we couldn't anticipate, and by different communities.

Sure, but I imagine you don't intend for it to be used as a blog or as a platform for arguing atheism vs. religion or abortion in the way we get in NSG.
I want to improve.
grestin went through the MKULTRA program and he has more of a free will than wallenburg does - Imperial Idaho
Kiu Ghesik wrote:harris' interpretation of bidenism and subsequent establishment of a bidenist vanguard party to root out malarkey and revisionist elements in society was revisionist in and of itself and should never have been implemented.

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:11 am

Wallenburg wrote:Sure, but I imagine you don't intend for it to be used as a blog or as a platform for arguing atheism vs. religion or abortion in the way we get in NSG.

Fair point. And I know if some of the Antarctic Oasis were still around, they'd start submitting recipes in the category, or Sigur Rós lyrics. So a Declaration should be about NationStates affairs - but that's broad, and can take in what's going on in International Incidents as much as what's happening in GP.

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Postby Sanctaria » Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:14 am

Sedgistan wrote:and can take in what's going on in International Incidents as much as what's happening in GP.

That's good though, we should encourage more RP-based people to use the SC and Declarations might be an easier entry point for them into the SC instead of the more in-depth research or GP knowledge needed for C/Cs or Libs.
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Manatir
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Postby Manatir » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:08 am

Sanctaria wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:and can take in what's going on in International Incidents as much as what's happening in GP.

That's good though, we should encourage more RP-based people to use the SC and Declarations might be an easier entry point for them into the SC instead of the more in-depth research or GP knowledge needed for C/Cs or Libs.

^this. I actually really like the fact that this is being implemented, and can't wait until it comes about fully. I agree with all of Cormac's points.

Edit: I have one question though. Will they be addressed to the Security Council like current resolutions are?
Last edited by Manatir on Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Jedinsto » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:12 am

I support the idea and will be excited to try it one day.
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Astrobolt
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Postby Astrobolt » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:19 am

Definitely support this idea. Though we definitely do need rules preventing the Declaration from becoming something out of NSG.
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Tinhampton
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Postby Tinhampton » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:24 am

Commendations, Condemnations and Liberations all have a particular title format - so, for instance, a Commendation directed at Sedgistan would be entitled "Commend Sedgistan," not "Sedge Is Awesome" or "WE MUST APPRECIATED SEDGISTAN NATION".

Will Declarations also have a particular title format (i.e. "Declaration on [whatever you want to type in here]") in keeping with other SC resolution types, perhaps as in Figure 1? (You can probably tell from the below that I'm with Sedge on subcategories :P)
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Another thought: If a nation has been C&Ced for a particular action, (to what extent) can/should that action by that nation be citable in a Declaration without it being duplication?
Last edited by Tinhampton on Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:54 am

I like the OP & have no issues with there not being any subcategories.

But I will take a second to explain why I had originally included subcategories. I wanted to use the structure of subcategories to inspire other authors — emphasizing to them that the category could be used for a full set of different kinds of purposes: open international treaties, memorandum, conventions etc. One of my concerns with the title “Declaration” is a declaration is a very specific kind of document that states universal principles. “Document” is too bland, but I had leaned towards it to encompass more broadly different uses for the category that I could envision players making use of the category for. I think it’s entirely possible that I’m overthinking this. :p

“Instrument” is the actual legal term in use for document, but I’m not sure it would a very good category name.

I think “Declaration” will work, Sedge, but you’ll want to take some time before implementing the proposal to lay out some ideas in an introductory thread for authors as to how to the category can be used (not limiting them to those ideas, but an expression of some possibilities), so that players are starting out with a foundation to work from.

The problem with leaving everything entirely open and ambiguous is sometimes that has the opposite effect of not inspiring creativity — authors may need a few prompts and hints and structure to inspire them to consider the full scope of what this category could be used for:

- An open treaty or convention
- A statement on events
- A declaration of principles
- A call for action
- An international agreement
etc…..

I think this could be one of the most successful game reforms in bringing life and renewal to NSGP (and roleplay!). It’s also going to be a busy few months for SC moderation as it adjusts and fine tunes the ruleset to accommodate unforeseen complications with the new category & the rules.

To answer Tin’s question, in my original idea, I had the titles being open not fixed (like the GA), but I don’t know what Sedge has coded.

This is quite exciting for an old silly dude like me. I’ve been proposing this thing since 2009!

Edit: in terms of rules, I think the existing ruleset will likely be able to accommodate the category without too many issues. I would expect a discussion to arise over whether the SC can declare war or call for arms or mobilize. My own opinion is that the SC should be able to declare war in terms of acknowledging or initiating a state of war — passive belligerency — and it can make a call to member-states to do something, but it cannot enforce active belligerency or active participation in really anything war or not. A challenge for the ruleset is that WASC authors will be writing strongly worded language and imperatives, but the resolutions cannot anticipate or suggest actual enforcement of these calls, declares, and requires etc. It’s a balancing act that I’m sure the WASC will figure out over time…
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lord Dominator
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Postby Lord Dominator » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:12 am

I’m fine with the name and no sub-categories

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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:28 am

It's coded that you write your own title - same as in the GA.

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Postby Bhang Bhang Duc » Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:21 am

I think Declaration is a pretty good title for this new category and I don’t see the need for any subs.

How the current SC rules are adapted for this category is going to be interesting - the operative clause for example, though Cormac has come up with a workaround for that.

At the moment I wouldn’t see the SC needing any new rules for Declarations, just adaption of the existing ones where necessary.
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Postby Tinhampton » Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:32 am

Should I take it that Declarations can be repealed like C&Cs and Liberations can?
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:47 am

The SC is suddenly alive!! :p
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Sedgistan
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Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:59 am

Tinhampton wrote:Should I take it that Declarations can be repealed like C&Cs and Liberations can?

Yes.

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Jedinsto
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Postby Jedinsto » Thu Jun 24, 2021 12:40 pm

Any idea when this might go live? Sorry if you've already said.
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Suvmia
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Postby Suvmia » Thu Jun 24, 2021 12:42 pm

Very excited to see this, hopefully it will bring in a fresh crop of activity to the SC and other aspects of NS overall.
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Wallenburg
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Postby Wallenburg » Thu Jun 24, 2021 12:43 pm

Jedinsto wrote:Any idea when this might go live? Sorry if you've already said.

It may go live in the future. I'm pretty sure that's the only thing Sedge can commit to, given the workshop stage it is in.
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