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[RULES CHANGE] Relevance / Veracity

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The Ice States
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[RULES CHANGE] Relevance / Veracity

Postby The Ice States » Thu May 02, 2024 7:36 pm

Edit, 21 May - This change has now been finalised! Thanks to everyone for their input.

*** Public consultation on repeal-related rules revision ***


The Secretariat proposes replacement of the National Sovereignty and Honest Mistake rules with two new ones: Relevance and Veracity. This change has been discussed within the Secretariat since late 2021, and we have now decided to move forward with it! This rules change is substantive; notably, the standard for National Sovereignty (now Relevance) violations will be less restrictive on authors.

  • National Sovereignty: Theoretically any resolution can be removed with this sole argument. For this reason, repeals require unique arguments tailored to the target resolution. NatSov may be used as an additional unique argument but it cannot take over the repeal. Its variations include cultural and religious sovereignty.
    ...
  • Honest Mistake: Repeals should address the contents of the resolution it's targeting, and not just state the reverse of the arguments given in the resolution. Embellishment, exaggeration, deceptive/weaselly-words do not constitute an 'honest mistake'. An 'honest mistake' is factual inaccuracies, misrepresentation, or content that doesn't address the resolution.

  • Relevance: A repeal must give at least one particularised reason for repeal of the target resolution. A reason is particularised if it addresses the specific content of the repeal target. The following arguments are not considered particularised:
    • Facial claims to vagueness without elaboration. Examples or other explanations of how the said vagueness allows a resolution to be exploited are sufficient elaboration.
    • Broad claims of national, cultural or religious sovereignty which are not tailored to the specific policy in question.
  • Veracity (formerly Honest Mistake): A repeal clause cannot make an uncolourable interpretation of a passed resolution. An uncolourable interpretation violates generally accepted interpretive principles, or is so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it. Repeal clauses may not rely on any scenario clearly incomparable to the real world.


Alternatively,
  • ...
  • Relevance: A repeal must give at least one reason for repealing the target resolution which engages with its specific contents. The following arguments do not meet this standard:
    • Claims of vagueness without elaboration. Examples or other explanations of how the said vagueness allows a resolution to be exploited are sufficient elaboration.
    • Broad claims of national, cultural or religious sovereignty which are not tailored to the specific policy in question.
  • Veracity (formerly Honest Mistake): Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a passed resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. If multiple potential readings of a passed resolution exist, a repeal clause cannot rely on one so self-detrimental that no entity would apply it.


We identify two main prongs to Honest Mistake: the first being that repeals cannot misrepresent passed resolutions, and the second being that a proposal should address its target's contents. The first prong would be codified in Veracity as it is enforced today; the precedent laid out in [2022] GAS 3, that misrepresentation of passed resolutions other than the target is illegal, would also be codified. The second prong is currently largely ignored; this change would make it enforceable by merging this prong with the National Sovereignty rule, in the form of Relevance. This also codifies the still-enforced precedent (Ardchoille, 2013) that vagueness arguments without elaboration fall under National Sovereignty.

The following are the main points on which the Secretariat requests comment.

  1. Is the Relevance rule either overly or insufficiently restrictive on repeal authors? Are the standards given for particularised arguments too lax? Alternatively, should we abolish the requirement for a particularised or non-Natsov reason for repeal?

  2. Should the final sentence in Veracity, as to absurd "RP wank" scenarios, be kept? Is there better wording to express this?

  3. Is the new rule text understandable and clear, especially for new players?

We would appreciate that comments and responses be topical.

As of now, Desmosthenes and Burke, Imperium Anglorum and The Ice States are in favour of this change; Kenmoria opposes the standard in Relevance with regards to national sovereignty. Separatist Peoples did not express a view. Under the procedures, this comment period will end in two weeks, subject to finalisation.



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Last edited by The Ice States on Mon May 20, 2024 1:31 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby Comfed » Thu May 02, 2024 7:43 pm

Besides narrowing the scope of the NatSov rule, and making the ruleset look more and more like it was written by a typing thesaurus, I'm not sure I see the point of this. There don't seem to be any other substantive changes.
Last edited by Comfed on Thu May 02, 2024 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Ice States » Thu May 02, 2024 7:50 pm

Comfed wrote:Besides narrowing the scope of the NatSov rule, and making the ruleset look more and more like it was written by a typing thesaurus, I'm not sure I see the point of this. There don't seem to be any other substantive changes.

I brought up changing "particularised" to "relevant" privately, although that did not receive any comment. Would that make it clearer? My concern with that is that it may lead to the misconception that irrelevant arguments are inherently illegal, even in combination with relevant ones. Do you also have any suggestions for alternative names for the rules? Perhaps "Accuracy" instead of "Veracity"?

The HM rule text's "just state the reverse of the arguments given in the resolution" also isn't particularly enforced anymore, and so it is better to update the rules than to leave outdated components in. Natsov isn't clear at all that it includes vagueness arguments, and that has been enforced as recently as July last year. Renaming the rule from the fairly ambiguous "Honest Mistake" is one of the core factors which motivate this proposal.
Last edited by The Ice States on Thu May 02, 2024 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby The Overmind » Thu May 02, 2024 8:23 pm

This is a proposed rewording for the main clause of the Relevance rule meant to address some of Comfed's concerns, per a discussion with The Ice States in offsite discussion:

"A repeal must give at least one reason for repealing the target resolution which directly engages with its contents. The following arguments do not meet this standard:"

Similar improvements could probably be made to its subclauses to lower the register to one more friendly to the average forum-goer, and to improve scannability and parsability.
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Postby Wallenburg » Thu May 02, 2024 8:48 pm

I've been looking forward to this for a while. Encoding the most important HM principles in the HM rule is a great improvement.
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Postby Bisofeyr » Thu May 02, 2024 9:00 pm

  1. Definitely better, though I dislike the word "particularised". Just say "specific" or similar tbh. I also think that having a "NatSov-only" rule in general is probably unnecessary, and seems like something that OOC rules (which should largely be administrative imo) shouldn't handle and should instead defer to the voting public. That being said, I would be very amenable to the general concept of "Relevancy" if we could remove the second bullet point.
  2. Remove it, in my opinion. If someone made a claim in a repeal that "Resolution [x] would force any sapient AIs to forego citizenship" (which is on my mind... for some reason), that is clearly incomparable to the real-world but still a likely valid claim to make. It is impossible to enforce OOC rules on RP-wank without being either too restrictive or otherwise so broad as to be useless.
  3. On a first glance, looks fine other than "particularised" etc. I also think the double negative in veracity ought to be fixed: "A repeal clause must make a colourable interpretation of a passed resolution." This increases clarity.

The Overmind wrote:This is a proposed rewording for the main clause of the Relevance rule meant to address some of Comfed's concerns, per a discussion with The Ice States in offsite discussion:

"A repeal must give at least one reason for repealing the target resolution which directly engages with its contents. The following arguments do not meet this standard:"

Similar improvements could probably be made to its subclauses to lower the register to one more friendly to the average forum-goer, and to improve scannability and parsability.

Wouldn't this make it such that a repeal which says "Seeing that GA [x] is broader and thus more applicable than GA [y], repeals GA [y]" essentially disallowed, as it does not "directly engage" with the contents of the target resolution? I suppose that could also be an issue with the wording of the proposed change (which may also prompt a change) but seems more explicit here. Forgive me if this is nonsensical, I'm coming off a long day and am lightly brain-fried.
Last edited by Bisofeyr on Thu May 02, 2024 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Ice States » Thu May 02, 2024 9:29 pm

Bisofeyr wrote:Definitely better, though I dislike the word "particularised". Just say "specific" or similar tbh. I also think that having a "NatSov-only" rule in general is probably unnecessary, and seems like something that OOC rules (which should largely be administrative imo) shouldn't handle and should instead defer to the voting public. That being said, I would be very amenable to the general concept of "Relevancy" if we could remove the second bullet point.

I think the standard should stay in some form (and yes I say this having argued for full abolition in 2022) because if you can't justify why the specific target deserves to be singled out for Natsov repeal, it is unfair to the author that their specific resolution is repealed. It would encourage bad faith repeals where someone does not want to give the real reason for repeal in the text (for example conflict with the author, or a dislike of the topic in general). The burden is fairly low; you just have to explain why Natsov is a strong argument as to the specific resolution you are singling out for repeal.

The Overmind wrote:This is a proposed rewording for the main clause of the Relevance rule meant to address some of Comfed's concerns, per a discussion with The Ice States in offsite discussion:

"A repeal must give at least one reason for repealing the target resolution which directly engages with its contents. The following arguments do not meet this standard:"

Similar improvements could probably be made to its subclauses to lower the register to one more friendly to the average forum-goer, and to improve scannability and parsability.

Wouldn't this make it such that a repeal which says "Seeing that GA [x] is broader and thus more applicable than GA [y], repeals GA [y]" essentially disallowed, as it does not "directly engage" with the contents of the target resolution? I suppose that could also be an issue with the wording of the proposed change (which may also prompt a change) but seems more explicit here. Forgive me if this is nonsensical, I'm coming off a long day and am lightly brain-fried.

Perhaps "engages with its specific contents" instead?
Last edited by The Ice States on Thu May 02, 2024 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fachumonn » Fri May 03, 2024 7:05 am

I honestly don't really like the name of this rule change. Also I'm not too sure about the removal of NatSov.
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Postby The Overmind » Fri May 03, 2024 8:15 am

The Ice States wrote:
Wouldn't this make it such that a repeal which says "Seeing that GA [x] is broader and thus more applicable than GA [y], repeals GA [y]" essentially disallowed, as it does not "directly engage" with the contents of the target resolution? I suppose that could also be an issue with the wording of the proposed change (which may also prompt a change) but seems more explicit here. Forgive me if this is nonsensical, I'm coming off a long day and am lightly brain-fried.

Perhaps "engages with its specific contents" instead?

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Postby Witchcraft and Sorcery » Fri May 03, 2024 9:04 am

relevance is whatever, i know i'm known to be less than enthusiastic about blanket "natsov bad" claims, intfed propagandists run the ga anyway though so that will fall on deaf ears, but i do think that claims of natsov should be restricted to specific arguments about why the specific topic area should be. just as long as it's clear that arguments about why individual nations should be allowed to self-govern on a topic area are allowed, i'm cool with it

my problem with the veracity rule change and why the honest mistake rule was better is because the language is so flowery that it's difficult to understand what it means. "you can't say something that about a resolution that is objectively false" is pretty cut and dried.

"violating generally accepted interpretive principles" is like... whose? gensec's? mine? the ashtar high command's? what if i interpret a resolution as saying or doing something different from gensec? this reads like "if gensec doesn't like your proposal they can disqualify it"
Last edited by Witchcraft and Sorcery on Fri May 03, 2024 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Postby Tinhampton » Fri May 03, 2024 10:04 am

Why does it need to be made clear that Veracity is the new name for the Honest Mistake rule, but not that Relevance is the new name for the NatSov rule?

I do not think that either rule is particularly clear. I would in particular suggest rewriting Relevance as follows (although I know I was told off the last time I tried to rewrite a rule being changed on the grounds that it would create a third possible wording of the rule to be discussed, which was not desired by GenSec):
Relevance (formerly National Sovereignty): A repeal of a certain resolution must have some discussion about the specific content of that resolution. For example, a broad claim that the resolution is simply vague, or violates national, cultural, or religious sovereignty, does not count as discussion. However, a description of how alleged vagueness in the resolution opens it up to exploitation, or a tailored explanation of how a particular policy within that resolution violates national, cultural or religious sovereignty, would each count as discussion.


I agree with W&S's concerns on Veracity.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri May 03, 2024 10:42 am

Relevance combines both old NatSov-only and old HM relevance.

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Postby Goobergunchia II » Fri May 03, 2024 10:55 am

The Ice States wrote:Is the Relevance rule either overly or insufficiently restrictive on repeal authors? Are the standards given for particularised arguments too lax? Alternatively, should we abolish the requirement for a particularised or non-Natsov reason for repeal?

It's appropriate to require repeals to address the specific resolution they are targeting (instead of a generalized "it is bad that the GA does things" argument), but I do think it is fine if repeals make a specific argument that the particular target is better regulated at the national level.

The Ice States wrote:Should the final sentence in Veracity, as to absurd "RP wank" scenarios, be kept? Is there better wording to express this?

As written it doesn't work because there is no requirement that actual resolutions regulate scenarios clearly comparable to the real world. Personally I'd scrap the entire concept and let the voters decide what is and is not a poor argument.

The Ice States wrote:Is the new rule text understandable and clear, especially for new players?


"Generally accepted interpretive principles" is not clear unless you (1) have studied principles of legal interpretation or (2) are familiar with the GA's body of precedent. They either need to be enumerated within the rule or this needs to be scrapped. I'd prefer the second door.

"Is so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it" is way too subjective. Governments do very stupid things all the time. How'd the Great Leap Forward work out?

And yes, the Relevance language could be condensed substantially. Like, I'll just combine your first two sentences: "A repeal must give at least one reason for repeal of the target resolution that addresses the specific content of the repeal target. The following arguments are not considered sufficiently specific:"

I'd also ditch "facial" in particular as unnecessary lawyer-speak.

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Postby The Ice States » Fri May 03, 2024 1:46 pm

Per Discord, how about the following for Veracity, or is this still too high register?
Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a past resolution must be colourable. A colourable interpretation is plausible under a plain reading of the resolution, and is not so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it.


Alternatively,
A repeal clause cannot make an uncolourable interpretation of a passed resolution. An uncolourable interpretation is implausible under a plain reading of the resolution, or is so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it.


Re Goobergunchia, no objections to removing "facial"!

Fachumonn wrote:I honestly don't really like the name of this rule change. Also I'm not too sure about the removal of NatSov.

How about "Plausibility"?
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Postby Haymarket Riot » Fri May 03, 2024 1:49 pm

The Ice States wrote:Per Discord, how about the following for Veracity, or is this still too high register?
Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a past resolution must be colourable. A colourable interpretation is plausible under a plain reading of the resolution, and is not so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it.


Re Goobergunchia, no objections to removing "facial"!

Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a past resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution, and not so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it.

You don’t need to add a new term. This phrasing is better.
Last edited by Haymarket Riot on Fri May 03, 2024 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Ice States » Fri May 03, 2024 1:52 pm

Haymarket Riot wrote:
The Ice States wrote:Per Discord, how about the following for Veracity, or is this still too high register?


Re Goobergunchia, no objections to removing "facial"!

Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a past resolution must plausible under a plain reading of the resolution, and not so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it.

You don’t need to add a new term. This phrasing is better.

I'm a bit concerned about sentence length (the FKGL is 17, as opposed to 13.9), but if the consensus is that this is more readable I would be fine with this wording.

Edit: I would change "must plausible" to "must be plausible".
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Postby Haymarket Riot » Fri May 03, 2024 1:53 pm

The Ice States wrote:I'm a bit concerned about sentence length (the FKGL is 17, as opposed to 13.9), but if the consensus is that this is more readable I would be fine with this wording.

There are other ways to divide a sentence than to add a new word.
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Postby The Ice States » Fri May 03, 2024 1:57 pm

Haymarket Riot wrote:
The Ice States wrote:I'm a bit concerned about sentence length (the FKGL is 17, as opposed to 13.9), but if the consensus is that this is more readable I would be fine with this wording.

There are other ways to divide a sentence than to add a new word.

Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a past resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. A repeal clause may not interpret a passed resolution in a manner so self-detrimental that no entity would do so.


This seems to bring FKGL down to a more reasonable 13.5.

Edit: Per discussion with Banana on Discord, this should make it clearer how the RNT part applies where a resolution can only be read in a self-detrimental manner,
Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a passed resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. If multiple potential readings of a passed resolution exist, a repeal clause cannot rely on one so self-detrimental that no entity would apply it.
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Postby Haymarket Riot » Fri May 03, 2024 1:59 pm

The Ice States wrote:
Haymarket Riot wrote:There are other ways to divide a sentence than to add a new word.

Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a past resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. A repeal clause may not interpret a passed resolution in a manner so self-detrimental that no entity would adopt it.


This seems to bring FKGL down to a more reasonable 13.5.

That works for phrasing!
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Postby The Overmind » Fri May 03, 2024 6:28 pm

The Ice States wrote:Edit: Per discussion with Banana on Discord, this should make it clearer how the RNT part applies where a resolution can only be read in a self-detrimental manner,
Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a passed resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. If multiple potential readings of a passed resolution exist, a repeal clause cannot rely on one so self-detrimental that no entity would apply it.

This parses much better than the alternative.
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Postby Bisofeyr » Sat May 04, 2024 12:36 pm

The Ice States wrote:Edit: Per discussion with Banana on Discord, this should make it clearer how the RNT part applies where a resolution can only be read in a self-detrimental manner,
Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a passed resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. If multiple potential readings of a passed resolution exist, a repeal clause cannot rely on one so self-detrimental that no entity would apply it.

I'll put my support behind this wording.

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Postby First Nightmare » Sat May 11, 2024 5:12 pm

Relevance: A repeal must give at least one reason for repealing the target resolution which engages with its specific contents. The following arguments do not meet this standard:

Claims of vagueness without elaboration. Examples or other explanations of how the said vagueness allows a resolution to be exploited are sufficient elaboration.
Broad claims of national, cultural or religious sovereignty which are not tailored to the specific policy in question.

Veracity (formerly Honest Mistake): Any interpretation a repeal clause makes of a passed resolution must be plausible under a plain reading of the resolution. If multiple potential readings of a passed resolution exist, a repeal clause cannot rely on one so self-detrimental that no entity would apply it.

This looks better, because it is shorter, more concise, and doesn't prevent repealing resolutions that are outside of current real-world possibilities.
If someone includes a repeal reason that is clearly within plausibility but relies on some very strange RP then voters will be able to see that themselves. No need to keep that away from them, unlike lies.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue May 14, 2024 4:54 am

Nearing finalisation day, are people really okay with Ard's old "oxygen explodes on contact with water"?

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Postby The Overmind » Tue May 14, 2024 3:34 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Nearing finalisation day, are people really okay with Ard's old "oxygen explodes on contact with water"?

After further discussion off-site with The Ice States, I think there is merit to applying this as a rule for repeals, but not under the replacement for Honest Mistake. I recommend making a new thread, proposing it as a new repeal rule, and gathering separate community feedback on it. Doing it under this rule at this late stage is almost like adding it as a rider, and bundling them doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Their motivations are different, despite both being related to a notion of 'truth' in repeal legislation.
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Postby Unibot III » Wed May 15, 2024 7:07 am

I would highlight the debate surrounding the repeal of Clean Prostitute Act.

These hazy sentences grouped together (“generally accepted interpretive principles” + “ clearly incomparable”) in the Veracity clause seems like a big legal slight-of-hand that allows GenSec to decide what’s a reasonable interpretation for the WA, even when reasonable people can disagree about what is within the scope of interpretation and what is not.

I’m anticipating someone cracking open their European Law Textbook and arguing “the EU handled textual disputes this way in x, y, and z, rather than that way, therefore that’s not a reasonable way to interpret this text.”

Relying on “generally-accepted interpretative principles” as a crutch puts the WA in a crash collision with international differences in legal culture over how to handle semantics and omissions.
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