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Why Repeal?

Where WA members debate how to improve the world, one resolution at a time.
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Mousebumples
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Why Repeal?

Postby Mousebumples » Fri May 06, 2011 5:10 am

What does it mean to repeal a resolution?
I'm guessing this one's a given, but for the sake of completeness, this seems like the best place to start. A repeal completely removes a piece of legislation from the WA books. When a repeal passes, your WA nation will get a telegram that says something to the effect of, "The World Assembly wishes to notify you that due to the passage of a resolution to repeal RESOLUTION X, your nation is no longer obligated to comply with its provisions."

From a practical standpoint, the resolution is still listed among the passed WA resolutions, but it is struck-out to indicate that it's no longer in effect.

After a resolution has been repealed, it can then be replaced with another resolution (hopefully one's that's more well written) on the same subject.

What is an "Insta-Repeal"?
And Insta-Repeal is a repeal that is drafted (and, often, passed) shortly after the original resolution passes. It usually arises when the repeal author feels that there are major flaws in the resolution that are not being realized by voters. They try to get the original resolution removed from the books as quickly as possible - and the Insta Repeal is really the way to do that. As an example, "In Regards to Cloning" was passed on 3/20/11 and repealed on 3/30/11.

However, if you're looking to author an Insta-Repeal ... You're more than likely to get at least some opposition from voters who are annoyed about voting on the same subject so close together. (This is especially probably if the queue is empty and the original resolution and it's repeal are voted upon back-to-back.) Further, if you're looking to submit a replacement right after an insta-repeal effort ... Such frustration with frequent voting on the same subject matter is even more common.

Of course, that's not to say that it can't or shouldn't be done. However, depending on what the resolution is (and on how strong your case is for repeal), it's something that authors and advocates of a given insta-repeal should take into consideration.

Why repeal?
The most commonly heard argument against repeal is that any problems in the original should just be fixed by "amending" the original resolution. While that would be my preferred option for many resolutions (especially since it's not a given that any replacement will ever pass), it's not legal.

Per the Rules for GA Proposals:
Amendments
You can't amend Resolutions. Period. You can't add on, you can't adjust, you can't edit. If you want to change an existing Resolution, you have to Repeal it first.

(If you want to know the details as to WHY amendments are illegal, please see here. Further details can be found below.)

So, basically, if you have a problem with an existing resolution, you need to repeal it. Problems with resolutions can range from "too vaguely worded and thereby ineffective" to "too overreaching and micromanagement" to "I could write a better proposal on this subject." And, of course, there's plenty of other possible reasons as well. To be honest, the reasoning doesn't really matter - but you need to have valid arguments for repeal if you're going to be submitting a repeal to the WA.

What rules apply only to repeals?
First: Make sure you use the repeal function (it's a link at the bottom of every passed WA resolution) to submit your repeal. Otherwise, your repeal attempt will be yanked for a category violation.

Second: Repeals cannot legislate. The only thing a repeal can do is repeal, and trying to introduce new legislation (or preserve portions of the resolution you're trying to repeal) is a big no-no.

Third: Rule Violations are not valid grounds for repeal. The WA mods are pretty smart and usually vet proposals for legality before they come to vote. However, if a proposal with a rule-breaking clause or three does make it's way to vote, it cannot be repealed on those grounds. By virtue of being WA law (should such a proposal pass), it is presumed to be legal. Other arguments need to be found to get it repealed. For an example of such a horror, please see UN#223: Max Barry Day.

Fourth: National Sovereignty arguments are not sufficient grounds for repeal. There's some dispute over whether or not NatSov arguments can be included within a bigger list of reasons for repeal, but your arguments are generally stronger if you steer away from these sorts of arguments. Many NatSov-based arguments can be changed to valid arguments with some innovative word play.

Do repeals need to be replaced?
HELL NO!

Of course, if you ask some GA regulars, they'll insist that almost every repealed resolution needs a replacement. (After all, God forbid we actual govern our own nations without the oversight of the WA, right?) And you are certainly more than welcome to write a replacement for the repealed resolution yourself, should that be something you're interested in. However, you are by no means required to author a replacement, if you don't wish to do so.

Can I just make some edits to the repealed resolution and resubmit?
Unless you are the original author (or get permission from the original author), you cannot. That would be considered "plagiarism," which is a WA-ejection level offense.

However, you can certainly reword the original resolution (so it's not plagiarism) and use the same basic points in your replacement.

Any other questions?
I think I've covered most of the basics, but I'm open to further questions, if anyone has anything else they'd like to know.
Last edited by Mousebumples on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:11 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Warzone Codger » Fri May 06, 2011 5:24 am

Do I get a pretty badge if I authored a repeal? Do I get to keep my pretty badge if my resolution was repealed?

A quick check appears to be yes to both. Which is good news for us with fragile egos.
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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Fri May 06, 2011 5:26 am

Warzone Codger wrote:Do I get a pretty badge if I authored a repeal? Do I get to keep my pretty badge if my resolution was repealed?

A quick check appears to be yes to both. Which is good news for us with fragile egos.

Yes to both. Although I'd love to see a "different" badge used for authoring a repeal - perhaps a cannon or something? - versus regular resolutions. However, I don't know if that's really worth bothering the techies over ...
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Omigodtheykilledkenny
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Postby Omigodtheykilledkenny » Fri May 06, 2011 9:40 am

(The strike code on these forums is [/strike] not [/s].)

Can you add a short note that the use of insta-repeals as a regular tactic in legislating has been criticized, even in some pro-repeal corners? Voters tend to tire of a topic after having already voted on it two or three times in recent months, and it's usually better to introduce an issue to the voting public while their minds are still "fresh," so to speak, not fatigued from constant revoting (resolution-repeal-resolution-repeal-etc.). The clean-water debacle from last summer is one such example; the missing-child one from earlier this year/late last year is another.

Overall, great work. I would have commented on the NatSov board but you beat me here.
Last edited by Omigodtheykilledkenny on Fri May 06, 2011 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Fri May 06, 2011 8:43 pm

Omigodtheykilledkenny wrote:(The strike code on these forums is [/strike] not [/s].)

Can you add a short note that the use of insta-repeals as a regular tactic in legislating has been criticized, even in some pro-repeal corners? Voters tend to tire of a topic after having already voted on it two or three times in recent months, and it's usually better to introduce an issue to the voting public while their minds are still "fresh," so to speak, not fatigued from constant revoting (resolution-repeal-resolution-repeal-etc.). The clean-water debacle from last summer is one such example; the missing-child one from earlier this year/late last year is another.

Overall, great work. I would have commented on the NatSov board but you beat me here.

Thanks for the suggestions, Kenny. The coding has been changed (since that's simple enough), but as I've had a drink or two tonight, I'll hold off on adding new content at this point. Hopefully tomorrow or else later this weekend ... ?

Thanks again! :D
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Ardchoille
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Postby Ardchoille » Sun May 08, 2011 12:29 am

Nice one -- and this comment is not from a NatSov perspective. :p

To save you typing, why not just link to the official "Why You Can't Amend"post here? Fris was pretty succinct.
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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Sun May 08, 2011 4:02 pm

Updated!

Added in Kenny's suggestions with regards to insta-repeals and Ard's helpful link with reasoning on why amendments are illegal. :D

EDIT: I didn't add in Warzone Codger's question as I think that's more of a Tech-related question. And I believe I already have that covered in the Trophies section of the Tech FAQ.
Last edited by Mousebumples on Sun May 08, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ardchoille
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Postby Ardchoille » Sat May 21, 2011 4:33 pm

Moved from Tech, where I mistakenly posted this in answer to another query:

CAUTION: Don't read unless you're into theory, aka nitpickery.

tl;dr: Human brains are more flexible than the NS game programs. Players and mods are (assumed to be) humans.

So, amendments.

Think about what amendments are in RL. One kind is that which takes place during a meeting. A (proposal) is formally moved and put to the vote. A member suggests a wording change. The proposer may accept it, in which case the original vote goes ahead.

Game mechanics stop us doing that, because neither mods nor players can physically change the words in a proposal at vote. I'm not sure if even the admins can, but I'm certain that they won't, because they already have enough on their plates.

Back to RL. The proposer doesn't accept the wording change. The amendment must then take precedence in voting. The original vote is suspended until the amendment has been voted on.

Game mechanics stop us doing that. Once voting on an NS proposal has begun, you can't stop it to vote on something else. It doesn't matter what the content of the "something else" is. It may be simply "that the following words be inserted after Clause 7 (quotes words)". That may not look like a new vote to you, but it does to a computer program.

Then there's the third sort of amendment that happens in RL, the after-the-fact one where laws have to be changed slightly while keeping the basic part of the law in place. Let's say you have a law forbidding the peasants to wear red or blue, but now you want them to stop wearing yellow, too. You want the "no red, no blue" to stay in place while you're getting "no yellow" passed, so you just amend the law. The effects of "no red, no blue" continue while you're adding "no yellow".

That's possible because the peasants are individuals. They can adjust each individual life, adding "no yellow" to their entire existence, hastily dyeing their yellow stuff green (but deciding against orange, it's too riskily close to red), making sure the local lord is not blue/green colour-blind, dumping the plan to get married in great-granma's treasured wedding dress because it's so old the white might be seen as pale yellow.

Game mechanics stop us doing that. Computer programs as simple as the one that runs NS's resolutions can't make adjustments like that by themselves. The admins don't have time to tell each nation on each amended resolution to ignore this effect but keep that one going, while adding in the new one. Writing a program that would predict how as-yet-unseen amendments would change effects of as-yet-unseen resolutions is apparently more complex than writing the programs that run the whole game.

So what you do is take out all the old effects (repeal) and then try for some new effects (new proposal). It doesn't matter to the game if some, or even all, of the new (statistical) effects are the same as the old (statistical) effects. Meanwhile, players' much more flexible brans are the ones that will deal with the non-statistical effects (such as plagiarism).

Which is where decisions about duplication start coming in.

We allow expansions to the duties of committees, but since there's a rule against making a proposal that is solely about a committee, such expansions would have to be part of a new proposal. The new proposal would have to do something else that did not simply duplicate the original proposal in which the committee was established.

Mods have also ruled that (some) individual proposals were not duplications when they dealt with a specific, targeted aspect of a previously established law. This usually applies to "Rights" legislation, and is ruled on case-by-case.

An example would be CoCR. This is a very wide law, so it was argued when it was presented that it was illegal because it duplicated some provisions of existing ones, such as Right of Assembly, Right of Free Speech and Patients' Rights. It survived because, though those resolutions dealt with specific aspects of rights, CoCR did something new by being so general. But now it does exist, there's still room for argument that some proposals don't duplicate it (so far, it seems to have been ones that target specific situations or concern "personhood").
Last edited by Ardchoille on Sat May 21, 2011 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ardchoille
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Postby Ardchoille » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:38 pm

I'm gravedigging this because of persistent queries about whether a specific repeal argument is legal. Answer: we won't rule until we have at least (a) a draft proposal and (b) clear evidence of utter inability of players to settle the argument.

Even then, for the most part, mods consider the validity of reasonably-written repeals is something best decided by the GA. Our standard is not Absolute Truth, but plausibility.

  • If you say a resolution definitely does X, and it does not do X, it's toast (eg, "GA#15 forces churches to perform gay marriages" = O.U.T.).
  • If you say a resolution could be read as X or may do Y or may have Z effect, mods are slightly more likely to find it plausible. Weasel words have their uses; conditional tense is your friend.
  • If you then sustain your assertion by referring to specific words or clauses in the original text, or citing particular existing legislation, you're adding to the plausibility. (Yes, HoC doesn't apply in repeals.) But ...
  • "Special pleading" can ruin any argument. Even if it's Absolutely True, but only on Tuesdays in the dark of the moon, or when read in conjunction with the poetic traditions of Ancient Sumerian, it's still toast.

However, all these depend on the skill of the author and their respect for other players. You should be ready to accept suggestions, add clarifying text and explain your intent and evidence in drafting.
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Postby Helltank » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:55 pm

Could you give an example of Special Pleading? I have not seen it anywhere and I would like to know what you mean by that.
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Demonos
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Limiting the repeal

Postby Demonos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:57 pm

Can a resolution be written to restrict the ability to repeal further WA resolutions until a specified time?

To clarify, a resolution is brought before the WA that would limit subsequent vexatious repeals of WA resolutions. A resolution after the resolution to prevent a vexatious repeal would therefore have an effective date and a sunset date whereby the WA at a specified later date could decide either to continue the resolution or let it die by the date of its termination.

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This City of Ours
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Postby This City of Ours » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:00 pm

No. That would be a Gameplay mechanics violation.
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Demonos
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Postby Demonos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:04 pm

This City of Ours wrote:No. That would be a Gameplay mechanics violation.



I will refer to your signature, " She's completely unsure of anything that's going on"

I would therefore like to hear the answer from the moderator.

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Postby This City of Ours » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:05 pm

OOC: No. That would be a Gameplay mechanics violation. There, now you don't have to mistake me for my ambassador character.
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Postby Deropia » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:21 pm

This City of Ours wrote:OOC: No. That would be a Gameplay mechanics violation. There, now you don't have to mistake me for my ambassador character.

Yeah, since that would require changing how the game works its a game mechanics violation. I hope two people saying the same thing is sufficient conformation.
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Demonos
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Limiting the Repeal; A need for a moderator's review

Postby Demonos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:22 pm

Dear mousebumples or ardchoille,

I seek the wisdom only a moderator can provide;

Can a resolution be written to restrict the general ability to repeal further WA resolutions until a specified time?

To clarify, if a resolution was brought before the WA that would limit subsequent vexatious repeals of WA resolutions could A resolution after the aforementioned resolution have an effective date and a sunset date whereby the WA at a specified later date could decide either to continue the resolution or let it die by the date of its termination?

Obviously, what I am suggesting is ending the Instantaneous Repeal process by a (as of the present unwritten) resolution. Instantaneous repeal so far has been nothing but vexatious and has been a reason to question the purpose of a WA in the first place.
'
This resolution could be entitled; "Ending Instantaneous Repeals"
Last edited by Demonos on Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Fauxia » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:30 pm

“Blockers: Proposals cannot be "repeal-proof" or prohibit legislation on broad and specific issues. However, 'Blockers' themselves are not illegal provided there is additional action (eg. GAR#10: Nuclear Arms Possession Act).”

I am no expert on the GA, nor am I a mod, but I can tell you that the mods are no longer in charge of GA rules and that GenSec is.
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Demonos
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Postby Demonos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:40 pm

Fauxia wrote:“Blockers: Proposals cannot be "repeal-proof" or prohibit legislation on broad and specific issues. However, 'Blockers' themselves are not illegal provided there is additional action (eg. GAR#10: Nuclear Arms Possession Act).”

I am no expert on the GA, nor am I a mod, but I can tell you that the mods are no longer in charge of GA rules and that GenSec is.


I am proposing that Instantaneous Repeal be illegal. It is vexatious.

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:42 pm

Demonos wrote:Dear mousebumples or ardchoille,

I seek the wisdom only a moderator can provide;

Can a resolution be written to restrict the general ability to repeal further WA resolutions until a specified time?

To clarify, if a resolution was brought before the WA that would limit subsequent vexatious repeals of WA resolutions could A resolution after the aforementioned resolution have an effective date and a sunset date whereby the WA at a specified later date could decide either to continue the resolution or let it die by the date of its termination?

Obviously, what I am suggesting is ending the Instantaneous Repeal process by a (as of the present unwritten) resolution. Instantaneous repeal so far has been nothing but vexatious and has been a reason to question the purpose of a WA in the first place.
'
This resolution could be entitled; "Ending Instantaneous Repeals"


Since the mods don't interpret the GA rules the same way anymore, take it from somebody who has taken that job: NO.

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Fauxia
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Postby Fauxia » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:47 pm

Demonos wrote:
Fauxia wrote:“Blockers: Proposals cannot be "repeal-proof" or prohibit legislation on broad and specific issues. However, 'Blockers' themselves are not illegal provided there is additional action (eg. GAR#10: Nuclear Arms Possession Act).”

I am no expert on the GA, nor am I a mod, but I can tell you that the mods are no longer in charge of GA rules and that GenSec is.


I am proposing that Instantaneous Repeal be illegal. It is vexatious.
Or maybe the WA needs a second opinion. That also might qualify as meta-gaming. But listen to Separatist Peoples, as they’re the person you need to convince the legality of.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:49 pm

Fauxia wrote:
Demonos wrote:
I am proposing that Instantaneous Repeal be illegal. It is vexatious.
Or maybe the WA needs a second opinion. That also might qualify as meta-gaming. But listen to Separatist Peoples, as they’re the person you need to convince the legality of.

Not true.

If Demonos wants to suggest a technical change to how the game works, it needs to go to Technical. If Demonos is seeking an answer to their question, this thread was inappropriate, but he has is answer. If Demonos is seeking to have GenSec change our interpretation of repeals, there is nothing to be done, as that is outside our power.

As such, this thread should stop getting posts.
Last edited by Separatist Peoples on Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Demonos
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Postby Demonos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:04 pm

With all due respect to the member of GenSec, Seperatist Powers, this thread is about the repeals process a subject I have not deviated from but specifically address to wit, "Instant Repeals". Further, I would humbly request as to what WA legal code or document the honorable member of GenSec bases his interpretations on exactly, other than personal opinion of course.

I have submitted a query to technical and await their answer on the possibility of the resolution as well.

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Postby Araraukar » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:10 pm

Demonos wrote:this thread is about the repeals process

This thread hadn't been posted in for 4 years, before you dug it out of the moth balls.
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Demonos
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Postby Demonos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:13 pm

Araraukar wrote:
Demonos wrote:this thread is about the repeals process

This thread hadn't been posted in for 4 years, before you dug it out of the moth balls.


Well it is high time something be done about Instant Repeals. Four years have gone by and the system has been flawed in all that time. Really, the pass-repeal-pass-repeal loop is getting embarrassing.

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Postby Wrapper » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:21 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:
Fauxia wrote: Or maybe the WA needs a second opinion. That also might qualify as meta-gaming. But listen to Separatist Peoples, as they’re the person you need to convince the legality of.

Not true.

If Demonos wants to suggest a technical change to how the game works, it needs to go to Technical. If Demonos is seeking an answer to their question, this thread was inappropriate, but he has is answer. If Demonos is seeking to have GenSec change our interpretation of repeals, there is nothing to be done, as that is outside our power.

As such, this thread should stop getting posts.

Agreed. Locked.


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