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[PASSED] Freedom to Contract

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Cowardly Pacifists
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[PASSED] Freedom to Contract

Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 9:33 am

Current Draft:
Freedom to Contract
A resolution to improve worldwide human and civil rights.

Category: Human Rights | Strength: Strong | Proposed by: Cowardly Pacifists


The World Assembly:

AFFIRMING that all people have a fundamental right to liberty, which includes the freedom to choose, think, and act as an individual within the confines of socially acceptable behavior;

CONVINCED that a person's freedom to voluntarily and willfully make agreements with others is an important part of their fundamental right to liberty;

BELIEVING that recognition of the freedom to form contractual agreements would improve and promote commercial and social interactions between and within world nations;

HEREBY:

1. DEFINES a "contract" for the purposes of this resolution as "an agreement between two or more persons containing specific terms that the parties intend to be legally binding and enforceable;"

2. DECLARES that any person who a member nation regards as competent to manage his or her own affairs shall be permitted by that nation to freely enter into binding contracts;

3. CLARIFIES that while a person must generally be permitted to contract freely, member nations - either individually or through collective WA action - may regulate certain contracts or agreements within their jurisdiction if doing so is necessary to meet some compelling public policy interest;

4. OBLIGATES Member Nations to provide an enforcement mechanism for valid contracts;

5. PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to establish reasonable rules regarding the form required for contracts, including whether certain contracts must be in writing, signed by the parties, and/or notarized by a government official.

Freedom to Contract
A resolution to improve worldwide human and civil rights.

Category: Human Rights | Strength: Strong | Proposed by: Cowardly Pacifists


The World Assembly:

AFFIRMING that all people have a fundamental right to liberty, which includes the freedom to choose, think, and act as an individual within the confines of socially acceptable behavior;

CONVINCED that a person's freedom to voluntarily and willfully make agreements with others is an important part of their fundamental right to liberty;

BELIEVING that recognition of the freedom to form contractual agreements would improve and promote commercial and social interactions between and within world nations;

HEREBY:

1. DEFINES a "contract" for the purposes of this resolution as "an agreement between two or more persons containing specific terms that the parties intend to be legally binding and enforceable;"

2. DECLARES that any person who a member nation regards as competent to manage his or her own affairs shall be permitted by that nation to freely enter into binding contracts;

3. CLARIFIES that while a person must generally be permitted to contract freely, member nations - either individually or through collective WA action - may regulate certain contracts or agreements within their jurisdiction if doing so is necessary to meet some compelling interest;

4. OBLIGATES Member Nations to provide an enforcement mechanism for valid contracts;

5. REQUIRES that Member Nations enforce valid contracts from other nations if those contracts would be valid under domestic law, and prohibits Member Nations from refusing to enforce contracts solely on the grounds that those contracts were formed in a foreign jurisdiction;

6. PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to establish reasonable rules regarding the form required for contracts, including whether certain contracts must be in writing, signed by the parties, and/or notarized by a government official.

Freedom to Contract
A resolution to improve worldwide human and civil rights.

Category: Human Rights | Strength: Strong | Proposed by: Cowardly Pacifists


The World Assembly:

AFFIRMING that all people have a fundamental right to liberty, which includes the freedom to choose, think, and act as an individual within the confines of socially acceptable behavior;

CONVINCED that a person's freedom to voluntarily and willfully make binding contracts with others is an important part of their fundamental right to liberty;

RESOLVED that a right to freely form contracts would improve and promote commercial and social interactions between and within world nations;

HEREBY:

1. DEFINES a "contract" for the purposes of this resolution as "an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which the parties exchange goods, services, or promises to do something;"

2. DECLARES that any person who a member nation regards as competent to manage his or her own affairs shall be permitted to enter into binding contracts within that nation;

3. CLARIFIES that while a person must generally be permitted to contract freely, member nations may - either individually or through collective WA action - declare certain contracts or agreements void and prohibited within their jurisdiction if doing so is necessary to meet some compelling interest;

4. OBLIGATES Member Nations to provide an enforcement mechanism for valid contracts;

5. REQUIRES that Member Nations enforce valid contracts from other member nations if those contracts would be valid under domestic law, and prohibits Member Nations from absolving a party of contractual obligations entered into in another member nation without the consent of all parties to the agreement;

6. PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to establish rules regarding the form required for contracts, including whether certain contracts must be in writing, signed by the parties, and/or notarized by a government official.

Freedom to Contract
A resolution to improve worldwide human and civil rights.

Category: Human Rights | Strength: Strong | Proposed by: Cowardly Pacifists


The World Assembly:

AFFIRMING that all people have a fundamental right to liberty, which includes the freedom to choose, think, and act as an individual within the confines of socially acceptable behavior;

CONVINCED that a person's freedom to voluntarily and willfully make binding contracts with others is an important part of their fundamental right to liberty;

RESOLVED that a right to freely form contracts would improve and promote commercial and social interactions between and within world nations;

HEREBY:

1. DEFINES a "contract" for the purposes of this resolution as "an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which the parties exchange goods, services, or promises to do something;"

2. DECLARES that any person who is recognized as an adult within a member nation shall be permitted to enter into binding contracts within that member nation, unless the person is actually incompetent to do so;

3. MANDATES that Member Nations must make valid contracts legally enforceable if entered into within their jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of any other member nation;

4. PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to require that certain contracts be in writing in order to be enforceable (such as contracts for the sale of land, or debt instruments).

5. ALSO PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to refuse to enforce certain contracts that are declared void against public policy (such as contracts to commit a crime, or contracts that resulted from fraud), where doing so is necessary to meet the needs of a compelling interest.

For those wondering about the third line of the preamble, I started developing this as a Free Trade proposal, but decided to go Human Rights at the last minute. I might remove the third preamble clause if folks agree this is Human Rights.

Comments are appreciated.
Last edited by Frisbeeteria on Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:25 am, edited 23 times in total.
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Frenequesta
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Postby Frenequesta » Tue May 29, 2012 9:40 am

Are we to understand Clause Five to also allow more socialist/communist leaning countries to keep their distribution systems in the name of being "against public policy", or is "public policy" limited to those class of actions already described within? If the latter I worry this might be an ideological ban of sorts...
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Christian Democrats
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Postby Christian Democrats » Tue May 29, 2012 9:52 am

Against. This proposal unduly would restrict the ability of member states to regulate contracts.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 9:54 am

Frenequesta wrote:Are we to understand Clause Five to also allow more socialist/communist leaning countries to keep their distribution systems in the name of being "against public policy", or is "public policy" limited to those class of actions already described within? If the latter I worry this might be an ideological ban of sorts...

I tried hard to eliminate any language that might suggest preferring one system of economic policy over any other. I imagine that even communist countries recognize some form of contract as I've described it, but contracts to form large companies or to devise wealth (wills and trusts) might be void as against public policy. Clause 5 is a catch all for any contract against public policy, the two in parenthesis are just examples. Others that spring to mind might be contracts for the sale of toxic goods, or contracts that establish hereditary title.

The point of clause 5 is to allow nations to declare a type of contract (as defined) unenforceable in that nation as against public policy. In order to avoid allowing far too many contracts to pass through, nations can only refuse to enforce a valid contract if doing so is "necessary to meet the needs of a compelling national interest." To use your example, I'm sure countries with communist economic policies are more than capable of picking out which contracts are void as against public policy. I also doubt that voiding all contracts would be necessary - surely a contract to paint a fence or mow the yard would be tolerable even to a communist country.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 9:55 am

Christian Democrats wrote:Against. This proposal unduly would restrict the ability of member states to regulate contracts.

How so? I included two provisions expressly permitting member nations to regulate contracts according to their own preferences. What did I miss?
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ALMF
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Postby ALMF » Tue May 29, 2012 9:58 am

I'm woried about use of this to limit emploie pertections
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 9:59 am

ALMF wrote:I'm woried about use of this to limit emploie pertections

How should I fix it?
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Ainocra
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Postby Ainocra » Tue May 29, 2012 10:05 am

Opposed, this would have an affect on every business in Ainocra and as such is simply over reaching by this body.

Not to mention the way different societies and cultures use and treat contracts.

Too broad
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ALMF
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Postby ALMF » Tue May 29, 2012 10:14 am

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
ALMF wrote:I'm woried about use of this to limit emploie pertections

How should I fix it?

A (4.a) about alowing evenhanded restrictions on contracts such as minimum wage requirments or other unwaveble right restrictions so long as they are nondiscrimintory
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Postby Bears Armed » Tue May 29, 2012 10:22 am

ALMF wrote:I'm woried about use of this to limit emploie pertections

Universal translators seem to be on the blink again...

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Morlago
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Postby Morlago » Tue May 29, 2012 10:33 am

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
Freedom to Contract
A resolution to reduce barriers to free trade and commerce.

Category: Human Rights | Strength: Strong | Proposed by: Cowardly Pacifists


The World Assembly:

AFFIRMING that all people have a fundamental right to liberty, which includes the freedom to choose, think, and act as an individual within the confines of socially acceptable behavior;

CONVINCED that a person's freedom to voluntarily and willfully make binding contracts with others is an important part of their fundamental right to liberty;

RESOLVED that a right to freely form contracts would improve and promote commercial and social interactions between and within world nations;

HEREBY:

1. DEFINES a "contract" for the purposes of this resolution as "an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which the parties exchange goods, services, or promises to do something;"

2. DECLARES that any person who is recognized as an adult within a member nation shall be permitted to enter into binding contracts within that member nation, unless the person is actually incompetent to do so;

3. MANDATES that Member Nations must make valid contracts legally enforceable if entered into within their jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of any other member nation;

4. PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to require that certain contracts be in writing in order to be enforceable (such as contracts for the sale of land, or debt instruments).

5. ALSO PERMITS Member Nations - either individually or through collective WA action - to refuse to enforce certain contracts that are declared void against public policy (such as contracts to commit a crime, or contracts that resulted from fraud), where doing so is necessary to meet the needs of a compelling interest.

For those wondering about the third line of the preamble, I started developing this as a Free Trade proposal, but decided to go Human Rights at the last minute. I might remove the third preamble clause if folks agree this is Human Rights.

Comments are appreciated.

All I see so far are things that we already have the permission to do, except for clause 2, which I do not really understand as the wording is a little bit strange. Care to clarify?
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Wisconsin9
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Postby Wisconsin9 » Tue May 29, 2012 10:36 am

Does this proposal mandate that member nations must allow citizens to make private contracts?
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Frenequesta
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Postby Frenequesta » Tue May 29, 2012 10:45 am

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
Frenequesta wrote:Are we to understand Clause Five to also allow more socialist/communist leaning countries to keep their distribution systems in the name of being "against public policy", or is "public policy" limited to those class of actions already described within? If the latter I worry this might be an ideological ban of sorts...

I tried hard to eliminate any language that might suggest preferring one system of economic policy over any other. I imagine that even communist countries recognize some form of contract as I've described it, but contracts to form large companies or to devise wealth (wills and trusts) might be void as against public policy. Clause 5 is a catch all for any contract against public policy, the two in parenthesis are just examples. Others that spring to mind might be contracts for the sale of toxic goods, or contracts that establish hereditary title.

The point of clause 5 is to allow nations to declare a type of contract (as defined) unenforceable in that nation as against public policy. In order to avoid allowing far too many contracts to pass through, nations can only refuse to enforce a valid contract if doing so is "necessary to meet the needs of a compelling national interest." To use your example, I'm sure countries with communist economic policies are more than capable of picking out which contracts are void as against public policy. I also doubt that voiding all contracts would be necessary - surely a contract to paint a fence or mow the yard would be tolerable even to a communist country.


"Compelling national interest" is a phrase of legalese that makes the heart in the lawyer-in-training in me leap for joy, but it's also part of my concerns. When I hear "compelling national interest" it's often used to justify exceptions in the name of safety or against lawbreaking (that's why I said class of actions rather than reference the specific actions), and establishing a certain economic method does not exactly fit into those categories, which are usually (at least under American law) justified under a lower-standard rational basis (...unless it is a criminal offense to break the state monopoly, which I imagine is often the case in communist/socialist nations). I have no doubt that any country is wise enough to determine what is within their policy interests, I just worry that the clause might be misinterpreted from a standard understanding of the phrase "compelling national interest".

(I'll admit I'm not in law school yet, so I don't know this sort of jurisprudence as well as I should...)
Last edited by Frenequesta on Tue May 29, 2012 10:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 10:48 am

ALMF wrote:
Cowardly Pacifists wrote:How should I fix it?

A (4.a) about alowing evenhanded restrictions on contracts such as minimum wage requirments or other unwaveble right restrictions so long as they are nondiscrimintory

For employment in particular, there's already several resolutions on living wage and workplace safety.

Under clause 5, nations would be free to refuse to enforce contracts that are prohibited by international law or are against national public policy.

I am starting to see part of the problem however. Some nations may want to do more than simply refuse to enforce bad contracts. They may want to prohibit them in the first place.

I'm open to suggestions on the wording that might accomplish this while still recognizing a general right to enter into lawful contracts.

Morlago wrote:All I see so far are things that we already have the permission to do, except for clause 2, which I do not really understand as the wording is a little bit strange. Care to clarify?

The two "biggies" in this act are clauses 2 and 3. Clause 2 requires nations to permit their folks to freely enter into contracts (subject to the exceptions in clauses 4 and 5), and clause 3 requires nations to enforce valid contracts whether made at home or abroad.

While it's true nations "already have permission" to grant these freedoms to their citizens, not all do. This proposal is about ensuring the right of freedom to contract for people of all member nations.

Wisconsin9 wrote:Does this proposal mandate that member nations must allow citizens to make private contracts?

Yes, people who are legally adults must be permitted to contract with each other, though nations still have the power to declare which contracts will and will not be enforced as against public policy (both individually and through the WA).

Frenequesta wrote:"Compelling national interest" is a phrase of legalese that makes the heart in lawyer-in-training in me leap for joy, but it's also part of my concerns. When I hear "compelling national interest" it's often used to justify exceptions in the name of safety or against lawbreaking (that's why I said class of actions rather than reference the specific actions), and establishing a certain economic method does not exactly fit into those categories (...unless it is a criminal offense to break the state monopoly, which I imagine is often the case). I have no doubt that any country is wise enough to determine what is within their policy interests, I just worry that the clause might be misinterpreted from a standard understanding of the phrase "compelling national interest".

My intent was that nations could decide for themselves (or through WA action) what their compelling national interests might be. The words are there so that nations at least have to justify why they would restrict the liberty to freely contract in some way. I'm willing to consider other language that would make this clearer.
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Tue May 29, 2012 10:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 11:16 am

Frisbeeteria wrote:"A resolution to reduce barriers to free trade and commerce" isn't Category: Human Rights. Might want to fix that.

:oops: ... thanks
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 12:26 pm

I did a quick turn-around on a second draft. Hopefully this new draft will clarify the intent of my proposal and assuage some of the concerns expressed so far.

Best Regards.
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Wisconsin9
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Postby Wisconsin9 » Tue May 29, 2012 12:40 pm

Would a government be able to declare every type of contract as a matter of policy?
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 2:01 pm

Wisconsin9 wrote:Would a government be able to declare every type of contract as a matter of policy?

Indeed. I've tweaked the language a bit to address your concerns.

Ultimately I think what Wisconsin9 alludes to is what the debate on this proposal will ultimately come down to. I think most nations will agree that a right to come to contractual agreements is pretty important from the perspective of individual liberty. The question will be how to limit that right in the name of good national policy while still recognizing the general liberty interest.

Best regards.
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Tue May 29, 2012 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wisconsin9
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Postby Wisconsin9 » Tue May 29, 2012 2:04 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
Wisconsin9 wrote:Would a government be able to declare every type of contract as a matter of policy?

Indeed. I've tweaked the language a bit to address your concerns.

Ultimately I think what WIsconsin9 alludes to is what the debate on this proposal will ultimately come down to. I think most nations will agree that a right to come to contractual agreements is pretty important from the perspective of individual liberty. The question will be how to limit that right in the name of good national policy while still recognizing the general liberty interest.

Best regards.

Actually, my concern is that this could turn into a way to undermine Communist nations.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 2:14 pm

Wisconsin9 wrote:
Cowardly Pacifists wrote:Indeed. I've tweaked the language a bit to address your concerns.

Ultimately I think what WIsconsin9 alludes to is what the debate on this proposal will ultimately come down to. I think most nations will agree that a right to come to contractual agreements is pretty important from the perspective of individual liberty. The question will be how to limit that right in the name of good national policy while still recognizing the general liberty interest.

Best regards.

Actually, my concern is that this could turn into a way to undermine Communist nations.

I don't think "communism" implies a lack of contractual agreements as I've defined them. Communism implies a lack of private ownership in business. Nothing in the proposal would prevent communist governments from pursuing that aim.

Even in a true "pure" communism (i.e. no state government at all, all private property ownership has been abolished) there is still a concept of "free association" that implies the ability to contract as I've described it.
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Tue May 29, 2012 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Free South Califas
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Postby Free South Califas » Tue May 29, 2012 2:36 pm

A Califan supermajority (80%+) of interested citizens of Free South Califas have made their voices heard, and obliged our delegation to vote FOR this resolution as written, while commending the Cowardly Pacifists delegation for their clearly laudable intent and arguably successful execution. We also reaffirm our commitment to the freedom of socialist nations to prohibit profit and other forms of exploitation and wage slavery, and we rejoice that this resolution appears to protect the proletariat in this manner.

Ainocra dijo:
Opposed, this would have an affect on every business in Ainocra and as such is simply over reaching by this body.


Would the principled Ainocran delegation also object to a ban on slavery or child exploitation on the same grounds?

Frenequesta dijo:

unless it is a criminal offense to break the state monopoly, which I imagine is often the case in communist/socialist nations


Or in the case of the Federated Communities and Economies of Free South Califas, attempting to consolidate economic power against the public interest is a criminal offense, which would include attempting to create a state monopoly.

Unless you consider the autonomous, self-directed and freely-associated acts of workers controlling their own production and exchange of goods to be a state monopoly, in which case, sign me up for state monopoly.
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Quelesh
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Postby Quelesh » Tue May 29, 2012 5:24 pm

The only issue I see in this proposal on a quick first reading is in clause 2:

2. DECLARES that any person who is recognized as an adult within a member nation shall be permitted to enter into binding contracts within that nation, unless the person is actually incompetent to do so or the type of contract is expressly prohibited by law;


and especially its reliance on the term "adult," and thus on a dichotomy of majority vs. minority. The ostensible purpose of such thresholds of majority is to prevent people who are incompetent to manage their own affairs from doing so, and competence should be the legal requirement, not necessarily majority.

I suggest modifying the clause to:

2. DECLARES that any person who is recognized within a member nation as competent to independently manage his or her own affairs shall be permitted to enter into binding contracts within that nation, unless the type of contract is expressly prohibited by law;


or something similar. This would still permit member states that have an age of majority to use this age threshold to determine competence, if those member states determine that this is the most appropriate way to do so, while also allowing them and other member states to use bases other than majority or chronological age.

Other than this one point, this proposal looks promising to me.

Alexandria Yadoru
Quelesian WA ambassador
"I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am." - Samuel Johnson

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." - George Bernard Shaw
Political Compass | Economic Left/Right: -7.75 | Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -10.00

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Cowardly Pacifists
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Posts: 1457
Founded: Dec 12, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Tue May 29, 2012 5:36 pm

Quelesh wrote:*snip

This sounds reasonable so I made the change. I also cut-off the tail end of provision 2, since provision 3 makes exactly the same point.
The We Already Surrender of Cowardly Pacifists

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Another Warning: Posts from this nation are always OOC.

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Wisconsin9
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Founded: May 18, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Wisconsin9 » Tue May 29, 2012 6:12 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
Quelesh wrote:*snip

This sounds reasonable so I made the change. I also cut-off the tail end of provision 2, since provision 3 makes exactly the same point.

If Quelesh supports it, I'm voting against it.
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We are currently 33% through the Trump administration.
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