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The Case for Multilateral Treaties

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Unibot III
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The Case for Multilateral Treaties

Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:19 pm

The Case for Multilateral Treaties

This won't be a full essay as the author's name might lead you to believe, my essay days are long past me – consider this thread, an observation. That observation is that there are significant advantages to multilateral treaty-making over bilateral arrangements which have been previously overlooked. I believe that the Game-Created Regions (GCRs) should consider a new multilateral treaty to rival the GCR Sovereignty Accords.

The pretext of this thread is the shocking events that took place in the South Pacific last year – namely the coup by Hileville and company. What was especially worrisome to me about that coup was the sheer absence of a diplomatic response from the interregional world. To me it signifies the existing vulnerability of democratic GCRs; the aftermath of the so-called 'Cold War' has been the deterioration of relations and the polarization of the Game-Created Regions, such that I believe it's entirely possible a democratic GCR could fall and receive little in the way of foreign support; or at least, insufficient support to deter actors from supporting the coup d'état. In this respect, alarm bells should be sounding: this is not normal. Such a scenario was near unthinkable previously.

Probably my favourite area of interest in NationStates is the study of soft power – the linkages and power relationships between regions based on cultural and legal activity – and I believe soft power offers a lot in the way of understanding security for Game-Created Regions. When a Game-Created Region falls into a crisis, it's these relationships that deter other regions from supporting coupers for fear of diplomatic blowback.

Below is a simple network of major regions arranged by their treaties, protocols and alliances which gives you a sense of the scale of NationStates' complicated independence:

(My apologies for the incomplete nature of the map.)

Image

As you can see, soft power can be disproportionate to a region's size. Taijitu, for example, rivals only Europeia in its relationships to Game-Created Regions. Equilism, Spiritus, LKE and TNI should also be considered relevant diplomatic 'hubs.'

The source of problems for today's democratic GCRs are 'holes' in their networking between one another; that's a fancy intellectual way of saying they're not allied. Fissures between these democratic GCRs have left them with less allies amongst themselves than their authoritarian/monarchic peers who have papered over any shortfall in their bilateral arrangements with the all-encompassing GCR Sovereignty Accords.

For the purposes of demonstration, consider the Soft Power Index below. A score on the soft power index for a GCR is the sum of the number of GCRs it maintains treaties with multipled by 1.25; I have not counted the Balder-TSP treaty (its existence is still legally contested and practically speaking, it's dead) and I've counted NAPs and WALL as worth 0.5 each rather than as a whole point. The score, measured between 0 to 10, reflects the level of mutual official recognition of each Game-Created Region state's legitimacy. And the results might surprise you...

1. Osiris. 5.625.
2. Balder. 4.375.
3. The Pacific, the West Pacific and the South Pacific. 3.75.
4. The North Pacific and the Rejected Realms. 3.125.
5. Lazarus and The East Pacific. 2.5

Especially surprising to me is the success that Osiris has had in building a diplomatic network of support among its peers given the circumstances of its recent transitions of power. And, no less surprising still is the deterioration of the East Pacific's relations among its fellow feeders and sinkers which leaves it vulnerable to a coup d'état.

I believe the democratic GCRs have fallen behind in their foreign policy positions because of a local resistance to the same multilateral arrangements that have worked for Osiris, the Pacific, Balder and the West Pacific. IR Theorists in NationStates tend to look down upon multilateral treaties, finding them to be 'fluffy' in comparison to bilateral treaties, but I would argue that multilateral treaties have advantages over bilateral arrangements. While it's true that major superpowers in real life prefer engaging with allies in a bilateral manner, that's only true because of the strategy at play: hegemonic powers like dealing with one on one with partners because it's an unequal relationship. In the case of Game-Created Regions, no inequality between regions exist. NationStates is far more 'multipolar' than what we see in the real life international arena.

The advantage of multilateral treaties is that no direct association between an antagonistic partner is necessary; there may be bad blood between associates of the treaty but they all benefit from the mutual defense provided without having to maintain the kind of close cultural-political relationship that players have come to expect from bilateral relationships between treatied regions.

I would propose a multilateral treaty between the North Pacific, Lazarus, the East Pacific, the South Pacific and the Rejected Realms – a revival of the ill-fated Parthenon project from the NLO crisis, perhaps – which would guarantee: (1) mutual recognition of state sovereignty and legitimacy, (2) military aid in times of crisis, (3) mutual non-aggression, (4) a mechanism for calling emergency security meetings between heads of state. In effect, a soft version of NATO that would be applicable to NationStates; one without an overarching or cumbersome executive organization.

And if you were wondering, the outcome of such a treaty would more or less even the playing field diplomatically between the involved parties...

1. The East Pacific. 6.25.
2. The North Pacific, The Rejected Realms & Osiris. 5.625.
3. The South Pacific and Lazarus. 5.
4. Balder. 4.375.
5. The Pacific and the West Pacific. 3.75.

The East Pacific would benefit the most from the arrangement, seeing a 150% rise in soft power. But all parties would mutually benefit: Lazarus (+100%), The North Pacific (+80%), The Rejected Realms (+80%) and the South Pacific (+33%.) In this sense, given its positive-sum benefits, I would consider it irrational for the parties not to pursue some sort of multilateral arrangement.

Cheers. Thanks for reading.

- Uni.
Last edited by Unibot III on Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
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Cerian Quilor
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Postby Cerian Quilor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:28 pm

Interesting thoughts, and while I'm not sure I agree with your conclusions, your observations about the wider NS IR world are similar to ones I've made since my return.
Never underestimate the power of cynicism, pessimism and negativity to prevent terrible things from happening. Only idealists try to build the future on a mountain of bodies.

The Thing to Remember About NationStates is that it is an almost entirely social game - fundamentally, you have no power beyond your own ability to convince people to go along with your ideas. In that sense, even the most dictatorial region is fundamentally democratic.

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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:29 pm

This is more or less a distillation of some thoughts I've shared with friends about the state of foreign relations in the GCRs. Food for thought, nonetheless.

Thanks CQ. :)
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of The Rejected Realms | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
Unibotian Factbook // An Analysis of NationStates Generations // The Gameplay Alignment Test // NS Weather // How do I join the UDL? // The Transpacific Trade
Paradise Found // The Unibotian Life Expectancy Index // Proudly Authored 9 GA Res., 14 SC Res. // Commended by SC#78 // The Polysemes of Nativeness;

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Cerian Quilor
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Postby Cerian Quilor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:36 pm

The thing I've seen since the end of the FRA and the general retreat of the UDL from major activity and the rise of TGW, the departure of TNI from world affairs, the general redudction of activity in Albion, the earlier end of UIAF, etc, etc, is an increasing multipolarity in the NS world, with the major blocs that have been defining foreign affairs for a long time... are... while not gone, they aren't the same. Everything is in pieces, more diffuse. Less established and cohesive. CAIN is one of the efforts to, for lack of a better word, to pick up the pieces of what used to be.

I mean, like it or not, think it pointless or not, seems like the TNI-FRA war was a good thing for the game.
Never underestimate the power of cynicism, pessimism and negativity to prevent terrible things from happening. Only idealists try to build the future on a mountain of bodies.

The Thing to Remember About NationStates is that it is an almost entirely social game - fundamentally, you have no power beyond your own ability to convince people to go along with your ideas. In that sense, even the most dictatorial region is fundamentally democratic.

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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:46 pm

Cerian Quilor wrote:The thing I've seen since the end of the FRA and the general retreat of the UDL from major activity and the rise of TGW, the departure of TNI from world affairs, the general redudction of activity in Albion, the earlier end of UIAF, etc, etc, is an increasing multipolarity in the NS world, with the major blocs that have been defining foreign affairs for a long time... are... while not gone, they aren't the same. Everything is in pieces, more diffuse. Less established and cohesive. CAIN is one of the efforts to, for lack of a better word, to pick up the pieces of what used to be.

I mean, like it or not, think it pointless or not, seems like the TNI-FRA war was a good thing for the game.


I definitely agree with this. It reminds me a lot of what NS was like in 2008/9. Polarity is important to Gameplay, it's what drives conflict and activity: ADN, NPO, ACC, RLA, DEN, TBH, UDL, FRA, TNI, LKE etc. it's the blocs and spheres that are the engine of our activity. CAIN is more of an initiative than a bloc or sphere in the sense of powerful institutions.

Without that polarity, you have a disconnect in the political environment. Like a universe that is expanding, leaving more and more distance between planets. The Big Freeze, as it were.

I believe a multilateral alliance between TNP, TEP, TSP, Lazarus and TRR would serve their interests mutually. But let's not be coy here, it'd also make stuff a bit more interesting around here too.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
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Solorni
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Postby Solorni » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:26 pm

This was pretty cool and I thank you for doing it, however I must object to how you did not label Osiris and in particular Balder as democratic. Balder is one of the longest uninterrupted democratic regions among the Game-Created Regions considering the various coups in The South Pacific, Lazarus and Osiris. We take great pride in continuing to grow our democracy. It is notable that regions like TSP which you have labelled as democratic have actually imitated Balder's system to take advantage of the benefits provided by our system. It is interesting to note that many of the things I believe in, such as 24 hour voting (Our are elections too long?) have not been adopted because they are opposed by a majority of people in Balder.

Furthermore, Balder greatly values our relationship with our fellow democratic Game-Created Regions. In particular The North Pacific whom we share a treaty with in WALL and who have many members who have been influential in both regions such as Mcmasterdonia, r3n and Jamie. Our own system is modeled in large part on our allies Europeia's form of governance. So I object to you excluding Osiris and Balder as democratic.
Last edited by Solorni on Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:32 pm

Solorni wrote:This was pretty cool and I thank you for doing it, however I must object to how you did not label Osiris and in particular Balder as democratic. Balder is one of the longest uninterrupted democracy among the Game-Created Regions considering the various coups in The South Pacific, Lazarus and Osiris. We take great pride in continuing to grow our democracy. It is notable that regions like TSP which you have labelled as democratic have actually imitated Balder's system to take advantage of the benefits provided by our system. It is interesting to note that many of the things I believe in, such as 24 hour voting (url=http://w11.zetaboards.com/Balder/topic/30126919/]Our are elections too long?[/url]) have not been adopted because they are opposed by a majority of people in Balder.

Furthermore, Balder greatly values our relationship with our fellow democratic Game-Created Regions. In particular The North Pacific whom we share a treaty with in WALL and who have many members who have been influential in both regions such as Mcmasterdonia, r3n and Jamie. Our own system is modeled in large part on our allies Europeia's form of governance. So I object to you excluding Osiris and Balder as democratic.


I regard the signatories of the GCR Sovereignty Accords as distinct in their political foundations from the other GCRs. The term, 'democratic' is all I have to describe it. It's the sense that the state of the region is not a force in its own right, but a living extension of it. Nobody is going to cry about the Empire losing control of Osiris, you losing control of Balder, NPO losing control of the Pacific or the Guardians losing control of TWP, except not coincidentally, the Empire, imperialists, the NPO Senate and the Guardians.

This is not something we'll see eye to eye on. And thanks for saying it was cool... :ugeek:
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of The Rejected Realms | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
Unibotian Factbook // An Analysis of NationStates Generations // The Gameplay Alignment Test // NS Weather // How do I join the UDL? // The Transpacific Trade
Paradise Found // The Unibotian Life Expectancy Index // Proudly Authored 9 GA Res., 14 SC Res. // Commended by SC#78 // The Polysemes of Nativeness;

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Cerian Quilor
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Postby Cerian Quilor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:43 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Cerian Quilor wrote:The thing I've seen since the end of the FRA and the general retreat of the UDL from major activity and the rise of TGW, the departure of TNI from world affairs, the general redudction of activity in Albion, the earlier end of UIAF, etc, etc, is an increasing multipolarity in the NS world, with the major blocs that have been defining foreign affairs for a long time... are... while not gone, they aren't the same. Everything is in pieces, more diffuse. Less established and cohesive. CAIN is one of the efforts to, for lack of a better word, to pick up the pieces of what used to be.

I mean, like it or not, think it pointless or not, seems like the TNI-FRA war was a good thing for the game.


I definitely agree with this. It reminds me a lot of what NS was like in 2008/9. Polarity is important to Gameplay, it's what drives conflict and activity: ADN, NPO, ACC, RLA, DEN, TBH, UDL, FRA, TNI, LKE etc. it's the blocs and spheres that are the engine of our activity. CAIN is more of an initiative than a bloc or sphere in the sense of powerful institutions.

Without that polarity, you have a disconnect in the political environment. Like a universe that is expanding, leaving more and more distance between planets. The Big Freeze, as it were.

I believe a multilateral alliance between TNP, TEP, TSP, Lazarus and TRR would serve their interests mutually. But let's not be coy here, it'd also make stuff a bit more interesting around here too.

I agree that CAIN isn't a bloc, and it may never be one, but it is the most happening thing in NS these days, and it is I think, a manifestation of the diffusion of power in the NS world - there's a lot more middle-sized UCRs than big ones too, it's interesting to note. And I do think the creation of CAIN, as well being a manifestation of the emotional power of the word 'Nazi', is an attempt to grabble with the changed gameplay enviroment.
Never underestimate the power of cynicism, pessimism and negativity to prevent terrible things from happening. Only idealists try to build the future on a mountain of bodies.

The Thing to Remember About NationStates is that it is an almost entirely social game - fundamentally, you have no power beyond your own ability to convince people to go along with your ideas. In that sense, even the most dictatorial region is fundamentally democratic.

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Cerian Quilor
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Postby Cerian Quilor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:44 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Solorni wrote:This was pretty cool and I thank you for doing it, however I must object to how you did not label Osiris and in particular Balder as democratic. Balder is one of the longest uninterrupted democracy among the Game-Created Regions considering the various coups in The South Pacific, Lazarus and Osiris. We take great pride in continuing to grow our democracy. It is notable that regions like TSP which you have labelled as democratic have actually imitated Balder's system to take advantage of the benefits provided by our system. It is interesting to note that many of the things I believe in, such as 24 hour voting (url=http://w11.zetaboards.com/Balder/topic/30126919/]Our are elections too long?[/url]) have not been adopted because they are opposed by a majority of people in Balder.

Furthermore, Balder greatly values our relationship with our fellow democratic Game-Created Regions. In particular The North Pacific whom we share a treaty with in WALL and who have many members who have been influential in both regions such as Mcmasterdonia, r3n and Jamie. Our own system is modeled in large part on our allies Europeia's form of governance. So I object to you excluding Osiris and Balder as democratic.


I regard the signatories of the GCR Sovereignty Accords as distinct in their political foundations from the other GCRs. The term, 'democratic' is all I have to describe it. It's the sense that the state of the region is not a force in its own right, but a living extension of it. Nobody is going to cry about the Empire losing control of Osiris, you losing control of Balder, NPO losing control of the Pacific or the Guardians losing control of TWP, except not coincidentally, the Empire, imperialists, the NPO Senate and the Guardians.

This is not something we'll see eye to eye on. And thanks for saying it was cool... :ugeek:

I think the citizenry of Balder, Osiris and even the NPO might be upset by them being overthrown, and they're the unit of involvement that matters,
Never underestimate the power of cynicism, pessimism and negativity to prevent terrible things from happening. Only idealists try to build the future on a mountain of bodies.

The Thing to Remember About NationStates is that it is an almost entirely social game - fundamentally, you have no power beyond your own ability to convince people to go along with your ideas. In that sense, even the most dictatorial region is fundamentally democratic.

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Roavin
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Postby Roavin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:48 pm

Interesting! I had run for MoFA in TSP (though I've withdrawn my campaign now for various reasons), and this is actually one of the things I wanted to approach. Nice to see some further justifications and numbers for what I was thinking - thanks :)
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Unibot III
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:55 pm

Cerian Quilor wrote:
Unibot III wrote:
I regard the signatories of the GCR Sovereignty Accords as distinct in their political foundations from the other GCRs. The term, 'democratic' is all I have to describe it. It's the sense that the state of the region is not a force in its own right, but a living extension of it. Nobody is going to cry about the Empire losing control of Osiris, you losing control of Balder, NPO losing control of the Pacific or the Guardians losing control of TWP, except not coincidentally, the Empire, imperialists, the NPO Senate and the Guardians.

This is not something we'll see eye to eye on. And thanks for saying it was cool... :ugeek:

I think the citizenry of Balder, Osiris and even the NPO might be upset by them being overthrown, and they're the unit of involvement that matters,


I actually think that list is reversed. NPO's citizens would be the ones who would be most upset. Some of the natives in TP have been there for fourteen years under Franco's Star. Aleisyr's introduction to the Praetorian Guard by Francos Spain is still available in print on a proboards somewhere. How can you not have an emotional connection in a case like that? I doubt Osiran citizens would even notice there's been a coup at this point (isn't that just what they call 'Wednesday' in Osiris?)

But there's obvious distinctions between NPO and other feeders:

The existing power elite have all the means to prevent their own dethroning. Transitions of power are entirely voluntary.

Roavin wrote:Interesting! I had run for MoFA in TSP (though I've withdrawn my campaign now for various reasons), and this is actually one of the things I wanted to approach. Nice to see some further justifications and numbers for what I was thinking - thanks :)


Hey Roavin! Yes, the numbers are partly a way to give evidence to something that I think tends to go underappreciated in NS IR: multilateral treaties are in regions' interest too. Soft power can matter. It's not worth a region's security to forgo making associations where need be.
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of The Rejected Realms | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
Unibotian Factbook // An Analysis of NationStates Generations // The Gameplay Alignment Test // NS Weather // How do I join the UDL? // The Transpacific Trade
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Solorni
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Founded: Sep 04, 2007
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Solorni » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:59 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Solorni wrote:This was pretty cool and I thank you for doing it, however I must object to how you did not label Osiris and in particular Balder as democratic. Balder is one of the longest uninterrupted democracy among the Game-Created Regions considering the various coups in The South Pacific, Lazarus and Osiris. We take great pride in continuing to grow our democracy. It is notable that regions like TSP which you have labelled as democratic have actually imitated Balder's system to take advantage of the benefits provided by our system. It is interesting to note that many of the things I believe in, such as 24 hour voting (url=http://w11.zetaboards.com/Balder/topic/30126919/]Our are elections too long?[/url]) have not been adopted because they are opposed by a majority of people in Balder.

Furthermore, Balder greatly values our relationship with our fellow democratic Game-Created Regions. In particular The North Pacific whom we share a treaty with in WALL and who have many members who have been influential in both regions such as Mcmasterdonia, r3n and Jamie. Our own system is modeled in large part on our allies Europeia's form of governance. So I object to you excluding Osiris and Balder as democratic.


I regard the signatories of the GCR Sovereignty Accords as distinct in their political foundations from the other GCRs. The term, 'democratic' is all I have to describe it. It's the sense that the state of the region is not a force in its own right, but a living extension of it. Nobody is going to cry about the Empire losing control of Osiris, you losing control of Balder, NPO losing control of the Pacific or the Guardians losing control of TWP, except not coincidentally, the Empire, imperialists, the NPO Senate and the Guardians.

This is not something we'll see eye to eye on. And thanks for saying it was cool... :ugeek:

I do not hold control in Balder, as I've stated before the power lies within the elected members of government. As well, any coup in Balder would be seen as rather upsetting by the citizenry in Balder, our allies, our friends and our admirers. Let's not forget that in the last popularity poll between GCR delegates, I finished as the most popular GCR delegate. While such popularity contests are silly, it does point to the fact that the monarchy in Balder is well liked by a large swath of NationState members. Furthermore, as you noted Balder has many allies and alliances in addition to a swath of informal friendships. So by that logic, the destabilization of Balder would be more upsetting than the destabilization of a region with less support and alliances.

In terms of natural outreach, I have worked especially hard to work with all interested parties in Balder and to promote harmony as well as growth. This has led to disagreements with other members, particularly my proposal to create a legislative body that included WA votes.

So I think that your opinion is biased by your personal feelings for these regions, in particular Balder.
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Unibot III
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:05 pm

Solorni wrote:
Unibot III wrote:
I regard the signatories of the GCR Sovereignty Accords as distinct in their political foundations from the other GCRs. The term, 'democratic' is all I have to describe it. It's the sense that the state of the region is not a force in its own right, but a living extension of it. Nobody is going to cry about the Empire losing control of Osiris, you losing control of Balder, NPO losing control of the Pacific or the Guardians losing control of TWP, except not coincidentally, the Empire, imperialists, the NPO Senate and the Guardians.

This is not something we'll see eye to eye on. And thanks for saying it was cool... :ugeek:

I do not hold control in Balder, as I've stated before the power lies within the elected members of government. As well, any coup in Balder would be seen as rather upsetting by the citizenry in Balder, our allies, our friends and our admirers. Let's not forget that in the last popularity poll between GCR delegates, I finished as the most popular GCR delegate. While such popularity contests are silly, it does point to the fact that the monarchy in Balder is well liked by a large swath of NationState members. Furthermore, as you noted Balder has many allies and alliances in addition to a swath of informal friendships. So by that logic, the destabilization of Balder would be more upsetting than the destabilization of a region with less support and alliances.

In terms of natural outreach, I have worked especially hard to work with all interested parties in Balder and to promote harmony as well as growth. This has led to disagreements with other members, particularly my proposal to create a legislative body that included WA votes.

So I think that your opinion is biased by your personal feelings for these regions, in particular Balder.


I am unable to comment specifically about the constitutional framework of Balder since, not coincidentally, it is the only GCR that keeps its laws and constitution a secret from its own residents.

And I think that's all the commentary I need to make on the level of democracy in Balder...
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tinhampton
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Postby Tinhampton » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:13 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Solorni wrote:I do not hold control in Balder, as I've stated before the power lies within the elected members of government. As well, any coup in Balder would be seen as rather upsetting by the citizenry in Balder, our allies, our friends and our admirers. Let's not forget that in the last popularity poll between GCR delegates, I finished as the most popular GCR delegate. While such popularity contests are silly, it does point to the fact that the monarchy in Balder is well liked by a large swath of NationState members. Furthermore, as you noted Balder has many allies and alliances in addition to a swath of informal friendships. So by that logic, the destabilization of Balder would be more upsetting than the destabilization of a region with less support and alliances.

In terms of natural outreach, I have worked especially hard to work with all interested parties in Balder and to promote harmony as well as growth. This has led to disagreements with other members, particularly my proposal to create a legislative body that included WA votes.

So I think that your opinion is biased by your personal feelings for these regions, in particular Balder.


I am unable to comment specifically about the constitutional framework of Balder since it, not coincidentally, it is the only GCR that keeps its laws and constitution a secret from its own residents.

And I think that's all the commentary I need to make on the level of democracy in Balder...

Heck, even the "Our are [sic] elections too long?" link that Solorni gave us on this thread is inaccessible!
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Postby Drop Your Pants » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:17 pm

Solorni wrote:I do not hold control in Balder, as I've stated before the power lies within the elected members of government.

Delegate controls the region, any GCR couper could tell you that :P
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Solorni
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Postby Solorni » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:26 pm

Unibot III wrote:
Solorni wrote:I do not hold control in Balder, as I've stated before the power lies within the elected members of government. As well, any coup in Balder would be seen as rather upsetting by the citizenry in Balder, our allies, our friends and our admirers. Let's not forget that in the last popularity poll between GCR delegates, I finished as the most popular GCR delegate. While such popularity contests are silly, it does point to the fact that the monarchy in Balder is well liked by a large swath of NationState members. Furthermore, as you noted Balder has many allies and alliances in addition to a swath of informal friendships. So by that logic, the destabilization of Balder would be more upsetting than the destabilization of a region with less support and alliances.

In terms of natural outreach, I have worked especially hard to work with all interested parties in Balder and to promote harmony as well as growth. This has led to disagreements with other members, particularly my proposal to create a legislative body that included WA votes.

So I think that your opinion is biased by your personal feelings for these regions, in particular Balder.


I am unable to comment specifically about the constitutional framework of Balder since, not coincidentally, it is the only GCR that keeps its laws and constitution a secret from its own residents.

And I think that's all the commentary I need to make on the level of democracy in Balder...

You should have said something about that. Quite awhile ago I made the forum that housed the laws public, but did not realize that the specific subforums the laws were in were not public (I've essentially assumed everyone could see them for awhile now). They have never been secret, although they were not always available to non-registered users to view. Here are the laws: Balder Laws

Balder also has zero laws on classified information, technically everything in the region is unclassified. Which would mean that we are one of the most free regions as well when it comes to information. Very few GCRs are dedicated to this level of transparency.
Last edited by Solorni on Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:38 pm

Solorni wrote:
Unibot III wrote:
I am unable to comment specifically about the constitutional framework of Balder since, not coincidentally, it is the only GCR that keeps its laws and constitution a secret from its own residents.

And I think that's all the commentary I need to make on the level of democracy in Balder...

You should have said something about that. Quite awhile ago I made the forum that housed the laws public, but did not realize that the specific subforums the laws were in were not public (I've essentially assumed everyone could see them for awhile now). They have never been secret, although they were not always available to non-registered users to view. Here are the laws: Balder Laws

Balder also has zero laws on classified information, technically everything in the region is unclassified. Which would mean that we are one of the most free regions as well when it comes to information. Very few GCRs are dedicated to this level of transparency.


I doubt that very much. The access was curtailed immediately after a close constitutional analysis I did at the NS World Fair III on the Freedom of Expression in GCRs. I've mentioned the lack of transparency before to you on these forums and on IRC many a time...

Unibot III wrote:
Alvalero wrote:
Just to clarify this point. Citizens are elected as MP's to the Storting yes, however we still require a citizens vote in order for new basic laws to be introduced and for current basic laws to be amended.


So the purpose of the elected legislature is to draft and introduce legislation to be voted on, then? And what about constitutional amendments? Genuinely curious, Balder's laws aren't typically available to the public.


Solorni wrote:I will explain it when I get home if no one does first. But Balder does not have a constitution!! It has a set of Basic Laws that function in a similar manner though.



Unibot III wrote:
I had to ask the Speaker in Balder for their list of assemblymen, otherwise yes it's freely available.
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Solorni
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Postby Solorni » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:18 pm

We have made a concerted effort for the past few terms to make things more and more open (the laws and other forums were opened up months ago). The media pages for example, were made public to everyone last week. Having said that, it's not like membership is that hard of a bar to clear to view things and in any case, the fact that we do not have classification laws means that discussions in our legislature and elsewhere can be discussed by everyone without fear of reprisals.

In any case, I'm not sure what that has to do with us not being democratic. Particularly when we've had a stable democracy for longer than Lazarus and TSP with far less of the issues they have had with corruption and what have essentially amounted to gangster type politics.
Last edited by Solorni on Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Funkadelia » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:40 pm

I agree with the assessment made earlier in the thread that things are becoming more diffuse and less polarized, which I find interesting. I think not the least of the causes is the fact that defenders have essentially ceased to exist within the past 6-8 months or so, which has left a big gap with not much going on. I find a lot of regions to be in their own little word. I don't find that to be a positive or a negative.

I would reply with more, but I hurt my middle finger earlier today which is making it much more difficult to type. In short, it's an interesting read. :P
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:52 pm

Solorni wrote:In any case, I'm not sure what that has to do with us not being democratic.


*sighs* I'll bite, but I feel like Pierre Trudeau basically writing "La démocratie, bon. La tyrannie, mauvais." over and over again in Cité Libre sometimes...

Freedom of information is an essential part of democracy. A liberal democracy functions only as such with a just legal system and an open political society. The just aspect requires proper and regular proclamation of the law - otherwise residents can be tried for a violations of the law they've unable to actual see if their citizenship is denied. The open aspect requires transparency of the law - knowledge, that is, of how your political institutions operate - because otherwise residents are uninformed of their rights and responsibilities as residents, uninformed of their legal avenues for petition and dissent, and uninformed of what is and what isn't a breach of the law by their own delegate.

Meeting the above conditions is required but not in and of itself sufficient to democratize a GCR, since even the NPO meets that test. But you can't go bandying about suggesting you're a democracy when residents haven't even been able to see their region's own laws freely for the past two years.

Funkadelia wrote:I agree with the assessment made earlier in the thread that things are becoming more diffuse and less polarized, which I find interesting. I think not the least of the causes is the fact that defenders have essentially ceased to exist within the past 6-8 months or so, which has left a big gap with not much going on. I find a lot of regions to be in their own little word. I don't find that to be a positive or a negative.

I would reply with more, but I hurt my middle finger earlier today which is making it much more difficult to type. In short, it's an interesting read. :P


I don't like dishing on my successors because I've been in their shoes. It's not easy picking up the pieces left behind. But yes, in short, I agree that a lot of defenders have fallen off the map and that's created a vacuum of activity and that regions seem to be enclosing a bit into their own worlds.

I would say that's bad on both counts, but then again, that's me. Isolationism is splendid and tranquil until activity dies. (My not-so-quiet hope is that some folks will read this article, take the idea in their own direction and get the game going again. But I do think it'd be advantageous to the parties involved. I'm legitimately worried about the security for some of the GCRs listed.)

And sorry to hear about your finger, ouch. Put ice on it!
Last edited by Unibot III on Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:12 pm, edited 6 times in total.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
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with the best of intentions.
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Solorni
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Founded: Sep 04, 2007
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Solorni » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:26 pm

Sigh... all members of the forums and especially citizens could see the laws. Balder has had a just legal system and open political society continuously for far longer than many of the regions you labelled as democracies. So yes, I will bandy about Balder being a democracy because it is one and I will call you out on your alternative facts each and every day of the week.

Even simply with the modern definition of Open Society, at least what wikipedia says it is:

Modern advocates of the open society suggest that society would keep no secrets from itself in the public sense, as all are trusted with the knowledge of all. Political freedoms and human rights are claimed to be the foundation of an open society.

Balder meets these requirements more than any region which makes information classified even in their own legislature. You even try to pull a fast one here:

"A liberal democracy functions"
"But you can't go bandying about suggesting you're a democracy"

Nice try. But you can be a democracy even without freedom of information... is it a -liberal- democracy however? Likely not. Luckily Balder, for all it's Citizens and members of the forums... we have had freedom of information and are a liberal democracy with open society. So you can continue to make false claims and mess up the facts because of old grudges, but in truth it is easy for everyone to see through you.
Last edited by Solorni on Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ever-Wandering Souls
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Postby Ever-Wandering Souls » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:22 pm

No tl;dr. I am disappointed.
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Cerian Quilor
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Postby Cerian Quilor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:30 pm

Tl;dr: Osiris has a lot of treaties, treaties increase security, multilateral treaties make the game more interesting, there should be more GCR multilateral treaties.
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Consular
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Postby Consular » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:52 pm

What does the line between Albion and TNP represent?

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Ikania
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Postby Ikania » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:00 pm

Unibot III wrote:you losing control of Balder

Actually, I'm fairly certain most people in Balder would take significant issue with someone displacing our Queen. She's quite beloved here c:
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