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Intended removal of General Assembly category system

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Sedgistan
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Intended removal of General Assembly category system

Postby Sedgistan » Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:15 am

The "Bad Faith" standard is in effect in this thread. Posts on the development of major game features are expected to be made in good faith.

We are looking to remove the General Assembly category system, and replace it with Issues Editors coding individual stats for each GA proposal. Some people may remember this was considered years ago, and we have made occasional references to that project since. It's now considered feasible to implement, and we're looking for public feedback on the idea.

It should benefit General Assembly authors significantly, as they are no longer restricted by the category system in what a proposal can cover. Relatedly, it should simplify GA legality matters, as category-related rulings are no longer necessary. It also allows for much more accurate stats to be applied to member nations on the passage of resolutions, closer to the accuracy that daily issues allow - at present, statistical effects of GA categories are broad and imprecise.

As part of this, the intention is to remove any statistical effect from repeals, on the grounds that they only remove a WA member nation's obligation to follow the repealed resolution, but does not automatically update their laws.

We're looking for feedback on this plan.

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Postby Tinhampton » Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:23 am

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Hell yes.

-----

If I may ask, though:
1: Is it foreseen that editors will code stats for all submitted proposals, or only those at vote/with a serious chance of going to vote?
2a: How far will Optionality apply in the new regime? Can I still submit a proposal that only encourages member states to do XYZ rather than introducing a mandate, as is currently appropriate for Mild-strength proposals?
2b: Will the Committees and Operative Clause rules apply as normal in the new regime?
Last edited by Tinhampton on Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sherpus
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Postby Sherpus » Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:26 am

I agree with this, I never really understood the concept of GA and it’s working so a little remix or just straight up removal of the idea would be amazing.
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Postby Second Sovereignty » Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:30 am

I was under the impression this was one of those ideas that was dead in the water ages ago, so I'm interested to see that I'm wrong. I don't think this is the kind of thing that's entirely feasible to operate with without other changes to GA rules; obviously that isn't the purview of the mods these days, but what comes of this, if y'all go through with it will be, interesting.

I'm unconvinced; on one hand, no more tiresome debates about Furtherment of Democracy. On the other, this takes out a part of the drafting process that I've always thought was fairly valuable, to be honest, in terms of getting people to think about what their legislation actually does on the large scale.

A key question, though; would this change involve stripping the Categories off of all already passed Legislation?

Sherpus wrote:I agree with this, I never really understood the concept of GA and it’s working so a little remix or just straight up removal of the idea would be amazing.

If you don't understand the GA to the point where you'd rather it be removed outright, you aren't the kind of player who really needs to chime in.
Last edited by Second Sovereignty on Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Refuge Isle » Sun Feb 04, 2024 10:41 am

I will, personally, miss the resolution taglines :p

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Postby Gruenberg » Sun Feb 04, 2024 10:43 am

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Desmosthenes and Burke
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Postby Desmosthenes and Burke » Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:26 am

Just chiming in: This was communicated to GenSec backstage and we are having discussions about how to change the ruleset to match if/when this goes through.
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:30 am

I fully support this change; thanks to M/A and the Issues Editing team for the effort put into getting this in progress.
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Postby The Union of Ventura » Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:53 am

I agree with the change my broski.
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Verdant Haven
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Postby Verdant Haven » Sun Feb 04, 2024 2:34 pm

As a quick disclaimer that my responses here are based on the current state of discussion, and my understanding thereof. Aspects of what I say may change, but my best current understanding is...

Tinhampton wrote:If I may ask, though:
1: Is it foreseen that editors will code stats for all submitted proposals, or only those at vote/with a serious chance of going to vote?
2a: How far will Optionality apply in the new regime? Can I still submit a proposal that only encourages member states to do XYZ rather than introducing a mandate, as is currently appropriate for Mild-strength proposals?
2b: Will the Committees and Operative Clause rules apply as normal in the new regime?


1: We anticipate stat discussion will begin when something is submitted and appears to be both legal and having a chance of accumulating sufficient approvals. I anticipate that stats will be applied to the proposal backstage during the vote, such that they go into effect immediately should it pass. From the voter perspective, there won't be any difference - just more tailored stats when a resolution is adopted.

2a/b: We leave it to GenSec to determine these rules - we do not wish to step on any toes. As D&B and Ice States mention above, GenSec are in the loop, and will develop appropriate rule-sets.

Second Sovereignty wrote:A key question, though; would this change involve stripping the Categories off of all already passed Legislation?

We would not be retroactively modifying past resolutions. There are currently ~280 active resolutions (the rest being either repealed or the repeals themselves), all of which were passed appropriately according to the rules and standards of their respective times. We do not seek to alter that.

Your other comment as well, about people needing to think about what their legislation actually does, is definitely valid. While the frequently oversized and inaccurate stat impacts of the category system should no longer be a concern, accurate stats do bring with them the potential to have a much broader or more noticeable impact should the voting public choose to pass an extreme resolution. As Sedge says, it will be much more similar to the stats seen in daily issues, which are usually mild, but do have the potential to completely flip entire chunks of a nation's policies or economics on a dime should the option chosen so dictate.

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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Sun Feb 04, 2024 3:10 pm

What do the developers think about the idea of allowing the GA Secretariat to code the stats too, thereby reducing the potential extra workload on the Issues Editors?
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Postby West Barack and East Obama » Sun Feb 04, 2024 3:33 pm

What changes were made that made this feasible to implement compared to the preceding years?
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Desmosthenes and Burke
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Postby Desmosthenes and Burke » Sun Feb 04, 2024 3:46 pm

Minoa wrote:What do the developers think about the idea of allowing the GA Secretariat to code the stats too, thereby reducing the potential extra workload on the Issues Editors?


1/6 of Gensec: NO
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Postby United Calanworie » Sun Feb 04, 2024 4:23 pm

Minoa wrote:What do the developers think about the idea of allowing the GA Secretariat to code the stats too, thereby reducing the potential extra workload on the Issues Editors?

GenSec does not have the requisite stat knowledge/access that IEs have.
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Postby Verdant Haven » Sun Feb 04, 2024 4:25 pm

Minoa wrote:What do the developers think about the idea of allowing the GA Secretariat to code the stats too, thereby reducing the potential extra workload on the Issues Editors?

This isn't possible or practical. The stats that are used for coding actual issue effects are not the same as those that are visible to players, and it takes months of study, practice, and experience to get a full handle on them, with a full team of veteran folks supporting each other every step of the way. Even after years of experience, all of us rely on our teammates to help review and assign stats, seeing them from as many angles as possible.

West Barack and East Obama wrote:What changes were made that made this feasible to implement compared to the preceding years?

If I'm not mistaken, the last time this was seriously looked at, the IE team was relatively new and unproven: there were reasonable concerns that a smaller and as-yet inexperienced team without a lot of internal structures in place wasn't a strong enough "known factor" to rely upon for such a time-based central game element. At this point, the IE team is well-established, has sufficient internal processes and procedures, and has a proven track-record sufficient to garner the confidence of the relevant admin staff that we will reliably handle the job.

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Postby Kranostav » Sun Feb 04, 2024 5:48 pm

I can't say I love the idea of this change as I agree with the notion that the category selection forces both the author and those critiquing the proposal to consider the proposal's place in the greater compendium of standing GA law. I'm also of the opinion that categories keep some semblance of organization on where/how resolutions should be placed and referred back to.

If the concern is statistical inaccuracy, what is stopping you from just keeping the categories but disconnecting the stat impact the categories have? Why do these issues have to be linked at all?

Edit: grammar
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Postby Warzone Codger » Sun Feb 04, 2024 5:49 pm

Does the IE team have the capacity (and confident of ongoing future capacity) to update stats as each resolution is passed or would we expect a lag, with a TG when our nation is actually brought into compliance.

I thought this idea was DOA because of the inevitable backlog it'll create.
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Feb 04, 2024 5:50 pm

Desmosthenes and Burke wrote:
Minoa wrote:What do the developers think about the idea of allowing the GA Secretariat to code the stats too, thereby reducing the potential extra workload on the Issues Editors?


1/6 of Gensec: NO

Make that 2/6 of Gensec!
Last edited by The Ice States on Sun Feb 04, 2024 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ankuran » Sun Feb 04, 2024 5:57 pm

Warzone Codger wrote:Does the IE team have the capacity (and confident of ongoing future capacity) to update stats as each resolution is passed or would we expect a lag, with a TG when our nation is actually brought into compliance.


That's about my only concern. I hope there's at least a process for smoothly re-implementing the categories if, for one reason or another, the workload turns out to be too much.
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Postby Noahs Second Country » Sun Feb 04, 2024 6:20 pm

Warzone Codger wrote:Does the IE team have the capacity (and confident of ongoing future capacity) to update stats as each resolution is passed or would we expect a lag, with a TG when our nation is actually brought into compliance.

I thought this idea was DOA because of the inevitable backlog it'll create.

Verdant Haven wrote: At this point, the IE team is well-established, has sufficient internal processes and procedures, and has a proven track-record sufficient to garner the confidence of the relevant admin staff that we will reliably handle the job.

I don't think there's an absolute sure-fire way to guarantee that everything will be done on time, as this is unprecedented. That being said, systems will be in place backstage to ensure that this never happens, and if it does there is a clear plan to address it.

From my observations backstage, the editing room is active these days to the extent that this really shouldn't be an issue.
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun Feb 04, 2024 6:33 pm

Does this mean that GA resolutions will have the same stat secrecy issues do, with players only being able to guess at what the stat effects might be until they actually happen, and authors only being able to hope that the editors won't interpret their resolutions completely differently from their intent?

Also, does this mean the GA will be able to start affecting actual binary policies (banning Child Self-Rearing, say) rather than just numerical stats? And how would that work when the language of the issue implies that the ruling is supposed to be permanent, rather than "everyone gets Child Self-Rearing stripped away when this resolution passes but you can reintroduce it later with no problems"?

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Postby Improper Classifications » Sun Feb 04, 2024 7:05 pm

I don’t see any problem with this as long as the IE team is capable and willing.
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Postby Kostane » Sun Feb 04, 2024 7:20 pm

When I looked at the forum, this thread appeared to be “Intended removal of General Assembly…” which scared me. Luckily, that is not what’s happening.

Anyways, this seems like a good idea to me. This seems like a better way of organizing things, especially since some of the categories seem like they could cover a lot of very different resolutions. I hadn’t really noticed if WA resolutions had an impact on my stats in the past, but I think this would probably cause me to more carefully consider what I vote for.
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Postby Luna Amore » Sun Feb 04, 2024 7:34 pm

Noahs Second Country wrote:systems will be in place backstage to ensure that this never happens, and if it does there is a clear plan to address it.

This reads like a line from an issue :p

What fail-safes does the staff have in mind? From what I recall last time it was discussed, that was a seemingly impassable hurdle since retroactively applying resolutions stats would be both annoying technically and confusing from a player perspective. Stats would be coded in the 4 day voting period (plus possibility a bit extra as it was clear it would go to vote), so a concrete Plan B would seem critical.
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Postby SherpDaWerp » Sun Feb 04, 2024 8:15 pm

Trotterdam wrote:Does this mean that GA resolutions will have the same stat secrecy issues do, with players only being able to guess at what the stat effects might be until they actually happen, and authors only being able to hope that the editors won't interpret their resolutions completely differently from their intent?

Yep, pretty much. The editors might don gnome hats and pop in to resolve particular debates, but that will depend heavily on the context of the discussion and whether the question can be answered without revealing too much information.

Trotterdam wrote:Also, does this mean the GA will be able to start affecting actual binary policies (banning Child Self-Rearing, say) rather than just numerical stats? And how would that work when the language of the issue implies that the ruling is supposed to be permanent, rather than "everyone gets Child Self-Rearing stripped away when this resolution passes but you can reintroduce it later with no problems"?

Yes, we're intending policies to be part of this too. The GA has long dealt with non-compliance, so reintroducing policies after the passage of a resolution is not a new problem.

Luna Amore wrote:
Noahs Second Country wrote:systems will be in place backstage to ensure that this never happens, and if it does there is a clear plan to address it.

This reads like a line from an issue :p

What fail-safes does the staff have in mind? From what I recall last time it was discussed, that was a seemingly impassable hurdle since retroactively applying resolutions stats would be both annoying technically and confusing from a player perspective. Stats would be coded in the 4 day voting period (plus possibility a bit extra as it was clear it would go to vote), so a concrete Plan B would seem critical.

At the moment, assuming the absolute worst-case, an un-statted resolution will go in with just a minor bump to government administration spending. We're still discussing the exact editorial processes that will be involved in deciding on the stats for the usual case though. (And if you're concerned about us missing things, well... *gestures at slightly dusty gold jacket hanging on the wall*)
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