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by The Regional Nation of The Northern Light. . 631 reads.

The Northern Lights - Issue XXVIII, May 7th

[hr][box][center]We are aware that not everyone is equally appreciative of image-based NS newspapers. As such, we've included the standard format mostly plain-text version of the newspaper in the spoiler below. We hope you enjoy reading this month's issue! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to telegram the current TNP Minister of Communications [nation]El Fiji Grande[/nation].[spoiler=Standard Version][center][img]https://images3.imgbox.com/27/64/IeZiY2Rb_o.png[/img][/center]

[size=140]Editor's Note[/size]
[align=right][i]by El Fiji Grande, Minister of Communications[/i][/align]

Issue XXVIII of The Northern Lights was intended from the beginning to be WA-themed, and seeks to accompany the WA Symposium hosted by The North Pacific a few days ago. This Issue includes a host of authors from around the NS world discussing their views on the WA. It is our hope that The Northern Lights becomes a recognized place to discuss issues that confront NS as a whole. As always, no views espoused in this or future Issues represent the official TNP government stance unless otherwise stated.

El Fiji Grande
TNP Minister of Communications

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]World, Assemble: Why Every Region Should Participate in the World Assembly[/size]
[align=right][i]by Pallaith (Ghost), Delegate of The North Pacific[/i][/align]

Like any aspect of NS, the World Assembly has no shortage of critics and  proponents, and a wide variety of perspectives for how best to utilize  or mitigate its impact on the game. And that is true just by looking at  the dedicated subset of players who engage in the WA every day. Expand  the lens to the game as a whole, and that collection of opinions and  ideas for the WA grows a great deal larger. As of the writing of this  article, there are close to 25,000 nations in the WA, eclipsed by the  over 175,000 nations the game currently boasts (keeping in mind that a  great deal of those nations are puppets and not all separate  individuals). Considering that player influence grows the more  endorsements a player has, and a region’s voting power in the WA grows  with each endorsement given to delegates, this discrepancy seems  strange. Why is it that such a significant part of the game is  underutilized? Granted, it can be hard to mobilize a great number of  people to endorse delegates, to get them to agree to be part of a  collective effort that doesn’t always give them a tangible benefit and  many times appeals to their pride or regionalism. And a lot of people  oppose the WA because of the extra votes delegates have, benefiting more  populous nations at the expense of those who cannot muster the same  number of votes.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that all regions should make the effort  to include WA activity as a central pillar of their governments’  agendas. The WA offers a myriad of domestic and foreign policy benefits  for all regions regardless of size, R/D affiliation, GP or RP culture.  While every region divides their ministries and duties in their own way,  we all generally cover the same ground. Obviously our World Assembly  Affairs ministry is concerned with our WA voting and campaigns, and any  region that chooses to participate in the WA would likely have something  similar. When it comes to the rest of our ministries, every one of them  is enhanced by WA participation. Defense benefits from the WA  differently than the rest, because it is the endorsements themselves and  not the effect of those endorsements in votes that affect it. Obviously  the more endorsements a delegate has, the harder it is for raiders to  take over. But as we have demonstrated in TNP, more nations maintaining a  high number of endorsements also makes it more difficult for coups to  remove key players and purge those with greater residency in the region.  There is a kind of herd immunity that makes the region as a whole more  secure. Engaging in WA initiatives enhances the number of nations  exchanging endorsements and contributes to that herd immunity. In short,  the more people join the WA and endoswap, the more secure a region can  become.

In every other ministry, WA engagement enhances influence and the  endorsements’ value as extra votes is the aspect that is the focus. TNP  divides its internal affairs into three ministries, Home Affairs,  Culture, and Communications. Home Affairs is the primary internal  ministry and is concerned with coordinating participation in the other  ministries, informing the region of events and activities and in many  cases managing those activities, and recruiting from within to bring  more players to the offsite areas. In recent years Home Affairs has also  been concerned with linking the gameside-active players to the offsite  areas, and regulating the RMB. Every player has an aspect of the game  that calls to them, and some of those players are either interested or  primed to be interested in the WA. Obviously reaching out to those  players and appealing to that interest will activate them as players who  can contribute their talents to the region at large. Many times the  initial interest serves as the gateway for broader participation in a  wider variety of departments a region may have. Any region’s recruitment  or internal affairs department should include WA engagement to harness  this cohort of players.

Engagement with the WA has an added benefit of being one of the clearest  examples of NS activity that is strictly and primarily game-based. Of  all the potential categories of government or activity in a region, WA  is built into the game’s DNA and is a tangible example of game-based  activity. In a game state where R/D is not as central to defining a  metagame in NS, participation in the WA offers an alternative, or even  another arrow in the quiver of specific gameside activities that regions  can point out to prospective new players. Recruitment and activity  efforts are boosted when players have clear things they can do, and if  they are more inclined to favor the gameside over offsite forums or  Discord servers, being able to point to a robust WA program,  particularly one with a competitive edge in delegate votes, makes for an  easy selling point.

When defining a region’s purpose or niche, and selling the region to a  prospective player, the WA can be an important aspect of a region’s  identity. Some regions favor roleplay over gameplay and vice versa, but  in either case the culture of a region can be enhanced by the WA.  Clearly gameplay-oriented regions have an easier connection to the WA,  but the two chambers play to either kind in different ways. Roleplay  regions are far more likely to get something out of the General  Assembly, particularly if their roleplay in any way is informed by the  game’s stats and how game issues are answered by their players. Gameplay  regions on the other hand will be far more likely to get something out  of the Security Council, which has long since been considered the aspect  of the WA geared toward GP. Most of the time liberations will be the  aspect that most informs their gameplay, but commendations and  condemnations can help build loyalty and notoriety, as well as be useful  tools for alliances and relationship building (as can be seen when I  explore foreign affairs). But there are ways to pick and choose which  resolutions get a region’s focus to help inform what that region is in  the grand scheme of the game. 

Regions like Forest, known for its environmental advocacy, can use the  WA to live out their own code and focus on issues they care about. The  resolutions a region supports or opposes tell the rest of the game what  their purpose is and if they can enhance their influence in the WA they  can make sure they stand out more in that area, or successfully  contribute to the game with important victories in their policy area.  This is clear in the GA but can also be seen in the SC depending on  which regions they help or oppose, or choose to recognize. In this way  the point is not simply to get a lot of endorsements and be able to help  swing votes, but to be influential enough that when a vote comes along  that appeals to a region’s interests, they can better ensure that it  goes the way they want it to. As a region starts to rack up victories in  the WA, or becomes part of successful efforts to pass resolutions they  like, they build a case for being an authority in particular areas and  can utilize that experience in teaching the incoming players and making a  successful case for why players who share their beliefs or passions  should join them.

For those regions who do not have particular interests or much of a  desire to be involved in the WA, participation in the WA still offers  them a valuable tool. Of course, regions can enhance their relations  with other like-minded regions, or can use their influence to defeat  natural enemies or rivals. But if they have neither of these things and  are not defined in large or small part by their WA activity, having a  greater vote in the WA can be used to entice other regions or deter  them. Assuming another region is involved in the WA or utilizes it for  one of the aforementioned reasons, a region with little interest in the  WA can effectively strategically deploy its WA vote in any given vote.  Allies can count on them for additional votes, or enemies can fear their  involvement. When a region truly has no stake in a vote, not utilizing  their votes strategically is a huge missed opportunity. Instead of  abstaining or opposing votes reflexively, a region in this situation  could vote for something one day and against something else based solely on arrangements with their particular friends or foes. The greater the  influence a region has in the WA, the more potent that option becomes.

We have seen the rise of voting blocs in the WA, which provide a great  way for allied or friendly regions to enhance their cooperation and  relationships with each other, while also boosting their collective  global influence. TNP is part of the World Assembly Legislative League  (WALL), an arrangement consisting of signatories who all also happen to  be treaty allies with TNP, allowing our alliance to work toward clear  goals and practice working with each other outside of the classic  military operations that most often dominate the concrete examples of  allies working together. As of late another bloc, the Interregional  Legislative Coalition (ILC), has come on the scene with a more pointed  goal of supporting resolutions that appeal broadly to the generally  left-leaning regions that make up the bloc. This fits more with the  culture-enhancement aspect of WA activity, but achieves the same things  as WALL in terms of cooperation and finding ways to deepen and enhance  the partnership made by neighboring regions. There are plenty of regions  with relationships similar to the regions in these blocs, and perhaps  WA activity is one way they could build stronger bonds and achieve goals  that fit their respective cultures.

Note that at no point was actually drafting WA resolutions, or  participating in the editing and advice process in drafts on the forum  specifically mentioned. The nitty gritty of WA resolution writing is a  very specific thing that does not interest most players, especially as  so few have an affinity for it. Everything else, from concerns about the  “lemming effect” to the fact that some regions have way more votes in  the WA, can be mitigated by greater focus in participation and outreach  in WA affairs. A robust, successful WA program like the one in TNP is  not developed overnight, and smaller regions will have to choose their  battles more carefully, pull off more successful recruitment of new  players, or collaborate with other regions in official or unofficial  voting blocs. But there is simply too much untapped potential and  benefit in becoming involved in the WA for regions to ignore it  entirely. It can be utilized in so many ways direct and indirect, and  tailored to fit the needs or interests of the regions who are willing to  invest in its exploration.

More regions should be working toward becoming bigger players in the WA,  and if this were done in any significant way, new avenues of gameplay  could be opened up as the established order of things would begin to  change shape. As more people become involved and find novel ways to make  use of the WA, how we understand it would continue to evolve and those  already participating in it would have to evolve along with it. In  short, it isn’t just for their own good that regions should get involved  in the WA, but for the game as a whole. But even if most regions don’t  get on board with the “greater good” argument, that’s just more of a  reason for individual regions to step up their game. Just as the few  regions we currently have dedicated enough to build their endorsements  to high levels benefit from the lack of challengers in that regard, new  regions willing to step up can do the same. Nature abhors a vacuum, and  the WA is still very much a space with much more room to be filled by  those brave and creative enough to make the effort.      

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]WA Blocs: When Will We See a New One?[/size]
[align=right][i]by Salvarity, ex-Legatus Prefect of the Empire of Mare Nostrum[/i][/align]

[size=120]Introduction[/size]
A spectre is haunting Gameplay - the spectre of blocism. All the powers  of old Gameplay have entered into a not yet official alliance to  exorcise this spectre: Admin and Emperor, Glen-Rhodes and United  Massachusetts, Southern Defenders and Western purge-squads.
Bad communism fan-fiction aside, those of us in Gameplay have  probably noticed the World Assembly Voting Blocs which have risen around  us. They are scary and big and are coming for all of our sovereignty.  We will all end up democratic and will be forced to run elections every  week, by the time they are done with us. Well maybe not necessarily. The  current voting blocs are built on very specific circumstances that just  do not exist elsewhere in the current diplomatic climate and the system  they seek to dominate is just not one regions are obligated to care  about. 
The most prominent, successful, and the biggest boogeyman around is of  course WALL, or the World Assembly Legislative League, consisting of:  The North Pacific, Balder, Europeia, Europe, and the International  Democratic Union. Less well known but still going strong is the  Interregional Legislative Coalition, abbreviated to ILC, consisting of:  the Democratic Socialist Assembly, Social Liberal Union, The Communist  Bloc, The Internationale/Grenada, The Leftist Assembly, and The  Versutian Federation. Finally, perhaps more known but a whole lot less  successful is the Strategic Interregional Exchange for Growth and  Equity, colloquially known as SIEGE. SIEGE is currently not an existing  bloc and the membership list was never publicly announced; but we know  it was proposed by The East Pacific and that The South Pacific, The West  Pacific, and The Pacific were at the least in discussions in regards to  it. These three blocs stand as the most high profile. Each was and is  different however.

[size=120]The Blocs in Existence[/size]
[b]The ILC[/b]
The first WA bloc I would like to look at is the ILC. The ILC is a bloc  created entirely of User Created Regions (UCRs). These UCRs with the  exception of The Versutian Federation and the Social Liberal Union are  members of NSLeft. A rather storied and the most closely knit UCR  political sphere. Within the ILC we recognize The Communist Bloc as the  largest and most dominant force, controlling almost fifty-percent of the  delegate endorsements in the entire bloc and NSLeft as a whole  controlling more than eighty-five percent of the endorsements. What is  interesting is that even with The Communist Bloc as the dominant region  size-wise, the current chairman of the ILC is from The Versutian  Federation.. The ILC controls north of five hundred World Assembly votes  which puts them as the smallest bloc, by a significant margin.

[b]WALL[/b]
Now, we could not mention WALL without talking about The North Pacific.  Because, TNP very much is WALL. Proportionally their position in WALL is  even more dominant than The Communist Bloc in the ILC, TNP alone  controls over fifty percent of the delegate endorsements This presence  and dominance within WALL naturally elevates TNP to a leadership role in  WALL. Furthermore, much like the ILC is built out of a pre-existing  diplomatic sphere, so was WALL. Europeia, Balder, and TNP are all  signatures of the Independent Manifesto and heavily base their regional  diplomacy around that document. WALL as a whole controls over two  thousand World Assembly votes, the largest World Assembly bloc in  existence.

[b]SIEGE[/b]
Now, SIEGE was being built with a motive in mind. The name alone should  give away their intention to be an opposition to WALL. The four regions  together would have had parity with WALL, and the addition of another  region (The Rejected Realms for example) could have set them above. But  they also would have had parity with each other. No member region of  SIEGE would have had the WA dominance, and by extension bloc dominance,  that TCB and TNP enjoy. Not necessarily a negative but a noticeable  difference. However what is definitely a negative is the lack of a  pre-existing diplomatic sphere. SIEGE would have been built on at best  shaky diplomatic foundations. It would be generous to call the ties  between the regions close, considering TSP’s and TWP’s recent historic  diplomatic agreement is detente. Not a Treaty or even a Declaration of  Friendship, just detente. It was indeed a historic agreement, but not  exactly the foundations of a sphere. Looking at the numbers, the four  regions combined would have been at twenty three hundred endorsements,  two hundred ahead of WALL.

[size=120]Why We Will Not See A New Bloc[/size]
[b]Intro[/b]
Overall, I think the diplomatic foundations upon which WALL and the ILC  were built are special and they do not exist elsewhere on NationStates.  With WALL and the ILC we saw existing diplomatic spheres being  capitalized upon and turned into the WA Blocs. These spheres range from  rare to non-existent in the rest of NationStates. Furthermore, while  WALL is very scary, the mechanical forces at play are not strong enough  to force a new sphere into existence. 

[b]Diplomacy [/b]
Spheres like the Independent Sphere and the NSLeft just do not exist  in the rest of NationStates. Aside from Out-Of-Character documents  pertaining to the safety of individuals, there are not many multilateral  diplomatic ties between major regions. Taking a look at the bloc-less  regions, few of them are in a diplomatic position to form a bloc. In the  UCR world itself, the chance of a legitimate bloc forming is next to  nil. Of the five largest UCRs, two are in WALL already, one in the ILC,  one is Ten Thousand Islands, which is a historically isolationist  region, and the other is a blacklisted region. Then as you continue down  the list, the regions and the WA counts continue to get smaller. If any  bloc were to form in the UCR world, it would be tiny and irrelevant in  comparison to the existing ones.
When we look at the bloc-less Feeders and Sinkers, they at least have  numbers on their side. The East Pacific and The South Pacific alone both  have the endorsement counts to outnumber the ILC. But I see these  regions as lacking the diplomatic ties and the political will necessary  to form a WA bloc. As we noted with SIEGE, it was built to counter WALL,  but to build a counter bloc is to generate animosity with the other  group. TSP and TRR are both regions that are deeply tied with The North  Pacific, in order to start generating animosity with WALL, it would take  considerable political and diplomatic will; diplomatic will that may  very well not exist. Looking at the remaining GCRs, The Pacific stands  rather isolated now, lacking treaties, and at war with Lazarus and  Osiris. The East Pacific and The West Pacific would be the best bet for a  potential bloc forming, but I doubt they would. 

[b]Mechanics[/b]
Now, to explain why I do not think TEP or TWP would form a World  Assembly bloc, we must take a look back at the World Assembly itself.  Overall, The East Pacific and The West Pacific can be characterized as  Gameplay-centric regions, which means they do not care about the General  Assembly and there is no incentive to care about the General Assembly.  This is coupled with a Security Council that has grown rather  unimportant and ineffectual. Both Commendations and Condemnations are  seen as badges of honor. They may be nice to have, but do not affect  anything. Liberations are the only resolutions with a mechanical effect  but they diminish in value and priority with each passing day. We see  joke proposals, like SCR 247 Liberate The East Pacific, or offensive  liberations being the most common use for liberations. Neither of which  help the situation, but the real nail in the coffin is the mechanical  effect in and of itself. Liberations are for R/D, a segment of the game  which can be best characterized as dying. There is no tangible benefit  to forming a WA bloc and fight for control over a segment of a game that  becomes less relevant every week. 

[b]WALL Plays Nice[/b]
The nail in the coffin of why I do not see another WA bloc rising is the  very behavior of WALL so far. Frankly they have not behaved how we  expected them to. They have not strangled the World Assembly in order to  enact their pro-Democracy agenda. They have yet to bend the lemmings to  their will and doom us all. Overall they vote for good resolutions and  against bad ones. Maybe they will become the big bads in the future and  NS will have to band together to stop them; but that has yet to happen.

[b]Conclusion[/b]
So to wrap it all up. I do not think we will see another diplomatic bloc  on NationStates. Nothing like NSLeft or the Independent Sphere, upon  which the ILC and WALL are built upon, exist anywhere else. Furthermore,  the mechanics of the World Assembly are not valuable or important  enough to necessitate a group rising to oppose WALL and to complement it  all, WALL has not behaved in a manner which demanded opposition.

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]Comitiārētur[/size]
[align=right][i]by Imperium Anglorum, Delegate of Europe[/i][/align]

A few years ago, I told a friend of mine about our somewhat peculiar WA  proclivities. When asked about Committees, I repeated the standard GA  dogma: Committees are perfect, since otherwise, they become meaningless.  I thought about his response: then why not have the Assembly take  direct control of all member nations? If they are perfect, then they  will always do better than whatever the imperfect member nations would do.

This is an important point. Member nations are regulated and proposals  are repealed due, sometimes, to enforcement issues. At other times, it  has to do with some policy not suiting all nations. Implicitly, under a  Committee-perfection standard, if all these responsibilities were given  to Committees, they would never happen. In fact, a perfectly  administering and knowing Committee would be, by definition, always  more responsible, proactive, effective, and accountable than any member  nation could be by virtue of their imperfection.

If that is the case, and member nations always perform more poorly, why  should we not delegate every single operation of the state to the World  Assembly, which would be more efficient and proactive? Why not delegate  over the maintenance of jails and criminal justice if the WA cannot make  mistakes and will always execute the laws perfectly? Why not delegate  over welfare programs if nobody under WA welfare can cheat and nor can  any member nation skim off the money? The consequences of this dogma  lead only and inexorably towards a single, near-universal authority  with unlimited jurisdiction.

But let us first examine the emergence of this doctrine. With all  committee matters, it emerged shortly before the creation of the  post-Enodian ruleset by The Most Glorious Hack and others. At the time,  Hack viewed committees as a metagaming violation – that attempting to  create a committee in fact did not, to the site, create one, thus  falling outside the scope of the then-NS United Nations. This view was  reversed amid strong protest from many then-NSUN members, arguing that  removing the ability for the GA to use committees would doom every  possible proposal into endless minutiae and enforcement provisions.

Part of this was the Moderators at the time wanting to avoid committee  staffing being specified in resolutions, as that would enshrine certain  nations or regions into resolutions. In these discussions, Hack proposed  something of a compromise that ended up taking root: that Committees  are staffed by “gnomes” which spring into existence for the purpose of  those Committees and have no connection to any specific member nation.  From here emerged the view that no committee can be biased towards or  against any member nation, and ergo, all committees are perfectly neutral  and unbiased.

By the formation of the current forums, the gnomes on the GA committees  and the gnomes responsible for the enforcement of WA resolutions had  become conflated. The latter gnomes - those responsible for WA  enforcement - were ascribed omnipotent and omniscient powers to enforce  WA resolutions. It was they who affected the statistical changes  associated with a resolution and changed the laws mentioned in every  World Assembly telegram. The later development of what is now somewhat  derisively called “magical compliance” further extended to the  committees staffed by gnomes. For if the gnomes enforcing resolutions  are all-powerful, why would the same sort of gnomes sitting on  committees not be?

Much more recently, one of my resolutions, Compliance Commission, was a  significant part of overturning the view that non-compliance, due to the  existence of the gnomes, was impossible. The total exclusion of even  the concept of non-compliance from the World Assembly’s roleplay had severe consequences. And by removing it, we have expanded the scope of roleplay generally as well as created space for a detailed and  substantial discussion on the enforcement of GA resolutions writ large. 

That space has been partially occupied by a resolution which Separatist  Peoples and I worked on, Administrative Compliance Act. Its explicit  recognition of non-compliance and provision of a mechanism to fight it  has firmly rooted magical compliance out of the Assembly. There are many  more means by which compliance can be ensured or protected, as well as  debate about whether the current or possible future means to do so are  justifiable. All of those debates would not have happened but for  magical compliance’s defeat.
Yet, if gnomes are endowed with their omnipotent powers by magical  compliance, such magic’s demise should also yield the fall of their  omnipotence. Verily, the intellectual foundation for endowing the gnomes  with such god-like abilities has been firmly discarded. The internal  contradictions between that magic and any reasonable conception of the  world have been resolved by depriving magic of its wonder.

A theory of perfect gnomes has similar pretensions. It too carries the  same contradictions against any reasonable conception of how the world  of NationStates ought to work. Their perfection, unto apotheosis, does  not accord with any sense. We as players should not simply accept what  comes from the past as mos maiorem without independent thought of our  own. That this conception of committees was handed down from the past is  no reason not to examine it with the same intensity with which we have  re-examined magical compliance.

The internal contradictions of the perfect gnome must too be resolved by  their perfection’s removal. With the demise of magical compliance,  there is no reason to retain the absurdity of perfect gnome-staffed  committee and the implications of the utopian unitary state it conjures.  Perhaps the radical international federalist (perhaps a contradiction  in terms, for at this point, it verges on the abolition of the nation)  may protest, but it was always thus, for the public writ large has never  ascribed to this most peculiar belief of the Assembly.      

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]The Case for Liberations[/size]
[align=right][i]by BMWSurfer, Minister of Home Affairs[/i][/align]

The World Assembly is celebrating a special anniversary this year: the  introduction of the Liberation into the WA ten years ago. The Liberation  has been used in many ways: to free regions oppressed by raider  regimes,  to allow NS historians to retrieve historic regions, and  (lately) to punish regions who do not fall in line with the ideals of  the World Assembly. While some of these goals are controversial, most  people can agree that liberations do far more good than harm. Cormac, in  talking about offensive liberations, summed up my views perfectly on  the matter. He wrote:

“[i]I don't think offensive liberations are inherently either positive or  negative, it just depends on what one does with them. I do think we've  seen offensive liberations used in positive ways in the past -- against  NAZI EUROPE, to be sure, as well as some other regions. So I don't  regret being one of the people who pioneered that tactic. It does seem  they're being overused now by certain authors, but on the other hand  those authors haven't had much success passing unwarranted offensive  liberations. At the end of the day, I think WA voters can be trusted to  responsibly decide when an offensive liberation is warranted and when it  isn't, and I think offensive liberation remains an important tool. It  would be as much of a mistake to take a kneejerk stance against all  offensive liberations as it would be to pass offensive liberations that  are unwarranted. We should take a middle ground approach and use them  only when warranted.[/i]”

The World Assembly, especially with Liberations, is very careful to  ensure they are not overused. Many times, a Liberation won’t even pass  forum drafting if there are no natives to the region that can be  identified. However, some members of the WA believe that Liberations are a dark mark upon the esteemed assembly. I disagree and would like to  counter their main arguments. 

The first, and possibly most realistic argument, is that raiders can use  liberations to be able to raid founderless and passworded regions that  still have active delegates. This situation is certainly plausible.  However, most raiders are well known to WA members, and if they  attempted to propose a liberation of this nature the liberation would  fail. Additionally, if a liberation like this did pass, defender forces  could assist the delegate in retaking the region and overturning the  liberation. Raiders cannot immediately take control of a region and  refound it; they would need time to accumulate the necessary influence.  This time could be preemptively lengthened by a strong endotarting  program like the ones seen in many GCRs. Additionally, creating strong  alliances with other regions can help repel attacks.

The second argument is that it is up to natives to secure their own  regions. For example, a region which recently became founderless could  refound their region with a more responsible founder. However, not all  regions have the expertise or want to put in the effort to do this.  What’s worse, for bigger founderless regions it may be impossible to  refound. Additionally, GCRs never had founders, and they never will.  There must be a last-resort mechanism for these situations. That is not to say that regions should ignore security since they can  just be liberated anyways. Regions can and should do their best to  secure themselves, whether that be through endotarting programs,  alliances with other regions, or military forces of their own.  Sometimes, though, things just don’t work out. Regions may not be big  enough for formal endorsement programs. Military forces, whether at home  or abroad, might not be able to counter the raiders until it is too  late. Small regions may not have enough publicity, and large regions may  have political adversaries actively working against them.

The liberation is the best tool we have to restore regions to their  former glory. Liberations can bring awareness to regions which may  have slipped under the radar. Through international discourse, political  rivalries can be subdued to allow regions to thrive again. Regions can  learn from their mistakes, and can get valuable assistance from defender  organizations who restore the regions. Above all else, liberations give  regions a chance to recover, if they choose to.
 This does not mean that we grant liberations to everyone who asks for  them. There is validity in the argument that the liberation can be  abused. The Security Council should do its best to seek out and verify  true natives. If no natives are available, the region should either be  put into the hands of a player deemed trustworthy, or not liberated at  all. After a region is liberated, prominent members of the WA should  teach natives how to properly secure themselves.

Liberations are not just about regional defense. They can be used to  create monuments to former communities or to punish misbehaving regions.  For example, Nazi Europe was Liberated and eventually taken over by  defender forces. For Nazi Europe, condemnations were badges of honor,  but a liberation was its downfall. Even then, it was years before the  region could be taken over, years in which the region could have  appealed to the SC to remove the liberation. If they had been shown to  change their ways, they very well could have been granted that appeal.  This shows that even when used in unconventional ways, liberations are  not an immediate death sentence. Many regions were taken over by Nazi  Europe, and the creation of liberations made it possible for them to be  revived and returned to their rightful owners. This was true for many  others, too.

Opponents of liberations claim that liberations decrease  regional security by allowing raiders to liberate and take over passworded and founderless regions. While these claims have merit,  liberations are a last resort for regions that have been raided and  could not have been saved. Liberations, however, are not a total  replacement for regional security measures and should be used by the  Security Council with caution. If used correctly, liberations can be a  massive force for good in the world of NationStates.       

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]Finding Yourself in the World Assembly[/size]
[align=right][i]by bowloftoast, Deputy Minister of WA Affairs[/i][/align]

World Assembly resolutions regularly come and go, and it’s very easy to  get into a habit of skimming over the text, getting a sense of the  overall subject matter, and making a quick decision to clear the docket.  

Efforts have been made to create greater engagement among members, but  always with the emphasis on the betterment of the Assembly. I’d like to  shine a light on some of the personal benefits of taking things a bit  more slowly when reviewing and deciding on resolutions. 

While we may take it for granted, membership in the WA affords an often  overlooked opportunity for personal and political growth, and a means to  gain a deeper understanding of self.

Much of who we are politically is influenced by our environment. As  individuals, we are bombarded by ideas and exposed to a variety of  perspectives from the earliest age. Directly, our friends, families,  teachers, religious leaders, and our media choices all contribute to  what eventually becomes our individual mosaic of political opinion. We  are also - often unwittingly - subject to more subtle, cultural  influences like ethnocentricity, nationalism, notions of exceptionalism,  religion, and so on.

Political mosaics often form when we are young, and can stay with us,  influencing our actions and choices for a lifetime. Too often, we don’t  give our mosaic a second thought. We simply believe we are who we are  without putting our system of political beliefs to any kind of rigorous  self-examination. 

It is possible to walk through life wearing your political views like  borrowed clothing. They may keep you in the fashion of the moment. They  may even serve as a form of camouflage and keep you out of conflict. In  time, however, these ideas can cement, and what you are left with is  something familiar and comfortable, yet not entirely your own.

It is imperative to question the origins of your mosaic and ask if that  which has accumulated over time truly reflects your innermost beliefs.

As 19th Century essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: 
“[i]Be not the  slave of your own past… But dare rather to quit the platform, plunge  into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so shall you come back  with self respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that  shall explain and overlook the old.[/i]”

Emerson’s quote is felicitous to a discussion about the World Assembly,  because the WA  - and particularly the General Assembly - is just the  sort of platform from which a deep dive can be taken. It’s an  environment tailor made for the acquisition of new power, self-respect,  and advanced experience. Its periodic resolutions provide an opportunity  for personal political reflection using an ever-changing situational  model.

Situational models are often the most revealing when conducting this  sort of political check-in, because they create a tangible connection  between the issues, and lived experience. They give you an opportunity to stretch your imagination, and look at things from a variety of  angles. These are important abilities to have, but must be refined through practice. So, where to begin?

I strongly recommend an online search for The Political Compass, a quick, anonymous test that will provide you with your unique placement  on their custom x-y political grid. It does this by asking for your level of agreement with a series of practical or situational statements. Not only is it a great starting point in understanding your deeper political mind, but it’s a great thought experiment that will prime you for deeper consideration on future WA resolutions.

It is critical to really drill down on each question when taking the  test. Do not take an ideological, politics-first approach. Don’t attempt  to steer the test towards the position on the spectrum you believe you  occupy. Instead, weigh each question independently of the others, follow  a few of the steps outlined below, and let the placement on the spectrum occur organically.

Here’s a sample question, taken right from the Compass test: Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.

Using the above sample statement about military action, ask yourself under what specific circumstances it might be okay to defy international  law? Consider real-world examples where international law has been violated, such as POW torture to extract information, use of chemical  weapons in civil conflicts, or ‘extrajudicial’ detentions. Consider the  outcomes of those violations and their collateral effects on civilians.  Consider the historical events that led up to the creation of these  international laws, and what it was, as a society, that we were trying  to achieve, or avoid. 

Imagine yourself in a scenario where you might be impacted by a violation of international law by an invading or occupying force. Whenever possible, immerse yourself and visualize. Run each question through the ringer before giving your answer and you will get a result that is much closer to you than to your mosaic. Be brutally honest with yourself when answering each question.

I’m not suggesting this approach as a means to convert you to any  specific political viewpoint. I wholeheartedly respect your individual  right to take any position you wish, on any subject. The emphasis here  is not on how you answer, but how you arrive at your answer. What I want  to ensure is that at the end of the process - and with the benefit of  broad consideration - you can reasonably justify your position to  yourself. If you’ve put in the effort and done the heavy intellectual  lifting, then you can own that position in confidence and in good  conscience. That is tremendously important.

The most common issue in our increasingly political world, is that many  can’t justify their positions or make a coherent argument for their reasoning. A lot of the time, that’s because it isn’t really their position - it’s a product of their mosaic. It isn’t born of  consideration, or empathy, or lived experience, or critical evaluation. It’s just what’s been picked up over time, and that’s a skin worth  shedding.

This use of practical scenarios by which to gauge individual politics is nothing new. In fact, it’s pretty much the foundation of NationStates and nation evolution. Unlike daily issue answering in NS, though, where  our choices may be subject to how we roleplay our nation, WA votes tend  to align more with our personal political beliefs.

Granted, some carry the nation role forward into their WA decisions and  keep it completely in-character. For the most part, however, our nations are the sandbox where we can be whomever we like, and our WA votes are more closely aligned with our individual real-world beliefs. Those who lean libertarian in life, either right or left, tend to favor national sovereignty over WA encroachment. Those who favor socially liberal values in life, tend to vote favorably for similarly aligned GA resolutions. Those who favor a firm leadership hand in the real world, tend to vote more favorably on crime and punishment legislation.

Given that, you can use each resolution as a tool to bypass the mosaic, and to exercise your political mind. It doesn’t need to take all day,  but twenty or thirty minutes to give each resolution genuine  consideration from a variety of angles. Treat it like a meditation or a  workout. Take it slowly, and find your ground.

Essentially, what resolutions do is suggest that there is a problem and   provide a series of possible solutions to that problem. Ask questions of the resolution: Is the problem being presented really a problem? Is it the kind of problem the WA should be addressing, or is it more for nations to decide? Are the solutions realistic, and do they adequately  address the problem raised?

If you can answer yes to those, then go a bit deeper: How will this solution affect my nation? How will this solution affect the theoretical  citizens of my nation? Is it fair and just? How will this solution affect other nations and their citizens? Is the solution best  accommodating the wide variety of nations in the Assembly? If this solution were being applied to me, in real life, would I be comfortable with it?

Bestow gravity on the questions that arise in your mind from the  scenarios painted in the  resolutions. Read each resolution in full, and  pay attention to those pieces of text that spark a reaction in you. Once you’ve found those things that have caught your attention, give  them more attention.

If you’re unsure about some specific element of a resolution or its  overarching subject matter, do a bit of quick research, and then see if  you can find an opposing point of view to consider as well. If you’re  having trouble deciding, ask for others’ perspectives. Bounce ideas off  your peers, on your forum or on Discord. Exchanging ideas with others is  critical in gaining perspective. Seek opposing viewpoints as readily as  you seek those that confirm your own. Avoid the echo chambers of the  universally like-minded. No harm can ever come from hearing another  opinion. You always hold the power to politely disagree.

Sadly, civility in political discourse has deteriorated significantly as  the left-right paradigm has become increasingly polarized. More and  more frequently, we hear about the rise of political tribalism, and that  can make the free exchange of ideas incredibly difficult. Often, it’s  something more akin to trench warfare, with each side taking shots at  each other, but neither gaining any ground. The rise of identity  politics has made political bullying fashionable, and that can have a  stifling effect on communication, and a narrowing effect on the mind,  both for those engaging in such tactics, and for the recipients. 

Take a cue from Nietzsche: "[i]He who fights with monsters should look  to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long  into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.[/i]"

Whenever possible, avoid the name-callers, the blamers, and the shamers.  They are the toxic enemies of free thought, and intellectual growth. Similarly, avoid ideologues who seek only to convert you to their way of  thinking. They are the hopeless prisoners of their own mosaic.

Instead, seek out those with an open approach to debate and a  willingness to consider all sides. They are a critical sounding board  for ideas and can often give you a new insights into an issue that you  may not have considered. Then, be that to others.

Be thoughtful. Be brave. Become the owner of a political mind in  agreement with itself, and a political psyche comfortable in its own  skin. Take the deep dive into the next WA resolution, and enjoy the  swim.      

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]Stop Thinking About SC Condemnations as Badges[/size]
[align=right][i]by Funkadelia[/i][/align]

During discussion of Security Council resolutions, or even  discussion of the idea of writing one, there is an argument that is  frequently bandied about that claims that the resolution should or  should not be written or proposed or voted for because the resolution  would result in awarding a “badge” to the targeted nation or region. Of  course, this argument is usually reserved for condemnations by the  nature of how condemnations work. The frequent refrain is something to  the effect of “That nation/region should not be awarded with a  condemnation badge. That’s exactly what they want! It’s just a trophy  for them.” This argument has been utilized when discussing condemnations  of certain individuals as well as entire regions and organizations  across NationStates. This argument should not be seen as legitimate.

The idea that commendations or condemnations are nothing more than a  badge for the recipient is essentially moot. Of course it’s a  badge. The entire point of the Security Council is to give in-character  badges to individuals and regions. That it is anything else is  essentially a fabrication. Commendations are and should be written for  nations or regions who have some lasting positive impact on the game,  engage in some sort of heroic acts as far as the game is concerned,  and/or engage in very good roleplay that is internationally known as  very positive and high quality. On the flip side of that coin,  condemnations are and should be written for nations or regions who have  some lasting in character negative impact on the game. Whether it is for  their exceptional ability to play a villain, their Benedict-esque  turn-coating abilities, or their dastardly (but still high quality)  roleplaying, that is all up for debate in the halls of the Security  Council, and rightly so. However, what is not up for debate is whether  or not someone should be condemned because “a badge is exactly what they  would want.” It is simply a pointless discussion.

The idea that a Security Council resolution can be considered a badge by  the recipient is not new. Certainly, it is something that has been  brought up since the creation of the Security Council. This argument has  not gotten more compelling over time, nor has one application of the  argument been more compelling or persuading than the other. It has been  discussed in terms of several commendations and most notably with  condemnations. It’s been argued regarding prospective condemnations  ranging from The Black Hawks, Land of Kings and Emperors, United  Massachusetts, and Stujenske. Across all these wide-ranging prospective  nominees, the argument has been much the same. Indeed, the search term  “badge” in the Security Council forums and WA Archives on NationStates  appears a total of 3,833 times alone. Clearly, this is an argument that  many people find to be totally solid. However, this premise serves only  as a quick way to invalidate the arguments of legitimate proposals.

Ultimately, the measure of what is an acceptable Security Council  resolution should be based upon those aforementioned criteria. “Has this  player or players done enough to warrant a resolution?” “Do their  actions have historical weight, and can they stand the test of time?”  “Did they really act like a hero in this moment?” “Were they especially  good at being a villain, and did it really frustrate people?” These are  the questions that should be asked and the debates that should be had  when discussing a prospective nominee for a Security Council resolution.

This is a game where the drama and most of the action is based almost  entirely on in-character activities. As such, the discussion of the  Security Council, in my view, should be based around a meta discussion  of those in-character actions, whether they were good, bad, or ugly. At  the very least, most prospective Security Council nominees deserve an  honest discussion about the legacy of their actions rather than a vapid,  superficial discussion about whether or not the recipient would view  the resolution as a “badge” or not. We can all do better than that as a  game wide community. Of course, these discussions of badges will still  occur regardless, but the community as a whole should move more toward  the meta discussion of a nominee’s actions and their merit rather than  these things. Certainly, this is not one of the most pressing issues out  of all issues out there in NationStates, but encouraging more honest  and fact- based discussions in the Security Council can perhaps make the  game more enjoyable for everyone involved.      

[img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]Why TWP Votes The Way It Does[/size]
[align=right][i]by Saint Mark (Halo), Delegate of The West Pacific[/i][/align]
The West Pacific has been said to be anti-World Assembly for quite some  time. Is this the case, and if so, why? To some extent, this is true.  Although we consider Security Council resolutions on a case-by-case  basis, General Assembly proposals are another matter. The Delegate of  The West Pacific will vote AGAINST almost any proposal unless there is a  compelling reason not to do so, and FOR any proposed repeal. Why is this?

In my opinion, it all stems from our region’s firm position on the  primacy of game mechanics. For example, recognition of the superiority  of game mechanics is what underpins our support for Delegate Supremacy.  The primacy of game mechanics also recognizes that every other WA member  nation has the same right as the Delegate to vote his/her conscience on  all proposals that come before the World Assembly.

With regard to the World Assembly itself, and especially the General  Assembly, I would interpret it this way. The oldest and most fundamental  mechanism by which to play NationStates is choosing a response to an  issue. This has been a constant throughout the history of the game and  is the only way a player can change their nation. It is really the only  purely game-created mechanism. All other play is either meta-game,  developed solely by the players, or at least influenced by players, like  the development of the World Assembly. I’m not going to go into the  history of the World Assembly here, but suffice it to say that the World  Assembly (originally the United Nations) was created in part because of  the support of the concept by some of the players.

The West Pacific is a strong proponent of national sovereignty. It is of  the opinion that a player should be able to be the sole creator of  their nation, uninhibited by outside influence. The World Assembly,  specifically the General Assembly, forces nations to change, albeit only  slightly. We hold that the sovereignty of each nation should not be  violated! One might argue that a nation does not have to join the World  Assembly, but not to do so would exclude a player from participating  fully in their region. World Assembly membership, endorsements and  influence have become integral to the NationStates meta-game.

The West Pacific holds that game mechanics are the foundation of NationStates. This is at the base of all of our policies – Delegate Supremacy,  Independence … and an aversion to World Assembly interference in  national sovereignty.      

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]The Two Faces of the WA[/size]
[align=right][i]by Tlomz, Minister of WA Affairs[/i][/align]

NationStates, as with most political simulations, lends itself towards  the drawing of parallels with real life politics and situations.  Everything from historical events to modern political party lines comes  into the crossfire of debate and legislation. Within this Molotov  cocktail of law, come two primary schools of thought. There are those  who are able to shelve either all or part of their real life convictions  in favor of adopting differing ones to roleplay their nations, and then  there are those who are more attached to their real life beliefs and  allegiances, which they then pursue and perpetuate in the NS world. An  additional way to represent this divide is between in-character (IC) and Out of Character (OOC) beliefs held by players.

While neither way of playing the game is objectively wrong, their  conflict in various parts of NS inherently causes issues even with  players acting in the best of faith. This becomes especially apparent in  the World Assembly as potentially inflammatory and controversial topics  are legislated upon and the fallout of arguments, repeals, and redrafts commence. 

Specifically in the General Assembly, the topics of abortion, LGBT  rights including gay marriage, and environmental reform have had their  fair share of heated debate and controversy. While very civil and  constructive debate can be had regarding any of these topics, they tend  to spiral out of control on a regular basis, some more than others of  course. Abortion in the WA has been host to it all, seeing many attempts  at resolutions and repeals of said resolutions. These discussions  include thousands of comments on hundreds of pages of forum threads. 

The most heated, perhaps even toxic debate comes from those who blindly  apply their real-life beliefs without considering the other side’s  position. Instead, the WA should be seen as an opportunity to build a  more nuanced and balanced understanding of the topics at hand.  Additionally, topics like LGBT rights and environmental reform open the  floodgates for the more toxic parts of real-life politics to pour in  through passionate and often shortsighted debate by those who do not  separate their out of character beliefs from their in character persona.  Things such as identity politics and labeling of opponents lead to open  flaming in forums, as well as near OOC harassment directed at those who oppose proposal efforts.

Sadly, while the Security Council possesses these same problems, the  partisan split can be much more obvious at times. This can be most  easily observed in the use of condemnations and liberations targeted at  the more extreme ends of party lines such as openly fascist and  communist regions and players. While the extreme of any political stance  is sure to be toxic and harmful to discourse in real life politics, no  thought is given to the in game aspects of in-character role play and  the separation between someone’s IC vs OOC stances. This causes the  verbal crucifixion of people who try to rationalize and defend the  “tainted” groups when those groups come under attack by those who are  unable to separate IC vs OOC stances. No matter how reasonable and  factual their arguments made may be, those who try to think rationally  and see from a neutral perspective will be labeled as sympathizers to  the undesirable group and be cast aside by the unhinged opposing party.  To many of those who apply their real-life beliefs here, a zero-sum game  is played in which advancing their chosen agenda is all that matters.  They pile on excuses and irrelevant OOC items to justify toxic and  harmful IC behavior which can begin to hamper moderation efforts as  well. Unfortunately, this reduces complex and nuanced topics regarding  extremist politics to flame wars and muckraking, with those who wish to  participate in logical debate staying quiet and waiting for the storm to  blow over.

A concerning symptom of the examples above is observed in the quality of  proposals which manage to make quorum during these times of heated  debate. More common in the Security Council, this can be best observed  during the string of preemptive liberations targeting allegedly fascist  regions which were consecutively proposed some eight months ago. While  there may have been due cause for these liberations to take place, their  writing was well below standard but still easily made quorum and were  subsequently passed following heated and toxic interactions as described  above. Some of these liberations were of such a quality that they were  repealed a short time after passage. This can be so easily done in the  SC because the proposals only have a singular function with the text of  each proposal simply being reasoning. Many players may approach this  with a Machiavellian mindset and ignore quality flaws for the sake of  the passage of the proposal and the result it entails. This is, in my  opinion, one of the greatest issues as it allows for a degradation of  writing standards at the hands of inflammatory politics and player  divides, which will ultimately harm the WA. 

In conclusion, heated debate and passion is healthy and normal for the  WA. I encourage everyone to find an issue they are passionate about and  write or support legislation on it - that's how our community grows.   However, issues arise when players begin to assume that their opposition  is arguing with the worst possible motives or that they believe that  they can harm their opposition and their argument by abusing an IC or  OOC position. When debating and attempting to understand someone’s  position, it should be a priority to understand where they draw their  convictions, or else you may be arguing from two whole different  perspectives and only toxicity and flaming will follow. This is not to  deny that bad faith actors exist in the WA, but rather to outline that  there are differences in the way people argue and hold their  convictions, and the differing stances between two opposing parties  doesn’t necessarily indicate bad faith, or any disrespect at all.      

[hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/qB12AxK.png[/img][size=140]Why Liberations Are Flawed[/size]
[align=right][i]by Mikeswill, Delegate of NationStates[/i][/align]

In October of 2003, my cousin Steve emailed me about a new online  political game he had heard about called NationStates and - knowing my  interest in all things political given that I have a degree in Political Science - urged me to explore it. I tend not to be too interested in  internet games, but decided to give it a shot anyway. As such, the  nation Mikeswill was born into a Pacific region with the Eagle of  Albania on the eve of NationStates’ first birthday. In the ensuing days,  I spread the word of the game to another friend who joined and created a  region called ‘NationStates’ and asked me to move. My first puppet,  Mikes Hope, became resident number twenty-one.

The earliest days of the game were hectic and reactionary mostly because  it was never meant to become a sustained platform. Max Barry initially  created the game simply to promote his book “Jennifer Government,” but  in the explosion of interest, a true game was formed. As such, the  original game mechanisms were not made to deal with a plethora of player  activity and antics, and had to constantly evolve.

A purview of the News bulletins from 2003 exemplifies the challenges of  early game play especially as it tried to deal with “obnoxious morons”.  Password hackers, griefers, region crashers and UN (now WA) Cheats were  unforeseen problems that required a response. Prior to April 29, 2003, nations could move at will throughout the multitude of regions, spam at  will, and create multiple UN identities with little recourse. As such, regional controls were created which allowed the delegate and founder to  eject nations and password-protect the region. In May, NS Etiquette was  introduced in part to define region crashing ie. raiding/invading. June  saw the creation of Moderators: “kind, noble players who have  volunteered their time to weed out some of the obnoxious elements.”

During this period, legend has it that the NationStates region was often  raided and fought over due to the fact that it is named after the game  and also because of its founderless status. Regional population was  minimal until November. Thus, by the time Mikes Hope became UN Delegate  of NationStates in early November of 2003, raiding was a major threat  and password protection was the last line of defense. Moreover, without a  founder, the power and responsibility to keep the region safe and  secure was left solely to the delegate.

As the game increased in popularity, the region of NationStates grew  exponentially and added players from around the world. September 2004,  saw Mikes Hope deleted for griefing (not my best moment) and the region  in flux as players split on the future direction of the region. Despite  my humiliation, I was determined to be a candidate for the delegacy and  thought I had a chance because I had personally recruited nearly every  player in the region. By the end of the month, I secured the delegacy as  Mikeswill and have remained in this position ever since. The other  faction split off and continues to this day as a small, tight-knit  community of fifteen nations.

By late September of 2004, the game unveiled the process to repeal  previous UN/WA Resolutions. At first glance this mechanism looked to  have much merit as it gave the UN/WA electorate to reconsider past  legislation. Resolutions were no longer etched in stone, rather, they  had to be able to stand the test of time. Unfortunately, this mechanism would become the most abused tool in the World Assembly and in the yet  to be created Security Council.

Fundamentally, it makes sense to have a mechanism to correct flawed or  erroneous legislation or to amend legislation which no longer reflects  the essence of a changing environment. The United States has examples of  changing course via legislation (the 18th and 21st Amendments regarding  Prohibition) and judicial review (Plessy v. Ferguson and subsequently  Brown v. Board of Education regarding segregation). In each case the  ethos of a nation was heard and altered. In general, however,  legislation has a long lasting effect and is difficult to undo.

Not so in our World Assembly where the opposition of legislation has  written a repeal before the initial resolution has concluded the vote.  What has become important is not the essence of the legislation rather  the artistry of persuasion to convince a haphazard, easily manipulated, electorate to alter their position minutes after they cast their votes.  Often times it seems that Repeal writers are more interested in authoring a repeal than the substance of their position.
 Thus, in my region most of us vote for a resolution one week and against  the repeal the second week. Unfortunately, the first legislation which  passed with say 80% approval in round one dies with the same percent in  round two. The result is a perceive travesty of justice and an  inclination to believe that the overall electorate is easily  manipulated. Were we overly engaged we could have submit a fix whereby  no Resolution could be repealed for a period of six months.
Meanwhile, the game continued. In 2006 Regional Influence was added to  the game in another attempt to stem the tide of Invading. The result was  that WA Delegates had greater power to keep invaders out and the  Regional Power ranking minimized many threats. Undeterred the Raiders  continued. May of 2009 saw the addition on Commend and Condemn  Resolutions which had the effect of creating a badge of excellence for  the Condemned. And in July 2009 came the worse mechanism of the game, in  my opinion, the Liberation Resolution.

Liberation resolution: “A Liberation Resolution overrides any Delegate  password in the nominated region, allowing other nations to enter  freely. (It doesn't restrict the Delegate's ability to eject, ban, or do  anything else; nor does it affect regions with Founders.) This allows  the World Assembly to further its aims of bringing freedom and justice  to the world, or grossly overstep its moral authority, depending on your  perspective”.

The purpose of Liberations is basically to free a region that has been  raided and return it to the natives. Whereas the idea has a degree of  altruistic merit it is the most dangerous piece of legislation ever to  threaten the NationStates region. How so? As a founderless region, it  potentially removes my last line of defense as WA Delegate of the  region. And sure enough the use of Liberation Resolutions soon became a  tool of organizations to manipulate the borders and member nations of a  region only then to use the repeal mechanism to revert back to the  security of password-protection once they established hegemony over the  region.

Moreover, the rationale for a resolution that nulls a game mechanism was  flawed from my perspective. The reality was that regions without  founders were most likely to be affected by such a provision mostly because they were easy to attack. Regions with founders are not  favorable given the omnipotence of a founder. The cries of so-called natives that their precious region had been disturbed by raiders  overshadowed their own irresponsibility to secure their own region, either by a strong Delegate or the refounding of their region.

In a nutshell, our fear is that an unscrupulous author will manipulate  the electorate to usurp our Regional security via a Liberation and then  Invade the region in such numbers to successfully take the Delegacy. As  Condemn/ Commend/ Liberation were moved into the Security Council in  February 2010, I petitioned for and received an Anti-Security Council Tag. Since that time we have voted against all liberations and for their repeals even when said repeals were merely the completion of power  politics. And until such time as the travesty of liberations are removed from existence we shall continue in this direction so long as I am WA Delegate.      

[hr][center][u][b]The Northern Lights[/b][/u][b]:[/b] [i]Beauty in Truth[/i]
Publisher: Pallaith (Ghost) :: Executive Editor: El Fiji Grande :: Managing Editor: BMWSurfer

[i]The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Except where otherwise indicated, all content does not represent the views of the Government of The North Pacific.[/i]

[b][url=https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=352113]Index of issues[/url][/b][/center][hr][hr][/spoiler][/center][/box][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/rdCSwZL.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/0uy7doE.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/FlxRSf4.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/HdOg4jW.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/QkwG9OD.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/K1PDu79.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/MMbQAHU.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/Jcjc3kh.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/OgT9wqi.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/4DP8WkZ.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/cobQ1cf.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/wFT6uAF.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/ukvKPyF.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/ndEiS5W.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/0zSGOH9.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/1PBeNlT.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/hsVRAFH.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/S5BvkSi.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/gOIEau8.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/nau4mtS.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/DkxCMBe.png[/img][hr][img]https://i.imgur.com/FB4RabI.png[/img]

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