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The Rejected Times: Issue LVII

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Issue LVII | May 26th, 2020

Index

"Kicking it off in the World Assembly" | INTERVIEW | CONDUCTED BY REPORTER The Aligned People
"South Asians Victorious in TSP Military Affairs Special Election" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY INTERN Agalaesia
"Increased Global Interest in World Assembly Affairs" | FEATURE | WRITTEN BY JOURNALIST Bormiar
"The Bread Box" | COLUMN | WRITTEN BY INTERN A Leaf on the Wind


Kicking it off in the World Assembly
INTERVIEW | CONDUCTED BY REPORTER The Aligned People

The Rejected Realms has taken a more involved approach in the World Assembly with Bormiar being elected as the Officer of the World Assembly in TRR. As such, it seemed fitting to showcase one of our citizens, Morover, to get his take on what it’s like getting started in the WA.

Morover was founded on October 14, 2018 with his join date in the WA quickly following. Morover liked the idea of getting involved with legislation and law so the World Assembly was his avenue to be able and do so. Morover was active in the WA from the start and eager to get involved: he posted his first proposal a couple of months after he joined with other drafts quickly following. When it comes to authoring, Morover prefers to write for the General Assembly “as it feels much more real and substantive...and it can get incredibly complex at times, and I can deeply appreciate the complexity behind it.”

Morover has written 3 resolutions: GAR#467 “Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy,” SCR#297 “Condemn Tinfect,” and SC#299 “Repeal: ‘Condemn This Game.’” Morover has more proposals in the works that he hopes to usher into a resolution.

I want to thank Morover for sitting down to do the interview and I hope that his inside knowledge on getting started in the WA can help out a new player wanting to get involved.

TAP: Hey Morover! Thanks for sitting down with me. So, you have some good experience in the World Assembly joining it back in October 2018. Could you tell me about your time in the World Assembly as a whole?

Morover: I've really rather enjoyed it. It can be a harsh environment, and it is a steep learning curve, but it's a place of learning, and it is a really cool community full of some of the smartest people I've had the pleasure of meeting.

TAP: Since there is that initial learning curve, when did you think it might interest you to write your own proposal?

Morover: Honestly, I'd imagine it was during my lurking days. I remember looking at the “at-vote proposals” and thinking that I'd be good at it (hint: I wouldn't have been at that point), but I didn't really know what went into it until a later point.

TAP: So when you took that step and authored a proposal, how long had you been in the WA?

Morover: My first proposal happened before I actually did anything else in the World Assembly, so I would have been incredibly green. My first passed proposal came about six months after I started the World Assembly.

TAP: What chamber were you writing for when you authored those proposals?

Morover: First written and first passed were both in the General Assembly. My first passed was "Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy", which essentially covered a loophole present in "Convention on Gender" which may have allowed nations to not supply their transgender population with adequate hormone therapy for transition.

TAP: To help people understand what goes into the drafting process, could you explain what you had to go through for "Affordable Transgender Hormone Therapy?" How long did each step take?

Morover: So, United Massachusetts helped me out greatly with ATHT, pretty much single handedly writing the preamble. I honestly don't remember how many drafts I went through, but there are 25 edits to the OP of the resolution thread, so I'd estimate at least 15 drafts, with about 8 of those being serious attempts. There was actually just over a month between the initial post of the draft and the passage of the proposal (June 15 - July 16). Also, in the drafting stage, the most difficult part of the actual proposal was convincing people that the loophole the then-proposal was fixing was actually present.

TAP: So what comes after that drafting stage once you’ve been able to convince members that your proposal, if passed, solves a legitimate problem?

Morover: After drafting is submission, which I've always had some troubles with. In order to get any proposal to vote, you must submit it to the World Assembly, and then 6% or more of all delegates must "approve" that proposal, which tends to linger around 70 approvals nowadays. It used to be far easier than it is nowadays, due to differences in how campaigning works. Typically, to get a proposal to vote, you need to send out telegrams to the delegates asking them to approve your proposal. People do this in different ways, with some preferring using the API to do it, and some using stamps (and a small minority doing these telegrams manually, which is a giant pain in the ass). I'm not the best at writing campaign telegrams, but I'm starting to get it, so it is something that you just need to work at.

TAP: So how should someone go about submitting a proposal? How do you know when it’s just right?

Morover: I posted on July 4th that I'd be submitting it on July 10th, and I think that's really the only way to do it. Saying that you'll be submitting on a specific date and then sticking to it, unless someone points out an error that you can't fix in a reasonable period of time.

TAP: And how did you get through all the challenges that come with authoring a proposal like getting it past quorum?

Morover: Honestly, I just hoped it'd get to vote. If I recall, I used API-campaigning for ATHT, though I may be misremembering. I do remember that during the voting of specific proposals, players who GA regulars call "orcs" came out and spouted a lot of transphobic sentiment - so much so, in fact, that it is the tenth most replied to proposal ever in the WA Archives subforum on the NS Forum.

TAP: Where did you get your inspiration for authoring ATHT and what made you want to write it?

Morover: Honestly, at the time, I just wanted to get something passed, and I figured I could pass that. In hindsight, it was legitimately essential legislation, and I've rather grown out of the mindset of passing resolutions for the sake of passing them.

TAP: Awesome! So transitioning from the General Assembly to the Security Council, could you tell me about your most recent repeal you authored in the Security Council? Anything special about it?

Morover: Yeah - so, Condemn This Game was a resolution written by Lord Dominator, intended to be at vote on April Fools' Day. It was a joke, and, as such, it would be repealed, so I just threw my attempt for it in the ring.

TAP: Okay, I see. So even the World Assembly has to get in on some satire every once in a while.

Morover: I wrote it because I knew it would be repealed, and I thought a joke proposal should be repealed by a joke repeal. People thought it was a joke, because it was. It was a satirical take on the other repeals of the time, taking it to drastic extremes, and it turns out that it worked out, because it passed!

TAP: Do you think authors need to change any of their tactics when writing for the General Assembly vs. the Security Council?

Morover: Not really, it's all the same process, just with a different operative clause.

TAP: What about your favorite resolution that you’ve authored? Could you tell us about it and why it holds that place for you?

Morover: My favorite is probably “Condemn Tinfect,” which was also my first Security Council resolution. It was a lot of fun to write about such a despotic nation, and especially one with such complex lore (and I know the author through the GA). As for inspiration, I pretty much just thought "I wonder if Tinfect has been condemned yet," and she hadn't, so I approached her and asked her if she was interested, and she said she was, so I wrote it!

TAP: Well, Morover, I want to thank you for being a part of this interview and I hope it can inspire some new players who are on the fence about getting involved in the World Assembly to do so. What advice do you have for those players and what would you want them to know?

Morover: Just get out there and do it! It's a steep learning curve, and people are very harsh most of the time, but it's usually just to ensure that everything is in tip-top shape. You might go through several proposals that are shot down before getting one that sticks, but it's all part of the process. It's supposed to be fun, don't get too caught up about it.

South Asians Victorious in TSP Military Affairs Special Election
NEWS | WRITTEN BY INTERN Agalaesia

The South Pacific’s (TSP’s) Special Elections for the position of Minister of Military Affairs has concluded, electing South Asians, a long time member of the South Pacific Special Forces.

The election was initiated after Heliseum, the former Minister lost his legislatorship status, and by extension, his cabinet membership after ceasing to exist. As the cabinet can only appoint a cabinet minister once the term has passed the halfway point, a special election was to be held, due to the fact that the previous Minister of Military Affairs lost his cabinet seat before the term was not yet halfway through.

The election was contested by two candidates: South Asians and Miravana, both long time members of the South Pacific Special Forces and recruitment officer and former tidal force co-ordinator respectively. In his brief campaign, South Asians stated his desire to “reactivate the Tidal Force” (the civilian militia of TSP), “increasing more soldiers” through training and active operations and “creating guides for officers” to help soldiers in getting promotions. South Asians also stated his personal goal of reaching the rank of Officer. Miravana’s campaign centralised around bolstering numbers and to “reiterate the fun that everyone should be having.” Miravana dropped out of the elections a few days later, citing his lack of time to spend on the position as the main reason.

At the conclusion of the elections, results for all candidates were counted using the Instant Runoff Voting Method, despite Miravana dropping out. South Asians won by 25 votes to Miravana’s 5.

In a statement, The South Pacific’s new Minister of Military Affairs South Asians stated:

“I would like to thank all the legislators of The South Pacific, for showing their support to my campaign and helping me in my landslide victory. I have been elected as MoMA during an age in which the defending community isn't in very good shape as it was a couple of years ago. SPSF being one of the most important defender military [sic.] out there. It is my responsibility to try and revive the former glory of the defenders. We have the quality but we need the quantity with the same qualities. That's why i [sic.] ask all the defender orgs out there to start recruiting and training new people and provide them with your valuable knowledge. We are having an influx of new nations and it is the best time for Recruitment and Training.”

Increased Global Interest in World Assembly Affairs
FEATURE | WRITTEN BY JOURNALIST Bormiar

The World Assembly has recently undergone a large series of consecutive proposals in both chambers. These include controversies such as “Access to Abortion”, nd a series of joke resolutions in the SC: “Condemn this Game”, “Condemn Nations Creating Regions for SC Props”, and “Condemn Deruuu”. After the passage of “Condemn this Game”, the voters put their foot down, passing “Repeal ‘Condemn this Game’” and destroying the latter two by extreme margins. The voters saw that joke resolutions were devolving into degenerate spam, if they weren’t already. The General Assembly debacle surrounding abortion was of far greater scale and impact, and is still ongoing. In reaction to Marxist Germany’s "Repeal 'Reproductive Freedoms'", an attempt to further pro-life ideology, Imperium Anglorum submitted Link“Abortionplexes for All”, a joke resolution which mandates the funding of free abortions that was later redrafted into "Access to Abortion", a serious proposal. Both sides fought each other as hard as they could, including through mass telegramming and even military force.

This brings us to the first tool regions and organizations have used to further their presence in the World Assembly: military force. When a delegate is supplanted, their approvals disappear. Therefore, militaries are able to take out approvals of proposals they disagree with by simply removing delegates from office. Some describe this action as a barbaric attempt to push one’s opinion through violent military fiat rather than open discussion, though members of both sides of the “Access to Abortion” debate support R/D force in proposals. United Massachusetts, a prominent member of the rag-tag group of anti-”Access to Abortion” campaigners, argued in a statement to the Rejected Times, “Approval raiding -- a small part of our operation -- was a tactic built within the gameplay structure that we used... those who say that this idea was only ever anti-fascist are lying. Galiantus, for instance, used it before as part of an anti-WA agenda, and so have others. The game did not fall apart then, and it will not now”1. The North Pacific, one of the forerunners of current approval raiding, seems to agree. Its North Pacific Army has conducted blockade runs (likely the first in its history, judging by the Linkmission logs) on Repeal “Reproductive Freedoms” and Link"Condemn the World Assembly Elite" (due to its authorship by an alleged fascist)2, successfully taking out 35 delegates. The latter proposal failed to reach quorum due to the attempts of several regions, documented here.

While some have claimed that the recent WA blockade runs were out of place, as they had previously only been enacted to fight fascists, this is incorrect. The concept has existed for quite a while, with regions such as Gilgamesh pledging to approval raid. Regions like Gatesville attempted to use their military might to hurt the World Assembly, and the superpower that was the Atlantic Alliance in 2003 which took over multiple GCRs endeavored, as stated in their charter, “to thereby achieve a near-absolute political superiority in the World by forming an Atlantic bloc to monopolize the UN resolution-writing and voting process”3. This was 2003. While this is not new, it is also not normal, so it demonstrates an increased interest in the World Assembly, namely from the North Pacific Army, which had previously never ran a blockade run4.

Another nascent characteristic of the modern, WA-invested world are WA programs. The Rejected Realms, the South Pacific, and Thalassia have all taken major steps in creating World Assembly “offices” (the latter being less notable as it is a new UCR, and such is expected). The Rejected Realms created theirs after a series of new WA-related developments, including a ping program and voting awards. It has created the WA Office, which has been experimenting with both pros and cons and recommendations with the help of its experienced, midsize staff. The South Pacific’s staff, also created in 2020, also writes recommendations with the unique twist of quoting other’s opinions from all over the world, regardless of whether they agree with TSP’s stance. One particularly impressive attribute of TSP’s recommendations is its stunning graphics. Thirdly, Thalassia, after the passing of the Executive Powers Amendment, has a World Assembly-focused delegate rather than a president. Zentata, the region’s delegate, has been issuing reasonings for their votes. The Augustine Alliance has taken a similar step in World Assembly development. They offer vote recommendations which are sent through August’s bot’s “NSN Global News”, a system which sends news updates across various servers that can be sent by anyone.These new opinions are welcome additions to the pre-existing “Information for Voters” dispatches in The North Pacific and Europeia, and any other recommendations from WA programs.

Another intriguing aspect of regional WA programs is the interest in regionally-written proposals. The North Pacific has been making clear headway with its LinkHeroes of the North program, and the Rejected Realms has expressed interest in LinkCommunal General Assembly drafting. While no resolution has technically been a regional project yet, the South Pacific’s Aumeltopia and Rabbitz originally drafted Condemn Auphelia in order to “get drafting around [their WA Office] rolling”5. They drafted the condemnation for the iconic TSPer in TSP’s forums and WA discord. Commend the Holy Principality of Saint Mark was not quite a community project, rather the product of a “University of the West Pacific” task assigned to The Unified Missourtama States and Teralyon6. TUMS stated to TRT, “The only help we got from our regional government was a link to the Security Council rules and guidelines, so yeah, not much”. The resolution received immense backing from the West Pacific, but was not quite authored communally. Regardless, this nascent communal drafting idea may yield extremely efficient proposal development if done properly.

This interest could be the cause of coronavirus or gameplay growing stale or something else, but it is existent. It is too early to tell whether this new participation of regions in WA affairs will last and make a large impact, but the legislative and military affects of WA interest are microcosms of what they could be if magnified on a greater and bolder scale. The World Assembly is generally not organizationally competitive, but if it were, the escalation associated with that could have drastic effects on the World Assembly.

-----

1 The full statement has been truncated to strictly regard the merit of approval raiding. The full statement is as follows: “Approval raiding -- a small part of our operation -- was a tactic built within the gameplay structure that we used. Naturally, it upsets those who support "Access to Abortion," but fundamentally, those same people created the crisis by trying to push through an idea solely because it annoys and unsettles us, doing so through a joke resolution, and then trying to cover the tracks and smear the personalities of pro-life delegates. They held this over our heads as a taunt -- "look at this resolution. We'll pass it and you can't stop us." Well, we responded. That's all it comes down to, really -- we responded to mockery with serious resolve. And we know that eventually, they'll get their way. Eventually, Access to Abortion will pass, in all likelihood. But this whole controversy is really about seeing how many names they can drag through the mud in order to get there. As for the tactics we used, I will say a couple things. Firstly, they were entirely legal. Secondly, they were entirely defensive -- designed to prevent a group of extreme authors from pushing an agenda on us. Thirdly, those who say that this idea was only ever anti-fascist are lying. Galiantus, for instance, used it before as part of an anti-WA agenda, and so have others. The game did not fall apart then, and it will not now.”
2 Linkhttps://forum.thenorthpacific.org/topic/9192138/ and Linkhttps://forum.thenorthpacific.org/topic/9192062/
3 Linkhttp://graptor.net/atlantic/charter.html
4 The current NPA was created in 2012, and its mission logs linked above encompass its existence since then. The original NPA, disbanded by Lewis and Clark (Westwind) in 2008, Linkwas defender.
5 Linkhttps://discordapp.com/channels/679837056742195250/679841030924664875/692122417178345522 -- need to be in TSP’s WA server to see that
6 The West Pacifican May 2020


The Bread Box
COLUMN | WRITTEN BY INTERN A Leaf on the Wind

This is the first installment of what I'm calling the #BreadBox. Questions are submitted to me and I'll post them and respond, either seriously or sarcastically. Or both. Depends on my mood and the question. So let's see what the first round of questions are!

Q. for the breadbox... For somebody known to the rest of the Rejectverse as Sarah Bread, why did you not call your nation "A Loaf on the Wind?"

A. Well. You see. At the time of making my nation, I actually wasn't a bread yet. The nation came first! That would be a great name for a switcher though … brb …

… or not I guess.

Q. What is your favourite type of bread and what is your least favourite?

A. Okay. This is a toughy. I love Hawaiian sweet bread. Oh man. Arby's has a fish sandwich on Hawaiian sweet bread. It's so good. I could eat just a whole loaf of it. But also potato bread is really good. It's like. "you know what these carbs need? MORE CARBS!"

My least favorite bread would probably be ...any hard bread or bread with hard shell/crust. I ain't tryna chip a tooth here, just give me the soft squishy insides!

Q. What is the best strategy for answering the issues facing your nation?

A. I think it really depends on the person. For my main nation, A Leaf on the Wind, I try to answer each issue as best as I would in real life. So that nation closely relates to my IRL politics.

Another nation I have, Arnavaz, I actually screenshot all the issues and let a friend of mine (a devout Muslim) answer all the issues. Him having to idea what NS even is or anything.

Really what it comes down to is how you want your nation to be. Some people will RP with their nation and answer issues that way. It might not be their IRL politics, but it fits into their RP.

Q. Do you chew cinnamon sticks?

A. No! Who does that? It sounds painful. Like it would hurt your tongue. Do you chew on cinnamon sticks?!

Q. What's the best way to keep law and order on the Regional Message Board?

A. POOL NOODLES
Someone getting sassy? Just give them a good whack. I will share with you a secret, though. So pay attention. If someone is being extra sassy, you know what I do? Two. Pool. Noodles. Boom.

Q. Pepsi or Coke?

A. Okay. This is going to get me in trouble. I'm going to be threatened with so many toasters, I can feel it.

Pepsi.

I. Said. It.

NOTE: The Rejected Times does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rejected Realms.

Discuss this Issue over on the NationStates forum here.

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