by Max Barry

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by The South Pacifican Government of Office of WA Legislation. . 496 reads.

A Beginner's Guide to OWL and the World Assembly | OWL



The World Assembly (WA) is the United Nations (Linkquite literally) of the NationStates universe. It passes resolutions that apply to all of its member nations and regions to achieve various noble goals like peace and better living conditions for everyone. WA resolutions are voted upon by all nations that voluntarily join the WA and apply to all members equally.

The LinkOffice of WA Legislation (OWL) is a dedicated department of the regional government of the South Pacific (the region your nation is in now) that will assist you⁠—especially if you are a beginner⁠—in making the correct choice when voting on resolutions. OWL helps you understand your choices to make sure your decision benefits your nation and the world the most, enables you to be a part of the process by allowing you to democratically decide how the Delegate and the region's nations should vote, and it helps you draft your own proposals if you want to make an impact to the world by yourself! The following is a comprehensive guide to the basics of the World Assembly, the way it works, and how you can participate in and utilize OWL to make your WA life easier.

First steps first: join the WA by clicking here and join the South Pacific's Discord server Linkhere if you want to get involved in our WA community.

So how does the WA work... and what are all these weird acronyms like GA and SC?

Just like the real-life UN, the WA is divided into two chambers: the General Assembly (GA) and the Security Council (SC).

General Assembly (click here to view)

The GA is concerned with resolutions that improve human rights, trade regulations, environmental standards, equality and the like. Its resolutions directly affect your nation’s statistics (though only marginally) along with how you answer issues. At the top of a WA resolution is a “Category” indicator that shows you which areas of your nation are affected (economy, social policies, security...) and, usually, a “Strength” indicator which shows how strongly it affects your nation or an “Area of Effect” indicator which shows what specific subject is legislated (e.g. what industry, if the resolution is an industrial regulation).

A list of all passed GA resolutions can be viewed here.

Security Council (click here to view)

The SC is primarily concerned with maintaining world peace and recognizing nations that have done good or bad things. Unlike the GA, what the SC does can apply to regions, not just nations, and its powers are a lot more specific:
  • Commend and condemn: The SC can pass resolutions that commend a nation (example) or region (example) for their accomplishments which better the world, and, contrarily, can condemn a nation (example) or a region (example) for the destruction they have caused to the world. Each nation or region commended or condemned will have a shiny badge on their nation to show it! There is no effect on nations' statistics, however.

  • Liberation: A region that has been invaded by raiders and locked down (put a password on so nations can’t enter) can be liberated if the SC passes a liberation resolution. A liberation will prevent a region from being passworded; nations can freely enter the target region after it is passed. Liberations are primarily related to the Military Gameplay or Raiding/Defending (R/D) part of the game, which is concerned with invading regions or defend them from being invaded. (You can join our own regional military to learn more if you want!) Liberations cannot be applied to a nation.

  • Declaration: Declarations express opinions or policy preferences from the point of view of the Security Council. They can address issues of national, regional, or global concern, but typically limit themselves to issues of "Gameplay" so as not to overlap with the General Assembly. One of the most fluid categories in the World Assembly, they neither award badges nor affect nations' statistics, but merely allow authors to define the World Assembly's official stance on an issue.

A list of all passed SC resolutions can be viewed here.

How do I vote on a resolution, then?

You can find currently on-vote resolutions by clicking the World Assembly button on the sidebar. You can also find resolutions that will go to vote in the future or are reviewed before going to vote here (for the GA) and here (for the SC).

To vote, you first need to be member of the WA. Learn how to join the WA here, it only takes a minute! After you have joined the WA, just go to the WA page, choose a chamber to display the current resolution, scroll down, and then click "For" or "Against" to cast your vote. All WA resolutions are voted on for 3 days. Every time there is a WA resolution being brought to the floor to vote, your nation will receive a sidebar notification from the game.

OWL helps you know how you should vote via the Recommendation Dashboards

Every time a new vote comes up, there will be a recommendation dashboard dispatch pinned on the region’s page, posted on the Regional Message Board, and notified in the region's LinkDiscord server. It contains a short text that recommends how you should vote and why you should vote that way along with opinions, both in favor of or opposing the resolution, from regional nations, nations of other regions, and experienced or notable WA experts and authors to help give you multiple perspectives on the issues. You can choose to view the current SC or GA recommendation on the top of the dashboard. These OWL recommendations will give you ideas on how to best cast a vote that will benefit your nation and the world the most. Of course, as you become more experienced, you can form your own decision instead and use the recommendations only as a source for reference.

Not all votes are equal: the Delegate’s power

One of the most realistic and frustrating aspects of the WA is that one vote of some nations can be worth 1000 times more than one vote of yours. Those nations are the Delegates. Each region has a nation called the Delegate, which is the nation with the most endorsements in the region (learn more about endorsements here) and control over all administrative powers of the region (including moderation, editing the regional flag, embassies, banning nations), along with the ability to cast a weighted vote in the WA. Unlike a normal nation, a vote of a Delegate is equal to  1 + [the number of endorsements they have]  normal votes. So, for example, this region’s Delegate (Amerion) has 750 endorsements; if they cast a vote, their vote will be equal to 751 votes of normal nations. It is very clear that Delegates are the "big bad figures" of WA politics! Feeder Delegates (Delegates of the North Pacific, West Pacific, South Pacific, East Pacific, and the Pacific) are the most powerful of them all, as they have from 500 to over 1000 endorsements on their nations. The South Pacific has the second-most-powerful Delegate in this game (only behind the North Pacific). The fate of WA resolutions depend in large part on how feeder delegates vote. As such, it is important that each nation has the right to democratically decide how their Delegate should vote to benefit the region as much as possible.

OWL helps you democratically decide how the Delegate and other regional nations should vote!

In the South Pacific, how the Delegate votes in the WA is determined by the votes of nations like you. OWL organizes a voting program in which, before a resolution is brought to vote on the WA floor, the South Pacific's WA citizens can cast their vote and voice their opinions on how the Delegate and other nations of the region (via the recommendation dashboard) should vote when the resolution comes up. This program is carried out in The South Pacific WA Voting Center. The message board of that special region is where you cast your OWL vote and give your opinions.

How to participate in an OWL vote

Eligibility: If you want to vote, your nation needs to be a member of the WA first. (join it here)

If you are in the military (the SPSF), you may vote with a non-WA nation, but you need to mention your active military status on your ballot every time you vote.

Yes, you can, as long as you don’t have more than one WA nation at a time!

Absolutely: you can't vote, but you are nonetheless encouraged to debate, discuss, and post your opinion.

How to vote: When OWL staff detect a submitted or prepare-to-submit resolution proposal, they will post a notification on The South Pacific WA Voting Center’s page (the World Factbook Entry) and on its message board along with instructions on how to cast your vote, give your opinions, and debate with other nations if you want.

You vote by posting a message on the board that states:

  • The name of the resolution you are voting on (required)

  • Your vote selection (there are 5 options you can cast) (required)

  • Your opinion on why you are voting that way (not required but heavily recommended)

You can cast any of these 5 options in your vote:

  • For: Means you want OWL to recommend that citizens vote for the resolution

  • Against: Means you want OWL to recommend that citizens vote against the resolution

  • Abstain: Means you want OWL to recommend that citizens don’t vote on the resolution

  • No recommendation: Means you want OWL to not put out any recommendation (although the recommendation dashboard containing just opinions from voters will still be published)

  • Present: Means you cannot decide, but you want OWL to know you are active

The screenshot below is an example of what a ballot looks like. You don’t need to follow the exact formatting, but all the necessary information needs to be included.

If there are multiple votes going on, use separate message posts for each vote like below:

OWL votes will decide how the Delegate will vote and what OWL’s recommendation will advise to other nations when the resolution is brought up to vote in the WA. Voters’ opinions will be included in the recommendation dashboard to help nations see the resolution in multiple dimensions.

I want to write my own proposal, how do I do that?

OWL isn't just about letting you vote on other players' resolutions and writing recommendations: it's just as much about helping out South Pacificans who want advice and support writing and submitting their own resolutions to the World Assembly. If you're thinking of writing a resolution, you should make sure to join the South Pacific's LinkDiscord server to ask for advice. There's a channel in the server, #world-assembly, meant specifically for working on writing resolutions. OWL also has a set of players know as WA Mentors who are experienced in World Assembly matters and can tell you what sounds good, what information you should keep in mind, what's likely to pass, and so on. Don't hesitate to contact them by tagging "@WA Mentors" in one of the drafting channels on Discord.

You should also make sure to read the complete guide to World Assembly resolutions to better understand the standards, style, and history of the WA: [TBA]

I want to help write recommendations or work for OWL!

OWL welcomes anyone who has further interests in the WA no matter their experience and want to contribute to the wider community. The Office's staff are responsible for keeping the entire process ticking. The staff have two main roles: opening and closing votes on World Assembly legislation, and writing recommendations for our recommendation dashboards.

There are two primary ranks of seniority in the Office of World Assembly Legislation: senior staff and junior staff. Senior staff oversee all operations within the office, as well as events and group projects (like group resolution writing). Senior staff are responsible for opening votes on proposals and writing OWL’s analysis of each proposal, and are appointed directly by the OWL Director (the head of OWL). Junior staff carry out the basic procedural responsibilities of the Office. A junior staff member’s responsibilities consist of regularly checking in on forums and proposals that have been submitted, notifying a senior staff member about any proposals likely to be submitted or reach queue. Junior staff are also responsible for preparing text for the recommendation dashboard, including compiling opinions, counting up votes, and formatting the dispatch.

Anyone with their WA nation in the South Pacific can apply to join the OWL junior staff. To do so, you must first join the South Pacific's Discord server, which is where OWL conducts all of its activities. You can join Linkhere. Just hop in, introduce yourself, and check out the #world-assembly channel. Then, join the South Pacific's Linkoffsite forum and apply to join OWL by filling out the form Linkhere. The OWL Director will then process your application.

Most new staff will be contacted by a member of the senior staff once they have posted an application, so if you do have any questions, do not hesitate to ask in the Discord server! Newer staff are also encouraged to read the full World Assembly guide, which can be found here: [TBA]. New staff should remain active on Discord and respond to instructions from senior staff or the OWL Director.