Just concerned that influence is so skewed by WA membership/other activities it's not measuring what we think it's measuring - long term commitment to Forest.
Do we want to really be ruling folks out for not being long term committed anyway? Dunno.
1 month seems fairer to me but a pain to check. Not sure that we need to do this anyway - might be more democratic to make it easier for Forestians to remove an embassy - which seems more in keeping with the way we do stuff.
I'm not fully versed on what the different Influence ranks mean, but "Shoeshiner" doesn't exactly sound very influential. Of course, if I had gone ahead with that "Queendom of Shalotte" region...
Yet three days ago I received this notifcation:
"You were ranked in the Top 10% of the world for Most Stationary."
I already knew I was lazy, but I think that means "you've been in that region for a really long time". I'm pretty sure I CTE'd a while ago too.
Not liking the idea of using influence as a deciding factor in anything, you guys! Shine your own damn shoes!
OK, I think both of the two previous Forest Keepers constitutes a pretty effective veto. With voter requirements not even being the leading option in the poll I'm not going to attempt to progress the idea.
I personally have no plans to pursue any embassy closures in the future. I don't feel I need the attendant debate on elitism/exclusivity/how-would-you-feel-if-that-was-Forest-in-the-future/did-we-do-enough-for-them, and I don't see the point if every new region that sends us a friendly telegram continues to get an embassy. I'd hoped to be able to spend less time on embassies rather than more.
There's clearly very little enthusiasm for regional officers vetting embassy applications as a way forward. As I've said, I'm sceptical about having new criteria for applicant regions, though it is the leading poll option. If somebody else wants to develop that into a workable proposal and put it forward then the floor is theirs.
In the absence of consensus, the default position appears to be no change.
As much as I could run for some role in Forest, I lack seriousness/motivation in what I could be doing. I want to say that it's like Elon Musk; in the basic sense that he is rich but also (arguably) funny/hip.
EDIT: By rich, I mean serious [business].
What would be the least important opening here at Forest?
Be an ambassador to one of our embassy regions.
I would like to put forward that no new embassy is opened until we have someone committed to being the ambassador to that region. If people want to vote yes to new embassies, then an effort should be put forth to justify the vote in the first place. If we as a region are not willing to put in the time and effort to cultivating this new relationship with the most basic of tasks of appointing an ambassador, then we have no business forming a new embassy in the first place.
If the position is to be no change in embassy requirements, might I proffer an alternative suggestion that might help us give the embassies we do take on more meaning?
I know the topic of what use, exactly, we make of our embassies was already mentioned, as was the topic of the difficulty of finding ambassadors. I think both of these topics could be addressed with the development of a formal platform for our ambassadors. In the US at least, ambassadorships are frequently jobs given to political appointees, since their task is to promote the platform of the government as defined by the executive in power. It isn't simply people guessing what to say or pushing their personal opinions - there are guidelines for them. Upon taking office (not that you don't have a lot of other things to do already), it seems like it might be worthwhile for the FK, DFK, and EO to hash out the basics of a platform the ambassadors should represent on behalf of the region. Some sort of guideline of "hey, these are the things we feel are important - make sure to talk about these, and keep an eye on changes in your embassy nations that may cause concern in these categories."
That would definitely give us a solid cause for and use of our embassies, and would provide potential ambassadors with a bit of footing to feel like they're not going in blind. Some sort of centralized production of updates/bulletins to push to our allies, and a format to use for reports back from the field, would also help with the potentially-intimidating prospect of signing up, while simultaneously allowing decentralization of tasks like going and posting to 20 different allies on a regular basis.
For my part, I only moved here around 16 days ago. I would be more than happy to sign up as an ambassador, but despite how at home I feel here, my newness obviously calls in to question my ability to truly represent the region. Having a framework upon which to operate would strengthen my confidence that I could do the region justice and, hopefully, strengthen the confidence of our elders that a new resident like myself is properly representing the region.
I have an extensive background in bureaucratic report writing and form creation, so if those skills would be useful to the executive in producing templates or other necessary documents, please consider them at your service.
How about some sort of sponsorship program. Aswell as needing the requisite number of WA nations and being older than 6 months, also requiring sponsorship by a resident (or a certain number of residents) of Forest whose residency (rather than influence) is of a certain level (TBD) who can vouch for them and potentially serve as ambassador to that region. Before moving to the usual voting procedure.
I voted for the option that restricts those who can vote to WA or influential nations, and I want to clarify I want it to only include World Assembly nations.
I know this is unpopular, but I think it's the most effective method. By having the requirements as such, it makes it so only those are very dedicated and have their main nation in Forest given the voice to vote, which it should. Puppets and whatnot can gain influence, which is why I'm against such. I personally believe that only World Assembly nations who endorse the delegate and have a certain minimum of endorsements should be able to vote.
To address some criticism: I know the immediate counter-arguments will be that 1) it restricts those who have puppets that are influential here the ability to vote, and 2) it restricts those who have unpopular views the ability to vote if a bloc of people decide to not endorse them. However, those can easily be rebutted. For concern one, why is that a bad thing? If you want to vote, move your WA nation here permanently, which would show your dedication to Forest, which is the whole reason for such a process. For criticism number two, I can't imagine such a system actually be effective. The number of WA endorsements to be a ton, just like ten or so, which can easily be achieved in our friendly region.
I'm opposed to any such attempts to institute an arbitrary influence number, like the hardcoded 2000. That takes a long time, and there are many younger players in the region who want a voice. I wouldn't be opposed, however, to a mentorship program, if instituted properly.
We should focus on increasing democratic participation, not restricting it. If we are concerned that our embassies are not up to scratch and reflecting what the general consensus is then we should make it easier for the general consensus to make itself heard.
Apologies for the double post but I really wanted to highlight that my general ethos here goes beyond just the embassy stuff.
I think I've put in enough to be broadly considered one of Forest's movers and shakers. I have a pretty good idea of what I want in an embassy, but I don't want what I think is right to take precedence - unless you're all up for opening embassies with The Communist Bloc, North Korea and The Internationale, which is what I'd be pursuing if I wanted to throw my weight about.
Bring in WA barriers, influence barriers and what have you and you have got a heirachy, a vertical power structure and not a horizontal one. You all shouldn't be trusting us old timers with sole direction and power over Forest. Sure, I'd urge you to listen to us but at the end of the day we're a very direct democracy. What is right is what Forest thinks is right. That's the point. If we have a potential problem with embassies then the logical answer is to make them more accountable to everyone, not less.
The other upside to direct democracy is that it's all on you. No complaining you were lied to or misled by dodgy leaders and no complaining that the system itself isn't fair when votes don't go your way (though by all means complain if you think people have made a bad choice)
We can also include changes in the outcome necessary for an embassy.
We could extend the 2/3rds majority that is required for closing embassies to opening them as well, which would keep the process entirely as open and fair as it is now, but would ensure that when we do form an embassy, it only happens when the community is considerably united behind the outcome. That way, we can force there to be a bit more rigor in the system without actually disenfranchising anyone who would like to contribute to the decision-making process.
If we have some kind of runoff poll or something, perhaps raising the majority from 50% +1 to a 2/3rd majority could be included, provided people other than me think that's an option worth weighing.
**And, if we want to keep opening an embassy at 50% +1, then we might consider lowering the threshold to close an embassy down to 50% +1 as well, at least for regions that have fallen below the requirements. One of my concerns (thinking of the policy in terms of accumulated months and years) is that if it's significantly easier to form embassies than to reevaluate and prune embassies that may no longer be mutually beneficial, then we seem destined to eventually have an entire segment of embassies on the bottom of the list that are atrophied and that, but for the reversal of time, would never be voted on in the first place.
I am extremely pleased to announce that:
Thank you both so much for your interest. Go plant some trees or something, lol.
I also would just like to say that I'm very appreciative of the attention and interest that everyone is showing in the embassy thing. It would be great if we could finally do something about the embassy policy. I don't want to jump at the wrong course of action, but we've been occasionally trying to make some headway on refining our embassy policy for quite some time, and it would be a shame to sort of let the issue die...again. Until it rears its zombie head...again.
Ruinenlust, Foreign Affairs
My main suggestion would be to make it easier to close an embassy. Something along the lines of should 6% of Forest's population call for an embassy to be closed, it must be voted on.
Other than that, a couple of things. I didn't mention this but I offered in good faith to bring this up. I may have been guilty of this myself in the past, but we should remember the human when discussing embassy requests. I know we all tend to take stuff in good spirit but we should probably try to remember we're discussing people who want to be our mates and be diplomatic and such.