I'd argue that in general that's a good thing-- we want people to join the WA and endorse each other.
The only person in Forest authorized to banject is Errinundera, for whom doing so costs nothing.
Right - but their influence decays as fast as it grows. If you can describe someone's influence as "rapidly plummeting" when they leave the region, you could to the exact same extent describe someone's influence as "rapidly shooting up" when they join Forest as a non-WA nation. :P And the longer you've been in Forest, the more time you can stay out of the region before losing enough influence to be unable to vote again.
But how do you determine that in a poll? That's how many regions do it when they vote on offsite forums, but I'm pretty sure no one wants that here.
In the end, an influential requirement may seem strict, but-- we already require WA status for Forest Keeper voting. If you're not willing to join the WA on either your main nation or a puppet, and are okay with not voting for Forest Keeper at all (I'm not in the WA, so I can't...), then I don't think it's too much to ask to say that you need to be in the region for a couple years.
Not to dismiss your other arguments, but I think it is important to note that the reason those two nations have not reached the influence requirement is because they are both often un-logged-into for long periods of time (if you don't log in for over 10 days, your influence stops increasing). Both would be well over the cap if they were even twice as often logged into. Yeldan Nature Preserve is on vacation mode and appears to be set on an automatic-login timer of some sort of exactly 45 days. That doesn't make me inclined to think it deserves the vote just because of long residency.
By and large I agree with this, though I don't think it impacts how we decide on new embassies. It's a separate issue that's equally important and equally troubling.
We can often come across as a self-interested king in the embassy world, with new embassies pandering at our feet and offering presents in return for the grant of an embassy. I think it's part of why many of our new embassies seem strained or not quite sincere. We do have ourselves to blame in part for this.
On N-Day we were in a joint faction with three of our allies: The International Democratic Union, Yggdrasil, and Oatland. I made quite a point of involving our embassies.
I would love to do a nighttime category. What about "earth"? That is, soil, rock, geology (something Areulder proposed last year), etc.
Then, to echo last year's Nature in Unexpected Places, we could do some topic of purposeful human-nature interaction, maybe?
I think that general is better than specific for the most part. "Moonlit night" is a bit too narrow of a category imo.
"Moonlit night" is actually quite restrictive. What if someone submits a night photo that does not involve moonlight? I love the "earth" idea! How about calling it "Terra Firma"?
I don't really have any general ideas for human-nature interaction. Also, I placed in "Nature in Unexpected Places" with a photo that did not involve human-nature interaction.
Steps up to them with the clipboard and the invoice that needs signing
You can use my pen.
Hands them a pen
Right there on the line at the bottom.
Indicates where they should sign
And date it.
Gestures to the three cases of Rumplemintz at the base of the cedar
I just drop 'em off, collect a signature. What you do with 'em after that is up to you.
Tucking the clipboard under his arm he wheels the hand-truck away
Appears, uncomfortably close behind them, breathing heavily down the back of their neck
You can start by opening one of those cases and handing me a bottle.
You're not trying to horn in on my action, are you pal? See, me and the rabbit got an understanding, a business relationship, and this could be very profitable for me.
If somebody were to, say, move in on my territory, I would naturally take umbrage.
Interesting. It turns out that if you click on the “influence” display above a poll, and then click on the different levels of influence in the poll legend to grey them out, you can get a chart of just voters of certain influence levels.
Technically, we could use that to “set” our own influentialness level— let everyone vote, then only count based on the chart with low influence taken out. I believe the line between “medium influence” and “high influence” in the legend is about 1000, which I think would be just right for us.
Interestingly, the Sonindia poll would completely flip if only influential nations could vote. Even if any nations >1000 influence could vote, it would still have flipped to no. Many other polls do change a bit in the ways you would expect if you retroactively apply influence standards, though.
Re: using Influence, I'd also note that on the day I arrived in Forest, I had the highest Influence of any nation because it was Influence from 10,000 Islands, who are larger and quicker to endorse than here. My Influence from there then decayed faster than my Influence here grew, and I was at low Influence here for some time before reestablishing my position here.
Look at this graph though, and you'll see that while I crashed from 85000 down to 6000 and have since climbed back to 49000, I've never been below 2000, which basically means I've met the discussed Influence requirement from day 1 of joining this region.
I think that in mind, you may want to find some way of making it so that the Influence chart also has to have an upward gradient at the time someone is declared a citizen, as otherwise someone could come here from a few weeks in, say, the North Pacific, and then come here and be immediately and indefinitely over 2000 influence.
Out of interest, do you have an idea of how many would qualify with a bar of 1000?
I favour improving the system, but not at the cost of the voice of the vast majority.
It's not that I'm in any way opposed to encouraging new regionmates to get involved in the WA and the RMB. It's just that I feel that -- for long-term residents, who've already proved they're to stay (at least for the foreseeable) -- getting involved in the region should be based on choice, not fear of losing their enfranchisement.
So I'd like to see an influence level set (at least in the manual way described) where it catches the somewhat active long-term residents at least.
132 nations look as if they meet that threshold right now, though some of those may be based on decaying influence from other regions in the way described above. To give a couple of well known reference points Areulder and Darths and Droids miss out right now, but will reach that level by New Year.
I'd like to ask you, Palos Heights and anyone else troubled by influence thresholds whether you see a potential for compromise if we can drop the required influence to a lower level, or whether any reduction of the electorate is unacceptable to you.
Seeing that new criteria is now the most popular option on the poll I'd also like to ask people voting for that whether they can suggest what the actual criteria should be.
I'm really hoping that there's a consensus option around here somewhere...
The thing is, I'm failing to see why we have to change the voting requirements at all. This seems like a thinly veiled attempt at limiting newer nations in our region from having an impact on voting for embassies because we have some new embassies that people might not be fans of. Coming a few weeks off the back of the midterm elections where voter disenfranchisement was such a big deal, I can't help but see some similarities here.
I mean honestly, what's the point of reducing the electorate here? Is it to strengthen the voice of people who have been here a while? Is it to try and maintain the status quo? Is it a Metternichian reaction to the changing RMB culture? Some of these numbers seem so arbitrary, so rounded, all because we get this mental image of 1000 or 2000 being a good number, yet at 1000 the person who brought back the Forest Map for the first time IN YEARS doesn't have a voice. How is that not broken? How is that fair? Like others have pointed out, having a high number means f-all if they come from a large feeder region and carry that over. In that case, then you have a vote coming from someone who knows NOTHING about the region while more RL influential and invested nations get shut down because people weren't happy with the direction some votes have gone.
I don't like having meaningless embassies. I don't like having Forest being used as a trophy. There have been votes that I've disagreed with here in the past, but to start limiting who can vote in a misguided effort to maintain "the Forest Way" is the biggest load of malarkey I've seen since Cook County wanted to pass a beverage tax "for public health reasons".
IT WASN'T FOR HEALTH REASONS
You want criteria?
You want thresholds?
I can compromise.
Month minimum residence in Forest. If people are still hung up about a bullshite number, whatever influence a newly-formed nation not in the World Assembly would have after a month in Forest is your minimum requirement. There you go.
If people take issue with the direction some things are going, rather than try to eliminate a problem, people should focus on assimilation instead. Things change, people change, and it can be tough to accept, but we need to grow from these experiences rather than try to prevent them from happening.
I've remained rather quiet so far with this ongoing discussion because frankly I can't see how limiting voting to WA members, influence or whatever can be done in a fair way for various reasons that have been pointed out.
Honestly, if we want to engage more with embassy voting and have a list of embassies that better reflects how Forest genuinely feels it makes more sense to me to approach this from the opposite direction. Have something written into the constitution whereby if 6% (or whatever) of Forest residents agree that an existing embassy needs reevaluation it triggers a vote on whether or not to close an existing embassy down.
Sorry, still v. occupied at present. Will try to get better thoughts down on paper later.