OpenGeofiction

Assembly of Nations

Posted by Rasmus Rasmusson on 21 March 2015 in English (English)

I read about the Assembly of Nations on the wiki, including this and other potentially electible items.

What is the procedure for this? As in the case of the Chief Secretary, there are some gaps in the list. Can everyone just add his or her candidate until the list is complete (with: too bad for those who are too late?) or should there be some kind of election for every past Chief Secretary and then every six years for every future CS?

As voting is one of my hobbies (at least when it's free), I would favour elections. Since OGF has far more participants than any geoficional project in which I ever participated, have such large scale elections been organised before?

Comment from histor on 21 March 2015 at 22:37

If every country set in one person in the list of the past members, so I think, it is fair. To have a election, it seemed not simple. First the candidates? Who will set? Each land his own favorite? How you mean, this election can run?

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Comment from Rasmus Rasmusson on 22 March 2015 at 09:53

Well, since it would be an election on the fictional level (it's our countries that do the electing, we creators only make up their minds), I'd say every internationally recognised country should have a vote.

This means of course that participants who have more than one country, have more votes, but if they are serious enough, they should base the opinion of each of their countries on their respective characters, even if this means that these countries will support different candidates, and that they won't be criticised by others if it turns out that their countries do support the same candidate - which remains a possibility as well.

Each country nominating his own favourite won't be very constructive, so I think they should negotiate with each other about who will be nominated. That can be person about person (e.g. "If you endorse my candidate for the AN, then I will endorse your candidate for the other international organisation we're both members of") or person about other things (e.g. "If you endorse my candidate for the AN, then I will finally finish constructing the highway between our capitals" or something like that).

We could set a maximum number of candidates (e.g. 10) for a first round of voting; if nobody gains 50% or more, then the two most popular candidates can proceed to a second round. It should also be decided if certain countries have the right to veto candidates.

The easiest way to vote would be an online multiple choice poll (the names of the candidates below each other, with little circles next to them that you can click; and maybe a text field to enter the name of the country whose vote it is, in order to avoid doubles and/or cheating). Maybe voting can be done within a fixed time frame (e.g. a week, in order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote); the results should be made public only after everyone has voted.

I'm however not sure about the technical details of the procedure I just described. Would it be possible like this?

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Comment from histor on 22 March 2015 at 21:15

The procedure itself seemed o.k. and realistic. The technical background must be seen.

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Comment from thilo on 24 March 2015 at 00:06

Personally, I'm not interested in voting on the fictional level. I'd rather have "real world" voting by OGF members on interesting stories (one vote per user).

For example, someone would write a biography of a fictional person, including a (provisional) part about that person's term as AoN Chief Secretary, his/her major achievents and every thing else one might think of, e.g. election by narrow margin, some scandals, resignation before the end of the term, his assassination or whatever.

We could then have voting in the style if Wikipedia's "featured article" nominations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates), where people can "support" or "oppose" or just add an comment, if they don't agree with parts of the story that might involve their respective country. Or simply to add an idea how the article might be improved.

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Comment from Luciano on 24 March 2015 at 00:45

Just as there are some people who make a hobby of mapping imaginary places (geofiction or conworlding), inventing imaginary languages (conlanging), or inventing imaginary sports leagues or bus systems or subway systems (these need words too, I think), so there seems to be people who are very interested in developing imaginary elections and electoral systems.

I once used the term "speculative psephology" for this (psephology is an unusual word that means the study of elections and electoral systems). I have done this a little bit in the past, working out complex voting systems and electoral results for countries I have made.

As Thilo makes clear, however, not everyone is interested in it. Thus, having anything that would be obligatory for all OGF members to participate probably wouldn't work out.

However, I was thinking there must be a way to create some "infrastructure" - I imagine some Talk pages with appropriate tables and notes, like how I have set up our Featured Article, or the way that JSanchez et al. "role-play" their national and Archantan football league tables. BMSOUZA was intending to do something similar with a world motorsports league, with randomized winners.

For AN elections, maybe the thing to do is to allow those who want to participate do so, for any given year/position, then the "sponsor" (i.e. the person who set up the election) could close the election after a certain amount of time, and "fill in" the unvoted countries so that the result matches the voted result.

I would definitely like to see a more collaborative way of "filling in" major positions and roles (e.g. OGFIFA champions, AN Chief Secretaries, etc.) - right now, it's all "first come first served" (and I've played along with this, admittedly, for lack of a better alternative). It is fine at one level, but we have the danger of a limited number of early arrivals monopolizing those world roles that are interesting to people, be it World Cup championships (already filled!) or AN Chief Secretaries or world sporting organizations or high-energy physics consortiums or whatever.

My advice to Rasmus is to just set something up, and see who participates. Set a precedent, and if there is community interest, it can become a standard. Since it's "first come first served" for AN Chief Secretary, you can, for an unfilled position, simply unilaterally put a temporary link in the table to a talk page or section and then hold your election, for a given year, and see how it works out. I will participate, but I'm not sure we'll get more than 6 or 10 total votes for an election right now in OGF.

I would only say that, following Thilo, my VERY STRONG inclination would be that if we have elections for "people", there should be a requirement that only characters with actual wiki articles be allowed to participate. Otherwise, we don't know who we're voting for. Right now, the number of people who are developing articles for fictional people in their countries is less than 10. This limits our field of candidates substantially. It is with disappointment rather than pride that I note that currently only three users (yiyi, histor and myself) account for 49 out of 57 biographies in the OGF wiki (86%).

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Comment from Rasmus Rasmusson on 29 March 2015 at 15:02

Thank you for the comments. I agree that participants who want their politicians to become something internationally important, shouldn't just submit names, but also a background story and (preferably also) a motivation why the submitted candidate would be the ideal person to lead an international organisation. The same with electing host cities for international sports tournaments, headquarters of international organisations etc.

I agree as well that not everybody is interested in such voting systems. I did some tests on facebook and elsewhere a few times in order to get the presidents of Adzhatia and Voskia (two of my projects outside OGF) elected and in general I got 'normal' results - i.e. people didn't only vote on the most controversial candidates just to annoy me. There was however a large difference between the number of people who were informed about the possibility to vote and the number of people that actually voted.

I think this can be circumvented by setting up a permanent (link) page that lists all the persons and items for which people can vote, deadlines (maybe an alarm that will inform the creator(s) of a poll if absolutely no-one has voted yet one week for the deadline), links to the why of the candidate etc., instead of constantly asking people to vote - which will get annoying. With a list, people can vote in their own time, and when they are too late to vote, too bad for them. Those who submit candidates are required to vote, but it won't work if everybody votes for his or her own candidate, so maybe it should be forbidden to vote for your own candidate.

At this moment, I don't know yet how to set this up technically, so I have to think about that. Suggestions are welcome :)

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