[Suggestion] A new year, a new start! Player Constitution, Legal System & Senate

The idea would be to format the current rules into the following:

  • Community Rules - A set of pre-defined rules established by the staff that govern the integrity of the server and its community.
  • Player Constitution - A set of rules voted on by an elected body of player representatives. This would govern gameplay rules i.e. creating a new law about eyesores, sizes of cities - basically anything that is reasonably related to rules that govern how players play the game. Some important aspects of the constitution could be set so it cannot be changed unless by a referendum. Also, it could be done so staff will have a casting vote if they prefer.

Elected members of the senate:

  • Speaker of the Senate - They would be voted on by the members of the senate from amongst their members and would be responsible for coordinating the voting via the discord channel and updating players on decisions made via a public section of the discord channel. The speaker could have a casting vote and can be removed by a censure (two-thirds majority of senate).
  • Senate Representatives - They would be elected every 6 months and can be removed if no longer active - causing a by-election. Each city could send 1 senator or a 2nd senator if they have reached nation status. Eligibility would be to own a plot in that city in order to run for office. There would also be at least 3 independent senators that could be elected who do not own plots in a city or do not wish to represent a city. Senators can discuss issues such as what is needed on the server, tax rates, how government funds can be spent i.e. towards highway dept, events, gov projects etc. They can also ensure elections take place for our gov city mayors to make sure these are managed regularly i.e. ensuring plots get auctioned regularly. They would also be able to vote on laws and updating the constitution. A senator cannot represent more than one city but can represent a nation where there are already city representatives.

Elections
In the lead up to elections, players will be able to register to vote for their city/nation representative. All they have to do is show they are the outright owner of a plot in that city. An election official will check all the plots to confirm. Any new player joining who buys or rents a plot outright can also register to vote late in that city’s election if the closing date for the vote hasn’t ended. If players own plots in multiple cities they can participate in each election. Any player can also vote for independent representatives. Elections for Mayors or representatives of government cities will be open to all players.

Responsible Democracy
Staff could collectively vote to have a veto on a decision made, to ensure responsible democracy i.e. the player senate isn’t just handing out freebies or trying to subvert the success of a player, city or company or staff. As staff also look after plugins they are best placed to assist the senate, advise on what is and isn’t possible and to post rules updates on the forum.

Improved Legal System
The legal system would essentially allow a democratic and transparent process for how decisions are made. Obviously sometimes decisions have to be made outside of the constitution, for instance where there is no specific coverage or a rule doesn’t quite cover everything. This is where the player senate discord could record common law and precedents can be recorded.

Judges: Any player that has formerly been a Senator could also apply to become a Judge with a term limit of 6 months. This would be a maximum of 9 judges. Those cities that have built courts can hold sessions there. Each judge can preside over a case or lawsuit (which would be fun for RP right?). The 9 judges in total will also act as the Supreme Court and will collectively vote on decisions on whether an action has violated a players constitutional rights. There could also be a fee involved for court cases to ensure judges are paid for their time with funds raised for the government. Where there is less than 6 judges the Player Senate would take up constitutional cases. No judge can be a member of the player senate at the same time. Judges can also advise senators on how to write laws as well.

Lawyer Jobs: Those with legal expertise would represent players in court cases, for a fee from the player of course. This could be a former judge/senator or someone who has passed an in-game bar examination for instance. We know some players who like to argue, let them be lawyers!

Suggestions Process:
The suggestions posts on this forum would be reviewed by the senate as well it it falls under gameplay, as opposed to community rules, which would still be reviewed by staff.

Political Parties:
Players, if they so wish, can become members of a political party. It could be more conservative parties who may wish to maintain much of the server as it presently is, or more liberal and progressive parties who wish to introduce lots of new things. This should happen naturally and players can organise themselves appropriately. We don’t want the server to be over-politicised so we would recommend private discords for any political parties.


This suggestion would ensure players can feel they are part of the community and don’t just quit because they are unhappy. It could help engage players more and keep them on the server. At least this way they will know it isn’t just an elite group making all the decisions behind closed doors and they can at least be empowered and would stop directing their anger at the staff and accept if the community doesn’t want something and then maybe in 6 months they will. This could even be a stepping stone to roleplay jobs with job ranks etc if the server decides to do that at some point. Also, if the player senate has made a decision, it might help to direct staff with what players as a whole would want.

4 Likes

I really like these ideas but I don’t expect an authoritarian staff team (oligarchy) to approve a constitution which would pretty much remove their ability to do anything without the vote of the people.

2 Likes

I really like the idea, but this could do equally as much harm as it could do good. I mean you could bypass this whole thing by just going straight to suggesting “items” on the forums, having it discussed and maybe implementing it.

The thing is, players don’t get to see how things are discussed. You could post a discussion and never hear back. Staff may or may not have discussed it but you’ll never know and it makes players feel like they can’t contribute or are ignored. It breeds discontent and players often leave. A much more engaged process would benefit players and staff. There is nothing stopping staff saying, we feel this needs to happen and this is why. The senate could then technically vote to say no we don’t want that. This is when you would have a quorum to ensure enough people are involved in the voting process to vote something down. Staff could then rethink it or reintroduce it at a later time. Alternatively it could be amended by the senate.

This is where you set the rules so that staff focus on the community and running of the server, moderating it, ensuring plugins are maintained and the community itself can govern its gameplay to a degree. It would bring a sense of order to decisions. A staff member going rogue and introducing stuff could equally do harm and cause a backlash.

Nothing would stop players suggesting things, staff taking up suggestions just like a player senate would but focusing on directing it through a player led decision making process would have huge benefits for the community.

2 Likes

problem is, staff has become a group of people who are making the desicions on the server. recently, theyve all been pro community opinion polling us and seeing what we all want.

however, what the players want isnt whats best for the server.

i think one staff member, prefrably cheerios, ultra, luc or nico steps forwards and take complete charge. a restructure and retirement of staff is desperately needed. a dictatorship style lead with the servers health being priority is a must and having someone who has the balls to make changes needing to happen such as cars, warps, ect. has to happen.

the rules are also shit, they are vague and are interpreted in 15 different ways. they need re-written and actually structured appropriately, the previous rules writeup was subpar.

2 Likes

Firstly, why thank you :p, secondly, so you’re suggesting staff go directly against the opinion of 99% of the active community? The server’s health is already a priority, and always has been - which is why staff are doing their best to act based on the community’s opinion, since after all, the server is for the community ;p

No, he’s not, ignore him. This is mah suggestion. He needs to make a separate one if he wants some kind of dictatorship.

you never get it

Never get what

for the umpteenth time, that what the community wants isnt always whats best for the server

ref. 1 2 3

Which is why in this suggestion staff could in effect veto. It would likely give players the opportunity to hear the reason why.

We can barely manage to get the right people at one place at the same time for ironball so I’m not sure if a senate will fare any better.

Although I do believe player involvement is key in server decisions I don’t think a senate is the answer.

I mean look no further than the mayor elections or any department. Initially there is some movement and excitement in the beginning and eventually it crumbles as the people involved have more pressing matters in real life.

My point is, having a fixed elected senate is inefficient because of the above mentioned paragraph. If you want to achieve change on this server write forum posts like this one and whether they hold Merit or not staff will reply like right now.

parties would be pretty cool for mayoral elections

1 Like

The good thing is this idea is run via discord so doesn’t require being online all the time or at the same time. Votes could be timed i.e. for 48 hours or longer if necessary. Staff did say they wanted some kind of player council and you could also have mayoral council. This could form part of the membership. Mayors for instance have to remain active to keep their cities, or they could hold elections to have someone represent their city in their place. The senate wouldn’t run the cities but would help run the government on behalf of the cities (whilst also having an independent contingencies for non-city players). There’s quite a lot of flexibility to be had here.

Servers that have some form of roleplay jobs and a form of democratically elected government tend to have over 40 active players online sometimes. Inactivity tends to be the result of a failing in the community not being strong due to lots of division, bad experience but also not achieving high enough on the lists because vote crates aren’t incentivised. Also a lack of social media presence. We can only test out this idea see if it works or not. I think if we say we can’t try the idea because we’re not getting the players, you could say that with everything, every event, every aspect. Just not bother.

We do need to separate the staff from government. For me staffing a server is about facilitating and maintaining whilst also moderating. Players who want to lead should be able to and the community should be able have a say and feel empowered.

Whilst I think polling is good, what we have now is a selection of what staff want the answers on, for instance the level of priorities on things, without asking what the priorities should be. We can make suggestions till we’re blue in the face otherwise.

(Edit: by mayors i’m referring to city owners in this reply)