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Claude Desmoulins
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I need a hobby
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Post by Claude Desmoulins »

Voting will begin July 15 and run through July 21.

Faction members need to indicate their willingness to serve on the new RA to the SC Dean no later than June 30.

Campaigning begins June 30.

Salzie Sachertorte
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Neufreistadt: Elections for Dummies Guide

Post by Salzie Sachertorte »


Elections are upon us. In order to facilitate the election process, the City has compiled an overview which informs voters of how the campaign process works within Neufreistadt. Of course, being Neufreistadt, we have lots of links to massive amounts of political theory, platforms and such for you to ponder before you cast your vote.

[b:2w02plfb]This guide has been reviewed by all current factions for their input and been vetted by the heads of government to ensure its neutrality. Should you have any questions, please post them at the forums so we can discuss the matter. [/b:2w02plfb]


Working backwards, under NL 4-4 we find ourselves obliged to begin a new term of the Representative Assembly on August 1st. Such terms last six months, beginning on February 1st and August 1st of each year. In order to seat this new Assembly, we have to somehow elect them. NL 4-4 thoughtfully requires us to hold open the polls for a seven day period somewhere in the middle of January and July, which must include the 15th. This was done to enable a long period of time to ensure RL doesn't impede one's ability to vote. The RA is charged with setting the actual dates and has set the dates for the upcoming elections for the period commencing on July 15th, ending on July 21nd.

Voting itself is quite easy. Flyingroc Chung has built and tested an election system - the voting booth is awaiting us on the Platz. More on how that works later in this paper.

See, very easy to understand.

What, may you ask, is the Representative Assembly?

Under our Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 1, the Representative Assembly is the branch of government which "is a body of democratically elected factions which represent different ideological views of its citizens. Its governmental role is to pass laws and its service role is to promote the city and perform long-term planning."

So, who are you going to vote for? Here comes the fun part.

You don't vote for individual candidates, rather you vote for a faction. Yes, just one vote for one faction. Please note, as the vote is in secret, you can be Machiavellian and not vote for your own faction.

With that, the uncommitted are done and on their merry way. However, if you are a member of a faction, you get to vote again! You rank the individuals within the faction who are standing for election.

It's complicated. Let's take this step by step.
First - what is a faction?

Our Constitution, under Art. IV, gives lots of information about what factions do, yet never actually defines what one is - perhaps an issue to be rectified by the next Assembly? I digress.

So, turning to dictionary.com we find a faction can be defined as:


n 1: a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue [syn: [i:2w02plfb]cabal[/i:2w02plfb],[i:2w02plfb] junto[/i:2w02plfb], [i:2w02plfb]camarill[/i:2w02plfb]a] 2: a dissenting clique [syn: [i:2w02plfb]sect][/i:2w02plfb]

I, speaking for myself, find that absolutely hilarious; however, that is an entirely different discussion regarding the history of our fair sim and does not fall under the "politically neutral" content of this paper.

So, we move on to a definition more on point,

fac·tion1 [i:2w02plfb] (fk sh n)[/i:2w02plfb]

A group of persons forming a cohesive, usually contentious minority within a larger group.

Fair enough - the Constitution then goes into some minutia about factions. If you find great joy in reading the verbosity of the Constitution, don't forget to cross-reference the articles with the subsequent Amendments.

To summarize:

A faction is a group of citizens with common goals who run for seats in the Representative Assembly based on their general philosophy and future goals for the city.

No citizen is required to be part of a faction and cannot be a member of more than one faction at the same time.

Factions must have at least three members.

Please note that the factions page at the website lists the active factions, in alphabetical order and provides a link to their respective web pages which gives further information about each. Each faction also has its own message board at the forums, with which to discuss its business.

So you are encouraged to study these sources to learn all about factions and their positions in the upcoming elections.

Now - if you are a member of a faction, pay attention as this pertains to you!

According to the Constitution, you must report to the SC Dean - Gwyn - no later than 15 days prior to the opening of the polls your willingness or unwillingness to serve in the RA. This has been interpreted to mean that you need to let Gwyn know your intentions:

I want to serve,

I don't want to serve,

I'm reluctantly willing to serve if nobody else in my faction will, a/k/a I will serve if you twist-my-arm.

You must do this on or before June 30th.

So, let's review.

If you want a crack at being a bigwig, er, member of the RA, you need to be a member of a faction and declare your intent to serve on or before Friday.

Oh, dear! You just realized you aren't aligned with a faction. How do you join one?

If you want to join a faction, you must contact the current head of the faction (see faction's web page for that info) and indicate that you wish to join the group. He/she will then invite you to the group. Make sure you have a group slot free.

This procedure is done not to cause hardship to individuals or to disenfranchise anyone, rather it is to avoid griefers and to ensure members of the faction groups are Neufreitstadt citizens.

So, the elections have been called, people have indicated their willingness to serve, and the campaigning begins!

Officially, campaigning to the masses can begin in earnest on June 30th.

No mud slinging, please!

Actually, the Constitution, Art. IV, Sec. IV, lays out strict rules for campaigning. These have been the subject of much debate in prior elections and have pretty much settled on the following interpretation:

Signs may distribute notecards. The rationale is that a notecard comes with a dialogue box which allows the av to "keep" or "discard", thus implicitly giving permission to receive the same.

There is a well established tradition of signage. Information signs regarding the factions traditionally stand outside the Rathaus.

Anyone may hang a poster or sign on their own property. No rules that prevent this, though please take into account your neighbor's sensibilities.

The no shouting rule was put in place to allow people the choice to not listen to campaign speeches. This doesn't preclude a rally in a public square, rather it imposes polite behaviour on the mob.

The rules do not apply to candidates for representative office during campaign season; rather, they were created to keep factions from spamming new citizens into Boss Tweed style party electioneering.

So, the factions campaign and we all set out to vote on the appointed days.

There is an election booth near the center of the platz. Most of the voting process is actually done on a website. The voting booth is there so that you can get a password that you need to use on the site.

To get the password, simply touch the booth, and it will send the password to you via IM. It will also direct you to log in to a web page.

Simply log in with your SL name, and the password provided. The website will guide you through the rest of the process.

How you actually vote depends on whether or not you are a member of a faction. The faction leaders will supply a list of their members to the SC who will then feed that information into the election database; this allows the program to determine if you are a faction member, and direct you accordingly.

All citizens will rank their choice of factions from 1 to n.

If you don't belong to a faction, you will then be done voting.

If you are a member of a faction, you will additionally rank the willing and eligible members of your faction from 1 to n.

Eligible? Some faction members sit on other branches of the government and are therefore precluded from running for the RA.

If all works as intended, you will receive an "I voted" button. Please wear it with pride. Also, if you see a fellow citizen without one, please remind them to exercise their right to vote!

On July 22, the voting period will end, the poles will close and the votes will be tabulated.

Now the fun starts: How do we count the votes?

Representative seats are chosen by means of the Sainte-Lague method using scores generated by Borda-count ranked votes cast by citizens.


Let's start with Borda counts. Factions receive points based on how they are ranked by each voter. If there are only two factions A and B, Borda count voting looks no different than non ranked voting. The faction you rank first gets one point, and the faction you rank second gets zero.

Now it gets tricky. Pay attention!

If, however, there are more than two choices, ranks between the highest and lowest get fractional points. So, imagine now that there is a faction C as well. There are now three factions to rank. First place still gets a point, second place gets half a point, and third gets 0 points.

So, now each fraction has a score. We then use the Saint-Lague method to convert those scores into a distribution of the RA seats.


Here's the magic formula

(number of seats a faction holds X2) +1

At the beginning of the allocation process, number of seats is zero for all factions.

Let's plop in some imaginary numbers. In our imaginary election , faction A gets 27 points B 14.5 points and C gets 6.5 (remember that fractional points happen if there are more than two factions)

So we run the formula for all three factions

A 27/(2*0)+1=27

etc. The first time around the result is the same as the score. Since A has the highest result (27 vs 124.5 vs 6.5) they get the first seat. We now recalculate A's formula

27/((2*1)+1)=27/3= 9

Now we compare scores again. A=9 B=14.5 C=6.5

B now has the highest score, so B gets the next seat and we now recalculate B's score

14.5/((2*1)+1) = 14.5/3 = 4.83333...

This gives us A=9 B= 4.83333 and C=6.5

So A gets seat 3. Recalculating gives us
A=5.4 B=4.83333 C= 6.5

so C gets seat 4. Recalculating gives

A= 5.4 B= 4.833333 C=2.1666666

So A gets the final seat

So we have A with three seats and B and C with one each.

The Borda scores from each faction's ranking of its members are used to determine which citizens get the seats allocated to each faction

Lucky for us, Flyingroc has created a safe and reliable election system which does most of this for us. No hanging chads in N'stadt! Rather ironic, isn't it, that our little virtual country has a better election system than the Leader of the Free World. Oops, disregard that last statement - not politically neutral.

So, after all of that, the scores are announced, everyone scratches their heads as they translate points into people and then wild victory/defeat parties break out in the streets of Neufreistadt!!!!!

Once everyone has sobered up, we find we need to figure out who is the new leader of the RA.

So after the convoluted methods describe about, we find that the process for this is literally child's play, as outlined in Art. 1, Sec. 3

The Leader of the RA is the head of the faction which receives the highest Borda Count score.

In the event of a Borda count tie between two or more factions, the tie will be broken by one (in the event of a two way tie) or more (in the case of a three or more way tie) best of three games of Rock, Paper, Scissors among the faction heads/founders. The games shall be overseen by the dean of the SC, who shall be the custodian of the official city RPS device.

Child's play indeed!

So, on August 1st, the old RA dissolves and the new one takes over.

But, while I still have your attention before you run off to read up on platforms and make an informed choice, a few other things to consider:

Other RA facts:

Due to problems which arose during their last term, the RA enacted NL 4-25, the Vacancy Act, which outlines the steps to be taken should Representatives resign their seats, thus assuring a smooth transition between elections.

Any citizen can ask any Representative to introduce legislation for consideration by dropping a note card in world on the Representative.

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