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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act (Debating) on: Today at 02:17:13 am
All over something that's not necessarily a big deal.

I'll just say that it is something that seems to be happening more than in the past. Yes, the motivation for me to sit down and propose this occurred because someone I knew who was new was "convinced" to do this, but as of late, it has been going on more so across the board and it has been something I have witnessed (and admittedly, taken part in) in the past. I don't really want to start politicizing this by naming names and pointing fingers for the examples, because that's a sure-fire way to tank this.

Usually it comes in the form of convincing a half-engaged player, but it's also used on newer people - who might have more opportunities to engage in the game where they are - to get them to favor one entity or another's agenda elsewhere. I don't see how - if you separate the agenda of the "power-players" (our own, elder and bitter experiences) from the equation and put yourselves in a neutral position - anyone can say that it's not a problem when newer players are in some cases being screwed out of short-term engagement with an easier difficulty level by being dragged to regions where they have no chance of genuinely doing anything other than being someone else's voter.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act (Debating) on: Today at 02:04:47 am
I suppose the way I'm seeing it is that pressuring someone to invalidate their vote is always going to be a negative, conniving thing. Asking someone to change regions, however, could be done with quite positive intentions if it's done by someone who's taking a newbie under his or her wing. Failure to include a disclaimer would now be a criminal offense, however. Even though the original act of suggesting that the person move isn't that bad at all. I don't know. I'm just not really seeing it. I've suggested to some friends in jest that they come to the South, and I certainly never provided the disclaimer. We're on good terms now, but if something happens down the line, my innocent suggestion could now be used to tank my career. All over something that's not necessarily a big deal.

Well, I think you're operating under the assumption that anyone who is asked to move is going to automatically report the activity as some sort of illegal activity, or that they'd wish to proceed along those lines. The reality is that no one is going to want to move forward with such action unless they are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were tricked.

I'd be perfectly fine with offering in exchange of this the ability for a player to "reverse" their decision (if this is their first move/consumption of the "free move") within 24 hours or something to their previous region so that they have at the very least a choice. They wouldn't get their free move back or anything, but it'd be a remedy to the trickery and solve most of what I perceive to be the problem (of course I think that'd move it from statute to amendment territory). We could also amend it to where the victim is the only person who can proceed with the action against the accused, so that the mere sharing of the PM doesn't result in prosecution over technical violations. Statute of limitations could be added to prevent this from applying after a certain point (to cover people who made a passing reference to moving weeks or months ago, which didn't actually lead to the move but who could be prosecuted, like you referenced).

I feel like all of these considerations can be taken into account and addressed while still eliminating this nefarious behavior, but only if we're willing to do so. If the majority of the Senate is already dead-set against this because they themselves engage in the behavior or they have a genuine opposition to the idea, then obviously it won't go anywhere and I'm just flapping my gums.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act (Debating) on: Today at 12:38:32 am
My concern goes a bit further. How would we know that disclosure wasn't provided in another PM, or by some other means?

I guess to borrow Hagrid's phrase, "at some point people are just going to have to look out for themselves"...? Tongue I'd much prefer to foist that burden on the ones engaging in the behavior proactively than requiring the burden be on those who generally know no better at the time, which is the status quo and the alternative.

Any recruitment done on-site will either be done in public or via PMs. In the former, there'll be a paper trail and in the latter case, there can easily be one if somebody has enabled saved PMs (I personally would find it very shocking and of bad form for someone who does this sort of thing not to have outbox message saving enabled).

With regards to recruitment done outside of the game, again, there are multiple ways to cover one's tracks. Let's be realistic: if this thing were to occur outside of the forum, it's going to be in IRC, and IRC has automatic chat logging available. In addition, there are always screenshots. We also know that this type of evidence is admissible in court.

So I guess that my personal take is that someone who is going to engage in recruitment behavior will (and should) be a step above the average Atlasian player. They're aware of what all can happen in this game. You can have practically all of your bases covered by literally checking two simple boxes, and practically everyone who does has already done this.

So it is not as straightforward in every case as we would like, but neither is the game-play for all involved in this activity. My general argument is that this is not a "burden" on those who it would affect (the recruiters) when considering the combined weight of their interaction with the game. Everybody needs an alibi.
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act (Debating) on: Today at 12:19:06 am
How would a lack of "disclosure" be proven?

The same way "intimidation of a voter" is proven via the same section of RCCJA, and it has been proven and/or prosecuted on multiple occasions.

There's a marked difference between proving that someone has done something and proving that someone has not done something. I asked because I don't know how the latter would work in this context.

I guess I'm not seeing much of a difference in regards to the mechanics (I guess you're making the argument from the perspective of jurisprudence?). With respect to PMs, it's rather simple: a PM is furnished upon follow-up in a suspicious situation that shows (or doesn't show) that the content in question has (or hasn't) been said. I'm not sure if you or anyone else might be alluding to fraud, but theoretically, it's just as easy to add something to a PM that somebody didn't say as it is to take something out that they did say.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act (Debating) on: April 24, 2015, 11:54:33 pm
How would a lack of "disclosure" be proven?

The same way "intimidation of a voter" is proven via the same section of RCCJA, and it has been proven and/or prosecuted on multiple occasions.

At what point does this become "excessively regulating conversation" though? I understand the intentions, but suggesting that someone change regions is not blasphemous, and expecting the suggestion to always be followed by some sort of qualifier seems unrealistic... At some point people are just going to have to look out for themselves. Not everything needs a law.

Again, this isn't groundbreaking or revolutionary by any means. We clearly and already "regulate conversation" and speech by telling individuals that they cannot do the following in the same section of the bill:

Quote
  • The impersonation, or attempted impersonation, of another Atlas Forum member on the Atlas Forum.
  • The performance of the duties of a cabinet official or deputy cabinet official without proper promotion or appointment.
  • Knowingly violating and/or disregarding Senate-imposed Atlasia Wiki guidelines and standards.
  • Intimidation of a voter into voting or not voting a certain way, or into invalidating one's vote, through credible threats to disclose personal information; or contacting voters with disinformation about the election process in order to prevent casting of a valid ballot.
  • Posting pictures, other media, or links to the same of a pornographic nature on the boards provided for the purposes of Atlas Fantasy Elections.
  • Maliciously editing the AtlasWiki to remove legitimate content or create off-topic pages.
  • Posting threads on the boards provided for the purposes of Atlas Fantasy Elections of a sexual nature that contribute nothing to political or philosophical discussion.

Furthermore (and excluding my own), I've seen all sorts of PMs sent out by various individuals in their quest to recruit to the game, recruit to new regions, persuade newer individuals to support them over this, that and the other...hyperlinks, drawn-out paragraphs, elaborately-woven weaves of the truth: it is impossible to say after all of that, that disclosing "You will not be able to move anywhere else for 6 months if you choose to relocate to this region/state" (the latter of which would be applicable if this electoral amendment passes) is a bridge too far or "unrealistic". Maybe it's just me, but I've generally always disclosed this information to voters anyway; for those who haven't, I promise that it is not a Herculean task.

As I mentioned in the Electoral Reform Amendment discussion, surely the simpler way to do this would just be to remove the "free move" from the Constitution?
I don't think it's a good idea forcing people not to change region and stay in the same region even if they do not want to stay there.

I do not think there is inherently anything wrong with allowing someone brand new - who likely doesn't understand any of the rules or regulations regarding residence - the ability to reverse a potentially bad mistake. Likewise, I don't think it's inherently wrong to lobby people to join a different region once they join. To try to convince someone who may not be happy where they are - in large part, due to ignorance about where they registered - to make bad another decision - again, largely due to ignorance and the lack of disclosure - has undoubtedly affected the attitudes and perceptions of newer players to this game, and their desire to interact with it. The approach above would be equivalent to "Well, if the deceivers and liars by omission are being 'punished', then we'll do the same to the new players". Also, this is objectively "simpler" because AFAIK, this would be statute and not a constitutional amendment.

Currently the Department of Justice is working on a wholesale revision of the Criminal Law that will be placed before the Senate in due course (i.e. in the next few days, God willing). The reforms are largely of a technical nature, but they will entail the repeal of the Re-Consolidated Criminal Justice Act.

One specific point now: we have decided to broaden the concept of Intimidation to that of the application of 'undue pressure' rather than the much narrower definitions given in the current Act. This could easily be extended further from the act of voting (perhaps) including also the issue of registration. We are also proposing a new crime of Electoral Fraud which would prohibit all attempts to fraudulently alter election results (current law is deficient in this area, to say the least).

It is good to hear that additional measures are being considered. There is a lot of this "lack of information" messaging that goes on and has went on for years (if people think I'm trying to be a holy saint above the rest of the game, then they have the wrong impression), which I consider to be parallel to disinformation or a lie by omission. If someone is attempting to get a player amenable to their beliefs to move to their region (knowing that they won't be able to move for at least six months) or even a player that is antithetical to their beliefs to move out of their region without disclosing them of the consequences they're surely aware, then it's a lie. Unlike other lies, it's the type of lie that tangibly impacts the elections process (like lying about when a voting booth closes or how long you have to edit your ballot, which are crimes in the game). And yes, I understand there is a difference between an active booth and the ongoing dynamic of the game, but all of these actions are much more tangible in nature in terms of effect.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - PA & MO added on: April 24, 2015, 06:06:49 pm
Pennsylvania has been added.

PA 2012 statewide share of the white vote for Obama: 44.0%



I invite those familiar with PA to give it an extra-close inspection, as the general variance in color throughout many areas makes me wonder if I could have made any mistakes. This may just have to do with PA having relatively few, large counties.

The large populated areas all pass the smell test– in particular I am not surprised to see so much of a difference between Lackawanna and Luzerne, though you might have been.  

What is an issue– and it is an issue in the majority of states, not just PA, is rural prisons skewing the numbers in certain low-population counties, by basically air-dropping nonvoting minorities into heavily white areas.  I was wondering about Forest County, and checked out its townships in Wikipedia, and lo and behold it has a 274-bed juvenile detention center:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howe_Township,_Forest_County,_Pennsylvania

Not a lot of beds... but given how small Forest is, that moves the needle quite a bit.  I'm sure there are several other examples in PA, which I could try and dredge up at some point for you.  And, also, examples in many other states.

Correcting for this phenomenon will be a pain, I'm sure.  Sorry. Sad

I actually have been doing this, at least for the South, because...well, it's obvious why. MO, WV, OH, PA, MD & DE were not assessed for prison populations, in part because I was expecting the racial discrepancy between the prison and the county it is in to be less than in southern states. For these states, I do need to probably go back and compile a list of the counties where institutions are and assess the situation, but I was hoping to get by except in cases where a county appeared very out of place with its neighboring counties.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - OH, PA & MO added on: April 24, 2015, 07:35:09 am
Ohio has been added.

OH 2012 statewide share of the white vote for Obama: 42.0%
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton to fulfill the Atlas Forum's dreams with 50 state strategy. on: April 24, 2015, 05:37:15 am
You know...I just feel like posting again, since we have a lot of snarkiness in this thread with respect to the overall notion.

In campaigning, a good, large ground game/field operation in a "politically-developed" and/or competitive area is said to be able to produce three points for the candidate that he or she otherwise wouldn't receive. The reality is that when you are talking about areas that haven't been organized or campaigned in significantly in many cycles...there is potential for a lot more. Let's use my home county (Whitfield) and last year's gubernatorial results as an example.

I was responsible for my own county in the coordinated campaign, as well as providing some minimal assistance to other shabby volunteer groups scattered in nearby counties. I was able to put together a force of around two dozen people in my own county who gave at least an hour per week for six months. In the grand scheme of things, not a whole lot - or so it would seem. By and large, the remainder of the counties tucked in the far NW corner didn't do much at all. We made a few thousand phone calls, knocked on a few hundred doors, did various forms of media and in the end, spent about $4,000 in the county. Now look at the swing map - in the northwest corner - and notice that it was the hardest-swinging county to Carter in the state/the only red county. That was a swing of more than 11 points we managed to create - from 22.9% in 2010 to 28.6% in 2012. We added 800 net votes in the Governor's race compared to 2010 (despite overall turnout countywide dropping by 400 votes); $5 per net new vote.

Now imagine replicating such efforts across the majority of the counties in a given congressional district, or hell, in a state (or...the whole damn country). A more reasonable goal on a larger scale - while still being orchestrated by individual counties - might be an 8-point swing/4-point increase in Democratic performance. Fairly-organized, low-cost, county-level operations in areas that haven't been organized historically or are deemed non-competitive will generate more of a swing than in a competitive area or already contested area. It sounds positively bonkers, but if you can build sustaining volunteer organizations in a large number of counties, use data and effective techniques, and seed these counties with a few grand in tangible funds, then you can make a difference in plenty of worthwhile jurisdictions. They're doing the right thing.

More food for thought: there are 55 House Republicans currently elected in districts that have CPVIs of R+4 or less.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Martin O'Malley lays down the law - uses profanity-laced attacks on Republicans on: April 24, 2015, 05:07:53 am
Good for him!
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Friend of the Worker on: April 24, 2015, 04:44:42 am
What a dreadfully wonderfully biased publication! Subscribed anylways.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - PA & MO added on: April 24, 2015, 04:40:34 am
Pennsylvania has been added.

PA 2012 statewide share of the white vote for Obama: 44.0%



I invite those familiar with PA to give it an extra-close inspection, as the general variance in color throughout many areas makes me wonder if I could have made any mistakes. This may just have to do with PA having relatively few, large counties.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - MO added on: April 24, 2015, 02:41:38 am
Missouri has been added.

MO 2012 statewide share of the white vote for Obama: 35.8%
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Public Consultation and Legislation Submissions on: April 24, 2015, 01:16:42 am
I introduce the following bill in my capacity as a concerned human being and Registrar General.

Quote
Let's Stop Tricking the Newbies Act

Section 2 of the Re-Consolidated Criminal Justice Act is amended to read:

The following shall be crimes against Atlasia:

1. The impersonation, or attempted impersonation, of another Atlas Forum member on the Atlas Forum.

2. The "hacking" or taking over control of another Atlas Forum members personal account without their permission.

3. Voter fraud, defined as the creation of identities other than ones primary identity in Atlasia and subsequently entering this identity into the tally of registered.

  • 3a. If a citizen no longer has access to their previous forum account and wishes to register and/or vote with a new forum account in Atlasia, then they shall be allowed to do so legally only if they make it clear in the registration thread who they are and which forum account they previously registered under so that the SoFA may appropriately update the registration without having any duplicate accounts on the voter roll.
  • 3b. This shall exclude those who have had their previous account banned from the Atlas Forum.

4. The performance of the duties of a cabinet official or deputy cabinet official without proper promotion or appointment.

5. Knowingly violating and/or disregarding Senate-imposed Atlasia Wiki guidelines and standards.

6. The deletion of a ballot during a period between vote was closed and elected officeholders sworn-in or soliciting to delete a ballot during the same period.

7. Intimidation of a voter into voting or not voting a certain way, or into invalidating one's vote, through credible threats to disclose personal information; or contacting voters with disinformation about the election process in order to prevent casting of a valid ballot.

8. Posting pictures, other media, or links to the same of a pornographic nature on the boards provided for the purposes of Atlas Fantasy Elections.

9. Maliciously editing the AtlasWiki to remove legitimate content or create off-topic pages.

10. Posting threads on the boards provided for the purposes of Atlas Fantasy Elections of a sexual nature that contribute nothing to political or philosophical discussion.

11. Perjury, hereby defined as "any person who takes an oath before a competent tribunal or officer that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true."

12. Persuading or attempting to persuade a registered voter to move to a different state or region without disclosing that said move will result in the registered voter being unable to move to a different state or region for the period of time as defined in the Constitution or by statute.
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: Fairness in Cabinet Obligations Amendment on: April 24, 2015, 12:41:04 am
Aye
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Vote No to the Electoral Reform Amendment on: April 23, 2015, 10:58:32 pm
I've been fairly neutral to the whole idea for the most part. I worked to add a lot of the structure that now exists in the amendment so that it would be a better amendment than what was originally introduced, which I believe it to be. As I've told Senator Polnut and others in chat this evening, however, I am beginning to have considerations about exactly how this would work long-term with respect to improving the dynamic we are seeking to change. If we can only muster up 6 candidates for 5 seats in a Senate election with no boundaries, then are we really confident that we will be able to generate 2 or 3 interested bodies in 5 different districts of 35 people each?  These would look very similar to regional Senate elections, which can and cannot be competitive depending on the region and the cycle. I have a lot to think about; I didn't expect the bill to suddenly lurch forward so suddenly to a vote after my final comments in the thread.
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Free Canada Movement on: April 23, 2015, 04:16:23 pm
If Canada becomes independent, then I want an independent North-East!

Is Canada legally part of Atlasia or not?

Atlasians may reside abroad in Canada and enjoy voting privileges while living there. For regional elections, each province is "associated" (via "limited jurisdictional authority") with one of the five regions and the voters residing in each province are able to cast ballots in regional elections, too. This is from the Atlasian-Canadian Common Market Agreement. Canada is still a separate nation.

The people who are whining about this seem to fail to understand that it is the equivalent of an enhanced NAFTA with provisions that allow expats to vote in our elections. Considering that IRL Americans can vote in our elections from anywhere in the world...
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Free Canada Movement on: April 23, 2015, 04:00:25 pm
Yes, do be quiet, Simfan.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - DE added on: April 23, 2015, 03:58:27 pm
Yeah, sorry: that was a typo from where I copied/pasted the original DC update.

Delaware: 48.4%
DC: 87.3%
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Do you support the "Electoral Reform Amendment"? on: April 23, 2015, 03:54:08 pm
No.  I am opposed to Labor's newest attempt to stamp out minor parties and dominate the game.  At least minor parties have a chance at winning At Large seats. They won't after the amendment, as Labor and perhaps TPP conspire to gerrymander seats to keep and sustain their majority.

This whole thing was initiated by 2 TPP members and the President. If there is a structural advantage to be gained by changing the method of election for these seats, I certainly don't see how it is for the largest party - which is horribly, unevenly dispersed throughout the country - to be taken out of a national contest and having its influence cut into five mismatched pieces. This is why I've remained lukewarm and relatively neutral to the outcome all along: I have no idea how it'll play out. I can't fathom how this radically benefits anyone to a large degree; if it does, then it'll likely be TPP or parties like it that follow - that's why you see near unanimous support from them and mixed support from everyone else.

AFAIK, this was a multi-partisan effort and one that I thought was a very, very bad idea in the original form that emerged from the committee. The provisions in the amendment since its inception have been drastically improved, which makes it more palatable than before. All I know is that the party of which I'm a member always survives and will find a way to do so in any new dynamic as well. I don't disagree with the premise of who it'll hurt, but you might want to point your fingers elsewhere as to who it might help.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - DE added on: April 23, 2015, 02:27:31 pm
Incredible work. Thank you.

Thanks! I also don't think I ever thanked you for the analysis of Davidson that helped reaffirm my own findings: a good read.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Windjammer/Franzl for Mideast Governor/Mideast Lieutenant Governor on: April 23, 2015, 02:23:38 pm
Glorious news! You two are highly experimented and I know you will excite at the job!
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Do you support the "Electoral Reform Amendment"? on: April 23, 2015, 02:21:35 pm
No.  Why not abolish regional seats and replace them with districts instead?

Ideally, I would have liked to have seen this too. Of course, regionalists would have felt that their seats were being taken away from them, but this system will likewise make all of the Senators similar in terms of their method of election and the constituencies they represent. Perhaps it is just because I am so accustomed to seeing knee-jerk behavior, but it is kind of interesting that more on the Right aren't raising hell for...oh, whatever reason it is they do.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 2012 White Obama Lovers Map by County Project - DE added on: April 23, 2015, 06:16:15 am
Delaware has been added.

DE 2012 statewide share of the white vote for Obama: 48.4%

The three counties in VA that were off have been corrected.



Also, I'm creating another (cleaner but less precise) version of this map alongside my original one:

24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton to fulfill the Atlas Forum's dreams with 50 state strategy. on: April 23, 2015, 02:19:42 am
Likely: they'll build it out, assess where their volunteer support is strongest and most unified, and take that into account as the general election heats up to determine which potential expansion states actually get some of the attention (in combination with polling).

Potentially: we might actually see concerted volunteer efforts (not media) in all 50 states and an attempt to invest in diluting the GOP's strength in House races, and maybe also in state legislatures as part of having the resources to invest in the future (which will have a say in how the final two years of her potential second term goes). Campaigns usually don't worry about this stuff.

Either way, this is excellent news. There is no way you can spin putting the organizational pieces of the puzzle together this early as bad.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Hispanic % by county in the U.S., (30%, 50%, and 70%+) on: April 23, 2015, 02:14:58 am
If someone can make a gif of the two maps that would be great Smiley

I didn't notice it came out blurry until just now (must have something to do with the dimensions of the image), but there are plenty of GIF makers online that will probably do it correctly.

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