Index ← 1281 CFJ 1282 1283 → text
==============================  CFJ 1282  ==============================

    Maximum Voting Power, as referenced in Rule 1953, is a different
    quantity from an Entity's maximum Voting Power, as referenced in
    Rule 1950.


Caller:                                 Syllepsis
Barred:                                 Kelly

Judge:                                  Stuart
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by Syllepsis:                    06 Mar 2001 18:15:25 GMT
Assigned to Stuart:                     08 Mar 2001 09:09:23 GMT
Judged FALSE by Stuart:                 15 Mar 2001 12:04:04 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

Rule 1953 states:

      The Maximum Voting Power on a Sane Proposal is one for each
      Player and zero for each non-Player entity. Any votes cast
      over this limit shall be deemed invalid.

so even though a player's "Voting Power" may be greater than 1, eir
"Maximum Voting Power" on a Sane Proposal is 1, and so any second vote
must be deemed invalid. Note that it is Agoran custom for capitalized
words to mean something different than their standard meaning, and so
"Maximum Voting Power", referenced only in rule 1953, is defined
implicitly to be a limit for votes that are to be counted, not the highest
possible Voting Power an entity can achieve.

Note how the wording supports this, as the last statement indicates that
additional votes may be cast. Rule 1950 states:

      An entity may cast as many votes as e wishes on a Proposal, up
      to the limit determined by that entity's Voting Power on
      that Proposal, with the exception that no Player may vote on an
      Ordinary Proposal unless e is an Oligarch at the time e casts
      eir vote. An entity may cast its votes in any combination e

So the "Maximum Voting Power" is a limit on how many votes are to be
counted, and the "Voting Power" is a limit on how many votes may be cast.

If the "Maximum Voting Power" was taken to mean the maximum "Voting
Power", than it would not be possible to cast votes over the "Maximum
Voting Power" which would render the last statement of Rule 1953

Thus a player may vote twice on a Sane Proposal if eir "Voting Power" is 2
or greater, but by eir "Maximum Voting Power" of 1, the second vote would
not be counted.

Note also that Rule 754 states that differences in spelling, grammar,
dialect, and synonymous substitution are inconsequential, but NOT
capitalization, which is held by custom to differentiate words from their
standard meanings.


Judge Stuart's Arguments:

The caller argues that "it is Agoran custom for capitalized words to mean
something different than their standard meaning".  I would tend to agree
with this, and believe I have sufficient evidence to support the idea -
but it is not relevant to my considerations, as I will demonstrate below.

There are two interpretations we might apply to the phrase "Maximum Voting
Power" in R1953.  It is either the maximal value of the quantity "Voting
Power" defined in R1950, or a separate quantity (as Syllepsis claims).
What definition could we give this separate quantity, to make R1953

The rule is quite clearly trying to restrict the number of valid votes an
entity may cast on a Sane Proposal, by means of setting a limit called
"Maximum Voting Power".  In order to achieve such a goal, we can either
change the number of votes e may legally cast, or else reject some of
those votes by another means.  But R955 insists that "the uncancelled
votes that have been legally cast shall be counted".  Therefore R1953
cannot simply throw out these votes - it must either cancel them, or deem
them not legally cast.

R683 says that a vote "may be cancelled as other Rules require".  Some
Rules make specific provision to cancel votes (see R1965 "Complacent
Oligarchy", R1717 "The Senate"), and say so explicitly.  R1953 does not
explicitly speak of cancelling a vote.

It seems then that the wording of R1953 - "shall be deemed invalid" -
restricts the number of countable votes by deeming some to be not "legally
cast", allowing them to be thrown out under R955.

What are the differences between the two interpretations?  If we assume
the Statement of the CFJ to be FALSE, the effect of R1953 is to re-set the
upper bound on Voting Power that is otherwise set by R1950.  The number of
votes an entity may cast is the same as the number to be counted, and the
same as eir Voting Power.  A sensible and consistent arrangement.

If, however, we take the statement to be TRUE, then an entity may cast
votes up to eir Voting Power (R1950), but some of these will be
irrelevant, since they will then be declared "not legally cast" (R1953).
Thus the number of votes an entity may legally cast is now different from
eir Voting Power.  The same effect is achieved, but an unnecessary
inconsistency is introduced into the Ruleset.

I can find nothing in the Rules nor in previous CFJs to force a decision
either way.  I believe that Agoran custom allows capitalized words to take
different meanings from uncapitalized words (eg see quoted material from
CFJ2 1124 and 795 below). However, this does not help, since we can simply
say that Maximum Voting Power is exactly that upper bound on Voting Power
that R1950 defines (although R1950 does not explicitly name it).

The decision, therefore, seems to rest on matters of common sense and the
interests of the game.  With this in mind, I feel I must choose the
interpretation that maintains simplicity and consistency in the Ruleset.
I therefore judge the Statement to be FALSE.  The action of R1953 is to
re-set the value of Maximum Voting Power defined in R1950.

The matter of which rule takes precedence to decide an entity's actual
Maximum Voting Power is outside the remit of this CFJ.  While the present
Ruleset may make the current judgement somewhat irrelevant to the
operation of the game, future amendments following the principle set down
here will lead to a more sensible, simpler body of Rules than had the
caller's suggestion been adopted.

Finally, I would like to suggest an unofficial annotation to R1950, along
the lines of:
[CFJ 1282: The maximum values of Voting Power defined here may be re-set
by other Rules.]


Judge Stuart's Evidence:

Judge's Evidence I

CFJ 1124:  Quoted from caller Blob's Argument (CFJ judged TRUE)

  Votes sent to the agora-discussion mailing list are neither "sent
  publically" nor "sent privately", and so are not valid when voting is

The truth of the statement hinges on the interpretation of the words
"publically" and "privately" in the previous paragraph. I argue that
the preceding two paragraphs define the meanings of these words, albeit
indirectly, by defining the meaning of "Public" and "Private" voting.

>From the definition of Public voting, from paragraph (d)(1) a vote
can only by made "publically", if it is sent to the Public Forum.
It is well established that the agora-discussion mailing list is NOT
a Public Forum. So votes sent to this list are not "sent publically".

The definition of Private voting is less unambiguous, but states that
a vote must be "sent privately to the Vote Collector". The term "sent
privately" is not well-defined, but a common sense interpretation rules
out agora-discussion as a private means of communication.

Therefore, votes sent to agora-discussion are neither "sent publically"
nor "sent privately", and so, by paragraph (d)(3), are not valid votes
when the mode of voting is Unrestricted.


Judge's Evidence II

CFJ 795:  Quoted from Argument of pro-Justiciar Zefram

"It is well established in Agora that capitalisation of a noun where it
would not normally be capitalised impies that the word refers to a game
Entity, often having little to do with the normal English meaning of the