Index ← 1607 CFJ 1608 1609 → text
==============================  CFJ 1608  ==============================

    Unanimous (Voting index = Unanimity) Proposals may be adopted.


Caller:                                 G.
Barred:                                 Zefram

Judge:                                  Peter

Judge:                                  GreyKnight

Judge:                                  Maud
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by G.:                           12 Jan 2007 20:48:00 GMT
Assigned to Peter:                      31 Jan 2007 13:03:46 GMT
Peter recused:                          21 Feb 2007 18:10:52 GMT
Assigned to GreyKnight:                 21 Feb 2007 18:10:52 GMT
GreyKnight recused:                     23 Mar 2007 21:12:29 GMT
Assigned to Maud:                       23 Mar 2007 23:13:24 GMT
Judged TRUE by Maud:                    29 Mar 2007 13:38:32 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

In this argument, I use "Unanimity" and "Unanimous" interchangeably (by common
language, Unanimity is the state of being Unanimous).

Part 1.  Why Agoran Decisions in general can't be adopted.

"Index" is no longer defined in the Rules, and thus they may not be numbers,
and no ordering of indices is implied in the Rules.    But adopting Agoran
Decisions requires a comparison of indices, with the value 1, and with each
other, which requires an ordering.  Since this ordering is not defined, in
general, we must fall on the "otherwise" clause in the last sentence of R955
which requires that REJECTION be the option selected.

Part 2.  Why Unanimous Proposals may be adopted.

One other aspect of Agoran common custom is that this is a legal
game before a logic/mathematical one, and we've used in the past
legal reasonableness to sidestep the more trivial paradoxes.  Especially true
in the current, slimmed-down ruleset.

In legal terms, "Unanimous" means "having the agreement and consent of all".
(Merriam Webster).

By Rule 1503, the Rules are a binding agreement between players,
and the proposal process is defined (prima facie) as a means of
determining consent to changes in the terms of the rules as an
agreement.  Note that the "proposal process" includes proposals
with and without rules changes.

A part of this process (R955) legally declares a decision index
to be "Unanimous" under certain voting results, without further definition of
the term Unanimous.  Unanimous does not in fact have a mathematical
definition, implying the legal or common language usage is a better guide.  We
should use the legal
sense of the term, in that certain conditions (quorum and no
AGAINST votes) legally determine that all parties to the agreement have
consented to a change in that agreement.  Note that this
declaration occurs prior to the index comparison.

And if all parties to an agreement have consented, it would substantially
abridge the rights of the Players in R101 if we *didn't* assume prima facie
that the change was valid.  Therefore,
not accepting a definition of "Unanimous" as consent to change,
and throwing out the change, would legally violate R101.

This consideration surpasses the consideration of an undefined
numerical ordering comparison in R955, in that R101 is superior to R955, both
in its claim over rights and numerical precedence
(R1030, fortunately, Power is not an "index", R1688).

[Note that this only applies as long as "Unanimous" as defined
in the Rules is reasonably like the common language definition.  Currently, a
vote that meets quorum and has no AGAINST votes
is unanimous by the Rules and by common sense: if the rules were re-written so
that "unanimous" were defined as "if the dictator says so", that would be so
far different from the common language definition that we should throw out the
prima facie argument and declare the definition as contrary to R101 rights.]

Finally, to opine that indices and Unanimity are both broken would result in a
violation in R1698, as no proposals at all
could be adopted.

Note that this does not apply to Agoran Decisions that are not Proposals,
which are not considered prima facie protective of rights by R1503.


Caller's Evidence:

Rule 1503/6 (Power=3)
Rules Violations

      In general, the Rules shall be adjudicated as if the Rules were
      a binding agreement between all Players, entered into by every
      player as a part of becoming a Player.  An actual or alleged
      Rule violation shall be treated as the violation of a binding
      agreement to be bound by the Rule or Rules in question.

      The proposal, fora, and registration processes shall, prima
      facie, be considered to be protective of a Player's rights and
      privileges with respect to making and changing the agreement to
      be bound by the rules.

      Other rules may further differentiate the treatment of rules
      violations from the treatment of violations of other types of

Rule 955/10 (Power=3)
Determining the Will of Agora

      To determine which option on a particular Agoran decision was
      selected by Agora, the vote collector shall perform the
      following steps in order after the voting period has ended.

      (a) E shall invalidate any ballots which the rules require em to
          invalidate, and no others.

      (b) E shall count the number of distinct voters who submitted
          ballots which remain valid.  If this number is less than the
          quorum and there is more than one available option, then the
          option selected by Agora is FAILED QUORUM.  Otherwise, the
          decision achieved quorum.

      (c) If the decision is whether to adopt a proposal, e shall
          determine the voting index as follows:

          (1) if the strength of FOR is positive and the strength of
              AGAINST is zero, then the voting index is Unanimity; but

          (2) if the strength of FOR is zero, then the voting index is
              zero; otherwise,

          (3) the voting index is the ratio of the strength of FOR to
              the strength of AGAINST.

          If the voting index exceeds one and meets or exceeds the
          adoption index of the decision, and if further quorum was
          achieved, then the option selected by Agora is ADOPTED.
          Otherwise, the option selected by Agora is REJECTED.

Rule 101/4 (Power=3)
Agoran Rights and Privileges

      The rules may define persons as possessing specific rights or
      privileges.  Be it hereby proclaimed that no binding agreement
      or interpretation of Agoran law may abridge, reduce, limit, or
      remove a person's defined rights.  A person's defined privileges
      are assumed to exist in the absense of an explicit, binding
      agreement to the contrary.  This rule takes precedence over any
      rule which would allow restrictions of a person's rights or

         i. Every person has the privilege of doing what e wilt.

        ii. Every player has the right to perform an action which is
            not regulated.

       iii. Every person has the right to invoke judgement, appeal a
            judgement, and to initiate an appeal on a sentencing or
            judicial order binding em.

        iv. Every person has the right to refuse to become party to
            a binding agreement.  The absense of a person's explicit,
            willful consent shall be considered a refusal.

         v. Every person has the right to not be considered bound by
            an agreement, or an amendment to an agreement, which e has
            not had the reasonable opportunity to review.

        vi. Every player has the right of participation in the fora.

       vii. Every person has the right to not be penalized more than
            once for any single action or inaction.

      viii. Every player besides the Speaker has the right to
            deregister rather than continue to play.

      Please treat Agora right good forever.

Rule 1698/0 (Power=3)
The Proposal System Is Protected

      It must always be possible to adopt Proposals within a 4 week
      period. Any change to the game state which would result in
      this condition becoming false is cancelled and does not take
      place, any Rule to the contrary notwithstanding.


Judge Maud's Arguments:

The Caller addresses the possibility that Agoran decisions might not
be adoptable in general, although this is not the focus of eir
argument.  This Court shall remain silent on this issue, since it does
not need to be settled in order to determine whether proposals with a
voting index of Unanimity can be adopted.

Rule 754 requires that a term left undefined by the rules is to be
interpreted according to its mathematical or legal meaning if the term
is primarily used in mathematical or legal contexts.  Any other
undefined term is to be ``interpreted as having its ordinary-language
meaning''.  If such a term has more than one ordinary-language
meaning, then rule 217 allows the Court to select a sense which is
compatible with game custom, common sense, past Judgements, and the
best interests of the game.

The term ``index'' is left undefined by the rules.  Although the term
has a sense in mathematical contexts, it is not primarily used in
mathematical or legal contexts.  In ordinary language, the term has
several senses, including:

(1) an organized collection of pointers to specific content (as the
   index of a book or a dissertation) and

(2) a number, such as a ratio, which is obtained via observation and
   serves to summarize those observations (as the heat index, the
   labour market index, the Consumer Price Index).

There are also other senses.  The language of rule 955 (c) makes it
clear that the voting index is generally intended to be the ratio of
FOR votes to AGAINST votes.  This Court therefore holds that sense (2)
is the sense being used in rule 955 and other parts of the rules.

This Court agrees with the Caller's arguments regarding the
interpretation of the term ``unanimity'' as consent of all the voters.
Thus it remains to consider the comparison of a numerical adoption
index with the non-numerical voting index of Unanimity.  All other
things being equal, as the number of AGAINST votes tends to zero, the
voting index tends to positive infinity, which is definitely greater
than one or any finite adoption index.  Since rule 955 uses the
adoption index as a benchmark for acceptable ratios of FOR to AGAINST
votes, it is reasonable to treat a comparison of Unanimity (consent of
all the voters) with any adoption index as though it were a numerical
comparison of positive infinity with the same adoption index.  Hence a
proposal with a finite adoption index may be adopted if it achieves
quorum and has a voting index of Unanimity.