Index ← 1655 CFJ 1656 1657 → text
==============================  CFJ 1656  ==============================

    the Promotor has distributed a proposal under the description
    "proposal 4963" which includes the text "Change the Power of rule
    2126 to 2."


Caller:                                 Zefram

Judge:                                  GreyKnight

Judge:                                  root
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by Zefram:                       09 May 2007 17:21:11 GMT
Assigned to GreyKnight:                 11 May 2007 06:34:45 GMT
GreyKnight recused:                     07 Jun 2007 21:06:19 GMT
Assigned to root:                       13 Jun 2007 01:44:04 GMT
Judged TRUE by root:                    13 Jun 2007 04:59:02 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

The proposal "mostly-random judicial assignments", as submitted, did
not include the quoted text.  The Promotor's purported distribution
of the proposal, as proposal 4963, erroneously included the text of
"more mutability for VCs" (correctly distributed as proposal 4962) and
the text that had appeared between them in the submitting message, in
addition to the actual full text of "mostly-random judicial assignments".
This error raises the question of whether the proposal's purported
distribution satisfies R1607, and if so what the proposal's text now is.

I suggest that the most reasonable judgement is FALSE & FALSE, based on
the interpretation that the `distributed' text so substantially differed
from the submitted text that it does not constitute a distribution at all.
Alternatively, if it is considered that the intended proposal text is
adequately clear in the distribution message, a judgement of TRUE &
FALSE could be entered.  A judgement of TRUE & TRUE would be bad for
the game, because it would allow the Promotor to modify any proposal at
the distribution stage.  FALSE & TRUE would be perverse, allowing the
Promotor to distribute unsubmitted proposals.


Judge root's Arguments:

What remains for CFJ 1656 is to determine whether a proposal 4963 has
been distributed.  There are three possibilities: the text identified
as proposal 4963 is not a proposal; it is a proposal but has not been
distributed; or it is a proposal and has been distributed.

The rule 106 paragraph quoted above seems to indicate by definition
that the text is in fact a proposal.  However, rule 106 continues:

     A player submits a proposal by publishing it with a clear
     indication that it is intended to become a proposal, which
     places the proposal in the Proposal Pool.

Arguably then, a document that has not been published in this manner
does not "become a proposal" and therefore is not a proposal.
However, Judge Eris's ruling in CFJ 1586 establishes the precedent
that submission is not the only means for the creation of a proposal.
Therefore, I find that the first paragraph of Rule 106 constitutes the
complete definition of a proposal, and so proposal 4963 is in fact a

The remaining question is whether proposal 4963 has been distributed.
For this I turn to Rule 1607, which contains these three paragraphs:

     The Promotor is permitted to distribute a proposal in the
     Proposal Pool at any time.  During each week, the Promotor must
     distribute each proposal in the proposal pool which was in the
     Proposal Pool at the beginning of the week.

     The Promotor legally distributes a proposal by publishing it
     accompanied by an explicit indication that it is being
     distributed.  When a proposal is distributed, it is removed from
     the Proposal Pool.  The distribution of a proposal initiates the
     Agoran decision of whether to adopt the proposal, as described

     The Promotor shall include with the distribution of each
     proposal the identity of its proposer, the proposal's coauthors,
     if any, its chamber, and its adoption index.  However, the
     failure of the Promotor to include any of these with a proposal
     does not deprive the distribution of the proposal of any legal

The first quoted paragraph explicitly permits the Promotor to
distribute proposals that are in the proposal pool, so we may infer
that the Promotor is *not* permitted to distribute proposals that are
not in the pool, as was the case for proposal 4963.  However, the
language used is permissive in nature: such a distribution is illegal
but not necessarily impossible.

The second quoted paragraph describes the mechanism of distribution
but places no restrictions on what proposals can be distributed or
when they can be distributed.  The use of the word "legally" in the
first sentence is questionable: does it mean that this mechanism
applies only to proposals for which distribution is permitted; or does
it merely denote that this constitutes the "legal" definition of
proposal distribution?  I think that the latter is a more natural
reading, and this interpretation also conforms to the rule's other
usage of the word "legal" in its final paragraph.

The final paragraph places additional, possibly applicable
requirements on proposal distribution, but it explicitly notes that
failure to meet these does not invalidate a distribution.

In summary, I find that the distribution of proposal 4963 was
effective but illegal: as the caller notes, the Promotor *can*
distribute unsubmitted proposals, but e also can be punished for doing
so willfully.  This is not dissimilar to other systems we have in
place.  Moreover, a judgment of TRUE in CFJ 1656 should not be
surprising; considerable effort has been applied in the past to making
the proposal system as pragmatic as possible, and for good reason: the
adoption of a proposal should not be held up by a simple mistake made
on the part of the Promotor, especially if the mistake is not
discovered until much later.  That is not the case here, but still it
is refreshing to find that the system works exactly as intended.