Index ← 2274a CFJ 2274 2275 → text
==============================  CFJ 2274  ==============================

    The Agoran decisions of whether to adopt proposals 5956 and 5962 are
    democratic.

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Caller:                                 root

Judge:                                  Machiavelli
Judgement:                              TRUE

Appeal:                                 2274a
Decision:                               REASSIGN


Judge:                                  Elysion
Judgement:                              TRUE

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History:

Called by root:                         17 Nov 2008 21:25:15 GMT
Assigned to Machiavelli:                19 Nov 2008 02:50:35 GMT
Judged TRUE by Machiavelli:             20 Nov 2008 22:57:29 GMT
Appealed by omd:                        21 Nov 2008 01:33:54 GMT
Appealed by ehird:                      21 Nov 2008 12:16:34 GMT
Appealed by ais523:                     21 Nov 2008 14:21:46 GMT
Appeal 2274a:                           21 Nov 2008 20:44:29 GMT
REASSIGNED on Appeal:                   03 Dec 2008 17:15:28 GMT
Assigned to Elysion:                    07 Dec 2008 05:11:10 GMT
Judged TRUE by Elysion:                 13 Dec 2008 22:15:05 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

root attempted to make proposals 5956 and 5962 democratic,
with the support of Murphy and Wooble.  This case revolves around
whether this attempt is R754-synonymous with making the the decisions
to adopt those proposals democratic.

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Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 2:11 PM, comex  wrote:
>> Since proposals have adoption indices
>> in their own right (and it is reasonable to extrapolate
>> ordinary/democratic-ness of a proposal from AI),

That's a completely unreasonable extrapolation.  There is sufficiently
strong custom and contextual usage here that the prior democratizing
refers to the decisions.   Otherwise all the multitude of weaker
extrapolations (e.g. currently contract-related conditional votes
is an example that springs to mind) would be equally suspect.

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Gratuitous Arguments by Murphy:

comex wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 4:08 PM, Ian Kelly  wrote:
>> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM, comex  wrote:
>>> And just in case: (with quorum 8)
>>>
>>> The AFO publishes the following.
>> CoE on this purported resolution as well: the proposals were made
democratic.
>
> Denied.  It is not possible to make a proposal democratic (only the
> decision to adopt a proposal).  Since proposals have adoption indices
> in their own right (and it is reasonable to extrapolate
> ordinary/democratic-ness of a proposal from AI), this is not a
> reasonable synonym because the difference creates an ambiguity in
> meaning.

Counterargument:  The literal reading is impossible, so interpreting
it as a gloss for "make the decisions on these proposals democratic"
is reasonably unambiguous.

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Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

As recently as February this year, Democratic-ness was defined
relative to a proposal, not a decision.  At that time, "making a
proposal Democratic" would have clearly referred to changing the
proposal's adoption index: in fact, that's exactly what Support
Democracy did until February.  Changing a proposal's adoption index
and changing a decision's adoption index were two separate actions
then and now: has it been so long since that text explicitly
describing one action refers unambiguously to another?

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Gratuitous Arguments by root:

Making a proposal democratic did not affect its adoption index prior
to the February proposal; it only flipped its chamber switch to
democratic.  The flawed version you're thinking of was only in effect
May-September 2007.  Prior to that, the process was known as
sanitization, and it did not change the proposal's AI.

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Judge Machiavelli's Arguments:

Making a proposal democratic is R754-synonymous with making the
decision to adopt that proposal democratic.

It is unreasonable to extrapolate the chamber of a proposal (as
distinguished from its decision) from AI, as AI serves no purpose
chamber-wise other than to determine the *initial* chamber of the
decision; instead, chamber of a proposal is the same as chamber of the
corresponding decision.

There is no reasonable interpretation of "make a proposal democratic"
except for "make the decision of whether to adopt a proposal
democratic". Interpreting it as changing the proposal's AI is
unreasonable both for the reason I stated above and because changing a
proposal's AI is impossible.

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Appellant omd's Arguments:

I intend, with 2 support, to appeal this.  The chamber of a proposal
(fairly recently) used to be defined based on its AI.  This could have
been the referent, so the intention was ambiguous.

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Appellant ais523's Arguments:

I support. If someone says something not in the rules with an intent to
perform an action, normally it is reasonable to presume they meant the
correct version not the incorrect version (per R754); however, if the
rules in question have recently changed, there is enough doubt to
prevent the intention being clear (as is currently required for
dependent actions).

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Judge Elysion's Arguments:

As has been noted, proposals cannot be democratic -- only the Agoran decisions
whether to adopt the proposal can be democratic. The question in this case is
whether or not "I make Proposal X democratic" is sufficiently unambiguous in
meaning to be considered the same as "I make the Agoran decision whether to
adopt proposal X democratic."

Although a proposal and its accompanying decision are closely tied, they are
not the same thing. However, this judge finds that Agoran routinely fail to
distinguish between the two in communications, and this has not been
considered an ambiguity in meaning. For example, players cannot vote on
proposals (they can only vote on the decisions whether to adopt the
proposals). Common usage, though, equates the two. Here are some example
excerpts from recent emails:


Example 1

    From: 0x44 
    To: Agora Business 
    Subject: BUS: Re: OFF: Distribution of proposals 6010-6013
    Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2008 18:03:45 -0600

    I vote FOR all of the above proposals.


Example 2

    From: "Dvorak Herring" 
    To: agora-business@agoranomic.org
    Subject: Re: BUS: DIS: Re: OFF: Distribution of proposals 6004-6009
    Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2008 17:13:50 -0600

    I retract my vote on proposal 6007 and vote FOR on proposal 6007.


Example 3

    From: "Geoffrey Spear" 
    To: agora-business@agoranomic.org
    Subject: BUS: Re: OFF: Voting results for Proposal 5961
    Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 20:40:33 -0500

    This is missing most of the votes that were cast on this proposal.


In addition, the rules themselves often fail to distinguish between the two.

Rule 2177/5 (The Senate) reads in part:

      During emergency session, any Senator CAN declare a filibuster
      on a proposal in its voting period, with 2 supporting Senators,
      provided no filibuster has been declared on that proposal in the
      past.  Any Senator CAN end a filibuster on a proposal with 4
      supporting Senators.

      A proposal that ends its voting period in filibuster has a
      quorum of the number of eligible voters plus 1, rules to the
      contrary notwithstanding.

Rule 2019/20 (Prerogatives) reads in part:

      e) Wielder of Extra Votes.  The Wielder of Extra Votes at the
         start of an ordinary proposal's voting period has a voting
         limit on that proposal of 1.4 times what it would be
         otherwise (rounded to the nearest integer, breaking ties
         toward odd integers), rules to the contrary notwithstanding.

Proposals do not have voting periods -- only decisions whether to adopt
proposals have voting periods.

This judge sees no reason why the statement in question ("I make Proposal X
democratic") should be considered ambiguous when similar statements about
other aspects of proposals and their decisions have not been considered
ambiguous. Thus, I judge the statement TRUE.

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