Index ← 2358 CFJ 2359 2360 → text
==============================  CFJ 2359  ==============================

    Speaker is a high-priority office.


Caller:                                 Wooble

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by Wooble:                       26 Jan 2009 15:38:39 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         04 Feb 2009 07:34:11 GMT
Judged FALSE by G.:                     04 Feb 2009 17:57:23 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

R2236 says the Committee on Administration
consists of all high-priority officers.  The rules define one office,
Scorekeepor, as high-priority.  No other mention is made in the rules
of what constitutes a high-priority office, nor is a default priority
assigned to offices. Game custom seems to be that an office which
isn't explicitly defined as low-priority is high-priority, but I can
find no judicial precedent on the topic. Since there is an office
where high-priority is explicitly defined, it seems to me that by
exceptio probat regulam offices that have no defined priority should
be taken to have an undefined "medium priority" or perhaps no priority
at all.

The Speaker is a special case; all of the other offices with no
defined priority have weekly duties, as does the only defined
high-priority office, while the defined low priority-offices, like the
Speaker, have only monthly duties.


Gratuitous Arguments by Machiavelli:

I believe that until recently, nothing depended
on whether an office is "high-priority" or not, only whether the
office is low-priority or not; the rules use wording such as "weekly
(or, for offices defined as low-priority, monthly)". As
"high-priority" was not actually defined, it simply was used as a way
of emphasizing that an office is not a low-priority office. Since it
has historically meant this, and we haven't come up with a different
definition, it should continue to mean this.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

The terms "high-priority" and "low-priority" are not defined by the
Rules, so we go to common usage.  In common usage, priority indicates a
relative importance or ranking.  This is a continuum, and "not low" does
not necessarily mean "high".  Priority can be a ranked list (for example
all Offices ranked from most to least) or into multiple categories (low,
middle, high, urgent, most urgent for your needful attention I have USD

Before continuing, I'll note that it is not outside of precedent for the
courts to define such terms; in CFJ 1500 (and followups 1501-1504), Judge
Michael applied a common definition of "politician" to determine if a
player was a politician (with rules consequences; the rules said "all
politicians can do X" but did not define who was a politician).  Note
that this was even true when "politician" was previously defined by the
rules (i.e., the common English definition was held to overrule the
"traditional" Agoran definition once the Agoran definition was repealed).

So how do we determine the importance of a particular office to Agora?

First, I'll take it that the priority in question (referred to in the
Rules) means "priority in terms of importance to Agora as a whole".
Here are the principles in the order I considered them:

a.  The use of the term "high" and "low" in the rules implies priority
is categorical with at least two categories.

b.  If an Office is defined by the rules as having a particular priority,
it has that priority and that category exists.

c.  R2143 states that priority of an office has an effect if "the office
is defined by the rules as low-priority".  But Rule 2217(b) specifies
an effect if the office is "low priority", but does not directly require
the priority to be defined by the rules.

d.  Therefore, being defined by the Rules to a category is sufficient to
place an Office in that category, but not necessary.  An office whose
priority is undefined may be low-priority (in which case 2217b would
apply but not R2143) or middle or high priority.  This rejects the
notion that every office not explicitly Rules-defined as "low priority"
is necessarily high priority.

e.  The best remaining test is looking at the actual effects of R2143
and R2217(b).  Specifically, in the absence of definition, high priority
offices have at least weekly duties; low priority offices have at most
monthly duties.  There may be categories in between.

f.  The Speaker has only monthly tasks (assigning Prerogatives).  So it
at best has low priority.  Further, the Speaker publishes no report
(so R2143 has no effect) and it is not elected (R2217).  So, in fact,
there is no effective priority to its tasks.  So in these terms, it
either has "low" or "lower than low" priority.  Since prerogatives are
monthly, I would tend towards "low" so as not to multiply categories.

g.  Besides, the true role of a figurehead (R103) is to more-or-less
only work when e wants to.

h.  In any case, the priority is not high.  FALSE.


Gratuitous Arguments by Murphy:

Due to historical importance and the Honors List, it might
be medium.  But yes, it's not high.