WA 101 Guides written by Mousebumples/Europeia

The United Nations started off when Maxtopia submitted the first UN resolution Fight the Axis of Evil. Now, I may be an Antiquity nation, but I certainly wasn’t around back then. Neither were most players, I’d guess, since the resolution itself only got a grand total of 3 votes and is - I believe - the only resolution to pass (or fail) by only 1 vote.

Back in the “Olden Days,” the rule was - you pass it, you live with it. There were no repeals back then … and believe me, there was plenty of crap being passed on a regular basis. Of the first 25 passed resolutions, only 6 remained “in effect” until all UN resolutions were repealed with the passage of WA#1 - The World Assembly.

As many may know (perhaps more from storytelling than from experiencing it), as the 2008 April Fool’s Joke, it was announced that Max had received a Cease & Desist letter from the real United Nations. Haha, very funny, absolutely hilarious joke, etc.

Except … it wasn’t a joke. (NS news posts) The Jolt forums are gone, but Antarctic Oasis (a fairly active UN region at the time) has made their thread on the subject public, for those that would care to peruse that.

After the World Assembly was created in April of 2008, things ran … fairly smoothly for awhile. The re-creation of the World Assembly was a chance to start from scratch - and to finally be rid of a lot of those early (and awful) UN resolutions. Many of the quality UN resolutions were quickly resubmitted and generally passed successfully.

However … in May of 2009, the admins came up with a Grand New Idea … that was not met happily by many of the WA regulars. For starters, the entire concept of the Condemn and Commends (Liberations were not yet a part of what would eventually become the Security Council) contradicted a lot of the already-existing WA ruleset. More details on this controversy can be found here on the NS forums. This is [violet]'s forum announcement on the subject.

Eventually, the Security Council and General Assembly were split out of the World Assembly entity, but - originally - they had to share one proposal queue, as only one proposal would be At Vote at one time. The concept was that the two chambers would “take turns” being at vote. If there wasn’t a different chamber’s proposal in the queue, the next proposal in line would be At Vote.

This was frustrating to many proposal authors who grew sick of the lengthy proposal queue. In February of 2010 the separate voting “channels” were introduced, which helped a lot of the controversy die down. Of course, a lot of this is more because those who have no interest in the [insert chamber of choice here] could just ignore those votes … more or less. There have been some calls for an “Abstain” button - to turn off the New Vote notification if the nation in question has no intention of voting on a particular topic, but that has not been added to the game thus far.

I personally believe that the quality of UN/WA/GA resolutions has gradually improved over time. Oh, sure, the are some quality resolutions scattered throughout the older UN archives, but there are also some doozies. (UN#3 - Education for All - has a one-line Description: To give every child under the age of 16 the right to a free education) I know that I can be … pretty insistent on quality prose when it comes to voting and, as time allows, I like to assist other proposal authors with their text and phrasing. (And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.)

What do GA Resolutions Do?

There are a number of ways to “play” the WA when it comes to evaluating a proposal or resolution.

Some players are what might be called “Stat-Wankers.” They are those who want their stats to do a certain thing for a certain reason. They might be strong believers in education and want their education stats to be really high. Or, they might want to keep whatever WA classification that they’ve “earned” for their nation. These nations often don’t care about the actual text of a resolution and instead look at the category and strength of a given resolution.

Different categories affect different stats. The details have long been hidden, but some impacts are fairly obvious. “Strong” resolutions are going to have a greater impact than a “Mild” resolution - which may be a good or bad thing, depending on who you’re talking to. “Education and Creativity: Education” resolutions are - gasp - going to affect your nation’s education scores. “Political Stability” resolutions are going to decrease your nation’s political freedoms. “Repeals” are going to reverse whatever effects the original resolution’s passage had on nations. (This is even true if your nation wasn’t a WA member when the original resolution passed.)

Other players are “Role Players.” They really think about the text - what it means, how it can be interpreted, and how to make it better. They often have “ambassadors” or “representatives” in the GA chambers that speak on resolution topics. They may include actions or “events” within the text of their forum posts that go beyond a mere statement of support/opposition, etc.

The “Role Play” rules within the GA are pretty straightforward - there is “mandatory compliance” with all GA resolutions. After a resolution is passed, gnomes go to each WA member nation and change your national laws to comply with whatever passed. However, there is a long and storied history of “Loophole Exploitation” when it comes to finding ways around resolutions that you may not personally care for.

Some loopholes are left in legislation intentionally. I often do this in my own proposals as I feel that there are some details that can be much better covered by individual member nations than by WA dictate. A common saying in the GA is “One size fits none.” If you try to make all WA member nations the same, exactly, you’ll often end up with a lower quality proposal that may not even apply to all WA member nations by the time you’re through.

Mandatory Compliance

There’s been a fair amount of discussion in the GA/Moderation over the past few months about whether or not compliance really is mandatory or not. I don’t want to jump into the rules right here, but for those that are WA members, you’ll remember that you get a TG notification from the WA, letting you know that your laws have been brought into compliance with XYZ resolution, whenever a new one is passed. (Or notifying you upon a repeal, as your nation is no longer required to comply.)

It’s not uncommon for member states to try to loophole resolutions as best they can, to try to avoid complying with resolutions they find particularly distasteful - for whatever reason. It’s also something of a game for some for certain nations. (coughcough) Kenny’s nation even has a Creative Solutions Agency - started during the UN days - which is in charge of determining the best way around less than optimal resolutions.

Anyhow, more recently, there have been a few nations, who have been vocal about how they don’t think compliance is mandatory, because IRL, nations are not forced to comply with UN resolutions and the like. This discussion brings back the whole NS =/= RL discussion that I’ll go into more detail on in the next lesson. However, it also brings up God-modding, to some extent. I don’t know how much you guys engage in RP, and I wasn’t really planning to get into God-modding in this lesson. However, a walk-through of WHY/HOW compliance is mandatory can be found here, from the NS moderation forum.



A lot of these questions - and those for future assignments - won’t necessarily have “right” or “wrong” answers. One of my goals for this class is to really make you guys think about the General Assembly and what it all involves. As such, there will be a lot of short-answer questions that are more about the content and information than being “right” or “wrong.”

  • How do you think of General Assembly legislation? Are you a “stat-wanker,” a “role player,” or something I’ve overlooked? How do you feel that you fit within that “grouping” ?
  • Check out the Historical Resolutions. (NS archive) Pick any proposal (passed, failed, repealed, withdrawn, deleted, etc.) that catches your eye. What made you look more closely at that proposal? What did you like/dislike/etc., about that proposal?
  • Take a look at some of the other GA proposals in the GA forum and leave your comments as to what you think of the proposal for the author to consider. Are there loopholes that you’re concerned about? Is the topic something you think is appropriate for the GA to legislate on? I’m not asking or expecting you to be able to handle rule-breaking, but do you have any concerns about the legislation in question? Or, do you support it wholeheartedly? I don’t expect you to repost your comments here, but if you want to include a link (or two or more, if you’re feeling industrious!) here, so I know you’ve completed this part of the coursework, that would be fabulous.

Along those same lines, to learning how to think about and review GA legislation, check out some of the proposals that are currently being drafted in the GA or the currently submitted GA proposals.

Specific questions to think about include:

  • Are there loopholes that you’re concerned about?
  • Is the topic something you think is appropriate for the GA to legislate on?
  • I’m not asking or expecting you to be able to handle rule-breaking (especially not so early on in your GA education!), but do you have any concerns about the legislation in question?

Authors of GA proposals generally appreciate feedback and suggestions. Of course, they may not agree with your arguments or ideas, but one of the best ways to learn about GA proposals is to interact with other authors during the drafting process. Sometimes you’ll get something “wrong” (i.e. regarding rules, precedent, understanding, etc.), but I’m a big believer that everyone learns best by doing. Get involved, ask questions - it’s the best way to improve yourself as a future GA author - or even just to become an informed GA voter.


As a general note, we’ll probably have in the neighborhood of 2 weeks between this and the next lesson, but I’m willing to try to post weekly thereafter, if that’s what you guys would prefer. However, when you “turn in your homework,” feel free to comment with whether or not you’d like to see the courses spaced out more, such as every 2 weeks, now that you’ve gotten a look at the scope of what the first lesson looks like.

And, naturally, questions and clarifications are welcome. I won’t be around much for the next two weeks, but I’ll try to be more “available” in general, otherwise. I know we’ve got a few other experienced WA authors around here, and hopefully some of them can chime in if anything comes up while I’m away.

Thanks for your interest, and I can’t wait to see your responses!

NatSovs are smart. IntFeds are power-hungry lunatics.

Oh, wait, you wanted more of an explanation than that? :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically, the battle over National Sovereignty versus International Federalism is two sides of the same coin. The General Assembly (as the WA, and UN before it) exists to remove National Sovereignty. However, there are different extents to which such national powers can be affected. Additionally, most NatSov’ers believe that there are at least some topics that are appropriate for international legislation. (The details vary, depending on which NatSov’er you’re talking to, but I - generally - feel that health care and education and many human rights resolutions are among those that have an international component.)

NatSov authors are generally fans of repeals - especially of what they view as overreaching legislation - and may pass “blockers” to prevent additionally interference from the GA on particular topics. Notable blockers include “Nuclear Arms Possession Act” and “Clean Prostitute Act.”

NatSov representatives on the NS forums are often fond of finding “loopholes” within legislation that they can exploit to evade compliance. This often requires very careful wording of proposals on the part of the author in order to prevent especially damaging loopholes. (Many successful repeals are built upon problematic loopholes within a resolution’s text.)

International Federalists believe that because the GA has the power to remove national sovereignty from WA member nations, it should do so wherever and whenever it can. Many of the “One Size Fits None” proposals that I mentioned above have IntFed leanings. (For the record, good IntFed legislation exists. Just to clarify. nods)

My personal opinion is that most players - and authors - start off as being IntFed. (I know I was an true blue IntFed back in the day.) As they learn more about legislation and further develop their nation, ambassadors, etc., they may develop more NatSov leanings. Of course, some more experienced players become even more entrenched in the IntFed philosophy, but I suppose we can’t all be perfect, right? :wink:

In all seriousness, I feel that being able to honestly and frankly evaluate GA legislation is based on the ability to think beyond how a proposed resolution will affect more than just your own nation. The NationStates multi-verse is composed of many different sorts of nations - different cultures, different tech levels, and even different species. (There’s one nation of sapient bears that posts frequently on the NS forums, for example.)

For more reading on this topic, you may want to peruse this thread on the NS forums. Knootoss (the OP) is a notable National Sovereigntist. This post (within the same thread), is from Sionis Prioratus, who is a known International Federalist - and one of the notable authors that I admire and respect with such staunch IntFed bonafides.

NationStates =/= Real Life

When it comes time to read (or draft) a proposal, try to think of other nations you may have run into. While there are some nations who enjoy Role Playing extreme nations who don’t have many resolutions at all that apply to them, most variations can be covered with a well-written proposal. And, of course, it’s possible that many of these issues won’t be discovered until your proposal is in the drafting phase on the NS forums.

For example, when I was drafting my Essential Medication Act, the original draft was pretty much a blatant Medical Marijuana proposal … until someone asked why I was legalizing medical marijuana use when marijuana may be lethal to some cultures/species. That made me think outside the box and reorient the entire proposal. It’s now much more general - and therefore, I think, more generally applicable to all WA member nations.

Reasonable Nation Theory

This is a commonly held standard for judging a proposal within the GA framework, as discussed above.

Throughout the long history of NationStates (and the UN/WA/GA), there have always been nations that wanted to make noise by saying, “This resolution doesn’t apply to me because of X.” Some of those concerns may be valid - i.e. my nation has outlawed cars, so your Automobile Manufacturing resolution has no effect on us. Other concerns might be a bit … out there. For example, I believe there was a nation who stated that their nation did not know how to read during the first debate/passage of my Universal Library Coalition proposal.

This isn’t to say that you should change your RP for your nation to magically fit with whatever proposal is being debated. If you have an issue with how the proposal is worded - and you feel that it is too narrow or focused - certainly say so. However, repeatedly claiming that a resolution “doesn’t apply to your nation” because of increasingly convoluted rationales is generally considered poor form and rude to the proposal authors you’re interacting with.

Of course, this isn’t to be confused with what you think a reasonable nation should do. In a recent GA debate, it was argued that we didn’t need a “Child Emancipation” law because nations should be using a “threshold of majority” (versus a set age of majority - i.e. 16 or 18). As all nations were (theoretically) using a “threshold of majority,” 14 year olds would become adults - internationally - if they had crossed this magical threshold.

This was an instance of an individual poster imposing his beliefs of what a “reasonable nation should do,” which should not be confused with the aforementioned Reasonable Nation Theory.

What are WA puppets, and why would you use one?

As described above, there are some nations that don’t like to have the stat changes of the WA to affect their main nation … and other nations that don’t like having to comply with WA resolutions when they Role Play.

Of course, there are other nations that have had their main nation ejected from the WA for rule-breaking (more on that to come in a subsequent lesson), so they can’t be in the WA with their main nation. Others engage in a lot of the R/D game and designate one puppet for WA submissions. (As you only need 2 endorsements for submission, it doesn’t take long to do a quick WA switch for submission and then switch your WA back to a different puppet for R/D.) These nations often have “WA Mission” tacked onto the end of their nation name, or something similar. Actual examples include [nation]Mahaj WA Seat[/nation] and [nation]Unibotian WA Mission[/nation].

NAPA, FoMA, RoAA … Huh?

There are lots of pieces of legislation that have been passed in the GA. And, because the regular GA proposal authors often refer back to a lot of the same pieces of legislation … we get lazy and like to use Acronyms.

NAPA = Nuclear Arms Possession Act
FoMA = Freedom of Marriage Act
RoAA = Reduction of Abortion Act

… You get the point.

Sometimes this is more confusing than helpful. For example, I was recently having a discussion with a fellow ambassador about wanting to repeal CPA. I meant Child Protection Act. He thought I meant Clean Prostitute Act. Very different pieces of legislation, and only one of those was on my To Repeal list. Definitely something to be careful about when using acronyms.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone to spell out what IDE or ULC or EMA or … whatever. We’re lazy, but we’re not mean. (… usually :wink: ) [for the record: IDE = International Drug Education, ULC = Universal Library Coalition, EMA = Essential Medication Act]

Sometimes, however, the acronyms are for committees - and not for resolution names. The WHA (World Health Authority) is probably the most common committee, and it’s appeared in probably a half-dozen or so resolutions, in some form or another.

A lot of these questions - and those for future assignments - won’t necessarily have “right” or “wrong” answers. One of my goals for this class is to really make you guys think about the General Assembly and what it all involves. As such, there will be a lot of short-answer questions that are more about the content and information than being “right” or “wrong.”

For example, the Child Protection Act does not criminalize child abuse. While children have the right to not be abused (and to have claims of abuse investigated), no crime has necessarily been committed by those who abuse children. (for the record, this resolution is one that I repealed for this very reason)

  • How could you possibly reword that clause/phrase to close the loophole? Alternatively, what phrasing could you add to the resolution text to close that loophole?

This last “task” is meant as practice - to better prepare you to close the inevitable loopholes that will emerge in your first proposal draft. We haven’t covered the GA rules yet, but it’s illegal to submit a proposal that is largely the text of someone else’s proposal (or UN resolution), as that is considered plagiarism.

A Quick Note Before We Start: I drafted this up a few years ago - well before being modded - and it’s meant to serve as a player-to-player guide to the GA. I don’t moderate on off-site forums and I don’t provide “advice as a moderator” on off-site forums. Thanks for your understanding.

For starters, there are two forum posts on the rules in the GA section. Personally, I prefer the older one (what can I say? I’m a creature of habit), but technically, the newer one is the one that’s “in effect.” The rules are pretty much the same, though, so it’s not like either one should trip you up much, if at all … The former, however, doesn’t have information on the new category changes,

I’m going to cover all of the rules listed in those threads, but I may “re-arrange” the order a bit to try to make things clearer. I’m also going to be trying to link to examples of most of these infractions throughout - mostly by using examples found in the Silly and Illegal Proposals Thread.

The rules are complicated - no doubt. And I’m hoping that by giving you illustrations of what not to do … that might help. I’ll occasionally toss in examples of “legal proposals,” but except for particular circumstances, I’m not sure how useful that would be. However, I’ve tried to link to a lot of examples of “what’s wrong with this picture” throughout, to try to illustrate a lot of the problems.

Game Mechanics

Game Mechanics is basically trying to write stuff into your proposal that affect how the game works. Max covers an example of this in the NS FAQ:

[quote]Can I make a resolution to add war to the game?
The WA is not there to request new game features. I admit this would be nice: propose a change, vote it through, and BAM! The game gets better. But then, I would have to make the BAM! part happen. It would require me to spend so much time rewriting game code that I wouldn’t be able to pursue my real passion, which is earning enough money to buy food, and staying sane.

WA resolutions are a way to bring all member nations into line on a particular issue; be that environmental, democratic, free trade, or whatever. Don’t suggest game improvements there. They just clutter up the place. And they make people think, “Hey, yeah, that would be cool! Why doesn’t that bum Max Barry get off his ass and do that?” I get e-mails.[/quote]

For example, this proposal tries to repeal a bunch of repeals that were passed. I’m sticking this under Game Mechanics because you can’t repeal a repeal - just not allowed under the current game system. It has more things wrong with it as well, no doubt, but that’s a good start, at least.

Ideas for technical improvement belong in the Technical forum of NS. Other examples of this include things like, “Requires all WA member nations to use gold as their currency.” (You can’t change every nation’s currency field via a WA resolution.)

Rules on Blockers: Another item under Game Mechanics is that you can’t close off entire aspects of legislation within your text. You can’t write a proposal that “Decrees that WA member states will have the authority to make all decisions regarding human rights within their nation.” Of course, that line would conflict with about 80 passed resolutions, but you can’t just decide to deny access to a given category by passing a proposal.

However, it is legal to write a legal blocker, to prevent legislation on a certain topic. As I mentioned previously, NAPA (Nuclear Arms Possession Act) is a pretty good example of this. In order to be a legal blocker, there has to be at least one clause in there that forces WA nations to do something.

[spoiler=“Breakdown of how NAPA is a legal blocker”]Actual Example - Nuclear Arms Possession Act:

[quote]Category: International Security | Strength: Mild

Description: REALIZING that WA members are outnumbered by non members by about 3 to 1,

ACKNOWLEDGING the fact that only WA members are required to comply with WA resolutions,

NOTICING the fact that many non member nations are hostile towards WA members,

REALIZING that the WA members need to be able to defend themselves if attacked,

1. DECLARES that WA members are allowed to possess nuclear weapons to defend themselves from hostile nations,

2. PRESERVES the right for individual nations to decide if they want to possess nuclear weapons,

3. REQUIRES that any nation choosing to possess nuclear weapons take every available precaution to ensure that their weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.[/quote]
Blue: - Blocking clause that prevents further legislation. (In this case, it forbids the future banning of nuclear weapons.)
Red: - National Sovereignty-style clause. (In this case, it works with the blocking clause to ensure that WA member nations are not required to possess nuclear weapons.)
Green: - Legislative clause that DO something. (This makes the above 2 clauses legal.)
In contrast, this is an illegal blocker as it doesn’t do anything other than block future legislation.

WA Army: We don’t get to have a WA Army or a WA Peacekeeping Force or a WA Police Squad or … whatever you want to call it. No matter how you try to do it, the mods will see it coming from a mile away. (Example proposal) So don’t even think about it. The reasons for it are definitely of the Meta-Gaming sort, and - if you ask me - WA Army-like actions belong in the SC.

Ideological Bans: You’re not allowed to outlaw capitalism, communism, socialism, democracy, dictatorships, etc., just because you want to. These kinds of governments exist within NS, and the WA can’t magically make them disappear just because you passed a resolution saying that XYZ is Bad. (First proposal in this post, as an example)


This is similar, in some ways, to the Game Mechanics rule and is one that is said to “break the fourth wall.” Examples would include proposals that cover specific nations or regions, proposals that require specific forum activities, etc. A simpler way of looking at it might be to think of it as requiring particular actions to be done by a player. (Example)

For example, I can’t write a proposal to require all Delegates to vote FOR my resolutions when they’re at vote. (It would be nice if I could, but … no dice.) I can’t write a proposal that requires nations to Role Play something on the forums. And, on that line of thought, we have the …

Committee Rule: Nations can’t sit on committees (Example), and they are also subject to the same MetaGaming/Game Mechanics rules that are listed above. (You can’t create a committee to do stuff that your proposal can’t legally do anyway.)

Committees should be in addition to a proposal. If all that your proposal does is talk about a committee (and what the committee does), you don’t have a legal proposal. A more detailed mod walkthrough of this rule can be found here, but, basically, if you eliminate all of the committee stuff … do you have anything left other than your preamble? It may help to ask yourself this question if you’re looking at a proposal that introduces a committee: What does this proposal do outside of the committee stuff?

For example, this proposal is mostly about a new committee that it creates - Office for Education Exchange (OEX). However, Under Section III, Clause 4 (and 4a), the proposal goes beyond just what the committee does.

Non-WA Nations: You can’t affect non-WA nations in your proposal. (Example 1 & Example 2) They’re not bound by WA law, so you can’t strip them of their nuclear capabilities. It is legal to “invite non-WA nations to participate” … but that gets complicated, so I wouldn’t recommend trying to walk that fine line for your first proposal draft.

Optionality: This mainly refers to proposals that have language saying “WA Nations can ignore this proposal if they want” … or something to that effect. Mild proposals will often have weak verbiage - Recommends, Suggests, etc. That’s absolutely fine.

The first proposal in this post is illegal for this reason, as it contains the following clause: 5. Strongly urges all NationStates to adopt this resolution but declares it non-binding as many nations are theocracies or otherwise based on a certain religion.


This is the “meat” of the rules. The above are general content issues, but these really get down to how your proposal is written and what it does.

For the record, there is no required method that you must use to format your proposals. For example, I have a quick-hit list of 3 different resolutions that are all formatted differently, which is totally okay, provided no other rules are being broken.

  1. GA#2 - Rights and Duties of WA States
  2. GA#15 - Freedom of Marriage Act
  3. GA#23 - Ban on Slavery and Trafficking

And there are more ways, yet, to arrange your proposal, depending on your personal preference. So long as the proposal follows the rules, the exact setup/formatting of your clauses doesn’t matter too much. (Although: any repeal must end with a REPEALS Resolution XYZ line of some nature, I suppose. But we’ll cover that in a bit.)

Proposal Language: Proposals need to be in English. That’s pretty much all this rule is.

Your proposal won’t be in trouble if you have the occasional typo or grammar error, but you may get laughed out of the GA if you submit a typo-ridden proposal. (So far as I’m aware, however, the existence of 800 typos does not make your proposal illegal.) However, it’s not unknown for typo-containing proposals to pass into law. Often these typos are where a letter is missing from a word and somehow forms a different word instead. Spell check won’t catch that one, although I do sometimes wonder if some ambassadors even understand the concept of spell check.

Blogposal (Goes Nowhere/Does Nothing): Fairly self-explanatory. This is a proposal that talks more about why XYZ is bad and doesn’t actually do anything due to a lack of operational clauses. They often read like a blog post, rather than a piece of actual legislation. “I think we should XYZ” is usually a helpful trick in identifying these. (Example)

This may also include proposals that ask questions rather than make statements. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the WA would make sure that no one was starving to death?” Yeah, sure, but that’s a question you ask yourself before you write your proposal - not the question you ask within the proposal text itself.

Real World Violations: If you reference Barack Obama, Mahmoud Amadinejad, Queen Elizabeth, etc., in your proposal it’ll be nuked. If you start talking about RL nations (India, Japan, Canada, etc.), ambassadors will likely start asking why you’re saying that India has done XYZ thing - and asking for evidence. Nation States =/= Real Life While you can use RL evidence and concepts for ideas/support within your proposal, you can’t have any RL references unless you want your proposal yanked. (Example - and to clarify, it’s the countries being mentioned that make this illegal, not the naming of specific drugs)

Further, if you actually want to talk about the NS region of [region]India[/region], again, you’re in the wrong chamber. Head over to the SC and talk to them about that stuff.

Joke Proposals: They’re great to draft up and post, but not a great idea to submit. “The Right to Arm Bears” was only funny the first few times it was drafted. Same goes with “Outlaw Di-Hydrogen Oxide.”

Still, they can be amusing and help to bring some joie de vivre to the sometimes stuffy GA chambers. Examples include Anti-Anti-Theism Act, Free Money!, and WA Ambassadorial Drug Act.

The WA subforum - much to my dismay - also now has a Joke Proposal Thread, where all Joke Proposals are supposed to go. I don’t like it because it ruins some of the fun of posting joke proposals. If you’re the author, having people wonder if you’re serious for the first 20 minutes after it’s posted is fun. If you’ve just stumbled upon the thread, trying to determine if the author is serious can also be entertaining. But, sadly, that practice will (theoretically) be no more …

Character limit: The approximate character limit on WA proposals is 3500 characters, including spaces. I could have sworn I saw a Tech post somewhere, sometime, where [violet] said that BBcode doesn’t count towards that, so I can’t be positive. Still, it’s a good ballpark figure all the same. Most word processors include a character count (along side word count, usually), so you can check where you are as you do your drafting.

There’s also a character limit to Proposal Titles, which I believe is 30 - including spaces. So keep that in mind next time you see an odd-ball abbreviation in a GA proposal title.

Grossly Offensive: Don’t kill off all XYZ ethnic/racial/religious group. Don’t deport all XYZ group. Don’t strip XYZ group of all their rights. And so on. (I think it’s fairly straightforward, but here is an example anyway.)

Bloody Stupid: Some things are just not topics the WA should be concerning itself with. We don’t need to mandate that all cars be painted purple. We don’t need to ensure that all children who eat their veggies get an allowance. (Example)

Branding: The only sort of nation or region name that may (legally) be in your GA proposal is that of up to ONE co-author. Even then, if you use the [nation] tags, you need to be sure to use the [nation=short] tag, as their pretitle is not allowed unless you want to fall afoul of this rule. (The Security Council, obviously, has different rules on this matter, however.)

Branding is also naming your nation (or another nation, or a region, etc.) within the proposal text. This lovely proposal (which also has a host of other issues) references their own nation twice within the proposal text, which is not allowed. (Another example and one more)

Branding also includes working an Acronym into your proposal that spells out your nation or region name, for example. (The now-repealed “Nautical Pilotage Act” had a U.N.I.B.O.T. committee - Universal Nautical Institute of Buoyage Oversight and Transportation.) The mods may have missed that one, but don’t think about trying that again.

Of course, you are allowed to spell out things with acronyms. One that still makes me laugh is the “Standardised Passport Act,” as they created the Global Emigration, Security, Travel And Passport Organisation. I’ve also written the Missing Individuals Act, which spells out M.I.A., which amused me to no end.

Category Violations

I think that Categories are one of the harder rules to “figure out,” since there’s so many, and it can be difficult to find the Right One. (Note: don’t worry too much about the “details” of this one right now since we’ll be going into more detail on the GA proposal categories in the next set of lessons.)

As a result, it’s generally recommended to pick a category before you start writing your proposal. It’s much easier to fit your proposal to a specific category if you know what you’re aiming for - rather than trying to shoehorn it in later.

If you submit your proposal under the wrong category, it’ll get yanked. Same goes if you submit a repeal without using the repeal function. (I’ll cover repeals more in a minute.)

Strength Violation: If you have a proposal filled with Mandates, Requires, Demands, etc., and submit with a Mild strength, you’re likely to get your proposal killed.

For Categories that have a “strength,” the order goes from Mild → Significant → Strong. It has been ruled in the past that some categories (i.e. those with various Decisions - such as Gun Control, Gambling, and Recreational Drug Use) are Significant/Strong in strength. I’d presume that the Education and Creativity category is more Mild in strength, but that’s never been officially declared.

For Categories that have Decisions/Areas of Effect, make sure you pick the right one when submitting. This proposal (titled Legalize Weed Now!) was submitted under the Outlaw decision of Recreational Drug Use. (It also has a RL reference of America … among other issues.)


Repeals must be submitted using the repeal function. At the bottom of each of the Passed, Un-Repealed Resolutions, there’s a [Repeal this Resolution] link. GA#1 isn’t repealable, but everything else is fair game. (Example of trying to repeal without using the repeal function)

Repeals need to have the final “Repeals GA#X.” I usually toss in the “Resolution Name” too, but I don’t know that that’s required. If you don’t finish by stating that the GA is Repealing whatever prop you’re aiming for, you have an illegal resolution on your hands.

Repeals cannot legislate. All they can do is repeal. You can’t promise a replacement - that’s Metagaming as you can’t guarantee that a replacement will pass. You can’t “declare that WA nations will make these decisions for themselves going forward” - not without passing a new resolution that says that. Your repeal text should be an explanation of all the problems within the resolution in question. (Example of a repeal trying to introduce new legislation)

NatSov Argument: Repeals can have NatSov arguments - but that can’t be the only argument. (Example) NatSov is an easy argument that can be used against any resolution. Those who try to repeal contentious topics (i.e. FoMA (Freedom of Marriage Act)) often run into this problem, as their main objection to the resolution in question is that their nation can’t ban gay marriage. They can be repealed … but it’s much more difficult to do so. (Note: most NatSov arguments could be made into a legal argument with some careful wording. Whether those arguments are popular, though, is a different story.)

Mentioning “Rule Breaking”: Now, as infallible as the mods are, occasionally rule-breaking proposals get to a vote before the issue is discovered. One a resolution is at vote it’s “safe” - and the only way to keep it from becoming law is to vote it down.

If an illegal resolution passes, the repeal text cannot mention the illegality within it. (This is really a MetaGaming argument as the rules don’t “exist” from an In Character perspective, per the mods.)

Honest Mistakes: If you misunderstand what the resolution in question does, and submit a repeal on those grounds, this will get your proposal yanked. It can happen with non-repeals, but it’s most common with repeals itself.

Duplication / Contradiction

You can’t duplicate or contradict already existing legislation. If we’ve already legalized gay marriage, you can’t submit a proposal that magically outlaws it.

So far as duplication goes, minor duplication (i.e. one clause that echoes what a different proposal has already done) is generally ok, as it may just serve to ensure that XYZ right is maintained, even if the original resolution is repealed. Another fine line to walk, so I’d suggest trying to stay clear of this for your first few proposal drafts.

Amendments: You can’t amend proposals. TL;DR answer is that the coding is too complicated to do so. The only option for changing a proposal is to repeal it and replace it with something better. Details, for those so inclined, can be found here and here.

This proposal is an example of an attempt at amending a resolution - via repeal, apparently.

House of Cards: Don’t mention other resolutions within your text. (This is also a rule that’s been introduced after I passed my first resolution.) If the resolutions you cite are all repealed, a lot of your arguments in favor of your resolution are suddenly gone. (Lots of the old UN nations fall afoul of that rule - including my Historical Resolution. That was “common practice” back then - as it wasn’t against illegal at that time.)

(As an aside, this rule does not apply during repeals, and - if memory serves - it was past Euro President/WAD Oliver Grey who asked the question that ended up with that ruling being handed down)

Please note that you can give new responsibilities to an already existing committee, but you shouldn’t be trying to “add on” to an existing resolution - otherwise, you run the risk of having your proposal be viewed as an Amendment to the resolution in question.


This is one of two or three violations that can earn you an instant kick from the WA. (And once you’re kicked, you can’t rejoin with that same nation.) Whether it’s copying another player’s proposal, whether it’s copying a now-defunct Historical Resolution (if it’s not yours), whether it’s doing copy-pasta from wikipedia, etc. - don’t do it. (Example, and another, and another)

Schedule of Offenses

Generally, WA nations get “three strikes” before they’re booted from the WA. From what I’ve heard, there is some leeway there - if your violations are fairly minor, you may get more “chances.” I’d figure that nations with 3 strikes over a number of years are probably fine - versus those who earn 3 strikes within a few weeks.

As I said above, Plagiarism is one that will get you booted ASAP. Grossly Offensive usually will too. If you resubmit a rule-breaking proposal without any changes, you may get ejected as well.

If you get ejected from the WA: that nation cannot rejoin the WA. However, you can move a new puppet into the WA instead. This is one way in which Testlandia WA Mission might pop up.

How do I check for all of these rules when writing a proposal?

Wellllll … reading through the rules (which you’ve now done) definitely helps. However, it’s hard to remember all the rules - let alone keep track of them all - when you’re a new proposal author. A lot of them may be common sense, but a lot more are more complicated and intricate.

This is why it is so important to make sure that you post your draft on the NS forums for a least a week (if not longer!) prior to submission. A lot of the GA regulars will do a legality check for you - especially if you ask nicely and say up-front that you’re a new author who could use some help. You might get some snarkiness in response, but hopefully you’ll get some useful comments too.

Proposal drafting is a marathon, not a sprint. The faster you rush your text from draft to submission, the less time there is for people to check out potential legality issues. Take your time - and do it right the first time.

I’ve picked 20 proposals that (truly) were at one point submitted for delegate consideration. (Under the UN, WA, etc.) I’ve pasted them into this dispatch, and I’d like you all to check through them and see what sorts of illegalities you can spot. I’ve found at least 35 “things wrong” with the proposals (in total), but unless you’ve really familiarized yourself with the GA rules, it’s unlikely you’ll find ALL of them.

However, challenge yourself to find as many as you can and maybe jot down a note (or at least a mental note) about why it’s illegal - i.e. “Game Mechanics because of this line” or “MetaGaming because it tries to affect non-WA nations” or … whatever.

Also note: That “35+” count doesn’t even touch on duplication/contradiction here. We’re looking at the other rules since checking for duplication/contradiction is more complicated than this lesson is intended to cover.

After you find as many illegalities as you can, pick 3 (or more!) of the illegalities you found and fix them. It’s not uncommon for illegalities to abound in first proposals, and knowing how to fix your issues is a good skill to learn. However, as a friendly (modly) reminder, it’s illegal to submit a proposal that is largely the text of someone else’s proposal (or UN resolution), as that is considered plagiarism.

The GA Proposal Categories (formerly the WA Proposal Categories, formerly-formerly the UN Proposal Categories) have developed and evolved over time.

The original UN had no Repeal option. sadface Education & Creativity, as well as Advancement of Industry, have both been introduced since the start of the WA - in March of 2006, I believe. (Repeals were introduced in September of 2004.) The Health category was introduced in February 2014. There have also been some discussions in the Tech forum (of NS) to add more, new categories:

So while it’s possible that the category options may be expanded at some point, eventually, maybe … In the meantime, here are the GA Categories that you currently have to work with:


This one … doesn’t really exist. Max used it to pass WA#1 - The World Assembly, but it’s not a category we - as the general public - can use. Doesn’t stop me from hoping that Max will use it again to start the next incarnation of the UN, though. :stuck_out_tongue:


The Environmental Category is one of the few categories that doesn’t use strengths … but rather has an Area of Effect. Or, in this case, Industry Affected. Until recently, the only possible “industry affected” options were fairly specific and difficult to write for. The industry affected options were altered and expanded and now include: Automotive, Mining, Logging, Manufacturing, Agriculture, or Fishing.

The other Environmental option is “All Industries” - and this is a really strong “category strength” because it impacts all industries. If you’re writing a resolution to this category - and that affected industry - make sure that your text is strong enough to match the stat impact that’ll have on the WA nations if it passes. As such, be prepared to face explain why you think your proposal should be passed, despite it’s strong impact on both the environment … and on all a nation’s industries.

Human Rights

The Human Rights Category is one of the easier categories in which to pass a proposal. (After all, what sort of read-nothing fluffy doesn’t like human rights?) Significant is the most common strength used here - mostly because most proposals “Strongly impact a specific arena of legislation.” For example, last year, I passed Biomedical Donor (& Recipient) Rights, and they strongly impacted the rights of biomedical donors (& recipients) … but only them. So it wasn’t “Strong,” but it certainly wasn’t “Mild” either. As such: significant!

Moral Decency

Maybe it’s a sign of all the amoral people who play NS, but there are only two Moral Decency resolutions currently in effect. Generally, this isn’t a category that inspires the interest of most proposal authors … apparently.

Free Trade

If you want to boost your nation’s economy, a Free Trade proposal is likely just what you’re looking for. Most of the proposals in this category are Mild as the ones with wide-reaching effect are (often) met with opposition from those darn NatSov’ers that want the WA to stop telling us what to do with our import/export laws. :stuck_out_tongue:

Social Justice

The Social Justice category is sometimes referred to as the “shoehorn it in there” category. If you have a semi-fluffy topic and don’t know where to put it, you can probably turn it into a Social Justice proposal. (Pre-Education & Creativity, my first Universal Library Coalition resolution - in the UN - was passed as Social Justice.) Many resolutions that would now be a better fit in the new Health category are currently under Social Justice. (World Health Authority, Access to Life Saving Drugs, Quality in Health Services, etc.) They were passed before the Health category existed, and despite some discussion about “moving already passed resolutions to the new category,” they are currently staying in the category they were originally passed in.

The Furtherment of Democracy

Writing in The Furtherment of Democracy Category can be difficult - mostly because of the Ideological Ban rule. NationStates - obviously - has non-democratic government types. (Dictatorship, Tyranny, etc.) By GA law, you can’t “outlaw” non-democratic government types (see, again, the Ideological Ban rule), so wording in this resolution needs to be careful, depending on what you’re going for.

Of course, Freedom of Assembly is one thing - and a bit easier to accomplish here - but Elections and Assistance Act was likely a more complicated balancing act for the author. As such, these resolutions tend to be the closest you can get to having a legal proposal that’s optional, to some extent. (i.e. set standards for elections, but if a nation never has elections, the provisions of the resolution don’t apply to them)

Political Stability

Apparently, Political Stability is another yawn-worthy category. (Political Upheaval is no doubt more interesting. :P) However, I’d argue that one of the more important/essential GA resolutions (Rights and Duties of WA States) is such a resolution, so there’s certainly some merit to be found here. Of course, since Rights and Duties already covered, like, everything … what else is there to write proposals about here? :wink:

Gun Control

The Gun Control Category is another non-strength category. You have two “decision” options - Tighten or Relax. Both of these are pretty darn strong, which means that you can’t merely “recommend” XYZ change.

The first resolution passed in this category (in the WA) was my first repeal - once more, my NatSov side shining through … There is currently one active resolution passed in this category.

International Security

The International Security Category has a much more obvious “international component” and - as such - is likely easier to “justify” - versus the political stability category. (Please note: “justify” - as used previously - is probably mostly applicable to the NatSov types, such as myself. :P)

Global Disarmament

The Global Disarmament Category is another that isn’t all that popular. Probably because many “leaders” in NS really like their guns and weapons. (After all, how many storefronts like that are there on NS? :P)

There are some really good topics to be had here - Nuclear Testing Safety and The Landmine Convention - but given that there are waaaaay more non-WA member nations out there versus WA nations … Good luck convincing the majority of nations to give up their nukes.


Another Oh-fer category here with Gambling. The two “decisions” here are Legalize or Outlaw - and, again, this is a Strong category by nature. It’s unlikely that a strong proposal around one of those decisions will win enough support to pass - especially since the NatSov crowd is likely to vote against regardless of what the subject is. As such, the one passed resolution that deals with Gambling? It’s actually listed under the Education & Creativity category.

Recreational Drug Use

Recreational Drug Use is another highly difficult category to write to - again, because of the “decision” options here: Outlaw, Legalize, or Promote. Essential Medication Act, I honestly feel, was only passed because it’s essentially a Medical Marijuana resolution, and who doesn’t want to help people in need who don’t have any other form of treatment that works for them?

Not an impossible category to write to, but pretty darn difficult, all the same. I will admit, however, to having endless amounts of amusement during the days of the UN. Rarely did a week go by (or so it seemed) where there wasn’t a “Let’s legalize pot, man!” proposal submitted to the proposal list for my entertainment back in the Olden Days. There are still occasional proposals on that topic now, but they don’t seem nearly as prevalent as they used to be … [/nostalgia]

Advancement of Industry

One of the “new”(er) proposal categories, Advancement of Industry has not been used over-much. This category has “Areas of Effect” - Environmental Deregulation, Labor Deregulation, Protective Tariffs, and Tort Reform. If you can think of a proposal that fits here, you may have some luck with it, but - in my opinion - it almost seems too specialized to be overly useful (overall).

Education and Creativity

E&C (as I often short-hand it) is a much more popular category - in part because it’s got such a fluffy name. (Who doesn’t like education, right?) This category also has “Areas of Effect” - Artistic, Educational, Cultural Heritage, and Free Press. The middle two are by far the most common - and, if you ask me, we’ve never had a “real” Artistic resolution pass. (There was technically one, but I maintain that it should have been pulled on a category violation. Of course, I wasn’t active enough to file a protest on that at that time, so I should probably just let that argument die … :P)


Health (which is a category I’ve been begging for, for ages!) is the newest category, at the moment, and doesn’t yet have any proposals passed within it yet. (*Mouse-note: as of May 2014, anyhow :P)

Similar to Education and Creativity, this is another category that has “Areas of Effect” - Healthcare, International Aid, Research, and Bioethics. Healthcare is relatively straightforward, if you ask me - as is International Aid. Research will likely have some overlap with Education & Creativity, but is a more natural home for health-oriented educational resolutions. And, lastly, Bioethics is a good fit for a lot of the resolutions that aim to set international standards with regards to ethics and the like within the health/medical field.


Probably (technically) the most successful category - in part because you can’t repeal a repeal. :stuck_out_tongue: This is also one of my favorite categories as it allows us to get rid of problematic legislation. However, it’s also possible to repeal legislation I like and want to keep, so - like every category - it has its possible downsides …


Anyhow, I think that most of these categories are (fairly) straightforward, but feel free to ask any questions you might have in the interim. I’ve linked each category (except for Bookkeeping, since that’s not “real”) to the appropriate section of my Passed Resolutions, sorted by category listing. If you’re looking to write to a particular category, it can help to see what sort of style and arguments were used on other topics. Plus, it’s often a way to find similar resolutions that you need to be careful not to contradict or duplicate.


  1. [li]Pick 3 of the following “proposal topics” and assign a Category to them. Give a short-answer response, explaining why you picked the Category you did - especially as many of these topics could fit multiple categories.

    For example:
    Adoption - Human Rights
    I would want to ensure that all children (and prospective adoptive parents) are not discriminated against based off on gender, race, sexuality, etc.

    Adoption - Social Justice
    I would want to improve the welfare and wellbeing of all children who are parentless by ensuring that they can be adopted into loving homes.
  2. After you’ve done that, think of an additional 2 or more proposal topics not listed below and repeat the same process. (Pick a topic and assign it to a category, and then explain why you chose that category.)

Topics to Choose From:

  • Prisoners of War
  • Red Cross
  • Labor Unions
  • Refugee Protection
  • Diplomatic Immunity
  • Boating Safety
  • Patent law
  • Necrophilia
  • Biological Warfare
  • Save the Whales
  • International Medical Association
  • Recycling
  • Cloning
  • Infrastructure
  • Tree Planting
  • Using nuclear weapons
  • Child Support
  • Literacy
  • Organ donation
  • Black Market trade

(Side note: apologies for the slight delay in getting this up - I know I said Tuesday/Wednesday earlier, but for various reasons, the past two days have been busier than anticipated. Next week’s post is likely to be posted on Wednesday … )

One of the easiest ways to evaluate a GA proposal is go to line-by-line. Reading a proposal from start-to-finish can be somewhat overwhelming, and - depending on the skill of the author - it’s possible that they have enough fluffy “feel-good” phrases and clauses within the proposal to overshadow some of the perhaps less palatable portions.

After you finish this portion of your evaluation, you’ll probably want to evaluate the proposal as a whole, once again. Questions to ask at this point include:

  • Does the proposal work as a cohesive document? Are there any clauses or phrases that don’t seem to fit with the category or the overall theme of the proposal?
  • Are there any additional points that could or should be added?
  • Is the language clear and accessible to all?
  • Are the clauses organized in a logical order? Is there a better arrangement that would improve the readability of the text?

The easiest way I can think of to explain this process - in-depth - is to take you along with me as I evaluate a given resolution. For today, I’m going to go with the (now repealed) Reduction of Abortion Act. This same process can be used to evaluate proposals (either being drafted or that have been submitted) or already-passed resolutions when you’re considering a repeal. For the sake of this example, let’s imagine that I’m planning to repeal this resolution.

[spoiler=“Full text without commentary”]The World Assembly,

RECOGNIZING that legitimate and good-faith differences of opinion exist concerning the legality and morality of abortion, but that abortion is nonetheless a matter of concern and the reduction of abortion rates is desirable to all parties,

OBSERVING that abortion rates may be reduced by the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, improvements in relevant medical care, and increased access to information,

DEEPLY CONCERNED that member states may unintentionally increase abortion rates due to limitations on information and services that would decrease pregnancy complications and remove incentives for abortion,

BELIEVING that many resources that would reduce abortion rates are also inherently desirable such as better family planning, help for those who wish to adopt children, safer childbirth and pregnancy, prevention of rape and incest, and reduction of the emotional, economic, and physical cost on pregnant women and mothers,

DESIRING the removal of economic reasons for abortion and economic barriers to childbirth,


  1. DEFINES “abortion reduction services” as including all of the following: (1) abstinence education, (2) adoption services, (3) contraceptives, (4) family planning services, (5) pre-natal, obstetric, and post-natal medical care, counseling, and services, (6) comprehensive sex education, and (7) education, awareness, prevention, and counseling programs to prevent rape and incest;

  2. AFFIRMS the right of individuals to access information regarding abortion reduction services;

  3. STRONGLY URGES member states to research, invest in, and provide universal access to abortion reduction services;

  4. FURTHER ENCOURAGES member states to provide financial aid to pregnant individuals and parents to reduce or remove economic reasons for abortion and economic barriers to childbirth;

  5. EXPANDS the mission of the World Health Authority and its offices in WA member states to include:

a. providing universal access to abortion reduction services in accordance with national and local laws,

b. actively researching the subjects of the epidemiology of abortion and abortion reduction services and making public the results of such research in a non-political manner,

c. facilitating the sharing of technology among member states concerning abortion reduction services;

  1. DECLARES that nothing in this resolution shall affect the power of member states to declare abortion legal or illegal or to pass legislation extending or restricting access to abortion.

[quote]RECOGNIZING that legitimate and good-faith differences of opinion exist concerning the legality and morality of abortion, but that abortion is nonetheless a matter of concern and the reduction of abortion rates is desirable to all parties,

OBSERVING that abortion rates may be reduced by the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, improvements in relevant medical care, and increased access to information,

DEEPLY CONCERNED that member states may unintentionally increase abortion rates due to limitations on information and services that would decrease pregnancy complications and remove incentives for abortion,

BELIEVING that many resources that would reduce abortion rates are also inherently desirable such as better family planning, help for those who wish to adopt children, safer childbirth and pregnancy, prevention of rape and incest, and reduction of the emotional, economic, and physical cost on pregnant women and mothers,

DESIRING the removal of economic reasons for abortion and economic barriers to childbirth[/quote]
This stuff is all preamble and doesn’t really “count” when it comes to what the proposal does. That’s not to say that this section isn’t a good place to put a lot of fluffy, feel-good nonsense. For those that don’t have the high-level evaluation skills that you all do, that can be enough to win you a few votes. Of course, within this text, there are a few issues - in my mind - which I’ve highlighted with Red Text.

The first section in red seems to be aiming at the “wrong audience.” In my mind, abortion rates would be better reduced by helping those who wish to place their child up for adoption. Yes, that would - indirectly - assist those who wish to adopt, but this clause would be better suited by being more clearly worded.

The second bit in red text is laudable, but I’m uncertain how well it can be accomplished as a portion of a GA resolution. It would be nice to be all hand-wavey magic POOF! … rape and incest is no more. Again, this clause doesn’t do anything, per se … Right now, it’s just setting off my radar to stay tuned for what follows, to see how well it fulfills these stated goals.

And, look! Here we have hand-wavey magic POOF! … rape and incest is magically prevented. If I were actually interested in repealing this resolution, I’d probably do some research to see how effective the items listed under Clause 7 are at preventing rape and incest. In my (unresearched) opinion, I’d think that education and awareness - for potential victims - can go a long way towards preventing some rapes. However, incest in particular can be difficult to prevent as familial abuse of this nature can be quite difficult to prevent, no matter what education the individual in question receives.

[quote]2. AFFIRMS the right of individuals to access information regarding abortion reduction services;

  1. STRONGLY URGES member states to research, invest in, and provide universal access to abortion reduction services;[/quote]
    2 only provides the right to INFORMATION about the stuff that was defined up in Clause 1. Access to the services themselves is by no means required, which … troubles me. Understandably, some of the items mentioned under Clause 1 are contentious (notably: contraception), but I would prefer that access to pre and post-natal care would be assured worldwide, rather than merely “strongly urged.” Same goes for adoption services and family planning services.

This is a potential argument for repeal.

Some nations - particularly those that don’t think that the purpose of the WA is to pass money from the well-off nations to those that are less well-off financially, will dispute this statement. It’s definitely a contentious one, and - if this were a proposal (not a resolution) - I may have some suggestions to make it more palatable to more nations.

However, for the purposes of evaluating a potential repeal, this isn’t anything I would really do much about. Any argument I’d want to make would likely be too convoluted to be overly convincing and would only win me so many votes. Also, by arguing that we should not try to remove the economic barriers to childbirth (that may result in an abortion), I’d likely lose votes. Definitely not a net-gain here.

[quote]5. EXPANDS the mission of the World Health Authority and its offices in WA member states to include:
a. providing universal access to abortion reduction services in accordance with national and local laws,
b. actively researching the subjects of the epidemiology of abortion and abortion reduction services and making public the results of such research in a non-political manner,
c. facilitating the sharing of technology among member states concerning abortion reduction services;[/quote]
Now, I have to wonder if this somehow contradicts the STRONGLY URGES portion of the resolution text. Is the WHA able to offer abortion reduction services if the nation in question elects not to do so? I don’t think so - per the “in accordance with national and local laws” portion - but this is something that could and should have been clarified better prior to submission.

This is a personal quibble of mine with this resolution - and, actually, the other abortion resolution too. This would have been the perfect location for a real Blocking Clause. One that blocked all further legislation on the subject and let WA member nations decide everything else for themselves. However, thanks so very much to this clause that blocks NOTHING in the way of further legislation, we have On Abortion. Which was meant to be a blocker - supposedly - but also blocks NOTHING. sigh Which means that even with both of these resolutions in place, we still need to go through the abortion-proposal shitstorm every few months like clockwork.

And now, onto the questions I mentioned above:

  • [li]Does the proposal work as a cohesive document? Are there any clauses or phrases that don’t seem to fit with the category or the overall theme of the proposal?
    It mostly fits. I’m not sure how great the WHA-expansion really works, but it’s limited enough that it’s not the end of the world. Of course, those clauses almost seem more Educational in nature - versus Social Justice - but they are definitely a minor aspect of the resolution.[/li]
    [li]Are there any additional points that could or should be added?
    A real blocking clause? Actually ensuring that WA member nations comply with the more common-sense and non-controversial abortion reduction services?[/li]
    [li]Is the language clear and accessible to all?
    I think a few things could have been clarified better prior to submission, but overall, it’s fine.[/li]
    [li]Are the clauses organized in a logical order? Is there a better arrangement that would improve the readability of the text?
    I think the order is fine.[/li]

Now: your turn!

Now, it’s your turn to evaluate a GA proposal!

Pick a proposal or resolution to evaluate, and go through the text line-by-line. It would be best if you didn’t pick one that’s already been evaluating line-by-line elsewhere - i.e. on the NS forum thread - but I’ll admit that practice isn’t as commonplace as it once was during the proposal drafting phase.

Suggested locations to find a resolution or proposal to evaluate: Passed GA Resolutions, Passed Historical Resolutions, GA Proposal Submission List, NS Forums: GA.

Please answer the following questions after completing the above task -

  • Does the proposal work as a cohesive document? Are there any clauses or phrases that don’t seem to fit with the category or the overall theme of the proposal?
  • Are there any additional points that could or should be added?
  • Is the language clear and accessible to all?
  • Are the clauses organized in a logical order? Is there a better arrangement that would improve the readability of the text?

If the proposal that you’re evaluating is not yet a passed resolution, I’m sure that the author of the text would appreciate whatever insight you have to offer, should you wish to post in their NS forum thread. (hint hint)

And, if you’re evaluating a still-in-effect resolution, if this task finds you some flaws, you might be able to create a worthy repeal out of your analysis text. But we’ll cover that more in a later lesson … :wink: