Broad server reforms

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Broad server reforms

Post  SovietReunion on Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:33 pm

As I've begun to construct the Exchange and decipher what kind of polices to put in place, I've had a concern about exactly how the Exchange will be governed as Econicraft matures and inevitably gains more users. After having a discussion with spacekitsch, we've really come to the conclusion that there need to be major reforms and changes in ways that we all go about managing the server. Not just for right now, but as we gain more users, mature, and build a lasting community.

While our thinking might be somewhat different on how to go about changes, we all agree that something needs to be done and it isn't. So below will be a wall of text, but I highly encourage all of you to read it, as it will be a significant discussion on how Econicraft will be ran in the future.

COMMANDS --
This is a fairly simple one. A while ago, I believe it was suggested that the administration compile a list of all available commands on the server. This has yet to be done, and combined with how ambiguous our permissions system is, I don't know probably 90% of all the commands I can do.

While I understand /help exists in its many pages, I don't know what among those I'm allowed to do -- or for that matter really what they do in the first place. And you know what, I don't know even what plugins we do or do not have.

ADMINISTRATION AND PERMISSIONS --
The bulk of what I want to talk about: there is no way to organize staff, nothing to hold them accountable to, and no way to understand the ranking system implemented here on Econicraft.

I'm extremely concerned that as we mature as a server, that there will be such disorganization among our staff and permissions system that Econicraft becomes an unrecognizable jumble of ranks and people asking for ranks. Not just that, but also a rules and governance system where there is no formality or precedent set on how to go about being a moderator or administrator. Here's what I propose:

A populist administration, chosen and ran by regular users. I'm tired of seeing people beg for ranks and others apply for a rank without really any protocol to follow. Sure, I can post a topic saying I want this or that rank, but there's nothing saying really what that rank does, how it's chosen, and who decides it (other than Ender, it seems).

Administrator (any amount)
Let's do away with the owner rank and create a sole administrator rank. The administrator will have control over all plugins and will effectively govern both the server and forum. An executor of rules and laws, the administrators are mainly tasked with the upkeep of plugins, permission settings, and the like aside from moderating duties.

Ender should be the only permanent admin, all others should receive popular support. I think it would be best that all new admins be nominated by Ender and then approved by a majority of users here on Econicraft. If a majority of users don't like an admin, they should have the right to recall them. More on that below.

Moderator (no more than five)
Moderators need to be elected. Both to maintain accountability and activity, elections will provide for a sure method for many to attain the rank without having to beg an admin for it. Elections would be held at the end of every month with anyone being eligible to run. Admins may bar any person from running to become a moderator. As with admins, users should be able to democratically recall any moderator they deem unable to fulfill the responsibilities of their position.

Moderators are enforcers of the rules (admins take care of behind-the-scenes server stuff). They make sure that people abide by the rules and set good examples for others to follow.

Governor of the Exchange (one)
The Governor of the Exchange would be similar to a moderator position, but only having authority over economic matters. That is, making sure inflation is kept low, the price guide is adjusted regularly, and the Exchange is kept properly stocked full of items. Governors would be appointed by a concensus of the administrators, but could also be recalled by users.

General Congress (all users)
The General Congress would be made up of everyone. Mayors and residents alike. The General Congress would have the most political authority in Econicraft with the ability to:
Create new rules, abolish or change existing laws, elect moderators/admins, recall moderators/admins

Such legislation would require a majority (50%+1) to enact. However, recalling mods/admins would require two-thirds or greater.

...
...

You might notice there are a few exclusions in this organization than what we have now:
No builders. No assistants. No weird ranks, like Chief of Staff.
Econicraft must keep its ranking system clear and simple, otherwise we don't know what half of our users really are supposed to do or represent. This also means no more creative mode rank, a permissions system that must be fixed. Only admins should have creative mode, no one else. Creative gravely endangers our fragile economy.

I would enumerate what commands each of those above ranks would have access to, but alas, we have no index or explanation of what all our plugins are.

TOWNS AND NATIONS
Read my lips: no more ₢50,000 towns or nations.
Towns have gotten out of control, and we now have areas that are considered towns but only have a person or two as a resident (that is, if they're still active). We must eliminate the ₢50,000 requirement for towns and implement a new policy:

• There must be a constructed village with shops and at least three residents to be considered a town.
• There must be a group of at least three towns to form a nation.

Players can submit a request to admins to have them create a town or nation for them. I don't know how we expect to function if we have a fragmented server full of towns.

TAKING ACTION
Sadly, I know a lot of these things will be slow to put in place. I don't know if some admins are more focused on having their rank and Minecrafting, or are actually committed to administrating the server -- I can think of a couple off the top of my head. It must change, otherwise lest we see Econicraft crumble as it gets older and bigger.

I can tell there has been resistance to a formal constitutionalism here on Econicraft, but I know that it would perform so much good in getting things straight and organized here. Below is a spoiler that has the full text of the rules and laws that I had for another server. I definitely think it's worth the read. (click the white box)

Spoiler:
Drafted upon the foundation of the Commune on the 28th of February, and ratified on the 1st of March when the commune opened, the Constitution is the supreme document on the server. It combines our two guiding ideologies: constitutionalism, and democratic centralism

Constitutionalism means simply "of having a constitution", which the document itself fulfills. It also establishes the supremacy of a constitution as the supreme legal authority in the commune.

Democratic centralism establishes this General Congress as the central part to government, but also as its primary executive functioning organ. No other authority shall come above the decisions of Congress.

A Constitution
for the Commune of Minecraft
We, the people of this commune, heirs and continuators of the some of the greatest societies to grace this land, put here through the heroism and the sacrifice of out ancestors; by the slaves who rebelled against their master; by the great patriots of this land who put their comrades before themselves in the building of this society; by the people who struggles to achieve the dream that an entire land promised them; by the ideas of democracy, liberalism, and social equality for all; by the fight against the exploitation and horrors of man; by the fundamental law that every man is entitled to his pursuit for liberty and happiness; by means of free and fair vote hereby declare the following constitution for the Commune of Minecraft.

CHAPTER ONE: UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF RIGHTS OF THE CITIZEN
Art. I; All citizens are free and equal in dignity and rights.
Art. II; All citizens are entitled to the rights set forth in this Constitution, without distinction of any kind. These rights shall be extended across all borders in the commune, and shall not be exempt from any autonomous authority that might exist within the territory of the commune.
Art. III; This Constitution shall establish five unalienable, universal, rights: liberty, justice, security, territory, and property.
Art. IV; Liberty shall be granted in various forms, but is not limited to a concrete, specific execution of the right. No authority may place limits, nor definitions, on liberties in the Constitution.
Art. V; The freedom to speak shall not be infringed upon. Whether in publication or in conversation, the freedom to discuss any subject is considered a universal liberty.
Art. VI; The freedom to assemble where ever on the server shall not be limited. Movement, emigration, and immigration, shall not be subject to regulation by this Constitution. Assembly is considered a universal liberty by this Constitution.
Art. VII; Justice shall serve as a broad right to the communal  judicial system as established by this  Constitution. Who is shall extend to, and how it shall be administered, is established in this Constitution and its basic universal rights cannot be altered nor limited.
Art. IX; Every citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty within a lawful court of the Constitution and of the Declaration of Rights.
Art. X; No citizen may be expelled from the commune, nor suspended, without reason or without any violation of the law or established rights.
Art. XI; The right to appeal an expulsion from the commune is granted to all those who have been banned by the administrative authorities as ordained in this Constitution.
Art. XII; Security, as a right, shall extend to the personal well-being of citizens. Citizens have a right to enter a peaceful, friendly environment on the server. Those violating this right shall be subject to punishment as prescribed by law.
Art. XIII; Territory is a right that all users have in the establishment of their settlements, or construction of far-away buildings that they claim as their own. As such, no other user may build in their granted territory without their prior consent. “Building” extends to any kind of alteration of the existing environment in the territory in question.
Art. XIV; Borders, granting territory, shall be set by the communal government. Citizens withhold a right to question, object, and appeal all territorial changes.
Art. XV; Property is anything that a user builds or owns. Property cannot be taken away, destroyed, or altered without prior consent of the owner and proper compensation.
Art. XVI; Public buildings, where designated, are open to all users. No limits to usage may be placed on official government offices or chambers of legislature.

CHAPTER TWO: GENERAL CONGRESS OF THE COMMUNE
Art. XVII; In order to preserve the fair representation of all peoples in the commune, the General Congress of the Commune of Minecraft is herein established as the supreme sovereign authority of the commune.
Art. XVIII; Vested in the legislative authority of the General Congress, the legislature shall remain the only supreme administrative authority in the government, to be moderated by no other person or council. The only moderating authority to Congress shall be itself and the Constitution.
Art. XIX; The General Congress is comprised of all the citizens of the commune, each reserving one vote per person per piece of legislation introduced to Congress.
Art. XX; The General Congress cannot conduct fair legislation until the established quorum can be met. This quorum is set at three-fifths, or the nearest available fraction, as the constitutional minimum. Congress may impose other restrictions on quorum, however, Congress may not mandate a quorum lower than the constitutionally-set minimum.
Art. XXI; Members of Congress, delegates, all are given the right to propose any legislation that might create new, modify past, or amend laws.
Art. XXII; Extraordinary legislation presented to Congress, concerning the amendment of the Constitution, recall, or matters of the like, shall require a supermajority vote of 67%+1.
Art. XXIII; All other matters aside from the topics covered in Article XXII, shall require a simple majority vote of 50%+1.
Art. XXIV; Restrictions and powers not granted to Congress or any other delegated office shall rest at the will of the General Congress in the form of bylaws.

CHAPTER THREE: EXECUTIVE STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNAL GOVERNMENT
Art. XXV; Congress shall elect, on a regular basis, a Central Committee to the General Congress of the Commune of Minecraft. The Central Committee shall serve as the executive authority to, but not overriding, the General Congress.
Art. XXVI; The Central Committee will consist of a varying number of individuals, a number set by Congressional actacture.
Art. XXVII; The primary responsibility of the Central Committee will be to oversee the affairs of the commune and to moderate the General Congress in their session and votes. Otherwise, members of the committee operate without portfolio, unless designated otherwise by Congress.
Art. XXVIII; The paramount figurehead to the commune shall be vested in the office of the Delegate-General. Elected by fellow delegates of the General Congress, the Delegate-General shall act as spokesperson for the commune and as a mediated, leading, authority in congressional discussions.
Art. XXIX; Executive authority exercised by the Central Committee and the Delegate-General are restricted by the means of the Constitution and the bylaws of the General Congress. Neither of these authorities may post regulations pertaining to the powers of Congress.
Art. XXX; When not in formal session, the Delegate-General is to act as the central moderating power in the commune.

CHAPTER FOUR: JUDICIAL PROCEDURE IN THE COMMUNE
Art. XXXI; Those to be found in violation of communal law shall be brought to trial by one of two gathered councils: the Judicial Tribune of the General Congress, and the General Congress itself.
Art. XXXII; The General Congress shall elect, on a regular basis and for good measure, the Judicial Tribune of the General Congress. The composition of the tribune may be per the decree of Congress.
Art. XXXIII; The Judicial Tribune shall conduct the hearing of cases for and against the defendant brought before the tribune for investigation. If the tribune cannot reach a decision, or if the defendant would like to appeal, the case shall go before congress.
Art. XXXIV; Congressional act on the case shall be the final decision brought to the matter, no appeals may be granted after that.
Art. XXXV; Any citizen of the commune, in good faith, may bring another communal citizen before the tribune. Likewise, the tribune withholds the authority to deny hearing cases. This may be overturned by the General Congress.
Art. XXXVI; Punishment enacted by the judicial authorities of the communal shall not violate the Universal Declaration of Rights.
Art. XXXVII; Those found to be in violation of the destruction of property shall be immediately rejected from the commune and subject to further review by the appropriate judicial authority.
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SovietReunion

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