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Warning: Wall of text.

I had an idea, and I'll abandon it if it doesn't seem to get any traction. I don't know how many of you play or know about NationStates, so I'll try to explain briefly.

==== What? ====
NationStates is a web-based "game" developed by author Max Barry, probably most known for "Jennifer Government". While I haven't read any of his books yet (I'll see if I can find an epub edition one of these days), I do find NationStates quite fun (mostly due to the status updates that happens when you pass a new legislation, as I don't participate to roleplay on the boards, and there is no built-in multiplayer aspect).

Now that that's over with, I'd like to present to you my idea. I just created a new nation, Gogan (Goglandia wasn't available, and I didn't think of Gogistan until now when I'm writing this), and would like you (the whole community, or as much of it as sees fit to participate) to help me govern it. I can certainly turn the leadership over to someone else if that's preferable, but the country is the account and the account is the country, neither can exist without the other, so unfortunately I cannot allow a group to join in directly without passing around the password (password and associated e-mail can be changed at will if a change in leadership happens).

==== How? ====
Every day, two new issues will appear, with a number of choices (varying between 2-6 it seems, as well as the option to dismiss the issue). I'll throw these issues up here along with the options, and we'll vote for which position to take, after which I'll pick the most popular one. This repeats ad infinitum and the country's status updates as new legislations get passed.

On the day of the nation's founding, 4 issues are up for the vote, so today will be a bit hectic.

At most 5 issues can stay undecided (2.5 days worth), at that point no more issues will appear until they have been either dismissed or a position been taken

There is no way to "win" the game, but the country's ranking in various aspects can be seen (such as the "Industry: Pizza Delivery", "Niceness", "Intelligence", or "Political Freedoms").

Current state of the nation can be looked up on Nationstates.
History of current and past issues, and the voting results for the same, can be found on Google Docs.

==== Giveaway? ====
Yes. There is a giveaway hidden here. I want you to create the nation's flag (if more than one of you create one until about this time tomorrow, I'll have you vote for which one to use - whoever made the chosen flag will get a $5.99 GOG, regifting allowed). Please make something worthy of GOG and upload an image that is exactly 107x67 px large (WxH). For a temporary flag, I naturally chose Poland.

You have until about 22.00 (10 PM) CET on Thursday, April 11th (about 22 hours from this edit) to make a flag, voting begins after that.
Post edited April 30, 2013 by Maighstir
==== Overview ====
The Free Land of Gogan is a fledgling, pleasant nation, renowned for its compulsory military service. Its compassionate, hard-working, intelligent population of 5 million have some civil rights, but not too many, enjoy the freedom to spend their money however they like, to a point, and take part in free and open elections, although not too often.

The small government concentrates mainly on Defence, although Commerce and Social Welfare are secondary priorities. The average income tax rate is 16%. A small private sector is led by the Pizza Delivery industry, followed by Cheese Exports and Soda Sales.

Crime is a problem, and the police force struggles against a lack of funding and a high mortality rate. Gogan's national animal is the Goglodyte, and its currency is the Gog.

==== Issues ====
As said, the first day, four issues need to be adressed, if you think none of the options are correct for a given issue, you can always choose to dismiss it. Please vote on all issues, and don't forget about the flag if you're graphically inclined.

Should Democracy Be Compulsory? (issue 1)
In response to a slow news week, certain highbrow newspapers have stirred up the debate over voluntary vs compulsory voting.

1: "Compulsory voting makes about as much sense as having the death penalty for attempted suicide," says civil rights activist Dave Wong. "You can't force people to be free! You can only give them the choice. Besides, if all those derelicts who can't be bothered to get off their butts once every few years voted, who would they elect? I shudder to think."

2: "It's not contradictory at all," argues political commentator Miranda Chen. "The fact is, if not everyone votes, the outcome isn't truly representative. Some groups--like elderly gun nuts--vote more often than others. That's why we always end up with such terrible politicians."

3: "This raises an interesting issue," says Charles Smith, your brother. "And that is: why do we need elections, anyway? Seems to me it would be much simpler if you just decided what was right, and did it. Wouldn't that save everyone a lot of time?"

Uranium Deposit Promises To Enrich Gogan (issue 2)
Prospecting company Nukes4U has uncovered a large uranium deposit in Gogan's south-west.

1: "This is a terrific find!" claims Nukes4U CEO Megan Rubin. "It will provide an enormous stimulus to our economy and create thousands of new jobs. It's win-win! All we need from the government is permission to bulldoze the rainforest that's on top of the deposit."

2: "You've got to be kidding," says Green politician Chastity Malik. "This rainforest is thousands of years old! This country needs more environmental protection, not less. And to destroy the environment in order to mine uranium that then goes into nuclear bombs--well, that really sticks in my craw."

3: "There's no need for an either-or decision," says the government's Minister for Mining, Clear-Felling, and the Environment. "We can preserve most of the rainforest and allow mining of a small part. After all, think of all the good that the money from this uranium deposit can bring to Gogan."

Cloning Research Promises New Breakthrough (issue 3)
Scientists using cloned human embryos for research are on the verge of a medical breakthrough.

1: "It's really very exciting," says lab head Aaron Smith. "Until now, we've kept very quiet, to avoid being targeted by lunatic fringe groups who for some reason think it's wrong to clone human embryos. It's too early to promise anything, but we hope that one day we will have genetic cures for a whole range of debilitating illnesses. I certainly hope the government will support our work."

2: "Well, if you have to be part of a lunatic fringe group to object to this barbaric practice, I'm a lunatic," says placard-waving protestor Mia Hanover. "Of course it would be nice to cure these unnamed diseases, but at what cost? They're messing with the sanctity of human life. It's wrong, and the lab should be shut down immediately."

Pizza Delivery Workers Strike! (issue 4)
Workers across the nation have gone out on indefinite strike over what they claim are substandard wages in the Pizza Delivery industry.

1: "We are the backbone of this country, and we demand a fair wage rise!" says union leader Colin Zhimo. "I don't think a 20% increase over two years is too much to ask. Unless the government forces employers to give us our due, we'll shut this whole industry down! Let's see how well Gogan's economy manages without any Pizza Delivery, huh?"

2: "We pay our employees very generous wages," says employer representative Sarah de Jong. "Especially when you consider that without us, they'd be OUT ON THE STREET. Hear that, you scumbags? OUT ON THE STREET! Anyway, my point is, if you cave in, you make our entire industry uncompetitive. You can't do that in the global marketplace. It'll hurt the whole country. The best solution, economically speaking, would be to relax industrial laws and allow us to fire troublemakers on the spot."
Post edited April 09, 2013 by MGT
Saw the title and immediately thought "easily better than North Korea's Kim clan."
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fortune_p_dawg: Saw the title and immediately thought "easily better than North Korea's Kim clan."
That's a given... I think.
Issue 1 - 1
Issue 2 - 3
Issue 3 - 1
Issue 4 - 1
Post edited April 09, 2013 by XYCat
Personally, I like the random bits of humour in the messages.
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MGT: Let's see how well Gogan's economy manages without any Pizza Delivery, huh?
Pizza delivery industry! Not pizza industry or fast-food industry. Pizza delivery industry.

Also, yeah, my stance, almost forgot:
Issue 1: 1
Issue 2: 2
Issue 3: 1
Issue 4: 1
Post edited April 09, 2013 by Maighstir
Issue 1: 1
Issue 2: 3
Issue 3: 1
Issue 4: 1

And attatched Gogistan flag.
Attachments:
Post edited April 09, 2013 by tomimt
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1: "Compulsory voting makes about as much sense as having the death penalty for attempted suicide," says civil rights activist Dave Wong. "You can't force people to be free! You can only give them the choice. Besides, if all those derelicts who can't be bothered to get off their butts once every few years voted, who would they elect? I shudder to think."
Yeah, and then you get a country where over 30% of the electors abstain just when they are needed most, like mine.

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Avogadro6: Yeah, and then you get a country where over 30% of the electors abstain just when they are needed most, like mine.
Nationstates' reactions can be a bit on the extreme side. I wouldn't be surprised to see the following report if it was made compulsory:
Following new legislation in Gogan, failure to vote now has the penalty of death.
Post edited April 09, 2013 by Maighstir
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(this is fun... ;p)
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[edit_2] DISMISS (was 1 previously) [/edit_2]

Nice topic and great initiative. I want to eat pizza now.

[edit_1] for the flag, cut TeT's head .... hum, I mean ... copy his avatar, mirror and then paste it on the flag. My opinion. [/edit_1]
Post edited April 09, 2013 by Potzato
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Stooner: (this is fun... ;p)
It is, feel free to create your own nation if you wish to get in the game.
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Potzato: edit : for the flag, cut TeT's head .... hum, I mean ... copy his avatar, mirror and then paste it on the flag. My opinion.
Feel free to make one. Mr. T can complain if he thinks it's inappropriate (in which case I'll simply obey and disqualify your entry), until then though, go ahead.
Post edited April 09, 2013 by Maighstir
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Last issue needs an option 3 involving a military presence and maybe riot police (If you're feeling kind :P) IMO.