The Constitution of Forest
Article 1 - The Powers of the Founder
1.1 By right of being the nation that has resided in Forest the longest and in having been selected by the members of Forest during the time of May 2007, when Forest was re-founded, the nation of Errinundera has been declared the Founder of Forest, and claims all powers which that entails.
1.2 All powers and responsibilities of the Forest Keeper, and the associated members of the Forest Keepers government, are the ultimate discretion of the founder.
1.3 The selection of all members of elected government, the Forest Keeper and the Forest Keeper’s Regional Officers are the ultimate discretion of the founder. However, provided all members of elected government follow this document, the Founder is trusted to uphold the will of the people as expressed in elections and as it flows through the Forest Keeper.
1.4 The Founder has ultimate power and is the last word in matters of the interpretation of this Constitution, if a member of Forest has violated the Constitution, and punishment for violating this Constitution.
1.5 Except during exceptional crises, such as annual NationStates mini-games, the power of border control and ejecting nations from Forest is solely the power of the Founder.
Article 2 - The Forest Way
2.1 Forest is understood to be a region that promotes inclusiveness and free expression from its member nations. All ideologies, government types, and perspectives are welcome in Forest so long as they are not purposefully hurtful or offensive to other nations in Forest in a serious way. Although disagreement and discussion are encouraged in Forest, being disrespectful to other nations is not.
2.2 Forest is not a raider region nor is it a defender region. Nations in Forest are expected to not undertake any sort of inter-regional ‘military’ action (raiding or defense). Forest will not act as a staging ground for military operation. There are only two narrow exceptions to this rule:
If a region that holds an embassy with Forest is raided by a clearly outside power, members of Forest may take part in a liberation effort. In this case members are expected to act in deliberate manner and are encouraged to coordinate their efforts as part of a greater inter-regional liberation effort.
If Forest itself is invaded defender nations are welcome to come to Forest in an effort to foil the invasion.
2.3 The elected government of Forest (ie the Forest Keeper and associated ministers) is expected to act in an open, verdant, and democratic manner. The government is trusted to act in the best interest of Forest and put the interest of the greater good of Forest above their own interests.
Article 3 - The Forest Keeper
3.1 The Forest Keeper is the chief executive of Forest. The Forest Keeper is an elected position (see Article 4).
3.2 Regional Officers are expected to be subordinate to, and execute the will of the Forest Keeper. The promotion, dismissal, and power given to Regional Officers are the choice of the Forest Keeper, subject to the approval of the Founder. The number of and types of Regional Officers are also the choice of the Forest Keeper, subject to Founder approval.
3.3 No Regional Officer may have a power that the Forest Keeper does not also have, except WA delegate powers.
3.4 The Forest Keeper shall also be or appoint a World Assembly (WA) Delegate of Forest (use of a WA puppet nation is acceptable for this responsibility, subject to Clause 3.2). Should the WA delegate appointed by the Forest Keeper not currently be the WA delegate, the Founder is permitted to take whatever reasonable action necessary to rectify the situation in a speedy but orderly transition.
3.5 All powers not expressly covered in the constitution may be used in whatever way the Forest Keeper and associated Regional Officers determine appropriate.
Article 4 - Forest Keeper Elections
4.1 The Forest Keeper shall be elected for a nominal 6 month term. Election season begins as soon after March 16th and September 16th at 00:01 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) as the Founder is able to initiate the steps listed in this article.
4.2 As soon as possible after election season begins the Founder shall take the following actions:
Remove all powers from the regional government (excepting WA powers, which the currently selected WA delegate may continue to execute until they are replaced).
All embassy requests will be ignored during election season.
Modify the world factbook entry to an entry they feel is neutral to all parties.
Stop all other normal workings of government.
Open a poll for the duration of one week with all nations in Forest eligible to vote. The poll will be entitled ‘Do you want to run to be the Forest Keeper?’ and have two options ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Further explanation of all polls by the Founder is permissible, at the Founder’s discretion.
Make note of all WA members in Forest at the close of the poll, only these nations are eligible to vote in the election. The founder and associated puppets of the founder are not eligible to vote in the elections, and the founder is not to endorse a candidate, except as provided in Clause 4.6.
4.3 All Nations who vote ‘Yes’ are candidates to be Forest Keeper.
4.4 The week following the election is campaign week. Candidates and associates are permitted to campaign in this time. Campaigning may occur on the RMB or the forum. Telegraph campaigning is not permitted. Spamming the forum is discouraged. Smear campaigning is discouraged.
4.5 After the campaign week is over, the founder will place a poll with the following text ‘Who do you want to be the next Forest Keeper?’ or words to that effect. Each candidate will be made available as an option. The poll will be open to WA members only, and only those nations whom have been noted by the Founder may vote. The poll will be open for 3 days. Additional campaigning is not permissible during this time. If the first poll is decided by a plurality, not a simple majority (50% + 1 of the votes or higher), there will be a run-off election between the two candidates that received the highest number of votes in the first election. This poll will be open to only the same nations and again open for only 3 days.
4.6 In the event of a tie at any point in Clause 4.5 such that it is unclear who should advance to the run-off poll or become Forest Keeper, the Founder shall choose the incumbent candidate to either advance or become Forest Keeper (depending on the situation), if neither candidate is the incumbent the Founder may choose as they desire.
4.7 An electoral period is defined as the period between the ending of one election season and the beginning of the next.
4.8 The Founder may, at their discretion, appoint one or more Election Officers during the electoral period when all other normal workings of government are stopped. These officers shall have power over Communication only, and shall serve strictly to perform moderation functions on the Regional Message Board.
4.9 Should an extraordinary circumstance such as a game-wide event arise during the electoral period, the Founder may, at their discretion, appoint such officers as are necessary to facilitate the operation of Forest during the aforementioned circumstance.
4.10 Should the Founder choose to appoint any officers during the electoral period, such officers:
May not be a candidate for Forest Keeper.
May not use their position to campaign for or against any candidate.
Retain their right to vote in the election, if they are otherwise permitted to vote.
Serve only until the conclusion of the electoral period or the conclusion of the circumstance resulting in their appointment – whichever is shorter.
May be dismissed by the Founder at any time, with or without a reason being given.
Article 5 – Recall Elections
5.1 Recall elections should be avoided except in the most extreme circumstances such as gross neglect or pursuing policy that is intolerable to Forest’s residents. In addition to the process outlined in Clause 5.2, a recall election will occur if the present Forest Keeper:
Ceases to exist.
Leaves Forest for an extended period of time.
Is removed from office by the founder.
5.2 If a group of WA nations equal to 33% of the WA nation’s presently endorsing the delegate officially declare themselves in favor of a recall election on the RMB within a one week period then a recall election will occur. A recall election will take the form of an election as outlined in Article 4. If the recall election is unsuccessful, in other words, the current delegate is re-elected as delegate, then all those nations who initially called for a recall election are not eligible to do so again in the same electoral period.
5.3 If a new Forest Keeper is elected then the term is until the next fixed election date as per Clause 4.1. If the next fixed election date is less than 3 months after the recall election date then the term will be extended by 6 months.
Article 6 – Embassies
6.1 Regions must have at least six WA nations in residence, and must have existed for at least six months, to be eligible for an embassy with Forest.
6.2 To establish embassies with Forest, eligible prospective regions must formally request embassies in game, and also send a telegram of intent to either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper.
6.3 Once all requirements are met, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will provide a suitable summary of the telegram received, and the government’s interpretation of it, to all residents via regional telegram, and will create the following poll: “Shall Forest open an embassy with [region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will accept the embassy request in question.
6.4 Should a region with which Forest has an embassy cease to operate, and a new region is created as the unified, legitimate successor, the six month age requirement will be waived. Upon either satisfactory request of the successor region, or interest from within the Forest community, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will provide a suitable summary of the relationship history to all residents via regional telegram, and will create the following poll: “Shall Forest continue embassies with [successor region], the official successor region of [former region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will attempt to open an embassy with the identified region, following that region’s protocols for doing so, or will accept their request as appropriate. The government will also close the previous embassy should it still remain active.
6.5 Any resident nation of Forest can call for the creation of an embassy with another region, provided it meets the requirements of Clause 6.1, by posting to that effect on the RMB. If there is considerable interest from the Forest community, as determined by the regional government, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will create the following poll: “Shall Forest request to open embassies with [prospective region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will attempt to open an embassy with the identified region, following that region’s protocols for doing so.
6.6 Any resident nation of Forest can call for the closure of an embassy with another region, provided they post on the RMB legitimate reasons for their proposal. If there is considerable interest from the Forest community, as determined by the regional government, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will create the following poll: “Shall Forest close embassies with [region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will initiate closure of the embassy with the identified region.
6.7 All embassy-related polls falling under this section shall be posted for a duration of three days, open to native residents only, and shall have the options "Yes" and "No" as their choices. The opening of a new embassy, or the closure of an existing embassy, shall require a two-thirds majority (67%) to pass. The continuation of an embassy with an official successor region shall require a simple majority (50% +1) to pass.
6.8 Any given region can only be voted on for opening, continuation, and closure one time each during a given term of the Forest Keeper. An exception may be made if an extreme change of circumstances, as determined by the regional government and approved by the Founder, warrants an additional vote.
6.9 Either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper may appoint or remove Ambassadors at their discretion from amongst resident nations in Forest. The designated foreign minister or Forest Keeper may assign the specific duties of ambassadors as needed. The government shall seek to fill the ambassador positions for new embassies prior to the opening of those embassies, and must strive to appoint and maintain active ambassadors for all regions with which existing embassies are present. In the event that no ambassador volunteers prior to the completion of a successful vote, the designated foreign minister in conjunction with the Forest Keeper may, at their discretion, elect to postpone the opening of the embassy until such time as an ambassador is found.
Article 7 - Founder Ceasing to Exist
7.1 Should the founder cease to exist, the WA delegate has emergency authority to take on the roles generally reserved for the founder. The WA delegate shall only have those powers identified in this constitution. Should the delegate overreach their authorities, the Forest Keeper (if separate from the WA delegate) or a majority of regional officers (if the WA delegate and Forest Keeper are the same) may initiate the process for replacement of the WA delegate, using the procedures outlined elsewhere in this constitution for WA delegate selection. Should a WA delegate eliminate all regional officer positions or otherwise cause the officership to go rogue, the WA nations of Forest retain final authority to replace the delegate via informal means with their endorsements. Change of the WA delegate during this emergency period shall be undertaken only if absolutely necessary.
In addition to the powers specified above, the WA Delegate shall have the authority to temporarily password lock the region, if it is necessary to protect the region from imminent threat. Such a lock shall exist only for the duration of such a threat, and must be removed after no more than two weeks unless extension is approved by greater than 50% of native resident WA nations participating in a poll lasting at least three days.
7.2 In the event that section 7.1 is in effect, the WA delegate and the Forest Keeper (if different), or the WA delegate and a minimum of three other regional officers (if the Forest Keeper and WA Delegate are the same individual) may mutually determine whether or not the refounding of Forest is worthy of consideration. If all parties are in agreement that it is worthy of consideration, the following poll shall be created: “Shall we begin preparations to refound Forest with a new Founder?” with the response options of “Yes” and “No.” The poll shall be open to all native resident WA nations of Forest, and must be open for a period of at least one week. The series of actions outlined in this section shall only be legal if the WA delegate has held that position for at least one full week.
7.3 If the result of the poll is greater than 50% in favor of refounding, the WA Delegate shall place a password lock on the region for the remainder of the refounding process. Additional polls shall then be held to identify a new founding nation. These polls shall follow the same procedures as those for the election of a Forest Keeper, with the necessary language changes to reflect the position in question. The region shall then follow the steps outlined in the remaining sections of Article 7.
If the result of the poll is not in favor of refounding as previously described, the region shall remain in operation in its present status and with its present laws. Another such poll may not be held until 3 months have passed.
7.4 Once a founder is selected a dummy region will be created and all nations will be encouraged and eventually forced to move to the dummy region or face ejection from Forest. The new founder nation will be the last remaining nation in Forest. The new founder nation will not re-found Forest immediately after clearing all nations from forest but will wait an undisclosed period of time, perhaps as long as months until re-founding. If the name Forest is lost Forest will live on under a new name of the new founding nation’s choosing. Forest is more than a name.
7.5 Once Forest is re-founded this constitution is no longer valid. Most or all of this constitution may be used by the re-founding nations of Forest if they so choose, however.
7.6 Should the CTE’d Founder return to active status at any point during the Article 7 process, and indicate that they are prepared to resume their role, the Article 7 process shall be cancelled, the password removed, and regional operations shall return to their previous normal condition.
Article 8 - Amendments to the Constitution
8.1 Amendments to the constitution add to, delete from, or otherwise modify the constitution. Amendments may be brought to Forest through three processes:
The Founder may call for an amendment.
The Forest Keeper may call for an amendment.
25% of the total number of WA nations publically call for an amendment within a two-week period on the RMB.
8.2 Amendments must first be approved by the Founder.
8.3 If and only if the amendment was brought to vote through process iii of Clause 8.1, the Forest Keeper has a one week period after the Founder approving the amendment to choose to veto the amendment; vetoed amendments will be voted on as outlined in Clause 8.4.
8.4 The amendment will be voted on through the polling system with the poll only being open to WA nations, the poll will be open for a length of three days. The poll may be created by whatever nation with polling authority chooses to do so, but must be created as soon as possible after Clause 8.2 or Clause 8.3 (depending on how the amendment is brought up as defined in Clause 8.1) is fulfilled. If the Forest Keeper has not vetoed the amendment, as outlined in Clause 8.3, 50%+1 of voting nations must approve the amendment for it to pass. If the amendment is vetoed by the Forest Keeper, 66%+1 of voting nations must approve the amendment for it to pass.
Drafted by: Ransium
Edited by: Mozworld
Signed by: Ransium, Esterild, Ashrah, Santa joanna, Communal ecotopia, New chechovenia, Mountain ash forests, Dest oritio ,Edible Plywood, Gil zardon, Caracasus, Frieden-und Freudenland, Dazed butterflies, Bearadise, Mag meall