M554 – Activity metric realignment motion Watch

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Andrew97
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M544 - Activity metric realignment motion; Rt. Hon. Jammy Duel MP

This house believes the basis of activity for the purposes of holding or losing seats, currently known as the voting review, should cease to focus on voting turnout and instead be based around activity in debate.

First off I think it important to briefly explain why this is a motion and not an amendment. Simply put this is to have a vote in principle on the idea so I know there is a realistic prospect of an amendment passing before working on it, after all it is an amendment that would be very difficult to get right and there is potential for strong vested interests against it.

To me the proposal would seek to deal with three things:
1) deal with member retention issues;
2) deal with member recruitment issues;
3) reward genuine activity and punish inactivity.

Dealing with each of these in order we first come to player retention. One of the reasons for our member shortage (resulting in large theoretical by-election) is that we are losing potentially active members, recently we lost Saunders with a major factor being the lack of debate, and not for failure to try to engage in debate, with other members questioning what the point of sticking around is if there is an absence of debate. This is a big issue with the current system because if there are parties with enough seats to pretty much force through anything they want there is rarely any incentive to debate, and members of the large parties have taken the attitude, therefore, that there is no point in debating. The change should lead to an increase in debate which would nip that element of the member retention issues in the bud.
The second thing contributing to our member shortage is a lack of recruitment. As is stand possibly our best recruitment method is debate, get trending and therefore expose ourselves to other parts of the site and then when people come along engage with them and give them reason to stick around. These things are lacking, with the debate shortage there isn't much exposure to the wider site and when people to stumble across us there is nothing to keep them here.

Finally we have a shift to reward active involvement in the house, and not the current system which rewards having a large bank of individuals to log on two or three times a week to vote and do nothing to help the longevity of the house. While the proposal would not immediately deal with the need to resort to using such individuals it would cease to penalise those without a decade or more of old members who are still willing to periodically log in to vote and also require the larger parties with those resources to still contribute proportionally.

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Connor27
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Motions are supposed to be political in nature not procedural, it is disappointing to see someone who is normally pedantic to a t, like Mr Duel, break this convention.

Regardless of my thoughts on the format of this item I agree with the sentiment and shall be voting aye, dare I say he shouldn’t have exhibited the characteristics of a chicken though and put it straight into amendment form.
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Saracen's Fez
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Don't have a problem with the fact it's a motion, but what metric does the proposer suggest, because at the moment this just feels like a more formal version of the usual 'voting reviews should be based on activity' comments we get every four weeks and not a lot of substance?
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by Connor27)
Motions are supposed to be political in nature not procedural, it is disappointing to see someone who is normally pedantic to a t, like Mr Duel, break this convention.

Regardless of my thoughts on the format of this item I agree with the sentiment and shall be voting aye, dare I say he shouldn’t have exhibited the characteristics of a chicken though and put it straight into amendment form.
I totally agree. This isn't appropriate as a motion at all. This motion doesn't call on the government to do anything, and indeed doesn't call on to anyone to do anything.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Don't have a problem with the fact it's a motion, but what metric does the proposer suggest, because at the moment this just feels like a more formal version of the usual 'voting reviews should be based on activity' comments we get every four weeks and not a lot of substance?
The sort of structure that I have in mind is based on posting on items and done on a party wide basis given on an individual seat basis is impractical due to vobots and I would say it doesn't matter too much if it is a few members being highly active rather than lots being slightly active.

Of course this has issues which would need working out, hence why wanting a form of indicative vote first, the main issues together of course being:
1) it needs to be simple enough so as not to meaningfully increase the burden on the administrative staff;
2) it needs to be something that isn't easily abused;
3) it needs to be sufficiently objective so as not to create disputes about whether the correct decision has been made.

For instance, way to achieve 1 would be to do it purely on post count.
This creates a problem with 2 that it's easy to abuse via just stating voting intentions or otherwise making short, meaningless posts. Solution, have a minimum post length
This creates problems with 1 as it is harder to do administratively without bots
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04MR17
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As the leader of the largest party I refute the allegation that I or my party take the view that there is no point in debating.

From what I can see this motion does a lot of talk but doesn't propose many solutions beyond "make it about debate". I fear the proposer isn't aware that not every party member has opinions on all topics and I wish to recognise that there are members who do actively contribute to some debates that they care about, and not others.

I have also before now debated on party items written by others because the author of the bill/motion was too scared to debate it themselves, in fear that they would be mocked or spoken to aggressively by other members. Now I understand that debating requires an element of conflict and the "if you can't handle the fire get out of the kitchen" principle, but I worry that a system which uses debate as a primary measure for activity would punish the party members who lack the confidence to post more.

Equally debate activity is hard to measure and this is probably why Jammy has chosen a motion here, because there isn't much detail on how debate should be measured. I've made tonnes of posts in MHoC but quite a lot of them couldn't be called debate.

I sympathise with the motions ideas of recruitment and hope to be taking steps soon to promote MHoC to a wider TSR audience, a little project I've been working on with the deputy speaker. I agree that when we're addressing current and relevant issues wider engagement is higher, and a dry bill doesn't encourage debate much.

I'd say in the immediate term the cause of lacking debate recently has been the lack of items to debate on, something I've commented on in other threads. Longer term the cause is undoubtedly recruitment, and I hope that the speakership team can work with the DandCA Forum Helpers and Volunteers on a long term strategy for effective recruitment to the house.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The sort of structure that I have in mind is based on posting on items and done on a party wide basis given on an individual seat basis is impractical due to vobots and I would say it doesn't matter too much if it is a few members being highly active rather than lots being slightly active.

Of course this has issues which would need working out, hence why wanting a form of indicative vote first, the main issues together of course being:
1) it needs to be simple enough so as not to meaningfully increase the burden on the administrative staff;
2) it needs to be something that isn't easily abused;
3) it needs to be sufficiently objective so as not to create disputes about whether the correct decision has been made.

For instance, way to achieve 1 would be to do it purely on post count.
This creates a problem with 2 that it's easy to abuse via just stating voting intentions or otherwise making short, meaningless posts. Solution, have a minimum post length
This creates problems with 1 as it is harder to do administratively without bots
It sounds like something that is going to directly benefit your party, by allowing you yourself to be active enough to keep 6 seats, even if nobody is voting on anything.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Connor27)
Motions are supposed to be political in nature not procedural, it is disappointing to see someone who is normally pedantic to a t, like Mr Duel, break this convention.

Regardless of my thoughts on the format of this item I agree with the sentiment and shall be voting aye, dare I say he shouldn’t have exhibited the characteristics of a chicken though and put it straight into amendment form.
Straight into amendment form means one of two things:
1) a **** amendment that isn't fit for purpose that is rejected because it is **** and does nothing to actually progress or develop the idea
2) a lot of time and effort goes into sculpting something that could actually work only for vested interests to crush it

Solution to both, be flexible with procedure and have an indicative vote on the idea in principle before deciding to commit time and effort into working on a possibly workable solution while also, should it be supported in principle, getting input on the idea and potential ways to implement it. And before you suggest the suggestions thread that has been tried before without any discussion on the matter actually happening and even if it were different this time it still only gives an indication for a small number of members and doesn't answer the question of whether it might be accepted by the whole house.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Baron of Sealand)
It sounds like something that is going to directly benefit your party, by allowing you yourself to be active enough to keep 6 seats, even if nobody is voting on anything.
Meanwhile my expectation is that you, most of the rest of your party, and maybe decent chunks of Labour would vote against purely because the current system works in your favour because the current system allows you to use brain dead vobots to fill seats and brute force anything you like through the house without debate despite knowing full well that this is neither the point of the MHoC nor helping it keep going, in fact knowing full well that it is directly leading to the loss of members.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by 04MR17)
As the leader of the largest party I refute the allegation that I or my party take the view that there is no point in debating.

From what I can see this motion does a lot of talk but doesn't propose many solutions beyond "make it about debate". I fear the proposer isn't aware that not every party member has opinions on all topics and I wish to recognise that there are members who do actively contribute to some debates that they care about, and not others.

I have also before now debated on party items written by others because the author of the bill/motion was too scared to debate it themselves, in fear that they would be mocked or spoken to aggressively by other members. Now I understand that debating requires an element of conflict and the "if you can't handle the fire get out of the kitchen" principle, but I worry that a system which uses debate as a primary measure for activity would punish the party members who lack the confidence to post more.

Equally debate activity is hard to measure and this is probably why Jammy has chosen a motion here, because there isn't much detail on how debate should be measured. I've made tonnes of posts in MHoC but quite a lot of them couldn't be called debate.

I sympathise with the motions ideas of recruitment and hope to be taking steps soon to promote MHoC to a wider TSR audience, a little project I've been working on with the deputy speaker. I agree that when we're addressing current and relevant issues wider engagement is higher, and a dry bill doesn't encourage debate much.

I'd say in the immediate term the cause of lacking debate recently has been the lack of items to debate on, something I've commented on in other threads. Longer term the cause is undoubtedly recruitment, and I hope that the speakership team can work with the DandCA Forum Helpers and Volunteers on a long term strategy for effective recruitment to the house.
Project... I’m intrigued....
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by 04MR17)
As the leader of the largest party I refute the allegation that I or my party take the view that there is no point in debating.

From what I can see this motion does a lot of talk but doesn't propose many solutions beyond "make it about debate". I fear the proposer isn't aware that not every party member has opinions on all topics and I wish to recognise that there are members who do actively contribute to some debates that they care about, and not others.

I have also before now debated on party items written by others because the author of the bill/motion was too scared to debate it themselves, in fear that they would be mocked or spoken to aggressively by other members. Now I understand that debating requires an element of conflict and the "if you can't handle the fire get out of the kitchen" principle, but I worry that a system which uses debate as a primary measure for activity would punish the party members who lack the confidence to post more.

Equally debate activity is hard to measure and this is probably why Jammy has chosen a motion here, because there isn't much detail on how debate should be measured. I've made tonnes of posts in MHoC but quite a lot of them couldn't be called debate.

I sympathise with the motions ideas of recruitment and hope to be taking steps soon to promote MHoC to a wider TSR audience, a little project I've been working on with the deputy speaker. I agree that when we're addressing current and relevant issues wider engagement is higher, and a dry bill doesn't encourage debate much.

I'd say in the immediate term the cause of lacking debate recently has been the lack of items to debate on, something I've commented on in other threads. Longer term the cause is undoubtedly recruitment, and I hope that the speakership team can work with the DandCA Forum Helpers and Volunteers on a long term strategy for effective recruitment to the house.
Let's break this up into a few chunks.

You refute that you or your party take the view that there is little point in debating, while that may be true it does not invalidate the statement with several prominent members that have recently left taking the view there is no point and over the last year or so I have often questioned whether there is any point when so much of the house is either afraid to debate or can't be bothered because they see the important aspect of this debating club winning the vote, meaning that if they already have the votes there is no reason to debate.

There isn't much detail on any proposal in the motion because that is not the purpose of the motion. I have stated higher up in the thread a very rough outline which does include looking at things party wide and not on a seat by seat basis. Of course something to add to the list of difficulties given in the post is of course determining an appropriate initial threshold and it would be on a per item basis, much like the current system: if there are fewer items fewer posts would be needed. I will however come back the point I so often make: what are people doing in a debating club if they have no intention of debating? That applies equally to those who are afraid of debating and never stop being afraid (and probably know they will never stop being afraid of being challenged), and those people who still stick around years and years after stopping participating.

As for the suggestion that we rely on the CT (or whatever they're called now), D&CA helpers, etc that has been the policy for at least 5 years now and it quite simply has not worked. I do accept that our corner of the site has declined as a whole over those 5 years, not just the MHoC specifically, which does not help but it remains the case that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome, which is ultimately what "but the CT, D&CA. etc" is; and we still have the second point raised in the motion: even if we get people in why should they stay if there is nothing for them to do?

Finally, while it is true that over the last month or two the problem has been a lack of items, that does not apply to the last year, over the last year the lack of debate has been driven by a lack of need for debate for those who prioritise passing their bills and defeating those of others because they had the raw numbers to be able to do so 9 times out of 10 to get their way without debate and the voting review system entrenches that behaviour, however moving to debate as the basis of activity review would see seat counts decimated if that behaviour were to be continued.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
You refute that you or your party take the view that there is little point in debating, while that may be true it does not invalidate the statement with several prominent members that have recently left taking the view there is no point and over the last year or so I have often questioned whether there is any point when so much of the house is either afraid to debate or can't be bothered because they see the important aspect of this debating club winning the vote, meaning that if they already have the votes there is no reason to debate.


As for the suggestion that we rely on the CT (or whatever they're called now), D&CA helpers, etc that has been the policy for at least 5 years now and it quite simply has not worked. I do accept that our corner of the site has declined as a whole over those 5 years, not just the MHoC specifically, which does not help but it remains the case that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome, which is ultimately what "but the CT, D&CA. etc" is; and we still have the second point raised in the motion: even if we get people in why should they stay if there is nothing for them to do?.
Saunders predicted the house was about to implode years ago when he resigned from leading your party and pretended to be gone for good. Since then he's returned on several occasions and every time he has dramatically left he's again predicted the imminent demise of the house. I wouldn't pay too much attention to that. I agree that there is a lack of debate and I agree that the larger parties have been at fault in that regard, and it's something I've been working to improve among government parties, I hope with some success compared to a woeful display last term.

Plenty of our retention issues in other partiesI feel is caused by off site communication. The Lib Dems have moved away from that now and despite new recruits I do hope that it allows us to sustain and continually improve our activity as a party - especially as we're now the largest.

The one thing I'd add with the CS & Volunteers argument is that the people responsible have been changing, there are now two very active MHoCers as forum helpers in the guise of Fez and Catus, there's a new member of staff at hq looking after this area of the site and that can mean a new start and fresh ideas without having to stick to policies created because of things that happened years ago. It's quite early in the day to be speculating about whether there is positive change from this or not.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Project... I’m intrigued....
I'll give you a tag tomorrow.
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Meanwhile my expectation is that you, most of the rest of your party, and maybe decent chunks of Labour would vote against purely because the current system works in your favour because the current system allows you to use brain dead vobots to fill seats and brute force anything you like through the house without debate despite knowing full well that this is neither the point of the MHoC nor helping it keep going, in fact knowing full well that it is directly leading to the loss of members.
I didn't create a system just to benefit my own party. If the status quo happens to benefit my own party, that's just the status quo. What you are doing is an obvious conflict of interest.

Regardless, even after losing Andrew, my party still has a few active members, and would not suffer from your system. The only parties that would suffer are those really are dead but get votes because of what's happening in real life. Allowing even just one active member to carry an otherwise dead party to the largest party does not make sense. That's just like how one hit song could bring an "album" to the top of the charts in the United States, even when nobody was buying the album or listening to any other song. I'd rather have the UK system where the outliers don't get to influence the outcome, and a larger number (on the UK charts, the top 2 tracks don't count towards album units) is needed to actually show that a party is active enough to carry a certain number of seats.
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barnetlad
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Occasional contributions can be in some cases just as valuable as the person who posts every day. I'm not convinced that changing from voting to contributions is a better option. I will consider any amendment put forward when this happens.
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LiberOfLondon
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May I suggest that the proposer pick something other than ”metric” as a phrase used in the title as it leads certain members of this House to believe that someone has set up another tiresome motion regarding metrication?
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The Mogg
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
May I suggest that the proposer pick something other than ”metric” as a phrase used in the title as it leads certain members of this House to believe that someone has set up another tiresome motion regarding metrication?
Aye aye bloody aye, I thought this motion would be about metric units :lol:

But on the topic of the actual motion, how can debate be measured like votes can? Also, we have thresholds for voting reviews (70% and 50%) so what thresholds could you have for debating?
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04MR17
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Aye aye bloody aye, I thought this motion would be about metric units :lol:

But on the topic of the actual motion, how can debate be measured like votes can? Also, we have thresholds for voting reviews (70% and 50%) so what thresholds could you have for debating?
As Jammy suggested above, it'd be number of posts of a certain length. Which would likely need to be measured by a bot.

Easy workaround to that would be for me to put in white writing in font size one the phrase "vote lib dem vote lib dem" on repeat so that every single post I made was counted as a debating post.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by 04MR17)
As Jammy suggested above, it'd be number of posts of a certain length. Which would likely need to be measured by a bot.

Easy workaround to that would be for me to put in white writing in font size one the phrase "vote lib dem vote lib dem" on repeat so that every single post I made was counted as a debating post.
I can tell you one thing, I'm not surfing through posts counting the number of words in them or counting all people's posts in MHOC.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Baron of Sealand)
I didn't create a system just to benefit my own party. If the status quo happens to benefit my own party, that's just the status quo. What you are doing is an obvious conflict of interest.

Regardless, even after losing Andrew, my party still has a few active members, and would not suffer from your system. The only parties that would suffer are those really are dead but get votes because of what's happening in real life. Allowing even just one active member to carry an otherwise dead party to the largest party does not make sense. That's just like how one hit song could bring an "album" to the top of the charts in the United States, even when nobody was buying the album or listening to any other song. I'd rather have the UK system where the outliers don't get to influence the outcome, and a larger number (on the UK charts, the top 2 tracks don't count towards album units) is needed to actually show that a party is active enough to carry a certain number of seats.
While not behind the system in the first place it remains the case that you have a vested interest in not changing it because an army of sad ****s that will log into tsr on a regular basis despite not having taken part for years makes the current system work for you, whereas a system that actually encourages you and your colleagues to engage with people and run the risk of having your ideas shown to be total ****e requires people to actually be capable of having their ideas challenged rather than hiding under a rock, something your party is notoriously incapable of
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