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Legislation, Policies, and Outcomes: A Guide


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Writing Legislation

Legislation (both primary and secondary) may be written both in a long-form manner (example here) or in a condensed, summary style (example here). There is no benefit, in terms of marking, in choosing on form over the other. However, in either scenario, it should be written in plain English language, well organised (use headings and subheadings to separate components), and easy to read.

What does Plain English mean? It means you do not have to research and reference all of the laws that you may be changing. We will assume that these amendments are done in the background. However, if you are changing a law passed during the round, you must reference that. Likewise, if you are repealing a significant law (think: the Parliament Acts), you should be prepared to reference that.

What should legislation include? At a minimum, legislation should include the necessary information to be implemented. What does that mean? It means that the legislation should be able to answer questions about how it will work and what it will do. Some things are fairly straightforward (ie, changing the voting age). Others are more complex. For example, if you are creating a new office (ex, the Office for the Regulation of Silly Hats), you should include information on what the purpose of the office is (what is its remit?) and what powers does the office have to carry out its duties (can officials levy fines, is it purely advisory, etc?). If you are legislating for something more complex or abstract, feel free to include footnotes in your legislation referencing reports.

In general, while legislation does not need to be complex, it does need to be complete. If you are leaving massive grey areas in your bills, the Opposition can exploit those grey areas. Likewise, if there are grey areas in legislation that passes, the responsible minister must be proactive in issuing guidance as to how the legislation should be interpreted. Otherwise, the Civil Service will do its best to interpret the legislation. And that may not come with good results. If you are the government, you can run legislation past the Civil Service. While the Civil Service may catch significant holes and grey areas and point them out, this is not a guarantee. The PolUK Civil Service is underpaid and overworked and, as such, "this was approved by the Civil Service" is not a defence in debates.

What do I do after writing legislation? Introduce it! It goes into the House on Discord. Generally, legislation has to be given legislative time. The Government has up to three slots a week (at least one of which must be a Bill), and the Opposition can also move a Bill if it chooses. 

Using AI

You may use AI tools such as ChatGPT to write Bills for you. However, we encourage a thorough review of what it produces for you and if there are any errors or omissions that come back on you politically, those are your responsibility - not ChatGPT's! 

Traffic-Light System for Impact

Legislation and policies will be assessed using a traffic light system for assessing impact. All primary legislation, command papers, and significant secondary legislation will be subject to this system automatically. Ministerial statements, motions, and other instruments will be subject to this as appropriate. In general, if you want to see a shift in something, legislation, command papers, and secondary legislation are your go-to devices. The potential outcomes used will be:

  • Unquestionable Success - The policy was wildly successful with essential no issues with implementation and exceeded expectations.
  • Successful - The policy was generally successful, perhaps with some issues with implementation or a slightly lower degree of success than envisioned
  • Mixed Bag - The policy had a healthy mix of successes and failures.
  • Created More Problems Than Solved - The policy may not have addressed the underlying issue that it seeks to solve or may have done so in a way that was not efficient or created more problems.
  • Catastrophic Failure - The policy failed spectacularly, either by completely missing the issue, having massive implementation flaws, or just not delivering.

As you might be able to guess, "Unquestionable Success" and "Catastrophic Failure" will be relatively rare outcomes. Something in the middle will be more likely than not.

Following the implementation of legislation or a policy, the A-Team will discuss the legislation or policy, the debate surrounding it, and any other factors that should be considered. After that, the A-Team will assign numerical values to each of the potential outcome and roll the dice. Sometimes, for particularly large or multi-component policies, there will be multiple rolls for the various components of the policy.

In assigning probabilities to potential outcomes, the A-Team will consider:

  • The underlying quality of the legislation, command paper, or statement - basically, did you have a well put together bill or paper? While it does not have to be waterproof, a bill should be be relatively free of loopholes. The inclusion of more detail likely improves the probability of success.
  • The Parliamentary debate - successful defence of legislation or a command paper on its merits by the government will make a more favourable outcome more likely; likewise, successful scrutiny of legislation or a policy on its merits by the opposition will make an unfavourable outcome more likely.
  • The Game Reality - some things will make more sense than others in the context of the IG world. For example, a pro-inflationary fiscal policy during a time of high inflation is likely to be bad. Likewise, some statements and papers that set the stage for future action (ie, a Brexit white paper) will mostly be judged against the game reality, as they do not have a policy impact by themselves.
  • Originality - policies that are not a copy and paste or rebrand of what occurred in real life will have a success premium applied to them - simply, it will benefit you to do things that are not just real life actions. Conversely, simply copying and pasting real life solutions and actions will have a penalty applied to their likelihood of success.
  • Detail - Providing additional direction on things, particularly spending, will provide a boost. For example, if a new fund is announced in the budget, it would behoove the minister responsible for the fund to make a statement about it.

After the rolls are conducted, the A-Team will, at appropriate time points, provide feedback as to the implementation of the policy in the form of a news article. On occasion there will be several articles.

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