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From: Michael Norrish <>
Subject: OFF: (CotC) CFJ 874 judged FALSE
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 10:33:48 +0100
Precedence: bulk
Status: RO

                               CFJ 874

"Rule 833 should be interpreted to mean that if either
 1) a Proposal receives exactly one more Vote FOR than AGAINST, and
    the Assessor Voted FOR that Proposal; or
 2) a Proposal receives exactly one more Vote AGAINST than FOR, and
    the Assessor Voted FOR that Proposal;
 then the Assessor's Vote does not count toward determining the F-A
 award or penalty for that Proposal."


Judge:       Zefram

Judgement:   FALSE

Eligible:    Andre, Chuck, elJefe, favor, Jtael, KoJen, Michael, 
             Oerjan, Steve, Swann, Vanyel, Zefram

Not eligible: 
Caller:      Morendil
Barred:      Kelly
Declined:    Murphy
On hold:     


  Called by Morendil, Wed, 5 Jun 1996 00:08:01 +0100
  Assigned to Murphy, Wed, 5 Jun 96 9:55:50 GMT
  Declined by Murphy, Wed, 5 Jun 1996 13:17:45 -0500 (CDT)
  Re-assigned to Zefram, Fri, 7 Jun 96 11:35:15 GMT
  Andre makes himself ineligible, Fri, 7 Jun 96 14:06:45 METDST
  Judged FALSE by Zefram, Fri, 14 Jun 1996 00:18:28 +0100 (BST)
  Published, as of this message


Reasoning of the Judge:

The question, as the Judge of CFJ 873 pointed out, is which meaning of
the term "tiebreaking Vote" is appropriate.  I see three

1. It refers to the case where without the Assessor's Vote there would
be equal numbers of Votes FOR and AGAINST the Proposal, and the
Assessor's Vote resolves this tie.

2. It refers to the case where without the Assessor's Vote the numbers
of Votes would be such that no definitive result has been obtained, and
the Assessor's Vote resolves this tie.

3. It refers to the case where the normal process of Voting results in
no definitive result being obtained, and the Assessor is empowered to
make a casting Vote to resolve this tie, and does so.

Case 3 was applicable under now-repealed legislation, but is now not
possible.  It is thus a hypothetical case.  Case 2 is now also
hypothetical, due to the same legislation.  Where voting would
previously have been considered tied (allowing the Assessor to make a
casting Vote), the Proposal now fails, which is most definitely a
conclusive result.  Case 1, being purely a matter of numbers of Votes,
is still relevant.

The above paragraph might lead one to conclude that I will Judge TRUE,
on the simple grounds that this is the only reasonable interpretation
of the issue that would make the provision in question have any effect
under current legislation.  This is not a valid legal argument in
Agora; it is well established that Rules need not have any effect.  For
example, Rule 1526 prohibited the Banker from taking advantage of
certain knowledge of the Vototron.  As the Vototron and Rule 1526 never
existed simultaneously, Rule 1526 was without inherent effect.

I reach the conclusion, as did the Judge of CFJ 873, that the only way
to determine the correct interpretation of the term is by reference to
the English language itself.  And given that as a reference I would
have to conclude that interpretation 3 is the correct one.  More
precisely, I believe that the phrase "tiebreaking vote", in the context
of a voting procedure, should generally be taken as referring to a
situation in which the normal process of voting has reached no
conclusion, and an individual is called upon to resolve the issue by
casting an additional vote.  And thus I would Judge this CFJ FALSE.

But there is another issue.  Note that in interpretations 1 and 2 above
I have ignored the possibility of cases where the Assessor Votes both
FOR and AGAINST the Proposal in question.  Indeed, there is significant
ambiguity in the simple case of the Assessor casting two Votes the same
way.  Had the Rule not referred specifically to the Assessor, there
would be further ambiguities of this nature.  This issue does not
directly affect the interpretation upon which I decided, but it does
affect the interpretation referred to by the statement (interpretation

Consider the case where a Proposal receives exactly one more Vote FOR
than AGAINST and the Assessor has Voted both FOR and AGAINST the
Proposal.  This case falls within the set of cases referred to by the
statement.  In this case I suggest that there is no rational
interpretation by which the Assessor can be said to have cast a
"tiebreaking Vote".  Thus the interpretation suggested by the statement
is not reasonable in this case, making the statement trivially FALSE.

I therefore Judge this CFJ FALSE.  I suggest that the Caller would have
more success in making a CFJ with more narrow scope, such as one
referring specifically to the case of Proposal 2610 to which e refers
in eir Arguments.  I hope that my analysis of the matter, above, will
aid the Judge of such a CFJ.


(Caller's) Arguments:

Relevant Rules : 833.

R&A :

Thanks to Murphy for the wording of that second attempt, and my 
apologies to the CotC and all Agorans for the noise. :)

An example :

(From the Assessor's Report)
2610  Antivirus                               FAILS 5-6 (1)
F-A :  -1

I note that if not for the Assessor's Vote, the Vote on this Proposal
would have been a 5-5 tie.

I therefore claim that the following in Rule 833 applies :

Rule 833/4 (Mutable, MI=1)
Reward or Penalty for Proposing

      For the purpose of this Rule, Votes by Voting Entities which are
      not Players do not count, nor does any tiebreaking Vote cast by
      the Assessor.

Since no other Rule defines what a 'tiebreaking Vote cast by the
Assessor' is any longer, I submit that this should be taken to have
its usual meaning, that is, a Vote which breaks a tie.