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by The Grand Principality of Novgorod-Pskov. . 13 reads.

Novgorodian Druzhýna | Issue III part 2 ig | 23/02/2021

So, after I made my usual ranty opinion thing (which I've been kind enough to link to here), I had the great delight of having a response dispatch written by Walfo, the 2DC candidate who I was definitely the most harsh with - you can find their dispatch here, which I'd appreciate if y'all could upvote - I think this is the first time someone's written a response dispatch that didn't involve three paragraphs of yelling at me <3
Walfo wrote their dispatch to clarify points I'd said were too vague or underdeveloped, or to correct me on where I'd used information now outdated. So, it's only politeness for me to write a response of my own~
And yes, I'm going into unnecessary detail. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it properly. Also, since their dispatch was specifically addressed to me, it would be a disservice to brush over any part of it.
To note: as I do in my main Druzhynas, I'm using fonts to distinguish Walfo quotes. Fonts are pretty. I don't care if they hurt your eyes.

"In the first paragraph, he talks about endorsements and the fact that they don't mean anything. Endorsements are one of my platforms but are not my main ones (main platforms are Spam and getting people involved). I find that endorsement ARE important because they grant influence to the region, as well as for your own nation, allowing for even more influence in the WA. Having good influence is connected to endorsements, so to make ourselves even more influential, we need to ask for endorsements to be shared around even more."

Endorsements in the game fill two purposes: they increase the amount of influence gained by a nation in their region every time the game updates (twice per day); and they bring a nation closer to winning the delegacy of their region, which is granted to the nation holding the highest number of endorsements at update.
Both statements Walfo makes regarding the importance of endorsements are correct, but (if I may be so bold) irrelevant. Endorsements on the delegate grant the delegate greater voting power in the World Assembly, often presented as "making the region more influential". Endorsements on any nation other than the delegate do not have this effect, and therefore do not increase the region's influence on the world stage.
The difference between influence in the WA and influence in the wider game is also worth mentioning. A poll conducted apparently by Falconias (see here on the percieved "most influential" nations at the time gave Alsted, at the time the most endorsed nation in the game, only one vote; the reason for this was observed to be due to Europe's never involving itself in GamePlay. I raise this as an example of how influence in the wider game has nothing to do with endorsements or influence, and so in saying that endorsements "grant influence to the region", Walfo misunderstands the nature of true (as opposed to mechanical) influence in NationStates.
It is true that most other major regions have endorsement programs, but rather than to increase "influence", they are a security precaution. In a founderless region, individual influence becomes vastly more important, as to eject or ban a nation from a region uses up a nation's influence, and depending on the relative influence of the ejector and ejectee, it may be impossible. This means that a nation with high influence is less vulnerable to being banjected by raiders or a coup - but this is less of an issue in Europe, a region which has a founder, and so cannot be raided. Personal influence in Europe only matters when the government is trying to eject and/or ban a nation which has broken our laws, and so beyond the members of government, the accumulation of influence is of no consequence.
There is one other purpose for endorsements in Europe - maintaining our possession of the badge for the region with the most endorsements. Beyond allowing us to claim to be the "most endorsement-friendly region in NS", this is unimportant, and fairly easy to keep. The couple of times we've been in danger of losing it - the latest iirc being when Conch Kingdom briefly overtook us - all that was required for us to reclaim the badge was IA posting a message in Eurocord.

So, in short, no possible definition of influence that I can think of is impacted by endorsements in any meaningful way. I acknowledge, as I did previously, that it could be good to have some peeps set to quickly endorse newcomers to the region - as it's a good way of seeming welcoming - but otherwise I do not believe there's any good reason to have any sort of endorsement program as part of a commissioner campaign.

Walfo does impress that endorsements are not a major part of their campaign, so perhaps to give so much focus to this is a mistake on my part. However, if this is the case, then I would urge Walfo to redistribute the paragraphs in their campaign dispatch. Around half of it is dedicated to endorsements - and, what is more, it is the first half. Now, I do not know anything about the person behind the nation. I do not know if they speak English as a first language, how old they are, or how experienced they are in writing; so it would be unfair of me to lambast them too harshly for their structuring - but if I might give some advice: without providing anything that suggests the contrary, then putting endorsements first in your campaign dispatch suggests that you are giving it precedence over your other points. If you wish it to be viewed as of less importance than your other "platforms", then either put it after them, or give something to indicate that this is so. Furthermore, it would be inadvisable to give so great a portion of your dispatch to endorsements if that is not one of your major points - I would encourage you in future to (if you do not drop it entirely) either substantially shorten your paragraphs discussing endorsements, or to greatly increase your coverage of your other points.

In the next paragraph, he talks about my viewpoint on spam. First of all, I think that establishing specific positions on Eurocord to monitor spam is something that would be the next step to combating it. These people would be soley involved will monitoring and dealing with spam. I do believe that if we equip this position it will allow for other officials in the Home Office and government to work on other things that require their focus. Having people who monitor spam will be the next step toward managing spam for the future. I am also noting that this will be a collaboration between myself and other government officials, so this might be tweaked. Something I do not want is more elections, so the positions will be appointed by the Home Office and other high-ranking officials to only have authority in Eurocord.

My impression that Walfo wished these new positions to be electable came from the debate: The commissioners could act as moderators to the postion, relay messages to officals, as well as partake and run elections for said positions. This appeared to me to state that the positions in question would require elections overseen by commissioners, but I understand that this may just be the product of time constraints preventing clarity.
I am afraid that I remain unconvinced by the prospect of nations employed to monitor spam, but who would apparently not
will not hold positions on the region page. To be able to take any action against spam themselves would require them to have communication, if not border, perms, and so would need them to be on the "region page".
However, Walfo states that these would be positions in Eurocord, so I assume they would be tasked with reporting spam to those who do have the required permissions. This would make for a largely purposeless position, as RMBers already report spam in this way - and I don't believe the people who do so feel burdened by having to report it themselves.
What I do think could work would be for more people to be permitted to issue official warnings, which if ignored by the spammer would presumably allow ModComm to get round to passing judgement sooner. This could be what Walfo intends, but I've nowhere seen anywhere them saying that this is so.

Also Novgorod-Pskov mentions that I want to create a new channel. At first, this is accurate (I did want to do this), but after some investigation I will use the existing channel and not add one.

I will admit that I was slightly confused over this, as in the debate Walfo decided that this would be an unnecessary measure. However, I decided to still include it, as it is still in their campaign dispatch, which they linked to at the end of the debate - after they had said they no longer wished for a new channel. I had considered asking Walfo privately if its continued presence in their dispatch was a mistake, but ultimately decided that I don't want to start a precedent of actually talking to people when I'm writing Druzhynas. That'd be too close to proper journalism, and I'm just here to rant :P
So, I would suggest that Walfo remove the sentence
I will push for a specific channel in Eurocord that will be used to report and combat spam from their campaign dispatch.

These spam managers will oversee the current channel and focus (once again I want to make myself clear) solely on spam. I also believe that this would not be adding another commish, because the only authorities these people would muster is reporting and dealing with NS spammers using Eurocord.

I am confused about how Walfo intends spammers to be dealt with using Eurocord. This either refers to spammers being reported in Eurocord, in accordance with the current system, or that the spammers will be dealt with on Eurocord, which seems as unlikely as it would be impractical.

Also maybe a conference to talk about spam is not in order, but at least a small conversation talking about spammers that arrive and try to test the limits, etcetera, etcetera would be useful to share ideas on how to limit and combat spam effectively by what each region implements to learn together.

I can't see this working. What might work would be for someone to post in the NS forums asking peeps how they deal with spammers, but I don't think you'd get many serious answers. This isn't me being rude, but just what I think you'd encounter if you tried something like this. Feel free to try, though. I could easily be proven wrong.

Next, I just want to talk briefly about SDU. SDU was not my idea at first and neither KOD's as well. Baskque approached us (he is known as a spammer) and suggested creating a party because of KOD and I's alliance through working together in the last election. Although this seemed a good idea at first it became a clash of ideas and politics, and beyond what I and KOD wanted so we brought it down. It was not our intention to entice spammers or interact with them, and considering that both of us want to combat spam, makes no sense why they would like us.

I will confess to have little first-hand knowledge of the SDU - I was either away or not paying attention most of when it was a thing. I made a half-hearted attempt to find a dispatch about it in KoD's or Walfo's dispatch lists, but if there was one, it's been deleted, so I just went off of what I could remember from the top of my head, and didn't put in too much detail. If I misrepresented anything concerning it, I apologise <3
But this seems a fair summary of the SDU afaik, so thankee kindly.

I think that's pretty much all I have to say about that.
I'm still against Walfo being elected on their current platform, but I think they've shown enough capacity for maturity that I'm not inherently against them in general.
While I was writing this, the poll for the election went up - and currently it's looking like Scarlett's gonna win, with Sicily in second, and Walfo and Lib getting a decent handful of votes each - which I think would be fitting. There's not really any objectively terrible candidate this time, even if I don't approve of some platforms, so make sure they all get some love 💗💗💗

Click here for the main part of the Duzhýna, here for Walfo's original campaign, here for the debate transcript, and here for Walfo's response to me.
I previously upvoted Walfo's campaign, but it's only at one upvote. So either Walfo removed their default upvote, or someone else's downvoted it. If it's the latter, then please don't. There's enough toxicity in Europe as it is.
Also go upvote all the other things I just linked to ^‿^
Luv y'all~