- "Delegate" redirects here. For the city in Errinundera, see Delegate, Errinundera.
"Delegate," in WA parlance, can also refer to an ambassador to that body.
A region's delegate is the World Assembly member nation with the most endorsements in that region. If two nations have the same number of endorsements, then the nation that has been in the region longer will become the delegate. Endorsement counts are decided during the twice-daily game update. A delegate has extra voting power in the World Assembly (the number of votes a delegate has is the total number of endorsements plus one more vote, which represents the nation itself), and may be able to access Regional Control if the founder allows this. In non-game terms, the delegate usually becomes the head of the government of his region, and many regions have election cycles to vote on its next delegate.
The United Nations delegate system worked much the same way, when it was still in place prior to April 2008.
Choosing a Delegate
While many regions, chiefly smaller ones, have no specific policy on selecting a delegate, and just let the chips fall where they may -- even if the Delegate position changes hands week by week -- most organized regions have official procedures for determining who is entitled to occupy the office. In many regions, elections are the preferred method for designating the delegate. A common type of election is one wherein all nations of the region (or possibly just WA members within the region) are entitled to one vote, as is the case with International Democratic Union, which holds regular regionwide votes for its delegate. Delegates can be elected for fixed term -- usually three or six months -- or indefinitely. Wysteria's elected delegates are allowed to stay in office pretty much as long as they wish.
Electoral contests in large regions have been criticized as elitist and somewhat ironic, for however much regional officials describe their elections as "democratic," many of these contests are actually conducted offsite, where the polls are often dominated by a clique of just one or two dozen forum regulars. When a region contains upwards of 500 members, these contests could hardly be considered representative of the populace as a whole.
In rare situations, the delegate is a dictator. Which is to say, he or she is not elected to the post; they just occupy it because the rules of the region require it. For example, the delegate of Texas is not elected, but nonetheless enjoys wide popularity within the region and would probably win every election if the votes were binding.
Control of the Regionregional control, (if enabled by Founder), thus making control of the Delegate's seat equivalent to control over the region. Regional control provides access to the banlist and regional password, and therefore control over access to the region.
If there is no founder -- as is the case with game-created regions or places where the founder has died off (or even regions that predate founders such as NationStates) -- then the Delegate has uncontested control ... until someone gets more endorsements, that is.
The consequence is that Delegate endorsement battles are the heart and soul of region crashing, and an absent Delegate has left the door open for others to invade and take control of the region. There are as many strategies to maintain or wrest away control as there are open regions, and somebody will probably find another one tomorrow. This is one of the principal forms of gameplay activity in NationStates.
World Assembly voting
In regions where Regional Control has been turned off, Delegates never get to do more than cast the region's votes on WA matters. Since delegates are given an additional vote for every endorsement received, some regions are very particular about how that vote is cast, since it is ostensibly being done on behalf of the entire region. Many regions conduct polls among their members to determine the Delegate's vote; however, in just as many other regions, the vote is ceded as the officeholder's prerogative.
While the English language contains no term for the tenure or office of a delegate (as presidency would be to a president), several NS terms have been coined for such. Delegacy is an especially popular term, though it tends to sound like high-priced cuisine. Other forms are delegateship or, rarely, delegatory, where the adjective form is delegatorial and the plural delegatoriat.