This document, ratified on January 19, 2021, consists of the official policy of the Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance. Any italic text in this document should be treated as a note.
A Member Wiki is a wiki, of any language, which is currently a member of NIWA. NIWA comprises a number of Member Wikis in several languages.
The NIWA Coordinator is an individual who has been elected by the NIWA community to facilitate the smooth operation of NIWA. They are not the leader of NIWA, but rather an individual who facilitates and ensures that NIWA abides by its policies. NIWA does not have an official leader.
The duties of the NIWA Coordinator are explained throughout this document. The process for filling the NIWA Coordinator position is detailed in the NIWA Coordinator section of this document.
Vice NIWA Coordinator
The Vice NIWA Coordinator is an individual whose primary purpose is to serve as the Coordinator in the temporary absence of the Coordinator, or in the event that the Coordinator decides to step down. The Vice Coordinator may also assist the Coordinator with their duties, in whatever capacity the Coordinator and Vice Coordinator agree upon.
The Vice Coordinator is whomever came in second in the election process. If the election process only involved one individual, the Vice Coordinator position may remain vacant. If a Coordinator is elected without a Vice Coordinator, a Vice Coordinator may be elected at a later time through the Formal Ballot process.
A Member Wiki's Leader is the individual who is in charge of the content of the Member Wiki, such as the Editor-in-Chief or Director. This role is distinct from hosting the Member Wiki, but the same individual may fill both roles.
There is no expectation for any Member Wiki to have a Leader. Each Member Wiki can only have one individual recognised as their Leader.
A Member Wiki's Official Representative is an individual who represents that Member Wiki in Formal Ballots. They are chosen by the staff community of that Member Wiki.
Each Member Wiki should have an Official Representative. Unless the Member Wiki informs NIWA otherwise, the Member Wiki's Leader is automatically their Official Representative.
A Member Wiki may, at any time, notify NIWA that their Official Representative has changed. This notification may be made by either the current Official Representative or the Member Wiki's Leader.
If a Member Wiki has no individual who fits the role of Leader, the community should choose an individual to be their Official Representative and that individual should notify NIWA of their community's choice. In such a circumstance, the NIWA Coordinator will make reasonable steps to ascertain the validity of this claim.
If a Member Wiki with no individual who fits the role of Leader wishes to strip their Official Representative of that role, but the Official Representative does not consent or cannot be contacted, members of the Member Wiki's community should inform NIWA of this, and the NIWA Coordinator will make reasonable steps to ascertain the validity of this claim.
Member Wikis are not required to have an Official Representative. Not having an Official Representative does not affect the Member Wiki's eligibility for Formal Ballots, but an Official Representative is required in order to cast a vote in a Formal Ballot.
An individual cannot be nominated as the Official Representative of a Member Wiki if they are already the Official Representative of another Member Wiki, with the following exceptions.
They are the Leader of all Member Wikis which they are the Official Representative of; or
NIWA chooses to make an exception by Formal Ballot.
The NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator may also be Official Representatives for Member Wikis, but they are not required to be.
The NIWA Coordinator should make a reasonable effort to ensure that all eligible Member Wikis are informed of the occurrence of a Formal Ballot, and that they are provided a reasonable time to arrive at a decision and cast their vote.
Certain decisions within NIWA require a Formal Ballot. A Formal Ballot is a vote in which every Member Wiki, or every Member Wiki within a specified subset (e.g. all Member Wikis of a particular language), is entitled to a single vote.
Formal Ballots are expected for high-impact decisions, such as reviewing a membership or affiliate application; changing eligibility criteria; or significant changes to branding. Day-to-day operations do not require a formal ballot, unless there is disagreement between members; if a disagreement cannot come to a consensus through normal discussion, a request for a Formal Ballot may be submitted to the NIWA Coordinator.
A Formal Ballot is requested when the Coordinator or an Official Representative makes a motion for a vote, and a second Official Representative seconds that motion. At this point, the Coordinator is obligated to proceed with the voting procedures as outlined below.
In a Formal Ballot, the Official Representative of each wiki is responsible for casting the vote on behalf of their community. The vote should represent the collective view of their Member Wiki's staff, not the Official Representative's personal view.
The process by which a Member Wiki determines how to vote in a Formal Ballot is to be determined by that wiki's staff community. NIWA does not dictate how this decision should be reached, only that it should represent the views of that Member Wiki's community.
A Formal Ballot may impose a reasonable deadline for votes to be cast. A Formal Ballot's deadline can be extended at the discretion of the NIWA Coordinator. A Formal Ballot may be closed before the deadline, at the discretion of the NIWA Coordinator, if all eligible Member Wikis have already cast a vote.
After a Formal Ballot is closed, all Member Wikis (including Member Wikis who were not eligible to vote in that Formal Ballot) are entitled to know the complete results of the Formal Ballot, including the specific vote of each Member Wiki.
Prior to opening a Formal Ballot, the NIWA Coordinator must announce the following details of the Formal Ballot at least 48 hours before opening the Formal Ballot for voting, to allow commenting on the Formal Ballot itself. If any changes are made to these details of the Formal Ballot, it cannot be opened for voting until at least 24 hours after those changes are announced by the NIWA Coordinator.
The specific question that will be asked;
The method by which votes are to be cast (including the specific software to be used, if applicable);
The proposed opening date of voting on the Formal Ballot;
The deadline by which votes must be cast (if any);
Whether votes can be changed after being cast;
What the resulting action from NIWA will be for every possible result, including a tie;
How the results will be determined (normally first-past-the-post for binary votes);
How abstentions and Member Wikis not casting any vote will be counted when determining the result;
Whether the contents of votes cast, or any preliminary results, can be disclosed before the Formal Ballot is closed;
Unless specified by the original motion, the majority of voting will be a simple majority. Exceptions include Coordinator elections Multi-Winner Ranked Choice Voting, Expulsions (requiring 3/5 supermajority), or changes to this policy document (requiring 3/4 supermajority).
The NIWA Coordinator may, but is not required to, disclose the number of votes that have been cast in an ongoing Formal Ballot. They may also disclose which Member Wikis have or have not cast a vote and which Member Wikis have abstained in an ongoing Formal Ballot, but only if they provide this information about all Member Wikis at once. If they disclose any information about an ongoing Formal Ballot, they must disclose the same information to all Member Wikis. They must not disclose the contents of the votes cast or any preliminary results, unless it was specified when the Formal Ballot was opened that this information could be disclosed.
Additionally, the NIWA Coordinator may, at their own discretion, disclose how a Member Wiki voted in an ongoing Formal Ballot to staff members of that Member Wiki, upon request, even if the results cannot otherwise be disclosed prior to the Formal Ballot being closed. The NIWA Coordinator should take steps to confirm that the individual is actually a staff member of the Member Wiki before disclosing this information to them.
In the event that neither a Coordinator nor Vice Coordinator is available to conduct the vote, then a volunteer staff member may be chosen by community consensus.
The NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator are each elected to one-year terms via the Coordinator Election. This term shall begin on February 14th.
Role and Responsibilities
The NIWA Coordinator’s role is to ensure the smooth operation of NIWA.
The NIWA Coordinator is responsible for the administration of Formal Ballots.
Any staff member of a member wiki may serve as NIWA Coordinator or NIWA Vice Coordinator. The same individual cannot hold both the title of NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator simultaneously.
There is no limit on the number of times an individual can be the NIWA Coordinator or NIWA Vice Coordinator. The NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator are not required to be the Official Representative of a Member Wiki, but are also not prevented from being an Official Representative either.
If the NIWA Coordinator or NIWA Vice Coordinator ceases to be a staff member of a member wiki (either due to all of the wikis they are staff for ceasing to be Member Wikis, or that individual ceasing to be a staff member on all Member Wikis), their Coordinator position is immediately declared vacant. If the NIWA Coordinator or NIWA Vice Coordinator would become ineligible to hold that title, they are expected to communicate this to NIWA as soon as practicable.
A Coordinator can step down at any time. Once a Coordinator steps down, it is considered permanent; to resume the Coordinator role, the individual must go through the normal election process again. The Vice Coordinator will resume the role of Coordinator until the term of the original Coordinator expires. If there is no Vice Coordinator at the time, a new election will be held for a term lasting until the next normal scheduled election.
When there is a lack of confidence in the ability of the Coordinator and/or Vice Coordinator to effectively perform their roles, a motion may be made to recall and remove the current Coordinator, Vice Coordinator, or both. A recall vote may be initiated when the Coordinator, Vice Coordinator, or an Official Representative makes a motion to recall an individual, and a second Official Representative seconds the motion. At this point, a one-week period will take place for discussion, after which a one-week voting period will take place. As neither the Coordinator or Vice-Coordinator may preside over their own recall process, this vote is held and tabulated in a designated public forum.
A successful recall is based on a simple majority vote. If more than 1/2 of the votes were cast for "Expel", then the position in question is vacated. In the event that the Coordinator is recalled while the Vice Coordinator presides, the Vice Coordinator becomes the new Coordinator until the next regularly scheduled election. In the event that both the Coordinator and Vice Coordinator are recalled, an out-of-cycle Election takes place for a term lasting until the next normal scheduled election.
The Coordinator Election is the process used to elect the NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator. It consists of three stages: The Nomination Period, the Discussion Period, and the Voting Period.
The Coordinator Election begins three weeks prior to the end of the current Coordinator's term, or otherwise any time the position of Coordinator is declared vacant and an Official Representative moves for an election to be called. A new Coordinator Election cannot be called while one is already in progress.
The election process is to be managed by the Coordinator Election Administrator. The Coordinator Election Administrator is a NIWA staff member who is not up for election.
The role of the Coordinator Election Administrator is equivalent to the role of the NIWA Coordinator’s role during a Formal Ballot.
The Coordinator Election Administrator should specify the forum that will be used for casting votes.
If the currently serving NIWA Coordinator is not running in the Coordinator Election, they will be the Coordinator Election Administrator unless they choose not to be.
If the current NIWA Coordinator will not or cannot serve as the Coordinator Election Administrator, or there is no currently serving NIWA Coordinator (e.g. in the event of a successful vote to recall and remove), then so long as the NIWA Vice Coordinator is not running in the Coordinator Election, the NIWA Vice Coordinator will be the Coordinator Election Administrator unless they choose not to be.
If neither the current NIWA Coordinator nor the current NIWA Vice Coordinator will or can serve as the Coordinator Election Administrator, then the election process is run by a NIWA staff member determined by community consensus, or a formal ballot if consensus cannot be achieved.
The Nomination Period is the first stage of the Coordinator Election. It begins as soon as the Coordinator Election begins. It runs for one week by default, but can be extended.
During the nomination period, prospective candidates can nominate themselves as candidates for the position. When the Nomination Period would end (including when an extended Nomination Period would end), if no candidates have been nominated, the Nomination Period is automatically extended by another week.
As part of their self-nomination, candidates are encouraged to include a statement detailing why they believe they would be an effective Coordinator.
Candidates for NIWA Coordinator may withdraw at any time prior to the start of voting. However, once withdrawn, they can only be reinstated as a candidate through the standard nomination process.
If, at the close of nominations, only a single candidate has been nominated, that individual is automatically elected as the NIWA Coordinator, skipping the Discussion and Voting Periods.
The Discussion Period is the second stage of the Coordinator Election. It begins as soon as the Nomination Period ends, as long as there are two or more candidates in the election. The Discussion Period runs for one week.
The Discussion Period is intended for Official Representatives to communicate who the candidates are back to their respective Member Wikis; for Member Wiki staff members to discuss the candidates amongst themselves; and for Member Wiki staff to ask candidates questions.
The Voting Period is the third and final stage of the Coordinator Election. The Voting Period runs for one week.
During the Voting Period, each Member Wiki’s Official Representative casts a vote on behalf of the Member Wiki they represent, or communicates that the Member Wiki they represent has decided not to vote.
Once all votes have been cast, or one week has passed (whichever comes sooner), the voting period closes, and the results are tabulated.
The newly elected NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator begin their terms as soon as the previous NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator’s respective terms end, or as soon as the results are declared in the case of a casual vacancy.
The election process is Multi-Winner Ranked Choice Voting.
The newly elected NIWA Coordinator and NIWA Vice Coordinator are the first and second place winners, respectively.
Membership of NIWA is voluntary. Any Member Wiki may leave the network at any time by notifying NIWA of their intention.
A Member Wiki's membership is subject to the consent of the other members of NIWA. A Member Wiki may be removed from NIWA according to the process defined under "Removal of Membership".
The Official Representative of any Member Wiki may propose the expulsion of any Member Wiki. This request must be sent to the NIWA Coordinator.
After being notified of a good-faith, valid request for removal of membership of a Member Wiki, the NIWA Coordinator shall propose a Formal Ballot for the removal of that Member Wiki. The NIWA Coordinator has the responsibility to determine whether the request is both good-faith and valid. (A request is valid if it was submitted according to the above procedure and complies with the restrictions detailed under "Validity of Request for Expulsion".)
The Formal Expulsion Ballot is a Formal Ballot in which every Member Wiki in the same language as the Subject Wiki may vote, including the Subject Wiki. At the discretion of the NIWA Coordinator, this vote may be extended to include all Member Wikis, regardless of language.
The Formal Expulsion Ballot should ask the question: "Should [Subject Wiki] continue to be a member of the Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance?" The two voting options should be "Keep" and "Expel", with all voting-eligible Member Wikis having the option to abstain.
No action is to be taken as a result of the Formal Expulsion Vote until it is closed by the NIWA Coordinator. Once the Formal Expulsion Ballot is closed, all Member Wikis, including the Subject Wiki and Member Wikis not eligible for voting on that Formal Ballot, are entitled to know how each Member Wiki voted.
The result of the vote is to be determined by the proportion of the votes that were cast for "Expel" compared to the total number of votes cast. Member Wikis who did not vote, including formal abstentions, are ignored.
A successful expulsion is based on a supermajority vote. If more than 3/5 of the votes were cast for "Expel", then the Subject Wiki ceases to be a member of NIWA. They are still eligible to remain an affiliate of NIWA.
Otherwise, the Subject Wiki continues to be a member of NIWA.
Validity of Request for Expulsion
A Member Wiki who has previously been the Subject Wiki of a Formal Expulsion Ballot and was not expelled from NIWA cannot be the subject of another Formal Expulsion Ballot unless at least one of the following is true:
(1) Gross misconduct on the part of that Member Wiki;
(2) NIWA's membership guidelines have changed since the conclusion of the previous Formal Expulsion Ballot (to which that Member Wiki was subject);
(3) The Member Wiki's circumstances change significantly from how they were at the conclusion of that previous Formal Expulsion Ballot;
(4) The Subject Wiki of a Formal Expulsion Ballot has ceased to be a Member Wiki at some point between the closure of that previous Formal Expulsion Ballot and the present;
(5) More than 3 years have passed since the closure of that previous Formal Expulsion Ballot.
These policies are subject to the consent of the Member Wikis of NIWA. They may be modified at any time by Formal Ballot amongst all Member Wikis, requiring a 3/4 supermajority.
For these policies to be officially ratified, they require a supermajority approval of 3/4 of all Member Wikis.
The vote shall be established by Formal Ballot, in a process led by a NIWA staff member chosen through a consensus discussion.