Discussion of the Location of WDC in 2003 and Beyond

By David Norman and Brandon Clarke

This article will not completely make sense, unless you have read Why We See Things The Way We Do. The definitions used herein, together with the sentiments behind a lot of the arguments, are explained within this article, and without them, it will be very easy to misinterpret the intentions of the authors when reading this article.

As said in the previous article, we spent a significant amount of time discussing the different hobbies around the World. The initial intention was to discuss the location of WDC in 2003, but we quickly discovered that until we understood the different hobbies, we could not even begin to understand their needs and wishes. We also realised that you can not discuss the location of 2003 without also looking beyond then at the different possibilities for future requirements and locations. So having learned about the different hobbies, it is time to go back and discuss the location of WDC in 2003 and beyond.

A number of opinions on this which had been known to us beforehand were repeated several times during WDC. They include :

After very little discussion, we realised that three of the above criteria are actually impossible to fulfill simultaneously :

The reason is this. The only way for hobby A to have WDC more often than hobby B, is for A to hold WDC twice without B holding a WDC inbetween. Hobby A can not hold WDC twice in a row, so it will have to hold it twice with a third hobby holding it inbetween. i.e. :

A x A

So then even if hobby B holds it immediately before the first time A holds it, and immediately after the second time A holds it, that is still four years between two WDC's in B, i.e. :

B A x A B

So we then discussed which of these criteria would have to be dropped. It clearly does not make sense for WDC to be in the same continent two years running. It is also true that the European hobby is currently about 40% bigger than the US hobby. We therefore suggest that it is not workable for the USA to never go four years between WDC's. With more continents holding WDC, each one is going to be holding it less than they currently expect to, and this is just one example of this.

However, having said that, we then considered the point :

This does seem to be a very reasonable criteria. While the European Regional Hobbies collectively are the largest in the world, they are not as big as all the other hobbies put together. Also, WDC is meant to be a Worldwide event, and so while the largest hobby should be the one that hosts it the most often, it should not be concentrated in one continent or it will lose its worldwide status. As the number of continents holding WDC grows, ground has to be given up to make space for them. While North America can be expected to give up more ground than Europe, it should not be asked to do all the giving.

So, how can all the above information be put together to make a coherent plan? Well except when Australasia holds a WDC, it can alternate between Europe and North America. The problem is how to organise things when it goes Downunder. The first thing we realised is, you can not do the same thing every time. There are two alternatives, and sometimes you have to use one, and sometimes you have to use the other.

The two alternatives are :

  1. that North America will lose a WDC, so that the rotation goes :

    North America-Europe-Australasia-Europe-North America.

    We will call this a loss pattern.

  2. that the cycle will be shifted along a year so that it goes :

    North America-Europe-Australasia-North America-Europe, or
    Europe-North America-Australasia-Europe-North America.

    We will call this a shift pattern.

The number of times each is used can be altered to alter the balance between European and North American WDC's, but at present it appears that you should use each plan about half of the time.

Furthermore, this plan will still work as other hobbies come into the plan. They can all just be slotted in to the scheme so that everything shifts along one year when they hold a WDC. So if they join during a loss pattern, it will become :

North America-Europe-Australasia-Asia-Europe-North America

and during a shift pattern it will become :

North America-Europe-Africa-Australasia-North America-Europe.

Admittedly, this does mean that it could become four years between European WDC's, or five years between North American WDC's, but as more continents come into the system, it will eventually be unavoidable that each continent gets WDC less often.

The final question is, should the pattern around 2002 be a shift pattern or a loss pattern. This is a very big, and a very important question, and it is a question that must be answered sooner or later. Everyone has an opinion, and in most cases, that opinion is that WDC XIII should be in their own continent. Furthermore, they understand why they believe this to be the correct answer. What very few people understand is why the opposing opinion is seen to be reasonable by others.

This is further complicated by the fact that practically everybody has a very good, but selfish reason why they want WDC to be in their own continent. It makes it a lot easier for them to attend. Of course, this is not the reason for everybody's opinion, but it is certainly the main reason for some people, and it is very difficult to tell who does have this as their real reason, and who doesn't. It also makes it very easy to believe that everybody with the opposing argument is arguing this way for exactly this reason, whether that is true or not.

If all else fails, this question will be answered by a vote at WDC in Paris in July 2001. However, this is the worst option. It would be so much better for the issue to be decided by consensus beforehand. DipCon, EuroDipCon and the Bismark Cup, are the focus of the main Continental Hobbies. They are not about the collection of regional hobbies within the continent fighting against each other, they are about bringing all the people in the continent together into one Continental Hobby. In the same way WDC is about the World Hobby. It is not about competing Continental Hobbies, it is about bringing the continents together into a single World Hobby. And so the location of WDC is not about the Continental Hobbies fighting over which is best for them, it is about working together to agree what is best for the World Hobby.

The options around 2003 are:

  1. Allocate WDC 2003 based on a shift pattern.

    This would mean that the North America - Europe - North America - Europe pattern shifted along to allow room for Australasia to host WDC 2002, i.e.:

    2000 - North America
    2001 - Europe
    2002 - Australasia
    2003 - North America
    2004 - Europe
  2. Allocate WDC 2003 based on a loss pattern.

    This would mean North America gave up a turn at hosting WDC to fit Australasia in, i.e:

    2000 - North America
    2001 - Europe
    2002 - Australasia
    2003 - Europe
    2004 - North America

We discussed this quite a bit, and came up with several good reasons for both. However, the arguments that swayed us the most were as follows :

  1. The allocation of WDC to Australasia will either be a shift pattern this time (2002), or next time (approximately 2007). Why? Because otherwise that would be asking North America to absorb two loss patterns in a row. This would mean asking North America to do all the giving, which is not reasonable. Given that one of 2002 or 2007 will be a shift pattern, the other should be a loss pattern.

  2. At the rate that several other hobbies are growing, including the Brazilian and South East Asian Hobbies, by the time WDC next goes Downunder there may well be four or five continents holding WDC. The choice for Europe is therefore either to have a three year gap now while there are still only three continents in the running, and then a two year gap next time which could become a three year gap with the introduction of new hobbies, or to have a two year gap now, and then have a three year gap next time which could well be extended to four or even five years by the introduction of new hobbies. With Europe being the most common host for WDC for the near future, it is in everybody's interest that Europe has their turns at hosting WDC spread out fairly evenly every two or three years, rather than regularly being every two years with the odd big gap of four or five years.

  3. There is currently a lot of mistrust between the hobbies in the different continents, especially between Europe and North America. This is due largely to the suggestions at the start of 1999 that the vote for 2001 and 2002 should be held in Namur, in order to allow Europe to hold WDC two years running. A lot of this mistrust could be laid to rest by a North American bid being accepted at a European WDC in 2001. Then the next time WDC goes downunder, Europe could vote for a European WDC the year after, thus ensuring that the next time, a loss pattern is used.

    If this is done the other way around, then the current lack of mistrust between Europe and North America will not be improved at all this time around, and by 2007, it could have escalated to the extent that it breaks up WDC all together.

To conclude, all the biggest arguments we could come up with suggest that WDC XIII in 2003 should be in North America. As a decision by itself, this will be very difficult for the Europeans to accept, which is why it must be coupled with the understanding that next time WDC goes Downunder, North America will lose out more than Europe.

Larry Peery has said that WDC's come in groups of three. So lets make WDC's X to XII be the WDC's where the World's hobbies really start working as a single entity, and not end up with WDC thirteen being unlucky for Diplomacy around the world.

Discussion on this article should be directed to the Authors, or to the WDC Politics Mailing List, wdc-l@diplomatic-pouch.com

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David Norman (david@ellought.demon.co.uk)
and Brandon Clarke (bjc@stevensons.co.nz)

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