A charter is like a constitution and legislation all put together and is the framework of an alliance. It determines not only an alliance's laws, but also its idealogical and the conduct of its members. Because of the great importance of this document, it is vitally important that it be written correctly. Sometimes, people are so caught up with content that they miss structure and grammar. If your charter is not written well, it will hurt your alliance's development. Some alliances can cope with a bad charter, but many are handicapped by it.
One of the most important purposes of the Charter is establishing the government of the alliance. Having the right type of government is important for an alliance. In terms of government structure, the general rule is the fewer decision makers, the better. Activity issues and time zones can make large governments unworkable. For example, some alliances have governments composed of seven members and can only make decisions based on majority rule. This means that they have to wait for 1/2 + 1 of the government members to log in and voice their decisions. While this message can be quick if everyone is on the same page and keeps the same hours, it can take days if the government members are in different timezones or just forget to check the boards that day. It can take even longer if they don't agree. One of the most popular types of government in Cybernations is a triumvirate. These bodies are composed of three leaders that make decisions by either majority or full consensus vote. My preferred method is the first because if one triumvir isn't available, the other two can still make the decision. The composition of a triumvirate can be determined in a variety of ways and each way says a lot about the alliance's priorities. My alliance, Zenith, for example, has an Internal, an External, and an Executive Triumvir. The Internal triumvir is experienced in Internal Affairs and the External Triumvir is experienced in Foreign Affairs. The Executive Triumvir is a generalist. In some alliances, the Executive Triumvir would be replaced by a War Triumvir. We contemplated doing with with Zenith but decided not to because we did not want to put that much emphasis on the military. A more militaristic alliance may have a triumvir of war. Another way to arrange the triumvirate is to just have three generalists. While this method has its benefits as all three are experts in most areas, the structure does not give weight to either Internal or External affairs and may be lacking in one of them if none of the triumvirs have worked in that area before. The final common type of government is an Empire. Empires have one central official. While this type is good because it makes it obvious who is in charge, having one central official bear the weight can burn out that person. Plus, if he or she is sick, the government can totally stop.
Once they type of government has been chosen, the method of choosing the government must be chosen. Although many alliances aspire for Democracy for certain OOC reasons, on Planet Anson, Democracy does not usually go that well. Having a democratic alliance demands an active and involved member base, something that is hard to come by in a game. To be run well, a democratic alliance needs members with experience. If the elected leaders do not know what they are doing, the alliance suffers. While it's true that some democratic alliances are fairly stable and successful, what often happens is either not enough people run for office to fill the positions or people who are inexperienced win by default. If you are insistent in having a fully democratic government, I recommend that whatever type of government you use, the terms be at least two months but preferably three months long. Alliances with one month terms have a lot of turnover. Plus, when someone is newly elected, it takes at least a week for him or her to get going. This, combined with the fact that the typical election period lasts at least a week means that the government that is elected is only able to concentrate on governing for about a two weeks. This does not give a lot of time to get anything done.
Another popular type of government is the totally appointed government or meritocracy. These governments work like they sound, the head authority, usually the Emperor, in the alliance appoints the other members of the government and these officials serve at the pleasure of the head authority and serve until they either resign or are removed. While this method has its benefits, mainly consistency and making sure that the people who are in positions of power are qualifies, it also means that the positions are static and a log jam can develop at the upper ranks, with there being more experienced people than there are positions for. This can result in a high rate of resignations among experienced players as people get frustrated at the logjam at the top. Originally written by Duncan King (CN)