I'm a WA member! What should I do?
Endorse some other WA members in your region, as a way to signal you like their policies, or their cool flag, or their willingness to endorse you back, or whatever. The nation with the most endorsements is elected Regional Delegate: you can support the incumbent or push for change.
Be aware that some Delegates are more democratic than others. Some will happily allow a fair ballot; others will ruthlessly eject anyone they consider a political threat. Dictatorial Delegates must be overthrown by building opposition in stealth.
You can also contribute to NationStates international law! The World Assembly has two Councils, the General Assembly and the Security Council, which each propose and pass resolutions. You may vote for or against any resolution at vote. Depending on how ardent you feel, you can also debate the issue in the WA forums, and discuss which stance your Delegate should take on your Regional Message Board.
How do I endorse another nation?
You can only endorse another nation if:
You are both members of the World Assembly
You are both in the same region
If this is true, the other nation will have an "Endorse [Nation Name]" button in its World Assembly section.
I have more than one nation. Can they all join the WA?
No. While you can have as many nations as you like, only one may be a World Assembly member at a time.
What if I sneak them in?
First, please don't. This is against the rules, and considered cheating. Sophisticated pattern-matching software constantly scans for suspicious behavior and will expel nations from the World Assembly that it determines are likely to be cheats (known as "WA multies"). Repeat or large-scale offenders are deleted.
I only have one WA nation but my brother has one and he sometimes uses this computer.
Unfortunately that's asking for trouble. We try to identify WA cheats accurately, but we have no way of telling exactly whose fingers are touching the keyboard at any given time. So unfortunately if you don't want to run the risk of being ejected from the WA (or worse), you shouldn't let anyone else operate WA nations from your computer, either.
Sharing a network or IP address is usually fine. The game does not rely on any single method of identifying WA cheats, but combines data from many different methods to calculate the likelihood that multiple WA nations are operated by the same person.
What's the difference between the General Assembly and the Security Council?
The General Assembly is concerned with passing international law: resolutions to improve human rights, environmental standards, and the like. They have an immediate and material effect on all WA member nations, and can change your laws and category. For example, if you are a protectionist nation, and the WA passes a resolution promoting free trade, you may find your nation becoming abruptly more capitalist.
Broadly speaking, the General Assembly does not concern itself with individual nations or regions, but humanity as a whole. It has a vibrant role-playing community in the General Assembly forum, which debates and drafts legislation.
The Security Council, on the other hand, is very much about specifics. It passes resolutions that Condemn or Commend particular nations or regions, and authorizes Liberations, by removing a Delegate's authority to set a regional password (usually to restore order following its capture by invaders). Compared to the General Assembly, it is more concerned with gameplay (regional politics, invasions) than role-playing.
Both Councils function similarly in that they accept proposals, which enter the voting floor to be voted on as resolutions. Each Council may have a resolution at vote at the same time.
Can I propose a World Assembly resolution?
Yes, once you have at least two endorsements, you can also propose resolutions. If approved by enough Delegates, your proposal will be voted on by the entire World Assembly, and if passed, will become international law.
Over time, the WA has developed a significant body of protocol governing proposals. To maximize your chance of success, you should familiarize yourself with it. You can find out more in the WA forums.
Whether a proposal reaches the voting floor is determined by the Delegates. If at least 6% of all Delegates approve it, it is said to have attained quorum, and will enter the resolution voting floor at the next opportunity. If it fails to gather enough approvals, it will be dropped.
Getting a resolution up is no easy business, and usually requires support from many key players (especially Delegates of large regions who are active in the WA).
Why don't my proposals ever make it to resolutions?
The WA takes itself seriously and will not approve proposals it sees as inappropriate. There are two common mistakes inexperienced contributors make:
Not reading the relevant rules for General Assembly Proposals or Security Council Proposals.
Proposing something beyond the scope of the WA's authority. For example, proposals cannot change the rules or mechanics of the game itself, nor ask for new features. They should not reference events, people, or things in the "real world" that do not exist in NationStates.
The best path to success is to get involved in the forums: the General Assembly forum or the the Security Council forum. There you can meet key players, propose your idea as a draft, gather feedback, and build support even before your proposal hits the queue.
How do I approve a proposal?
You must be a Regional Delegate. If you are, then you will have an option to approve proposals when you view the list. By allowing unapproved proposals to fall by the wayside, Regional Delegates make sure that the WA only votes on worthy issues.
Can I make a resolution to add war to the game?
No. Well, you can, but I'm still not going to add war. The WA is not there to request new game features. I admit this would be nice: propose a change, vote it through, and BAM! The game gets better. But then, I would have to make the BAM! part happen. It would require me to spend so much time rewriting game code that I wouldn't be able to pursue my real passion, which is earning enough money to buy food, and staying sane.
WA resolutions are a way to bring all member nations into line on a particular issue; be that environmental, democratic, free trade, or whatever. Don't suggest game improvements there. They just clutter up the place. And they make people think, "Hey, yeah, that would be cool! Why doesn't Max Barry get off his ass and do that?"
Endorsements are the method by which the WA delegate of the region is selected. The nation with the most endorsements holds the delegacy. In a GCR like ours, it's crucial that you endorse the Delegate to help maintain regional stability, as we don't have a Founder to fall back on. It's considered polite to endorse nations that endorse you, and it's important that residents of this region endorse the delegate, the Guardians, and each other in order to keep our safety net intact.
This is a game after all.
Yes, but it by no means is a complete description of what endorsements do as per your original post.
Well, I didn't get into Influence and such, but I think I covered the most important thing: why he should return endorsements.
Arenít you Treaty bound to assist the legitimate government?