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April 21, 2015, 08:47:57 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: April 20, 2015, 05:07:48 pm
This is our current budget, with the relevant section being here:

Quote
Administration of Justice
Federal law enforcement: $7.25 B
Border security and immigration: $7.46 B
Federal litigation and judicial activities: $7.6 B
Federal prison system: $3.26 B
Criminal justice assistance: $4.22 B

So we can certainly do something about the FBI, but we don't seem to actually fund local police. Unless, of course, that's what criminal justice asistance means, but while I don't actually know what that does mean, I don't think it's that. Even if it is though, that's a tiny sum, my own region spends 25 billion on Public Safety, for example.
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Cynic for NE: Congrats to all of the Winners on: April 20, 2015, 04:03:35 pm
Congrats Smiley

It's excellent news that you are back in government.
3  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: I'm Backing Blair: Campaign for At-Large Senate seat (Policing Reform) on: April 20, 2015, 04:03:00 pm
Congratulations!
4  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: April 20, 2015, 03:54:50 pm
I should in principle state first that I support a lot of what Blair's amendment proposes, with a few reservations about some of the wording and the commissions.

That said, I think that everything apart from 1 and 3A is unconstitional, and, upon consultation with the AG, he agrees.

As the court affirmed in Roe vs Zuwo, the senate only has the powers explicitly given to it in the constitution, and no more. Importantly the only power listed in the constituion that can even be slighlty relevant is this one:

Quote
To provide an area of Freedom, Security and Justice without internal frontiers, and a single market where competition is free and undistorted.

Now, this is vague enough that you could make such an argument, and it does seem to imply the senate has power to legislate certain offences (such as perhaps, a suitably defined entrapment) there is a difference between matters of justice and the police procedure. We can legilate against murder but not the colour of the polices uniform, to take an extreme example.

The other argument the AG makes, which I find convincing, is based on this section of the constitution:
Quote
No Law requiring any action to be taken or to be not taken by a Region shall be passed, except to preserve the rights of the Senate or of the People enumerated under the Constitution.

This is problematic because police matters in the US, and thus by derivation in atlasia, are state/regional matters. What that means is even if we are allowed by the Justice power to do this, we can not do it to the all important local police forces because we can't force the regions to do something
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Electoral Reform Amendment (Debating) on: April 20, 2015, 03:41:08 pm
I'm agnostic about the change oakvale suggests, but experience shows the more things an amendment deals with the less likely it is to pass, so seeing as this is basically a separate issue it should wait for another amendment.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 20, 2015, 03:35:16 pm
I'm sympathetic to the argument that if the UK leaves the EU then the facts have changed sufficiently to justify another referendum. That said, the obvious answer as to why the SNP should rule out another vote is because they basically promised to during the referendum campaign. It seems a little rich to castigate the unionist for rowing back on devo max promises if they're going to do the same.


7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Electoral Reform Amendment (Debating) on: April 20, 2015, 06:32:13 am
Is any senator willing to offer my amendment?
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: April 2015 At-large Senate Election on: April 19, 2015, 06:37:42 pm
1. Lief
2. Blair
3. Polnut
4. Poirot
5. Cris
6. Yankee
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Electoral Reform Amendment (Voting on Amendment) on: April 19, 2015, 02:01:34 pm
After final consultation with homely I'd like to propose one more amendment, to stop canadian provinces being split between two districts:

Quote from: Current text
Electoral Reform Amendment

Article I, Section IV, of the Constitution is hereby amended to read:

Quote
1. The Senate shall be divided into two classes: Class A, which shall comprise the Senators elected from the Regions, and Class B, which shall comprise Senators elected by each of the five districts, as specified in Section 2. Each class shall be limited to 5 Senators. Regions shall not elect more than one Senator for Class A. Districts shall not elect more than one Senator for Class B.

2a. The Districts shall be selected by a commission, which shall meet publicly, comprised of the five Governors of the Regions, with the Secretary of Federal Elections serving as Chairman.
2b The Governors and Secretary of Federal Elections serving on the commission at its convocation shall serve on the commission until districts are decided, even if they no longer hold office at any point during the commission period.
3. The aforementioned commission shall meet for 28 days, beginning 14 days  after the conclusion of every election for Class B Seats. A four-fifths majority is required to approve the district maps.
4. If the commission fails to agree on a set of districts at the end of its 28-day convocation, the districts shall instead be drawn by the Registrar General, who will have 28 days to produce a set of districts.
5. The districts must be contiguous and have a difference in population of no more than 3 voters, according to the most recent Census update published before the beginning of the applicable 28-day redistricting process for the commission of Governors/Secretary of Federal Elections or for the Registrar General.
6. One state may not be in more than one district. No state or Canadian province shall be in more than one district.
7. The redistricting process shall conclude no later than 46 days before the commencement of the next regularly-scheduled Class B Senate Elections.
8. The process of redistricting and the conversion of Class B Senate Elections from At-Large to district-based shall commence after this amendment is ratified by the Regions and at the onset of the earliest instance in which no portion of the redistricting schedule outlined in Article I, Section IV, Clauses 3 & 4 has already passed.

9. Elections for the seats in Class A shall be held in the months of February, June and October; Elections for the seats in Class B shall be held in the months of April, August and December.
10. Regular elections to the Senate shall begin between midnight Eastern Standard Time on the Thursday preceding the penultimate Friday of the month and 0001 Eastern Standard Time on the penultimate Friday itself, and shall conclude exactly 72 hours after beginning, except in the month of December. Regular elections to the Senate in the month of December shall begin between midnight Eastern Standard Time on the Thursday preceding the second Friday of the month and 0001 Eastern Standard Time on the second Friday itself,  and shall conclude exactly 72 hours after beginning.
11. Any vacancy occurring in a Class A Senate seat shall be filled according to the laws of the respective region. If a region does not have any law for filling the vacancy, then the Governor of that Region shall appoint a person to fill the remainder of that term.
12. If a vacancy shall occur in a Class B Senate seat more than twenty-one days before the regularly scheduled election for that seat thirty-five days or more before the end of the term for that seat, then a special election shall be called to fill the remainder of the vacated term within one week of the vacancy occurring; Special elections to the Senate shall begin within ten days of the vacancy occurring and shall begin between midnight Eastern Standard Time on a Thursday and 0001 Eastern Standard Time on the first Friday thereafter, and shall conclude exactly 72 hours after beginning.
13. If a vacancy shall occur in a Class B Senate seat less than thirty-five days before the end of the term for that seat, then the seat shall be filled in accordance with the Proportional Representation Act.
14. The Senate shall have necessary power to determine regulations for the procedure of and the form of Senate elections and shall have necessary power to determine a procedure for declaration of candidacy for such elections. All elections to the Senate shall be by public post. The exact time at which a given election or vote shall begin may be determined by the voting booth administrator subject to such restrictions as may be imposed by Law.
15. Those elected in ordinary elections to the Senate shall take office at noon Eastern Standard Time on the first Friday in the month after their election. Those elected in special elections to the Senate shall take office as soon as the result of their election has been formally declared.

Article V, Section II, Subsection VI is hereby amended to read:

Quote
Persons may only change their State of registration once every six months.

I'm open to suggestions on the wording, but hopefully we can get this finished as soon as possible.
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Electoral Reform Amendment (Debating) on: April 18, 2015, 03:11:00 pm
I think this is ready and I think the 7 days without comment suggest most people agree with me, but does anyone have any more comments before we go to a final vote?
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 18, 2015, 01:01:58 pm
To state the obvious, if we're talking about an SNP performance which is short of a clean sweep then the question to answer is whether their vote pattern follows 2011 or 2014.

I think the constituency polls and the fact that this Westminster surge is largely the result of the referendum suggests that the SNP vote pattern will follow 2014, so I can definitely see Labour hanging on at least in South and North and Leith.

The other important thing to note is that even if the SNP vote pattern follows 2011 there are factors in Edinburgh that would still suggest a Labour overperformance. For instance, in Edinburgh Southern the SNP got 29.4% and Labour got 27.4%, but because of Mike Pringle's popularity the Lib Dems got 24.6%.  The Lib Dems will get a fraction of that this time and you'd expect those more of those votes to flow to Labour than the SNP.
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Public Office of the Bore/Nix Administration (On Terrorism at home and abroad) on: April 18, 2015, 11:38:09 am
No doubt by now many of you have heard the news about the bomb plot on a crowded poll station.

We are all exceedingly grateful to the work local law enforcement have done to foil this and the department are guaranteed all possible help from the federal government.

I'd like to urge citizens to still go out to vote, as it is in doing this that we show that we will not be terrorised.



13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 18, 2015, 11:19:58 am
I think my own seat of Edinburgh South is even less likely to fall than Edinburgh North and Leith and may even be one of the last in the country. In 2010 it had the second lowest number of SNP votes in the country after Orkney and Shetland and the major compeitition to Labour last time were the Lib Dems, who are now running pretty much no campaign at all.

For reference, these are the Edinburgh constituency referendum results:

Quote
East Yes 27,500 No 30,6632
North & Leith Yes 28,813 No 43,253
South Yes 20,340 No 38,298
South West Yes 24,659 No 39,509
West Yes 22,615 No 42,946
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 16, 2015, 11:24:13 am
Good to see the LIB DEM SURGE!!111!!! is definitely a real thing that's happening.
15  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeast Voting Booth: The 21st Amendment on: April 15, 2015, 11:52:40 am
Aye
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Agricultural Policy Act of 2015 (Debating) on: April 15, 2015, 11:51:39 am
Hagrid's amendment is a very good step.

Just a few scattered points:

1. I especially like section 4.1. As has been hinted at earlier the economies of scale and the land cost issue mean that promoting urban food production is not about trying to increase the amount of food, or lower costs or anything. But allotments in particular encourage outdoor activity allow people to save money on food bills and generally make cities more pleasant.
2. I'm not entirely convinced about the agricultural tourism thing  but I'm willing to go with it if that's what the senate want.
3. I think the change to section 3 makes it more useful to the actual problems faced by agriculture at the moment, something I freely confess to, that is urban ignorance of basic farming.
4. Finally, as Al was mentioning before, surely farmers, by virtue of being independent farmers have the right to collectively bargain with whoever they like? I can understand supporting that though, as a way to stop the gradual increase of Big Agriculture.
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Debating) on: April 15, 2015, 11:36:13 am
I'm looking forward to seeing what Blair proposes
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 13, 2015, 01:13:09 pm
It's worth noting that it is conventionally assumed that one in ten polls from a given pollster will be 'wrong', due to the unavoidable difficulties of getting a genuinely accurate sample and so on. I mention this specifically because the internals of this one are really screwy: I suspect that they (rather than the odd headline figures) are why ICM have suggested that salt is required before consumption.

I seem to remember every other ICM getting labeled as an outlier...

Maybe they're just really really really really unlucky.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 13, 2015, 08:26:53 am
Scotland is going to be an utter bloodbath.

Basically, Labour have no clue what to do about their Scottish problem.

The best they can hope for this time is to win over plenty of Tory/LibDem tacticals and they'll hold onto about 10 as a best case scenario.

And to think that voting SNP will always mean voting for a Labour government by proxy is, quite frankly, fanciful.
What I'm seeing is a lot of image of people saying "we voted Labour in 2010, etc. and got a Conservative Government - vote SNP to ensure Scotland's voice is always heard".

I think the only way Labour will be able to fight back in Scotland is to support independence (or FFA at least) - but it could be too late for them now.

That is the one of the worst arguments for or against anything that I've ever heard.
In what way?

A majority of Scottish voters want Full Fiscal Autonomy (according to polling) and the only party proposing it (who have a chance of winning a seat) is the SNP. The SNP generally act in the Scottish national interest - unlike the unionist parties (as they have to worry about winning votes elsewhere in the UK).

Maybe it becomes clearer why exactly that argument is so bad if you try and phrase it as a syllogism:

P1 In 2010 Scotland mainly voted for Labour
P2 After 2010 the Conservatives formed a government
C Therefore Scotland should not vote for Labour

It's functionally equivalent to saying the people of Perth should vote for Labour this time, because in 2010 they voted for the SNP and got a Tory government.

Added to that, even if the SNP had won 59 seats in 2010, a Conservative government would still have been formed with the SNP completely powerless to stop it.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 13, 2015, 07:16:11 am
Scotland is going to be an utter bloodbath.

Basically, Labour have no clue what to do about their Scottish problem.

The best they can hope for this time is to win over plenty of Tory/LibDem tacticals and they'll hold onto about 10 as a best case scenario.

And to think that voting SNP will always mean voting for a Labour government by proxy is, quite frankly, fanciful.
What I'm seeing is a lot of image of people saying "we voted Labour in 2010, etc. and got a Conservative Government - vote SNP to ensure Scotland's voice is always heard".

I think the only way Labour will be able to fight back in Scotland is to support independence (or FFA at least) - but it could be too late for them now.

That is the one of the worst arguments for or against anything that I've ever heard.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 (Debating) on: April 12, 2015, 06:43:21 pm
After some thought I have decided to sign this. This expansion of the post office will genuinely be helpful for, especially rural elderly people and will hopefully save them, and others, time and money. The cost may seem a lot but as has already been mentioned quite a large amount is needed initially and we should be able to, fairly quickly, break even and recoup our losses.  Also the way this bill is written means we do not have to give the whole 200 million and we are not committed to indefinite subsidies.

I'd like to extend a special thanks to SoIA Barnes for writing this bill

Quote
Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015

Section 1 -- Empowering the Postal Service to Offer Basic Financial Services
1. The Atlasian Postal Service is hereby authorized and directed to offer the following basic financial services in each of its respective branches:
    a. small-dollar loans;
    b. alone, or in partnership with depository institutions (as defined in federal statute) and credit unions:
        i. checking accounts and interest-bearing savings accounts; and
        ii. services relating to international money transfers;
    c. such other basic financial services as the Postal Service determines appropriate in the public interest; and
    d. the creation of a "Postal Card" that allows users to engage in the financial services described under this paragraph.

Section 2 -- Effective Date
1. This Act shall take effect sixty (60) days after becoming law.

Section 3 -- Appropriations
1. A sum not to exceed $200,000,000.00 shall be allocated to USPS in the FY2015 fiscal budget in the form of a one-time appropriation for employee training on expanded services offered by this provision.

2. A sum not to exceed $300,000,000.00 shall be allocated to USPS in the FY2015 fiscal budget in the form of a one-time appropriation to serve as initial funding for the financial services outlined in this Act and by the powers in the Act.

3. In each subsequent year, the USPS may request through the Department of the Interior an additional appropriation of no more than $50,000,000.00 (in 2015 constant dollars) for the expansion of financial services outlined in this Act and by the powers in this Act.

X Bore
22  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Citizens have the right to be heard on the Senate floor (Sign the Pledge)! on: April 12, 2015, 06:36:34 pm
As I already said yesterday citizen input on bills when it is a new perspective or facts which have escaped the senate's notice or a well written amendment is a very good thing and is to be welcomed. I do think that a non senator just posting in every senate thread something like "I like this amendment" or "I don't like this amendment" disrupts the senate and the Speaker should try to stop those useless posts, but they are rare enough that it's not really a problem.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Senate Speaker Windjammer (Update) on: April 12, 2015, 03:55:31 pm
No, I am actually shocked about some things that have been happening lately.

A few Senators and the President are more or less openly discouraging citizens from posting in Senate threads even when their contributions are useful. Now we have a Senate Speaker who attacks a private citizen for conducting polls on controversial bills. Both things would have been unheard of in Atlasia just a few months ago

I told yankee this in a PM, but I may as well post it in public as well.

It seems to me like you pretty much read into my post what you wanted to read. And that's fine. The idea that there are nefarious conspiracies is a fun one, which I, myself, occasionally indulge in.

But what you seem to have got from my post has very little to do with the actual text of it. There was an ongoing discussion in that thread about the way the senate should deal with non senators and I gave my view, as someone who ran the senate for 4 months under the current rules, of how I ran it, and how I think it should more generally be done. I never mentioned Yankee's name and I never said what the senate should do about that particular case.

I was also very very clear (as in, I literally said so) that citizens contributions, when they are factual or provide a different perspective are to be welcomed so have no idea where you got that from.
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: April 12, 2015, 12:04:56 pm
As Bloomberg has never been on Have I Got News For You even if he ran he wouldn't win.
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Constitutional Amendment (Voting on amendment) on: April 12, 2015, 11:20:57 am
Yankee makes a good point here. There was a lot of ambiguity over what exactly the last amendment to pass here was about on AFE, probably because of the title, so we should try and avoid this for this one.

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