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Author Topic: Fifth Midwest Region Constitutional Convention (for the Fourth Constitution)  (Read 3934 times)
ilikeverin
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« on: July 08, 2012, 10:47:37 pm »
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Friends and Midwesterners,

I come before you today under the purview of the Fourth Constitutional Convention bill, which reads as follows:

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1. The Midwest Region shall call a constitutional convention in a separate thread in the Atlas Fantasy Elections board.
2. The constitutional convention shall be empowered with the ability to create the Fourth Midwestern Constitution, which shall succeed the Third Midwestern Constitution upon a majority vote by participating Midwestern citizens.
3. All Midwestern citizens are invited to be delegates to the constitutional convention, and shall indicate their participation by signing their name in the thread.

Please sign in here by signing your name, as I am here:

ilikeverin

It is clear that the Third Midwestern Constitution is utterly inadequate for our present needs.  Without any regular series of elections and propositions, our region has lapsed into utter inactivity.  What we need now is change.  I welcome your suggestions for what we should do Grin Cheesy Grin *hughughug* Grin Cheesy Grin

We're Midwesterners, so we can dispense with formality.  Let's sit and chat and bring things to a vote as needed.  (96 hours to vote on things, perhaps?  Don't forget to send out nice PMs to remind people to vote for important stuff!)  If we decide we want to have a chair, well, it can't be me, as I'm off to Europe for three weeks starting on Tuesday the 17th of this month.  But I'm sure we can find someone.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 10:50:46 pm by ilikeverin »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 11:17:02 pm »
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I think I moved here a few months ago from the Pacific, so, I'm in.

MaxQue.
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 02:30:32 am »
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x Kalwejt
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 03:18:05 am »
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Remind me of this once you start voting, so I can complain after it is too late and vote against your silly proposals. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 04:10:01 am »
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dead0man
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 05:54:23 am »
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Julio
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 08:48:20 am »
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Redalgo
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 12:27:38 pm »
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 01:16:22 pm »
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I'm here
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 06:05:34 pm »
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 11:49:54 pm »
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Alright, well, to make sure this thread doesn't die before I head to Europe, let's talk about what issues we need to address, shall we?

  • Gubernatorial Reform. We need to figure out what we're doing with the Prime Verinship.  I propose reverting the Prime Verinship to a gubernatorial system, with regular elections.  We need to make sure we don't have long periods of time where there's no gubernatorial election because people forget to hold one, as well as make sure people know when elections are actually being held.
  • Alțing Reform. We need to determine the responsibilities of the Alțing.  Personally, I think we need to make sure laws are voted on only occasionally, perhaps simultaneously with gubernatorial elections, to keep interest and participation high.  I know the idea of an elected Alțing has occasionally been mooted.
  • Amendments. We need to make amendments easier to pass.
  • Names. We need new names for our new offices, when applicable.  And perhaps a new official name for our dear region?

Is there anything else we want to address?
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Redalgo
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2012, 01:52:59 pm »
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Given the strong presence of Labor now in the region, this may also be an opportune time for us to incorporate into the document some basic, progressive principles to which the Alțing's acts should adhere. I fully intend to introduce a proposal for the fourth constitution this coming week that will be open to deliberation and amendment by my colleagues gathered here at the Convention. If this would be agreeable to you, Ilikeverin, I would also take the liberty of trying to include all of your suggestions - and any others which are made in this thread in the meanwhile - into my proposal.

The language I use would be non-partisan and aim to to leave our governing institutions flexible enough to legitimately explore many paths of policy, including many to which I am firmly opposed.
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2012, 04:34:07 pm »
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x A-bob

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ilikeverin
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 02:20:24 pm »
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Given the strong presence of Labor now in the region, this may also be an opportune time for us to incorporate into the document some basic, progressive principles to which the Alțing's acts should adhere. I fully intend to introduce a proposal for the fourth constitution this coming week that will be open to deliberation and amendment by my colleagues gathered here at the Convention. If this would be agreeable to you, Ilikeverin, I would also take the liberty of trying to include all of your suggestions - and any others which are made in this thread in the meanwhile - into my proposal.

The language I use would be non-partisan and aim to to leave our governing institutions flexible enough to legitimately explore many paths of policy, including many to which I am firmly opposed.

Sure, sounds wonderful! Smiley  The Midwest has always had a strong reformist tradition, with a long history of reformist leftist movements doing well (though at the beginning of its inception it was a swing region in terms of left/right).  I look forward to your proposals.
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Redalgo
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 01:42:17 am »
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Okay, this stuff here is pretty rough around the edges, strayed a bit from my initial goals, and might even be a bit too informal for the Midwest, but rather than editing this for a couple days I figured it'd be best just to put it on the table and figure out which parts of it might deserve to stay, which parts just need a wee bit of tweaking, and which really need to get tossed out in a big hurry. For reference, "Makawakana," pronounced, "MAW-kah / wah-KAW-nah" is "Sacred Ground" translated very loosely into Lakota-Sioux. I figured a Native name would make the region sound far more distinctive than giving it a geographical label.






Constitution of the Makawakana Nation





Preamble:

We the People of the Midwest Region, to honor our ancestors and ensure the fair health and wellbeing of our progeny for many generations to come, do recognize the necessity of a codified Constitution for the harmonious regulation of conflicts of interests betwixt diverse Persons and Factions, and do hereby found the Makawakana Nation and declare this Constitution to be the foundation for its righteous, valid governance. May it forever henceforth stand guard o'er the rights, privileges, and cultural characters of our Peoples!



Section I:

By consenting to the implementation of this Constitution and by accepting its legitimacy, the People and their Government acknowledge that theirs is a relationship with a number of rules and restrictions institutionalized to ensure their mutual wellbeing.

(a) - No act of regional government shall impede or infringe upon the rights of the People to:

  • Free thought, expression, conscience, creed, and cultural identity...
  • Free movement, association, and participation in cultural rites...
  • Shelter, food, water, clothing, medical care, education, and healthful environs...
  • Private possession of and secure control over use of their property...
  • Representative democracy in the politics of the state and economy...
  • Due process, fair trials, and uniform treatment under the law...
  • Equitable recognition of consensual civil partnerships under the law...
  • Recourse for significant abuses of the body and mind, and for defamation...
  • Security of person from execution, exile, torture, and uncivil punishments...
  • Ample time off from work for sleep, leisure, and other necessities of life...

Except for when the exercise of rights aforementioned is construed to present a dire, reasonably well-understood threat to the physical and/or mental wellness of persons. These ten items shall be known collectively as the Checklist of Untouchable Social Privileges.

(b) - In exchange, no act of the individual shall impede or infringe upon the rights of state to:

  • Enact and enforce laws in compliance with the contents of this Constitution...
  • Accrue and appropriate funds for performing state functions via taxation...
  • Defend itself from violence, foreign invasion, and domestic treachery...
  • Establish and maintain Land, Sky, and Wave Corps for peacekeeping...
  • Defer to the authority of the Republic of Atlasia when it is proper...
  • Confine, isolate, and rehabilitate persons found guilty of crimes in court...
  • Teach people the value of mutual respect and peaceable coexistence...
  • Discretion in resolving conflicts of interest betwixt rights of the People...
  • Confiscate heavy weapons from private owners without compensation...
  • Ensure that all members of society can fruitfully participate in public life...

Except for when the exercise of rights aforementioned is construed to present a dire, reasonably well-understood threat to the people of the nation, by the people of the nation, in which event they are to take all necessary steps to check the power of the state.



Section II:

(a) - The Alțing shall serve its legislative and executive functions in Cheyenne, Rosiness.

(b) - Five Folk Representanter are to be elected at-large on the first day of January, May, July, and October via party-list proportional representation. A representant cannot have a seat in the Alțing for more than two sessions (whether complete or not) per year. Their votes shall decide on matters pertaining to the creation, and passage, of legislation.

(c) - One Regional Kommissær is to be elected at-large from among the five elected representanter on the eleventh day of January, May, July, and October using the alternative ballot to discern which candidate receives an absolute majority of the vote. The winner is to serve as a Folk Representant, head of government, and as the official "Lord of the Cakes."

(d) - No rules of procedure shall be formalized by the Alțing. It shall build consensus or, in lieu of settling conflicts with words, resolve differences via games played by those of the representanter in a row. Failing that, the Regional Kommissær is to have the final say and ensure that the representanter exchange *hughuggrunt*s and feast on cake together.

(e) - If a Representant is to be absent, they may pick anyone to temporarily fill their seat.

(f) - A constitutional amendment requires four or five Representanter "you bet" votes to pass.



Section III:

(a) - The Depositaren is to serve its investigative and judicial functions in Belle Fourche, Vitality, where a grand, weatherproof temple of knowledge shall be built and maintained in perpetuity using regional public monies. The facility is to conduct research, double in its functions as a museum and learning center, and shall be "The Library of Makawakana."

(b) - Therein shall reside a Wisard Ekstraordinær tasked with deciding on whether legislation passed by the Alțing is in complete compliance with this Constitution. He or she serves as the ceremonial head of state and "Hugger in Chief," oversees all elections, is a regional spokesperson, and counsels the Kommissær on nominations and other stuff.

(c) - If the Wisard Ekstraordinær deems legislation unconstitutional, he or she strikes it, rendering the legislation annulled unless the Alțing can muster a unanimous vote for an override before the end of its session. The Wisard keeps their seat until a challenger can best them in a spontaneous, two-candidate regional election overseen by the Kommissær.

(d) - The Depositaren shall be administered by the Wisard in such a way as to promise the people of the Makawakana Nation free and fair elections, a transparent government, progress in areas of scientific research, and the fruition of new works of aesthetic art by citizens of the region. Rumors shall also be spread to children that legendary critters and figures of folklore like Santa Claus, Paul Bunyan, and Dave Leip dwell in Belle Fourche.

(e) - A Wisard Ekstraordinær is required to always wear a robe when in public, abstain from cutting their hair for the duration of their tenure, procure and lovingly care for at least one exotic pet, dispense Grin and Angry emotica on behalf of the regional government, don a flamboyant hat, and reach out to the mass media to foster good political dialogue.

(f) - If the Wisard cannot *nyuknyuknyuk* at something it is not worth taking seriously.



Section IV:

(a) - Until regularly scheduled elections can be held in October, signatory members of the Fifth Midwest Region Constitutional Convention shall be tasked with nominating and electing all Folk Representanter, the first Regional Kommissær, and first Wisard Ekstraordinær to office. Citizens may not challenge the Wisard until the first free election of the Alțing.

(b) - The eleven states of Makawakana shall be as follows:

  • Joy (Minnesota)
  • Mirth (Colorado)
  • Bluster (Oklahoma)
  • Moxie (Iowa)
  • Swagger (Kansas)
  • Befuddlement (New Mexico)
  • Grit (Nebraska)
  • Wonderment (Montana)
  • Vitality (South Dakota)
  • Serenity (North Dakota)
  • Rosiness (Wyoming)

(c) - The official symbols of the region shall be as follows:

  • Anthem - Makawakana, for Thee!
  • Bird - Black-billed magpie
  • Cat - Fritz
  • Colors - Copper and gold
  • Emotica - Grin and Angry
  • Flag - Click Here
  • Flower - Sunflower
  • Gesture of Affection - *hughughug*
  • Gesture of Solidarity - *hughuggrunt*
  • Motto - Granumi hoc Bonus
  • Muffin - Blueberry
  • Toast - Skćl!

(d) - The official holidays of the region shall be as follows:

  • New Year's Day (Jan 1)
  • Groovy Day of Love (Feb 14)
  • Earth Day (Apr 22)
  • International Workers' Day (May 1)
  • Facial Hair Appreciation Day (Jul 6)
  • Hug Gustaf Day (Jul 14)
  • Halloween (Oct 31)
  • Native Atlasian Heritage Day (Nov 28)
  • Human Rights Day (Dec 10)
  • Christmas Day (Dec 25)
  • Kwanza (Dec 26 - Jan 1)
  • The Festival of Light (Variable)
  • Muslim Friends Day (Variable)

(e) - In casting votes, except for in the case of preferential ranking, an affirmative attitude shall be expressed using an expression of, "ya," "you bet," "you bet'cha," or " Grin ," while any votes cast in opposition are to be expressed as, "na," "oh deev," " Angry ," "uff-da," or a variation thereof.  

(f) - The national languages of Makawakana are English, German, and Norwegian (Bokmćl). Other languages may be spoken either in private or public but the state shall only accommodate their speakers within the bounds of what its limited resources can reasonably provide for, with the exception of Native Atlasian languages, which the state shall actively seek to protect and preserve.


« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 06:56:44 pm by Redalgo »Logged

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dead0man
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2012, 06:18:57 am »
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I've always thought a leaning center would be a cool place to hang out at.  Lots of posts and bars and such.  Everybody smoking, drinking strong drink and wearing cool old hats.

Seriously though, I like most of that...the only issue I can see I might have is where the line is drawn between the first of the rights of the people (free expression) with the seventh right of the state (make sure the sensitive aren't offended).
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 09:00:24 am »
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Yeah, I was mulling over that a bit myself. A lot of countries use incitement of group hate as the cutoff point for their freedom of speech, but transplanting that to our culture may not be the best of ideas. If you'd prefer I'd be perfectly willing to either water down that provision or to remove it from the document entirely - though I would like to keep the list in question at ten items in length.

Would, "Teach folk the value of mutual respect and peaceable coexistence..." be satisfactory?

Also, I'll take care of  the leaning typo, though given the character of the region I wouldn't be ruling out any smoking, drinking, or wearing of the hats!
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2012, 05:44:08 pm »
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How are you guys going to keep those offices and titles straight?
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There is a lot of humor to be mined from this as the mind of LBJ in the body of an 18 month old baby girl is quite hilarious.

Alfred is the Atlasian equivalent of a malevolent deity.

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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2012, 06:48:54 pm »
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Easily, for me. Not so sure about anyone else. This thread is very quiet, which makes me a bit concerned that the Midwest might be irreversibly inactive. Anyway, I'm going to make that adjustment I mentioned since dead0man hasn't posted anything else. xD
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2012, 04:53:18 am »
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Anyway, I'm going to make that adjustment I mentioned since dead0man hasn't posted anything else. xD
Sorry, didn't know you were waiting for me...I guess there was a question aimed in my direction...
Yeah, I was mulling over that a bit myself. A lot of countries use incitement of group hate as the cutoff point for their freedom of speech, but transplanting that to our culture may not be the best of ideas. If you'd prefer I'd be perfectly willing to either water down that provision or to remove it from the document entirely - though I would like to keep the list in question at ten items in length.
understood
Quote
Would, "Teach folk the value of mutual respect and peaceable coexistence..." be satisfactory?
I suppose.  We certainly should have those things and I guess a class required for graduation from secondary school would be acceptable.
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Also, I'll take care of  the leaning typo, though given the character of the region I wouldn't be ruling out any smoking, drinking, or wearing of the hats!
Hey, I smoke, drink and wear a cap...I propose the Leaning Haberdashery Lounge as a place for casual conversation and the making fun of the other regions.
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2012, 03:25:10 pm »
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I support it.
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2012, 05:07:35 am »
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Easily, for me. Not so sure about anyone else. This thread is very quiet, which makes me a bit concerned that the Midwest might be irreversibly inactive. Anyway, I'm going to make that adjustment I mentioned since dead0man hasn't posted anything else. xD

Don't worry, I'll try to give comments ASAP.  Europe is busy, unsurprisingly!
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2012, 06:01:22 pm »
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Thoughts, tweaks, comments, etc.:

1. We should make sure use of "Nation" for our region doesn't conflict with any regulations about the use of the term nor is unpleasant to any Native American tribes.
2. Though I love the name "Makawakana", but I'm not sure its symbolism is perfect.  Maybe Makakapana, something similar to "grain-land" maybe kind of and also rather silly looking?
3. I absolutely love the Checklist of Untouchable Social Privileges (CUSP)!
4. Assuming we'd want 10 items for the Checklist of Agreed State Tasks (CAST), I'd like to replace the provision allowing for the Land/Sky/Wave Corps.  I don't think we need a regional army.
5. I think the gun control clause ought to be a bit more strict; we should say something that allows for a reasonable level of gun control over and above "no heavy armaments" (e.g., though I'd certainly go further, I think everyone can agree that, say, schizophrenics, should not be allowed to buy guns).
6. No, no, no, the capital simply must be Belle Fourche for all purposes.  Except I think it should be renamed for Cheesewhiz for obvious reasons.
7. The government titles are appropriately loony and I give them a Grin for sure.  But I of course strongly disagree with the existence of an elected legislature, and even if we have one I think 5 is too many.
8. Relatedly, a one-day election is much too short.  We used to have 7-day elections, which I think are better than the general 3-day ones.
9. II(d) is wonderful and I support this.  What is a *hughuggrunt*, though?
10. Section III is made of wonderful and rainbows and sparkly.  I love everything in it.
11. I very much approve of the residual irridentialism in Section IV (see: the state formerly known as New Mexico).  We may wish to have a chat about state names at some point, but I like many of these.  "Befuddlement" and "Rosiness" are the ones I'm a little iffy on.
12. IV(f): I'm torn on this one.  On the one hand, having lots of silly official languages is good.  On the other, I'm a linguist.  I'd rather we had none.  What language it is that we use should depend on the people in the Region; it shouldn't be imposed by fiat.  At the very least, we should have something about not supporting any particular standard of English for speech for classroom instruction or the like.
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2012, 08:05:56 pm »
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Hmm...


1. We should make sure use of "Nation" for our region doesn't conflict with any regulations about the use of the term nor is unpleasant to any Native American tribes.
2. Though I love the name "Makawakana", but I'm not sure its symbolism is perfect.  Maybe Makakapana, something similar to "grain-land" maybe kind of and also rather silly looking?

I have become irrationally fond of the the "Makawakana" name in the spirit of Midwestern self-aggrandizement, and reckon it is a less Euro-Atlasian than respectfully Native Atlasian way to refer to the states of the Great Plains. However, would it suffice to replace the label "Nation" with something toned down a bit (Republic) or even labourite (Workers Region)? I think it is important we can all agree on a name but I'm not sure if I much like this new pitch.

In terms of not being offensive, however, which is of considerable importance, how do you propose we go about ascertaining whether to proceed? I fully intend to err from my preferences if/when it is determined that a choice in names could be misinterpreted or seen in any way as disrespectful.


4. Assuming we'd want 10 items for the Checklist of Agreed State Tasks (CAST), I'd like to replace the provision allowing for the Land/Sky/Wave Corps.  I don't think we need a regional army.

I initially intended for the three corps to be more of a civil service force administered region-wide for the purposes of enforcing laws, serving as game wardens and rangers in regional parks, being our boots on the ground for responses to natural disasters, and so forth. But if you reckon it is an ill-conceived idea, I am sure there are alternative ideas we could explore for rounding off the Checklist of Agreed States Tasks.  


5. I think the gun control clause ought to be a bit more strict; we should say something that allows for a reasonable level of gun control over and above "no heavy armaments" (e.g., though I'd certainly go further, I think everyone can agree that, say, schizophrenics, should not be allowed to buy guns).

Perhaps I could broaden the state's room for interpretation a bit more by giving it authority to regular "tools with potentially lethal applications," or would that be going to far in the other direction? There are some people in this region who strongly support gun-related rights - and to be honest I lean somewhat in that direction myself - but I am sure we can agree on some basic, sensible guidelines to adhere to with something like this. When I hear back from you on these issues again in another post I'll try to respond with a quoted copy of the constitution covered with new markups to see if we've found sufficient common ground. Ya?


6. No, no, no, the capital simply must be Belle Fourche for all purposes.  Except I think it should be renamed for Cheesewhiz for obvious reasons.

This is an incredibly good idea. Given the low population of the-town-soon-to-be-renamed-as-Cheesewhiz, however, it would be prudent to keep the proposed parliament of sorts in Cheyenne, ya? I'm willing to make Belle Fourche the official capital though, just to be clear.


7. The government titles are appropriately loony and I give them a Grin for sure.  But I of course strongly disagree with the existence of an elected legislature, and even if we have one I think 5 is too many.

I in turn am strongly opposed to direct democracy and am concerned that a lack of elections is contributing in part to the virtually complete inactivity of the Alțing. If the convention can think of a way to boost participation, however, I am willing to have universal membership (sans the Wisard) in the  Alțing under the added condition that it be phrased in the constitution in such a way as to construe every player in the Midwest has been elected from one of our region's sub-administrative districts and that we simply never bother with conducting the elections in-game for lack of hundreds of players to necessitate such a multi-tiered division of labor (i.e. the "elections" occur on a regular basis and assume we keep getting reelected unless someone leaves the region or forum altogether, in which case we could act as though they lost a bid for reelection... or something like that). I'm not sure if I'm making a lot of sense here now. Hopefully someone is following my line of thought. Ideas? xD


8. Relatedly, a one-day election is much too short.  We used to have 7-day elections, which I think are better than the general 3-day ones.

. . .

11. I very much approve of the residual irridentialism in Section IV (see: the state formerly known as New Mexico).  We may wish to have a chat about state names at some point, but I like many of these.  "Befuddlement" and "Rosiness" are the ones I'm a little iffy on.

Okay, fair enough. If Befuddlement and Rosiness are out, do you have any preferences for what to replace them with? Once we've all settled on the names I will gladly edit the map I made awhile back. It shouldn't take more than ten minutes or so to take care of, I suspect.


9. II(d) is wonderful and I support this.  What is a *hughuggrunt*, though?

It is a Midwestern custom I've fabricated out of thin air which involves two people first firmly grasping their right hands, followed by a hearty, belly-to-belly bear hug with two pats of the back for each participant using both the left and rights hands. The ritual ends with a guttural sound of ones choice to express mutual approval, fondness, and/or physical discomfort from being too close to one another for enough seconds to make the whole experience somewhat awkward. It's a more formal, dignified, and "serious" variation of the traditional *hughughug*.


12. IV(f): I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, having lots of silly official languages is good.  On the other, I'm a linguist.  I'd rather we had none.  What language it is that we use should depend on the people in the Region; it shouldn't be imposed by fiat.  At the very least, we should have something about not supporting any particular standard of English for speech for classroom instruction or the like.

This is perfectly understandable. I proposed a Norwegian official language mostly as a cultural counter to giving privileged status to English and German. If you and the others here would concur, I would be willing to do away with official languages in the Midwest Region altogether.


If you would permit me the honor of doing so, by the way, I will gladly take change of keeping amended versions of the proposed constitution updated and re-posted for people to see as we continue with this process. Once we've settled a few of the aforementioned points I plan on doing so to see where we stand once again and make sure we aren't misinterpreting each others ideas. Does that work alright for everyone?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 08:08:10 pm by Redalgo »Logged

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized." ~ Nelson Mandela
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2012, 10:36:54 pm »
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I'm lurking around the convention because I'm interested in Midwestern culture and am considering joining you guys once I've served a term or two in the Northeast Assembly, so I've got a question: Does the Kommissaer have any special veto-type powers or is it just a pedestal you guys foist on some poor soul?
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There is a lot of humor to be mined from this as the mind of LBJ in the body of an 18 month old baby girl is quite hilarious.

Alfred is the Atlasian equivalent of a malevolent deity.

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