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Author Topic: The New Atlasia (a proposal for how a new political system could look)  (Read 2166 times)
Franzl
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« on: February 17, 2009, 03:07:22 pm »
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Folks...Atlasia is not what it used to be, and it's quite sad, seeing how much history this place has and what great things have happened here. I believe we need major reforms...not necessarily because the current system is so terrible, but because people have lost interest in it. Our primary problem is a lack of participation, and I firmly believe that an entirely new system would lead to higher interest.

I hereby announce that I wish to be a delegate to the upcoming Constitutional Convention, and I hope that my fellow residents of the Mideast will be convinced of my abilities to take part in this historic process.

At this time, I would like to share with you all an entire constitution that I have written. I welcome any comments, praise, criticism....and above all: DEBATE!

____________________________________________________________

SECTION I: LEGISLATURE

Article 1: The legislative power of Atlasia shall be vested in the National Assembly and the three legislative assemblies.
Article 2: Any citizen registered to vote in Atlasia may be elected to the National Assembly.
Article 3: Each Legislative Assembly shall correspond to one Region of Atlasia.
Article 4: Any citizen registered to vote in the region which a Legislative Assembly covers may be elected to that Legislative Assembly.
Article 5: The National Assembly shall have the sole authority to legislate on the following:
[insert stuff that the Senate currently has the power to legislate over]
Article 6: Any law passed by a Legislative Assembly on a topic over which the National Assembly does not have sole authority to legislate shall be subordinate only to the Constitution in that Region.
Article 7: If a National Assembly sits for one hundred thirty-five (135) days, it shall be considered dissolved.
Article 8: If a Legislative Assembly sits for seventy-five (75) days, it shall be considered dissolved.
Article 9: A legislature may dissolve itself by majority vote.
Article 10: After a legislature is dissolved, elections to said legislature shall occur on the last possible election date beginning less than fifteen (15) days after the dissolution.
Article 11: Each legislature shall have the power to choose its officials.
Article 12: Each legislature shall have the power to judge the qualifications of its members.
Article 13: A legislature may expel a member by an affirmative vote from two-thirds of its membership.
Article 14: The National Assembly shall consist of 19 members and the Legislative Assemblies of 11 members each, unless amended by law.
Article 15: If there is a vacancy in a legislature, then a successor shall be appointed by the party for which the member holding that seat was elected.
Article 16: If the party for which the member holding that seat was elected is no longer a major party, then the presiding officer of the legislature shall appoint a successor.

SECTION II: EXECUTIVE

Article 17: The executive power of Atlasia shall be vested in the President and three Governors.
Article 18: Any Atlasian citizen registered to vote can be elected President.
Article 19: Each Governor shall serve as head of state of a specific region, whereas the President shall serve as head of state of Atlasia.
Article 20: Any Atlasian citizen registered to vote in a particular region can be elected Governor of that region.
Article 21: The head of state has the power to appoint or dismiss the Government.
Article 22: The head of state has the power to dissolve the legislature at any time.
Article 23: Ministers may be appointed or dismissed by the President of the Cabinet.
Article 24: If a Governorship or the Presidency is vacant, the office's powers shall devolve upon the presiding officer of the relevant legislature until that legislature elects a head of state to serve the remainder of that term.
Article 25: The Government shall be responsible to its relevant legislature.
Article 26: No head of state may simultaneously hold any other office in Atlasia.
Article 27: A head of state may be removed for wrongdoing by a two-thirds majority of the relevant legislature.

SECTION III: JUDICIARY

Article 28: The highest court in Atlasia shall be the Supreme Court.
Article 29: Justices of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the National Assembly, Legislative Assemblies and Governments.
Article 30: Judicial officers shall serve for life, unless they are removed for wrongdoing by a four-fifths majority in the National Assembly.
Article 31: No judicial officer may simultaneously hold any other office in Atlasia.
Article 32: The National Assembly may create inferior courts through legislation.

SECTION IV: ELECTIONS

Article 33: The Chief Electoral Officer shall be charged with administering electoral law.
Article 34: The Chief Electoral Officer shall be elected to a six-month term by a majority vote in the Legislative Assemblies sitting in joint session.
Article 35: Elections to the National Assembly and Legislative Assemblies shall be held using the D’Hondt system, unless a region chooses to amend it within its borders to the Single Transferable Vote system.
Article 36: A major party is defined as any party with five or more registered voters, and a minor party is defined as any party not a major party.
Article 37: If the D’Hondt system is used, all parties must submit lists to the Chief Electoral Officer or endorse a list already submitted within seven days of the election to be placed on the ballot.
Article 38: Minor parties are unable to submit or endorse lists.
Article 39: If a party keeps minor party status for thirty (30) days or does not submit or endorse a list for three consecutive elections, it is automatically dissolved.
Article 40: Elections to the National Assembly shall be held simultaneously and separately in each Region.
Article 41: Legislators shall be seated immediately once electoral results are certified by the Chief Electoral Officer.
Article 42: Elections to the Presidency shall be held on the fourth weekend in February, June and October.
Article 42: Elections to the Governorships shall be held on the fourth weekend in April, August and December.
Article 43: The President-elect shall take office on the fifth day of the month.
Article 44: Apportionment to the National Assembly shall be by region using the D’Hondt system.
Article 45: Statutory electoral law shall require a three-fifths majority to enact or amend.

SECTION V: REGIONS

Article 46: Atlasia shall consist of three Regions.
Article 47: All States, the majority of whose land area is west of the Mississippi River, shall constitute the Western Region.
Article 48: All States, the majority of whose land area is north and east of the Potomac River, shall constitute the Eastern Region.
Article 49: All other States shall constitute the Central Region.

SECTION VII: OMNIBUS

Article 50: The rights of the people may not be infringed upon.
Article 51: This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the Senate and a two-thirds majority in a vote of the people.
Article 52: Upon the passage of this Constitution, all offices except for the Presidency, the Secretary of Forum Affairs and the Supreme Court shall be nullified.
Article 53: Upon the passage of this Constitution, elections shall be held for the legislatures, administered by the Secretary of Forum Affairs under the terms of this Constitution.
Article 54: After the legislatures have been elected, they shall elect the Governors and the Chief Electoral Officer, and the Department of Forum Affairs shall be abolished.
____________________________________________________________________

I welcome any comments!



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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 03:17:56 pm »
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I have some concerns over the size of the legislature (too big, in my opinion), and I would like you to clarify on dual office holding.

Furthermore, could you explain the D’Hondt system for us, and could you explain in more detail about regional governments?
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Franzl
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 03:24:17 pm »
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The size of the federal legislature is certainly debateable. The regional size is irrelevant as it can be changed by the regions themselves.

Dual office holding would be allowed unless specifically forbidden by the Constitution.

the D'hondt method is a form of party list proportional representation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Hondt_method

But any region can switch to our current Atlasian system of STV should they not want to go to such a partisan system. Basically my reason for suggesting it is to increase a sense of parties in ATlasia. It'd be amazing if people had to form coalitions like in real life, and the new role of the parties would make things more interesting....within the parties as well, as they'd have to reach a compromise on many issues if they want to show themselves in a strong position.

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Purple State
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 03:25:19 pm »
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I agree with Marokai that the number of offices is far too large. I also don't agree that the federal Constitution should dictate the number of legislature members each region can have. Shouldn't that be up to each region?

Also, is the Governor/President supposed to be chosen by the respective legislature? And must he be a member of the legislature?

On another note, if a member of a legislature is removed, and he is the only member of his party not in public office, wouldn't the party be forced to reappoint that member to the legislature? This would result in a paradoxical loop of sorts.

Edit: I also have a problem with using the D'Hondt system. As if elections weren't complicated enough.

Edit 2: It would probably work more efficiently to have a sort of half D'Hondt system, in which you vote by party lists (strengthening party ties) while using an allocation system based on simple proportions. Parties would have to rank their lists and then, based on the proportions, the top X ranked party members are seated.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 03:31:23 pm by Mideast Assembly Speaker Purple State »Logged

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Franzl
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 03:32:03 pm »
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I agree with Marokai that the number of offices is far too large. I also don't agree that the federal Constitution should dictate the number of legislature members each region can have. Shouldn't that be up to each region? the regions can decide, if they choose to reduce their own size. But I'm open to discussion about the size, it was just a suggestion.

Also, is the Governor/President supposed to be chosen by the respective legislature? And must he be a member of the legislature? The Governors are chosen for the FIRST time by the regional legislatures, but I wouldn't mind holding a popular vote either. But for other times...they'd be elected in a popular vote using the IRV system.

On another note, if a member of a legislature is removed, and he is the only member of his party not in public office, wouldn't the party be forced to reappoint that member to the legislature? This would result in a paradoxical loop of sorts. I agree, that's a good point.

Edit: I also have a problem with using the D'Hondt system. As if elections weren't complicated enough. What is complicated about it? It's just a counting system using party lists having seats divided proportionally. But as said, any region can elect their representatives using STV as well, if they like.
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Purple State
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 03:38:20 pm »
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See my second edit for my actual opinion of D'Hondt.

As for numbers of the legislature, those should really just be left blank for the regions to decide through Constitutional Conventions of their own.

This Constitution (I know it's a first draft) does need a good bit of clarification and clean-up, but its not a bad start. There are a number of systems worth considering, from D'Hondt to parliamentary to a reboot of the current system. And there are plenty of mix-and-match options.

I do agree that the new government must include never before seen (in Atlasia) instruments to create new and exciting dynamics to a game that has become rote and boring.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 03:46:28 pm »
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I do agree it's a good start, but we need to make sure to avoid such a large legislature, because at it's inception Atlasia was an election sim. If we make things so large we're basically eliminating half of the elections (and we don't have that many exciting ones as it is.)

Purple State does bring up an interesting conflict in the D'Hondt system that needs to be addressed, but I would rather we didn't have proportional representation based on party size. I think that's an unfair system (in fact, alot of this constitution is unfavorable) to minor parties, and would seem to me to increase partisan wrangling, which I want to see reduced.

Alot of these seems like something Xahar tried to keep pitching to me, whether that's a good or bad thing remains to be seen, though.
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Purple State
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 03:53:30 pm »
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I don't know how much increasing partisan wrangling would hurt the system. Yes you are forming rivalries and perhaps a less than friendly exchange of ideas. However, you do create closer knit groups, force compromise, etc.

I would like to hold off on real proposals until the actual Convention. I feel as though preconceived ideas will harm the essence of the process, even if it may expedite the finish. The 4CC has to be done slowly and deliberately. Your ideas aren't bad, but I think you should hold off on presenting them. In the meantime, keep tweaking them and figuring out how to make them better. You don't need to start actively campaigning for a position as a delegate just yet.
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Franzl
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 03:56:31 pm »
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We can reduce the size of the legislature, that's fine with me.

I think increased power of parties would be something that would make the whole process somewhat more interesting, even though I'm not a big fan of excessive partisanship, as many will know. People lose interest eventually, but even people that do not hold elected office would be able to have some influence on the legislative process if parties were forced to have opinions on most of the issues. Even more desirable would be if no party gained a majority, and official coalitions had to be formed.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 03:56:59 pm »
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Agreed, we don't want to taint the process before it gets started. There are many other members who need to make their proposals as well before we start debating anything at all.
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Franzl
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 04:01:57 pm »
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I don't know how much increasing partisan wrangling would hurt the system. Yes you are forming rivalries and perhaps a less than friendly exchange of ideas. However, you do create closer knit groups, force compromise, etc.

I would like to hold off on real proposals until the actual Convention. I feel as though preconceived ideas will harm the essence of the process, even if it may expedite the finish. The 4CC has to be done slowly and deliberately. Your ideas aren't bad, but I think you should hold off on presenting them. In the meantime, keep tweaking them and figuring out how to make them better. You don't need to start actively campaigning for a position as a delegate just yet.

Hey that's fine...but Atlasia isn't active....I felt that making a specific proposal might start DEBATE. THat's the important thing here. I'm not proposing this as a final solution that needs to be adopted, it's just a start.

I don't see why the convention has to be officially started to talk about these things. I welcome proposals from anyone else...in fact, I hope that my proposal leads others to MAKE their own proposals. It's a discussion starter.

Frankly, I think we do need to move fairly quickly....because nobody seems to care much anymore. Obviously this all needs to be done primarily during the convention, but it can't hurt to know where people stand, especially if they're to be elected as delegates by popular vote.

And as a delegate, I'm simply offering my services, don't see the problem here. You yourself stated earlier today that you wished to be one, PS.

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MasterJedi
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 04:19:02 pm »

No parlimentary system as well as messing up everything else. So, now I know to oppose you in being a delegate.
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Franzl
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2009, 04:21:18 pm »
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No parlimentary system as well as messing up everything else. So, now I know to oppose you in being a delegate.

That was productive! Thanks!
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MasterJedi
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 04:26:26 pm »

No parlimentary system as well as messing up everything else. So, now I know to oppose you in being a delegate.

That was productive! Thanks!

No problem. I've been around too long to realize all the "OMG Atlasia is doomed unless we do this" plans mean nothing and Atlasia will continue on. If you want a parliment go to mock parliment.
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Franzl
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 04:30:07 pm »
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No parlimentary system as well as messing up everything else. So, now I know to oppose you in being a delegate.

That was productive! Thanks!

No problem. I've been around too long to realize all the "OMG Atlasia is doomed unless we do this" plans mean nothing and Atlasia will continue on. If you want a parliment go to mock parliment.

As I've said numerous times, this is a mere suggestion, and as Atlasia does have a democratic form of government, it should be up to the people to decide what is and what is not necessary. I have no doubt that Atlasia will continue in some way...but the question here is whether we want to increase participation. You'll obviously agree that Atlasia is experiencing some problems, I hope.

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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2009, 05:25:25 pm »
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No parlimentary system as well as messing up everything else. So, now I know to oppose you in being a delegate.

That was productive! Thanks!

No problem. I've been around too long to realize all the "OMG Atlasia is doomed unless we do this" plans mean nothing and Atlasia will continue on. If you want a parliment go to mock parliment.

     The thing is, Atlasia has always been an election sim. Even if we switched to a parliament, it would still be an election sim whereas mock parliament is a government sim. Suffice it to say, they would not be the same thing were that to happen.

     Personally, I support a change to a parliamentary system because I'd like an increased element of partisanship. I think Franzl's plan is a pretty good one, though I do disagree with certain details, such as legislature size.
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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2009, 05:35:17 pm »
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FTR, I support a change to a parliamentary system. I also especially like your proposal of elections under d'Hondt PR.
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2009, 05:37:16 pm »
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Interesting. I'd support it, as it is different and it's not too dissimilar to what's been raised before.
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Purple State
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2009, 06:42:06 pm »
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I don't know how much increasing partisan wrangling would hurt the system. Yes you are forming rivalries and perhaps a less than friendly exchange of ideas. However, you do create closer knit groups, force compromise, etc.

I would like to hold off on real proposals until the actual Convention. I feel as though preconceived ideas will harm the essence of the process, even if it may expedite the finish. The 4CC has to be done slowly and deliberately. Your ideas aren't bad, but I think you should hold off on presenting them. In the meantime, keep tweaking them and figuring out how to make them better. You don't need to start actively campaigning for a position as a delegate just yet.

Hey that's fine...but Atlasia isn't active....I felt that making a specific proposal might start DEBATE. THat's the important thing here. I'm not proposing this as a final solution that needs to be adopted, it's just a start.

I don't see why the convention has to be officially started to talk about these things. I welcome proposals from anyone else...in fact, I hope that my proposal leads others to MAKE their own proposals. It's a discussion starter.

Frankly, I think we do need to move fairly quickly....because nobody seems to care much anymore. Obviously this all needs to be done primarily during the convention, but it can't hurt to know where people stand, especially if they're to be elected as delegates by popular vote.

And as a delegate, I'm simply offering my services, don't see the problem here. You yourself stated earlier today that you wished to be one, PS.

I believe there is a difference between declaring your intent to serve as a delegate (which I have done a number of times already) and taking the step of bringing actual proposals to the floor before anything is up and running.

Looking at the responses this thread has already received, my worries have actually been fulfilled. To have people entering the Convention with preconceived ideas about what they are looking for, especially as concrete as the one you are proposing, will make a Convention harder to run productively. Instead, people will enter already convinced they support or reject a certain idea. Nor does it help that people have "opinions" on this piece. When compared to the system we currently use, yes this looks phenomenal. However, that is not what we will be comparing this to in the Convention. It should stand side-by-side with the proposals it will actually rival, rather than on its own.

In addition, I do not agree that the process should be run fairly quickly. Atlasia has been deteriorating for a while now. It currently holds static. An extra month will not kill it. Rebooting the game must take time. It has to be done with great care to ensure we get a lively and renewed system, not a short-lived carryover.

I believe that a Convention sub-board will allow for more conducive discussion of all of this in a more concentrated atmosphere. Until then, the smartest thing to do is to think about the options, listen to the people, and make your intentions of running known on a more grassroots level. You may not agree, but I wanted to voice my concerns. The last thing I want to see is the derailing of the convention because of hasty action.
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Meeker
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2009, 08:29:10 pm »
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My main concern, as has been expressed by others, is that there's too many seats.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2009, 09:16:47 pm »
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My main concern, as has been expressed by others, is that there's too many seats.

Far too many, really. Half of this game is elections afterall.
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HappyWarrior
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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2009, 09:31:14 pm »
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My main concern, as has been expressed by others, is that there's too many seats.
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"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2009, 09:33:06 pm »
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I have to echo Purple's very well stated concerns though. We should back off this, because we're starting to center around on discussion rather than bringing up a variety of proposals from other people and comparing them that way.

I don't think we should be debating proposals in depth until the ConCon and when we get there we should do it very slowly and patiently to get it right.
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