Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 24, 2014, 06:57:33 pm
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  Atlas Fantasy Elections
| |-+  Atlas Fantasy Government
| | |-+  Constitutional Convention (Moderators: Gustaf, MasterJedi)
| | | |-+  The Smid Proposal
« previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] Print
Author Topic: The Smid Proposal  (Read 4437 times)
Smid
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6030
Australia


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2009, 09:04:28 am »
Ignore

My apologies for butting in, and perhaps I missed it skimming the thread but what would you do with the judicial branch?

No need to apologise, I popped this up so we can talk about things and I welcome questions.

*nevermind see it*

Obviously I see this through a certain lens, but I think an elected judiciary (even through the parliament) may not be the best idea...it has some merit, but judicial independence is better preserved when you give it some separation from traditionally elected branches.

I'm also of the opinion that our judicial system works, at least at the federal level...so don't fix it!!! Heh.

On the first point - I don't tend to be a fan of elected judiciaries in real life, but the option was put forward in private discussions and I wanted to include it as an option. The other two alternatives I included are similar to what we currently have, with either the Prime Minister or the Attorney-General appointing Justices. Of the two, if the Attorney-General is to be a prosecutor, the role they accept presently, then I can see a potential conflict of interest there and therefore would be satisfied with a Prime Ministerial Appointment. If the Attorney-General is responsible for the Justice Department (perhaps with the authority to appoint prosecutors) then it's probably sufficient for him to appoint Justices. I'm also fine with scrapping terms for Judges if that's the way we'd prefer to go. My main interest is in the internal parliamentary procedure and setting that section up, the judiciary is not my area of expertise and I don't have firm opinions on how that should be determined.
Logged
Purple State
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6780
United States


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2009, 10:04:12 am »
Ignore

On the model, I have a few thoughts from an initial look.

First, while an impartial Speaker is nice, not allowing the speaker to vote may be more of a deterrent for the position. Imagine not allowing the PPT to debate or vote on legislation. I'm also not too fond of the way a PM is elected. The procedure seems far too long-winded and complex. The rules for debate should be defined by either standing orders or the Speaker in a fair way. I think the Constitution just needs to say these are the qualifications, the basic outline of the process of getting a PM and the duties of the office.

Next, rather than limiting the number of pieces of legislation that can be offered by different groups, perhaps enforce a ratio so that the majority must allow the opposition to propose up to three-fifths the number of pieces of legislation that the majority does. And one-fifth likewise for minor parties unaffiliated with either group.

Also, a lot is left open to how the individual Houses of government want to order procedure. While I agree that such a sprawling parliamentarian system should be given flexibility, some sort of guidelines should be setup. Perhaps defining a quorum, giving absolute minimum requirements for the standing orders. Just to make sure that, once we finish the Convention, the resulting government isn't stuck for months on working out how to function properly.
Logged

Marokai/Purple Main Campaign Thread

Thank you to all our supporters!

DownWithTheLeft
downwithdaleft
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18877
Italy


Political Matrix
E: 9.16, S: -3.13

View Profile
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2009, 02:03:46 pm »
Ignore

Rough idea here no details but kind of the Smid plan:

Fifteen person legislature
  -five at-large seats in December and June
  -five at-large seats in February and August
  -five regional seats in April and October

From the fifteen person legislature, a PM is chosen whose responsibilites closely resemble what the president does today. 

My thinking is that you leave the senate pretty much unchanged as far as function, but you give them the ability to elect a president.  It adds a level of partisanship as parties would have to work together to get one of there's elected as it is highly unlikely that one party would hold 8 seats.
Logged

Gov. Christopher J. Christie
Lief
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 33578


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2009, 02:30:30 pm »
Ignore

I definitely think that a parliamentary system (or a system where the head of state is elected from the Senate/legislature) is the best way to go. I'd agree with Marokai and Verily though, that we should collectively build the constitution from the ground up, rather than basing it one or another person's proposals.
Logged

bullmoose88
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 14543


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2009, 08:46:40 pm »
Ignore

On the first point - I don't tend to be a fan of elected judiciaries in real life, but the option was put forward in private discussions and I wanted to include it as an option. The other two alternatives I included are similar to what we currently have, with either the Prime Minister or the Attorney-General appointing Justices. Of the two, if the Attorney-General is to be a prosecutor, the role they accept presently, then I can see a potential conflict of interest there and therefore would be satisfied with a Prime Ministerial Appointment. If the Attorney-General is responsible for the Justice Department (perhaps with the authority to appoint prosecutors) then it's probably sufficient for him to appoint Justices. I'm also fine with scrapping terms for Judges if that's the way we'd prefer to go. My main interest is in the internal parliamentary procedure and setting that section up, the judiciary is not my area of expertise and I don't have firm opinions on how that should be determined.


I dislike term limits for judges, the "for life" appointment seems to work here, though if you guys want to put language in to replace bad judges (and I dont mean interms of disagreeable opinions, but something a tad more serious) you could do that.

It would probably not be a good thing if the AG appointed judges since (s)he would have to argue in front of them.  The government leader should do that, and the AG can give his/her advice.
Logged

A Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative NE Republican with some Left-Libertarian/3rd Way Leanings. Simply, a Rockefeller Republican.

According to one poster, I represent a...

Dying bread of Americans.
Smid
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6030
Australia


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2009, 08:58:20 am »
Ignore

Sorry about the delay in responding. There's an election in my homestate on Saturday and I've been sifting through the various news articles, booth results and maps relating to that.

On the model, I have a few thoughts from an initial look.

First, while an impartial Speaker is nice, not allowing the speaker to vote may be more of a deterrent for the position. Imagine not allowing the PPT to debate or vote on legislation.

That was actually part of the reason I was aiming for an impartial Speaker - to act as a deterrent. Hopefully it means that people won't be able to politicise the role and won't seek the role for partisan purposes and therefore the people who are interested in carrying out the duties of Speaker will be someone who will act responsibly in the position - it would be up to the Speaker to maintain an up-to-date list of participants able to vote for Senate, in Confidence Motions, etc. There's plenty of power in other partisan roles, such as Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, the Shadow Ministers, the various minor party leaders, etc. They'd still be able to vote to break ties, and with the number of participants in the Lower House, it's unlikely that many votes will be close. Anyway, that's just a bit of an explanation as to why I thought an impartial Speaker would be beneficial.

I'm also not too fond of the way a PM is elected. The procedure seems far too long-winded and complex.

I've tried to make it several clearly defined steps to elect the PM. I might show how it would work by way of example.

Quote from: Example of electing a Prime Minister
For the purposes of the example, assume that Dead0man is the RPP Leader in the House, Hashemite is the DA Leader, Lief is the SDP Leader and Lunar is the JCP Leader. Also assume the parties have roughly the following numbers of members:

RPP - 20
DA - 18
SDP - 15
JCP - 8

In background, the RPP is forming a Coalition Government with the JCP, giving JCP members certain Ministries, and believes it has secured an agreement with the SDP for their votes in the Confidence Motion. The DA, however, has convinced the SDP to form a Coalition, giving them Ministries and also voting for two of their members to the Senate.

1. The Confidence Motion is moved by any MP in the Lower House. In the example, perhaps Duke is RPP Whip and moves the motion: "That - this House expresses confidence in Dead0man to form a Government in this place."

2. The motion may be spoken against, probably by the person likely to become Opposition Leader or a member of his or her party. This is their opportunity to provide a reason for people to not support the person named in the motion. The reason I included a rule that the person speaking has to vote against the motion was to try to prevent a person who actually supports the candidate from giving a poor speech to try to deflect criticism, especially when the vote is likely to be close (and their vote may be required to get their candidate over the line). The time limit is included to prevent confidence motions dragging on for weeks. In the example, Hashemite doesn't want to appear the attack dog of the party and allows Conor to deliver the DA's response to the motion.

3. There is a period of questioning the candidate. This is not really any different to what Marokai's going through presently at his confirmation hearing. The Leader can choose to answer as many questions as he or she wishes - obviously ignoring questions may lead to less support, so in the example, it's up to Dead0man to decide which questions he wishes to answer.

4. When Dead0 has finished answering questions and the time for asking questions has concluded, Dead0man is then able to give a speech as to why he should be supported to form a government. He may focus on some policies his Government would pursue, or whatever - he's basically just giving a campaign speech.

5. As soon as Dead0man posts his speech, the vote begins without the Speaker or anyone needing to open a voting thread - it just continues from the post right after the speech is made and then closes after 72 hours - when the vote is concluded and the results declared. In this example, much to the surprise of the RPP, members of the SDP voted against the Confidence Motion and the end result was 23-28 against (not all members were in the chamber, evidently).

In the example, as soon as the Confidence Motion failed, Lief rises to his feet and moves (new thread): "That - this House expresses confidence in Hashemite to form a Government in this place." ...

Hopefully that clarifies it a little.

The rules for debate should be defined by either standing orders or the Speaker in a fair way. I think the Constitution just needs to say these are the qualifications, the basic outline of the process of getting a PM and the duties of the office.

I agree with you. I haven't drafted any Standing Orders because it would probably be too time consuming given that we haven't decided on a model yet, but I agree that the Constitution needs to set out the big-picture qualifications, rather than the detail of day-to-day business. The reason I have included the detail for the election of the Prime Minister was to ensure that it wasn't too easy to change those rules: The rules for changing the Constitution are stringent, whereas to change the standing orders, a motion need only pass the House that the Standing Orders affect. This is also the best reason to set out the rules of debate in the SO (as you said): it doesn't need to be so difficult to change the rules of debate, so they don't need to be dictated in the Constitution. You'd have noted (and I mention this only for anyone who may not have read through my draft) that the Standing Orders were referred to in s3(1) for example.

Next, rather than limiting the number of pieces of legislation that can be offered by different groups, perhaps enforce a ratio so that the majority must allow the opposition to propose up to three-fifths the number of pieces of legislation that the majority does. And one-fifth likewise for minor parties unaffiliated with either group.


I like this idea. What I'd put forward was more for sake of simplicity, but I don't think it would be terribly difficult to work it this way, (edit after a couple more sentences: indeed, the more I think about it, the more I like it and the simpler it seems). Perhaps the Speaker could open a thread similar to the one Happy Warrior opened today, with five slots for Government legislation, three slots for the Opposition's PMBs, and one slot for each minor party to propose a PMB. That would make things easier, would prevent the legislative timetable becoming overly jammed, benefit a party that can bring it's legislation to a vote earlier and I think would actually be easier than trying to keep track of how much legislation had been introduced in a particular month (ie. would it be calendar month or in the past 30 days, etc). I think you're right - this makes a lot more sense and would be far simpler to manage.

Also, a lot is left open to how the individual Houses of government want to order procedure. While I agree that such a sprawling parliamentarian system should be given flexibility, some sort of guidelines should be setup. Perhaps defining a quorum, giving absolute minimum requirements for the standing orders. Just to make sure that, once we finish the Convention, the resulting government isn't stuck for months on working out how to function properly.

As I'd mentioned earlier in this post, I was planning on knocking together a few thoughts on Standing Orders that we could discuss and then move at the first sitting of Parliament if we were to adopt this sort of a model. There are two ways we could do that, that I can see: either we could put forward a set of Standing Orders for each House as "Schedule A" and "Schedule B" to the Constitution and set out in Chapter 9 that the rules for changing the Constitution do not apply to Schedules A and B and that they may be changed by a simple motion passing the relevant House (or words to that affect) and state in Chapters 2 and 3 that the Standing Orders found in Schedules A and B will be in affect from the first sitting of Parliament until such time as they are amended (something along those lines).

The other way we could approach is it would be to prepare a set prior to the first sitting of Parliament, numbered in the same way as the Constitution and at the first sitting give all members the opportunity to say which particular numbers they have a problem with (whether opposed to, or wish to amend) and then move that all the other sections are adopted and then we can just debate the ones with which people have a problem. This would be similar to how Hugh moved the Constitution in the Mock Parliament thread.
Logged
HappyWarrior
hannibal
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 7218


Political Matrix
E: -3.87, S: -0.35

View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2009, 09:04:05 am »
Ignore

I personally am quite inclined to this proposal.  I like the idea of the backroom deals involved and the ability of everyone to be involved.
Logged


"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."
-William Jennings Bryan
Smid
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6030
Australia


View Profile
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2009, 09:11:59 am »
Ignore

I definitely think that a parliamentary system (or a system where the head of state is elected from the Senate/legislature) is the best way to go. I'd agree with Marokai and Verily though, that we should collectively build the constitution from the ground up, rather than basing it one or another person's proposals.

I agree also - I was putting this out here as a discussion point and I codified it so that I wasn't bringing forward something that was only half-thought-through. We can decide the model we prefer (as I mentioned, I prefer a bicameral parliamentary system) and then we can build the constitution from there. I put together something so that if we decide on using a parliamentary model, when we draft the Constitution, we can use any parts that we like, ignore any parts that we don't like, but also to just help stimulate discussion in the meantime. I figured that if I just put out some conceptual posts (like the earlier ones in this thread), somebody would probably end up asking "how would it look in practice" or ask for greater detail - like Bullmoose's earlier query about the rules for the judiciary. Anyway, I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to take over the discussion or dictate my opinions or anything.
Logged
Smid
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6030
Australia


View Profile
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2009, 09:18:45 am »
Ignore

On the first point - I don't tend to be a fan of elected judiciaries in real life, but the option was put forward in private discussions and I wanted to include it as an option. The other two alternatives I included are similar to what we currently have, with either the Prime Minister or the Attorney-General appointing Justices. Of the two, if the Attorney-General is to be a prosecutor, the role they accept presently, then I can see a potential conflict of interest there and therefore would be satisfied with a Prime Ministerial Appointment. If the Attorney-General is responsible for the Justice Department (perhaps with the authority to appoint prosecutors) then it's probably sufficient for him to appoint Justices. I'm also fine with scrapping terms for Judges if that's the way we'd prefer to go. My main interest is in the internal parliamentary procedure and setting that section up, the judiciary is not my area of expertise and I don't have firm opinions on how that should be determined.


I dislike term limits for judges, the "for life" appointment seems to work here, though if you guys want to put language in to replace bad judges (and I dont mean interms of disagreeable opinions, but something a tad more serious) you could do that.

It would probably not be a good thing if the AG appointed judges since (s)he would have to argue in front of them.  The government leader should do that, and the AG can give his/her advice.

I'm certainly not in favour of term limits - indeed, s8(5) specifically allows for judges to serve multiple terms (the recent edit wasn't me inserting this section, it was me mending the wording of s8(4) to insert the words "appointed to" between the words "be" and "serve" - I'd left them out earlier by mistake).

That said, I agree that the current system works well and to borrow an oft-used phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The judiciary isn't my main interest and when it comes time to draft the Convention's new Constitution, I'm happy to take a back seat and let others take a more active role in deciding how the judiciary would be selected and the role they'd play. I wanted to include it in my draft here for the sake of completeness.
Logged
Purple State
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6780
United States


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2009, 10:24:44 am »
Ignore

Your explanation of the PM process was good. I am now worried that an operative could make a crappy speech and vote against the candidate, but it gets rid of the speech. Depending on what the numbers look like this could be a quick problem. I think the rules need to exclude the opposition speaker to a different party and that person's party may not join a coalition with the PM party for that round. Granted this requires party discipline (never know when some idiot is going to go and make the speech against his party's will) but that's half the point.
Logged

Marokai/Purple Main Campaign Thread

Thank you to all our supporters!

PASOK Leader Hashemite
Hashemite
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 31484
South Africa


Political Matrix
E: -1.29, S: -7.30

P P P

View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2009, 01:45:00 pm »
Ignore

I read over this thread and the actual codified proposal in the formal language in the other thread. I am, overall, strongly in favour of this, with a few minor quirks.

Firstly, moving away from the British Westminster proposal a bit, I don't think the Prime Minister absolutely needs to be the leader of a political party. I think any person that fits certain requirements (activity, and something else maybe) should be allowed to be Prime Minister. This would also allow Independents who are nonetheless able to build a majority coalition around them to become Prime Minister. This is pretty much the only part of this where I have a problem.

Secondly, I disagree with parts of Article 4 on Political Parties, though I agree with the gist of the article. I do not think that political parties should be considered political parties after they have five members. Since all voters are MPs anyways, I think political parties of any size should be allowed. However, I propose a system similar to the one used in the French Parliament concerning parliamentary groups. A parliamentary group should have atleast 5 (or 10, whatever) members. Large political parties should have no trouble forming a group. Smaller parties or Independents that do not pass this threshold can choose to (i) caucus (apparentée) with a larger group or (ii) to sit as non-inscrits, which is not a group per se but a grouping of minor sub-5 parties and "fully independent Indies". Parliamentary groups would each have a leader (or speaker) and a whip, like the current constitution plans for political parties, and have a quota of PMBs like Purple State proposed earlier. A group speaker's would be responsible for addressing the group's response to a NCM, confidence vote, PM vote, law or whatever. He could also delegate this power to another member of the group at any time. Small (small defined as sub-5 members) political parties that would choose to caucus with a larger group would have access to these "advantages". Non-inscrits could choose a "delegate" that has less powers than the other leaders and would not have a whip. I assume non-inscrits MPs should have the right to introduce one piece of legislation per session. This whole thing is just an idea, but I feel that it would allow smaller political parties that do not have 5 members to have a voice.

I also had this idea concerning the election of the Prime Minister while reading the Constitution of the Fourth Republic like we all do in our spare time. Two alternatives, with many sub-alternatives. Basically:

1

Senators and MPs assemble in Congress and elect the Prime Minister from declared Prime Ministerial candidates (no write-ins or NOTA). For example, Smid declares as RPP candidate, Lief declares as SDP candidate, Franzl declares as DA candidate, realistic declares as JCP candidate, and maybe some Indie. Here we have three scenarios that break off:

1. In the first and second rounds of voting, a candidate needs 50%+1 of all votes cast to win, and in the third round he needs a simple plurality of votes cast. No candidate is eliminated after each round, but one may choose to drop out at any time without having to endorse another candidate immediately. Ex, using Smid's scenario of a RPP 20, DA 18, SDP 15, JCP 8 House and let's say as RPP 5, DA 5, SDP 4, JCP 1 Senate. Assuming no party rebels or absences for simplicity's sake.

Round one. 76 votes cast, 39 for majority.
Smid (RPP) 25
Franzl (DA) 23
Lief (SDP) 19
Realistic (JCP) 9

Round two. No one drops out, then it remains as in round one. Candidates may now choose to drop out, and their voters vote the way they wish. If one candidate has 39 votes, he wins.

Round three. No one drops out, then it remains as in round one and two and Smid wins by plurality. If a candidate dropped out before round two or three, then whichever candidate has the most votes wins.

Pros: There is a guaranteed winner after 3 rounds, so there is no chance it goes into 13 rounds of voting.
Cons: The winner may lack a stable majority in Parliament. For this reason, I do not recommend adopting this system.

2. In all rounds of voting, a candidate needs 50%+1 of all votes cast to win. No candidate is eliminated after each round, but one may choose to drop out at any time without having to endorse another candidate immediately.

Pros: The winner will always have the support of a majority in Parliament.
Cons: It could potentially take for ever for one to get a majority. In France in 1953, Coty won after 13 rounds of voting.

3. In all rounds of voting, a candidate needs 50%+1 of all votes cast to win. The candidate receiving the least votes is eliminated after each round, he doesn't have to endorse another candidate immediately. In addition, a candidate may drop out at any time without having to endorse another candidate immediately. Ex, using Smid's scenario of a RPP 20, DA 18, SDP 15, JCP 8 House and let's say as RPP 5, DA 5, SDP 4, JCP 1 Senate. Assuming no party rebels or absences for simplicity's sake.

Round one. 76 votes cast, 39 for majority. Realistic is eliminated.
Smid (RPP) 25
Franzl (DA) 23
Lief (SDP) 19
Realistic (JCP) 9

Round two. Assume all realistic votes flow to Smid. Lief is eliminated.
Smid (RPP) 34
Franzl (DA) 23
Lief (SDP) 19

Round three. Assume all Lief votes flow to Franzl, who is elected 42-34.
Franzl (DA) 42
Smid (RPP) 34

Pros: The winner will always have the support of a majority in Parliament.
Cons: A high number of candidates in the first round means that it could take a long time.

4. In all rounds of voting, a candidate needs 50%+1 of all votes cast to win. The second round is only between the top two candidates in the first round.

Ex, using Smid's scenario of a RPP 20, DA 18, SDP 15, JCP 8 House and let's say as RPP 5, DA 5, SDP 4, JCP 1 Senate. Assuming no party rebels or absences for simplicity's sake.

Round one. 76 votes cast, 39 for majority. Realistic is eliminated.
Smid (RPP) 25
Franzl (DA) 23
Lief (SDP) 19
Realistic (JCP) 9

Round two. Assume all realistic votes flow to Smid and all votes flow to Franzl, who is elected 42-34.
Franzl (DA) 42
Smid (RPP) 34

Pros: The winner will always have the support of a majority in Parliament.

2

MPs only elect the Prime Minister from declared Prime Ministerial candidates (no write-ins or NOTA). The same scenarios (1, 2, 3, 4) from Alternative 1 apply, but only the House votes (composition RPP 20, DA 18, SDP 15, JCP 8 ). So on and so forth.

Anyways, this is all just an alternative.

Lastly, if you want more fun in this, courtesy of the Fourth Republic. The elected Prime Minister, in a speech to the House, outlines his political agenda and his government's policy. All MPs vote in a confidence vote, which requires 50%+1 of all votes cast to pass. Voluntary and voting abstentions are therefore counted in this total. Members not voting are not counted in this total. If it passes, the Prime Minister names his cabinet and must/could (two alternatives, you see) proceed to a second confidence vote in the House with the same rules as in this first vote. A NCM can be proposed at any time, and requires 50%+1 of all votes cast to pass. If it passes, the PM and his cabinet must resign immediately and a new vote is held. Just an idea.

As said above, the part that I really have a major issue with is Article 5, Section 1, Clause i and parts of Article 4. My other proposals are just things that I feel could add to the game and could make this more fun. I probably won't defend them to the death, though.

On a last note, I really like Article 2, Section 1, Clause i and the general idea of constituencies. Though I feel there should be boundary commission that sets the borders of these constituencies so that people don't just go around randomly creating their constituencies out of the blue, which would be a disastrous idea.

I also apologize for this very long post.    

Logged

Smid
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6030
Australia


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2009, 07:20:41 pm »
Ignore

Your explanation of the PM process was good. I am now worried that an operative could make a crappy speech and vote against the candidate, but it gets rid of the speech. Depending on what the numbers look like this could be a quick problem. I think the rules need to exclude the opposition speaker to a different party and that person's party may not join a coalition with the PM party for that round. Granted this requires party discipline (never know when some idiot is going to go and make the speech against his party's will) but that's half the point.

Glad the example explained it well, I figured that an example would be the best way to show how it would work in practice and it would make a little more sense than trying to follow the wording I'd provided in my draft.

I share your concerns regarding someone giving a poor speech against the candidate nominated. While I was typing the example, I started to think that perhaps the time in which to give the opposition speech should be extended and perhaps limited to an opposing Party Leader (or someone the Leader delegates to in a post in the thread). Your suggestion works just as well, however and as you said requires greater party discipline - which I think would improve the game dynamic by adding an extra level of strategy to the game.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines