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Author Topic: The Smid Proposal - Codified  (Read 2523 times)
Smid
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« on: March 16, 2009, 01:00:06 am »
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Okay - I've decided not to lock the thread so that people can still click "quote" to make it easier to make comments about it, however I request that if you want to comment on this draft, to do so here:

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=93695.0

That way this thread can be kept clear of debate, making it easier for people to read it and find it and I can add new sections people offer new suggestions. I'll add each Chapter of the draft Constitution as separate posts, so that it's easier to navigate and doesn't result in a single post being too long. I'll also endeavour to edit this to reflect the most up-to-date version of the proposal (so if new suggestions come up, I'll add them here).
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Smid
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 01:02:38 am »
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The Smid Proposal – Codified

Chapter 1 Introduction

1(1) The national governance of Atlasia shall occur in the Parliament of Atlasia.

1(2) The Parliament of Atlasia shall comprise of two houses – a Lower House and an Upper House.

1(3) The name of the Lower House will be determined at a later date, but for reference in this discussion, any of the following names, if used, mean the Lower House of Parliament: a “House of Representatives,” a “Congress,” a “House of Commons,” a “Legislative Assembly.”

1(4) The name of the Upper House will also be determined at a later date, but for reference in this discussion, either of the following names, if used, mean the Upper House of Parliament: a “Senate,” or a “Legislative Council.”
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Smid
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 01:11:26 am »
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Chapter 2 The Lower House

2(1) Any person who registers in Atlasia shall be deemed to hold a seat in the Lower House. When registering, they must provide:
(i)   the name of their electorate,
(ii)   the name of the state in which their electorate is located, and
(iii)   the political party to which they belong, unless they are an independent.

2(2) Any Member of Parliament may change the name of their electorate and the name of the state in which their electorate is located no more frequently than once every six months, and then only in the months of April and October, however they may change the party with which they are affiliated as frequently as they wish.

2(3) Any Member of Parliament seated in the Lower House shall be entitled to debate Bills and Motions that come before the Lower House, except for the Speaker of the House.

2(4) Any Member of Parliament entitled to debate a Bill or Motion before the Lower House shall also be entitled to vote on that Bill or Motion, even if they did not participate in the debate concerning that Bill or Motion. 

2(5) The Lower House shall be presided over by the Speaker of the Parliament, elected by the Members of the Lower House, whose role shall be to chair the debate that occurs within the Parliament and who shall not vote, except to break ties.

2(6) The Lower House shall be responsible for electing Senators.

2(7) Members of the Lower House shall be responsible for electing a Prime Minister, whose Government shall be responsible for the governance of Atlasia.

2(8 ) To qualify to vote in the election of a Senator or to vote in confidence and no confidence motions in the Prime Minister, a Member of Parliament must meet the following requirements: (i) a minimum total post count on the forum of 25; (ii) have posted more than 15 times in the previous 8 weeks; (iii) participated in parliamentary debate on at least two Bills in the previous 60 days; and (iii) have registered as a Member of Parliament in the Lower House more than 10 days prior to the election.

2(9) The only exception to the qualification to vote in the election of a Senator or to vote in a confidence motion for a Prime Minister is to allow Members of Parliament to vote for the first Prime Minister and for the first elected Senators.

2(10) Following the first election of Prime Minister and Senators, Section 2(9) shall cease to operate.

2(11) The Lower House may not conduct debate on any matter if it does not have a Speaker.

2(12) The Lower House may not conduct debate on any Bills or motions, except for a confidence motion if it does not have a Prime Minister.

2(13) If a motion of no confidence is moved, the Lower House must cease to debate all other Bills and motions until the motion of no confidence is resolved.

2(14) The Speaker is required to maintain on a weekly basis a public list of current members of the House who are qualified according to Section 2(8 ).
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Smid
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 01:14:37 am »
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Chapter 3 The Upper House

3(1) The Upper House shall comprise of 15 Senators, elected by the Lower House by the method allowed by the House of Representatives Standing Orders.

Alternative to Section 3(1) – Note, the alternative of this section and the alternative of Section 3(5) are linked The Upper House shall comprise of 10 Senators, elected by the Lower House by the method allowed by the House of Representatives Standing Orders.

3(2) Senators cannot be Members of Parliament in the Lower House while serving as Senators and shall be determined to have resigned their seat in the Lower House upon the declaration of their election, unless they resign in writing to the Speaker prior to their election.

3(3) The first election of Senators shall be by the following method: All Members of Parliament representing electorates in each of the five respective districts shall caucus with one another and elect one of their number to represent that region in the Senate. They shall repeat this process until the number of Senators referred to in Section 3(1) have been elected to represent each region in the Senate.

Alternative to Section 3(3) The first election of Senators shall be by the following method: All Members of Parliament shall elect by a method of Single Transferable Vote, the number of Senators referred to in Section 3(1).

Second Alternative to Section 3(3) The first election of Senators shall be by the following method: All Members of Parliament shall elect by a method of Single Transferable Vote, five Senators. They shall repeat this process until the number of Senators referred to in Section 3(1) have been elected to the Senate.

3(4) The Upper House shall be presided over by the President Pro Tempore, elected by the Senators, whose role shall be to chair the debate that occurs within the Parliament.

3(5) Senators shall be elected to six-month terms in office, with elections occurring over the first weekend of:
(i)   February and August, for Class A Senators,
(ii)   April and October, for Class B Senators, and
(iii)   June and December, for Class C Senators.

Alternative to Section 3(5) – The first Section 3(5) is for a Senate containing fifteen Senators, this alternative is for a Senate of ten Senators and should be based on the wording of Section 3(1) Senators shall be elected to six-month terms in office, with elections occurring over the first weekend of:
(i)   February and August, for Class A Senators, and
(ii)   May and November, for Class B Senators.
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Smid
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 01:17:16 am »
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Chapter 4 Political Parties

4(1)(a) Members of Parliament and Senators must declare the political party to which they belong, unless they are an independent.

4(1)(b) Political Parties must contain at least five members of either House of Parliament.

4(2) Each political party must declare:
(i)   a party leader, who must be a Member of the Lower House unless that party is comprised solely of Senators; and
(ii)   a party whip.

4(3) If a Senator resigns from the Senate, the leader of the political party to which that Senator belonged at the time of his or her resignation may appoint his or her replacement Senator. If the Senator was not a member of a political party at the time of his or her resignation, the following rules shall apply:
(i)   If the Senator was an independent at the time of his or her resignation, the leader of the political party to which he or she belonged when elected may appoint his or her replacement Senator.
(ii)   If the Senator was an independent at the time of his or her resignation and also at the time of his or her election, the replacement Senator shall be elected by the Lower House using whatever method is specified in the House of Representatives Standing Orders for the election of Senators.

4(4) Each party must provide a copy of its by-laws in a publicly accessible place. The Parliament may pass an Act of Parliament to create a single set of by-laws that are adopted by all parties until the party has published its own set.

4(5) Unless a party's by-laws state otherwise, the party leader has the power to expel any party members for whatever reason he/she deems appropriate,

4(6) Unless a party's by-laws state otherwise, the party leader has the power to appoint the party's whip and spokespeople for the party for particular portfolios.

4(7)(a) Unless a party’s by-laws state otherwise, the party whip is responsible for the allocation of the party’s quota of Private Members’ Bills to party members for introduction.

4(7)(b) Where a party governs in coalition with another party, the Prime Minister shall appoint a whip from one of the parties to be “the Chief Government Whip” and responsible for allocating the number Private Members’ Bills to each party as they see fit, as referenced in section 6(5)(i).

4(7)(c) Each party whip in a coalition Government allocates their party’s Private Members’ Bills, based on the number allocated to that party by the Chief Government Whip.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 01:23:31 am by Smid »Logged
Smid
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 01:23:59 am »
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Chapter 5 The Prime Minister and the Executive Branch

5(1) The Prime Minister may be any member of the Lower House who is:
(i)   the leader of an Atlasian political party, and
(ii)   able to gain the confidence of a majority of Lower House Members of Parliament.

5(2) The Prime Minister shall be elected by Members of the Lower House who are eligible to vote subject to Section 2(8 ).

5(3)(a) The motion to elect the Prime Minister shall be worded: “That – this House expresses confidence in [Name of Candidate] to form a Government in this place.”

5(3)(b) Upon a motion of confidence being moved, one Member of the Lower House may post a speech opposing the election of the candidate for Prime Minister, subject to the following criteria:
(i)   the speech must be posted within three hours of the notice of motion, and
(ii)   the person making the speech must vote against the confidence motion.

5(3)(c) Following the candidate for Prime Minister speaking to the motion, any Member or Members of the Lower House may question the candidate and the candidate may choose to answer any or all questions. This shall continue for a period of 24 hours following the conclusion of the candidate’s speech.

5(3)(d) Following the period of questioning the candidate, the person named in the motion is entitled to speak to the motion, presenting reasons for the House to support him or her for Prime Minister.

5(3)(e) At the conclusion of the candidate’s speech, the motion must be put to the vote with no further debate.

5(3)(f) Voting on the motion shall be for a period of 72 hours, whereupon the motion is declared to be carried or lost.

5(4)(a) A Prime Minister may only be removed from office by a motion worded: “That – this House no longer has confidence in [Name of Prime Minister] to form a Government in this place.”

5(4)(b) Upon moving a motion of no confidence, the mover immediately and in the same post may speak to the motion, succinctly outlining the reasons for Members to vote in favour of the motion of no confidence.

5(4)(c) Upon a motion of no confidence being moved, the Prime Minister may, within 24 hours, respond to the motion.

5(4)(d) Upon the conclusion of the Prime Minister’s response to the motion, or 24 hours from the motion being moved, the motion must be put to the vote with no further debate.

5(4)(e) Voting on the motion of no confidence shall be for a period of 72 hours, whereupon the motion is declared to be carried or lost.

5(5) A Prime Minister may resign as the Prime Minister, at which time a confidence motion must be moved to appoint a new Prime Minister, subject to Section 5(3) (a) to (f).

5(6) The Prime Minister may appoint Ministers who shall be responsible for certain policy portfolios and the management of their departments.

5(7) The Prime Minister may appoint any Member of the Lower House or the Senate to be a Minister of the Government.

5(8 ) The Prime Minister shall follow his or her party's by-laws when appointing Ministers.
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Smid
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 01:25:52 am »
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Chapter 6 The Passage of Legislation

6(1) There shall be two types of Bills moved in the Parliament, known as:
(i)   Government Bills, and
(ii)   Private Members’ Bills.

6(2) Government Bills are Bills moved by a Government Minister, and must relate to the portfolio of that Minister.

6(3) Private Members’ Bills are any Bill moved by are Private Member of Parliament or the Senate, and may relate to any matter.

6(4) The number of Government Bills allowed to be moved and debated in any month is unrestricted.

6(5) The number of Private Members’ Bills shall be limited to the following number:
(i)   Five for the party or parties forming Government,
(ii)   Three for the party forming the official Opposition, and
(iii)   One for each minor party not in Coalition with the governing party.

6(6) Bills shall be introduced to the Parliament according to the Standing Orders of the relevant House.

6(7) Any Bills that pass one House of Parliament are referred to the other House for ratification.

6(8 ) If the House ratifying a Bill moves and passes any amendments to the Bill, upon passing the Bill, it is referred back to the initial House to ratify the amendments.

6(9) If a Bill is referred to the initial House for the ratification of amendments, the initial House may move further amendments, vote in favour of the amended Bill, or vote against the amended Bill.
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 01:27:25 am »
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Chapter 7 Regional Governance

7(1) Atlasia is a Federal Republic governed by a national government, various regional governments and various city councils.

7(2)(a) The Dirty South Region shall comprise of the following states:
(i)   Alabama,
(ii)   Arkansas,
(iii)   Florida,
(iv)   Georgia,
(v)   Louisiana,
(vi)   Mississippi,
(vii)   North Carolina,
(viii)   Puerto Rico,
(ix)   South Carolina,
(x)   Tennessee,
(xi)   Texas.

7(2)(b) The Mideast Region shall comprise of the following states and Districts:
(i)   The District of Columbia,
(ii)   Illinois,
(iii)   Indiana,
(iv)   Kentucky,
(v)   Maryland,
(vi)   Michigan,
(vii)   Missouri,
(viii)   Ohio,
(ix)   Virginia,
(x)   West Virginia, and
(xi)   Wisconsin.

7(2)(c) The Midwest Region shall comprise of the following states:
(i)   Colorado,
(ii)   Iowa,
(iii)   Kansas,
(iv)   Minnesota,
(v)   Montana,
(vi)   Nebraska,
(vii)   North Dakota,
(viii)   Oklahoma,
(ix)   South Dakota, and
(x)   Wyoming.

7(2)(d) The Northeast Region shall comprise of the following states:
(i)   Connecticut,
(ii)   Delaware,
(iii)   Maine,
(iv)   Massachusetts,
(v)   New Hampshire,
(vi)   New Jersey,
(vii)   New York,
(viii)   Pennsylvania,
(ix)   Rhode Island, and
(x)   Vermont.

7(2)(e) The Pacific Region shall comprise of the following states:
(i)   Alaska,
(ii)   Arizona,
(iii)   California,
(iv)   Hawaii,
(v)   Idaho,
(vi)   Nevada,
(vii)   New Mexico,
(viii)   Oregon,
(ix)   Utah, and
(x)   Washington.

7(3) The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Atlasia with respect to:
(i)   Trade and commerce with other countries, and among the Regions,
(ii)   Taxation; but so as not to discriminate between Regions or parts of Regions,
(iii)   Bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout Atlasia,
(iv)   Borrowing money on the public credit of the Atlasia,
(v)   Postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services,
(vi)   The naval and military defence of the Atlasia and of the several Regions, and the control of the forces to execute and maintain the laws of Atlasia,
(vii)   Lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys,
(viii)   Astronomical and meteorological observations,
(ix)   Quarantine,
(x)   Fisheries in Atlasian waters beyond territorial limits,
(xi)   Census and statistics,
(xii)   Currency, coinage, and legal tender,
(xii)   Banking, other than Regional banking; also Regional banking extending beyond the limits of the Region concerned, the incorporation of banks, and the issue of paper money,
(xiii)   Insurance, other than Regional insurance; also Regional insurance extending beyond the limits of the Region concerned,
(xiv)   Weights and measures,
(xiii)   Bills of exchanging and promissory notes,
(xiv)   Bankruptcy and insolvency,
(xv)   Copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trade marks,
(xvi)   Naturalisation and aliens,
(xvii)   Foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of Atlasia,
(xviii)   Marriage,
(xix)   Divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants,
(xx)   Invalid and old-age pensions, of maternity allowances, widows' pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances,
(xxi)   The service and execution throughout Atlasia of the civil and criminal process and the judgments of the courts of the Regions,
(xxii)   The recognition throughout Atlasia of the laws, the public Acts and records, and the judicial proceedings of the Regions,
(xxiii)   The people of any race, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws,
(xxiv)   Immigration and emigration,
(xxv)   The influx of criminals,
(xxvi)   External Affairs,
(xxvii)   The acquisition of property on just terms from any Region or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws,
(xxviii)   The control of railways with respect to transport for the naval and military purposes of Atlasia,
(xxix)   Conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one Region,
(xxx)   Matters in respect of which this Constitution makes provision until the Parliament otherwise provides,
(xxxi)   Matters referred to the Parliament of Atlasia by the Parliament or Parliaments of any Region or Regions, but so that the law shall extend only to Regions by whose Parliaments the matter is referred, or which afterwards adopt the law, and
(xxxii)   Matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Parliament or in either House thereof, or in the Government of Atlasia, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of Atlasia.

7(4) Powers not referred to in Section 7(3) shall not be powers of the Parliament, but shall be powers of regional governments or city councils.
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Smid
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2009, 01:28:50 am »
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Chapter 8 The Judiciary

8(1) Legal disputes relating to:
(i)   the powers of Atlasia,
(ii)   matters arising between Atlasia and the regions,
(iii)   matters arising between one region and another region, or
(iv)   a matter heard in the highest court of a region, and has been granted leave to appeal,
Shall be heard in the High Court of Atlasia.

8(2) The High Court of Atlasia shall be the Court of Last Resort.

8(3) There shall be five Justices of the High Court of Atlasia.

8(4) Justices of the High Court of Atlasia shall be appointed to serve twelve-month terms.

8(5) Justices of the High Court of Atlasia may serve more than one term.

8(6) Justices of the High Court of Atlasia shall be appointed by a caucus of Members of Parliament in the Lower House from a particular region, with each caucus electing a Justice to the High Court of Atlasia.

Alternative to Section 8(6) Justices of the High Court of Atlasia shall be appointed by the Attorney-General

Second Alternative to Section 8(6) Justices of the High Court of Atlasia shall be appointed by the Prime Minister

8(7) The qualification of a Member of Parliament or a Senator to vote in the election of a Justice of the High Court of Atlasia shall be the same as that in Section 2(Cool.

8(8 ) Justices of the High Court must resign any other office they occupy, including the office of Member of Parliament in the Lower House, or the office of Senator.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 08:54:04 am by Smid »Logged
Smid
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2009, 01:29:37 am »
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Chapter 9 Changing the Constitution
9(1) Any section of this Constitution may be altered, or deleted, or a new section added, by the following procedure:
(i)   A Bill containing the reworded section, or the section to be deleted, or the section to be added must be introduced to the Lower House of Parliament as a Private Member’s Bill,
(ii)   The Bill may be debated as any other Bill,
(iii)   The Bill shall be voted on by Members of the Lower House, as any other Bill,
(iv)   If the Bill is passed by the Lower House, it shall be referred to the Senate for ratification,
(v)   The Bill may be debated in the Senate as any other Bill,
(vi)   The Bill shall be voted on by Senators, as any other Bill,
(vii)   If the Bill is passed by the Senate, it shall be referred to a Regional Caucus comprised of Members of Parliament and Senators from that region, where it shall be voted upon by the members of that Regional Caucus,
(viii)   If the Bill is ratified by at least two-thirds of the Regional Caucuses, the Constitution shall be amended according to the words in the Bill.

9(2) Voting to change the constitution referred to in Section 9(1)(iii), (vi) and (vii) shall be open for no less than 72 hours and no more than 144 hours.

9(3) The qualification to vote for or against a Bill to amend the Constitution, whether in a House of Parliament or in a Regional Caucus shall be the same as that in Section 2(8 ).
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2009, 06:18:58 pm »
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Smid, this is brilliant.  It has my full support.
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Obama High's debate team:

"Now let me be clear...I...I...um...uh...now let me be clear.  I strongly condemn the affirmative in the strongest possible terms, and I am closely monitoring their arguments.  Let me be clear on this."
Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2009, 06:33:11 pm »
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Smid, this is brilliant.  It has my full support.

Precisely why I'm worried.
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benconstine
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2009, 06:48:01 pm »
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Smid, this is brilliant.  It has my full support.

Precisely why I'm worried.

Why, exactly?
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Obama High's debate team:

"Now let me be clear...I...I...um...uh...now let me be clear.  I strongly condemn the affirmative in the strongest possible terms, and I am closely monitoring their arguments.  Let me be clear on this."
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2009, 07:01:08 pm »
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He doesn't want anyone to support concrete proposals at this point.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2009, 07:16:41 pm »
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He doesn't want anyone to support concrete proposals at this point.

I just don't want one big proposal that everyone looks at first and thinks "This is great let's just go with this." We may as well not even have a convention.
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 09:01:16 pm »
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Hopefully the construct of the Convention will not allow for that. At least, based on my idea of what it should look like. We will see once we have a PO and Rules of Order.
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