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Author Topic: Government Proposal Discussion: Presidential Parliamentarian (Closed)  (Read 2918 times)
Purple State
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« on: March 25, 2009, 09:20:59 pm »
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This thread is for the discussion of ideas relating to the Presidential Parliamentarian proposal for the new government.

Basic Characteristics
Unicameral legislature, like the one we have currently, expanded slightly, that elects a Prime Minister (Head of Government) who selects his cabinet
Could also include a President (Head of State) that is elected through a nationwide popular vote

Discussion shall last no less than 48 hours and no more than 240 hours (10 days) unless there is continued and productive discussion.

At the conclusion of debate there will be a vote in a separate thread to choose which models of government shall be pursued by the Convention. Please visit the other Government Proposal Discussion threads and comment on those as well.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 08:13:08 pm by Mideast Assembly Speaker Purple State »Logged

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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 09:29:56 pm »
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I'm eager to hear more details from Lief and other who support this proposal. Smiley

At the moment this is what I'm leaning towards, but I'd like to hash out how it would all work.
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Franzl
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 06:32:01 am »
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My support would depend greatly on the powers of the President in this proposal. Is he just a symbolic head of state like in many European countries, or is this an active politician that has actual influence over legislation?

If he's just symbolic....sure why not? Not a bad system.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 06:43:08 am »
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My support would depend greatly on the powers of the President in this proposal. Is he just a symbolic head of state like in many European countries, or is this an active politician that has actual influence over legislation?

If he's just symbolic....sure why not? Not a bad system.

Probably a symbolic head of state/diplomat. I would also like to hash out exactly how big such a legislative body would be?
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Franzl
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 06:45:51 am »
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My support would depend greatly on the powers of the President in this proposal. Is he just a symbolic head of state like in many European countries, or is this an active politician that has actual influence over legislation?

If he's just symbolic....sure why not? Not a bad system.

Probably a symbolic head of state/diplomat. I would also like to hash out exactly how big such a legislative body would be?

I dunno...probably similar to its current size?
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 06:48:16 am »
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My support would depend greatly on the powers of the President in this proposal. Is he just a symbolic head of state like in many European countries, or is this an active politician that has actual influence over legislation?

If he's just symbolic....sure why not? Not a bad system.

Probably a symbolic head of state/diplomat. I would also like to hash out exactly how big such a legislative body would be?

I dunno...probably similar to its current size?

I've always preferred a larger legislature but have concerns over a body comprised of all the citizens. A body double the size of the Senate wouldn't be such a terrible idea in my opinion. It would also give us some interesting new legislative opportunities, such as the creation of committees, which is unfeasible in our current legislature due to it's size, while still retaining the excitement of running for and holding the elections.

I'm eagerly awaiting Lief's ideas.
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Franzl
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 06:50:36 am »
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My support would depend greatly on the powers of the President in this proposal. Is he just a symbolic head of state like in many European countries, or is this an active politician that has actual influence over legislation?

If he's just symbolic....sure why not? Not a bad system.

Probably a symbolic head of state/diplomat. I would also like to hash out exactly how big such a legislative body would be?

I dunno...probably similar to its current size?

I've always preferred a larger legislature but have concerns over a body comprised of all the citizens. A body double the size of the Senate wouldn't be such a terrible idea in my opinion. It would also give us some interesting new legislative opportunities, such as the creation of committees, which is unfeasible in our current legislature due to it's size, while still retaining the excitement of running for and holding the elections.

I'm eagerly awaiting Lief's ideas.

If any such increase in size were to occur, then it would be absolutely necessary that we allow dual office holding at both regional and federal levels to make sure that we have the necessary number of people to keep things competitive.
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PASOK Leader Hashemite
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 07:10:21 am »
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What would be the powers of the President and Prime Minister?

If the President is a symbolic head of state, then I'm opposed to this.
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Purple State
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 11:27:54 am »
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I would rather the legislature be expanded, the President and PM share certain powers and have semi-checks on one another, and allow dual office holding over different levels of government.

This seems to me to be one of the better options on the table. It allows for a dynamic system and could involve some fun interactions between the different heads of state.
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 11:47:42 am »
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I'll write something up this afternoon after I'm done with class. Smiley
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persepolis
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 04:43:44 pm »
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I agree with Purple State. Should we implement such a plan, we should give power equally to the popularly-elected President and the PM elected by the Senators. Since our justice system does not seem to come in play much regarding constitutionality of laws, I suggest we keep two heads of state to promote the system of checks and balances.

Questions: Will there be a VP under this plan? Will there continue to be 5 regions under this plan?
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 05:12:35 pm »
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As I envisioned this, our "Parliament" (or Senate or whatever you'd like to call it) would be expanded to have something like 15 or 20 people. This would serve to 1) Give more people a say in the government (as I assume we will be eliminating regional government), 2) Make parliamentary elections for the Prime Minister more exciting, and 3) Allow the Prime Minister to select a cabinet from within the Parliament (and the opposition to select a shadow cabinet if they so desire) without the entire Parliament being frontbenchers. Cabinet members could then each have their own portfolios, which could be something of a cross between the American legislative committee system and the parliamentary cabinet portfolio system.

The parliament would be unicameral, though if regional governments are preserved, perhaps we could have an upper house/council of Governors similar to the German Bundesrat. This isn't really essential to the plan, however, and could be decided later. I would like to include it somehow, but my worry would be finding enough people willing to both serve in the 15 or 20 member Senate and in the maybe 5-6 member Council of Governors.

The main difference between this proposal and the universal one, is of course that not everyone is automatically made a member of the lower (or only) house of parliament, and thus not everyone gets to vote for Prime Minister. This is done for a number of reasons, but the main reason is to preserve the purpose of the game as election simulation, which is something that we can make in depth and fun very easily, versus something like a governing simulation, which generally requires a lot more work. But, if the parliament isn't universal, and it elects the Prime Minister, then people won't have a direct say in the leader of the country (though of course they'll have an indirect say through the parties and politicians they elect to the parliament). To rectify this (and because the nationwide presidential election is usually one of the most engaging, entertaining parts of the current system), I would propose the retention of a nationally-elected President (either through our current IRV system or a two-round run-off system).

Truthfully I hadn't given much thought to how much the President would have. We can, as has already been discussed in this thread, go two ways really: a model more closely based on the German (and other countries') model, where the President is mostly a ceremonial figurehead, somewhat akin to a constitutional monarch in a country like Great Britain or the Netherlands (this would be a parliamentary republic, if you want to wikipedia that); or a model like the French system, where the President is more than a figurehead, with a division of powers between the Prime Minister and his cabinet and the President (a semi-presidential system, if you want to wikipedia that). The distinction here is really how much power is given to the President: is it a weak office that merely carries out the ceremony of the political system (appointing the Prime Minister and cabinet with the advice of the parliament, etc.) or is he given greater political clout.

If we do adopt this system and have a President (this system could technically function without one, but I think that would be less interesting) and we wanted him to be more than a mere figurehead, he could be given veto power, for instance, or the ability to propose national referenda, along with the responsibility of focusing on foreign affairs. I'd be happy to hear ideas, though, about the President in this system, or indeed any of it. Questions are also welcome.
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afleitch
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 05:28:36 pm »
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I don't see why the position of the President cannot be a simple one.

1. Give him the power to veto
2. Give him the power to ask the House to dismiss the government/prime minister in a vote of no confidence.
3. Give him the power to introduce legilslation to the House in the form of a 'Presidential Slot' if you will where he has the power to introduce one bill at a time.

This makes him exercise power and also push for a legislative programme of sorts, which makes a campaign and a nationwide vote worthwhile.
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persepolis
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 05:42:45 pm »
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I don't see why the position of the President cannot be a simple one.

1. Give him the power to veto
2. Give him the power to ask the House to dismiss the government/prime minister in a vote of no confidence.
3. Give him the power to introduce legilslation to the House in the form of a 'Presidential Slot' if you will where he has the power to introduce one bill at a time.

This makes him exercise power and also push for a legislative programme of sorts, which makes a campaign and a nationwide vote worthwhile.

I agree with this. This way, the President can check the PM if he gets out of control.
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afleitch
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2009, 05:46:28 pm »
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I don't see why the position of the President cannot be a simple one.

1. Give him the power to veto
2. Give him the power to ask the House to dismiss the government/prime minister in a vote of no confidence.
3. Give him the power to introduce legilslation to the House in the form of a 'Presidential Slot' if you will where he has the power to introduce one bill at a time.

This makes him exercise power and also push for a legislative programme of sorts, which makes a campaign and a nationwide vote worthwhile.

I agree with this. This way, the President can check the PM if he gets out of control.

In a way. The President is accountable to the people. The PM is accountable to parliament and is chosen by them - the President can ensure parliament 'play nice' and if it's the President who's acting up he can be removed at the next election by the people.
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persepolis
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2009, 06:43:58 pm »
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I don't see why the position of the President cannot be a simple one.

1. Give him the power to veto
2. Give him the power to ask the House to dismiss the government/prime minister in a vote of no confidence.
3. Give him the power to introduce legilslation to the House in the form of a 'Presidential Slot' if you will where he has the power to introduce one bill at a time.

This makes him exercise power and also push for a legislative programme of sorts, which makes a campaign and a nationwide vote worthwhile.

I agree with this. This way, the President can check the PM if he gets out of control.

In a way. The President is accountable to the people. The PM is accountable to parliament and is chosen by them - the President can ensure parliament 'play nice' and if it's the President who's acting up he can be removed at the next election by the people.

By "dismiss the government," do you mean call for impeachement of one particular parliamentary offender, or dismiss the entire Parliament? Also, will the President have the power to dismiss a Parliament member without a trial? I think that offenders should be put to trial at the suggestion of the President. I don't think the President should have the power to arbitrarily choose whether the Parliament is acting properly. I think he should only have the power to ask for a trial.

I also note that there is no mention of the Supreme Court. I believe we should have a three member Supreme Court, appointed by the Prime Minister. Also, impeachment trials should be held in front of the Supreme Court. This way the President does not have the Supreme Court in the palm of his hands, but neither does the PM, because only the President can call for impeachment.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2009, 06:57:14 pm »
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I don't see why the position of the President cannot be a simple one.

1. Give him the power to veto
2. Give him the power to ask the House to dismiss the government/prime minister in a vote of no confidence.
3. Give him the power to introduce legilslation to the House in the form of a 'Presidential Slot' if you will where he has the power to introduce one bill at a time.

This makes him exercise power and also push for a legislative programme of sorts, which makes a campaign and a nationwide vote worthwhile.

I agree with this. This way, the President can check the PM if he gets out of control.

In a way. The President is accountable to the people. The PM is accountable to parliament and is chosen by them - the President can ensure parliament 'play nice' and if it's the President who's acting up he can be removed at the next election by the people.

I like your ideas for the powers of a President in this system, Afleitch. I don't like the idea of the President having all the power, but the Prime Minister having most of the power with the President having some softer powers of his own would be a good balance. (Perhaps if the President is viewed as the People's representative in contrast to the Prime Minister which is chosen by the Parliament, he could have the power to call elections.)

But what exactly would the Prime Minister do that the President can't? There have to be some powers the other doesn't share.

The parliament would be unicameral, though if regional governments are preserved, perhaps we could have an upper house/council of Governors similar to the German Bundesrat. This isn't really essential to the plan, however, and could be decided later. I would like to include it somehow, but my worry would be finding enough people willing to both serve in the 15 or 20 member Senate and in the maybe 5-6 member Council of Governors.

Allowing dual office holding is the only solution that that problem I can think of. If not flat out allowing dual office holding, at least allowing people to serve as a member of the parliament and as a regional governor.

Depending on if we have regions and/or how many regions we have.
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2009, 07:01:38 pm »
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I don't see why the position of the President cannot be a simple one.

1. Give him the power to veto
2. Give him the power to ask the House to dismiss the government/prime minister in a vote of no confidence.
3. Give him the power to introduce legilslation to the House in the form of a 'Presidential Slot' if you will where he has the power to introduce one bill at a time.

This makes him exercise power and also push for a legislative programme of sorts, which makes a campaign and a nationwide vote worthwhile.

I agree with this. This way, the President can check the PM if he gets out of control.

In a way. The President is accountable to the people. The PM is accountable to parliament and is chosen by them - the President can ensure parliament 'play nice' and if it's the President who's acting up he can be removed at the next election by the people.

By "dismiss the government," do you mean call for impeachement of one particular parliamentary offender, or dismiss the entire Parliament? Also, will the President have the power to dismiss a Parliament member without a trial? I think that offenders should be put to trial at the suggestion of the President. I don't think the President should have the power to arbitrarily choose whether the Parliament is acting properly. I think he should only have the power to ask for a trial.

I also note that there is no mention of the Supreme Court. I believe we should have a three member Supreme Court, appointed by the Prime Minister. Also, impeachment trials should be held in front of the Supreme Court. This way the President does not have the Supreme Court in the palm of his hands, but neither does the PM, because only the President can call for impeachment.

As this is a Parliamentary model and as this particular power was put forward by Afleitch, who is familiar with the parliamentary systems of the Commonwealth, I would suspect that he is somewhat referring to the Reserve Powers that are in place in most Commonwealth nations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_power

In most Commonwealth Parliaments (with the exception of some that I know of, such as the New South Wales and Victorian State Parliaments in Australia) there are no fixed election dates - just a maximum length of time before an election must be called. The PM goes to the Queen (in Britain) or the Governor-General (the Queen's representative in other nations) and requests the Parliament be dissolved. This leads to an election.

In some cases, the Governor-General has dismissed a Government - for example, in Australia in 1975. These instances are rare but can happen.

This particular power that Afleitch is suggesting is even less powerful than the dismissal of the Government... it is asking the House to form a new Government. The Prime Minister, if he loses the vote, is not expelled from Parliament, it just gives the right of parties to negotiate and form a new Government in the House without going to an election (in other words... if there were three parties forming the whole of the Parliament, with one in coalition with another to form Government, and then it broke off and wanted to form a coalition Government with the other party instead).
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2009, 07:11:22 pm »
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This particular power that Afleitch is suggesting is even less powerful than the dismissal of the Government... it is asking the House to form a new Government. The Prime Minister, if he loses the vote, is not expelled from Parliament, it just gives the right of parties to negotiate and form a new Government in the House without going to an election (in other words... if there were three parties forming the whole of the Parliament, with one in coalition with another to form Government, and then it broke off and wanted to form a coalition Government with the other party instead).

Effectively that's what I am hoping for. If a government is failing, or it's authority is in question the President can ask the House to vote on whether they have 'confidence' in the current administration. If the government is strong enough it can win this and continue in government. However if it is not, and looses the vote then the government is dissolved.

The next part depends on elections. If they are fixed in the calendar then those elected remain 'seated' but a new government has to be formed. This may be by an opposing party or a new coalition. It may even involve the ruling party but with a new Prime Minister (it depends on the reasons for the no confidence vote - whether it's against government, party or the Prime Minister ) However if fresh elections can be called, then the PM may ask the President to dissolve Parliament and call new elections. The public may re-elect the government and may have a new mandate or they may vote them out of office vindicating the No Confidence Motion.

It's about coalition, collusion and calculation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_dissolution
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 07:14:43 pm by afleitch »Logged

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persepolis
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2009, 07:19:04 pm »
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This particular power that Afleitch is suggesting is even less powerful than the dismissal of the Government... it is asking the House to form a new Government. The Prime Minister, if he loses the vote, is not expelled from Parliament, it just gives the right of parties to negotiate and form a new Government in the House without going to an election (in other words... if there were three parties forming the whole of the Parliament, with one in coalition with another to form Government, and then it broke off and wanted to form a coalition Government with the other party instead).

Effectively that's what I am hoping for. If a government is failing, or it's authority is in question the President can ask the House to vote on whether they have 'confidence' in the current administration. If the government is strong enough it can win this and continue in government. However if it is not, and looses the vote then the government is dissolved.

The next part depends on elections. If they are fixed in the calendar then those elected remain 'seated' but a new government has to be formed. This may be by an opposing party or a new coalition. It may even involve the ruling party but with a new Prime Minister (it depends on the reasons for the no confidence vote - whether it's against government, party or the Prime Minister ) However if fresh elections can be called, then the PM may ask the President to dissolve Parliament and call new elections. The public may re-elect the government and may have a new mandate or they may vote them out of office vindicating the No Confidence Motion.

It's about coalition, collusion and calculation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_dissolution

The three C's? I like it. That could possibly form the base of our Parliamentary system. I support this system more than the Universal sytem.

The President should be a representative of the people, if we will have a non-popularly elected PM. I suggest that every power of the PM's be put in check with the power of the President, and vice-versa. I think we should move away from the European model in that way. I do not want to vote for a President only to see his power diminished by a PM I do not like. I believe that the PM and the President should hold equal power.
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2009, 11:01:30 pm »
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I've always preferred a larger legislature but have concerns over a body comprised of all the citizens. A body double the size of the Senate wouldn't be such a terrible idea in my opinion. It would also give us some interesting new legislative opportunities, such as the creation of committees, which is unfeasible in our current legislature due to it's size, while still retaining the excitement of running for and holding the elections.

I don't think that we currently have enough persons in Atlasia to have a second elected house of government, even with dual office holding. If we had a much larger population in Atlasia, I could support both houses being elected.
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2009, 11:07:26 pm »
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I've always preferred a larger legislature but have concerns over a body comprised of all the citizens. A body double the size of the Senate wouldn't be such a terrible idea in my opinion. It would also give us some interesting new legislative opportunities, such as the creation of committees, which is unfeasible in our current legislature due to it's size, while still retaining the excitement of running for and holding the elections.

I don't think that we currently have enough persons in Atlasia to have a second elected house of government, even with dual office holding. If we had a much larger population in Atlasia, I could support both houses being elected.

As far as I know this proposal just has one elected House, just larger than our current Senate.
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2009, 01:16:19 am »
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Yes, the second house is not essential and the system manages fine without. Just my musings.

I really like Afleitch's ideas regarding the powers of the President, as well as the idea that the President is the sort of representative of the people.
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