I'm making this thread as a more direct discussion of the mechanic of including all members of Atlasia into a lower House of the legislature, and partially a response to Smid in another thread. I got a bit distracted from the ConCon, but I wanted to get my thoughts out before the pro-universalism crowd marches to what unfortunately seems like an inevitable victory.1: Senseless Redundancy.
When coupled with a system that involves an Upper House creating the "Parliamentary Universalism" proposal, both Houses do nothing but mimic the other. There literally becomes no differences between the two Houses at all. Each House votes on legislation, each House introduces legislation, each House debates legislation, each House holds hearings, etc, etc. There is almost no point in having two Houses, with one elected, and one comprised of all the citizens of Atlasia, when each body does the exact same thing.
There are some proposals, like committees in the lower and possible upper House as well, that might shake the process up, but these proposals have no impact on differentiating the overall function of the body, and could be done, possibly better, in a Presidential Parliamentarian model, and literally any other that includes more than a handful of members.
The response to this goes as follows:
Slightly less people, actually, which is why any individual Senator is more likely to be holding the balance of power on a vote and therefore more powerful as they will be determining the outcome of the legislation.
Unfortunately I made a typo when I made my initial comments he responded to, so I'll correct myself here. I actually did mean slightly "less" people from the beginning. My point was that there are no differences between the two legislative bodies except maybe
the number of people involved, which Smid unwittingly confirmed. But thinking about it more, I don't even think that will be the case, and that leads me to..2: A Manpower Shortage.
The assumption is that the Upper House in a Parliamentary Universalist system will have less people in it than the Lower House. This is a serious gamble though, because that would mean that the Lower House would need at least 16+ active/semi-active members or more compared to the Upper House's active/semi-active 15, while still having enough members to hold competitive and interesting elections that just doesn't shuffle the deck chairs.
Atlasia has 111, give or take a few, citizens overall. We can safely assume that a third of these are completely dead citizens who take little to no interest at all. This leaves us with roughly 80 citizens. But wait a moment, we only have 63 voters, give or take a couple, in the last major election. Certainly we don't have 63 active members of the game that take an active interest, we have trouble running Senate elections competitively, especially regional ones, and only about half the delegates here are active in the convention, and several of the people who took the time to vote never really posted in the game since, and certainly the zombies never took an interest in the Government, or they would have run for elections. So lets say we have 40 people who take at least a minimal interest, and that's being generous.
Running with that kind estimate, we would have 40 or so people in the Lower House who would show any interest at all. But again, there's a problem. At least 15 of these people have to run for elections to fill all the Seats in the Upper House (Senate) or the legislature. Assuming all 40 members are active, which isn't very likely, you end up with a Lower House of 25 active members, and an Upper House of 15 active members.
Does that really have a serious difference to it? The Houses effectively do the same thing, and 10 less members isn't going to give a Senate any more serious powers than a member of the House of Representatives. The lack of any serious differences in power and the low amount of active members overall would carry over into the elections, basically making the elections to the Senate/Upper house not very competitive or exciting at all.3: The Universalist's Gamble.
They take enough of an interest to register. I think you mistake taking an interest with a capacity to participate. Before I had a position, I never posted on here. I generally didn't even check the board unless there was an election. People don't have an opportunity to participate if they don't hold an elected office. They can't debate Bills, they can't vote on Bills, they can talk about elected representatives in the media threads and they can vote in elections and that's about the extend of it.
This is the gamble of the Universalist. The people do
want to participate in the Government, but simply aren't given the opportunity
to do so, and additionally that people do
have an interest in the process or they wouldn't have registered
in the first place.
The latter is laughable for obvious reasons. With at least around 111 registered citizens of Atlasia only 63 of these people took part in the elections that lasted a good amount of time. As I said earlier we most certainly don't have 63 active members and the real number of people who at least look at the board once in awhile
is probably around 40, if that. Nothing prevented these people from voting, so the idea that all those who register are interested in the process is silly. Not everyone who signs up for the game is going to take an active or even semi-active interest. Not even half.
The former point is valid, I can think of a few people that are interested in the process but are repeatedly shut out of it, but only a few. I can't think of two dozen, or even a dozen, or even ten members who are repeatedly shut out of the process who actually give two damns about participating and have attempted to do so. There aren't enough people like that to sustain a system of at least 31 members (to jive with the theory of a large Lower House and a smaller Upper House comprised of 15 members) and engage in competitive elections. Hell, the bare minimum here would be half of all the voters that participated in the last major election. Pardon me if I'm skeptical.
This doesn't even get into the problem of not having dual office holding and/or regional offices. That further whittles away at the number of people free to participate in all of the elections and the legislature.
Furthermore, not all people are interested in government, and if they are, not all people who are interested in the government are interested in being forced into a legislative body and keep up with detailed debate just to stay active. It would choke off members who don't have the time to always participate or simply don't always want to. I'll get to that later as well. I know the responses to this would be to tweak with the Universalist system, perhaps with less members in the Upper House. But doing so would just make the legislature even more redundant. The problem is the system of Parliamentary Universalism itself
and not the little details.
This is a gamble we just can't take, there are too many things here that are subject to faith.