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Author Topic: Parliamentary Universalism (Motion at Vote)  (Read 22788 times)
Purple State
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2009, 02:39:52 pm »
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Article _: The Prime Minister

Section 1: Powers of the Prime Minister
1. The Prime Minister shall serve as the Head of Government in Atlasia.
2. Any citizen may serve as Prime Minister with the confidence of the Lower House.
3. The Prime Minister, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ministers from either of the two Houses who shall constitute the Cabinet. These officers shall be responsible for certain policy portfolios and the management of their departments. The Prime Minister shall have power to dismiss any member of his Cabinet.

Section 2: Election of the Prime Minister
1. Upon the vacancy of the office of the Prime Minister or the success of a confidence motion in the Lower House, the President shall nominate a new Prime Minister from the citizens of Atlasia.
2. Upon nomination, the Commons Speaker shall allow for 48 hours of debate and discussion on the nominee. Debate shall conclude with a final statement of intent by the nominee and a final dissent by the head of the largest opposition party, to be determined by the Speaker.
    i. The head of the largest opposition party may appoint a MP to give the final dissent in his stead.
    ii. The citizen that issues the final dissent must vote nay in the subsequent confidence vote.
3. At the conclusion of debate, a confidence motion on the nominee shall begin immediately and last for 72 hours. The motion to elect the Prime Minister shall read: “That – this House expresses confidence in [Name of Candidate] to form a Government in this place."
4. If the confidence motion is carried, the Prime Minister shall assume office upon swearing the oath of office and may immediately begin to form a government. If the confidence motion is lost, the issuer of the final dissenting opinion shall automatically be nominated for the position of Prime Minister. There shall be 24 hours of debate and discussion, followed by a confidence motion on the nominee. If the confidence motion is lost, Section 2, Clauses 1-4 of this Article shall be repeated until a Prime Minister is confirmed by a vote of confidence.
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2009, 02:43:10 pm »
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So those are two parts to discuss. Get to it.
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2009, 02:45:36 pm »
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What about the upper house?
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2009, 04:05:02 pm »
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I note that none of my propositions have been included in the proposed articles.
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2009, 05:53:13 pm »
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I note that none of my propositions have been included in the proposed articles.

Smid's proposals give a lot of room to the lower house to determine the methods of electing the Prime Minister; I'd assume that your proposals would be debated then.
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2009, 05:57:51 pm »
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If you insist, I can copy-paste, with a few modifications...

Chapter __ 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 state of fantasy registry
(ii)   the political party to which they belong, unless they are an independent.

2(2) Any Member of Parliament may change their state of location no more frequently than once every two months; 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 approving the selection of 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 8 weeks; and
(iv) have registered as a Member of Parliament in the Lower House more than 1 week 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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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2009, 05:58:17 pm »
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I note that none of my propositions have been included in the proposed articles.

Smid's proposals give a lot of room to the lower house to determine the methods of electing the Prime Minister; I'd assume that your proposals would be debated then.

Section 2/PM article is clear on the method of election of the Prime Minister. The said method does not include any of my proposals.
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2009, 06:05:25 pm »
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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.

As long as it is codified that a PM who has just lost a vote of no confidence, remains as PM until his successor is formally confirmed. And also that if the PM is incapcitated, a 'Deputy' (whether formal or nominated) can assume that position temporarily.
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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2009, 06:07:13 pm »
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Chapter _ The Upper House

3(1) The Upper House shall comprise of 12 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 shall elect by a method of Single Transferable Vote, the number of Senators referred to in Section 3(1).

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 four-month terms in office, with elections occurring over the first weekend of:
(i)   January, May, and September, for Class A Senators,
(ii)   February, June, and October, for Class B Senators,
(iii)   March, July, and November, for Class C Senators, and
(iv)   April, August, and December, for Class D Senators.

3(6) Senators shall be responsible for electing the Prime Minister.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 06:12:00 pm by ilikeverin »Logged

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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2009, 06:08:07 pm »
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I note that none of my propositions have been included in the proposed articles.

Smid's proposals give a lot of room to the lower house to determine the methods of electing the Prime Minister; I'd assume that your proposals would be debated then.

Section 2/PM article is clear on the method of election of the Prime Minister. The said method does not include any of my proposals.

Oh, goodness.  Smid's original proposal, which I've been operating on the presumption is the Universalist Manifesto, doesn't have a president at all; I'm not sure where the one there appeared from.  In my slight modifications, rest assured there will not be one.

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.

As long as it is codified that a PM who has just lost a vote of no confidence, remains as PM until his successor is formally confirmed. And also that if the PM is incapcitated, a 'Deputy' (whether formal or nominated) can assume that position temporarily.

Sure.  That's why I was hoping there would be more debate on this earlier; I certainly have no idea how a parliamentary system really works Wink

I plan to add this in my revised part about Prime Minister, so yell at me if you don't see it there.
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« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2009, 06:11:01 pm »
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Chapter _ 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 three 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.
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2009, 06:17:56 pm »
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Chapter _ The Prime Minister and the Executive Branch

5(1) The Prime Minister may be any member of the Lower House who is able to gain the confidence of a majority of Upper House Members of Parliament.

5(2) The Prime Minister shall be elected by Members of the Upper House.

5(3) The procedures used to elect a Prime Minister shall be enumerated in the Senate Standing Orders.

5(4) A Prime Minister may be removed from office by the Lower House.  The procedures of removal shall be enumerated in the House of Representatives Standing Orders.

5(5) Should a Prime Minister be removed by Vote of No-Confidence, the Speaker of the House of Representatives will serve in his stead until a new vote of confidence is passed.

5(6) 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(7) The Prime Minister may appoint Ministers who shall be responsible for certain policy portfolios and the management of their departments.

5(8) The Prime Minister may appoint any Member of the Lower House or the Senate to be a Minister of the Government.

5(9) The Prime Minister shall follow his or her party's by-laws when appointing Ministers.
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2009, 06:20:36 pm »
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Chapter _ 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 by the Standing Orders of the relevant House.

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 #38 on: April 17, 2009, 06:24:27 pm »
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Chapter _ The Judiciary

8(1) Legal disputes 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 three Justices of the High Court of Atlasia.

8(4) Justices of the High Court of Atlasia shall be selected to serve four-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 selected by the Upper House of Atlasia.

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(8).

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.
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2009, 06:25:53 pm »
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Chapter _ 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.

9(2) Voting to change the constitution referred to in Section 9(1)(iii) and (vi) shall be open for one week.

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 #40 on: April 17, 2009, 07:03:42 pm »
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Sorry about the delay in responding, I just saw these.

Why should members need a constituency name?  And why the difficulty in changing states?

Regarding the constituency name, this is to allow people to incorporate local information in their speeches to the House: for example "As I talk to local small businesspeople in my constituency of Staten Island, they tell me of the pressures placed on them from the global financial crisis. Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to a dry cleaner and he implored me to vote in favour of this Bill, saying that if this Bill doesn't pass, financial reality will force him to close his doors and put three people out of work..."

I think that sounds more interesting than just saying "This Bill helps alleviate pressures on small business and allow them to hire more people, during these difficult times." The whole aim of the constituency name was simply to allow local factors in speeches on Bills.

Regarding the difficulty in changing seats - this was for a few reasons: firstly, I think it makes things more realistic, you don't have reallied MPs and Congressmen changing seats/states, except in fairly rare circumstances. Since everyone's a Member of Parliament in the Lower House, we should have some restrictions on seat-changing.

My main issue with seat-changing, however, is that it virtually makes Regions pointless. As I mentioned during the discussion on Regional boundaries in the DWTL Region Shrinking Plan a few weeks ago, it doesn't matter which states we put into a Region or how many members are enrolled in those states if we don't have some form of restriction on transfers. If the South was broken up right now and members put in two different Regions, I think it would be naive to think that the various RPP members wouldn't transfer into one or the other Regions it was split into to ensure the party still maintains a political grip on a region. Likewise if the Pacific was broken up, I am sure the various JCP members would transfer into one or the other Regions for the same reason. While my plan does not incorporate regional governments (since I think they'd be a drain on talent from the Lower House), I have maintained Regional Caucusing (effectively the same as elections presently) for Senate elections and for the passing of Constitutional Amendments. If we are to maintain the influence of Regions, I think it is important that we ensure there are protections to prevent them being abused. It's pointless having any form of boundary commission if as soon as they bring out a plan, people just move around to negate the effects of the planned boundary.

I guess the short answer would be - I think that carpetbagging is not a good thing and that is why I aim to restrict it, but there may be others who prefer its fluidity. Anyway, that's why I've tried to impose restrictions.

Here's an odd idea: make the PM be elected by the Senate, subject to approval by the Lower House.  But the Lower House can also kick the PM out of office.  Would give people more of an incentive to get elected to the Senate.

That's certainly an option. One reason that I took the Senate out of the PM election process was to cause a conflict - to make people and parties decide whether they'd prefer to run for Senate or simply hold a seat in the Lower House. They'd have to balance and weigh up their options to decide which they'd prefer, it creates an additional level of strategy within the game.

Might want to specify posted 15 posts on the entirety of the Atlas Forum.

Sure, it doesn't change the meaning or the intent.

To mollify the people whining about elections, do what I did in the Midwest: hold elections every two months.  And lower the number of Senators down to 10, so it doesn't get too crazy.  Both more and more competitive elections are necessary.

That's cool, I wasn't too fussed about the number in the Upper House or the frequency of elections. There were to be elections every two months anyway (three classes of Senators, each elected to six-month terms, each class elected two months apart).

I'd support STV.

I don't mind STV and I don't mind Regional Caucusing. If we're not having regional governments, then it's probably important to leave some form of regionalism in and I thought Senate elections would be a good way to do that. Mind you, if we reduce the number of Senators from 15 to 10, we could have one election using STV and the other using Regional Caucusing (effectively what we have now).

The initial provisions seem somewhat self-defeating; how could anyone create a party with more than five people without somehow magically teleporting to that number first?

Make it three people, I'd say.  If they're active enough to make by-laws and elect people, why not recognize them?

This is mainly for people breaking away. If a party gets too large, it won't have enough positions for its members - cabinet or senatorial - and this may lead to dissent within the party's backbench and lead to a number of members leaving. I'd prefer to set the bar somewhat higher to keep things at least a little stable, though. If a party has the ability to introduce legislation, that's a pretty important privilege and I'd rather make it not too easy to achieve. Also, if five independents get together, they should be able to form a party (and since independents wouldn't have the right to introduce legislation, they gain substantial benefit from being able to form a party - again, I therefore don't want to make it too easy to gain that benefit).

I do like the strong party system, though.

Yeah, that's something I like about it. The party can even have by-laws determining whether they require a binding caucus (ie, when the party makes a decision about a Bill, all the members have to vote the way the party determines, even if they disagree with the Bill personally, unless the Leader declares the matter to be a conscience vote - personally I don't like binding caucuses, it's more common among left-wing parties, but I think parties should be able to determine their own rules to govern how things like that work).

Obviously my Upper-House-election idea would kind of invalidate parts of this... and I think restricting the PMship to a party leader is kind of annoying, even though I understand it would encourage coalition-building.

Yeah, that was pretty much my objective there.

Jee, what's up with the time period for people to oppose a PM candidate's nomination?  So many time restrictions!

The time restrictions are to try to ensure there are set rules for these sorts of elections - same as time limits/restrictions presently for elections. They are to set minimum lengths of time as much as maximum lengths - they're not purely restrictions. If the rules state that there is 24 hours to speak against a nomination for Prime Minister, it's not just to limit it to that length of time - it's also to prevent the Speaker from moving the vote to quickly to try to cause it to fail/succeed. It's to create a window, rather than a restriction.

Good, I think; will support the party system.  Perhaps let the number of laws able to be proposed by the opposition be set in the House Standing Orders, so as to have recriminations and nasty, bitter arguments about them.

It also is unclear to me what the regulations are for the Senate.

A good idea about the House Standing Orders. I'm giving that some more thought. I'm a little worried that a government will be most likely in coalition - and therefore the balance may be weighted a little too much in favour of the Opposition, leading to more benefits to them (and thus reducing some of the incentive to push to topple the PM). I'm going to continue thinking about this idea. The regulations for both houses would be set out in the Standing Orders (each House would need to pass its own Standing Orders, which would only detail the regulations for the relevant House).

Obviously I support the abolition of regions.  You also misspelled every Midwestern state.

I noticed that, but wasn't sure which state was which, so figured I'd put it in as is and let it be amended accordingly.

Justices should be elected by the Senate every twelve months.  I think five is a bit too many considering the workload and that they'd have to resign their seat.

Fair point. The legal side of Atlasia is not my forte (my experience is predominantly in parliamentary procedure - and I do have RL experience there). Chapters 7 and 8 were mostly put up as a bit of a framework for further adaptation and amendment by people who know that stuff and are more interested in it than I am.
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« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2009, 08:54:45 pm »
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I note that none of my propositions have been included in the proposed articles.

Smid's proposals give a lot of room to the lower house to determine the methods of electing the Prime Minister; I'd assume that your proposals would be debated then.

Section 2/PM article is clear on the method of election of the Prime Minister. The said method does not include any of my proposals.

I asked a number of times for universalist advocates to state their ideas in article form. No such actions were taken so I proceeded to do my best to adapt what I could.

I ask that, now that we have a number of articles out, we focus on each one individually and one at a time, rather than make a mess of them. Also, could we try to stay to a clear format for all the articles? I am willing to begin discussion on whichever article you think is most important to begin with. Your move.
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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2009, 09:33:32 pm »
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Okay then, I will start.

I will repost this. Anyone please quote this and show the edits you would like to make.

Article _: The House of Commons

Section 1: Formation
1. Any person who registered as a citizen of Atlasia shall serve as a Member of Parliament, herein MP, in the House of Commons, herein Lower House.
    i. Upon registering to Atlasia, they must provide:
       a. name,
       b. state of residency, and
       c. political party to which they belong, or as independent.
    ii. Any MP may change their state of residency no more frequently than once every six months.
2. The Lower House shall be presided over by the Commons Speaker, elected by the MP's, who shall be responsible for chairing debate that occurs within the Lower House and who shall have the power to break ties in the Lower House.
    i. All debate and votes shall be initiated by the Speaker. No debate shall occur without the presence of a Speaker.
    ii. The Speaker shall be required to maintain a weekly-updated public list of current members of the House who are qualified under Section 2, Clause 4.

Section 2: Powers
1. MP's shall have the power to debate and vote on Bills and Motions that come before the Lower House.
2. The Lower House shall be responsible for electing Senators to the Upper House.
3. MP's shall be responsible for electing a President, who shall be serve as the Head of State of Atlasia.
4. The qualifications to vote in the election of a Senator or the President include:
    i. a minimum total post count on the forum of 25
    ii. 15 posts in the previous 8 weeks
    iii. participation in parliamentary debate on at least two Bills in the previous 60 days
    iv. registered as a MP in the Lower House more than 10 days prior to the election.
5. Section 2, Clause 4 iii - iv. shall only be enacted after the first election of Senators and President under this Constitution. Following said election, this clause shall cease to operate.

Section 3: Confidence Votes
1. The Lower House may not conduct debate on any Bills or Motions, except for a confidence motion, without the presence a Prime Minister.
2. If a confidence motion is moved, the Lower House must cease to debate all other Bills and Motions until the motion is resolved. The motion shall last for 72 hours.
3. Confidence motions shall not be moved more often than once a month by the Lower House.
4. A confidence motion shall be deemed as carried with a vote of confidence or lost with a vote of no confidence by a majority of all MP's.
5. Immediately upon the passage of a vote of no confidence against the Government, the Senate and Prime Minister shall become vacant and new elections shall be held.
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« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2009, 10:55:42 pm »
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Why don't we use my draft?  It's based off Smid's, which is the most complete proposed Constitution we have to date. (and I'm not trying to pick a fight here--I'm sure I could find a way to fit my proposals into yours--I just think that going with the more endogenous proposal might be a better idea)

Chapter __ 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 state of fantasy registry
(ii)   the political party to which they belong, unless they are an independent.

2(2) Any Member of Parliament may change their state of location no more frequently than once every two months; 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 approving the selection of 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 8 weeks; and
(iv) have registered as a Member of Parliament in the Lower House more than 1 week 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 ).
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 10:59:44 pm by ilikeverin »Logged

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« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2009, 11:09:11 pm »
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I just figured mine was formatted a little more cleanly. It also basically incorporated Smid's stuff.
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« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2009, 11:19:19 am »
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Sorry about the delay in responding, I just saw these.

Why should members need a constituency name?  And why the difficulty in changing states?

Regarding the constituency name, this is to allow people to incorporate local information in their speeches to the House: for example "As I talk to local small businesspeople in my constituency of Staten Island, they tell me of the pressures placed on them from the global financial crisis. Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to a dry cleaner and he implored me to vote in favour of this Bill, saying that if this Bill doesn't pass, financial reality will force him to close his doors and put three people out of work..."

I think that sounds more interesting than just saying "This Bill helps alleviate pressures on small business and allow them to hire more people, during these difficult times." The whole aim of the constituency name was simply to allow local factors in speeches on Bills.

Regarding the difficulty in changing seats - this was for a few reasons: firstly, I think it makes things more realistic, you don't have reallied MPs and Congressmen changing seats/states, except in fairly rare circumstances. Since everyone's a Member of Parliament in the Lower House, we should have some restrictions on seat-changing.

{weakening of regions}

I guess the short answer would be - I think that carpetbagging is not a good thing and that is why I aim to restrict it, but there may be others who prefer its fluidity. Anyway, that's why I've tried to impose restrictions.

OK, I see your point on constituencies (though of course that opens the door to the whole is Atlasia the United States or is it its own country question).  What would happen if there were a boundary dispute?

Re: weakening of regions, Smiley

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Here's an odd idea: make the PM be elected by the Senate, subject to approval by the Lower House.  But the Lower House can also kick the PM out of office.  Would give people more of an incentive to get elected to the Senate.

That's certainly an option. One reason that I took the Senate out of the PM election process was to cause a conflict - to make people and parties decide whether they'd prefer to run for Senate or simply hold a seat in the Lower House. They'd have to balance and weigh up their options to decide which they'd prefer, it creates an additional level of strategy within the game.

That's actually why I moved the PM election to the Senate in my draft; with PM elections in the House, I don't think there's much reason to be the Senate.  I want to have competitive elections, and the surest way to do that is to give people a reason to desire being elected.  Being able to choose the PM might be that reason.

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To mollify the people whining about elections, do what I did in the Midwest: hold elections every two months.  And lower the number of Senators down to 10, so it doesn't get too crazy.  Both more and more competitive elections are necessary.

That's cool, I wasn't too fussed about the number in the Upper House or the frequency of elections. There were to be elections every two months anyway (three classes of Senators, each elected to six-month terms, each class elected two months apart).

Oh, right.  Silly me Smiley  As you can see, I fussed with it a bit (now there's monthly elections, with Senators elected for four month terms), but this isn't a particularly strong issue for me.

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I'd support STV.

I don't mind STV and I don't mind Regional Caucusing. If we're not having regional governments, then it's probably important to leave some form of regionalism in and I thought Senate elections would be a good way to do that. Mind you, if we reduce the number of Senators from 15 to 10, we could have one election using STV and the other using Regional Caucusing (effectively what we have now).

Huh.  Maybe there might be some reason for leaving regional-type governments in if they were strictly designed... but, at the same time, look at the pattern of Senate elections now.  Though the STV and regional elections have approximately the same amount of candidates, they're much more boring, because 7 candidates for 5 STV slots is significantly more exciting than 1.4 candidates for each regional seat!

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The initial provisions seem somewhat self-defeating; how could anyone create a party with more than five people without somehow magically teleporting to that number first?

Make it three people, I'd say.  If they're active enough to make by-laws and elect people, why not recognize them?

This is mainly for people breaking away. If a party gets too large, it won't have enough positions for its members - cabinet or senatorial - and this may lead to dissent within the party's backbench and lead to a number of members leaving. I'd prefer to set the bar somewhat higher to keep things at least a little stable, though. If a party has the ability to introduce legislation, that's a pretty important privilege and I'd rather make it not too easy to achieve. Also, if five independents get together, they should be able to form a party (and since independents wouldn't have the right to introduce legislation, they gain substantial benefit from being able to form a party - again, I therefore don't want to make it too easy to gain that benefit).

Okay, I can see your point that it would make things better for introducing bills, but I've always considered the massive coalition building necessary for countries with fractured parties to be pretty interesting (witness the latest Knesset elections; frustrating for Israelis, interesting for everyone else!)... placating the desires of several squabbling factions seems to me more exciting than defaulting to any one person.

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Jee, what's up with the time period for people to oppose a PM candidate's nomination?  So many time restrictions!

The time restrictions are to try to ensure there are set rules for these sorts of elections - same as time limits/restrictions presently for elections. They are to set minimum lengths of time as much as maximum lengths - they're not purely restrictions. If the rules state that there is 24 hours to speak against a nomination for Prime Minister, it's not just to limit it to that length of time - it's also to prevent the Speaker from moving the vote to quickly to try to cause it to fail/succeed. It's to create a window, rather than a restriction.

Personally, my thought was that it didn't necessarily go long enough.  I could imagine thigns working out with your time scheduling if things were basically planned out beforehand... but if suddenly someone had a brilliant bolt of inspiration and wanted to topple the government, it would be quite difficult under your plan.

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Good, I think; will support the party system.  Perhaps let the number of laws able to be proposed by the opposition be set in the House Standing Orders, so as to have recriminations and nasty, bitter arguments about them.

It also is unclear to me what the regulations are for the Senate.

A good idea about the House Standing Orders. I'm giving that some more thought. I'm a little worried that a government will be most likely in coalition - and therefore the balance may be weighted a little too much in favour of the Opposition, leading to more benefits to them (and thus reducing some of the incentive to push to topple the PM). I'm going to continue thinking about this idea. The regulations for both houses would be set out in the Standing Orders (each House would need to pass its own Standing Orders, which would only detail the regulations for the relevant House).

Obviously I support the abolition of regions.  You also misspelled every Midwestern state.

I noticed that, but wasn't sure which state was which, so figured I'd put it in as is and let it be amended accordingly.

Justices should be elected by the Senate every twelve months.  I think five is a bit too many considering the workload and that they'd have to resign their seat.

Fair point. The legal side of Atlasia is not my forte (my experience is predominantly in parliamentary procedure - and I do have RL experience there). Chapters 7 and 8 were mostly put up as a bit of a framework for further adaptation and amendment by people who know that stuff and are more interested in it than I am.

I'm not very interested in it myself, actually Wink
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« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2009, 11:20:48 am »
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I just figured mine was formatted a little more cleanly. It also basically incorporated Smid's stuff.

Okay.  The big difference I see between yours and Smid's/mine (which have their differences, but I assume they'll be ironed out) is that you have the election of a President in there; neither of our proposals have one.
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« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2009, 09:50:07 pm »
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I just figured mine was formatted a little more cleanly. It also basically incorporated Smid's stuff.

Okay.  The big difference I see between yours and Smid's/mine (which have their differences, but I assume they'll be ironed out) is that you have the election of a President in there; neither of our proposals have one.

The main reason for me leaving out the President was because in a bicameral universal system, each Bill has had to pass a majority of Atlasians, and therefore I wished to remove the power of veto from the President (so he's not going against the will of the people, although I think it more likely the President won't exercise that power, and therefore doesn't really have a role). If we water down the President's powers to that extent, it becomes a little pointless having one. That said, if we had some form of reserve powers for the President (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_power) that could be incorporated, there wouldn't be a problem having a President... I just can't think of any powers they should have, is all. Perhaps removing fixed terms and allowing them to dissolve the Senate/a class of Senators at their discretion might be something they could do. I think dismissing the PM is pointless, since that can happen easily through confidence motions so should be the responsibility of the House.

I'm having another thought begin to form, I might post it shortly... I want to develop it a little first. It would involve both Houses voting for PM, as per your suggestion, but only the Lower House voting for President, removing fixed terms on the Senate, and allowing the President to dissolve the Senate for elections perhaps the Lower House can set election dates for the President (thus creating a counter-point to each other... the Senate can't impeach the President, the President can't interfere with the Lower House, the Lower House can't dissolve the Senate - basically a government version of rock, scissors, paper).

Actually, if the Lower House can call a snap election on the President, perhaps give the President the power of veto - if the Lower House doesn't like a veto, they can vote to call an election for President. Anyway, just kicking around an idea here.
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« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2009, 11:10:11 pm »
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If you could incorporate your ideas into the sort of the formatting I laid out (looks nicer IMO) then we could work from there.
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« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2009, 12:57:54 am »
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If you could incorporate your ideas into the sort of the formatting I laid out (looks nicer IMO) then we could work from there.

It certainly does look nicer putting it together in that sort of a format, but that new idea is more at the brainstorming stage at the moment, so I'd prefer to hear what others think of that before I try to codify it. I might try putting it together roughly (ready for extensive amendment) in case it makes things clearer, but it's a new position that I haven't discussed before (predominantly because I didn't think it necessary) and it needs a lot more work yet.
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