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Author Topic: Parliamentary Bicameralism (Discussion Open)  (Read 42926 times)
afleitch
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2009, 06:09:52 pm »
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So in effect the lower house is a series of committees with no power and most of the time only two of them will get to have any say on a bill. It would only meet, in full if two committee members split. We would be halfing the number of Senate members and abolishing regional government for a committee?

I cannot see, with the greatest of respect why I would wish to replace the current system with this one. Why should a lower house 'wait' for legislation? Both upper and lower houses should be able to propose legislation.

On that note,

Nay.
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2009, 06:11:40 pm »
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Nope.  How on earth is this universalism?!
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2009, 06:11:55 pm »
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So in effect the lower house is a series of committees with no power and most of the time only two of them will get to have any say on a bill. It would only meet, in full if two committee members split. We would be halfing the number of Senate members and abolishing regional government for a committee?

I cannot see, with the greatest of respect why I would wish to replace the current system with this one. Why should a lower house 'wait' for legislation? Both upper and lower houses should be able to propose legislation.

On that note,

Nay.

As opposed to a system where both houses are completely redundant and the only difference is one house being elected?

Unfortunately I don't expect this to pass, opposition to this compromise seems too great.
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afleitch
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2009, 06:13:17 pm »
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I am more than happy to help amend this proposal, but at present I can't support it as it stands. It is not reflective of any current system of government internationally and there is a huge democratic deficit due to the lower houses limited powers.
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2009, 06:13:40 pm »
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Nope.  How on earth is this universalism?!

It's not meant to be universalism, it's meant to be a compromise between Presidential Parliamentarism and Parliamentary Universalism.

Guys, we're not voting to adopt this measure here, we're just voting for further debate and brainstorming. Keep in mind that by voting against this, you're voting against the mere act of talking about it.
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2009, 06:14:21 pm »
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We would be halfing the number of Senate members and abolishing regional government for a committee?

     Just curious, but when did I say we were abolishing regional government?
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2009, 06:16:15 pm »
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I am more than happy to help amend this proposal, but at present I can't support it as it stands. It is not reflective of any current system of government internationally and there is a huge democratic deficit due to the lower houses limited powers.

Keep in mind we aren't voting on PiT's proposal. We are voting on a change to the outline to what I stated.

If you have input to amend this that would be great. I really wanted discussion to just get started in this thread, considering there had been a total of zero posts before I had PiT stick this here. But bear in mind that this is not about PiT's proposal per se. If you can work with it within the confines of the outline I stated above then I would urge you to vote Aye.
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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2009, 06:18:29 pm »
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Aye for discussion's sake, but I don't really like it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2009, 06:21:39 pm »
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We would be halfing the number of Senate members and abolishing regional government for a committee?

     Just curious, but when did I say we were abolishing regional government?

Okay, hands up I jumped the gun on that one. But you are still halfing the Senate and if that Senate is any good it's legislation will be watertight so when it reaches the lower house it gets rubber stamped and goes back to the Senate. I cannot support a lower house that has no power to legislate. It goes against not my hopes for this game, but also with regards to an international context.

I'll change my vote to Aye to discuss it, but I can't support it as it stands
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afleitch
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2009, 06:28:44 pm »
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To be more constructive...

Legislation that goes down to the lower house, in any form, should be voted on by that house before it goes back to the Senate. The lower house should also be able to propose legislation that it votes on and can pass to the Senate for approval/vote. Up and down and up and down. It keeps both houses busy.
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2009, 06:32:56 pm »
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We would be halfing the number of Senate members and abolishing regional government for a committee?

     Just curious, but when did I say we were abolishing regional government?

Okay, hands up I jumped the gun on that one. But you are still halfing the Senate and if that Senate is any good it's legislation will be watertight so when it reaches the lower house it gets rubber stamped and goes back to the Senate. I cannot support a lower house that has no power to legislate. It goes against not my hopes for this game, but also with regards to an international context.

I'll change my vote to Aye to discuss it, but I can't support it as it stands

     The idea is to not slow down good bills too much while preventing bad bills from wasting too much of the Senate's time. The bills in between would be decided on the entire parliament.

     Thing is that I made the lower house weak so that MPs would want to become Senators at some point, while MP would be a fine office for someone just starting out in Atlasia & looking to get his feet wet.

     The thing that I fear about existing universalist proposals is that the upper house is at best indistinguishable from the lower house, & at worst comparatively unappealing. People should genuinely want to move up in the political world.
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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2009, 06:45:03 pm »
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So in effect the lower house is a series of committees with no power and most of the time only two of them will get to have any say on a bill. It would only meet, in full if two committee members split. We would be halfing the number of Senate members and abolishing regional government for a committee?

I cannot see, with the greatest of respect why I would wish to replace the current system with this one. Why should a lower house 'wait' for legislation? Both upper and lower houses should be able to propose legislation.

On that note,

Nay.

I strongly agree with Afleitch's opposition, in this post and in other posts.

I don't like that this is, in effect, a slightly more democratic French Second Empire. I don't think that's what Atlasia needs.

I fail to see the point of a tiny upper house that only proposes stuff. That chamber would effectively become a sleeping chamber. Then I fail to see the point of a lower house that can't propose legislation and is reduced to a game of parliamentary committees with a effectively irrelevant Prime Minister.

I see this being advertised as a "compromise" to universalists. Apart from a much altered and much weaker model of bicameralism, I fail to see how this is a compromise to universalists.

I guess I'll vote Aye for discussions' sake, but I strongly doubt that this can be changed enough to be remotely acceptable to me.
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« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2009, 06:47:36 pm »
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     Thing is that I made the lower house weak so that MPs would want to become Senators at some point, while MP would be a fine office for someone just starting out in Atlasia & looking to get his feet wet.

     The thing that I fear about existing universalist proposals is that the upper house is at best indistinguishable from the lower house, & at worst comparatively unappealing. People should genuinely want to move up in the political world.

I quite agree. But I don't think it should be done by weakening the lower house. I know it is not your intent, but weakening or handicapping one or other houses is not the hallmark of a democracy. A universalist system may be too large and unwieldy I will accept that, but a system where only 5 members of the federal government get to propose legislation is too narrow. I would fully support a 5/15 split - but the 15 should have the authority to propose legislation and for the government and PM to have a legislative agenda. I believe the powerhouse should be the lower house; with new members and exciting ideas. The Senate should be for those who prefer taking the time to dissect legislation. The Senate should have old duffers like me in it calculating how much things cost outside of the machinations of politics in the house below if you catch my drift Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2009, 06:50:42 pm »
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I'm drifting more and more to the idea that a 'compromise' is impossible. Most Universalists will not compromise to a system with Universalism, and many of the rest of us won't compromise to a system that has Universalism.
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« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2009, 06:55:50 pm »
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     Thing is that I made the lower house weak so that MPs would want to become Senators at some point, while MP would be a fine office for someone just starting out in Atlasia & looking to get his feet wet.

     The thing that I fear about existing universalist proposals is that the upper house is at best indistinguishable from the lower house, & at worst comparatively unappealing. People should genuinely want to move up in the political world.

I quite agree. But I don't think it should be done by weakening the lower house. I know it is not your intent, but weakening or handicapping one or other houses is not the hallmark of a democracy. A universalist system may be too large and unwieldy I will accept that, but a system where only 5 members of the federal government get to propose legislation is too narrow. I would fully support a 5/15 split - but the 15 should have the authority to propose legislation and for the government and PM to have a legislative agenda. I believe the powerhouse should be the lower house; with new members and exciting ideas. The Senate should be for those who prefer taking the time to dissect legislation. The Senate should have old duffers like me in it calculating how much things cost outside of the machinations of politics in the house below if you catch my drift Smiley

     So kind of like the House of Lords (but not as powerless)? Tongue

     I gave some thought to your alternate idea, & I think there is probably sufficient motivation to move up to the upper house due to being one of five rather than one of ten. Then again, I would prefer it if there were some other benefit to it as well. Maybe it should be easier to override a veto on a bill proposed by a Senator than on one proposed by an MP.
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afleitch
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« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2009, 06:58:30 pm »
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I'm drifting more and more to the idea that a 'compromise' is impossible. Most Universalists will not compromise to a system with Universalism, and many of the rest of us won't compromise to a system that has Universalism.

I am strongly in favour of compromise and I've been involved in constitutional compromises on here for years. I just can't compromise in favour of this proposal as it stands because it is too exclusive and draws unfavourable comparisons with historical governence. I think it can be made better, so I won't and can't dismiss it. A two house solution with a 5/15 split is fine - but I cannot support a powerless lower house whether it has 15 or 50 members.
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« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2009, 07:02:30 pm »
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I'm drifting more and more to the idea that a 'compromise' is impossible. Most Universalists will not compromise to a system with Universalism, and many of the rest of us won't compromise to a system that has Universalism.

I am strongly in favour of compromise and I've been involved in constitutional compromises on here for years. I just can't compromise in favour of this proposal as it stands because it is too exclusive and draws unfavourable comparisons with historical governence. I think it can be made better, so I won't and can't dismiss it. A two house solution with a 5/15 split is fine - but I cannot support a powerless lower house whether it has 15 or 50 members.

Oh I know, you're someone I quite respect Smiley

I'm willing to compromise too, it's just tough, because I'm opposed to Universalism, and since Universalism is basically the entire proposal, it makes it seem like I'm a naysayer and nothing more.
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« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2009, 07:03:52 pm »
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     So kind of like the House of Lords (but not as powerless)? Tongue

     I gave some thought to your alternate idea, & I think there is probably sufficient motivation to move up to the upper house due to being one of five rather than one of ten. Then again, I would prefer it if there were some other benefit to it as well. Maybe it should be easier to override a veto on a bill proposed by a Senator than on one proposed by an MP.

I was thinking along the line of other European bicameral chambers. I don't happen to believe that the Senate should be the pinnacle of your career. Some people may like remaining in the lower house. Ultimately the Senate will have power because any legislation proposed in the lower house would have to be voted on by the Senate - the Senate can still vote it down, or vote it down with amendments (which is where the old duffers with their calculators come in!) and fire it back down. It would, as I proposed a week or so ago, be able to trigger a no confidence vote in the lower house government. The PM is the party person, the elected President is the people person. The Senate should be the protectors of the constitution and of good governance.
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« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2009, 07:12:29 pm »
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I'm drifting more and more to the idea that a 'compromise' is impossible. Most Universalists will not compromise to a system with Universalism, and many of the rest of us won't compromise to a system that has Universalism.

As I've said today, I am more than willing to compromise. But I don't feel this is a compromise. This scenario, as it stands now, has a ton of problems which have been mentioned. I cannot and will not support a powerless lower house, a upper house which will probably be a sleeping chamber and a Prime Minister that has little power. If those issues can be fixed, that requires lots of work from both sides, then this could be remotely acceptable. But you need to fix a whole lot of things, but I'm willing to continue consideration of this plan if changed to become more parliamentary, larger and better.

Here is my plan to make this more acceptable:

A bicameral system, like most European bicameral systems have.
5 or 10 member Senate. 5 could be acceptable. The Senate can propose legislation, and must approve laws passed by the lower house for them to come into effect.
15 member House. The House can propose legislation. It must approve laws introduced in the Senate. Afleitch effectively took my thoughts in his preceding post. I entirely agree with him, no questions asked.
A Prime Minister that is elected, preferably in a way which I proposed for the universal system. This elected Prime Minister should then present his governments' agenda and cabinet and the House will be able to vote confidence.
The Prime Minister names his cabinet from wherever he wants. PiT's proposed committees could become these cabinet ministries, at best. Alternatively, merge a few of them into one to have a limited number to match the limited membership of Atlasia.
I still want parliamentary responsibility. And the opportunity for any house to vote a NCM at any time, which should then be approved by the other house.

If something along the lines of my and Afleitch's proposal could be accepted by the opponents of universalism, I feel that we have at our hands the key to a perfect compromise!
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« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2009, 07:19:04 pm »
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I second Hashemites proposals.

As I've touched on before, we need to look at what sort of people we have in Atlasia. I think the lower house should be the arena for career politicians, party politics and promises, where in order to be re-elected the governing party has to propose legislation some good some bad. The Senate should be proposing legislation but also looking at how much it costs, whether it's constitutional what international effect it has etc and looking at lower house legislation in a similar fashion. That reflects how people are in this game - I for one would be more at home in the Senate with a calculator than in the House with pushing through legislation and making sure my party get's elected. Other posters would love that side of things however.

Not to say the Senate should be the home of the retired Smiley Goodness no, but each chamber should reflect different styles of lawmaking (and reasons for making them)
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« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2009, 07:20:55 pm »
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I second Hashemites proposals.

As I've touched on before, we need to look at what sort of people we have in Atlasia. I think the lower house should be the arena for career politicians, party politics and promises, where in order to be re-elected the governing party has to propose legislation some good some bad. The Senate should be proposing legislation but also looking at how much it costs, whether it's constitutional what international effect it has etc and looking at lower house legislation in a similar fashion. That reflects how people are in this game - I for one would be more at home in the Senate with a calculator than in the House withpushing through legislation and making sure my party get's elected. Other posters would love that side of things however.

The Senate should be, even though it's an archaic term and applied to the Canadian Senate, a chamber of sober second thought. I fully agree with you.
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« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2009, 07:22:14 pm »
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I have no serious problems with those ideas, Hashemite. Smiley

Though I have some minor quibbles with the similarities in Houses, it seems like a decent compromise. I also don't know how the Senate could be forced to be a more deliberative body, unless there is a certain mandated debate time we could implement, while freeing up the House to pass and propose things as swiftly as they please.
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« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2009, 07:30:56 pm »
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I vote Nay on the current vote, but this discussion has given me an idea that I think could further activity:

(Forget solid numbers right now for the upper house / Senate.)

Each person, when registering besides the name, state, and party, would select a committee. One could only change their committee in the "lame duck session" (two weeks between the election and the start of the new session).

The lower house would still be universal, but during the election, besides having an election for speaker of the house, elections could also be held for a chairman of each committee, similar to the ones mentioned earlier. (I would also support expanding the Cabinet to have a corresponding position to each committee.) We could allow everyone to vote on each chairman, or only those registered in each committee could vote on a chairman.

We could also allow the house to create or eliminate committees as they see fit. If so, the new committee would go into effect during the next session.

Anyone could introduce a bill on any subject. It would be referred to a committee (assigned by the speaker perhaps?) and would have to pass a committee before being voted on by the full house. Once a bill passes one house, it would have to go to the other, and we could have conference to reconcile differences between two versions.

We would also have to determine the power of the speaker so they would not have too little or too much power.
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« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2009, 07:33:41 pm »
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The lower house would still be universal,

Lost me there.
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« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2009, 07:41:16 pm »
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I have no serious problems with those ideas, Hashemite. Smiley

Though I have some minor quibbles with the similarities in Houses, it seems like a decent compromise. I also don't know how the Senate could be forced to be a more deliberative body, unless there is a certain mandated debate time we could implement, while freeing up the House to pass and propose things as swiftly as they please.

     I agree with this. If the Senate could be more of a stately, deliberative body while the Parliament more of a down & dirty place where people jockey for party power, I think that could be quite a positive design for Atlasia's government.
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