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  Structure, size and elections of Senate/House (Debating)
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Author Topic: Structure, size and elections of Senate/House (Debating)  (Read 23573 times)
tmthforu94
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« Reply #100 on: October 30, 2015, 06:04:44 pm »

I am interested in getting a concrete idea on what this will look like - that was my main concern with voting for bicameralism.
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Chromium R Florida
Adam Griffin
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« Reply #101 on: October 30, 2015, 06:29:39 pm »

Duke and I of course will be serving up the best bicameralism amendments very shortly.
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Fmr. Pres. Duke
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« Reply #102 on: October 30, 2015, 06:50:55 pm »

Wonderful news! It passed!
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Leinad
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« Reply #103 on: October 30, 2015, 08:06:12 pm »

I ask you, Leinad, what is your vision for the game? Do you think merely consolidating regions and tweaking some other aspects of the cabinet will fix our problems? Add any new dynamics to the game? I'm not trying to be a dick either. I'm genuinely curious.

No, it's okay. To clarify, I'm not really against bicameralism, per se--as I explained, I'm torn on it. If we had more activity I'd certainly be for it. Remember, I voted "abstain," not against. As far as my overall vision, I do think we need to add some sort of dynamic to the game. Not sure exactly what--whether that's diplomacy with another nation, another chamber, or something else. But what I am sure of is that we need to cut down on the number of offices, and I'm skeptical whether we can sustain two federal houses and three regions--but I'd love to be proven wrong!

No, it is not misleading - it is factually accurate and nominally sound. This would be like saying that a budget proposal with spending cuts and tax increases that ultimately cuts spending overall doesn't really cut spending because more cuts could be made/cuts could be made without tax increases. Doesn't make sense there; doesn't make sense here.

Maybe you misunderstood me. Again, I'm not talking about the plan overall, but bicameralism in a vacuum.

To go with your budget analogy, it's more like saying that spending money to buy everyone free pizza doesn't cost any money because the budget overall saves money.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #104 on: October 31, 2015, 12:15:44 am »

There is functionally no difference between at large senators and regional senators in terms of who they represent and this is pretty obvious, honestly. At large senators represent the 20% of people who voted for them and share their views and no one else. There is pretty much no correlation between how a senator is elected and what they see their role as, apart from regional senators being more active and having a less dull election method.

These abstract ideas of how things are in principle, like with the crazy "governors should open constitutional amendment" movement are a large part of the problem with the game. People become so wrapped up in the idea of federalism and the separation of powers that they are blind to what works and what doesn't. And all the evidence shows that senators elected by the people at large are no more or less likely to represent people against regional interests.

But that 20% of the people is spread across the entire nation and therefore it is unavoidable for them to have a national outlook on things as opposed to a regional one obviously.

Maybe in principle, but there is no evidence of that ever, ever, happening. People, whatever the type of election, vote for the candidate that is closest to their politics or that they personally like the most. Federalists vote for federalists in regional elections as well as national ones and regionalists vote for regionalists in national elections as well as regional ones.

Actually that is not entirely true. For instance PiT is far more in supportive of secession than I am. The Northeast elected a secessionist Regional Senator.

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I was talking about who opened the voting booths not how amendments were ratified. And given governors repeatedly failed to open and close booths with no measurable impact on peoples votes in regional elections defending that became kind of crazy towards the end.

No, the responsibility for administering them is just that, a responsibility. In terms of regional power though, since you brought it up, the right to decline to consider an amendment is also power that was being threatened with usurpation with such a change in administration.

In those same cases, there also a general disinterest across the board in the competence of the official though.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #105 on: October 31, 2015, 12:24:34 am »

I know I am just one person, but I had a completely different mindset when I was Mideast senator than when I was At-Large senator. As at-large, I became more partisan as the voting block that put me into office was center-right voters. As Mideast senator, my constituency was every voter in my region, so that is who I would go to gain feedback on legislation - it also came up a couple times on regional specific issues, such as a stimulus package.

At least, that is how it is supposed to be done, I think.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #106 on: October 31, 2015, 01:00:58 am »

I operated the same way. I aimed to serve all citizens of the region.


There is an inverse correlation here. Between regional focus and partisanship. This exists in real-life too, though it is made worse by gerrymandering. The Senate is more pragmatic and also more state-centric (be it subsidies for farming or whatever their state's industry is). The House is more partisan, which in and of itself is representative of the people of the real life country, who are deeply divided. Local interests matter, but the partisanship plays by far a bigger role.
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Chromium R Florida
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« Reply #107 on: October 31, 2015, 02:53:59 am »

I offer the following amendment (in quotes). Yes, it's big - don't freak out over it.

Notable items:

  • Use of hours where applicable, instead of days; we need to get in a habit of doing this so that we don't have any future court cases over what constitutes a "day" when counting various criteria
  • 6 Senators, all elected by the regions; 4-month terms; staggered
  • 11 House members, elected at large; 2-month terms
  • Simplified language for election booth times; removed "Daylight"/"Standard" conundrum
  • Eliminated other various elements of over-eloquence
  • Built on the idea that we'll abolish VP to free up offices; President breaks tie in Senate and Speaker breaks tie in House; yes, we already have dilution of separation of powers because the VP is part of the executive branch and he/she breaks ties in Senate
  • Provisions of Proportional Representation Act Fix of 2014 are included to ensure that House vacancy procedures are codified, but eliminated the "35-day window"; if we're giving the Senate to the Regions and allowing them to appoint however/whenever, then it's only fair that we give the House to the Parties and allow them to appoint regardless of time left (except in cases where members aren't in a major party, in which case we'll have a special election); since terms are two months and there will likely we higher rates of vacancies due to more members in the House than currently in the Senate, having an appointment-exclusive system in major party representation cases makes more sense and prevents election fatigue
  • Probably some other things that I've forgotten because they're minute

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Senator Cris
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« Reply #108 on: October 31, 2015, 03:47:12 am »

Delegates are 24 hours to object.

Well, you are assuming the VP office will be abolished. But it's not a sure thing.

We can pass your amendment, but it might be changed soon if the VP office will NOT be abolished (I think there will be a principle vote on it soon).
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #109 on: October 31, 2015, 09:33:04 am »

A couple questions:
- How would you recommend changing this if the VP position isn't abolished?
- Why did you settle on 11 representatives and not a lower number, which would appease those concerned that we have too many positions?
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Former Lincoln Assemblyman & Lt. Gov. RGN
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« Reply #110 on: October 31, 2015, 10:24:09 am »

Reduce the number of seats in the House. Make it like seven or even six.

Suggestion:
The Vice President will be picked by the Senate and the House, simple majority required for election.
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Chief Justice windjammer
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« Reply #111 on: October 31, 2015, 10:36:46 am »

There are some good things in this plan.
But I cannot support it: I don't like the idea of the president having the power of breaking the tie. The president is a member of the executive power, not the legislative power.
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Former Lincoln Assemblyman & Lt. Gov. RGN
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« Reply #112 on: October 31, 2015, 10:39:40 am »

There are some good things in this plan.
But I cannot support it: I don't like the idea of the president having the power of breaking the tie. The president is a member of the executive power, not the legislative power.
Keep the VP, the one who will break the tie.
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Chief Justice windjammer
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« Reply #113 on: October 31, 2015, 10:42:49 am »

There are some good things in this plan.
But I cannot support it: I don't like the idea of the president having the power of breaking the tie. The president is a member of the executive power, not the legislative power.
Keep the VP, the one who will break the tie.
Yes, I agree.


So I oppose this amendment because I don't like the idea of the president of breaking the tie.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #114 on: October 31, 2015, 10:47:16 am »

There are some good things in this plan.
But I cannot support it: I don't like the idea of the president having the power of breaking the tie. The president is a member of the executive power, not the legislative power.
Keep the VP, the one who will break the tie.
Yes, I agree.


So I oppose this amendment because I don't like the idea of the president of breaking the tie.
What about making the Vice President a senator and then lowering the amount of members in the House? I find that acceptable, personally.
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Chief Justice windjammer
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« Reply #115 on: October 31, 2015, 10:48:53 am »

There are some good things in this plan.
But I cannot support it: I don't like the idea of the president having the power of breaking the tie. The president is a member of the executive power, not the legislative power.
Keep the VP, the one who will break the tie.
Yes, I agree.


So I oppose this amendment because I don't like the idea of the president of breaking the tie.
What about making the Vice President a senator and then lowering the amount of members in the House? I find that acceptable, personally.
Yes me too!
7 senators (with 1 being the VP) for example.

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Classic Conservative
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« Reply #116 on: October 31, 2015, 10:59:10 am »

I'm going to object since this is a very important Admendment.
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Senator Cris
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« Reply #117 on: October 31, 2015, 11:06:46 am »
« Edited: October 31, 2015, 11:08:50 am by Speaker Cris »

I like the Griffin's amendment.
I think the parts about the Senate, the House and the timing of elections are perfect.

But I have a few suggestions: I'd suggest to add that we are electing Senators/Representatives with STV. and also I'd add an At-Large Senator. At-Large elections for 1 seat are beautiful.

I'll support Griffin's amendment.
But at the same time if the principle vote on the VP position (that will be hold in another thread) will provide to keep the VP position, I'll propose an amendment to the current text letting the Vice President to break the tie.
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Senator Cris
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« Reply #118 on: October 31, 2015, 11:10:06 am »

A 48-hours vote on Griffin's amendment is now open. Please vote.

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Chromium R Florida
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« Reply #119 on: October 31, 2015, 11:15:02 am »

I realize not everyone was around when all of the details when Duke's and my consolidation/bicameralism plans were carved out two years ago, but I promise that for every question that will be asked wiith regards to specifics, there is a pre-existing answer. In this particular case:

The specific numbers for both the House and the Senate are carefully considered and were developed long ago. We cannot go higher in terms of numbers for the House because that would create too many offices. We cannot go lower because there would be no point in having two different chambers with two different leaders, two different sets of rules and two sets of hurdles for legislation to jump through that have roughly the same number of members (a "House" is supposed to be considerably larger than a Senate, and needs to be considerably larger than the current at-large elections are in order for PR-STV or an equivalent to be truly competitive and interesting).

Furthermore, rounding down to an even number (8 or 10) would further necessitate the need for a tie-breaking member in this chamber; I had just assumed that giving the Speaker "two votes" in the case of a tie would be the most controversial element of all of this but perhaps I'm mistaken.
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Chief Justice windjammer
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« Reply #120 on: October 31, 2015, 11:18:58 am »

Nay.

But I like Cris' idea as well. The president breaking the tie is a big non-starter for me, so I can't support this plan overall. That's a shame because I like most of the other ideas.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #121 on: October 31, 2015, 11:38:01 am »
« Edited: October 31, 2015, 12:26:41 pm by All In For The Royals »

I don't feel comfortable with us voting so quickly after an amendment that would fundamentally transform the game has been introduced and is being discussed.

Abstain for now, though I may edit my vote after giving it more consideration.

Aye
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Chromium R Florida
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« Reply #122 on: October 31, 2015, 11:51:42 am »

AYE

It's important to note that this can very easily be amended after the principle vote is held without rejecting this amendment outright. This particular vote is not a principle vote.

The Vice Presidency is a useless relic of an office that already muddies the separation of powers by definition, only serves to allow blocs to get elected more easily and adds yet another position to the game that has to be filled and that prevents someone from holding an office that actually makes a difference; with bicameralism being the new government form, we must strive to reduce office counts elsewhere by as much as possible in order for it to work. There literally isn't a more useless office in this game currently than Vice President.

The rest of this has either already been approved via principle votes (bicameralism), has been debated ad nauseum in terms of specifics (6 in the Senate, 11 in the House), or is so minute that it's not something to get upset over them.
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Fmr. Pres. Duke
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« Reply #123 on: October 31, 2015, 11:52:57 am »

My original plan had the VP as the tiebreaker. Additionally, we want an odd house and even senate so the vp can be a tiebreaker for the senate. If it were an odd number, then no tie break would be necessary. That's the way id like to see it structured at least.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #124 on: October 31, 2015, 12:13:25 pm »

AYE, for this reason:

It's important to note that this can very easily be amended after the principle vote is held without rejecting this amendment outright. This particular vote is not a principle vote.

This amendment is by no means perfect, but its a good start. My main concern at this point is the size of the House: while I agree that it should be substantially larger than the Senate, I would prefer nine seats in the lower chamber as opposed to 11. Likewise, I oppose Cris' suggestion to replace the VP with a single At-Large Senator. This would have been a good idea had we gone with a unicameral legislature, but I don't think its a good fit for bicameralism. If we must have a tie-breaking officer, I'd prefer it to be a VP who can coordinate the two houses as opposed to yet another member of the Senate.
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