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Author Topic: Misc Articles (Amendment, Supremacy, Officeholding, &c) LAST CALL for new topics  (Read 6012 times)
Leinad
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2016, 02:28:33 am »

Can anyone explain to me a practical reason why the nominal will of the game at-large shouldn't determine whether or not an amendment passes nationally?

With my plan the will of the game at-large will generally decide what happens. 3/5ths to pass. Boom. The only exceptions being when two of the three regions have 3/5ths opposed (very unlikely to happen if it's getting 3/5ths support nationally) or one region has 4/5ths opposed (which would surely almost never happen if it's getting 3/5ths support nationally).
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2016, 04:08:56 pm »

Leinad, forgive me for being blunt, but what exactly is your argument? Is the unilateral veto a purely decorative ornament that will never be used, or a highly necessary safeguard of the Union? It's not clear to me why the former would be a reason to support this provision, or why the latter makes any sense at all.

If 3/5ths of the overall population supports something, I highly doubt 80% in one region would oppose it. Unless it was something that would hurt that one region.
These two sentences nicely sum up the contradiction at the core of your argument: the idea that the majority cannot be trusted to never abuse its power, but the minority (if given power over the majority) can. If we assume it is likely that the national people will vote to strip a single Region of its rights, we must also assume that that Region would vote to strip the national people of their rights.

Do you really believe that 2/3 of both houses of Congress and 3/5 of the national people would ratify an amendment that is openly hostile to one Region? (That's not a theoretical question - do you really believe there is a chance that this will happen?) If not, why have this provision at all? If so, why should we trust the Regions but not Congress? Again, if it is likely that majorities in two Regions would gang up to sabotage the third, it must be equally likely that the third Region will use its power to sabotage the other two. Human nature does not change at the state line: either people are all backstabbing, untrustworthy tyrants or they are not.

This was the point my previous post was making: maybe the Regions can be trusted not to abuse this power, but if so, why can't the national people be trusted not to abuse their power?

Also, as I believe Yankee mentioned earlier, the secession risk is a real factor. If 80% of one region opposes something, this reduces the chances they leave over it.
This is the sort of argument that John C. Calhoun made to rationalize his support for Nullification: according to Calhoun, the states must be given the power to destroy the Union, and then - to make sure they never use it - the majority must never do anything that the minority does not like. I'm not by any means putting you in the same class as Calhoun (the South Carolinian was a horrible, racist b*stard; you are very much otherwise), but the logic of your argument is worryingly similar to that of Calhoun's Fort Hill Address. This does not surprise me: I predicted that this would happen when the right to secede was first proposed:

Sooner or later, the national legislature is going to pass a law that a majority of citizens in one Region do not like: if that majority can declare itself out of the Union on a dime, we have a situation where the national government will be paralyzed by threats of separation.

Replace "law" with "Constitutional Amendment" and you basically have the argument for the unilateral veto, only with national paralysis re-imagined as a positive good.

Preserving the the historical method of ratification is one thing; taking the unprecedented, anti-democratic step of allowing a minority of both the Regions and the national population to veto a decision of the majority is another. This goes beyond the mere likelihood that such will ever occur: if this provision is adopted, we will have enshrined in our Constitution that the majority is subservient to the minority. That accomplished, why stop with Constitutional Amendments? Why not allow 4/5 of one Region to veto the results of presidential elections, acts of Congress, or Supreme Court rulings? You have not proposed any of these changes, but is the argument in favor of them really any different from that in favor of your proposal?

A Union that is controlled by a minority of its members is not worth preserving. I am willing to accept the status quo, but the unilateral veto is unacceptable.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2016, 04:28:35 pm »

We will now proceed with a principle vote on the question of Constitutional Amendments



PRINCIPLE VOTE on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Please rank the following Plans in order of preference.

[   ] PLAN A: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate.

[   ] PLAN B: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] PLAN C: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by 3/5 of the voters in two (2) Regions or 4/5 of the voters in one (1) Region.

[   ] PLAN D: The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] Abstain


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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2016, 04:38:44 pm »



PRINCIPLE VOTE on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Please rank the following Plans in order of preference.

[ 1 ] PLAN A: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate.

[ 3 ] PLAN B: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[ 4 ] PLAN C: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by 3/5 of the voters in two (2) Regions or 4/5 of the voters in one (1) Region.

[ 2 ] PLAN D: The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] Abstain


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darthebearnc
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2016, 05:07:16 pm »

1. A
2. B
3. D
4. C
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Justice Blair
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2016, 05:19:42 pm »

1. B
2. A
3. C
4. D
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Ted Bessell
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2016, 06:36:51 pm »

1. D
2. B
3. C
4. A
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NeverAgain
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2016, 08:47:49 pm »

1. B
2. C
3. A
4. D
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Leinad
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2016, 10:24:23 pm »

1. C
2. B
3. D
4. A



Leinad, forgive me for being blunt, but what exactly is your argument? Is the unilateral veto a purely decorative ornament that will never be used, or a highly necessary safeguard of the Union? It's not clear to me why the former would be a reason to support this provision, or why the latter makes any sense at all.

It's a safeguard of the Union that will rarely be used. I'm not even sure if it will ever be used, but in the off chance it needs to, I think it's a very good thing to have.

Me pointing out that it would be rare was just so you and Adam don't have a fit over it. A quest in which I was evidently ineffective. If you must, though, I would be perfectly fine to go without the one-region 4/5ths veto. As long as the gist of my plan (national 3/5ths to pass, with input from the voters by region) is included, I'll be perfectly fine with the amendment process.

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These two sentences nicely sum up the contradiction at the core of your argument: the idea that the majority cannot be trusted to never abuse its power, but the minority (if given power over the majority) can. If we assume it is likely that the national people will vote to strip a single Region of its rights, we must also assume that that Region would vote to strip the national people of their rights.
[/quote]

False equivalency. The ability to veto constitutional amendments gives a region no power other than that. A region couldn't unilaterally do anything to alter the Constitution in it's form prior to the vote in question, or impose anything on the other two regions.

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It is very unlikely, but that doesn't mean it isn't a useful provision to have.

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This is the sort of argument that John C. Calhoun made to rationalize his support for Nullification: according to Calhoun, the states must be given the power to destroy the Union, and then - to make sure they never use it - the majority must never do anything that the minority does not like. I'm not by any means putting you in the same class as Calhoun (the South Carolinian was a horrible, racist b*stard; you are very much otherwise), but the logic of your argument is worryingly similar to that of Calhoun's Fort Hill Address. This does not surprise me: I predicted that this would happen when the right to secede was first proposed:

Sooner or later, the national legislature is going to pass a law that a majority of citizens in one Region do not like: if that majority can declare itself out of the Union on a dime, we have a situation where the national government will be paralyzed by threats of separation.

Replace "law" with "Constitutional Amendment" and you basically have the argument for the unilateral veto, only with national paralysis re-imagined as a positive good.
[/quote]

Ah, yes, strawmanning with John C. Calhoun and/or the Confederacy. The exact same tactics were used when the Right to Self-Determination was discussed, and it was just as reckless, silly, and pointless then as it is now.

Also, it requires a supermajority to leave the Union, so please avoid fear-mongering about this Convention's recognition of the Right to Self-Determination.

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Oh, the infamous Slippery Slope argument. I could make the same case for your argument: if you take the regions out of Constitutional Amendments, why not take them out of other things? Why not abolish regional governments, or let the Federal government redraw regional boundaries unilaterally? Of course, though, I'm not accusing you of that, because that would be silly. You've never said any of those things, so attacking you for positions you don't have would be merely a distraction from the topic at hand, right?



Basically, this comes down to a question: do we want regions or not?

If we want regions to be separate entities, we should include regions in the amendment ratification process. This is what we've always done when this issue has came up, by the way.

If you view regions as imaginary, as nothing more than lines on a map, then by all means vote plan A. But if you view regions as separate entities, the building blocks of this Union, and that the people, together as a region--and yes, that is what regions are, groups of people, I'm sick of this "people vs. region" false choice--should have a say, plans B, C, and D are the better choices. I agree with Truman that the national vote should be of importance, so I think B and C are better (I have no clue why he preferenced D second, by the way).

I think that B and C are the best options, that give both sides what they really want. D is the status quo, while A is the most radical change from what we currently have.

Ultimately, it's the decision of the delegates.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2016, 10:55:08 pm »

I'm really unsure why - at least for once in this convention - we need to be pandering to the Regions when it comes to this topic. This entire convention has been nothing but one set of concessions after another to the Regions. The Regions are going to be astronomically more powerful in the new game than in this one, with the only real concession made thus far being that we've sloughed off the dead weight in terms of there being too many of them (i.e.: the original problem and why we're here).

Because all your anti-regionalist rimjob friends turned on the game, pushed for its dissolution and have since departed from our midst. The people who have always blocked pro-regionalist reforms are gone, the same ones who always supported anti-regionalist reforms. So now regions get to determine not just their Senators, but how they are elected. As I stated in a PM even I am a little shocked at just how regionalist this constitution became in some areas.

Regions were never the problem. Their number relative to the number of participants was.

Can anyone explain to me a practical reason why the nominal will of the game at-large shouldn't determine whether or not an amendment passes nationally? Please refrain from saying that a bunch of Star Wars fans hunkering down in one corner of the country counts as "culture"/justification here.


Because popular sovereignty is a dangerous threat to minority rights. Allowing a temporary majoritarian tyranny free reign over the Bill of Rights and all the checks and balances, is a road to dictatorship. I am not interested in seeing you become a caudillo, as much as those radicals on AAD seem to get off on the thought. Tongue

And what about Midwest loonyism, which existed for like 10 damn years. Labor had no problem feeding off of the leftist culture there. This is a game, Adam. Everything is fake, jumping out of game to label something as fake to achieve an in game end seems rather hollow in my opinion. It was ridiculous when bgwah did it, and it is likewise here.

This is being made far too complicated for the sake of fanning the cooches of the Regions. Also, the variable means for ratification should probably be jettisoned as well; this has historically been used only as a way to cause mischief, obstruct or subvert the will of the people (I should know: I've always encouraged its retention for those very reasons).

It doesn't have to be complex to be pro-regionalist, it is this is instance on majoritarian tyranny. Majority rules on a water bill, fine. Majority rules on freedom of speech, no thank you. It should be a tough and difficult threshold.  

That is not why MaroDuke passed the 17th Amendment and it was not for that purpose that I voted for it in the Senate. Though it is true that it was criminally abused just a few months later with your complicit involvement. Tongue
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2016, 10:57:43 pm »


PRINCIPLE VOTE on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Please rank the following Plans in order of preference.

[  4 ] PLAN A: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate.

[  3 ] PLAN B: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[  2 ] PLAN C: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by 3/5 of the voters in two (2) Regions or 4/5 of the voters in one (1) Region.

[  1 ] PLAN D: The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] Abstain


[/quote]
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2016, 12:20:10 am »

False equivalency. The ability to veto constitutional amendments gives a region no power other than that. A region couldn't unilaterally do anything to alter the Constitution in it's form prior to the vote in question, or impose anything on the other two regions.
I disagree. Basically, I hold that there are two types of amendments where this power might be invoked: those that legitimately infringe upon the rights of the Regions (for example, abolishing Regional representation in the Senate), and those that do not BUT that are objectionable to one Region for political or ideological reasons (for example, a pro-life amendment to the Bill of Rights would fall under this category). The first would be a threat to every Region's rights: they would therefore likely be opposed by multiple Regions (if not rejected outright by the national electorate), and thus the unilateral veto power would be unnecessary. The second kind is another matter. Because they are not actually threats to Regional sovereignty - opposition to these kinds of proposals is purely ideological - they should by right be submitted to the principle of majority rule. It is not out of the question, however, that one Region might use the unilateral veto to strike down the amendment anyways. This, in my view, would be an abuse of power: while technically legal, it contorts the Constitution and uses it as a partisan weapon to win fights that could not be won at the ballot box. If I were convinced that 2/3 of the Regions would willingly vote to strip themselves of their liberty, I would support this provision, but I do not; therefore, I come to the conclusion that this provision would serve only as a tool to obstruct the will of the majority.

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This argument, however much you disagree with it, is not a "strawman." When you use a "strawman" in debate, you create an extreme and ludicrous opinion out of thin air and attempt to tie it to the view you are contesting. For example, if I had wanted to use a strawman against your position, I could have argued "Leinad wants to bring back the Articles of Confederation! A vote for Plan C is a vote for dissolving the Union!" That is not what I did. It so happens that I recently read the entirety of Calhoun's Fort Hill Address for a paper I was writing IRL on the American System, and his argument against the tariff reminded me of one argument in favor of the unilateral veto. Essentially, Calhoun argued that the American System - specifically the Tariff of Abominations - had divided the country and alienated his home state. Having previously argued for each state's right to secede, Calhoun then posited his thesis: if the Tariff were not repealed, South Carolina would withdraw from the Union, which would irreparably harm American democracy. Therefore, certain concessions had to be made "for the sake of the Union": among them, granting individual states the right to "nullify" federal laws. This progression (1. We must protect the right to secede; 2. If State X doesn't get its way, it will secede; 3. We must allow State X to nullify the law when it does not get its way) seemed to echo your own. This is a relevant historical reference: you are free to refute it and explain how your argument differs, but it is not a strawman.

I will admit, Leinad, that I feel I am being blackmailed (not by you, but by Janus). I can accept defeat on the Secession Clause (indeed, I had made my peace with it until this came to the fore), but it seems that the threat of disunion is being used to extract further concessions. I don't think you mean it that way, but that's the message the Fates are sending me, and it's very discouraging. It reminds me of the RL Sequester crisis: the argument is that if we don't accept Plan C as the lesser evil, the country is in trouble, but that choice of pot or kettle only exists because we knowingly embraced it earlier. It's a moot point now, of course, but I can't help feeling trapped: I warned that adopting secession would create a choice between minority rule and disunion, and it seems now that I was right.

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I know you meant this as tongue-in-cheek, but this is actual a fair argument to make, so I will address it. Based on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of Atlasian history and my (much more complete) knowledge of the opinions of our current population, I do not believe that the adoption of Plan A will lead to an erosion of Regional liberty, for three reasons. First, as I said earlier, an attack on the Regions effects all voters equally, so it seems to be doubtful that a national vote would turn out differently than a Region-by-Region vote. Second, the historical attempts to alter the Constitutional standing of the Regions that I am aware of have all failed to gain popularity with the national electorate. Whether we're talking about Fix the Regions (a positive reform) or Operation Rimjob (a negative example), it remains that throughout our history, most attempts to change the relationship between the Regions and the people have failed miserably. Third, the current population of Atlasia is remarkably pro-Region: I doubt if an effort to abolish the Regional governments would get even 15% in a national referendum. These facts lead me to believe that there is no reason to assume Plan A is bad for the Regions, especially considering that - as you said - the threat of secession should forestall any serious attempt to dismantle the federal system.

Now, obviously, some people are not convinced by this argument, and that's okay - there's a reason we have a Constitutional Convention, as opposed to a giant rubber stamp shaped like my wildest dreams. Tongue If people decide that a national referendum is too risky and we want to keep the old system, I'm fine with that (that's why I second preferenced Plan D) - I just don't want us to adopt a plan that, in my view, is logically unsound.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2016, 12:33:13 am »

If I keep seeing Calhoun references, I might feel motivated to quote Burke word for word.


Word for word! Tongue Just remember, you guys started so it isn't my fault.

goes to dig out Reflections on the French Revolution...
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« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2016, 12:58:13 am »

[1] PLAN A
[2] PLAN B
[3] PLAN D
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MadmanMotley
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« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2016, 10:34:24 am »

1. B
2. C
3. D
4. A
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Lincoln Republican
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« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2016, 10:38:40 am »

1.  A

2.  D

3.  B

4.  C
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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2016, 10:53:02 am »

We will now proceed with a principle vote on the question of Constitutional Amendments



PRINCIPLE VOTE on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Please rank the following Plans in order of preference.

[ 1 ] PLAN A: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate.

[ 3 ] PLAN B: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[ 4 ] PLAN C: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by 3/5 of the voters in two (2) Regions or 4/5 of the voters in one (1) Region.

[ 2 ] PLAN D: The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] Abstain


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Fmr. Pres. Duke
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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2016, 01:37:02 pm »

1. D
2. A
3. B
4. C

I've always favored letting the regions decide constitutional amendments over a nationwide vote. I haven't changed my position in that regard.
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« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2016, 02:45:26 pm »

1. D
2. A
3. C
4. B

I'm with Yankee on this. I'd also put in a clause where the regions themselves can propose amendments equivalent to the Article V Convention of the States that is set in the US Constitution.
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2016, 02:50:56 pm »

1. D
2. B
3. C
4. A
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« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2016, 07:01:23 pm »

1 A
2 D
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« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2016, 09:30:05 pm »

PRINCIPLE VOTE on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Please rank the following Plans in order of preference.

[4] PLAN A: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate.

[2] PLAN B: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[3] PLAN C: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by 3/5 of the voters in two (2) Regions or 4/5 of the voters in one (1) Region.

[1] PLAN D: The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] Abstain


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« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2016, 09:34:59 pm »


PRINCIPLE VOTE on CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Please rank the following Plans in order of preference.

[  4 ] PLAN A: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate.

[  3 ] PLAN B: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[  2 ] PLAN C: The Constitution may be amended by a 3/5 vote of the national electorate, BUT amendments may be Vetoed by 3/5 of the voters in two (2) Regions or 4/5 of the voters in one (1) Region.

[  1 ] PLAN D: The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Regions.

[   ] Abstain


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« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2016, 07:27:37 am »

1. Plan D
2. Plan B
3. Plan A
4. Plan C
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« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2016, 01:22:10 pm »

My two cents is this for anyone trying to decide how to vote here: originally I envisioned the new constitution to be a document that made all areas of Atlasia relevant, especially regions. I wanted regional elections to matter and be contested.

Allowing regional legislatures to ratify the constitution makes sense, if we're to have regions at all. I don't understand what the other two regional plans in this thread mean, and I find them too complicated to understand for most people. We need to keep it simple. Plan D accomplishes all of those things, and I hope we pass it.
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