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  A Thesis on Current Proposals
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Author Topic: A Thesis on Current Proposals  (Read 1042 times)
Purple State
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« on: March 27, 2009, 12:17:18 am »
« edited: March 29, 2009, 12:53:26 am by Mideast Assembly Speaker Purple State »

Alright, I have been pretty scattered in my thoughts with all the different proposal threads and feel like I'm losing my own ideas all over the place. So this is my general view of how the proposals are progressing from my point of view.

It is incredibly important that we not lose sight of the many perspectives of the game we are a part of. Atlasia is both a government sim and election sim, it requires activity with a twist of exclusivity. A lot of great proposals are out there, ranging from more concentrated power to sprawling government systems. The problem is that the discussion tends to lean either towards one issue or the other, never really cementing itself on both at once. So lets go through an idea I've been kicking around.

The Parliamentary Universalism idea is great. As proposed by Smid, it allows for an expanded government sim with universal participation, while also maintaining the exclusivity through elections. However, it leaves the door open for inactivity and a slowing of the government as the large size of the lower house makes it unwieldy and overbearing for individual members.

I also happen to like the Bicameral Nonparliamentarian proposal, which creates a system similar to the US in which a lower and upper house can act unilaterally, but must reconcile differences in legislation through conferences.

And then there is the Presidential Parliamentarian take on executives, with a PM and President serving different roles, wielding different powers and elected in different ways.

Rather than have each of these ideas spread in different proposals, I thought I would combine them into a new proposal: Bicameral Universalism.

Essentially, there is a lower House of Commons, made up of all members of Atlasia, but with no quorum requirements. Whenever a vote is called anyone who shows up and votes in the allotted time is counted and that's that. This house elects its own Common Speaker to direct votes and procedure.

There is also an upper Senate, made up of 5-10 members elected based on some combination of regions (Governors)/parties/at-large. This chamber will have similar characteristics to the current Senate, in that there is a quorum, etc. The Senate will elect from among its members a PM, who will be able to appoint Cabinet members from the Senate. The PM will direct legislation for the Senate, essentially serving as its Speaker.

In addition, there will be a nationally elected President. There will be some form of split powers between the President and PM, allowing for certain checks on each other, on the different houses, etc.

All legislation, to be passed, but go through the following phases:

1) The PM brings proposed legislation before the Senate; the Speaker brings proposed legislation before the House. (Need ideas for a mechanism to make sure legislation can't always be blocked by one house not taking up the vote, but that still allows for this to happen occasionally)

2) Each chamber works on the legislation separately and passes a version.
EDIT: In discussion with Smid, it seems like a good idea to have debate in the House function by the creation of committees. Legislation must go through committees, subject to unlimited debate and requiring approval of the committee. Once it is before the entire House, debate will be limited to one comment per member to ensure it doesn't span forever. The Senate will not be subject to this; however, I would like Cabinet members to hold some sway in exactly how the agenda progresses.

3) Chamber leaders (Senate = PM, PPT, VP, appropriate Cabinet officer; House = Speaker, party leaders, etc.) join to reconcile the two pieces of legislation in conference, followed by a revote in both houses on the new legislation.

The President will have one legislative slot to push his agenda through any proposed legislation. Anytime the President uses this slot the House and Senate must immediately begin work on it. The President may also dissolve the Senate at any time through a no confidence vote. The Speaker may call elections for President at any time through a no confidence vote.

Essentially, this keeps all the cogs interrelated, it allows for constant action, fast-paced agendas and plenty of turnover. I was wondering what everyone thinks of this. Perhaps someone would like to propose it and second it in the government proposal thread. If nothing else, at least I got to focus my thoughts.
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