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  Talk Elections
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  Constitutional Convention (Moderators: Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee, Lumine)
  Structure, size and elections of Senate/House (Debating) (search mode)
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Author Topic: Structure, size and elections of Senate/House (Debating)  (Read 24561 times)
Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« on: October 09, 2015, 07:09:23 pm »

As I said in the Regional thread, we really need to wipe the slate clean before rebuilding the government. I therefore propose the following amendment:

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2015, 01:11:35 pm »

I object to the Truman's amendment, only because Sections 5, 6, 7 of this Article are being discussed in another thread.

If my fellow delegates would prefer, I would be happy to introduce a separate amendment dealing with Sections 5, 6, and 7 in the Senate Powers thread.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2015, 04:24:57 pm »

I object to the Truman's amendment, only because Sections 5, 6, 7 of this Article are being discussed in another thread.

If my fellow delegates would prefer, I would be happy to introduce a separate amendment dealing with Sections 5, 6, and 7 in the Senate Powers thread.
I think it would be fine.
Should I interpretate that as a withdraw of your amendment and then a new amendment to wipe Sections 1, 2, 3, 4?

Yes, I withdraw my first amendment and introduce this one in its stead:

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 03:57:02 pm »

As much as I think bicameralism would be fun, I worry that it would slow the legislative process while only minimally reducing the number of offices.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 04:17:13 pm »

I applaud Evergreen for finding a way to cut so many offices. Sadly, her proposal upends the balance of power between the Regions and the national government (in that it eliminates it entirely). I suppose its not a bad plan if you want to replace the federal system with a confederation, but I don't think that's the way to go.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 11:32:43 am »

I propose we act about this matter after that the number of regions is established in the other thread.
Seconded.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 05:16:26 pm »

The trouble is, we already have a Mock Parliament game on the forum. I don't think there's a need for a second one.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 01:43:03 pm »

I motion for a principle vote on whether to establish a unicameral or a bicameral legislature.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2015, 02:11:28 pm »

I think Windjammer's plan is a good one.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 05:35:16 pm »

What legislative system do you support?

[ ] Bicameralism
[X] Unicameralism
[ ] Abstain



I cast this vote reluctantly, as I do like the idea of bicameralism from a theoretical standpoint. Ultimately, however, I was forced to the conclusion that establishing a second legislative house is unwise at the present juncture - not for the usual reasons of governmental bloating or legislative gridlock, but out of concern for a quality whose absence has been one of the driving forces behind Atlasia's decline: competition.

Let us, for a moment, consider the smallest rendition of bicameralism thus far proposed: a 6 member Senate coupled with a 7 member House. Assuming each Region adopts a 5 man government, that would leave us with a total of 36 elected and appointed positions nationwide, or 12 less than the current 48. Unless we want every candidate for office to run unopposed, however, the number of active citizens needed to sustain such a state of affairs is actually much more than that. At minimum, a total of 58 active users would need to be more-or-less continually involved in the game (35 officers, plus 23 challengers for each elected position), and even then we would just barely have enough people to field two candidates for every office in every election. A hypothetical election in which every federal office was on the ballot (the president and VP, 6 Senators, and 7 Representatives) would require 30 candidates in order for every race to be competitive (if only half the Senate is elected every two months, the number would fall to 24). By contrast, last weekend's federal election saw a total of 14 candidates appear on the ballot, plus two write-in candidates for Midwest Senate.

If someone has a brilliant strategy for tripling the number of active office-seakers, I'm all ears; as for myself, I see no way to establish a meaningful bicameral system without unwittingly giving rise to a non-competitve party system.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #10 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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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2015, 06:55:48 pm »

In 24 hours time, if there are no objections, I will call a principle vote to determine the manner in which the Senate will be elected. The options in that vote will be:

-Both Classes should be elected by the voters
-Both Classes should be chosen by the Regional legislatures
-Class I should be elected by the voters and Class II should be elected by the Regional legislatures
-Each Region should decide for itself how to elect its senators

Delegates are free to propose other ideas, which will appear on the ballot as well.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2015, 05:09:09 pm »

A principle vote is not open on the question of Senatorial elections. Please rank the following options in order of your preference. Voting will last 48 hours or until all delegates have voted.


Proposals

Option A - Both Classes shall be elected by popular vote.
Option B - Both Classes shall be elected by the legislatures of the several Regions.
Option C - Class I shall be elected by popular vote and Class II shall be elected by the Regional legislatures.
Option D - Each Region shall decide for itself how to elect its senators.


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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2015, 05:05:22 pm »

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I should note that, as a matter of principle, I do not support empowering the Regional legislatures to elect the Senate. If we want the federal system to be at all meaningful, however, we must give the Regions real responsibilities, and that means creating the possibility that they will make mistakes. If our continual response to vesting more powers in the Regions is, "Oh, not that, that's too important," the Regions will continue to be powerless and people will continue to not give two cents about Regional elections.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2015, 10:17:56 pm »

Results of the Principle Vote on Senatorial Elections
Option A - 6
Option B - 0
Option C - 2
Option D - 10

With a majority of voting delegates in favor, Option D has been selected.


Option D - Each Region shall decide for itself how to elect its senators.

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2015, 06:15:11 pm »

As several delegates have raised concerns about the size of the proposed second legislative house, I am calling a principle vote to determine the number of seats in the House of Representatives. Please rank the following options according to preference; voting will last 48 hours or until all delegates have votes.

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2015, 06:59:11 pm »

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2015, 06:05:47 pm »

Crazy idea I'd like my fellow delegates to hear and consider/humor for at least 4.26 seconds:

There should be a built-in mechanism to decrease the number of seats due to a lack of activity. As in, if an election has less than X number of declared candidates (the exact number would be determined when we define precisely how elections will be ran--FPTP, STV by region, STV by district, party list PR, or whatever) it will go from 11 to 9 for that election and subsequent ones (and it could be expanded if the number goes back up).

Example: every region starts out with 3 seats elected in an STV system, for a total of 12. If, say, 6 or more people run, it goes to 4 seats, and if, say, less than 4 people run, it goes to 2. Or if it's at-large, or population-adjusted districts, it could start out at 9, and if less than, say, 10 people run it goes to 7, and if more than 13 people run it goes to 11. Obviously the numbers will be changed if we actually do this.

Does anyone else agree with that idea? Or am I just talking nonsense?
This is an interesting idea: I believe the Northeast adopted a similar proposal in regards to Assembly elections earlier this year. Perhaps the final text could look something like this:

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2015, 07:11:17 pm »

With a majority of voting delegates in favor, the Convention has elected to establish a 9 Member House of Representatives.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2015, 07:33:06 pm »

The floor is now open for debate on the following questions:

1. Should the number of seats in the House of Representatives fluctuate in proportion to the number of candidates in the most recent election?

2. How should the House of Representatives be elected (At-Large, Regionally, from Districts, or some other method)?

In 48 hours' time, if there are no objections, I will call Principle Votes on both of these issues.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2015, 07:39:46 pm »

Personally, I would be open to tying the size of the House to the number of candidates, provided there were clear caps on how large/small the chamber could get. As Duke and others have pointed out, the House needs to be significantly larger than the Senate in order for bicameralism to be meaningful, so having fewer than 9 Representatives isn't a good idea; likewise, having more than 11/12 Representatives would make Congress too bulky.

As for the second proposal, I support electing the House At-Large: this balances the rights of the Regions with those of the national population, as each would have a house dedicated to representing them. Electing Representatives from the Regions would make the House little more than a larger version of the Senate, and a district system is but Regionalism under another name.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2015, 12:28:59 pm »

I would prefer that the entire House be elected every two months. In order for bicameralism to have a meaningful effect on the game (beyond making it harder to pass legislation), the structure of the two houses needs to be significantly different. If we expand House terms to 3 months and divide it into two Classes, we're left with a lower house that is essentially a slightly larger version of the Senate. A two month term, combined with a single class of Representatives, ensures that the lower house will quickly respond to shifts in the electorate, with the Senate balancing these shifts against the rights of the Regions.
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2015, 03:43:15 pm »

A vote is now open on the following proposals. Voting will last 48 hours or until all delegates have voted.

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2015, 03:53:34 pm »

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Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2015, 11:42:56 am »

Isn't this a 48-hours vote? Truman opened the vote November 22 at 03:00 PM. So I guess it's still open.
Yeah, the vote is still open (until later today, that is). For some reason, I thought I had opened the vote on Saturday.
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