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  Constitutional Convention (Moderators: Gustaf, Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee)
  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 23946 times)
Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« on: October 13, 2015, 01:54:17 am »

6 member senate and a 9-11 member House of Representatives. One elected entirely at large and the other entirely at the regional level. We've had this plan in place for years. Now is the time to implement it.

^ This, it was the best aspect of the Duke plan two years ago and it remains so it my opinion. It might be better to go with a smaller house component in the current environment though like say 7 to 9 instead of 9 to 11.


Duke, I would recommend posting an outline of your original plan. Is it still on google docs?

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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 12:14:31 pm »

The number of regions is the hinge on which everything else swings, so it definately needs to be decided first. Once that is decided, then this becomes the next stage because whether or not we have bicameralism influences the VP decision and so forth.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 01:25:56 am »

Indeed, having two games means one can be tailored to suit the Parliamentary prefering players whilst the other can cater to those who dislike it. In that way it allows for the players to have more enjoyable experience by allowing them to elect to participate in their preferred design.


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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 03:14:09 am »

Duke? Its been three days?
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 01:18:46 am »

I stand by the Duke plan, I think it is the most practical way to handle a legislative arrangement in a three region environment. I would however suggest a smaller house than the one he had originally, so maybe 7 instead of 11.

That still leaves a net 13 reduction on offices overall.

A single At-Large Senator, or VP acting as an At-Large senator serves no purpose other than to ensure there isn't a tie. We should consider the consituency being represented. He represents the majority of the nation, and yet that national majority would invariably be outvoted whenever two region's (4 Senators) section interests differ from that that of the national one. One of the benefits of the present system, is that such is impossible.

In the past, many argued this is rarely ever a situation, but we will soon have Regional Senators advancing sectional interests that are indead hostile to the national interest. I think therefore that ensuring the national majority has an equal seat at the table is of paramount importance, now that we have a tangible example facing us.  A People's House like that in the Duke plan, address this concern.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 02:30:55 am »

If bicameralism fails, I am going to push for the preservation of a class of Senators dedicated to representing the people of the nation in Nyman.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 12:11:56 am »

What legislative system do you support?

[X] Bicameralism
[ ] Unicameralism
[ ] Abstain
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2015, 12:13:31 am »

Wait, why would we want a bicameral system?  We're already sustaining the unsustainable regions under this system; I don't know why we need another level of government.

Obviously, we don't.

It is not another layer of gov't. It is reorganizing the the legislative branch.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 12:15:38 am »

What legislative system do you support?

[X] Bicameralism
[ ] Unicameralism
[ ] Abstain

I think we could have two five member houses.

1x1 - President
5x1 - Senate
5x1 - House of Representatives
1x3 - Governors
5x3 - Regional Representatives.

29 elected officials.

The Senate would have to go up to 6 or down to three since we have three regions.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 12:18:26 am »

If bicameralism fails, I am going to push for the preservation of a class of Senators dedicated to representing the people of the nation in Nyman.

If bicameralism fails, I am going to push for the preservation of atlasia as a country that doesn't randomly torture kittens.

That sounds wonderfull. However, the anti-Kitten brigade has not elected any Regional Senators as of yet. Such cannot be said of the secessionists, who have elected a Regional Senator dedicated to the cause of seperatism. While he is perfectly free to represent the sectional interests of his region in such capacity, it is contrary the interests of the nation and therefore the great people of this land must be representated or we are no longer a Federal Republic.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 04:14:15 pm »
« Edited: October 29, 2015, 04:19:09 pm by Senator North Carolina Yankee »

6 member senate all elected at large and either a 9 or 11 person house elected by the regions. It's very simple. It gives regions a direct way to elect their representatives and let's the senate represent the entire nation sort of like it's done now.

It's that simple. Let's not overthink this.

That is the opposite structure of your 2013 plan though, with an all Regional Senate and "A People's House". Also it isn't correct to say the Senate represents the whole nation right now since it is bifurcated between representatives of the Regions and representatives of the People.

Also with that arrangement, what is the purpose of having six as the magic number for the Senate anymore if the Senators aren't tied to Regions?

I prefer the 2013 plan in this regard, I always have. I like the concept of a People's House to represent the nation as a whole.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 04:23:12 pm »

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.

It was not a crazy idea. If people are to give a damn about regional elections, they have to have some important tasks or otherwise they are indeed a useless layer of gov't as ILV stated. Perhaps, this won't the right area to give them responsibility, but at the time, with the exception of you, no one even consider the idea of reassessing the relationship between the two levels of gov't and I damn sure wasn't going to sign off on yet another shifting of responsibility from regional to federal without some counter shift in another area.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #12 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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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #13 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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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2015, 01:27:50 am »

oh  the HELL YESSS!!!! Evil

by which I mean Aye by the way!!! Wink



I love every inch of this Amendment, except the absence of the VP. Tongue The House and Senate are perfect, as are the election methods. The increassed frequency of House elections ensures they are a truly a People's House and that they serve the will of the people. The Senate gets the PPT back, so that the House can have a Speaker.

Since the principle vote is going overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the VP, that will hopefully be amended back in. Here is my suggestion, as I mentioned in the other thread, make the Vice President serve as "President/Presiding Officer of the Congress, with the responsbility of ensuring that both chambers coordinate. So if you have emergency bills for instance, he could preside over it for both houses. He would ensure that both houses passed legislation before it is presented to the President and that both House's leadership are active, with the ability to fill in until a new PPT or Speaker is elected. He would also split ties in both houses (there could be a vacancy leading to a tie in the House). The VP would also serve as the PResident's laison to the legislative branch and therefore the VP would always have to be active and engaged.

Take the House down to 9 from eleven and that way retaining the VP is compensated for office wise.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2015, 01:30:31 am »

In case the VP remains, I would like to propose the idea of a new role for the VP:
Why not making him the coordinator between the 2 chambers. For example, if the House passes a piece of legislation, that should be him who should administer this piece of legislation in the senate. If anyone has an another idea it would be welcome. But yes, considering now that will be bicameralism, I think it might be possible to give the VP a role without making him basically a senator.

Definitely!
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2015, 01:50:20 am »

Take the House down to 9 from eleven and that way retaining the VP is compensated for office wise.


Nope, not necessary! If literally one of the most non-useful positions in the game can be retained without any concern for the number of offices being preserved, then nobody needs to take a hypocritical approach and begin saying "we need to remove twice as many from the House for numbers' sake" to make up for it.

It is not double for the sake of making up for it. It is double because odd numbers occur at intervals of two, not one oh great and might mathematical genius. Go Griff yo Graph!!! Tongue

You are partially to blame for the VP's present state, by the way. Wink It was working fine until Labor got its fing groper nasties all over it. Tongue
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2015, 02:49:35 am »

Take the House down to 9 from eleven and that way retaining the VP is compensated for office wise.


Nope, not necessary! If literally one of the most non-useful positions in the game can be retained without any concern for the number of offices being preserved, then nobody needs to take a hypocritical approach and begin saying "we need to remove twice as many from the House for numbers' sake" to make up for it.

It is not double for the sake of making up for it. It is double because odd numbers occur at intervals of two, not one oh great and might mathematical genius. Go Griff yo Graph!!! Tongue

You are partially to blame for the VP's present state, by the way. Wink It was working fine until Labor got its fing groper nasties all over it. Tongue

That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that if we're not worried at all about getting rid of one position with no utility whatsoever in order to free up game space, then we shouldn't be all gun-ho about getting rid of two positions under the same pretenses that will actually have intrinsic value. Since those positions will actually create value and a contrast between the two chambers in terms of electoral competition and meaning, they're worth retaining even more than the VP. Since the VP has been deemed worth keeping over more valuable offices, then there is no argument without hypocrisy to then want to ax these offices for fear of having too many offices.

People who are worried about numbers should have been willing to get rid of the least useful office currently in the game. Eleven House seats will not be difficult to fill, assuming this body doesn't reverse course and give the regions the ability to go hog-wild with office creation once again.

And there are a lot of people you can blame for how the Vice Presidency got to where it is today, but I am not one of them.

Its called compromise Griffin, a concept you may be unfamiliar with. Tongue Plus I really don't want the best parts of your amendment gutted to something terrible.

Sure, sure! Tongue
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2015, 06:36:42 pm »

Duke I don't think you posted your original plan.


And you know the answer to that, because I helped you work out some of the kinks back in 2013. Tongue
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2015, 04:39:42 am »

Good times! Smiley
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2015, 02:21:23 am »

I agree with Griffin, each region should get to decide how to elect their Senators.


The Senate's purpose is indeed to represent the region and therefore there is a good argument that can be made when it comes up at the region level to decide who to elect them to opt in fact for the legislatures as an option. It also does help make those elections for Regional Gov't more important. I have long pushed Regionalizing the Regional Senate elections and making it so they were held on the same ballot as Governor and state legislature for the purpose of boosting turnout and interest in those downballot seats and elections.

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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 12:35:13 am »

Question: How should the members of the Senate be elected?
[  2 ] Option A
[ 4  ] Option B
[ 3  ] Option C
[ 1  ] Option D
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2015, 10:08:48 pm »

Damn it, I was a couple hours too late.


I think At-Large is the best option for an obvious reason. Getting enough candidates for nine one an one elections would be a nightmare as you would need at least 18 candidates to make the thing work. What is worse, you would have to pull those candidates from a narrow tract of voters making it even more difficult. There is just no feasible or practical way to elect a 9 member house from a district based system.

At-Large allows you to pull from the entire nation, you can have a competative election with 12 to 15 candidates, and there will be greater ability to compete because you find your best voters anywhere in the country as opposed to just a handful of states.

Assuming I am doing my math right, the quota would be 12 under STV assuming 120 votes and 10 votes at 100 voters. Such a low threshold would mean you almost always have an opening for at least one independent House member, if not more. Granted, we might go with a different system, but STV works a lot better at 9 or 11 seats than it does at 5.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2015, 03:05:25 am »

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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2015, 03:12:29 am »

Yay, let's have only marginally-predictable elections with a 9-member chamber instead of entirely-predictable elections with a 5 or 7-member chamber. Roll Eyes

And why is everyone now talking about variable-sized chambers? We just had a principle vote on the size of the chamber. It's over.

I am not sure what the reference at the top is about. I recall you saying STV only works at higher numbers than five and I acknowledged the alternatives. I was simply making the case for having them At-Large by illustrating the superiority a larger number of At-Large seats would have versus the current system using the same method.

I agree on variable House size, but for a different reason. Lowering the number of house seats would lower the benefits of its larger size and the competativeness of the elections. I have also concluded that the system is flawed from its use with the Imperial Legislature last year. There times when people were brought out to vote just to keep the size from contracting.
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