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  Talk Elections
  Atlas Fantasy Elections
  Atlas Fantasy Government
  Constitutional Convention (Moderators: Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee, Lumine)
  Presidential Parliamentarian (Discussion Open) (search mode)
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Author Topic: Presidential Parliamentarian (Discussion Open)  (Read 32216 times)
Lief 🐋
Lief
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Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« on: April 03, 2009, 05:04:06 pm »

I think a better idea that starting to draft the actual constitution immediately, would be to start with an outline or sorts, breaking down the different offices/bodies and the powers given to each. So, to begin with, we have:

The Legislature
     Prime Minister
     Cabinet
President
Judiciary

So, starting with the Legislature...

Composition and Elections
1) The Parliament (other suggestions for names?) shall be composed of 15 Members of Parliament (MPs). It could be higher, if we like, but I think an odd number (so 15, 17, or 19) is best, so as to prevent a tied Senate when selecting the Prime Minister.
2) All fifteen MPs will be elected at the same time, in elections held no more than two weeks after the weekend after dissolution of the parliament.
3) The parliament is dissolved by a majority vote of no confidence against the current government (the Prime Minister and his cabinet), a majority vote in favor of dissolution at the Prime Minister's discretion, or four months after the last election, whichever comes first.
4) MPs are elected through a nationwide proportional vote, to last for three days.

How we do the election is a difficult topic. We could do some combination of regional voting and nationwide voting (kind of a mixed member system), we could do the current STV vote, but with all 15 Senators (I don't think this would really work, but I may be wrong), we could do a nationwide proportional vote by party list (I kind of like this), etc.

My suggestion would be party lists, as that would make the most sense, is not very different from the nationwide elections we have now, and would strengthen the parties by a great deal (something I'm very supportive of and which is somewhat essential to having a functioning parliamentary system).

Thoughts would be welcome.

Powers

These should essentially be the same as the current Senate's, I would think. It would depend in large part on whether or not we choose to preserve the regions, as I feel that federalism would be somewhat silly if we didn't have regional governments to pass things the national government could not, but, as I said, that's for a later discussion.

The Government

1) The Prime Minister of Atlasia and the Cabinet of Atlasia are elected from and responsible to the Parliament.
2) The Prime Minister is nominated, from among the elected MPs, by the President. He must then be confirmed by a majority vote from the Parliament.
3) The Prime Minister shall serve as the Head of Government and shall set the agenda of the Parliament.
4) The Prime Minister, upon assuming office, shall appoint a Cabinet from among the elected members of parliament. Members of cabinet are responsible first and foremost to the Prime Minister, and may be dismissed at his discretion. Members of cabinet may also be dismissed by a majority vote of the parliament.
5) The Prime Minister may be removed from office by a majority vote of no confidence. A motion of no confidence must be supported by 1/5 of the parliament before it is put up to vote. Petitions to hold a vote of no confidence may be presented no more often that every two weeks. If a majority of the parliament votes against the Prime Minister during the vote of no confidence (a loss of confidence), the Parliament is immediately dissolved. No confidence motions may also be requested by the President. If the Prime Minister loses the vote of no confidence, he may not be re-appointed after the elections.
6) The Prime Minister, with a majority vote of the parliament, may dissolve the parliament.

I'm probably forgetting some incredibly important things, so if I am point them out. I'll also add more later. Remember that isn't the constitution or the proposed constitution; just notes and outlines, that we can debate, before writing it up as a more formal constitutional proposal.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
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*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2009, 04:13:14 pm »

I think that the plan we had devised was that the Prime Minister would be in charge of the legislature, leading legislative initiatives, picking cabinet members (who would function something like American committee chairs), and setting the national policy. The President, on the other hand, would be more of a popular representative of the people, in charge of kind of checking the parliament, given the ability to veto, some legislative abilities (either introducing his own bills in a special legislative slot or putting certain bills up to national referenda), and given some ability over dismissing prime ministers and dissolving parliaments.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
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Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 12:13:10 pm »

Parties would indeed be more meaningful than they currently are, as who the Prime Minister is, as well as his cabinet, would rest largely on the alliances between parties.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
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Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 01:13:58 pm »

Parties would indeed be more meaningful than they currently are, as who the Prime Minister is, as well as his cabinet, would rest largely on the alliances between parties.

But would an expanded Senate of 15 or so members have enough presence to really allow meaningful compromise to occur on this front? It largely rests on the way parties develop. If we see a large center right party and a large center left party develop, there could just be partisan bickering. But if we see small "interest group"-like parties, this could be very interesting.

Perhaps we set a cap for party membership? It would make membership more meaningful, loyalty more important for remaining in the party, party alliances more important, and political oustings a fun addition to the game (albeit controversial). This could lead to the constant formation of new parties, party changing, etc.

Well, that's why I would support a very proportional system, so that a smaller, "interest group" party, as you put it, would have the chance to get a seat or two. While they would have very little traditional say, they could be very important if one of the larger center-right or center-left party needs a coalition partner to give them majority control of the chamber.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
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*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 02:08:34 pm »

Realistically though, that would probably be something not contained in the constitution, right? Our current constitution is very vague with regards to how elections are run, if I remember correctly.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
Atlas Legend
*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2009, 10:07:30 pm »

Okay, getting the discussion started again, here's a proposed article one:

Article I. The Parliament

Section 1. Composition and Elections
1. The Parliament of Atlasia shall be composed of 15 Members of Parliament (hereafter referred to as MPs).
2. No Person shall be an MP who has not attained a hundred or more posts and is not a registered voter.
3. All MPs will be elected concurrently, in nationwide proportional elections.
4. Elections shall be held from midnight Eastern Standard Time on the second Friday after the dissolution of Parliament and shall conclude exactly 72 hours later
5. The Parliament shall have necessary power to determine regulations for the procedure of and the form of Parliamentary elections and shall have necessary power to determine a procedure for declaration of candidacy for such elections. All elections to the Parliament shall be by public post.
6. Those elected to the Parliament shall take office as soon as the result of their election has been formally declared.
7. If a vacancy shall occur in the Parliament, the party of the MP who has vacated his seat shall have exactly one week after the creation of the vacancy to appoint a new MP. If the vacated seat belonged to an MP who did not align himself with a party, it shall remain vacant until the next election.

Section 2. The Government
1. The Government of Atlasia is composed of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Atlasia. The Government is to be selected from and responsible to the Parliament of Atlasia.
2. The Prime Minister is nominated, from among the elected MPs, by the President after the official certification of a Parliamentary election. He must then be confirmed by a majority vote from the Parliament. The President may not nominate an MP for the position of Prime Minister whose government's loss of confidence resulted in the most recent dissolution of Parliament.
3. The Prime Minister shall serve as the Head of Government. He shall be responsible for setting the national policy and leading the legislature. He shall also be responsible for nominating members of the Cabinet and filling any vacancies that may occur.
4. Cabinet ministers shall be responsible for certain policy portfolios and the management of their departments. [I hope Smid doesn't mind I stole that word for word Tongue] The composition and selection of the Cabinet and its members shall be at the discretion of the Prime Minister. The powers and responsible of the Cabinet shall be defined at the discretion of the Parliament.
5. Cabinet Ministers are responsible first and foremost to the Prime Minister, and may be dismissed at his/her discretion. Cabinet Ministers may also be dismissed by a majority vote of the parliament.
6. If the office of the Prime Minister shall fall vacant, then the President must nominate a new Prime Minister to be confirmed by a majority vote of the Parliament.

Section 3. Rules and Operation of Parliament
[1.1 through 1.4 are just the present constitution]
1. The Parliament may establish rules for its own proceedings, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of its number, expel an MP.
2. The Parliament shall have fulfilled a quorum if a majority of its members are capable of discharging their offices and sworn into office. A quorum of MPs shall have voted on any Resolution, Bill, Impeachment or Constitutional Amendment for it to be considered valid.
3. For any Bill or Resolution to pass the Parliament, it shall have gained a majority in a valid vote. Before the Bill or Resolution becomes Law, it shall be presented to the President of the Republic of Atlasia, unless it be concerning the rules for the proceedings of the Parliament. If the President approves, he shall sign it, and it shall become Law. If the President does not approve, he shall return the Bill with his objections to the Parliament, and it shall not become Law. Upon reconsidering the Bill, if the Parliament shall approve the legislation by two-thirds of its number, it shall become Law. If a Bill is not returned to the Parliament by the President within seven days after it shall have been presented to him, it shall become Law regardless.
4. Whensoever the Parliament shall pass a bill and present it to the President, he shall have the option to redraft the bill and return it to the Parliament in redrafted form. The President shall have this option once with each particular bill presented to him. The original sponsor of the bill, as so defined in Parliamentary rules, shall either file a motion to approve the Presidentís redraft by a simple majority vote, and return it to the President for his signature or veto, or withdraw the bill from the Parliament. If the Parliament approves the President's redraft by a simple majority vote, the redrafted bill shall be returned to the President for his signature or veto. If the Parliament rejects the President's redraft, the original sponsor shall either file a motion to send the original draft of the bill back to the President for his signature or veto, or shall direct the Parliament to resume debate on the bill as presented to the President.
5. The Parliament shall be dissolved after either a successful vote of no confidence against the current Government, a majority vote in favor of dissolution at the Prime Minister's discretion or the discretion of the President. If the Parliament is not dissolved through these means by the end of the fourth month after the official certification of the last election, it shall be automatically dissolved.

Section 4. Impeachment [I don't know if we want to let the Parliament impeach the President or not, but here it is anyway; this is stolen from the current Article 1, Section 2]
1. In the same manner as the proposition of a Bill, Articles of Impeachment may be proposed against the President of Atlasia or any judicial officer of the federal government.
2. The Parliament will be empanelled as a grand jury to consider these Articles of Impeachment; In considering these Articles, the Chief Justice shall preside, unless it is his own impeachment, in which case the President of the Senate shall preside. A majority vote of the Parliament under quorum rules will be necessary to impeach the Officer.
3. The People shall have sole power to try such impeachments. The Chief Justice shall administer a public poll to try the impeachment, unless it is the Chief Justice who shall have been impeached, in which case the Prime Minister shall administer the public poll. The public poll shall be held for one week and shall require the consent of two-thirds voting to convict. Citizens shall make their vote publicly known in the form of a post.
4. Upon conviction by the People, the officer shall be removed from office immediately. Any person convicted upon impeachment shall be disqualified from holding any office under the Republic of Atlasia for a time period explicitly specified in the Articles of Impeachment.

Section 5. Powers of the Parliament
[insert the current Article 1, Section 5 here]

Section 6. Powers denied to the Parliament

[insert the current Article 1, Section 6 here]

Section 7. Powers denied to the Regions
[insert the current Article 1, Section 7 here]

[I don't know if we want to do something with the budget; I wasn't around back then, but I hear tell that everyone hated it. If we do want to reintroduce it, it would go here.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
Atlas Legend
*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2009, 09:34:21 pm »

Quote
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I would like to give the power to redraft to the PM, or give the PM some power of intervention in this process, just to extend the checks and balances here.

That's a good idea, I like it.

Any other comments? Impeachment of the President: Yes/no? Budget: Yes/No? etc.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
Atlas Legend
*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2009, 10:00:27 pm »

Yeah, we do currently have impeachment (my section 4 is basically just the current impeachment article rewritten to say Parliament instead of Senate), but I don't know that it's ever been used...
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Lief 🐋
Lief
Atlas Legend
*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 12:47:05 pm »

     I didn't notice how the MPs were elected before, but we're planning to use party lists for these elections, right?
That would be something specified by statute. Right now it just reads "proportional" so that we can change the system easily to find one that works.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
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Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 05:31:16 pm »

Aye
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Lief 🐋
Lief
Atlas Legend
*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 04:34:41 pm »

Article 2 would be the President, as I think you meant. I don't really have time to write anything until my exams are finished (on the 10th), but after that I can contribute again.
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Lief 🐋
Lief
Atlas Legend
*****
Posts: 41,132
Dominica


« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 05:36:24 pm »

I think that the plan we had devised was that the Prime Minister would be in charge of the legislature, leading legislative initiatives, picking cabinet members (who would function something like American committee chairs), and setting the national policy. The President, on the other hand, would be more of a popular representative of the people, in charge of kind of checking the parliament, given the ability to veto, some legislative abilities (either introducing his own bills in a special legislative slot or putting certain bills up to national referenda), and given some ability over dismissing prime ministers and dissolving parliaments.

-----------

I also think that the Prime Minister was covered in Article I, and that Article II should focus solely on the President.
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