Lamb

Amendment to the Etiquette

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I've been discussing some concerns I've had for awhile with how our Hall of Nations conducts itself. The procedures we stumble through are convoluted and redundant at best and I think we can not only simplify them, but ensure they're easier to understand and are more efficient.

As it stands, a proposal is put to the floor for approval of the Speaker by a citizen. Before it can be approved, it must be motioned by the citizen and then seconded by another citizen. Again, this is just to approve it. After that, the Speaker begins a formal discussion period of seven days before the proposal goes to vote. There are a couple oddities with this process that I've never seen before in legislatures in the game and I think we can make this a lot simpler by amending the Etiquette to reflect the following process (note this is just a broken down list of how it would work, the actual proposal is further down the post):

1. A citizen would submit a proposal by posting it to the Hall and immediately a discussion period starts (which I think we should lower to five instead of seven, as Drall has proposed elsewhere).

2. After the minimum discussion period is over, the proposal can then be motioned to a vote by any citizen and then is required to be seconded to actually go to vote.

This means we don't motion to get to the discussion period, it is already happening upon being proposed. I've noticed, even with my recent amendment proposal, that we were all discussing it naturally before the actual discussion timer had been started. The discussion will still adhere to a time limit before it can go to vote, this just removes an unnecessary step on getting the proposal going in the first place. Additionally, the motion and second to vote by citizens ensures this is something that is actually supported before it goes to vote, based on the discussion about it. I am also going to add a clause that states that the citizen proposing the legislation may withdraw their proposal during the discussion period or it is automatically withdrawn after a period of inactivity in the thread without it being motioned. This is so if it is decided communally that it isn't something we want and the proposer agrees, they can withdraw it and also prevents us having stagnant discussions on proposals that are sitting around for months. So, this is my amendment to The Etiquette of the Hall of Nations (strikethroughs are removals, red text are additions):

Quote

Section 2: Legislative Procedure

(1) In order for a proposal to be brought to vote, a citizen must post the proposal in The Hall and move its approval, and another citizen must second the motion. It is then entered in queue by the Speaker and will be brought to the floor for discussion in a timely manner by the Speaker. The Speaker may determine the order in which proposals are brought to the floor to begin discussion

(1) Any citizen may bring a proposal to discussion before the Hall of Nations, by posting it in the appropriate forum. 

(2)  A discussion period of seven five days, beginning at the time a proposal is brought to the floor by the Speaker is posted, will be required before any proposal may be brought motioned to vote by a citizenAnother citizen must second the motion before the proposal can be brought to vote by the Speaker.

(3) A proposal may be withdrawn by the citizen who submitted it, any time before the voting period begins. A proposal that has been inactive on the floor for fourteen days without discussion, and has not been motioned to vote and seconded, will be withdrawn from the floor by the Speaker.

(4)  All votes shall take place for three days. Voting citizens may vote "aye," "nay," "abstain," or votes of clearly similar intent.

(5)  Abstentions may not be used to determine the outcome of any vote.

(6)  In elections, nominations do not require seconding, but must be accepted or declined by the nominee.

(7)  The Speaker may only cast a vote to break a tie.

This will help our legislature work more organically, efficiently, and with a lot less confusion on procedure. This is pretty standard practice for legislatures built such as ours and I hope my peers here in the Hall of Nations agree that this is best for us moving forward. I also want to note that an amendment to the manners will be required to address the discrepancy of debate time, but it is a minor one and one that Drall is already addressing in his own proposal coinciding with this one.

Also, since I like have to do this still: I'm motioning for approval.

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This begins the seven day discussion period of this amendment. 

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Original proposal: removal in strikethrough, additions in purple.

(3) A proposal may be withdrawn by the citizen who submitted it or the Speaker, any time before the voting period begins. A proposal that has been inactive on the floor for twenty fourteen days without discussion, and has not been motioned to vote and seconded, will be withdrawn from the floor by the Speaker.

The Speaker should have the discretion to remove any proposal that is not worthy of discussion in his/her opinion. The Speaker was elected to preside and set policy. 2 weeks of inactivity is more than enough in NS-time.

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I put twenty days because usually people get stingy about inactivity policies like that being too short. I personally support changing it to something like fourteen days.

On your other suggestion though, I don't think it's appropriate to have the Speaker be able to willfully remove any proposal that they may not like personally. I can already see potential situations where perhaps an amendment directly affecting the Speaker is taken down by the Speaker, regardless of an enormous amount of support by the citizens of the region. It also kind of contradicts the precedent we're setting with the law that states a Speaker cannot vote except for in a tie. I think that law alone sets a precedent and sense that the Speaker's duty isn't to directly meddle in the affairs of the Hall of Nations, but to lead and moderate it. Allowing them to just remove proposals at their own discretion and potentially for their own personal agenda, isn't something we should do in my opinion.

I have amended my proposal to reflect the fourteen days instead of twenty, as I think that is indeed more appropriate.

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Fourteen days sounds great.

 

As a compromise on the latter point, though at the risk of creating inane bureaucracy, perhaps the the citizens should have the right overturn the Speaker's decision to withdraw a proposal via a majority vote. In that case, if it is the opinion of the greater majority, a proposal could still go to vote even if personally disliked by the Speaker.

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I'm still not sure that's really a road we want to go down. Obviously, if someone posts some goofy, non-applicable "proposal" that doesn't work or no one likes, it isn't going to go anywhere to begin with. As in, it won't get motioned to vote or if it does and the majority doesn't want it, they'll vote it down. I don't think we need to give the Speaker the power to decide what proposals are appropriate and even if we can overturn the decision, it allows a potentially upset or selfish Speaker to tangle-up the Hall of Nations with votes against their personal decision to withdraw something.

I'm just trying to avoid any potential abuse of power here and I'm more than confident in our legislature to make logical, rational decisions when it comes to handling proposals in the sense of withdrawing them or not supporting those that they don't want to see go further.

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I prefer Davelands' proposal as he stated it. This is an advisory body to the Delegate, allowing citizens to have more input into the regional administration. However, TWP is not a democracy. 

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22 minutes ago, Saint Mark said:

I prefer Davelands' proposal as he stated it. This is an advisory body to the Delegate, allowing citizens to have more input into the regional administration. However, TWP is not a democracy. 

It is not a democracy in the sense of electing our primary executive officials, no, but the Hall of Nations was founded as an open legislature for all citizens of the region to take part in and have equal say. What you're propagating is something that is moreso found in legislatures that have a set number of elected seats. It's contradictory to the entire premise of an open legislature, such as our Hall of Nations, to instill such overriding powers in one individual. 

I also wouldn't claim the HoN to be advisory to the Delegate. Though the Delegate has supreme authorities in many facets of TWP, the Hall of Nations by law is capable of establishing law, amending law, and repealing laws without the direct parenting of our Delegate. I think saying that is kind of selling us short here, unless I misunderstand what you're saying.

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Anymore points of interest on this? If not, we're legally allowed to move on to a vote.

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