Amendment to the Rules of the Regional Assembly

Discussion in 'Regional Assembly' started by Artemis, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    During the past several months, I have seen some comments about amending the rules of the Regional Assembly. Therefore, I would like to present a draft for consideration as some changes. None are to drastic, but I feel would be beneficial.


    Rules of the Regional Assembly of The North Pacific


    Section 1. Proposals

    1. Any citizen may bring a proposal for discussion before the Regional Assembly.

    2. The Speaker may schedule a vote on any proposal being discussed by the Regional Assembly as permitted by law.


    2a. For Legislative Proposals, the citizen who introduced the proposal may call for a vote by posting “motion to vote”, or a functional equivalent in the thread. A second is not required.


    2b. For Non-Legislative Proposals, any citizen may call for a vote on proposal by posting ‘motion to vote’, or a functional equivalent in the thread. Any other citizen may second such a motion.


    2c. For Treaty Ratifications, the Delegate, or the Executive Officer designated by the Delegate to do so, may call for a vote on the proposal by posting “motion to vote”, or a functional equivalent in the thread.


    3. If, before a vote on a proposal begins, at least three citizens object to the decision of the Speaker to schedule it, the Speaker must cancel the scheduled vote.

    4. If a number of citizens equal to or exceeding one third of the number of votes required to achieve quorum for any legislative vote, including the citizen that introduced the proposal to the Regional Assembly, motion that a vote should be held on a proposal before the Regional Assembly, then the Speaker must schedule a vote on that proposal to begin as soon as permitted by law.

    Section 2. Voting

    1. No more than two legislative votes may take place simultaneously at any time.

    2. Unless otherwise required by law, votes of the Regional Assembly will last for a minimum of three and a maximum of seven days.

    3. The Speaker will, at the beginning of a vote of the Regional Assembly, decide its duration as permitted by law.

    4. If a number of citizens equal to or exceeding one third of the number of votes required to achieve quorum for any legislative vote object to the duration of a vote of the Regional Assembly decided by the Speaker before the conclusion of the vote, then that vote will last for the maximum duration permitted by law.

    5. If at the conclusion of a vote quorum has not been achieved, then the Speaker may extend the duration of the vote to the maximum permitted by law.


    6. Citizens may vote "aye," "nay," or "abstain," or similar. Any citizen may change their vote before the end of voting by making a new post, or by editing their original vote. If a citizen loses their citizenship or otherwise renounces citizenship during the voting period, any vote they have cast will be invalidated.

    Section 3. Deputy Speaker and Vacancies

    1. The Speaker may, at their discretion, appoint a citizen as Deputy Speaker. The Speaker may, at their discretion, remove an existing Deputy Speaker. There shall be no limit on the number of Deputies a Speaker may appoint.

    2. Unless otherwise specified by law, the Speaker may delegate any of their powers and duties to the Deputy Speaker(s). Delegation under this section does not relieve the Speaker of any of their powers and duties. Any provisions of law related to the powers and duties of the Speaker, when exercised by the Deputy Speaker(s) under the provisions of this clause, shall apply to the Deputy Speaker(s).

    3. When there is a vacancy or absence in the position of Speaker, the Deputy Speaker with the longest tenure will assume the powers and duties of the office of the Speaker for the duration of the vacancy or absence, respectively. When there is simultaneously a vacancy or absence in the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker(s) is simultaneously vacant, the citizen who is available, has the longest period of citizenship, does not decline the position, and is not otherwise prohibited by law will assume the powers and duties of the office of the Speaker for the duration of the simultaneous vacancy or absence.

    4. A citizen's period of citizenship is defined as the amount of elapsed time since that citizen's most recent approved citizenship application without an interruption.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  2. El Fiji Grande

    El Fiji Grande Delegrande - - - -

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    Why would there be a difference between legislative and non-legislative proposals, wherein legislative proposals do not require a second?

    Also, very small thing - in 2b, you use ‘motion to vote' rather than "motion to vote" as you did on 2a and on 2c. Just helps to be consistent.
     
  3. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    These procedures have been in place as part of the Standing Procedures document which is maintained by the Speaker. I feel that definitions of types of legislation and the procedures that accompany them need to be codified in the Rules of the Regional Assembly.

    As stated, Legislative proposals are ones intended to enact, amend or repeal laws. Non-Legislative proposals, such as confirmations of Election Commissioners and Security Councillors, are any proposal to exercise a power of the Regional Assembly besides enacting, amending or repealing laws.
     
  4. Haor Chall

    Haor Chall The Power of the Dark Side -

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    There's also a difference in that legislative proposals have to be motioned to vote by their proposer, whilst non-legislative are motioned and seconded by anyone (in the RA).

    I assume the "or similar" in 6. will mean that use of alternative words (with clear meaning) will not result in votes being declared invalid?

    Wholly support this update to the RA rules.
     
  5. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    "Or similar" is currently in the standing procedures, and it's meant to allow for things like capitalizing/non-capitalizing, using a period at the end or not, etc. It's not meant to allow alternative words. Please let's don't go down that rabbit hole again.
     
  6. Haor Chall

    Haor Chall The Power of the Dark Side -

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    Well that's no fun...! :jack:
     
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  7. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    Correct
     
  8. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    Any further comments?
     
  9. Loh

    Loh TNPer - - -

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    I'd welcome these changes.

    Full support
     
  10. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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  11. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    Why exactly must they be separate? Please elaborate @Dinoium

    As Speaker, I can unilaterally alter the Standing Procedures without consulting with the Regional Assembly. These are common sense procedures that should be inscribed into the Rules of the Regional Assembly and not be altered unilaterally.
     
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  12. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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    Well I simply think that they should be seperate because we have been using that for a while. No need to amend the Regional Assembly Rules with parts of the Standing Procedure. We have been doing perfectly fine without having this parts in the Rules. We have for probably the whole Standing Prodecure's existence been using Aye, Nay, or Abstain. Probably even before that. So putting it in the Rules now wouldn't make sense. We have been doing this all using thr Standing Procedures and don't need to discard it now.
     
  13. Syrixia

    Syrixia The one, the true, the great. - - -

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    Minor nitpick, but such is often the case with debating law: Are the voting words ("aye", "nay", "abstain") case sensitive? It doesn't appear that there is any line saying that they're not case sensitive, which may open the door to possible confusion whenever votes come around. If I said "Aye" or "AYE", I wonder if, under the current draft, that vote would be discounted.
     
  14. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    But that is just the thing, the Standing Procedures are not law. They are not official, but a collective work of former speakers to help guide future speakers on certain topics. I agree these procedures have been working, so why not inscribe them into law as part of the Rules of the RA?
     
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  15. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    I see no reason that AYE would be discounted over Aye or aye due to capitalization. Those would all be accepted by me. But COE said it best with:
     
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  16. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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    (Forgot to like my quoting messages). :P
    I mean I can understand it's not officially law but it's a group of prodecures defined by the Speaker. So if the Speaker wants to define it as an official prodecure for the Regional Assembly that the Assembly will work abound (like a law), then so be it. Feel free to correct if i'm wrong, of course.

    If we amend the Regional Assembly Rules with this, what would be the point of the Standing Prodecures. It's like two documents (one law and one not law) with similar text. At that point you may aswell just abonand the Standing Prodecures.
     
  17. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Global Moderator - - - -

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    There isn't a need for two separate documents to govern the Regional Assembly.
     
  18. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful - -

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    Well, I think the standing procedures are more specific and malleable for when procedure needs to be altered. This emulates such documents like in the US Senate where the rules and processes can be easily altered for the sake of debate and calling for votes that is separate from the constitution. Perhaps there is an easier way to present these rules and procedures as one document without giving up that malleability previously mentioned.
     
  19. Crushing Our Enemies

    Crushing Our Enemies TNPer - - - - - -

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    I actually think some of these things are better off in the standing procedures than in the RA Rules, for the simple reason that they are better left to the interpretation of the speaker than the court. For instance, let's imagine that in a close vote, a few people vote Aye with a period or exclamation point after it, their votes are counted, and they make a difference to the outcome. An opponent of the bill could go to court saying "'Aye!' and 'Aye.' are not similar enough to 'aye,' to be counted. Their votes should be invalidated and the result of the vote reversed." If it's written into the rules of the RA, the court has to decide what's similar enough to be counted, and what isn't. Under the current arrangement, the court has an easy decision - wherever the RA rules don't proscribe what to do, the speaker may use their discretion. Therefore, the votes are valid because the speaker said they were." As long as the speaker doesn't abuse their discretion, there's no need to write the procedures into the rules.
     
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  20. Dinoium

    Dinoium Jack of All Trades - - - - -

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    :agree: